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Samurais and geishas at Will Adams Festival

will adams festival
will adams festival

A samurai warrior and geishas mingled with Tudor craftsmen and musicians as east met west for the Will Adams Festival in Gillingham.

The annual celebration of the town’s most famous son, whose shipbuilding skills in Japan earned him worldwide fame, attracted hundreds of people to Gillingham Park on Saturday.

Arena displays included martial arts demonstrations, Japanese fan dancing and traditional swordsmanship, to representing the days of the shogun. Meanwhile, the Elizabethan era was reflected with Tudor line dancing, pottery and falconry.

Former Mayor of Medway Sue Haydock, who has played an integral role in forging links between Gillingham and its twin towns of Ito and Yokosuko, said the festival, now in its 12th year, was important to the town and its residents.

Mrs Haydock, who is a lifetime honorary mayor of Yokosuko, said: "There’s no doubt that when Medway became a unitary authority Gillingham lost out. The people of Gillingham need something that’s their very own, something that gives them status – and this is it."

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