The Black Ships Festival offers a variety of events that emphasize both Japanese art and culture. Events include a formal Gala, Japanese Arts & Crafts such as Origami and Ikebana; Martial Arts, and a Japanese Tea Ceremony. A highlight will be the Taiko Drums!


Interested in participating in this year's Arts, Crafts & Martial Arts Fair? The Event will be June 13th 10:30am - 3:30pm

at Independence Park in Bristol RI. We are welcoming vendors and artists.

We are looking for vendors! Below is a participation form.


The Festival is presented by The Japan-America Society and Black Ships Festival of Rhode Island, Inc., a non-profit, non-partisan organization. The festival was established in 1984, take a look back at some of the wonderful memories we have had over the years.

The 37th Annual Black Ships Festival

June Postponement of the 2020 Black Ships Festival


The Executive Committee of the Japan-America Society of Rhode Island has come to the unfortunate conclusion that due to the continued presence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and in several areas of the globe, we will be unable to hold the Black Ships Festival on any date in 2020.  This decision was made to protect the health and safety of our guests and members during this troubling time.  We intend to conduct the next Black Ships Festival from June 10-13, 2021 with events in Bristol and Newport, Rhode Island.  Please mark these dates on your calendar.  We anticipate an exciting celebration of friendship, culture, goodwill and economic partnership and hope you can join us. 


Thank you for your years of supporting the Black Ships Festival.  Please contact us if you have questions at email  We wish good health to you and your family.  See you in 2021!

Join the Japan America Society of Rhode Island for the 37th Annual Black Ships Festival. A celebration of the friendship and culture between Japan and the United States and the trading treaty negotiated by Rhode Island’s Own Commodore Matthew C. Perry, USN over 160 years ago. From Arts & Crafts, Taiko Drumming and Martial Arts to the Sushi & Sake Sail and the Black Ships Gala there are a variety of events and activities for all ages and interest. All are invited to opening ceremonies at Independence Park in Bristol. Independence Park will become a Japanese American Village with arts crafts and martial arts. "It is almost like taking a trip to Japan without leaving Rhode Island." The elegant gala will take place at Ochre Court. Stay tuned for updates to a rescheduled timeframe. 


No upcoming events at the moment