The Art of Rolling Objects on a Parasol


The skill of spinning and balancing objects on a spinning parasol is one of the most famous forms of Edo Daikagura, the traditional form of Japanese juggling that dates to the 1600s. The traditional types of objects spun on parasols include silken balls, small rings, coins, tea cups, and wooden boxes. In Japanese, the skill, which is translated into English as “umbrella turning”, is written as  傘回し.

Regarding the origins of this form of juggling, Japanese juggler Gintaro wrote the following account. “One day, while passing under the walls of a castle, a small audience collected on the top of the wall and playfully dropped some tangerines onto the comedian of the company of strolling jugglers. (No such company is complete without a comedian.) The next day the comedian was treated in the same manner, and so he put up a paper umbrella to shield himself. The shower of tangerines broke through the umbrella. Then the leading juggler of the company saw his opportunity. He took the umbrella, twisted it quickly, and, by making it revolve, caused the tangerines to fly off it. While he was doing  this he was helped by a lucky accident. One of the tangerines rolled round the umbrella once before dropping on the ground. The juggler picked up the tangerine and caught it once more on his revolving umbrella, and thus the feat I have described was invented. The hardest feat of all with the umbrella is done with a Japanese coin which is lighter than an English farthing.”

Let’s take a look at some videos of this art form in action.

Mio Yadori is a well-known expert at parasol spinning today.

Bri Crabtree has created a short tutorial on this skill, which you can see below.

Egyptian Juggler 1879

Early Publications

This skill was included in some early juggling publications, such as New Juggling Tricks by Professor Ellis Stanyon, which was published in 1901. Below is the text and illustration from this booklet.

Ring and Sunshade. – The properties required for this effective juggling act are a common paper (Japanese) sunshade, length of rib 16 in., and an ordinary brass curtain ring 4 in. in diameter. The sunshade should be selected strong, to open easily and when open to full extent must be nearly flat on the top and quite firm. For juggling purposes the handle must be cut off so that it is but 6 in. longer than the ribs. Having obtained a brass curtain ring of the required size, and having removed the eyelet rivetted into it for domestic purposes, you are ready to commence practise.

Hold the handle of the shade at “X” (See Fig. 5) in the left hand, and give it a turn to the left, continue to do this keeping the shade spinning. The ring, held in the right hand at the tips of the fingers, is now thrown in the air a twist being imparted to it causing it to turn to the right on its own axis; it is caught on the shade where it continues to spin, its motion being accelerated or retarded according to the movement of the shade in the opposite direction. The ring does not run round the shade, but continues to spin rapidly in or near the position indicated in the Fig.

Once the ring is in motion both hands may be utilized for keeping it balanced and for causing it to spin with increasing rapidity.

You will not accomplish all this at the first or even at the second attempt; the ring has a beautiful knack of running in a straight line right off the shade. But do not be discouraged, and never continue practice after the muscles have become the least bit tired; put your properties away and try again the following morning; you will probably be surprised to find you can accomplish what you desire.

At the outset you need not attempt to throw the ring on the shade, simply place it on and give it a start with the right hand.

First of all practice the following movements with a tennis ball. Keep the ball spinning as explained for the ring. Bounce the ball on the floor, and catch it on the sunshade causing it to be kept spinning. Toss the ball (still spinning) into the air, and quickly turn over the sunshade; the ball falls and is kept spinning on the inside of the sunshade – reverse this movement. With the ball spinning rapidly close the sunshade half way, spin the ball on the shade in this position, open the shade again without displacing the ball.

It is second nature to me to execute the whole of the above mentioned movements with a 4 in. brass ring, a tea plate, or a half-a-crown; the movements are much easier with a ball, and that is why I recommend the ball for practice.

I am also able to cause the ring to stop and lay down on the shade, then to “Kick” it up with a jerk when it will continue to spin.

A small china tea plate (I use an aluminum plate for lightness and other reasons) may also be used with good effect; also a half-a-crown, but a five shilling piece on account of its size will be less difficult to manipulate.

When catching heavy articles on the paper sunshade do not forget to break the fall, or the shade will be injured. What I want to teach you to do in this respect, you frequently do almost unconsciously (not quite at times) on the cricket field, I refer to catching the ball.


The Art of Juggling by William DeLisle was published in 1910 and included parasol spinning, as you can see below.

Gimmicked Versions

When many western jugglers of the early 1900s saw Japanese jugglers doing the parasol and ball, they decided to imitate the trick using trickery. They attached a ball to the top of the parasol with fishing line or string. Some passed the trick off as genuine while others revealed the illusion at the end for the sake of comedy.

The 1910 book The Modern Manipulator by Carl Martell included the gimmicked version, as you can read below.

The book Ventriloquism and Juggling by Harold C. King and John E. T. Clark, which was released in 1921, shows the following image of the gimmicked trick.

At least one well-known juggler of the 1940s, Ben Beri, performed the gimmicked version, revealing the string at the end.


Roger Montandon’s Jugglers’ Bulletin featured the following novelty ideas that can be done with parasol spinning in the 1940s.

I believe there is much room for trick creation with parasol spinning. Below are a few tricks I came up with using a parasol.


傘を回転させ、その上でものを回してバランスをとる芸は、1600 年代から続く日本の伝統的な曲芸「江戸太神楽」の中でも特に有名な芸の一つである。傘の上で回すものについては、絹のボール、小さな輪っか、コイン、茶碗、升などがおなじみである。



宿里美緒(Mio Yadori)は今日の傘回し界でよく知られた達人である。

ブリー・クラブツリー(Bri Crabtree)は、以下の動画で短めのチュートリアルを行なっている。

エジプトのジャグラー 1879 年


この技は、1901 年に出版されたエリス・スタニヨン(Ellis Stanyon)教授の『New Juggling Tricks(新しいジャグリングの技)』など、ジャグリング関係の、初期の古い出版物に収録されている。以下はこの冊子より抜粋した文章とイラストである。

輪っかと傘 – この印象的なジャグリングに必要なものは、一般的な紙製の和傘で、骨の長さは 16 インチ(訳者註: =40.64cm)、そしてもう一つは直径 4 インチ(訳者註: =10.16cm)の真鍮でできたカーテンを留める輪っかである。傘は丈夫で簡単に開くもの、かつ完全に開いたときに上部がほぼ平らでしっかりしたものを選ぶ必要がある。このジャグリングを行うには、柄は骨より 6 インチ(訳者註: =15.24cm)ほど長くなるように切り落とさなければならない。必要な大きさのカーテン用の輪っかを入手し、リベット留めされたアイレットを取り外したら、練習を始められる。

左手で傘のハンドルを X(図 5 参照)の位置で持ち、左に一回転させ、そのまま傘を回転させ続ける。右手の指先に持った輪っかを空中に放り投げる時に回転を加え、穴を中心に右に回転するようにする。輪っかは傘に載りそのまま回転し続け、傘が反対方向へ動くことによって、その動きが加速したり減速したりする。輪っかは傘の周りを回るのではなく、図に示された位置、またはその付近で高速回転を続ける。





以上の動作を 4 インチの真鍮の輪っか、ティープレート、半クラウン硬貨で行うのは筆者にとっては簡単だが、ボールを使った方がはるかに容易なので、練習にはまずはボールを勧めている。


小さな陶器のティープレート(筆者は軽さなどの理由からアルミを使う)もインパクトがある。半クラウン硬貨でもよいが、大きさを考えると 5 シリング硬貨の方が操作しやすいだろう。



ウィリアム・デリスル(William DeLisle)著『The Art of Juggling(アート・オブ・ジャグリング)』は 1910 年に出版されたものだが、下図でわかるように、傘回しが言及されている。


1900 年代初頭に西洋のジャグラーの多くは、日本のジャグラーが傘とボールを使っているのを見て、それを仕掛けを使って真似をすることにした。釣り糸などを用いて、傘の頂点にボールを取り付けたのだ。錯覚させたまま終わる場合もあれば、笑いを取るために最後に種明かしをする場合もあった。

1910 年に出版されたカール・マーテル(Carl Martell)著『The Modern Manipulator(モダン・マニピュレーター)』には、以下のように仕掛け付きの傘について記述されている。

(上記画像引用文訳: 傘とボール – 和傘とボールがまず見せられる。次に傘が開かれ、傘の上のきわにボールが置かれる。指で柄の部分を回すことで、ボールは傘の上の同じ地点で素早く回転し始める。この芸は、熟練の技術を必要とするような印象を与えるが、次にされる説明をよく考えると、これがまやかしであることがわかる。3 インチの中が空洞になったゴムボールには黒い糸が仕込まれていて、その先端が傘の上端に結びついている。紐の長さは、開いた傘の端から 1 インチあたりにボールが固定されるように調整されている。演技の前と後で傘を閉じている間にボールを見せるときは、紐づいていないかのように見せられる。)

1921 年に発売されたハロルド・C・キング(Harold C. King)とジョン・E・T・クラーク(John E. T. Clark)の本『Ventriloquism and Juggling(腹話術とジャグリング)』には、以下のような仕掛け付きの技について、絵が掲載されている。

1940 年代の有名なジャグラー、ベン・ベーリ(Ben Beri)は、最後に紐があることを明かすギミック付きバージョンを演じている。


ロジャー・モンタンドン(Roger Montandon)の『Jugglers’ Bulletin(ジャグラー会報)』では、1940年代に傘回しの斬新なアイデアを紹介している。


和訳: 青木 直哉(AOKI Naoya)

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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