Professor Risley, The Imperial Japanese Troupe, and Philadelphia

February 27, 2017 @ 11:17 pm – February 28, 2017 @ 12:17 am
University of Pennsylvania, 402 Cohen Hall
249 S 36th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

“Professor Risley” was the stage name of Richard Risley Carlisle, an extraordinary 19th century acrobat and impresario who considered himself a Philadelphian. In 1863 the globe-trotting Risley introduced Western-style circus — and ice cream — into Japan. In 1867, Risley brought one of the first groups of Japanese performers to America and Europe, touring major cities including Philadelphia. It was the first time most Americans had ever seen ordinary Japanese people, as opposed to high-ranking officials and dignitaries. In an entertaining and heavily illustrated talk, translator, interpreter, and award winning author Frederik L. Schodt will discuss the remarkable yet little-known life of one of America’s most colorful personalities.

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