Circus (detail), artist and publisher Hasegawa Sonokichi
The print likely served as an advertisement for the Italian impresario Giuseppe Chiarini's Royal Italian Circus which performed in Japan (including a performance for Emperor Meiji) in the summer of 1886. His troupe included acrobatic young women on horses, as depicted above, and wild animals. Chiariini's circus was not the first to perform in Japan with Richard Risley ("Professor Risley") bringing his circus company in March 1864 and the Frenchman Louis Soullier bringing his circus to Japan in 1871.
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