The Tokyo Circus in Lower East Manhattan

Tokyo Circus in Union Square Station, Manhattan, New York City.

On my way home from class tonight, I passed through Union Square station, and I happened to hear some really funky music playing.  There was a crowd so I stopped to see what was going on and saw this wildly dressed group of Asian people dancing around and having a good time.  I won’t lie.  My first thought was, “WTF Asian people.  Ha ha ha!”  They’re obviously slightly off center from normal, but they were holding signs that say “Be Yourself” and “Your smile is beautiful”.  It’s an encouraging, positive message, and I felt it was worth a dollar in the hat they had sitting on the floor.

When I got home, I took a look at the photos I’d taken and noticed a web address on the sign the guy on the right was holding that led to a site that identifies them as “Tokyo Circus”.  It has an ad that says they performed at a local bar on the 26th.  I guess they’re still hanging around to raise funds.  Maybe their performance wasn’t as profitable as they’d hoped.  This sort of thing seems a little out there, even for NYC.

After looking at some of the … unusual… videos they have displayed on their site, like the ones below, it makes me wonder just what my dollar is going to support, but at least it’s entertaining!

6 thoughts on “The Tokyo Circus in Lower East Manhattan”

  1. Hi Bradley, I'm a blogger too and just ran across this site because I've been trying to follow Tokyo Circus lately. Loved the little videos you have here. My blog is about learning japanese as an adult and sometimes it's just about Japanese pop culture. if you're at all interested…Just wanted to thank you for posting this, I'll add these little oddities to my collection of Tokyo Circus. The funny thing is that the guy who is running naked and who is the reclining Pharaoh on the moving walkway is named Yoshi. He was on a podcast that teaches Japanese for a long time but not anymore. The pod cast still runs (he was in the beginners' season) and he is very shy, at least in English! Fun to see him all over the world now doing these crazy things! Live life free, right? Here's a fun video of them on youtube. Yoshi-san is behind the camera. The guy in front of camera is Nozomi Ninja (he calls himself that). They are on a mission to meet someone from every country and get them to say “We Are Friends” and then write “Your Smile Is Beautiful” on a sheet of paper in their language. This particular video is worth watching all the way through, (they were there doing just that at the same time you saw them) and it's a little long but great especially near the end. They are so funny, only because they are goofy and kind of shy about doing what they want to accomplish.Enjoy!


  2. The art history and anthropology classes seem really interesting so far, and they sort of tie in together. The American government and politics class is boring me to tears so far, but all I've done is sat in two lectures. Maybe the discussion groups will be better. Heading to my first World Humanities class in the morning. That's a literature course. I've got high hopes. I like literature.Thanks, by the way. Happy New Year to you as well.


  3. NYC is just so full of greatness. Congrats on classes and good luck with your semester! I have not commented in some time (so Happy New Year too?) but did see your class list – they all seem very interesting and fun.


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