Pounding Mochi: A Japanese New Year Tradition

December 27, 2010, 9:29 AM HST · Updated December 27, 9:29 AM

By Wendy Osher

While firecrackers ring in the New Year for many across the nation, mochi pounding is a tradition practiced by many in the Japanese community.

(Below is a video from the Mochi Pounding Demonstration at the 86th Maui County Fair)

Here at home, the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui will host a presentation on various New Year’s traditions. The event features traditional mochi pounding and kadomatsu crafts.


The deadline has already passed for supply and sampling fees, but the general public is invited to attend to observe and learn more about this unique New Years tradition.

The quarterly meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow night, Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at the Wailuku Hongwanji Social Hall. The meeting will be followed by a presentation on kadomatsu, a decoration placed in front of homes to welcome ancestors

The mochi pounding portion of the event includes explanation about the different types of mochi. There’s mochi for New Years soup called ozoni; kazari mochi for decorative purposes and dessert; and various mochi dishes that include fied, kinako and botamochi varieties.

For more information, call Kay at 283-9999.

Mochi Pounding. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Mochi Pounding. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Mochi Pounding. File photo by Wendy Osher.



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