Join this four-day sesquicentennial celebration of the arrival of the Wakamatsu Colony during WakamatsuFest150 from June 6 through 9, 2019. This one-time-only event celebrates the vanguard of Japanese immigration to the United States, and honors the diverse cultural legacy that the Wakamatsu story represents.
On June 8, 1869, a group of Japanese colonists from AizuWakamatsu, Japan, arrived in Gold Hill, California, to start a tea and silk farm. It is the birthplace of the first birthright Japanese American citizen, Mary Schnell, who was born in 1870. It is also the burial site of Okei-san, the first Japanese woman and immigrant laid to rest in the United States in 1871.
The festival will feature Japanese and Japanese American food, art, music, performances, demonstrations, discussions, and more. Booths will offer Asian and other foods, information, and merchandise. Docents will share stories about the first Japanese colonists who established their tea and silk farm on the property. Each day will feature the world premiere live play, Gold Hill Samurai. Speakers will share knowledge and experience honoring the past, present, and future of Wakamatsu Farm and surrounding El Dorado County. Local and international visitors, dignitaries, and tour groups will join this event. A copy of the the festival program can be found here.