Sekine Ichitaro

1857-60 born in Tokyo

1874 came to Britain (according to his own account)

1881 April census – may have been Edcho Lasso, aged 21 and married, lodging with Shoesan and Yasokichi in Nottingham, as part of Tannaker’s Troupe

1885-7 worked for Tannaker at his Japanese villages

1886 March – marries Su-A Nagahama in London as Saykini Michael Percy Tarro, aged 27, giving his father as Saykini Tarro

1887 discharged from Tannaker’s troupe

1887 April – M.P. Tarro, a gentleman who comes from “the land of the rising sun”, appeared “for the first time… in a balancing performance and block exercise. He will be assisted by his wife, O’Suryeson, a real Japanese lady, who will be dressed in national costume.”[1]

1887 December – “Mikado Tarro, Japanese juggler, whose feats of block exercise, water turning and balancing performance is a treat worthy of seeing, that he is clever is beyond doubt, and at the finish of his performance he was the recipient of well-deserved applause.”[1]

1888 January – Manchester – Mikado Tarro from the city of Tokio Japan and the Japanese Village, London. M.P. Tarro will appear in his marvellous balancing performances, with block exercise, wonderful manipulation, water turning &c”

1888 May – the Great M.P. Tarro, assisted by Madame Tarro in the troupe of real Japanese from the original Japanese village, London, “the rage of society in 1887” “in his unequalled balancing performance and wonderful manipulations”. With Shoreson and Kumakichi (Como Tycoon) and Pongo. Edinburgh.

1888 September – Tarro a Japanese juggler, Stockport.

1888 October – Tarro’s Japanese company – balancing and juggling, Blackburn

1889 January – Mr P Tarro, the Japanese juggler, equilibrist and water spinner – “gave a performance which for smartness and dexterity was certainly above average” Nottingham, Manchester, Jarrow.

1889 March – WP Tarro Japanese juggling “skilful and successful”, Edinburgh

1889 April – M P Tarro Japanese juggler, Newcastle

1889 May – T P Tarro juggler, Middlesbrough

1889 Tarro and Yeddo, Warrington

1889 November – Yeddo – the greatest Japanese juggler of the age, Preston

1889 December – Tarro’s wire walking and Yeddo’s juggling, Barnsley

1890 February – Tarro and Yeddo (Ichitaro may have switched to Yeddo) – wire and rope walking and equilibristic tricks. Leicester

1890 March – Tarro Troupe of Japanese artists, Sheffield, with Sanger’s Circus

1890 May – Will Sley representing Tarro, Japanese juggler

1890 June – Mikado, Japanese juggler, Barnsley

1890 November – Tarro – Japanese juggler and block manipulator, Bournemouth

1890 November – Tarro expert Japanese juggler, Elphinstone’s Circus Nottingham.

1890 December – Mikado O Tarro, Japanese artiste extraordinarire, Sanger’s Circus Cardiff

1891 April – census – Michael Percy living in a Nottingham boarding house, married, aged 32, and artist, born in Japan

1891 November – Michael Percy Tarro arrested in Leeds, charged in Bradford with obtaining goods under false pretences from a hosier in Bradford. Claimed to be a captain in the Japanese army. 32 years of age. Series of frauds in Bradford. Claimed to be a proprietor of a troupe of Japanese performers, and that he had just taken St George’s Hall Bradford for a series of performances. Also that had puchased a lot of land at Saltaire and was going to build a house. Evidence was shown that he had been doing both, so was discharged. He promised to pay all creditors if they would give him time. Royal Tycoon Troupe of Japanese perform at the Jollity Theatre, Bradford, with Pongo the man monkey in December.

1892 March – Michael Percy Tarro, Japanese, charged on remand with obtaining food, lodgings and money from two women in Middlesbrough. “appears to have carried on extensive frauds in various towns for some time past”. Several address cards, one chiefly used bore the following “M.P. Tarro, Director Troupe of Japanese. Agency in Yokohama and Tokio, Japan; Manchester England.” On another address card, which he occasionally used, was Captain M.P. Tarro, Royal Engineeers, Tokio. Sentenced to one month’s calendar imprisonment.

1892 December – Johnson Tarrosan Tannaker, aged about 35, an acrobat, charged with obtaining by false pretences food and lodgings in Dewsbury. Claimed to be the nephew of Tannaker Buhicrosan, and to have a brother who was travelling with an acrobat troupe with whom he was co-proprietor of Tannaker’s Japanese. Tannaker appeared as a witness and said that Michael Percy Tarro had left his employ five years’ ago and was not a nephew or relation. During the time he was in his employ he found something wrong about him, but he declined to say what it was. At the sessions later, Tannaker stated “you always was a thief – you were with me up to 5 years ago whe you left your wife and deserted her. I have got 20 cases of swindling against you in different parts of the country”

Ichitaro said he had been in Britain 18 years as a professional, which would mean he came to Britain in 1874, somewhere between the aged of 14 and 17.

He was found guilty and sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment with hard labour.

1894 January – Ichitaro appeared at the Northampton Borough Petty Sessions as Percy Tarro Tannaker, alias Mitchko/Mikado (35), no fixed residence, described as an acrobat, charged on a warrant of obtaining by false pretences a clock and a calendar, as well as a quantity of stationery, food, a macintosh, rug, pair of slippers, two dolls, a pair of cloth garters, and a handbag. He was discharged as the case was adjourned several times in consequence of some important witnesses being unable to attend – possibly Tannaker Buhicrosan who was very ill by this stage.

1894 June – Southampton Quarter Sessions – M P Tarro, a young Japanese of Manchester street was charged with obtaining four books by false pretences. The Bench met again a week later, and there were further charges of obtaining two coats, a pair of galoshes, two india rubber toys, a card plate and cards, envelopes and paper, cigar and cigarette cases, and not paying for 3 weeks of lodgings. Ichitaro said he had travelled up and down the country for 20 years, and had only one enemy, not very far off – whom he hoped to get hold of one day.

He was found guilty and sentenced to hard labour for 12 months.

1896 November – Tannaker Ruhicrosan appeared at the Sussex Assizes in Lewes on charges of fraud when living in Eastbourne. He represented that he was a mining engineer and visited some art dealers who allowed him to take goods worth £150 including Charles II £5 coins which he passed over to his landlady for rent. The Chancellor of the Japanse Legation attended the Court and explained that the prisoner was unknown at the embassy. Witness had ascertained that he had been engaged as a juggler at the Japanese Village in London.

He was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment with hard labour. This was falsely reported in various newspapers as being the actual Tannaker Buhicrosan, who had died two years’ previously. This caused Tannaker’s son to write to the press to say that he was using the name as an alias, and his real name was Michael Itche Tarro.

1898 June – London Sessions – Tamaker Buhicrosan, 40 a Japanese, described as an engineer, was indicted for obtaining credit by fraud. Found guilty and sentenced to 12 months’ hard labour.

1899 June 27th – died at the age of 40 at the Fulham Infirmary, recorded in the name of Tannaker Buhicrosan. Occupation given as engineer, late of Wormwood Scrubs Prison. Cause of death was Phthisis Haemoptysis, which indicated he died from coughing up blood from tuberculosis, bronchitis or lung cancer.


[1] Sporting Chronicle, 19 January 1888 p 1


[1] Bootle Times, 31 December 1887 p 3


[1] Croydon Chronicle and East Surry Advertiser, 23 April 1887, p 5