Little Tokyo’s Frances Hashimoto, Inventor of Mochi Ice Cream, Dies at 69

Frances Hashimoto
Frances Hashimoto Photo: Mikawaya

Frances Hashimoto, who invented mochi ice cream at her family’s grocery store, Little Tokyo’s Mikawaya, died this weekend at the age of 69. Born in an Arizona internment camp, raised in Boyle Heights, and educated at USC, Hashimoto was responsible for the single store’s growth into four outlets after taking the business over at age 27, and was a vital proponent of revitalizing Little Tokyo and championing Japanese culture in Los Angeles. The L.A. Times announces that the neighborhood’s plaza at 2nd and Azusa streets will be renamed in her honor. [LAT]