The Great Dragon Troupe

1867 May – Lenton & Smith section of 12 people leave Japan and tour Hong Kong, the Philippines, Java, Singapore, Penang, Calcutta – Isokichi, Mitarō, Katsujiro, Chiyokichi, Tomo, Bunjiro, Chonosuke, Genjiro, Ohatsu, Seijiro, Shichigoro (dies in Java), Yasuke. 1 year passports apart from Isokichi and Mitarō (1 month)

1867 May – Baldwin & Gilbert obtain passports for 1 year for 14 people – Chojirō, Kinjirō, (Kagami) Godayū, Kosaburō, Kurakichi, (Ogawa)Torakichi senior, Fudekichi, Shintarō, (Hasegawa) Harukichi, (Hasegawa) Kanekichi, Kawaji Marukichi, Kanematsu, (Kondo)Torakichi junior, Moto.

1867 May – JW Smith with Lenton & Smith troupe in Java and Singapore

1867 June – combined Great Dragon Troupe arrive in San Francisco on the Stanley (renamed from the Sanglier) – 24-25 members: Kawaji Marukichi (B&G), Kikumatsu (Kanematsu from B&G?), Jōshūya Matsunosuke, Torakichi senior (B&G), Torakichi junior (B&G) Kosaburō (B&G), Kinzō and Gorō (1 person, Kinjirō B&G?), Godaijirō (Godayū B&G), Isokichi (L&S), Oshin, Chojirō (B&G), Shintarō (B&G), Kurakichi (B&G), Kanekichi (B&G), Harukichi (B&G), Fudekichi (B&G), Bomji gore, Masakichi, Mitarō (L&S), Kars kee, Omotu (Tomo or Moto, L&S and B&G?), Ohatsu (L&S), Shingoro, Shinada Saboro, Ohta Gensaboro.

1867 July – combined troupe leave New York

1867 August – combined Great Dragon Troupe arrive in Dublin, tour Britain

1867 October – combined Great Dragon Troupe in Newcastle

1867 October – Baldwin & Gilbert section tour Hamburg, Europe

1867 October – 4 from Lenton & Smith Great Dragon Troupe in Penang, Malaysia – Genjirō, Chōnosuke, Katsujirō and Chiyokichi

1867 December – Lenton & Smith Great Dragon Troupe (11 or 12 – 8 men, 3 women, 10 year old boy) arrive in Melbourne, Australia: Isokichi, Mitarō, Genjirō/Gengero, Chōnosuke, Katsujirō, Chiyokichi, Omato/Tomo, Bungaro/Bunjiro, Ohatsu, Seijiro, Yasuke.

1868 Jan-Oct – Lenton & Smith Great Dragon Troupe tour Australia

1868 Oct – Lenton & Smith Great Dragon Troupe start tour of New Zealand

1869 Feb – Lenton & Smith Great Dragon Troupe end tour of New Zealand

1869 May – Great Dragon Troupe (mostly Baldwin & Gilbert group) in Portsmouth, then Brighton Concert Hall, Crystal Palace, London – Oide, Omotu(o), Ki-kou(n)-matsikee (Kikumatsu), Tora/Torra (Torakichi), Yarra/Tassa (Yasokichi), Professor Tjoze (Chojirō), Little Tommy, Haro-san (Harukichi), Godai (Godayū)

1869 June-August – Paris, Cirque Napoleon

1869 September – Great Dragon Troupe return to London. Proprietor switched from Baldwin and Gilbert to Edward Bert of San Francisco. Same line up as May 1869.

1869 October – November – Hanley, Chester, Crewe, Congleton

1869 December – Dublin

The Great Dragon Troupe in the late 1860s? Hasegawa Harukichi, Hasegawa Kanekichi, Kagami Godayuu, Hotaka Kinjiro, Kondo Yasokichi, Kondo Fudekichi, Ogawa Mankichi, Ogawa Torakichi, Omoto, Oiye, Hotaka Joji? Director (Pernille Rudlin’s private collection)

1870 April – Hotaka Joji and Oie pickpocketing case in Belfast, Blekman acts as interpreter

1870 May – Glasgow (three years since last appearance) then tour of Scotland to November – William Grant is now proprietor and interpreter “has been resident many years in Japan”

1870 December – Newcastle “The Tycoon’s Great Dragon Troupe” 13 in number

Great Dragon Troupe in Perth, Scotland, November 1870, Dr Robert H Sayers Collection. Kondo Fudekichi (standing at the furthest right), Kondo Yasokichi second from left standing), Ogawa Torakichi seated in the middle dressed as a woman), Godayu seated with a fan? Hasegawa Harukichi (seated on right?), Hasegawa Kanekichi (one of the children)

1871 January – William Grant, proprietor/ investor in Great Dragon Troupe in 1870 is declared bankrupt

1871 January – Great Dragon Troupe in Britain have 5 week engagement with Hengler’s Circus in Glasgow

1871 February – advertisement in The Era that Hasingawa Harosan (Hasegawa Harukichi) and Tannaker Buhicrosan are co-proprietors of the Royal Tycoon and Dragon Troupe

1871 April – staying in a Luton boarding house with Kondo Yassokitchi aged 18, Kondo Torrokitchi aged 13, Kondo Fudekichi aged 35, Hasegawa Harukichi aged 38, Hasegawa Tomikichi aged 11, Kagami Godayu aged 27, Kagami Katsugoro aged 45, Ogawa Torakichi aged 18, Frederick Blekman and Omoto.

1871-1876 Tannaker continues to use the name of the Great Dragon Troupe, “Tycoon Dragon Japanese Troupe” but without Harosan after January 1873.

1872 January – William Grant, former proprietor of the Great Dragon Troupe tries to abscond to Yokohama as a chef on the Ocean Chief but is apprehended

1872 March – Blekman splits with Great Dragon Troupe/Tannaker

1872 May – 12 performers including Tommy the Wolf, Otakesan, Harrosan, Otorranese/Ottorasan, Torrakitchie, Otanny, Yasso, Godia/Godaiou, Tommysan, Bungrosan, Fuideson.

1872 June – December – clash between Tannaker’s Japanese Great Dragon Troupe and Siamese Great Dragon Troupe of juveniles.

1873 February – Godayu and Omoto’s son Little Godie dies in Sunderland.

Great Dragon Troupe, after it merged with Tannaker’s troupe, taken by William Vick of Ipswich. The woman in the middle is probably Omoto rather than Otake. Possibly Godayū, Kondo Torakichi, Ogawa Torakichi, Bunjirō/Bungaro, Kondō Yasokichi, Fudekichi and Harukichi? Taken in May 1873? From the Dr Robert H Sayers Collection.

1873 – Tannaker’s Japanese, also known as the Great Dragon Troupe.

1874 – February – December – Great Dragon Troupe touring England

1875 January – February – Touring England

1875 March – May – Great Dragon Troupe touring Ireland

1875 October – November – Great Dragon Troupe touring Britain

1877 August – October – Great Dragon Troupe touring Sweden (Tannaker)

1877 December – 1878 April – The Great Dragon Troupe now performing on the Continent (advertisement in The Era, from Tannaker’s agent)

1889 July – August – Tannaker’s Great Dragon Troupe of Japanese at the Alexandra Palace. Tamamoto Chiyokechie (tight rope walker), Torra the Great feet balancer, Little All Right, Misuhara Gintarro block manipulator

1889 September – Woolwich – Great Dragon Troupe. Last mention of the troupe in the British press.