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Samurai of Gold Hill

  • Brian T. Maeda, Director/Producer

About the Project

'The Samurai of Gold Hill' is the little known story of the Aizu-Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony, the first Japanese immigrant settlement in the United States. It is a fascinating and compelling story that follows a colony of 22 samurai, farmers and carpenters, and their families, who escape the civil war of 1868 that ravaged Japan. They were lead by a German samurai named John Schnell, who was financed by the Lord of Aizu, to build an outpost in the new world. They settled in Gold Hill, California, where they found early success in agriculture. The saga tells how these early settlers acculturate into the very fabric of Western life. It is the story of origin, dignity and adventure. The descendents of the colony live today in Northern California.