The History of the Baby Mochis
In the Summer of 2018, BIJAC's Mochi Tsuki planning team approached Bainbridge Island resident Julie Schick to design a fresh, new t-shirt design for the 30th Anniversary celebration. Her "Mochi Tsuki for All" tagline encompassed the spirit of Mochi Tsuki as a celebration sponsored by the Japanese American Community, but welcoming to all attendees--whether local or visiting, young or old, first-timers or long-time regulars. Incorporated into her design was the BIJAC strawberry mon, or logo, honoring the Issei (first generation), who worked hard to clear land and build the strawberry industry during times when anti–Japanese sentiment was high in the country. The mon honors their perseverance and resilience. What a perfect design!
Fast forward to 2020.
During 2020 it became apparent that, for the first time in its history, Mochi Tsuki could not be held as a live event. 2020 was a year that will be remembered for a global pandemic, social and political strife, and uncertainty. The BIJAC community has faced adversity before. The response: Stop Repeating History. To that end, BIJAC members have for years been developing educational programs and working with local partners to promote diversity. Most recently, members have lent their support to end detention sites and support front-line immigrant and refugee communities that are being targeted by racist, inhumane immigration policies.
During these trying times, the 2021 baby mochis came back in support of community, unity, and diversity. Plain, Green Tea, Chocolate, or Strawberry, Virtual Mochi Tsuki welcomes mochis of all flavors and colors. Not even a global pandemic can stop them!
But, wait--it's 2022, and the pandemic isn't over yet. This year we are visited by the Mochi Ninja--and is he steaming mad about another year without a gathering on Bainbridge Island! Will he be creating some mochi mischief? Maybe...but never fear, we think he'll be guarding the usu until we meet again in person!