Orange Coast Optimist Club’s 2019 Mochitsuki will be held on Sunday, Dec. 22, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tanaka Farms, 5380¾ University Dr. in Irvine.

All OCO members/families past and present are invited to our annual Mochitsuki. This is one of OCO’s biggest events of the year. Celebrate the new year with the OCO and experience a fun event for the entire family!

Mochitsuki Pound-Off

You and your respective board/staff/family/friends have officially been challenged by the OCO Board to participate in the eighth annual Mochitsuki Pound-Off. You are all important in keeping this great JA cultural tradition alive. Listen to this young JA and how he values mochitsuki.

Among the 41 organizations and in front of 2,500 people, these teams were the top inus from last year’s competition:

Junior Division:

OCBC Sangha Teens

Yonsei 25

OCO 12th Grade Octagons

Old Farts Division:

OCO Board


OCBC Board

OCO Team Division:

OCO Daisies Girl Scouts

OCO Cub Scouts

OCO 2nd Grade Division

We hope that you all will return to defend your titles!

This is the basic information. We will supply all of the necessary equipment, usu, kine, cooked mochigome, mochiko, etc. Each organization will supply labor to pound, to turn the mochigome for the pounders and mochi formers. Five to ten people from each organization should suffice, of course feel free to bring more labor if you think you are going to pass out from the pounding!

1) Teams may be as few as three and as many as —? Invite cheering section!

2) Each team will have an usu with rice. Team must knead, pound (with kine only, no machine and you must be done and out of the usu in 15 minutes, finished or not!) and form the mochi.

3) Each team must make one kagami mochi set (extra mochi formed and put aside for guests to take home). In case you don’t know, this is the two mochis, one stacked on top of the other with the tangerine on top. The roundness of the mochi is said to symbolize fulfillment within the family. The stacking of the pieces represents the accumulation of another year. According to tradition, kagami-mochi is taken down on Jan. 11 and eaten by members of the household. Families sometimes add the hardened mochi to their New Year’s Day ozoni. Finished display must fit atop the 18”x24” poly cardboard tray that we will provide.

4) Team uniforms are highly recommended.

5) Team spirit is mandatory!

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! This is a great event but we really need your help. Please do not wait to be asked to help. And if you are asked, please do so. We need mochigome runners, turners, help keeping the pot luck area clean, trash emptied, seiro washers and clean-up after! Treat this as a family event, like being at baachan’s house, everyone pitches in!!

Judging of the kagami mochi will be based on:

Team spirit

Pounding technique

Team enthusiasm




Interpretation of Sho Chiku Bai

Overall appearance

MANDATORY ENTRY FEE! Each team rep must provide a sample dish of your favorite Oshogatsu food. Put your name, the name of the food item and write up a short description about the item and your memory about it or why it is your favorite on a standard 8 ½” x 11” paper. Center it so that you can place the dish on top of the paper and you can still read what you wrote. If you can laminate it, better yet. Your dish, please bring either wrapped in clear plastic or covered with clear glass so that people may see the item. Display your dish next to your finished kagami mochi display.

This is the schedule for the day:

5:30 to 7 a.m. — Set-up

7 to 8:30 a.m. — Breakfast

7:30 to 9 a.m. — OCO’s Mochitsuki Pound-Off Challenge

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Everyone must pound for a prosperous new year!

10 to 10:30 a.m. — OCO Kibou Taiko performance

10:30 a.m. — Pound-Off Challenge Awards

12:30 to 2 p.m. — Eat and clean up

We usually finish pounding around 1 p.m. It is a potluck affair, EVERYONE BRINGS A MAIN DISH PLUS:

A-G:   Rice dishes, sushi, Spam musubi, side dishes

H-M:   Drinks

N-R:   Desserts, fruits, Japanese desserts and cakes, kuromame (黒豆)

S-Z:   Salad, veggies, tsukemono, kamaboko

Please try to bring traditional Japanese New Year’s foods to share with everyone!

Ozoni (mochi rice cake) soup will be served during the event.

Feel free to bring any anko or other desired ingredients.


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