Wailea Village Mochi Pounding | Big Island Real Estate


Mochi, Photo by Han N

In 1885, the first large wave of Japanese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the sugarcane and pineapple fields.  With them they brought many Japanese traditions including mochi pounding.

Today it’s difficult to find a mochitsuki or mocha pounding ceremony in Japan, but here in Hawaii they have become as traditional during the holiday season as Christmas trees and presents.

What exactly is mochi?

It’s a small, sweet, rice cake made from mochigome, a short-grain, sticky rice.  They are traditionally made for the New Year and given out to express good fortune for the coming year.

Mochi Pounding

Mochi Pounding, Photo by Jared Shelburne

If you’ve never had a chance to participate in a mochitsuki, you should come down for the Wailea Village on the Hilo side of the Big island for Mochi Pounding on December 28, 2014.  Locals and visitors will take turns from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm pounding the sticky rice in a large, wooden mortar called a usu with a small, wooden mallet called a kine.

There will also be Okinawan taiko drumming, plantation storytelling, and New Year’s crafts and calligraphy.  And after all that rice pounding you’ll probably want to sit down for a hearty local-style lunch (only $5).

If you would like more information about Big Island community events or details about one of our luxury listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

About the Author

Dodie MacArthur ,


Dodie MacArthur began her real estate career in Honolulu in 1972. She quickly rose from top sales agent and project manager of major Honolulu developments to representing prominent estate and development properties on Oahu and the Big Island. With her honed real estate skills and experience, Dodie founded MacArthur and Company in 1989 with the objective of creating a unique boutique firm, where the clients needs came first. In the first year of operation, the company gained immediate recognition as a leading Big Island firm and continues to thrive as a market leader today. With her abundant energy, creative marketing and dynamic leadership skills, Dodie is responsible for business development and overall company management at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty. She works closely with clients and agents in the marketing and sales of their properties. Her many years cultivating client and broker relationships ensures the firms clients unrivaled exposure. Along with her management staff and team of successful sales agents and brokers, Dodie is able to provide local, national and international clients with unparalleled customized service, fulfilling her promise that the client’s needs come first.

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