Tomio Yamaguchi/Tomio + Val

1896 21 September born in Yokohama, Japan. Father may have been Hajme Yamaguchi, manager of the Ten Ichi troupe.

1910 May have come to Britain with Hajime Yamaguchi and his wife, as part of the Japan-British Exhibition but was not on the passenger list

1914-1924 – may have been with the Kamakuras, managed by Hajime Yamaguchi

1921 June – Living in Upper Norwood, music hall artiste as part of Japanese Village at Crystal Palace

1923 Marries Winifred Chapman or Valentine in Hampstead.

1927 Tomio, Val and Eddie – Anglo-Japanese entertainers

1928 Tomio & Val, the original Japanese conjurers, Hayes

1929 Tomio & Val, Japanese novelty conjurers – Scotland

1930 October – “Tomio and Val (Japanese) give us something of the magic of the East, in some baffling tricks. The mystery of the 10s. note brings a big surprise, but how Tomio passes his hands, with both thumbs securely tied together, through a wooden pole is a bigger mystery still. The whole show is amazing.” South Yorkshire Times

1931 Tomio & Val in Portsmouth, Leeds, Kings Lynn

1932 Tomio and Val in Birmingham, Belfast, Portsmouth, Leicester

1933 August – Tomio and Val Japanese novelty conjurers “are extremely clever people” Coventry

1934 Tomio and Val in Portsmouth, London, Dover

1935 – Tomio and Val are a Japanese couple who entertain with good conjuring and novelties. (Bath)

1936 – Bath, Hull, Sheffield

1937 Tomio Japanese conjurer supported by Val – Plymouth

1938 “You will enjoy, too, some amazing conjuring by Tomio and Val. Watch them burn a ten shilling note and then produce the same note from a hen’s egg and see if you can catch them out” Tonbridge “Oriental conjurers were watched with gasps of awe” Portsmouth

1939 register – both living in Elstree – variety artist, conjurer, travelling

1939 August – “Eastern eccentrics” Queen’s Poplar

1940 March – Tomio & Val, conjuring, Watling.

1940 October – Left London with other Japanese residents such as Yoshijiro Urushibara, an artist, paid for and “under advisement from the Japanese Embassy in Tokyo in light of the possibility that Japan would become embroiled in World War II in collaboration with Germany and Italy. Travelled from London to Liverpool by rail, crossed the Irish channel to Dublin, transited Ireland to Galway by rail, and there boarded NYK liner, SS Fusimi Maru 1 bound for Japan. Travelling via Bermuda, New York, Newport News, Panama Canal, San Pedro (Los Angeles), arrived in Yokohama on 8 January, 1941.” Hajime Yamaguchi is mentioned as the father, living in Meguro, Tokyo.

1946 December – Winifred Yamaguchi returns to Britain, described as “housewife” and “stateless”. Lived with her brother Christopher and his second wife Monica in Harrow until at least 1963.

1986 October – Winifred Yamaguchi dies, aged 87, in Leamington Spa.