Celebrating the New Year with the ELC

It’s another year at the ELC and the time of year for traditions to continue to be honored and celebrated with children, teachers and parents. One such tradition at the ELC is Omochi Pounding Day. Preparation began days before the event with all the children taking turns washing the glutinous rice and then letting it soak overnight.

On January 15, the entire ELC once again welcomed Kanie-san and his three associates from the Azabu-Juban Neighborhood Association. Children and parents, with the help of our visitors, came together to pound the steamed rice. The students donned happi coats (traditional festival attire) and made easy work of the typically laborious task of pounding the rice until it was soft and smooth.

The parents then helped to cut the fresh mochi into little pieces. The students molded and topped the pieces of mochi with flavors such as anko (red bean paste), kinako (soybean flour) and nori (seaweed). Classes kept record of pieces eaten and their favorite flavors. Most children liked kinako the best and one class ate 234 pieces of mochi!

A huge thanks to all of the parents who volunteered their time to make this another successful event at the ELC! (Jean Caskey, ELC Director)