Mochi pounding: An annual tradition

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Jarin Hayase (from left) and Justin Davis pound cooked rice with wooden mallets called “kine” as Race Hozaki supervises Saturday morning in Kahului. The yearly family mochi-making day at Carolyn Hozaki’s house carries on a family tradition that began long ago in Wailuku, at the Central Street home of her parents and Race’s grandparents, Masao and Natsuyo Hayase. This year’s event included six different generations of members of the Hayase, Hozaki and Nishino families as well as friends and other families.

SECOND PHOTO: Once the mochi rice has been pounded to the right texture, it moves to the next step, where the traditional Japanese New Year treats are formed by hand over a table strewn with kata-kuriko, or potato starch. Some were made plain, while others were stuffed with azuki beans and peanut butter.

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