Mochi Madness

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Benkyodo NakajoFor Benkyodo, San Francisco Japantown’s manju shop, Oshogatsu is the busiest time of the year. Benh Nakajo (above) and Ricky Okamura (below) are among those preparing mochi for sale. Customers use the mochi for New Year’s dishes such as ozoni. Established in 1906, the year Japantown moved to its present location following the great earthquake, Benkyodo has been run by three generations of the Okamura family, with Ricky and Bobby Okamura the current owners. The store and coffee shop, which appears in Kerwin Berk’s movie “Infinity and Chashu Ramen,” is known for its handmade manju, both with traditional bean filling and variations like peanut butter or strawberry. (Photos by MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

Benkyodo Okamura

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