Date: 28/08/2009 Category: Events
The Will Adams Festival returns in September with a new look and a new location. Now in its 9th year, the colourful spectacle will take place on Saturday, 12 September at Gillingham Park, off Canterbury Street, from 11am to 4.30pm. As well as celebrating Medway’s links with Japan, which Adams forged on his famous voyage to the east in 1598, visitors will also be able enjoy a taste of the Tudor England Adams would have known during his early life in Gillingham. Visitors will be able to learn from costumed Tudor characters about their day-to-day lives, sample Tudor foods, enjoy Tudor music and take part in interactive demonstrations. A children’s jester will be offering younger visitors a chance to learn some circus skills. Japanese-themed activities will include Taiko Drummers, martial arts displays, traditional dancing, origami, kite flying and calligraphy demonstrations. There will also be a chance to find out all about Manga – a Japanese style of Japanese style of drawing or animation made famous through comics, cartoons like Pokemon and hit TV show Heroes. It will be easier than ever to get to the Festival this year, as free shuttle buses will run to the park from Chatham, Gillingham and Rainham town centres, starting from 10.30am. For shuttle times and locations and further information about all this year’s events visit www.medway.gov.uk/willadamsfestival or phone Medway Visitor Information Centre on 01634 843666 Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Howard Doe said: “The new location will enable us to make this wonderful festival even bigger and better. I hope that everyone will come along and enjoy the many free events and activities which will be on offer this year”. William Adams was born in Gillingham and is believed to be the first Briton to reach Japan. He landed in Japan in 1600 and stayed there until his death in 1620. He was a key advisor to the shogun (general) and built for him Japan’s first western-style ships. He was also the inspiration for the main character in the best-selling novel Shogun by James Clavell. Japan holds its own William Adams festival each year, releasing doves as a symbol of peace.