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Black Ships Festival: A Cultural Haven

  
  
  
  

Ikokusen zu by Unknown Japanese artist

Strolling down Memorial Boulevard from Bellevue, you can faintly hear sounds of drums bouncing off the historic building walls.  As you approach the Long Wharf,  you can begin to feel the bouncing off your chest, an in a moment it is silent. A moment goes by and the Taiko drum performers pause in a statuques position. Then the drums begin again, louder than and faster than before the grand finale begins, and with each strike the performers hit each drum with precision, making for a great finale and an opening of  a wonderful festival.  Every year I look forward to the Black Ships festival  and its cultural influence on our historic town of Newport, RI.  With more than enough activities for every one of our guests to enjoy this is one festival not to be missed.

Taiko drum performers

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, The Black Ships Festival offers a variety of events that emphasize both Japanese art and culture.   Each year the Black Ships Festival commemorates the historic achievements of Commodore Mathew C. Perry USN, of Newport.  In 1854 Commodore Perry negotiated the first treaty ever signed between the United States and Japan, the Treaty of Kangawa.  For the past several years, Newport and its sister city Shimoda celebrate this momentous occasion with many joyful events for all ages to enjoy.   

All festivities in Newport are a short stroll away from the Ivy Lodge Bed and Breakfast.  Our guest will be able to enjoy the cultural haven with Newport’s celebration beginning on July 18th as the Navy Band salutes the black ships at 6:00pm on the Long Wharf Mall.   One block from the Navy Band concert you will find the Japanese Fine Kimono Exhibit, Silken Craft and Embroidery, where widely renowned Kimono artist, Hiroko Ichie, presents an exhibit of the fine art of Japanese Kimono.  From selection and assembly of the finest silk to the detailed embroidery of the Kimono’s “obi” belt, her handiwork is exquisite.  Come see her display throughout the entire weekend of the Black Ships Festival in the rear row of Brick Market Place.

The events don’t end there, just a brief walk down Bellevue to Touro Park,  our guests will be engulfed with more festivities than one can admire in a day.  With concessions, displays, exhibits and demonstations, ensuring everyone will enjoy this festival and will make memories for a life time. See below for the schedule of all the vents for the 2013 Black Ships Festival Newport RI.

Friday July 19th 2013

Festival Opening Ceremonies
10:30 AM • TOURO PARK, BELLEVUE AVENUE
Colorful ceremonies to commemorate Newport’s native son, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, and the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa, which opened trade between Japan and the United States. Wreath-laying at Commodore Perry’s statue and speeches by American and Japanese dignitaries. Navy Color Guard. Newport Artillery Co. will fire cannon salutes. Channing Memorial Church will play their Bells in honor of the Opening Ceremonies.

Japanese Fine Kimono Exhibit, Silken Craft and Embroidery
1:00 PM  – 7:00 PM • 223 GODDARD ROW AT THE BRICK MARKET PLACE
Widely renowned Kimono artist, Hiroko Ichie, presents an exhibit of the fine art of Japanese Kimono.  From selection and assembly of the finest silk to the detailed embroidery of the Kimono’s “obi” belt, her handiwork is exquisite.  Come see her display throughout the entire weekend of the Black Ships Festival in the rear row of Brick Market Place.  Ichie-sensei and her students have traveled from their home of Shizuoka, Japan to share the spirit and vitality of this time-honored art form with Shizuoka’s Prefecture’s Sister-City-By-The-Sea.  401.808.0162.

Sushi Sake Sail I 
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM • GOAT ISLAND MARINA
Sail aboard one of the magnificent Tall Ships, the 101′ Schooner Aurora. View Newport harbor as you sip sake from Gekkeikan, and sample sushi. Space is limited to 68 people. A sellout every year! Sponsored by IDC, The Newport Experience. $30 per person in advance and $35 day of the event (if available). For tickets call 401-846-2720, or online at www.blackshipsfestival.com.

Saturday July 20th

 Arts & Crafts

10:00AM – 4:00PM • Touro Park

Touro Park on Bellevue Avenue is transformed into a Japanese-American Cultural Center, featuring demonstrations, workshops, and displays.

Touro Park Demonstrations & Workshops

Japanese Fine Kimono Exhibit, Silken Craft and Embroidery
10:00 AM  – 5:00 PM • 223 GODDARD ROW AT THE BRICK MARKET PLACE
Widely renowned Kimono artist, Hiroko Ichie, presents an exhibit of the fine art of Japanese Kimono.  From selection and assembly of the finest silk to the detailed embroidery of the Kimono’s “obi” belt, her handiwork is exquisite.  Come see her display throughout the entire weekend of the Black Ships Festival in the rear row of Brick Market Place, one block from the Taiko Drum Prelude.  Ichie-sensei and her students have traveled from their home of Shizuoka, Japan to share the spirit and vitality of this time-honored art form with Shizuoka’s Prefecture’s Sister-City-By-The-Sea. 401.808.0162.

Experience Dressing and Wearing Japanese Yukata
BY APPOINTMENT DURING EXHIBIT HOURS  • 223 GODDARD ROW AT THE BRICK MARKET PLACE
Become a part of the Black Ships festivities by dressing in Japanese Summer Kimono (Yukata) and strolling the Brick Market in traditional style.  Dressing and photo session available by appointment, stop by the exhibit to make a reservation.  Sessions are 30 minutes for dressing and photo, with 30 minute opportunity to stroll downtown Newport.  $20 donation is requested, proceeds to support the Black Ships Festival and Shimoda Sister City Student Exchange program.  401.808.0162.

Lost Sword Techniques of the Sengoku Jidai (Warring States Era, 15th – 17th Century)
10:00 AM
Kenjutsu Enbu (Samurai Sword Demonstration). This demonstration will be a catalog of techniques preserved by Toshitsugu Takamatsu, who re-presented the documents of Kukishin Ryū Bikenjutsu in scrolls to the Kuki family following the loss of their antique documents, incinerated during the bombings of WWII. This demonstration will be presented by Adam Mitchell, Chief Instructor of the Jinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō in Mahopac, NY and his students.

An Introduction Workshop on the Samurai Sword
10:15AM to 11:00 AM
Join us for a one hour workshop covering the fundamental movement found in the study of Samurai Sword. This workshop will be offered to all those interested in the sword, it’s history and effectiveness regardless of age or experience level. Topics covered will include the first four forms of the Kukishin Ryū. This demonstration will be presented by Adam Mitchell, Chief Instructor of the Jinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō in Mahopac, NY and his students.

Kite Making Workshop
10:30 AM • TOURO PARK
Children learn to build a kite with the help of Newport’s Sister City Shimoda, Japan . (limited to 50 children)

Celebrate The Summer Like They Do In Japan
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM • THE JAPANESE CONSULATE TENT
Join staff and volunteers from the Consulate General of Japan in Boston for summer festival activities. Celebrate the summer holiday of Tanabata by writing a wish on a paper streamer and hanging it from the bamboo branches.  Kids can try their hand at the typical summer festival games of Kingyo Sukui (goldfish scooping) and Yo-yo Tsuri (fishing for balloons).

Happy-Happy-Den-Den-Drums
11:00 AM-2:00 PM

Haruo Shiga, a renown craftsman,  will teach children to make Japanese toys: Den-Den Daiko (Drum). Children ages 7-12.

NINJA Demonstration
11:00 AM • LAWN
R.I. Ninjutsu Center demonstrates this secretive form of martial arts that has lasted more than 900 years.

Feng Shui with Stephen Devine
11:15 AM
Learn about the centuries old study of the relationship between human beings and their living-working environment. Everything from the planning of entire cities to the shape of your house, or the position of your bed can have far-reaching implications on our health and prosperity.  Through the application of Feng Shui you can enhance your knowledge, career, family relationships, marriage and well-being!

Anime & Manga Demonstration
11:15 AM – 12:45 PM
Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) have become very popular in the U.S. over the past few years. Learn and ask questions about these two unique art forms, and learn how to draw an anime-style character of your own. Presented by Ed Sutherland.

Arresting techniques of the Samurai
11:30 AM
This demonstration will show three methods of arrest and control of criminals during the Edo Period. Applications seen within the demonstration will include empty handed techniques of the Takagi Yoshin Ryū, police truncheon techniques and sword disarming and restraining techniques of the weighted chain. As well, a comprehensive discussion about the arrest and control methods of Taihojutsu will be presented to the audience. Presented by Adam Mitchell, from the Jinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō, Mahopac, NY and his students.

Sushi Making Demonstration
12:00 PM
Haruki Restaurant of Cranston demonstrates.

Calligraphy Demonstration 
12:00 PM -1:00 PM
 • UNDER THE TENT
A demonstration by Japanese Master Calligrapher, Michio Imai, of Kaji Aso Studio, Institute for the Arts. Michiko was awarded the highest rank in Japanese Calligraphy of Shihan. She is among the few to have won multiple best of category awards in national Competitions (Japan). Her work has been displayed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, Nara City Museum of Art and Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art.

Aikido and Iaido Demonstration
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM • LAWN
A demonstration of the martial art of Aikido and the sword art of Laido with live blade cutting.  Newport Aikido welcomes you for on-going demonstrations of the modern martial art of Aikido.  Aikido blends mind, body and spirit.  Reflective in nature, it is a non-violent martial art that is ethically linked to defense against an unprovoked attack.  Aikido teaches people sincerity and compassion, and helps a person to realize their own potential as a human being.

Sumi-e Demonstration
12:00 PM-1:00 PM
The artist, Jan Zaremba, will paint a masterwork in 3 minutes, explaining brush technique, use of ink, rice paper and the history of Far Eastern Art.

Japanese Fine Kimono Presentation and Fashion Show
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM • , MAIN ATRIUM, OF GATEWAY CENTER
Hiroko Ichie presents a live demonstration of her fine-art craft in a parade of traditional and energetic fashion.  See live models demonstrate the wearing of formal Kimono as well as summer-time casual Yukata.

SHORIN-RYU Demonstration
1:00 PM- 2:00 PM

Okinawan Temple School demonstrates traditional martial arts of Okinawa, Japan

Origami Flowers
12:30 PM

Artist, author and inventor Benjamin John Coleman, will be demonstrating the art of making origami flowers.

Sidearm of the Samurai, Tantō and Wakizashi
12:30 PM
An in depth look at the unique short blades of the Samurai warrior. Adam Mitchell, Chief Instructor of the Jinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō in Mahopac NY will be doing a presentation on two of the most important tools of the classical Japanese warrior that is often shadowed by the katana. The tantō (短刀) and it’s unique blade formation served as not only a utility for the Samurai, but was a minor weapon that changed the course of major battles in Japanese history. The wakizashi was a short sword, a trusted side arm of the Samurai that could go with him where his long sword couldn’t. This presentation will also include centuries old relics and modern replicas of both weapons for display. Following the presentation, Mr. Mitchell will offer a tantō-jutsu and kodachi-jutsu demonstration from the Kukishin Ryū.

Iaijutsu & Tameshigiri Enbu
1:00 PM
This group demonstration will present the 5 forms of the Jinen Ryū Iaijutsu, sword drawing and cutting forms. This is a demonstration not to be missed. Following the demonstration, students will demonstrate tameshigiri, or test cutting with live swords.  Presented by Adam Mitchell, from the Jinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō, Mahopac, NY.

NINJA Demonstration
2:00 PM • LAWN
R.I. Ninjutsu Center demonstrates this secretive form of martial arts that has lasted more than 900 years.

Tea Ceremony
2:00 PM • LAWN
A special demonstration of the centuries old CHA-DO (Way of the Tea) led by Kaji Aso Studio.

Stick fighting of the Samurai
2:00 PM
Witness the stick fighting techniques of the Samurai during this demonstration of Hanbōjutsu, the three foot stick. This demonstration will include the complete forms of the Kukishin Ryū school and will be presented by Adam Mitchell, from the Jinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō, Mahopac, NY.

Koto & Shamisen Player
2:30 PM
Enjoy the sounds of Koto and Shamisen player Ms. Sumie Kaneko.  Ms. Kaneko has graduated from Tokyo University and has been playing Koto since she was six years old and in 1994 won the 2nd International High School Art and Music Competition in Koto.  She continues an important tradition of Japanese music and breathes new life into it.  Her spirit highlights the universality of this timeless music.

Basic techniques of the Ken
2:45 PM
Join Adam Mitchell, Chief Instructor of the Jinenkan Kōsei Gōgi Dōjō in Mahopac NY for a fun workshop on the fundamentals of Samurai sword handling. This workshop is open to all ages and skill levels, the only requirement to attend is to possess a willingness to learn. Step back in time with a sword in hand and train like the old warriors of Japan’s past in a tradition that is over 400 years old.

Mindful Origami
2:45 PM
Benjamin John Coleman, of origami Bonsai Company, will have a  demonstration teaching  you how to create amazing sculptural works that take the shape of bonsai and other flora and fauna.

Amerikick Martial Arts
3:00 PM

Demonstration of traditional Japanese and Amerikick Martial Arts.  How Japanese karate influences martial arts in the USA.  Demo of katas, hand to hand fighting, weapons and discussion of Japanese farm tools adapted to martial arts.  Benefits of studying martial arts no matter what age.

 

 

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