Archive for the ‘Medway – Ito & Yokosuka’ Category

Japanese Visitors in Medway Celebrate 75th Anniversary

October 22, 2009
The memorial as it is today

The memorial as it is today

His Worship, the Mayor of Medway, Cllr David Royle and representatives from the Japanese Embassy, the Japanese Local Government Centre in London, and a Japanese business based in Gillingham were the guests of Cllr Sue Haydock, Honorary Mayor of Yokosuka and Chairman of the Japan Group of Medway Council’s International Relations Committee at a special dinner to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the unveiling of the William Adams Clock Tower Memorial in The Boulevard, Gillingham on Monday, the 19th of October, 2009.

Mr. Daisuke Otsuka, First Secretary (Political), Embassy of Japan, Mr. Eiji Yamaguchi, Deputy Director of the Japan Local Government Centre, London, and Mr. Hiroshi Kamei, Finance Director of Hochiki Europe (UK) Ltd. joined with past Mayors and Mayoresses of Gillingham, members of the International Relations Committee, and members of the Japan Group, at the Honourable Pilot, Will Adams Way, to mark the occasion, and view of display of historical press cuttings taken at the time. (more…)


William Adams Festival, Gillingham

September 14, 2008

Michio Hemmi, Cllr Susan Haydock, Satoko, Jon, Nayuko Hemmi

William Adams, the ‘Blue-eyed Samurai’, otherwise known in Japan as ‘Miura Anjin’, which translates as ‘The Honourable Pilot’, was born in Gillingham on 24th September 1564.  He was baptised in St. Mary Magdalene Church, Gillingham.  He was shipwrecked in Japan in 1600 and was saved from death by the local warlord who recognised his skills in ship building and navigation.  He went on to show the Japanese how to build Western-style ships, and became, in effect, the father of the Japanese navy and much respected and revered in Japan.  This connection led to the linking of Gillingham with Ito and Yokosuka as sister cities.

Last year Medway Council held its 7th William Adams’ Festival to celebrate the historic links between Gillingham and Japan.  (more…)