Wakamatsu Farm is the original heritage site for the first Japanese immigrants who came to the United States on June 8, 1869.
In 2010, the American River Conservancy (ARC)*1 purchased Wakamatsu Farm to continue its preservation and education activities. From June 6th to 9th, 2019, the ARC held a festival to honor and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Aizu Wakamatsu Japanese colonists to the United States.
WakamatsuFest150 featured Japanese and Japanese-American food, an ikebana demonstration, Japanese tea ceremony, Japanese calligraphy, traditional Japanese music and more. Booths offered Asian and other foods, information, and merchandise. Docents shared stories about the first Japanese colonists who established their tea and silk farm on the property. Each festival day featured a performance of the world premiere live-play, Gold Hill Samurai. Local and international visitors, dignitaries, and tour groups joined the event. The event was sponsored by various companies and organizations, including Sakata Seed America, Inc. (hereinafter, “SAI”), which supported the Farm and the festival through its corporate donation program, Sakata Gives*2.
1 The American River Conservancy (ARC) is a non-profit organization that serves our communities by ensuring healthy ecosystems within the Upper American River Watershed and Upper Cosumnes River Watershed through land conservation, stewardship, and education.
2 Sakata Gives is SAI’s corporate donation program that empowers all SAI colleagues to engage in the communities of their choosing in a purpose-driven way and to be good social citizens. The program is the cornerstone for the SAI Corporate Social Responsibility Program. All activities within Sakata Gives are guided by the SAKATA corporate mission, “to contribute sustainably to the betterment of life and culture.” We designed the program to encourage employee engagement in the areas of sustainability, nutrition, heath, and the environment.