Wakamatsu Pilgrimage

Presented by the Nichi Bei Foundation

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019



Buses to depart from San Jose Japantown, San Francisco Japantown, Emeryville (East Bay) and Sacramento. Must attend on buses to fully take advantage of program.

 What:  Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony Pilgrimage

Date:  Saturday, October 5, 2019

Time:  11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

(Buses leaving Bay Area 8 – 8:45 a.m., Sacramento at 10 a.m.)

Where:  Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony, Placerville, Calif.

Join us for our second biennial pilgrimage to the site of the first large settlement of Japanese in America. A national and state historic landmark, the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony was established June 8, 1869 as the first Japanese colony in the U.S. It is also the birthplace of first Japanese American, and the gravesite of the first Japanese woman buried in the U.S., Okei Ito.

This year’s pilgrimage is a rare opportunity to learn about the storied history of this colony founded 150 years ago and led by John Schnell and former samurai from Aizu-Wakamatsu, present-day Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Participants can trace their own roots through family history consultations with volunteers from the California Genealogical Society.

Program highlights:

• Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony tours and exhibits, including the Okei Ito gravesite and Graner House Museum.

• Recognizing descendants of Wakamatsu colonist Kuninosuke Masumizu.

• FREE Family History Consultations with California Genealogical Society volunteers.

• Daniel A. Metraux, author of the new book “The Wakamatsu Tea And Silk Colony Farm And The Creation Of Japanese America.”

• Newly-installed monuments.

• Performances by Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan of UC Davis, NISHIMAI


… and MORE!


SPECIAL NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BUS PACKAGES (Includes charter bus fee, bento lunch & water, Wakamatsu tours, program)

FREE FOR SENIOR MEMBERS (aged 65+)* OF THE NICHI BEI FOUNDATION (limited to the first 100).

*NOTE: To qualify for the FREE trip for seniors, participants need to be:

1) Members/Subscribers of the Nichi Bei; and

2) Age 65+


$70 per person / $40 Nichi Bei Members or Seniors 65+

Loads 8 a.m. / Departs 8:15 a.m. from Japantown Peace Plaza, Post at Buchanan streets, San Francisco Japantown


$70 per person / $40 Nichi Bei Members or Seniors 65+

Loads 8:30 a.m. / Departs 8:45 a.m. from J-Sei, 1285 66th St., Emeryville, CA


$70 per person / $40 Nichi Bei Members or Seniors 65+

Loads 7:45 a.m. / Departs 8 a.m. from San Jose Betsuin, 640 N. 5th St., San Jose Japantown


$40 per person / $25 Nichi Bei Members or Seniors 65+

Loads 9:45 a.m. / Departs 10 a.m. from Tenrikyo High Sacramento Church, 2216 6th St. (at W Street), Sacramento

Download the Order Form HERE


Prof. Daniel A. Metraux

Daniel A. Metraux is the author of the new book “The Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm and the Creation of Japanese America” (2019). He is professor emeritus and adjunct professor of Asian studies at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. Dr. Metraux was a Fulbright scholar in Korea and Taiwan in 1988 and in China in 2006. He has taught as an exchange professor at Soka University in Tokyo and at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, and studied at Waseda University and the Faculty of Law at Tokyo University. He was a visiting fellow at the Australian National University in 2002. Dr. Metraux has written many books, book chapters, and articles on Japanese and East Asian history, religion, and culture including “The Soka Gakkai Revolution” (1994), “Burma’s Modern Tragedy” (2004) and “The Asian Writings of Jack London” (2010).

Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan

Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan is a student-run, performing kumidaiko ensemble at UC Davis, founded in 2001. The word “bakuhatsu” translates as “explosion,” expressing the high energy and passion of our performers on stage. By teaching and performing taiko, Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan seeks to spread their love of taiko, contribute to the North American taiko community, and share understandings of the diverse Asian American experience.


NISHIMAI consists of the three Nishi sisters born and raised in Sacramento, Calif., all taught by Toshiye Kawamura of the Sakura Minyo Doo Koo Kai. Darcy performs shamisen, her principal teacher was Mariko Murata and she also performed taiko and dance with her university in Japan. Audry performs traditional Japanese folk dancing. Blythe performs taiko, and is a former member of the UC Davis Bakuhatsu Taiko group. Both Blythe and Audry have danced in the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Parade. “We began these careers because of our grandfather’s wish that we preserve our Japanese heritage and eventually it developed into our love for the art forms themselves,” they stated.


READ: “150 years later, Wakamatsu colony comes back to life” by Stephen Magagnini, Nichi Bei Weekly, July 4, 2019 (with accompanying multimedia report by Terry Pon)

WATCH: Rina Nakano’s Fox40 News report “Discovering California’s Lost Samurai”

READ: “WHERE IT ALL BEGAN: Preserving the First Settlement of Japanese in America” by Kenji G. Taguma, Nichi Bei Times, April 26 – May 2, 2007

READ:  “History of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony” by Alan Ehrgott, Executive Director, American River Conservancy


Website: www.nichibei.org/wakamatsu-pilgrimage

e-mail: programs@nichibeifoundation.org

Phone: (415) 294-4655

Presented by:

In partnership with:

Sponsored by the

Special Thanks:

Russell Okubo / Aji Dori Restaurant (Sacramento), San Francisco State University Asian American Studies, San Jose Betsuin Buddhist Church, J-Sei, Tenrikyo High Sacramento Church, Riverside Tanoshimi Kai, Yu-Ai Kai