Makin’ mochi at Michigan
Written by Amy Whitesall
Ann Arbor residents learn about Japanese culture at Mochitsuki
Sitting with her mother Yukari Ohzawa, of Novi, Michigan, and her sister Karen, 4, Suzuka talked of her interest in the art form and her collection of origami paper at home.
“It’s really fun,” she said. “I do it a lot when I’m bored.”
The Japanese New Year’s event, which was hosted by the University of Michigan International Institute Center for Japanese Studies, drew about 1,200 visitors to the U-M East Hall Math and Psychology atriums on Jan. 8.
Visitors to the event enjoyed live music, lessons on creating Japanese calligraphy, Japanese food — and mochi.
During Mochitsuki — mochi-pounding ceremony — mochi is created and eaten. Mochi is a rice confection, and one of the “central foods for celebrating New Year’s in Japan,” said Ken Ito, director of the center.