Photo gallery of 3rd Annual Japanese Mochitsuki celebration

The Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition (SAJCC, of which I am the website Editor) held our 3rd Annual Tucson Mochitsuki celebration for Japanese New Year’s  at PCC Downtown , 1255 N. Stone Avenue on Saturday, January 9. This event has grown from its inception 3 years ago at Yume Japanese Gardens of Tucson, then to last year at Rhythm Industry Performance Factory, home of the popular Odaiko Sonora taiko drummers.  This popular taiko troupe help open the celebration’s festivities.

Odaiko Sonora doing the opening welcome. Photo credit Brandy Gannon

Odaiko Sonora preparing to do the opening welcome. Photo credit Brandy Gannon

Odaiko Sonora performing,photo credit James Tokishi

Odaiko Sonora performing, photo credit James Tokishi

Odaiko Sonora drummers at 2016 Mochitsuki, photo credit James Tokishi

Odaiko Sonora drummers at 2016 Mochitsuki, photo credit James Tokishi

Here are more photos of the event, focused on the Japanese tradition of cooking, mashing, pounding rice into mochi cakes.  Samples of the mochi were provided to attendees (oshiruku soup), along with a festival atmosphere of various Japanese cultural activities, performances, games, and information.

Video of Odaiko Sonora performance and other activities by freelancer James Tokishi:

https://www.facebook.com/AzBunbunmaru/videos/577442482414877/?theater

Usu (mortar) and kine (mallet) before the pounding. Photo credit James Tokishi

Usu (mortar) and kine (mallet) before the pounding. Photo credit James Tokishi

Mochi pounding, photo credit James Tokishi

Mochi pounding, photo credit James Tokishi

Mochi pounding, photo credit James Tokishi

Mochi pounding, photo credit James Tokishi

Once the mochi was pounded into a paste, it was then shaped into these cakes. Photo credit James Tokishi

Once the mochi was pounded into a paste, it was then shaped into these cakes. Photo credit James Tokishi

Tucson Kendo Kai performance (photo credit: Teena Werley)

Tucson Kendo Kai performance (photo credit: Teena Werley)

PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert  (who is half Korean) welcomed the crowd and spoke of the need for such family-friendly, cultural activities.

PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert, photo credit James Tokishi

PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert, photo credit James Tokishi

MC for the event was Min Yanagihashi, retired Professor. Chair of the event was Wayne Tanaka, who recently moved here from California.  Over 600 attendees were present to help welcome in the new Year of the Monkey.

SAJCC Central Council members - ret. Prof. Min Yanagihashi as MC, and Wayne Tanaka, Chair of Mochitsuki event

SAJCC Central Council members – ret. Prof. Min Yanagihashi as MC, and Wayne Tanaka, Chair of Mochitsuki event. Photo credit M Fumie Craig

Japanese games being played upstairs were igo/go (by Tucson Go Club’s Jonathan Holtrop), fukuwarai (pictured below), kendama by champ Jaclyn Mona,  and of course, origami by Tucson Origami Club founder M. Fumie Craig.

Japanese fukuwarai game of arranging faces on a placemat

Japanese fukuwarai game of arranging faces on a placemat (photo credit M Fumie Craig)

Takoyaki anyone? Delicious octopus dumplings served in container of 6.

Takoyaki anyone? Delicious octopus dumplings served in container of 6 (photo credit: M Fumie Craig)

Tomomi Katz on left working at her takoyqki food booth, photo credit Brandy Gannon

Tomomi Katz on left working at her takoyaki food booth, photo credit Brandy Gannon

Yours truly at SAJCC table with Director/founder Ross Iwamoto. Note ikebana and hanafuda cards on display. Photo credit James Tokishi

Yours truly at SAJCC table with Director/founder Ross Iwamoto. Note ikebana arrangement and hanafuda cards on display. Photo credit James Tokishi

And thanks to our donors for their numerous gift certificates/door prizes:  Ginza Sushi, Ikkyu, Leiola’s Hawaiian Specialties, Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ, RA Sushi, Sachiko Sushi, San-J Soy Sauce, Sushi-Cho, Sushi Ten, Sushi Zona, Takamatsu, Yamato, and Yoshimatsu restaurants.

Happy New Year of the Monkey 2016!

Year of the Monkey note card design by artist/calligrapher Yoshi Nakano

Year of the Monkey note card design by artist/calligrapher Yoshi Nakano

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