Mochi making at the Nishimuras. These home movie stills are from the Maki and Frank Yosaburo Nishimura collection held at the Nikkei National Museum. Accession Number: NNM 2018.38.2.1.10
This particular scene documents mochi pounding (mochitsuki) and molding at the Nishimura residence in Coaldale, Alta., circa 1960. Two visiting Japanese University of Alberta students are filmed pounding the mochi.
Following this shot, Kim, Mink, and Maki Nishimura shape the mochi.
Mochitsuki is traditionally a family or community event. The mochi is prepared in various ways in late December to be eaten in the new year. Participation in this ceremony, and eating mochi brings strength and luck for the coming year.
Though mochi making has been passed down across generations, many will not be able to share this experience with their families this holiday season. For now, we look to the past, with the hope that we can make and eat mochi with our loved ones in the future.
Watch the entire home movie below, the Mochitsuki begins at 33:00 mark: