Akimoto Troupe 1896 – 1908

Initially about a dozen performers (4 females and 6 males), including children, down to five by 1903. Headed by Sinchiki/Sankichi/Senkichi Akimoto. Manager was H Friedman. Slide for Life, great ladder act, acrobats, tumblers, somersault throwers. Possibly merged with the Andos?

1896 April – arrive in Liverpool from Valparaiso Chile – Sinci Akimoto, 38, wife Agea 36, Y N Nakamura 27 (m), Yosomoto 25 (m), Sanko 12 (m), Tomokichi 11 (m), Fugo (f) 10, Koboro (f) 9, Kickamots (f) 8, Chico 5 (m).

1896 April – May – Akimoto Royal Troupe of Japanese Acrobats – first appearance in Europe at the Olympia.

1896 November – arrive in Liverpool from Pernambuco Brazil on same ship as Wirth Circus – Mr and Mrs Okin Akimoto married, Nackamoura (male, married), Yosonita (female, married), H Tomokichi (male, unmarried), F Opugo (female, unmarried), K Kukomoto (male, unmarried), K Kotora (male, child)

1896 December – The Great Akimoto Troupe, so successful “on the other side” (USA) with Barnum and Forepaugh will give their equilibristic and acrobatic entertainment at the Crystal Palace. The wardrobe has been manufactured entirely in Japan (The Era)

1897 March – depart Liverpool for New York – S Akimoto 36 (married, m), Okin Akimoto 29 (married f), Agmua Muraky 42 (single male), H Yokimatsu 25 (single male), H Tomikichi 18 (single male), S Akimoto 17 (single male), K Kimura (single f) 17, J Lukada (single f) 20, K Kimura 9 (female child)

1898 January – March, Aberdeen, Arbroath for W Hamilton’s excursion

1900 February – performing at the Olympia in Paris

1902 February – performing in Paris.

Japanese Troupe of equilibrists— Akimotos—gave an excellent exhibition of the style of entertainment for which they are so famous. The head of the troupe balances a huge frame on his feet to which are attached two enormous poles, up which two of the younger members of the company climb to the top, which is on a level with the proscenium. The tall poles bent and swayed under their weight, but they performed as gracefully and as unconcernedly as though on an ordinary trapeze. Another member does some wonderful back and front turns, balanced on a high pedestal on which he has graduated blocks and bricks, the top one of which is barely broad enough to hold his feet. It was a dangerous trick cleverly and neatly performed. Another trick which was well received was the balancing of an enormous pole on the shoulder ; at the other end a trapeze was attached on which one of the apprentices did a clever horizontal bar act. A tiny little lad, whose features struggled between Mongolian and Milesian, went through some perilous exercises in a Risley act ; whilst another climbed a rote attached from the stage to the roof, ending with a sensational slide to the ground. (Music Hall & Theatre Review)

1903 March -1906 September touring Britain – Akimoto Troupe of Imperial Japanese – juggling, balancing – five in number. “Akimotos Royal Yedo Japanese Troupe” in Norwich, 6 in number, top spinning, umbrella feats, juggling and balancing.

1905 May – Sankichi Akimoto (junior) dies aged 25 in Morecambe, Lancashire. According to Lancashire Evening Post, was a member of the Andos troupe.

1906 April – Akimoto troupe balancing and water spinning in Yarmouth Hippodrome

1906 Omasa Suwa and Rikimatsu Akimoto go to Buenos Aires leaving son Sentaro with someone in Morecambe.

1908 Rikimatsu became an alcoholic and returned to Britain. Took back Sentaro and lived with Mitsukichi Ando in Manchester.

1908 January – February Akimotos perform in Peterborough

1910 Omasa Suwa returns to Britain, lives with Rikimatsu Akimoto.

1910 November – Rikimatsu (Senkischi) Akimoto dies aged 49 in London. Mitsukichi Ando pays Omasa Suwa 5s a week for Sentaro.