Mochi Tsuki at IslandWood on January 3rd!

From the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community:

For over a millennium, making and eating the sweet rice treat mochi has been a celebrated New Year’s tradition in Japan, with generations of families and communities coming together to wish good health and prosperity for the new year. Each year BIJAC brings this celebration to Bainbridge Island. We invite everyone, young and old, to bundle up against the crisp winter air, and enjoy the tradition of mochi tsuki (moe–chee sue–key), or “mochi–making.”

Mochi–making involves a centuries old method of first steaming the sweet rice over an open fire, then placing the cooked rice into a warm stone or concrete bowl called an usu. Using large wooden mallets, two people rhythmically pound the rice in the usu while a third person uses his bare hands to swiftly move the rice between each mallet crash. After several minutes of vigorous pounding, the rice becomes a thick, smooth dough — mochi. While traditional pounding takes place outside, back in the kitchen modern mochi-making appliances are also running. Once cooked and pounded, people of all ages hand form the steaming–hot mochi into small cakes. Some are filled with a sweet bean paste called ahn. Guests can then eat their mochi warm and fresh, or bring them home to be later roasted and dipped in a sweetened soy sauce.

IslandWood has generously provided its beautiful, spacious grounds for this event, usually held from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM on the Sunday closest to New Year’s Day. BIJAC’s acclaimed Kodomo no Tame Ni–For the Sake of the Children–pictorial history is on display, as is the latest in news about the Nidoto Nai Yoni–Let It Not Happen Again–Memorial. Other activities include performances by Seattle Kokon Taiko, various films about our community, and guided tours of the award winning

Mochi Making with the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community.

IslandWood, school in the woods, campus.

This event is free and donations for mochi are welcome.

“The next Mochi Tsuki Celebration will be held Sunday, January 3, 2016
There will be three short Taiko Drumming performances at 12:20, 1:20, and 2:20. Free tickets will be handed out on a first come, first served basis, 20-minutes prior to each show. Although we all love animals, pets are not allowed at IslandWood (service dogs excepted).

From the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal(Approximately a 10–minute drive to our campus)
1. Drive up the hill from the ferry to the second stoplight, turn left onto Winslow Way.
2. At the next 4–way stop, turn right onto Madison Avenue and continue to the next 4–way stop at Wyatt Way.
3. Turn left onto Wyatt Way.
4. Continue on Wyatt, rounding the back of Eagle Harbor (water will be to your left).
5. The road will fork; take the right fork up the hill, following the signs to Port Blakely. You are now on Blakely Avenue.
6. Continue straight on Blakely Avenue. In approximately 1 mile you’ll see Blakely Elementary School on your left.
7. IslandWood is at the first driveway on your left after Blakely Elementary School. Turn left into IslandWood driveway. The street address is 4450 Blakely Avenue NE.
8. Continue on the wooded driveway up the hill. Bear left to the parking area. Follow pathway and signs to the Welcome Center.