This holiday season, many
families will gather to celebrate the Japanese New Year’s tradition of making
You can pick up fresh or
frozen mochi from many stores around the state at this time of year. But
there’s something special about making it the old fashioned way.
In the case of mochi
pounding, too many cooks in the kitchen can actually be a good thing. Making
mochi is hard work and involves using a wooden mallet to mash the steamed rice
down to a smooth, sticky paste.
George Tanabe, a retired UH
Manoa Professor Emeritus from Waialua, holds his own mochitsuki, or mochi pounding,
every year. He describes the meaning behind the New Year’s custom.
Sharon Fujino is a longtime
Kaneohe resident. She anticipates more than a hundred family and friends will
join her to ring in the New Year and help pound mochi. She remembers attending
mochitsukis as a little girl and hopes the family tradition will continue for
generations to come.
If you are interested in
attending a public mochi pounding, contact the Japanese Cultural
Center for more
Full audio available here:
(Molly Solomon / HPR News)