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 preparing to do the opening welcome. Photo credit Brandy Gannon
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:
PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert (who is half Korean) welcomed the crowd and spoke of the need for such family-friendly, cultural activities.
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.
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.
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!