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Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan--and Japan to the West Hardcover – December 4, 2012
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"[A] fascinating narrative . . . In chronicling Risley's checkered and colorful career, Schodt illuminates the rivalries and precariousness of the circus business and portrays vividly this early encounter between Japan and the West." (Recommended for all readers). Choice, April 2013
"An intriguing look at international relations, culture, the circus, and its effects on the modern day, 'Professor Risley' is a must for anyone seeking an original and offbeat take on history, highly recommended."Midwest Book Review
"Pick up Schodt's latest book and move well beyond a study of Japanese culture. Schodt takes us all around the world of 19th-century entertainment: the competition, the disdain, the copycats and the triumphs. It's a captivating story about a pioneer in international entertainment."The Japan Times
"If you have any interest in Japanese history -- whatsoever -- pick up this book. Schodt knocked this title out of the park. It's a real page-turner, and that's saying a lot when dealing with a history book." Japanator blog
About the Author
Frederik L. Schodt is an award-winning author of multiple books on the interplay of Japanese and American culture, with an emphasis on popular culture and on unique individuals who have made unusual cross-cultural contributions.
More About the Author
Fred's WEBSITE-- http://www.jai2.com | TALKS-- http://www.jai2.com/ABE_Talks.htm | BIBLIOGRAPHY-- http://www.jai2.com/Mybiblio.htm
Top Customer Reviews
After a brief preface explaining how he came to write the book, Schodt launches into the main text of Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe. The first chapter, or "act," is appropriately titled "Setting the Stage" and provides the necessary background and historical context for the book. The next three acts--"The Risley Act," "Going for Gold," and "Into Asia"--explore the life of Professor Risley, the stage name of American showman Richard Risley Carlisle. Acts five through nine--"Yokohama, Japan," "Taking America," "At the Exposition," "The Long Way to London," and "The Matter of the Contract"--follow the formation of the Imperial Japanese Troupe and their nearly two-and-a- half-year tour of seven countries: the United States, France, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. Act ten, "Final Acts" traces the end of Professor Risley and the troupe and their lasting influence. The book is completed with an afterword, notes, select bibliography, and a thorough index.Read more ›
The story of Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe is just that: It opens a window to a forgotten time in history – 19th century popular entertainment as vivid and astonishing to audiences then as 3D CGI is to us today. But it’s all the more amazing because the illusions and feats of gravity-defying athleticism were performed by real humans in real time.
But this is also a fascinating, in-depth story about real humans who have not been recognized in the history books: The conniving and brilliant entrepreneurs who chose less-than-reputable careers; the extraordinary Japanese athletes who spent years traveling around the globe, far away from a homeland that had only recently allowed their citizens to travel abroad; the long and remarkable career of Professor Risley – a classic American story of the self-made man. The fact that he was once world-famous, yet is unheard of today, makes me wonder what other historical treasures are buried.
Frederik Schodt’s book is just simply a fun read. It didn’t take too many chapters before I thought, “This would make such a great movie!” It’s an absolutely original story, ripe for snatching up by some savvy Hollywood agent or producer. Right there, under everyone’s nose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
...and Schodt rocks too! This book will enchant you beyond belief. It's the kind of book you need to tumble across, because you would never look for it since it would never occur... Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by Frederik Green
This is one of the best-written non-fiction books I've ever read. Thoroughly researched, with a great balance between the content and context of one of the most fascinating... Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Harm van der Laan