Samurai of Gold Hill by Yoshiko Uchida

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Samurai of Gold Hill Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Samurai of Gold Hill recounts the adventures of Koichi, the son of a samurai warrior, who leaves Japan at the end of a civil war and joins other Japanese immigrants in building a colony in California. Much of the novel's fascination stems from its authentic portrait of feudal Japan and its depiction of the conflict between this culture and that of the American frontiersmen during the gold rush era. Samurai of Gold Hill is based on real historical events, and Uchida's careful research provides a solid base of information about the experiences of Asian immigrants in the 1800s. But the novel is primarily a story of extraordinary adventure—from the farms, shops, and cities of Japan to the constant dangers of life in nineteenth-century frontier California—that will captivate its readers.