Will Adams 400

In 2020 we commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Will Adams.

Adams'  was born and grew up in Gillingham during the Tudor period before becoming an experienced sailor in the Royal Navy.

After retiring from the navy, Adams navigated a fleet of five Dutch ships from West Africa.

During this hazardous voyage his ship ran aground on the island of Kyushu in Japan, he was captured, questioned and imprisoned as a pirate. After being released he was ordered to sail to Tokyo.

The Shogun was impressed with his knowledge of shipbuilding and navigation and Adams became a trusted aide and diplomatic adviser.

As a reward, he was granted the honoured title of Samurai and given a small estate in Hemi, which is now known as Yokosuka.

At the festival you will experience both maritime history and Japanese culture in the 17th and the 21st century.

There's lots to see and do including:

  • Taiko Drumming
  • martial arts
  • origami and manga
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Japanese Encampment
  • Food stalls.

Festival starts at 11am at Gillingham Park.

  • Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Registered Assistance Dogs welcome


Gillingham Park
Canterbury Street

Entry Price