The Joy of Pounding Mochi! Happy New Year! Mochi Tsuki!

The January 12, 2018 Kukunaokalā Assembly re-introduced another valued tradition at Hanahau'oli -- celebrating the New Year as they do in Japan with families and friends -- pounding mochi!

Our retired, beloved Mrs. Inouye, was invited by teachers Mrs. Baclig, Mrs. Lee Loy, Mrs. Matsui, and Mrs Ostrem to return and to teach us about Hanahau'oli's celebration of Mochi Tsuki. Mrs.s Inouye shared that Mochi Tsuki has been a customary and long-held event since 1982.  It started with the Alan Goto Family (Sage '88, and Ken '91) and with the help of Mito Tamashiro, the school's Head Custodian until she retired in 1991.

For the Japanese people, New Year is the most important day of all.  It is a chance for a fresh start, when people can make changes and make new habits.  Mrs. Inouye reminded us that all happy feelings must go into the mochi as we pound, "potan, potan, yare tsuki, sora tsuki."  Potan is the sound we make when we pound mochi!  We joyfully count as we pound and make the mochi the traditional way -- with implements and steamers made of wood, working together with family and friends as a cohesive team, and sharing the delicious mochi! Yum!

After Assembly, each class had a chance to pound, to make mochi with red bean paste (tsubushi-an filled) or plain, dusted with kinako, a roasted soybean flour!  It was so fun to have moms, dads, and family join us and help us in the pounding, the making, and the tasting!

Happy new year everyone!  Doomo arigatoo gozaimashita, Sensei gata!