Kikugoro as Spencer balloon man

Photo of an old kabuki performance titled, 「風船乗評判高楼」 , 「風船乗評判高閣」, or 「風船乗スペンサー 尾上菊五郎」, known in English as “Riding the Famous Hot-Air Balloon.” The man pictured here is Onoe Kikugoro 五代目 尾上菊五郎, one of the three most celebrated of the Meiji period. He is performing the role of Percival G. Spencer パーシヴァル・スペンサー (1864-1913), an Englishman who wowed crowds in Tokyo’s Ueno Park by parachuting out of a hot air balloon. See: Ad Balloons on the Ginza: Float, Young Advertisers! (1890-1989)

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