Every February an event is held at a temple in Kyoto in which participants take a turn at lifting a table of giant rice cakes. The goal is to lift and then hold the table (150kg for men, 90kg for women) off the platform for as long as possible. This year, the winning times were 10:01 and 5:30 for men and women respectively.
Keeping the shins vertical seems to be good advice here...
I don't think the monk is helping much.
Related article (in Japanese): Giant Kagami-mochi Lifting Contest (Kyoto, Godaiji Temple)
In Okayama prefecture, at Kenmitsuji Temple, the object is to walk with the giant kagami-mochi which reportedly weighs 180kg! Honestly, I'm not convinced the weight is accurate as this puts the event on the same level as a Husefell Stone carry (a la World's Strongest Man).