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— by Lauren Yoshiko: For three days at the start of the new year, the Konko Church of Portland (1330 SE 92nd Ave., konkofaith.org/church/konko-church-of-portland) in Montavilla turns into a veritable mochi factory.

In the Japanese culture, the new year is a big deal, and mochi—the sweet, squishy, rice-based treat—is seen as a harbinger of good fortune. The more mochi you eat, the more good luck for the year ahead.

Reverends Lisa and Andrew Uzunoe, along with Lisa’s mother, started the tradition of making mochi for their congregation on New Year’s Eve over 35 years ago. The orders got bigger every year, and their production grew to include several varieties made with yomogi herb, roasted black bean and red bean filling…

Image courtesy of Christopher Cross

July 9, 2019