Japanese Villages

Tannaker’s Japanese Villages 1885-1889

1885 January – Tannaker’s Japanese Village opens in Albert Gate, Knightsbridge, London

1885 May – Tannaker’s Japanese Village in London burns down

1885 December – Tannaker’s Japanese Village in London reopens

1887 May – Tannaker‘s Japanese Village opens in Saltaire for the Royal Yorkshire Jubilee Exhibition

1887 June – July – Japanese Village in London closes and Japanese Village and Oriental Trading Company goes into liquidation.

1887 October – some of the Japanese members of the London Japanese Village sue for money and return fares

1887 November – Tannaker‘s Japanese Village opens in Liverpool

1888 February – Tannaker‘s Japanese Village opens in Cheltenham

1888 April – Tannaker‘s Japanese Village opens in Nottingham

1888 Tannaker Japanese Villeage at Brussels Exhibition

1889 – Japanese Village at the Edinburgh International Exhibition

Photograph of the Japanese Village in Knightsbridge taken by WS Gilbert, 1885. It’s unlikely either woman was Otake, Tannaker’s wife, as she was in her mid thirties by this stage, with nine children, and as the proprietor’s wife was meant to be helping with the management of the village rather than participating in it. Although WS Gilbert started writing the MIkado before the Japanese Village opened, he could have been inspired by seeing Otake, Mitsuko and Otomi perform with Tannaker’s troupe in Britain over the previous 15 years.
From the V&A collection

Japan Past and Present: The Manners and Customs of the Japanese. Also a Description of the Japanese Native Village (Promoted by Tannaker Buhicrosan) [Erected at] Albert Gate, Hyde Park” by Otakesan Buhicrosan
Illustrated London News, 1887 – Samuel L Bapty was also manager of the Edinburgh Exhibition of 1890, where Tannaker brought his Japanese Village in 1889. Lee Bapty married Tannaker’s daughter Ohana.