fukuhara1The Orange Optimist Club held its annual mochitsuki on Dec. 29, at Tanaka Farms in Irvine. More than 450 people joined in the fun of pounding and making the traditional rice cakes. Again this year, many organizations participated in the okasane (mochi-stacking) contest. Above: Michelle Kubo, Casey Kubo, and Frbizzio Trujillo pound the rice.

fukuhara2Three generations working together, led by granddad Cliff Soeda, Joshua Soeda, Travis Soeda, and Sandra Soeda.

fukuhara3Jey Niizawa, Nicholas Nojiri, and Nicholas Kiyohara wash the rice for steaming.

fukuhara4Stacey Yoshinaga gathers finished mochi for bagging.

fukuhara5From left: Sumie Shiokawa, Kaoruko Ono, Kiyo­hiko Shiokawa, and Fumiko Ishii admire the one of the competitive okasane.

fukuhara6Dan Hardy prepares the bottom rice layer be­fore Mark Morishita can complete the stack.


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