Ladder climbing 梯子乗り

Origin

Climbing and balancing from long poles dates back to at least 10th century Europe – the Byzantine emperor held entertainments including a 24 foot pole balanced on one acrobat’s forehead, with two children climbing to the top.

The New Year festival, Dezome-shiki in Hamamatsu, Japan, dates back to 1659, where firemen balance on ladders.

In Britain

Tannaker’s troupes often featured a ladder trick (climbing a ladder which then “breaks” leaving the acrobat balancing on 1 pole) in the 19th century and the trick continued to be performed through to the 1930s by the Otsu trio. Also balancing three ladders on the feet by Esa Trio, Jackitschy Troupe and the Masu Hirukawa troupe.