2015-07-23 / Mainsheet

Festival Forges Cultural Alliance

Photos by Allan Millora Photography

Hiroyuki Ando and Ambassador Kazuhiko Togo Hiroyuki Ando and Ambassador Kazuhiko Togo This year marked the 32nd anniversary of the annual Black Ships Festival. One of the highlights of the threeday cultural exchange held earlier this month was the gala dinner and dance held at Marble House.

Guests, in authentic and Japaneseinspired attire (the invitation read, "Black Tie/Kimonos welcome"), mingled outdoors on the terrace awaiting the ceremonial breaking of the Sake Drum before dining on the "fusion" of Japanese and American cuisine prepared by Russell Morin Catering.

Numerous dignitaries from Sister City Shimoda and prominent guests were in attendance, including the newly-appointed Consul General Tsutomu Himeno.

Honorary chairs of the evening were Michael and Maryanne Brandmeier of Toray Plastics (America), and the committee co-chairs were Barbara Peters and Dr. Anthony Regina.

The Black Ships Festival commemorates the historic achievements of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, USN, of Newport. The Black Ships, or Kurofune, refer to the Japanese term for foreign ships which, with one exception, were excluded from Japan for 200 years until 1854, when Commodore Perry negotiated the Treaty of Kanagawa. It was the first such treaty between the United States and Japan, and brought to an end two centuries of Japanese isolationism. The Black Ships Festival celebrates the signing of the treaty, which brought the two countries together as trading partners.

Takuya and Tsugumi Shimodaiya Takuya and Tsugumi Shimodaiya

Mikki Micarelli and Ron Slingerland Mikki Micarelli and Ron Slingerland

Robert and Teresa Winneg with Tomoko Yamada (center) Robert and Teresa Winneg with Tomoko Yamada (center)

Jessica and George Schultz Jessica and George Schultz

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