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Seattle Times: One of largest mochi pounding events in country ushers in New Year

MochiMany Japanese Americans welcome the new year by making a sweet rice called mochi (file photo by ellenm1)

One of the largest mochi pounding events in the United States takes place on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, according to the Seattle Times.

“All cultures seem to have some kind of new year’s celebration involving food and fire,’’ Clarence Moriwaki, one of the organizers  said. Sunday “is likely to be the best attended’’ of any “mochi tsuki” so far.

Mike Okano has participated for 30 years.

“The rice is naturally sweet. Pounding it mashes the grains to make it smooth,’’ he said.

From there the grains are shaped into small round balls and filled with bean paste.(earlier version had incorrectly stated bean curd)

You can read more about this tradition in the Seattle Times..


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