St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (Maryknoll) in Little Tokyo added to its annual mochitsuki festival Dec. 8 by including a craft faire, martial arts demonstrations, workshops and community information booths.
Above and below: Some 50 pounds of sweet rice were prepared and pounded in the traditional style to form the sticky cakes. The mochi was then filled with anko (red beans) and offered to visitors at the festival.
Other tasting booths, for daikon, natto and other Japanese traditional foods, were also set up at the event. The improv comedy troupe Cold Tofu gave a rousing performance, and the Minyo Kikutakai provided music and dance as entertainment.
Photos by MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo