San Jose Taiko Performs at Yu-Ai Kai’s Mochitsuki

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As San Jose Taiko performs on the stage, volunteers flip mochi at the San Jose Betsuin Annex.

As San Jose Taiko performs on the stage, volunteers flip mochi at the San Jose Betsuin Annex.

SAN JOSE — San Jose Taiko closed out its 40th anniversary celebrations this year by performing at Yu-Ai Kai’s annual mochitsuki event.

Reaching back into history, Roy Hirabayashi, former executive director of San Jose Taiko, explained at the event that his group had been part of the very early days of mochitsuki, performing taiko to help set the rhythm of rice pounding when it was done by hand.

Yu-Ai Kai’s mochitsuki continues to be a special way to celebrate this annual cultural event that brings together volunteers from across the community and of many generations – and San Jose Taiko’s performance was a surprise treat. It was also a way to announce Yu-Ai Kai’s own 40th anniversary year in 2014.

“I love how this event brings together families, community members, and keeps us in touch with our Japanese roots,” said Steve Yamamoto, mochitsuki chair.

For Vernon Hayashi, the taiko performance was especially meaningful as he remembers how much he enjoyed the “don, don, don” rhythm at mochitsuki years ago. “It really made me reflect on how far both Yu-Ai Kai and San Jose Taiko has come in 40 years.”

San Jose Taiko was sponsored by Union Bank at this performance.

On the Web:

www.yuaikai.org

www.taiko.org

Fresh mochi is cut into chunks, which in turn are rounded into smaller pieces.

Fresh mochi is cut into chunks, which in turn are rounded into smaller pieces.

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