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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Circus Circus

We went to the circus this weekend in Himeji, my husband's hometown. My brother-in-law told me that Kinoshita Circus was one of the world's three greatest circuses, the other two being Ringling Bros./Barnum & Bailey (they are teamed up now) and the Bolshoi Circus. I found this rather incredible, but decided to wait and see.

The circus was under an actual big top, a tent, in the middle of a park. Or a parking lot on the edge of a park. I felt like I was in Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, or something similar from the Depression era. There were fewer seats than in my high school gymasium bleachers. Which you think might have reflected badly compared to my last experience at the circus, in the Honda Center in Anaheim, a place that seats 8400 or something like that. But actually, it was amazing: I could see everything. I mean everything:

Both clowns.
All three motorcycle riders who rode inside the "Wheel of Death" ball (got to admit Ringling Brother's 8 riders in the ball at once was a magnitude more impressive).
All 7 trapeze artists (could see them well enough to have opinions about their makeup).
Both elephants.
The lion trainer and his 8 lions.
The solo tightrope walker, who actually walked on a bamboo beam suspended from ropes, swinging back and forth as she walked on it. She fell off once, into her spotter's arms, but she jumped right back up, in her long-sleeved kimono, and kept on balancing.

Well, I saw all of it. It was small. But it was charming. I loved it. As did my kids and their cousins.

Was it one of the three great circuses in the world? While I'm not sure about that, it's one of the three greatest circuses in my life. And among the one-ring circuses I've been to...well, it's the only one-ring circus I've actually gone it was the best.

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