On Saturday we drove across the country to Kent to see the Will Adams Festival in Gillingham Park :)
Will Adams was born in Gillingham in 1564, and in 1600 became the first British person to arrive in Japan when the Dutch ship he was navigating for ran aground at Kyushu after a very difficult journey.
At first imprisoned by the Shogun (ruler of Japan at the time) he eventually went on to help form the basis of the Japanese navy thanks to his knowledge of ships, and was made a full fledged samurai.
Every year Will Adams is celebrated in the town of his birth with this festival ^^
At the festival there is lots to see and do, with many tents scattered around the park showing traditional Japanese crafts, objects, and other displays.
Throughout the day there were demonstrations in music, dance, and martial arts of different varieties.
The performers were a mix of British and Japanese (mainly Japanese students) and they were all good……my favourite by far though were Taiko Mean Time; a group performing on Japanese drums ^^
There were also tents set up where you could take part in activities such as origami and manga drawing :)
Some visitors even came dressed as their favourite Japanese characters hehe
The story of Will Adams is very interesting and worth looking into if you have time; there’s lots of information available about him online ;)
To one side of the park there was also a Tudor area, where you could see demonstrations in music and crafts relating to the time period of Will Adams but in the UK whilst he was in Japan.
We filmed the Taiko drums, please follow this link to see the video (I can’t attach it here directly for some reason)