On Dec. 14, East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center Gakuen bid farewell to the first semester with the annual mochitsuki event. Many students look forward to this fun and delicious opportunity to learn about mochitsuki, to try their hand at pounding mochi rice using traditional equipment, and to shape mochi before they enjoy them with their favorite toppings. It’s no wonder that this event is so high on the list of students’ favorite Gakuen experiences!

We feel so fortunate to be able to continue this cultural event annually with our students and families using actual traditional equipment. Many thanks to our families, volunteers, and faculty as this valuable experience would not be possible without their help.

In addition to the celebration of traditional events, the new year has in the pipeline cultural activities such as kakizome (first calligraphy written in the new year) lesson for all students by Rev. Nobuko Miyoshi of West Covina Buddhist Temple, and traditional tea ceremony for upper level students led by Mari Robinson (ESGVJCC tea ceremony workshop instructor), to name a few.

— Submitted by Pearl Omiya

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