Home Community Community Kicks off the New Year with Mochitsuki!

Community Kicks off the New Year with Mochitsuki!

By Chisaki Sato
The North American Post

Deputy Consul General Sumi gives the rice a good pounding

The community came together on January 13 to celebrate the new year with a mochitsuki event at Nisei Veteran’s Committee Memorial Hall.

About 40 volunteers from several local organizations and kenjinkai and about the same number of hungry guests came to pound mochi into delicious rice cakes.

Thats me on the left with some other volunteers

Mochitsuki literally means pounding rice to make mochi rice cakes. In Japan, people do it to celebrate the hopeful start of a new year.

People were encouraged to give the mochi-pounding a try. And once the cakes were made, everyone tried mochi dishes such as zoni (soup witht mochi), kinako mochi (cakes dusted with nutty kinako powder), mochi and seaweed dipped in soy sauce, and mochi with anko (sweet red bean paste).

Polly Shigaki checks on the rice And if you look closelyyou can see me again in the background

There were even two different kinds of zoni: Hiroshima style (with oysters) and Shizuoka style (with mushrooms).

My favorite dish was the mochi and seaweed with soy sauce. Oishikatta!

Smiling volunteers ready to serve Bottom Hiroshima style zoni with oysters were a big hit All photos by David Yamaguchi

Chisaki Sato is an exchange student from Fukushima, She’s a graduate of Sophia University in Japan. You can find her at her current job working in the Chin Music Press store in Pike Place Market.