見世物小屋 (みせものごや ) - a showcase of rare and grotesque oddities
Originating as a form of art theatre before the Edo period (1603 – 1868), 見世物小屋 (freakshows) were a popular act included in travelling performance groups or circuses.
Freakshows lost popularity due to an increase in human rights and cultural shifts, particularly those featuring erotic acts or human cruelty were greatly shunned. In order to crack down on human trafficking and sexual misconduct, strict laws were introduced which narrowed the acts of remaining freakshows.
The invention of the television also led to a decrease in freakshows as families preferred to view freakshows from the safety of their home rather than at the location.
Despite the decline in popularity, freakshows spot Japan and such performance artists have a cult following online.
the following Youtube video is a present-day freakshow act of a woman devouring a live snake.
Viewers may find the footage disturbing.
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