Royal Tycoon’s Private Troupe 1870-1898


In Britain: First troupe from July 1870 – June 1871, then tour Europe, possibly USA, India, then some return to Britain June 1872 as Dragon and Tycoon Troupes. Second troupe from 1876.

Proprietors: Thomas King had obtained 14 passports for troupe to tour Hong Kong for 3 years in 1869. Thomas King hires second troupe in 1872 of 13 people to tour Britain, but actually go to India and Australia first as the Royal Tycoon Troupe. Some eventually arrive in Britain in 1876 as the Great Original Tycoon Japanese Troupe, others continue in Australia as Tycoon Troupe until 1880s.

Troupe members: 1870-1871 15-16 performers including Foo Gee Kitchee (Fujikichi) Wonder of Yeddo balancer, 5 boy contortionists – Koo Ma Kitchee, Ca Na Kitchee, Kin Ta, Mo To To and Ha Sa, Oh Sa Wah (Sawa, female, flight of the butterflies), Eso Kitchee (Isokichi) (juggler and equilibrist), Oh Ra To (probably Matsui Yoshigorō), top spinner, Mo Ko So, juvenile rope walker aged 9 and Namenoski (Naminosuke), foot balancer, ladder feats, rope walker.

1876 5 performers including Gin Goro Jack (Gingero), Fousah Ketchey, As Sa Ma Ki, Yama Moto, Moto Ketchie (profile on this website), Como Ketchey. 1877 acts include Japanese Drawing-room Games, Dancing Umbrellas on the Feet. Dancing Tubs, Tight-rope Feats, Swinging Bamboos, Nondescript Prestidigitateurs, Block Building, Yousawaka Building, &c., Feet Balancing, Japanese Bamboo-cane Balancing, Barrell Dancing, Pyramid Building, Siamese Calisthenics.

By 1881 Tycoon Troupe in Britain is led by Gingero, and consists of Motokichi, Asakichi and James Dubois.

By the late 1880s the troupe is a Royal Tycoon Trio, of Gingero and his children. Also Tycoon Japanese Brothers – Motokichi, Asakichi etc.

Briefly renamed the Mikado Troupe 1889-90

The name Tycoon Japs/Tycoon Japanese/Tycoon Troupe of Japanese etc continues in use in Britain until 1898.


1869 September – First group – 14 passport records for a three year tour to Hong Kong, in the employment of a British man, Thomas King:

From Osaka: Naminosuke aged 45, foot equilibrist, Mitsu, his wife aged 36, accompanist, Genji, Naminosuke’s son, aged 12, acrobat, Kanekichi, Naminosuke’s son, aged 7, acrobat

Fujikichi aged 38, block piling, Fusa, aged 38, wife of Fujikichi, accompanist, Kumakichi, son of Fujikichi, aged 12, acrobat, Asajirō, son of Fujikichi, aged 11, acrobat

From Tokyo Asakusa: Matsui Yoshigorō, aged 36, top spinner, Moto aged 38, Sawa, daughter of Moto, aged 18, accompanist, Kinjurō, son of Moto, aged 8, acrobat

From Osaka: Torakichi aged 36, propsman

From Yokohama: Isokichi aged 52.

1869 October – toured Hong Kong, then India, then Germany according to letter from Minister of 1872

1870 July – Royal Tycoon Troupe appear at the Crystal Palace, then the Alhambra with Tycoon’s Top Private Spinner.

1870 August – Royal Tycoon’s Private Troupe (First group) perform at the Alhambra Court Crystal Palace – Foo Gee Kitchee walking in the air, Namemensski, Oh Ra To.

1870 September – Parravicini and Corbyn announce that they are the sole and exclusive agents of “this most remarkable and talented company of 16 Japanese artistes”

1870 October – at the Curzon Hall Birmingham

1870 November – December – London

1871 Jan-Feb – tour Rotherham, Ashton, Brighouse, Leeds. 11 names given in billings for troupe of 15. Foo Gee Kitchee Wonder of Yeddo balancer, 5 boy contortionists – Koo Ma Kitchee, Ca Na Kitchee, Kin Ta, Mo To To and Ha Sa, Oh Sa Wah (female, flight of the butterflies), Eso Kitchee (juggler and equilibrist), Oh Ra To, top spinner, Mo Ko So, juvenile rope walker aged 9 and Namenoski, foot balancer, ladder feats, rope walker.

1871 February 4th – Fujikichi dies aged 39 of a tropical abscess of the liver and pyaemia (blood poisoning from the abscess). Buried in Southwark.

1871 March – May – “King’s Royal Tycoon Troupe” tours Manchester, Barnsley, Bradford, Huddersfield, Macclesfield. Fifteen artistes – “Five wonderful Japanese boys” (Koo Ma Kitchee, Ca Na Kitchee, Kin Ta, Mo To To and Ha Sa) performing as contortionists. Oh Sa Wah the first legitimate female artiste from Japan performing butterfly illusions. Eso Kitchee the inimitable Japanese juggler and equilibrist, Oh Ra To the Tycoon’s Private Top Spinner, Namenoski sensational ladder acts. Foo Gee Kitchee continues to be billed as the great shoulder balancer.

1871 June – finish tour of Britain, start tour of Europe and the USA

1872 January – February – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese Juveniles in India. Personnel include Gen Oska and the Boy Wonder doing bamboo pole balancing and perche, globe and tub balancing by M/Nam Oska with Little Allright (aged 3), Japanese pyramids with Wah Habe (aged 5) and Esa Ritche (6), J/Taro Noska – floating bamboo while the two Wonders performed tricks and Miss Cuts Gero with a butterfly trick. Could be Naminosuke, his sons Genji and Kanekichi? Ages of children do not match.

1872 March – Dragon Troupe of Siamese Juveniles in Britain

1872 April – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese in San Francisco.

1872 April Dragon Troupe of Siamese Juvenile Gymnasts at Crystal Palace – Gen Oska and Boy Wonder.

1872 May – Matsui Yoshigorō asks Isokichi and King for money for return fares to Japan for himself and three others. No money forthcoming so made way back to London and asked Japanese minister Terashima Munenori for assistance.

1872 June – Tycoon and Dragon Troupes from the Crystal Palace – Brighton, Bolton, including Eso Kitchee, Ochoby, Gen Oska, O Le Match, Taro Moska and Taro Moska Ochoby also at Crystal Palace – as Siamese Juvenile Troupe. Wonderful act by Tara Nosky over the lake. Ochoby is probably the Japanese word “ochibi” meaning “little one.”

1872 July – Marshall & Co’s Great Tycoon Troupe of Japanese consisting of top spinners, equilibrists, balancers, jugglers, acrobats, from the Great Tycoon Theatre, Osaca – Sacramento, California

1872 August – Great Dragon Troupe of Siamese Juvenile Gymnasts at the Crystal Palace.

1872 September/October – Thomas King hires another troupe of 13 Japanese performers – (second group), with funding from a French Yokohama based wine merchant, C Pasquale, to tour Britain for two years. Awata Katsunoshin, aged 41, juggler, Sakuragawa Rikinosuke, aged 29, Hoshino Torakichi aged 24, wire walker, Suzuki Bunjirō, aged 43, tub/pedal balancing, Togawa Iwakichi aged 7, climber and balancer, Yanagawa Choshichirō/Itchōsai, aged 52, juggler and conjuror, Mume, daughter of Yanagawa, climber and balancer, aged 10, Shitsu/Shizu, daughter of Yanagawa, aged 6, balancer, Igarashi Hikotarō, aged 11, climber for Bunjirō, Nishida Chōtarō, aged 15, Itchōsai’s apprentice, Suzuki Ichitarō aged 9, climber and balancer for father Bunjiro, Sakai Manjiro, aged 28, rope walker, paper walker and Kondō Kikutarō, aged 14, contortionist, tumbler and wire walker.

1872 October – Great Dragon Temple, Siamese Juvenile Troupe, all natives of Siam. London

1872 November – Royal Tycoon Troupe of 13 artistes (second group) arrive in India with Mr C Pasquali, Mr and Mrs King, 13 Japanese and two children. Artistes include Torakitchi the invisible wire walker, Sacaranawa ladder balancer, Makichi, Bungaro tub balancer, Catshenoski’s juggling, Echowsi (Itchosai) legerdemain, Terakitchi top spinning

1873 January – Siamese Juvenile Troupe in London

1873 February – Matsui and three others from the first group return to Yokohama

1873 July – Royal Tycoon Troupe (second group) arrive in Sydney on the RMS Baroda from Calcutta

1873 July – Marshall’s Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe. Olympic Theatre, New York.

1874 Royal Tycoon Troupe tour Australasia, appearing as the Great Siamese and Asiatic Circus in New Zealand with Echowsi (Yanagawa Itchōsai/Chōshichirō), To Ra Kitchee (Hoshino Torakichi), Catshenoski (Awata Katsunoshin), Bungaro (Suzuki Bunjirō), Mankichi (Sakai Manjirō), Dickenorski (Sakuragawa Rikinosuke) and seven of the wonders of the world, bending contortionists Makichi (female? Mume), Coo Ma (Kondō Kikutarō), Itchi (Suzuki Ichitarō), Eva (Togawa Iwakichi), Co Zo/Co To (Igarashi Hikotarō), Ce Je (Shizu), Chotaw (Nishida Chotarō). Then as King’s Royal Tycoon Troupe when they returned to Australia in August 1874. King attempts to sell his contracts with the troupe to Borthwick.

Last mention of “Siamese Juvenile”

1875 January – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese performers, Melbourne

1875 January – Thomas King director of the Asiatic Circus and Tycoon Troupe in Melbourne is declared insolvent

1875 April – Itchōsai returns to Japan from Australia. Other performers extend their contracts with King.

1875 Royal Tycoon Troupe stays with Borthwick in Australia until September, then reengages with Borthwick’s Asiatic Circus until December 1876.

1876 June – Brothers Moto and Assa, Gingero and Como Ketchey, the Japanese wonders at Myers’s Hippodrome, Crystal Palace, London

1876 November – Great Original Tycoon Japanese Troupe tour Britain. Gin Goro, Komo Ketchey, managed by Henry William Wieland, a theatrical agent.

1876 December – “The Royal Crystal Palace Tycoon Japanese Troupe” Gin Goro Jack, Fousah Ketchey, As Sa Ma Ki, Yama Moto, Moto Ketchie, Como Ketchey in Paisley

1877 January – Walter Brown takes over as agent of the troupe

1877 January -Tycoon Troupe of Burmese and Japanese performers, Stoodley and Harmston’s circus, Norwich.

1877 January – Tycoon troupe of Japanese jugglers and acrobats, Manchester, Cooke’s Circus, bamboo pole balancing.

1877 February – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese, Liverpool. 5 in number, Walter Brown, manager.

1877 March – “Sar Gengero, the Fakir of Yeddo” appears with the “Celebrated Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese” in Australia along with Bungaro, Itchia, Coma Kitche.

1877 March – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese, Yass, NSW

1877 March – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese and Burmese performers – Hanley, Liverpool

1877 April – Tycoon Japanese Troupe in London “the doings of the Tycoon Japanese troupe, introduced by an elderly Japanese lady, who has a tongue which she knows how to use, we have very recently referred, and it is only necessary to say that their extraordinary feats of rope-walking, balancing, and tumbling continue to meet with the warmest marks of approbation.” The Era

1877 April – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese in Melbourne, Australia.

1877 May – Ridge’s Royal Tycoon Circus Japanese Troupe in Sydney with Decenoski, Bungaroo, Master Nar infant Japanese wonder, Mankitchi (wire), Chotaro trapezist, Schoson and Itchi in their great bending act, Cooma, Ritchi, Lauckyour, Cauzor

1877 May-August – Tycoon Japanese Troupe in Fleetwood, Blackpool

1877 July – Ridge’s Royal Tycoon Circus at Grafton, Australia with Decenoski, Mr Bungaroo, Master Mar, Mankitchi, Schotaro, Itchi, Cooma Ritchie, Master Schoe

1877 September – Ridge’s Royal Tycoon Circus including “the original Tycoon Troupe of Japanese” – Australia

1877 October provincial tour Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe – Manager Walter Brown. Starting in Dundee “The original Tycoon Japanese” head to head with Tannaker. “A Japanese lady provided a description of each feat in her native language, which causes great laughter”

1877 November – Tycoon Japanese Troupe in Glasgow

1877 December – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese, Leicester and Northampton, featuring Japanese Drawing-room Games, Dancing Umbrellas on the Feet. Dancing Tubs, Tight-rope Feats, Swinging Bamboos, Nondescript Prestidigitateurs, Block Building, Yousawaka Building, &c., Feet Balancing, Japanese Bamboo-cane Balancing, Barrell Dancing, Pyramid Building, Siamese Calisthenics. 100 Japanese the articles will be given away.

1878 February-April – Royal Tycoon Circus in Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Yass NSW

1878 February-March – Great Japanese Tycoon Troupe – London, Liverpool “The Original Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese are still on the War Path, re-engaged to appear in London”

1878 March – September – Japanese Tycoon Troupe at Great Hippodrome and Exhibition, Paris

1878 May/June – Bungaro, Chotaro, Mankichi, Schoson, Itche last appaerances with Ridge’s Royal Tycoon Circus. Become part of Great Asiatic Troupe, with Bungaro as proprietor.

1878 June – June 1879 – Ridge’s Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese perform in Australia

1878 October – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese in Manchester

1878 December – Jan 1879 – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese in Edinburgh, five in number

1879 February – June – Ridge’s Royal Tycoon Circus in Australia

1879 February – Royal Japanese Tycoon Troupe at Royal Aquarium London with Pongo Redivivus. Liverpool “some members of the troupe lacking the Japanese cast of countenance”

1879 February – Tycoon Japanese Troupe in Hong Kong – Tora Kitchie on wire, Eva Kitchie, little girl doing gymnastics and balancing and May Kitchie bending and contortion

1879 May-July – “Gingero’s great Tycoon troupe of Japanese” tour Leamington Spa, Bradford, Fleetwood, Myers’ American Circus in Leicester and Wolverhampton – five in number.

1879 August-November – touring France

1879 November – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese, including Little Todd, the German Wonder. – Bradford

1880 January – Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe in Glasgow – ladder balancing, acrobatic and bamboo manipulations

1880 January – The Oriental Marvels Royal Tycoon Japanese, with the Greatest Living Wonder, Little Todd. Walter Brown manager. Hull then Liverpool.

1880 February – Sheffield and Cheltenham. Best display of posters of any troupe travelling.

1880 February – last mention of Royal Tycoon troupe in Australia until March 1883

1880 March – Cardiff Circus.

1880 April – Paris – Oriental Marvels, Folie Bergere, Little Todd, the original marvel, Mons Daijano, man serpent, Ginger and Nama Meichey, Greatest Bamboo Perch Performers in the World, Jama Moto Great Rope Walker and Assa Meichey champion tumbler. All my troupe are together again, greater than ever, Manager Walter Brown.

1880 May – June – London – Royal Forester’s Mile End. Engagement at Great Cost of Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe. Feet balancing, bamboo balancing, pyramid building, juggling etc. One member of troupe certainly not a native of Japan – duo performing ladder act, one is “youthful”.

1880 July – 3 months at the Winter Garden, Blackpool

1880 October – December Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe in Riga, Russia.

1880 December – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese have been retained for the holidays – Manchester

1881 January – Belfast – The Great Tycoon Japanese Troupe of Oriental Specialities (five in number) “at enormous expense”

1881 February – Edinburgh – four in number

1881 March – Glasgow, then Preston, then Warrington. Walter Brown “musical agent” “required a good artist”

1881 April – census – John Gingero, Annie, Centero (3), Fuzzer Annie (1) at 59 Percy Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, with Motokichi (24), Asakichi (16) and James Dubois (14 – actually 12). With Myers Circus in Newcastle.

1881 May – J. Gingero Director of Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe. At Ashton under Lyne. 4 in number.

1881 June – Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe, Leicester

1881 July – London

1881 August – Leeds – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Jugglers, Vaulters, acrobats. “the boy who does the Pongo business being a little marvel” at Leicester

1881 September – “The Wonderful Tycoon Troupe of Real Japanese, in their Marvellous Feats. Pongo the Great Japanese Man Monkey” Walter Brown.

1881 October – November – Dublin, return of the Tycoon Troupe of Real Japanese. Walter Brown back advertising – celestial wonder workers, high rope ascending, bamboo and ladder perche balancing, extraordinary acrobats

1881 December – Yarmouth – engaged from Amsterdam at great expense. George Pinder Le Grand Cirque Royal d’Angleterre

1882 January – split with Walter Brown, four in number “we have no more connection with Walter Brown… a good agent communicate at once”

1882 March – Keith’s Grand Circus in Bradford

1882 March – Alhambra Palace Blackburn including PONGO PONGO PONGO

1882 August – Shrewsbury with Oh My

1882 October – Preston with Pongo the Japanese Man Monkey

1882 December – London

1883 March – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese tumblers appear at Benhamo’s circus in Brisbane. Bunjaroo, Itche, Coma, Schoe, and Francese. Bunjaroo is the father of the other four.

1883 April – Royal Tycoon Troupe of Real Japanese – Sheffield

1883 June – London – Tycoon Troupe, Japanese Wonders

1883 December – Glasgow

1884 January – February – Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe 3 in number. Belfast, Sunderland then Liverpool. Need good tumbler.

1884 April – The Great Tycoon Japanese Company – in Belfast. Gingero Hosakitchee and Komakitchee (the Japanese monkey) first appeared at the Crystal Palace in 1865 (should be 1870?). Possibly a burlesque and not the real troupe.

1884 August – Comer Kitchey, just arrived from Japan. Late of the celebrated Tycoon Troupe of Japanese. At Harrogate, with Tycoon Troupe.

1884 August – November – Rochdale, Liverpool, London, Brighton

1885 January-June – Liverpool, Cardiff, Walsall, Preston, Leigh

1885 March – “smallest Japanese performer in the world” – probably Fuzzer Annie aged 5. Tycoon Japanese Troupe (six in number) with Pongo the Gorilla, Komakitchee in his great barrel performance.

1885 July – Fuzzer Gingero in Middlesborough with the Tycoon Japanese Troupe.

1885 August – Tycoon Troupe in Great Yarmouth

1886 March – Royal Tycoon Troupe at the Alfred Theatre in Bombay, India

1886 December – January 1887 – Royal Tycoon Troupe at the Queen’s Music Hall, London

1887 February – Wonderful Japanese Tycoon Troupe – Bedford Theatre, London

1887 April – September – Tycoon Gingero and his Marvellous Children, late of the Tycoon Japanese Troupe, Scarborough

1887 October – Motto Kitchee Royal Tycoon Japanese in Scarborough, Royal Tycoon Japanese Trio in Plymouth, then Paisley

1887 November – Royal Tycoon Japanese Trio in Edinburgh

1887 December – Tycoon Trio at Sanger’s Circus in Cheltenham

1888 January – July – Tycoon Trio in Wolverhampton, Cardiff, Bath, London

1888 August – Tycoon Japanese in Scarborough.

1888 September – Provincial Agency, Manchester, advertises Gingero‘s Tycoon Japanese Troupe in The Era

1888 March – October – Royal Tycoon Japanese Kitchee Brothers, rope walkers, bamboo performers and tumblers at Circus Born, Hungary

1888 November – Original Tycoon Japanese Brothers – Motto Kitchee, Assa Kitchee and Ich Kitchee

1888 December – Royal Tycoon Japanese Trio – Gingero and his beautiful children Centero and Fuzzer, champion perche performers of the world, finished in Manchester. Royal Tycoon Japanese – Barrow in Furness with Fosstt’s Grand Cirque, high rope walking and tumbling. Nottingham

1889 March – Tycoon Japanese being advertised by Messrs Wilder of Birmingham in the Era

1889 April – Tycoon Japanese – John Gingero and family – Liverpool

1889 June – July – Tycoon Japanese being advertised by Messrs Wilder of Birmingham in the Era – rope walkers, acrobats, bamboo perche, ladder act, somersault throwers and jugglers

1889 June – The Japanese Tycoon Wonders – Japino on the tight rope and the Keitchee brothers on the bamboo perche.

1889 August – the Original Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe will for future be known as the Great Mikado Troupe of Real Japanese, five in number, with Wilders.

1889 September – Tycoon Japanese Morecambe

1889 October – Motto Kitchee Royal Tycoon Japanese, rope walker and tumbler, circus, Huddersfield

1889 October – Tycoon Japanese at Nottingham Goose Fair

1889 November – Tycoon Troupe of Real Japanese 5 in number at Moss Theatre, Glasgow, Leith with Cooke’s Royal Circus (also as Mikado Troupe)

1889 December – The Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe of four – and the youngster who does the pole climbing seems to have but few bones in his anatomy (Glasgow Evening Post)

1890 January – Royal Tycoon Troupe in Jarrow, South Shields, Plymouth

1890 March – Royal Tycoon Real Japanese Troupe – Sunderland. Five in number

1890 April- May – Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe

1889 July – The Tycoon Troupe of Japanese are bewildering patrons this week – Bolton – Olympian Circus

1890 July – Tycoon Troupe of real Japanese five in number – Birkenhead – jugglery and acrobatic feats

1890 October – Mikado Troupe of real Japanese peformers Manchester

1890 November – Mikado Troupe of acrobats – Sunderland – 6 in number

1891 April – Tycoon Japanese troupe in Bradford

1891 May – Royal Tycoon Troupe in Hartlepool

1891 June-July – Royal Tycoon Troupe in Dublin

1891 August – Tycoon Japanese troupe in Hull, Great Grimsby, Mons Gingero juggling. Five real Japanese

1891 September – Royal Tycoon Troupe in Wigan

1891 December – Royal Tycoon troupe of Japanese in Bradford and Wakefield

1892 January – Tycoon Japanese Troupe, Fossett’s Circus Merthyr Tydfil, Great Tycoon Japanese Troupe, Wombwell & Bailey, Birmingham, Royal Tycoon Japanese Troupe Ginnet’s Circus Norwich to February

1895 February – Tycoon Japanese Troupe, Chatham

1895 March – Tycoon Japanese Troupe, Gilbert’s Circus, Norwich, with Tarrason, Belfast

1895 April – Tycoon Troupe, Japanese acrobats and balancers, Portsmouth

1895 May – Tycoon Japanese Wonders, Woolwich

1895 July – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese jugglers – London

1895 August – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese Isle of Man

1895 October – Tycoon Japanese trio – Royal Aquarium, London. Chatham

1895 December – Tycoon Troupe/Trio, Sheffield

1896 January – Tycoon Japanese Trio, Newcastle, Glasgow

1896 February – famous Tycoon Troupe – Edinburgh

1896 April – Tycoon Japanese Trio – Plymouth

1896 May – Tycoon Troupe of Japanese Jugglers – Hammersmith

1896 June – July – The Tycoon Japanese Troupe of Oriental Oddities – Sadlers Wells, The Oxford

1896 October – November – Gingero’s Tycoon Japs – Wales – “very clever show of jugglery”

1897 November – Tycoon Japs – Birmingham

1897 December Tycoon Troupe of Japanese jugglers in Derbyshire

1898 February Tycoon Troupe of Japanese jugglers appears in Dick Whittngton and his Cat in London