Preparing Japanese mochi for Eugene's Asian Celebration

Preparing Japanese mochi for Eugene's Asian Celebration
Mike Takahashi (far left) of the Japanese-American Association works with other members of the group to prepare mochi for the upcoming Asian Celebration.

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Japanese-American Association is sharing a delicious New Year's tradition by making around 1,000 mochi for Eugene’s Asian Celebration set to take place next month.

Association member Mike Takahashi said the round, pastry-like desert is called diafuku mochi.

“Daifuku means ‘big’ or ‘great happiness’,” said Takahashi. "And when you make it round, that represents peace, unity, the community."

Making such a large batch of mochi is a team effort, from the mixing to pounding out the dough roughly 150 times. The last step is wrapping the mochi around a red bean paste.

"No matter where we go we like to keep our tradition, our culture,” Takahashi said.

The association is making mochi in preparation for their part at the Asian Celebration in February 15 and 16 at the lane county fairgrounds.