Gold Hill Samurai
Gold Hill Samurai is a new play inspired by the life of Okei-san and the earliest Japanese settlers in California who founded the Wakamatsu Tea & Silk colony. Gold Hill Samurai first premiered at the WakamatsuFest150.
About this play
In 2018, American River Conservancy commissioned See The Elephant to create a play for the 150th Anniversary of the Wakamatsu Colony in Coloma, California. Jamie Van Camp, in collaboration with ARC docents and many from the Japanese American community, set to work researching the history and creating a theatrical re-telling that would highlight the struggles and triumphs at the heart of the Aizu people’s migration to California. Okei-san is the reason that we know this story; she has become a legend. But it took all the characters together to make this story come to life. Learning about these figures and their real lives helped to create a deeper understanding of just how much they all needed each other on this journey. Working on this script was a great privilege, and Jamie is thankful for the immense help and feedback from all the people involved to help tell this story in a way that honors and respects the history, making sure the heart of it stays intact.
What’s Next? See The Elephant hopes to continue producing Gold Hill Samurai in the local area. If you are interested in bringing this show to your school or organization, or if you want to become a Supporter of this project, please send us a message