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East meets west at Will Adams celebration

Date: 31/08/2011           Category: Events

Japanese culture and traditions will mix with a taste of life in Tudor England at this year’s Will Adams Festival, taking place at Gillingham Park on Saturday 10 September.

Now in its 11th year, the free festival is a celebration of the Gillingham born sailor, who left England in Tudor times and voyaged to Asia, ending up in to Japan where the Shogun made him a Samurai.

With an array of colourful sights and interactive events for all the family, the event reflects both the world Adams discovered and the one he left behind.

Themed activities and demonstrations will take visitors through Tudor times in England when Adams was a boy, Tudor maritime history and sea adventure, Japanese traditions and customs around the time that Adams would have arrived, and a look at how far eastern culture influences life in the UK today.

Among the activities and events on offer are breathtaking martial arts demonstrations, taiko drumming demonstrations, traditional children’s games from Tudor times, costumed falconry displays, Manga artists and Tudor cooking demonstrations. There’s even a chance to find out how you would have fared at navgating a Tudor ship.

Japan holds its own Will Adams festival each year, releasing doves as a symbol of peace. Medway is twinned with the cities of Ito and Yokosuka, where Adams spent a lot of his time.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services Cllr Howard Doe said: “We’re very proud to mark Medway’s important cultural and historical connections with Japan with this wonderful free event, which really does offer something for everyone to enjoy and take part in”.

The Will Adams Festival runs from 11am to 4.30pm at Gillingham Park, off Catnerbury Street, Gillingham. Admission and all activities are free.
For further information phone 01634 843666, email visitor.centre@medway.gov.uk or visit www.whatsonmedway.co.uk