Kanaye Nagasawa: The samurai who changed California forever | Tech US News


Although the exhibit at Paradise Ridge is considerably smaller than the one before the fire, it is the only permanent exhibit in the United States devoted to Nagasawa (the Sonoma County Museum, which maintains an extensive collection from Kanagawa and Fountaingrove, curates temporary exhibits ). Nagasawa’s largest collection resides in Japan, where a museum preserving the legacy of the 19 samurai students, the Satsuma Students Museum, opened in Kagoshima in 2014. Ten descendants of Nagasawa attended the opening, along with Rene.

Just above Paradise Ridge, the city of Santa Rosa established the 33-acre Nagasawa Community Park in 2007, dedicated in a ceremony attended by numerous Nagasawa family members. And on Paradise Ridge, just behind the chardonnay plot designated as Nagasawa Vineyard, a small fenced area encloses a newly planted tea plantation, the result of efforts to connect Nagasawa’s legacy with that of Wakamatsu Tea, which used some of the earliest teas from California. Japanese immigrants in silk and tea production.

“A lot of California agriculture owes its beginnings to Japanese immigrants. Like the ‘King of the Potato’ and the ‘King of the Garlic,’ as well as the ‘King of the Wine,'” said the founder of the tea plantations, Nao Magami, in reference to Japanese immigrants George Shima. whose large potato crops led him to become the first Japanese-American millionaire, and Kiyoshi Nagasaki, who became the country’s largest producer of garlic. “But when the Japanese were sent to camps in World War II, all those stories were lost. Now we’re trying to piece together those legacies of these early California pioneers.”

In 2021, the Wakamatsu group held their first tea ceremony at Paradise Ridge with members of the Nagasawa family in attendance. But perhaps the best and simplest epitaph for this remarkable man is the one his family added to the plaque in Nagasawa Park, which describes his life in just four words: “Samurai Spirit in California.”

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