Japan-American Society and Black Ships Festival of Rhode Island, Inc.®
The Japan-America Society of Rhode Island (JASRI) plays an important role in honoring Japanese culture and history in Rhode Island. Our main goal is to celebrate and build strong relationships between our two countries.
Our annual event, the Black Ships Festival, celebrates the achievement of Commodore Matthew C. Perry (1794 - 1858) from Newport. Commodore Perry arrived in Japan in 1853, negotiated the Treaty of Peace and Amity (also known as the Treaty of Kanagawa) with Japan in 1854.
Japan-American Society of Rhode Island (JASRI)ロードアイランド日米協会は、黒船祭りを中心とした様々なイベントを通じて、ロードアイランドから日本文化と日本の歴史に関する情報を発信し続けてきました。JASRIの最も大切なゴールは、日米両国の友情を祝い、さらに深い絆を促進することです。
JASRI’s annual Black Ships Festival is based on our belief that deepening understanding across Japanese and American cultures is crucial for the long lasting peace in the future.
The annual Black Ships Festival provides opportunities to manifest conversations with the local community through Japanese cultural activities. We promote not only traditional culture but also contemporary creativity among all people. After all, community is the core of our culture here in Rhode Island.
The Annual Black Ships Celebration
Dive into Japanese Culture at the 41st Black Ships Festival!
Mark your calendars for August 16th – 18th, 2024! The 41st Black Ships Festival is setting sail for Bristol and Newport, Rhode Island, bringing a whirlwind of immersive cultural attractions and art experiences for the whole family.
Ready for an unforgettable journey? This year's festival promises to:
• Transport you to Japan: Discover the vibrant tapestry of Japanese culture through traditional arts, crafts, music, and dance. Be captivated by stunning performances, explore intricate crafts, and savor delicious treats.
• Spark your curiosity: Dive deeper into history with interactive exhibits and engaging workshops. Learn about the fascinating connection between Rhode Island and Japan, from Commodore Perry's historic visit to the enduring legacy of the Black Ships Festival.
• Connect with your community: Celebrate the Ocean State's rich cultural diversity. The festival fosters a welcoming space where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to learn, create, and have fun.
• Create lasting memories: Make your summer unforgettable with unique experiences like trying on kimonos, participating in tea ceremonies, or learning calligraphy. Capture precious moments with your family and friends amidst the vibrant festival atmosphere.
More than just a festival, it's a bridge between cultures!
Thank you for your years of supporting the Black Ships Festival. Please contact us if you have questions at email JASRhodeIsland@gmail.com.
We wish good health to you and your family. See you in August!
2024 Black Ships Festival Schedule is still being finalized.
Here are highlights of our planned festival events:
From August 16th to 18th, 2024, Bristol and Newport will transform into a vibrant tapestry of Japanese culture, offering unforgettable experiences for the whole family. Prepare to be swept away.
Opening Ceremonies: Witness the colorful Opening Ceremonies honoring Commodore Perry's legacy and the historic Treaty of Kanagawa, featuring speeches, wreath-laying, and a patriotic performance by the Bristol Police Color Guard.
Step aboard the majestic Tall Ship Aurora: Sail the magnificent Newport Harbor, savoring delicious sushi and sake while the wind whispers tales of Commodore Perry's historic voyage. Sushi Sake Sails: (Space is limited, so act fast!) Set sail on the Aurora, indulging in Sushi Sake Sails while soaking in breathtaking harbor views.
Thrilling Taiko Drum Performances: Feel the electrifying energy of traditional Japanese Taiko drumming, a mesmerizing spectacle that blends percussion, movement, and raw power that will leave you breathless.
Explore a World Of Wonders: Wander through the bustling Cultural Marketplace Fair, where over 100 artisans showcase their unique crafts, delectable treats, and captivating performances.
Enjoy martial arts demonstrations, intricate ikebana flower arrangements, lively Bon Odori dancing, and much more!
Unleash your creativity at the Kids' Crafts Corner and witness the spectacular Cosplay Costume Contest.
Celebrate Under The Stars: Join the elegant Black Ships Festival Gala at Ochre Court, a Gilded Age mansion in Newport exuding grandeur and charm. Dance the night away, indulge in an exquisite Japanese-inspired feast, an open bar, captivating performances, and toast to the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan honoring the Treaty of Kanagawa.
Remember The Past, Honor The Future: Pay tribute to Commodore Perry's legacy at the poignant Memorial Wreath-Laying Ceremony in Newport’s Island Cemetery, a solemn yet heartwarming event that reflects on the rich history shared by two nations. Celebrate the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan.
Enjoy a Second Sushi Sake Sail: On Sunday to close out the festival, set sail on the majestic Schooner Aurora, savoring delicious sushi and sake, and soak in the stunning Newport harbor scenic views.
And that's just a taste of the adventure that awaits! The Black Ships Festival is an experience for all ages and interests with engaging workshops, insightful exhibits, and countless opportunities to connect with Japanese culture in vibrant and interactive ways. Whether you're a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or simply seeking a fun-filled family adventure, this festival has something for you. Come discover of Japan. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds and tastes the magic. Don't miss your chance to experience the magic of the 41st Black Ships Festival!
Set your course for adventure!
2024 Black Ships Festival
Cultural Marketplace Fair
Saturday, August 17, 2024 at Independence Park, Bristol, RI
We welcome you to join us for our 41st year honoring
the ongoing special friendship between Rhode Island and Japan.
We had a great Black Ships Festival this past year! It was one of the Ocean State's most enjoyable free, family-friendly events. Handicap accessible.
We hope to see you in 2024. Experience fun at our Cultural Marketplace Fair filled with arts, entertainment, martial arts, food, one-of-a-kind shopping, kid's crafts & Cosplay Costume Contest - all with a distinctly Asian twist.
2024 Schedule to be announced soon.