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.
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014.
Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter.
She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).