Mochitsuki 2011

From the Jetaa website:

jetaaportlandJETAA Portland will once again be a community partner in Portland’s biggest Japanese cultural event, the annual Japanese American New Year Celebration, Mochitsuki. JETAA volunteers will help at our booth that all children flock to each year. Volunteers will have the chance to spread the word about the JET Program, help with the “The Fishing Game”, as well as helping make “Children’s Jubako”, where children learn to make bento boxes with special Japanese New Year foods. There are many ways to connect with the Japanese-American community through the Mochitsuki Event, please let us know if you have any interest in volunteering in any capacity.

When: Sunday, January 30th, 11am-4pm
Where: Scottish Rite Center (1512 SW Morrison Street, Portland, OR), on the MAX line @ PGE Park Stop
Tickets: $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (62 years and up) and students, $3 for children ages 2-12, children 2 and under are free.
Contact: If you are interested in volunteering or purchasing tickets for the event, please contact Amanda Gray and Stephanie Smith at

* This year tickets are required for admission to Mochitsuki, however they include admission to one of the stage performances and all of the activities. There are three different stage performances scheduled and you must indicate which show you will attend at the time of ticket purchase.

Show Schedule:
Noon Show: Alton Chung, Minidoka Swing Band

2:00pm Show: Hippoh Dance, Lewis/Clark, Mitsuki Dazai (koto), Portland Taiko, Sahomi Tachibana Dancers (traditional Japanese dance), Utsuki-kai (mochi-pounding)

4:00pm Show: Emcee: Robert Kikuchi; Epworth Break Dance, Fujinami-kai (traditional Japanese dance), Nanda (acrobaticalists), Portland Taiko, Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo (story-telling), Tanuki Taiko, Utsuki-kai

The Japanese American community begins 2011 with a celebration of Japanese New Year traditions. “Mochitsuki,” or the making of mochi, a sticky rice cake, has taken place in Oregon since the first immigrants arrived in the late 19th century. Coming together to pound steamed rice into hearty cakes gathered people from far-flung railroad and lumber camps, farms and towns. Beginning the year with mochi symbolized both the strength of community and starting the year with a full belly. The Portland area Japanese Americans invite the public to join in its lively annual celebration at a large and historical location this year. In the Scottish Rite Center, Mochitsuki is a program of dynamic taiko drumming, Japanese folk dance, and storytelling that brings Oregon’s Japanese history to life. The concurrent Cultural Fair features a community stage, displays and hands-on activities for all ages. Come hungry for culture and great treats from the Pacific Rim.