Utagawa, Yoshitora [illustrated by].
Tōkyō : Fujiokaya Keijirō, ca. Ganji Gannen .
A colour woodblock-printed yokohama-e of the travelling troupe of American Richard Risley Carlisle performing in Yokohama. The troupe, comprising ten equestrian performers and eight horses along with Risley himself, arrived in Yokohama on the 6th of March, 1864. On the 28th of March they staged the first confirmed Western-style circus event in Japan. The performance was well-received, but the troupe was only allowed to perform in Yokohama, and its popularity quickly faded. A few years later, Risley decided (after also opening Japan's first ice cream parlour) to capitalise on the uniqueness of Japanese circus acts, touring the world with his group of Japanese performers as the 'Imperial Japanese Troupe'. Risley is known to have taken his troupe to the 1867 Paris Expo, for which the first ever Japanese passports, numbered one to eighteen, were issued. An important record of the first American circus troupe in Japan, illustrated by Yoshitora, who specialised in illustrations of foreigners.
One leaf, complete. Margins trimmed. Mounted on used paper, the result being that some handwritten characters are visible through the print. Minor wormholing, predominantly to extremities, resulting in a small loss to the right edge. Wear to extremities. Some creases and minor ink stains. Overall good only. 36 x 25.2 cm. Text in Japanese.