Cohen Hall, 249 S 36th St, Philadelphia
Penn Forum on Japan Colloquium
“Professor Risley, The Imperial Japanese Troupe, and Philadelphia ”
Frederik L. Schodt, Translator, interpreter, award-winning writer
Lecture with reception to follow
“Professor Risley” was the stage name of Richard Risley Carlisle, an extraordinary 19th century acrobat and impresario who considered himself a Philadelphian. In 1863 the globe-trotting Risley introduced Western-style circus into Japan. He also introduced Japanese to ice cream. In 1867, Risley brought one of the first groups of Japanese performers to America and Europe, touring major cities including Philadelphia. It was the first time most Americans had ever seen ordinary Japanese people, as opposed to high-ranking officials and dignitaries. In an entertaining and heavily illustrated talk, Frederik L. Schodt will discuss the remarkable yet little-known life of one of America’s most colorful personalities.