Japanese-Americans Celebrate New Year with Traditional Ritual

December 24, 2001

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 24, 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported that "in anticipation of the new year, dozens of members of Senshin Buddhist Temple near USC [in Los Angeles, CA] and their friends gathered to participate in the annual ritual called mochitsuki, or mochi pounding. The ancient process begins with high gluten rice--in this case, a thousand pounds of it--which is cleaned, steamed, beaten into a smooth, sticky dough, and finally transformed into small, round cakes of chewy, delicate mochi." The ritual of making mochi takes place every New Year at Japanese Buddhist temples and the homes of Japanese-Americans throughout the country.