Our Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition’s 7th New Year’s mochi pounding festival was held on Saturday January 18, 2020 at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd.  Thousands of people attended, and enjoyed the delicious food, matcha green ice cream, taiko drumming, traditional dancing, games, martial art demonstrations, tea ceremonies and more.

Photo gallery below. Most photos taken by M Fumie Craig, founder of Tucson Origami Club. One photo each by Shari L Huffaker, Jennifer Shioya, Teena Werley, Sharon Arceneaux, Brent VanKoevering; two by Angela Salmon/Desert Aloha LLC.


Odaiko Sonora taiko drumming on stage, photo courtesy of Angela Salmon/Desert Aloha LLC

Kimono folding demonstration by Rebecca Bushner/ Shakunetsu no Kimono (center), courtesy of Shari L Huffaker

Lots of children & parents participated in the gaming room. Tucson Origami Club members taught origami, courtesy M. Fumie Craig

Ayatori game (with strings) played by Ethan Schwalbe, Teena Werley, and yours truly, courtesy of Jennifer Shioya

Cici Okuburo drawing henonoheji (faces with Japanese alphabet) with brushes on magic water paper, courtesy of Teena Werley

Beautiful ikebana displays were in the front foyer, courtesy of M Fumie Craig

Mochi pounding team: Micha Sherman in red hapi coat, and in green volunteer tshirts, the Pimienta family – Julian, Benito, Isaac and Miki, courtesy of M Fumie Craig

Mochi samples were given to all attendees. Chi Nakano and son Kenji in the right front, courtesy of Sharon Arceneaux

Beautiful koi on display by Southern Arizona Koi Association, courtesy Brent VanKoevering

Takoyaki food truck outside served popular takoyaki (octopus) balls, courtesy of M Fumie Craig

This was another successful SAJCC New Year’s celebration, for the Year of the Rat 2020. For the first time, volunteers were provided with green Year of the Rat t-shirts, in gratitude for their hard work.

Happy New Year, Southern Arizona Japanese style. See our website, www.southernazjapan.org for upcoming events.

Graphic design by Crystal Akazawa, photo courtesy of Angela Salmon/Desert Aloha LLC