21 Décembre 2015
December 21, 2015
Dec. 21, 2015 - Updated 06:42 UTC+1
The residents of an area still off limits since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident have produced rice cakes from this year's test harvest.
The people of Minamisoma City's Odaka district are hoping the government's evacuation order will be lifted in April of next year. At the moment they are allowed to return to their homes, but only briefly.
Sunday's event was staged by farmers who are test-growing rice there as well as volunteers supporting the residents' upcoming return to the area.
They all gathered in front of the town's railway station and pounded about 30 kilograms of steaming rice into cakes.
The sound of mallets hitting the steamed rice echoed loudly along the street. The cakes were then seasoned and served to visitors.
The rice used in the event, like all rice shipped from Fukushima, had been cleared of radioactive materials. But farmers don't sell their test crops.
A 5-year-old boy there with his parents said he loved rice cakes flavored with sugar and roasted soy-bean powder.
They later offered some rice cakes to a local shrine to give thanks for the harvest and to pray for a good yield next year.
One of the farmers, Koichi Nemoto, said the event made him happy and that he will continue to grow rice next year.