Toray Plastics (America), Inc. (TPA)
In 1854, Rhode Island’s Commodore Matthew C. Perry, United States Navy, negotiated the Treaty of Kanagawa, the first treaty between the United States and Japan, which ended two centuries of Japanese isolationism. Celebrations marking that historic event, called the Black Ships Festival, have been held in Japan for more than 80 years and in Rhode Island for 39 years.
TPA has participated in the festival held in Rhode Island for more than 20 years. This year’s celebration, held June 10-12, featured arts and crafts, taiko drumming, and martial arts. The TPA-sponsored Black Ships Festival Gala, held at Ochre Court at Salve Regina University in New Port, Rhode Island, on June 11, honored the friendship, culture, goodwill, and economic partnership between the two countries. TPA’s Ken Kurokawa, chairman and CEO, gave the opening remarks. Following are some of the highlights.
“When we first came to Rhode Island, we knew very little about this market. Today, we are recognized internationally as the technology leader. A large part of our success we attribute directly to our company’s culture and our Japanese-American heritage. On the Japanese side, we have the precise planning for perfection and the never-ending commitment to continuous improvement. On the American side, we have that tremendous creativity and challenging spirit that allows us to turn problems into opportunities and opportunities into success!”
TPA’s Christopher Roy, president and COO, and some executives and their spouses also attended the gala.
The festival concluded with memorial ceremonies attended by American and Japanese dignitaries and Kurokawa and included the laying of a wreath at Commodore Perry’s tomb.
TPA Chairman Kurokawa welcomed guests
to the gala and gave the opening remarks
Kagami-biraki, a sake barrel breaking ceremony performed
at celebratory events, was held during the gala.
From left: Mr. Setsuo Ohmori, consul general of Japan in Boston,Kurokawa,
and Mr. Spencer W. Viner, president of Japan-America Society of Rhode Island (right)