The family that makes mochi together, stays together

THANK YOU VERY MOCHI By Paul Matsushima, Sophie Wang and Craig Ishii; illustrated by Jing Zheng (Los Angeles: Kizuna, 2016, 40 pp., $17.50, hardcover) Mochi-lovers, here’s a book you’ll enjoy reading with your children or grandchildren. It shows how mochi was made in the days before there were mochi machines.  The grandfather in the story […]

Mikawaya, Little Tokyo manju-ya and creator of mochi ice cream, sold

LOS ANGELES — Mikawaya, the iconic 105-year-old Japanese confectionary maker known for creating the popular Mochi Ice Cream, has been sold to a private equity firm, Century Park Capital Partners. Mikawaya is a multi-million-dollar business that specializes in wagashi (Japanese pastries) and is mainly known for its Mochi Ice Cream, which is sold and distributed […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Eat rice

A few years ago, local comedian Frank DeLima delivered a commencement address that started like this: “Eat rice. If you only pay attention to one thing I say, pay attention to this: Rice is the breakfast of champions … the lunch of champions … the dinner of champions. Whole empires, entire dynasties have been built […]

RABBIT RAMBLINGS: Revisiting Tule Lake

Interest in the 2012 Tule Lake Pilgrimage ran so high this year that the slots for participants were filled within three weeks. I signed up early, and was one of the lucky 400 or so to participate. People from the National Park Service, scholars and students, and any number of interested parties attended the pilgrimage. […]

Connections to Clarksburg

CLARKSBURG, Calif. — Passing through acres of vineyards along the narrow country road, we are mesmerized by the serene rural landscape and miss the turn. We double back to find our way, and spy in the distance, a forlorn wooden-framed structure with mint julep painted trim that otherwise matches the silhouette of the old gakuen […]

Takahashi Fellows reflect on time spent in Japan

Ten youth recently returned to San Francisco following their trip to Japan, through the inaugural Takahashi Ambassador Youth Fellowship Program, organized by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) and sponsored by The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation. The students are: Mina Han, Owen Iwamasa Angeline Junaedy, Grant Kawahatsu, Yumi Kobayashi, […]

San Franciscans pound mochi at the Asian Art Museum

On Jan. 8, the mochitsuki group Kagami Kai gave a performance at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. The event, which started at noon, included a mochi-pounding by the San Francisco-based group, in which people of all ages were invited to try swinging wooden mallets down on the wet rice paste. After the pounding, […]

40th annual Oshogatsu matsuri

The JCCCNC’s 40th annual Oshogatsu matsuri was held on Jan. 8 in SF’s Japantown. The community celebration welcomed in the new year with arts and crafts, mochitsuki, taiko drumming, food and a children’s art contest. J-town Arts silk-screened T-shirts for free. How awesome is that? Nichi Bei staff were on hand snacking, snapping pictures and […]

Mochi chronicles: Just mochi

While there is no real substitute for mochi made by pounding mochi (glutinous) rice there is something to be said for the easy substitute provided by these two recipes. Both recipes use mochiko (mochi flour) to generate a final product that is softer than traditional mochi but very delicious and also usable in other recipes like […]

Mochi chronicles: Zenzai

Red beans and rice[cakes] didn’t miss her With the holiday season upon us the promise of seasonal Japanese treats looms large. And when I say “treats” what I really mean is mochi (sticky rice cakes). Of course, mochi can be eaten during the rest of the year but wonderfully, at holiday time, I can obsess […]

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