• Kyodo

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Some 60 men and women held up huge “mochi” pounded-rice cakes in an annual contest of strength Monday at Kyoto’s Daigoji Temple.

Kumi Nemoto, a nurse, emerged as the female champion by holding two monstrous cakes weighing 90 kg in total for 8 minutes and 36 seconds, beating the previous record by about a minute.

“This is the 10th time I participated in the contest. I felt (the cakes) were the lightest this time,” said a smiling Nemoto, 49, after the contest in Fushimi Ward.

The male champion was Go Okayama, 28, who held up cakes weighing 150 kg in total for five minutes and three seconds.

The contest is part of the temple’s annual ritual to pray for good health in the year.

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