@The Japan Times

The Japan Times: Circuses have a long history in Japan, with early street entertainment troupes k…

Circuses have a long history in Japan, with early street entertainment troupes known as “kyokubadan” flourishing during the Edo Period (1603-1868). The arrival of American acrobat Richard Risley Carlisle in 1864 introduced the modern circus to Japan, and by the early 1900s there were over 30 troupes traveling throughout the country. Tadasuke Kinoshita founded Kinoshita Circus in Dalian, China, in 1902, and returned to Japan two years later after the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War. The circus, featuring acrobats, horse riders, bears and elephants, became a big hit and continued performing during World War II, using only female performers as all the men had been called up to fight. The current Kinoshita Circus has around 50 to 60 performers, and around 20 are from overseas. Company President Tadashi Kinoshita says he scours the globe to find the best talent, assessing graduates from circus schools and regularly attending the annual International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo. 📸: @ryuseitakahashi217
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