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Where EAST meets the Northwest

 

TWO DELECTABLE DECADES. Mochitsuki — the Japanese New Year celebration — is returning to Portland State University for its 20th anniversary event. The celebration, which features food, art, performances, demonstrations, and hands-on cultural experiences for all ages, takes place Sunday, January 31. (AR Photos/Jan Landis)

From The Asian Reporter, V26, #2 (January 18, 2016), page 11.

Mochitsuki celebrates its 20th-anniversary event January 31st

Mochitsuki — the Japanese New Year celebration — is returning to Portland State University in downtown Portland for its 20th anniversary event. The celebration takes place Sunday, January 31.

Mochi is a sticky rice cake that symbolizes starting the New Year with a full belly in hopes of abundance in the year ahead. In the Asian zodiac, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. Visitors to Mochitsuki 2016 will see steamed rice pounded into mochi with huge mallets and taste samples made from the humming electric machines popular in Japan today.

The celebration includes a wide array of performances, and again this year, the entertainment stage is emceed by storyteller Alton Chung. Performers and musical guests include the Minidoka Swing Band, Portland Taiko, Utsuki Kai, Takohachi Taiko, Oregon Koto Kai, Sahomi Tachibana Dancers, Unit Souzou, Mitch Iimori on shamisen, Larry Tyrrell on shakuhachi, and others.

Cultural experiences abound at Mochitsuki, including a traditional tea ceremony, a food court, calligraphy, origami, ikebana, Fukuwarai (a Japanese New Year’s game), go (Japanese chess), children’s bento cooking classes, and much more.

The 20th-anniversary edition of Mochitsuki is presented by the Portland Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and co-produced by Konko Church of Portland, the Oregon Nikkei Endowment, and Portland Taiko.

Mochitsuki 2016 takes place Sunday, January 31 from 11:00am to 4:00pm at Portland State University’s Smith Memorial Student Union, located at 1825 S.W. Broadway in Portland.

Tickets purchased in advance are $10 for adults; $7 for students with identification and seniors age 62 and older; and $4 for children four to 12 years old. Children three years of age and younger are admitted for free. Tickets bought on the day of the event are $12 for adults; $9 for students and seniors; and $5 for children.

To learn more, or to volunteer, call (503) 224-1458 or visit <www.mochipdx.org>. To buy tickets, visit <www.boxofficetickets.com>.

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