Based on the few available scraps of information on the Wakamatsu Colony -- founded at Gold Hill, California by members of a...

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SAMURAI OF GOLD HILL

Based on the few available scraps of information on the Wakamatsu Colony -- founded at Gold Hill, California by members of a Japanese clan defeated along with the Shogun -- this is notable for its sharply realized 1869 backgrounds (both Japan and California) and for its sympathetic inside view of one boy's adaptation to a new life. Raised to follow his father as a samurai, Koichi has mixed feelings about crossing the ocean to become a silk and tea farmer, but demonstrates his manhood in the end not by using his grandfather's magnificent sword but by selling it to feed the impoverished colony. A bigoted California miner, humiliated by Koichi's friend Rintaro (a carpenter at the colony) adds a note of rather melodramatic but needed tension to the plot in his finally successful efforts to get back at the Japanese settlers. Partly through his damming of their source of irrigation the farm fails, but as Koichi and his father (the last holdouts) ride away the boy has turned his mind to the life ahead.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 1972

ISBN: 1597140155

Page Count: -

Publisher: Scribners

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1972