top of page

About the Festival

Children's Day Celebration

Announcing the 40th Black Ships Festival 
August 10th – 13th, 2023 in Bristol and Newport, Rhode Island

Have a blast at the 40th family-friendly Black Ships Festival in Bristol and Newport, RI this summer. Don’t miss this weekend for a series of joyful community events where immersive cultural attractions and art experiences await. Join folks who are just like you… curious about Asian cultures!

Celebrate Asian Culture at the Black Ships Festival!

This year's Black Ships Festival is bigger and better than ever, with a full day of activities and entertainment for the whole family. Immerse yourself in Asian culture with traditional drumming, origami folding, and a chance to meet your favorite superheroes and princesses. And don't forget to enter the first kid's cosplay costume contest!

Here's what you can expect:

  • Traditional drumming: Get your groove on with  performances of outstanding Taiko Drumming.

  • Origami folding: Learn how to fold your own origami paper cranes, flowers, and more.

  • Martial Arts Demonstrations: 

  • Meet-and-greets with Superheroes and princesses:   Meet your favorite superheroes and princesses.

  • Cosplay costume contest: Enter the first kid's cosplay costume contest for a chance to win prizes.

  • And much more! There will be food trucks, games, and activities for everyone to enjoy.

The Black Ships Festival is a great opportunity to learn about Asian culture and have some fun with your family. So come on down and join us!

Ready to have fun celebrating at our inspiring, informative, insanely cool Black Ships Festival in RI this August? The festival has the unexpected side effect of shortening the distance between the Islands of Japan and the Ocean State!

Family-friendly events that bring communities together are more important than ever. From the local masters of traditional arts and crafts to the edgiest new innovators, JASRI’s Black Ships Festival has created a powerful platform for engaging with Japan’s creative expressions. The artwork and events are for people to connect, share stories, and collaborate with other makers and businesses inspiring others to share their passions with the local community.

With more than 4,500 attendees expected again this year, it’s one of the Ocean State's most enjoyable family-friendly events. Experience the ultimate playground for fun at the Arts & Crafts/Martial Arts Fair in Bristol’s Independence Park filled with arts, entertainment, food, our creative marketplace for one-of-a-kind shopping, and more — all with a distinctly Asian twist.


Join our first annual Kid’s Cosplay/Anime/Superhero Costume Contest and stroll the grounds featuring mini-lectures, live music, martial arts, interactive performances, and Little Hands Craft Activities for kids of all ages and abilities. with music, dance, food trucks and more. Join the fun!. All ages. Great photo ops.

Not just shopping, but experience-based fun!

Across the world, traditional craft products made by masters, using skills passed down locally from one generation to the next, are in great demand.


The slogan of the festival this year is “Connecting The World.” Rhode Island a region that aims for multicultural coexistence and Japan is a country that appreciates art, and the thousands of museums and galleries across the country are a testament to that.


Experience Craft Tourism

Rather than just shopping for craft products, why not indulge in a spot of “craft tourism”, learn about the process, and deepen your understanding by trying it for yourself?

As the festival, events, and educational outreach programs grow in popularity JASRI will continue transitioning from being confined to the Southern Rhode Island areas of Newport and Bristol to spreading out to neighboring communities throughout the state and Southern New England.

Where Families Celebrate Japan in Rhode Island this Summer!
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Youtube
  • Black Facebook Icon
bottom of page