esgvjcc new year1The traditional sound of wooden mallets pounding sweet rice into cakes of mochi could be heard welcoming the new year at community and temples throughout Southern California. Above, gakuen students at East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center in West Covina take part in the annual ritual. Below, nengajo — cards with wishes and hopes for the new year — made by the students are displayed for parents and visitors.

Photos by MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo

esgvjcc new year2

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