Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, December 30, 2001


Family affair

By Craig T. Kojima

Traditionally, mochi pounding was an event for Dad, Mom and the kids to give thanks for the blessings of the past year and for wishing more happiness in the new one. The fruits of their labor, smooth, round cakes, signified the wholeness and unity of the family. Star-Bulletin photographer Craig Kojima visited the Honbushin International Center, where old fashioned mochi making was in full swing. It's a tradition Kojima is well familiar with. "Our family pounds mochi every year, so I was happy to shoot this event."

Rev. Mamoru Yamasaki pounds the rice while his son, Yuhi, turns the sticky ball.

While being pounded, the rice ball is constantly turned.

From left, Scott Allen, Joey Medeiros, Ian Roff and Reverend Mamoru Yamasaki mash rice to ready it for pounding into mochi.

Kinuko Yamasaki divides a large ball of mochi into pieces before forming their round shape.

Finished mochi can be eaten with many different condiments. The mochi above are served with, from left, soybean powder, daikon and natto.

Pink mochi made by folks at the Honbushin International Center, a Shinto mission which holds cultural events.

Artists and photographers are invited to submit portfolios of their work. Send photocopied samples to Portfolio, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813; or e-mail jpeg images to

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