April 9, 2019

Wakamatsu Festival –150th Year Celebration

Wakamatsu Festival –150th Year Celebration

This coming June 6-9, the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony near Placerville, California, will celebrate its 150th anniversary during a four-day sesquicentennial celebration. Some YTHS members are planning to attend for two days and will have a booth at the festival on Saturday, June 8. Carolyn Fitz will demonstrate sumi-e art and Alison Woolpert, along with other interested members, will encourage festivalgoers to write haiku.

The history of the Wakamatsu Colony coming to America is of importance. In May of 1869, the first Japanese emigrants arrived in San Francisco. They traveled by wagon to their newly purchased farm near Placerville. The colonists were members of a samurai clan, yet they came bringing the means for their agricultural productivity, including 50,000 three-year-old mulberry trees used for the cultivation of silk worms and six million tea seeds. They also brought fruit tree saplings, paper and oil plants, rice, and bamboo. Although short-lived, the Wakamatsu Tea & Silk Farm Colony represents the beginning of permanent Issei migration to the United States.

In 1969, then-Governor Ronald Reagan proclaimed the site to be a California Registered Historical Landmark, and in 2010, the American River Conservancy purchased the 272-acre property. It is a lovely historical site within the American River watershed and is managed as a working farm. Tours are available of the farmhouse that serves as a museum displaying the Wakamatsu Colony history. The American River Conservancy website page for the festival can be found here. There you will find all the festival details: various activities, tours, performances, lodging options, etc. Check out the website, and if you are interested in joining our group, contact:

Alison Woolpert at awool@cruzio.com

If you plan to go and wish to stay overnight, it is recommended that you make your reservation early, as this festival likely will draw a crowd.