About Me

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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Santa doing magic ・ サンタがマジックをやっている


In Japan, people do not really celebrate Christmas. It is however a day when traditionally couples go to some fancy restaurant, or at least you have to go on a date. I was in our magic bar the whole evening (actually every day from December 22 to 25; 23rd is a holiday (the emperor's birthday) and 25th we were open despite it being a Sunday just because quite a few couples wanted to come) but I do not have anyone to date anyway, so that was OK.

日本でクリスマスは特に何もやらないよね。デートに行く習慣はちょっとあるみたいだけど。僕はマジックバーで、木・金・土・日曜日に毎日出ていた(普段日曜日やっていないがクリスマスだからカップル来るかなと思われて、やっていた)。デートしてくれる相手がいないので、出勤でも問題なかったね、笑。

The other two magicians both did their magic dressed as Santas. No pockets meant it was difficult to bring your stuff with you to the tables etc., and the suits were very hot.

We also had another couple where the guy proposed to his girlfriend in our magic bar. This time too, the girl said yes. A very cute couple.

他のマジシャン2人がサンタのコスプレでマジックをやっていた。ポケットがなくて、ものをテーブルに持っていくのが面倒だったそうだし、暑かったらしいし、僕は普通の服で良かった。

又マジックバーでプロポーズがあったんだ。今回もうまく行った。可愛いカップルだった。

Monday, December 19, 2011

The English native speaker "Dr Hato" ・ 英語のネイティブのドクター鳩

On Sunday I did a volunteer magic show for over 100 kids (and over 40 grownups). The English conversation school ECC had a Christmas party at the Toyohira Kumin Center. There is a huge stage there that was quite nice to use.

日曜日にボランティアー活動として、100人以上(と大人40人以上)にステージマジックのショーをしてあげた。ECCという英会話スクールのクリスマスパーティーだった。豊平区民センターで、いい感じの大きなステージがあった。


I showed up early to the party (my show was the final point in the programme) and played with the kids for two hours before doing the magic show. I was introduced as a native speaker of English (which was a surprise to me, haha) and as "Dr Hato". That is my user ID and mail address for many of my digital accounts, since I am a doctor (Ph.D. in computer science) and since Jonas comes from the Hebrew word for dove (as in the symbol of peace) and that would be "hato" in Japanese. It is not really a name I use when talking to people though, but they asked if they could introduce me like that and I said fine.

僕のショーがプログラムの最後だったが早い時間から参加して、2時間くらい子供と遊んでいた。最初にスタッフの人と一緒に皆の前で紹介された。紹介は「英語のネイティブのドクター鳩」って。僕が英語のネイティブ?初耳、笑。ドクター鳩って、よくメールアドやユーザーIDをドクター鳩にしているんだ。ドクターなんだよね。博士号ということのドクターね。僕の名前、Jonas、がもともとヘブライ語で平和の象徴の「鳩」という意味の言葉だったそうだから、Jonasって漢字で書けば「鳩」になる。人と話す時には「ドクター鳩」って使わないが担当者に「ドクター鳩で紹介しても大丈夫ですか?」と聞かれたので、「いいですよ」と言った。

I did a 15 minute show for the kids and despite the angles being quite severe (people where mainly in front, but there were people behind, and to both sides as well, and some were looking more or less from underneath...) everything went well. The kids seemed very happy.


15分のマジックショーをした。角度が結構大変だった。真横(左も右も)・後ろ・真下から見ている人もいた…それでもうまく行ったけど。子供たちが喜んでくれた。

After the show, a girl of about five years came up to me and scolded me though. She said, "So you can speak Japanese! If you can speak Japanese, why didn't you talk to me in Japanese from the start?!"... :-) Well, I had been asked to speak English to all the kids since it was an English conversation practice thingy that held the party. Doing magic in English is difficult for me since I am not used to it, and impossible for the kids to follow along with anyway, so the magic show I did all in Japanese. The girl thought that for communication purposes it would be better to chose a language where we both are fluent enough to understand each other :-)

ショーの後、5歳くらいの女の子が僕に来て、僕がその子に叱られた、笑。「日本語話せるか?何で前から日本語で話してなかった!?」って、笑。パーティー中、英語で子供と話して下さいと言われたので、ずっと英語で話していた。マジックを英語でやるのが僕にとってもちょっと大変だ(慣れていないから)し、子供が付いて行けないし、マジックショーは日本語でやった。その女の子が、遊びでも一番コミュニケーションのやり取りがスムーズになる言語を使えばいいと思っていた。基本的にそうだよね、笑。

The end of an era ・ 手品卒業

Me in the cold winter Sapporo.
After our big stage magic show with the university magic club, there was a lot of clean up to do, but after that there was also a party. Every year, you have to make a promise ("I will not spill a single drop of juice from the glass of juice that I am going to make disappear") and if you cannot fulfil that promise you have to do something unpleasant ("I will eat the spiciest food they serve at the spiciest Indian restaurant in town").

大学のサークルの大きなステージショーの後、片付けとか色々あったが後で打ち上げもあった。毎年、罰ゲームみたいに、自分で決めたこと(「消すグラスからジュース1滴も溢さない」)が出来なかったら、自分で決めた罰あたる(「札幌の一番辛いカレー屋で一番辛いものを食べる」)の習慣があった。今年はなかったみたいが僕が自分で自分のパフォーマンスがちょっと足りなかったなぁと思って、去年の罰のようにした(去年うまく行ったので、やらなかった)。基本的に、三年目の人(僕が三年目なんだ)が「1位になる」の約束にしないと行けない習慣だったらしい(ってことは、だいたい三年生皆罰だったね)し。

This year it seemed this tradition had been removed, but I though my performance did not really live up to expectations so I decided to punish myself with my chosen punishment from last year (when everything went fine and I did not have to do anything). Traditionally, all the last year magicians (this is my last year) have to promise that they will be the number one performer of the year (which of course means most last year magicians cannot fulfil their promise...) So I spent the party (well, parties) and time between the parties wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Since Sapporo is fairly cold this time of year (minus 5 degrees Celsius on the night in question) I also put on a muffler.

僕の罰は、打ち上げは短パン・半袖で行くってことだったから、まあまあ寒いすすきのにその感じで行った。マイナス5℃だったらしい。ちょっと寒かったので、マフラーもして行った。

The place where I spent two hours in shorts and a t-shirt (notice other people wearing jackets and coats since there are no walls, only plastic film...)
When we were waiting at the subway station (I got there by walking, but everyone was to gather at the subway station) for some people who were late, one of the other guys asked me: "What is up with your clothing?!". At the same time, he adjusted his own muffler, which I took as a sign that he wondered why I had a muffler. I answered: "I thought it was is a bit cold today, so I put on a muffler". Another guy standing next to us thought that was hysterically funny, so when other people came up and asked things like "What the hell is wrong with Jonas?" he would jump in and say "Ah, Jonas thinks it is cold outside today so he put on a muffler". One of the few times irony has been appreciated in Japan :-)

地下鉄駅集合だった。僕が歩いて行ったが遅れた人を待っていた時に皆で地下鉄駅で待っていた。その時に、先輩に「今日の格好、どうした?!」って聞かれた。聞きながら、自分のマフラーを触っていたので、「何でマフラーしている?」という意味の質問のように受け取った。「外がちょっと寒いので、マフラーしてきたよ」と言った。隣にいた(別の)先輩、大うけ。後で他の人も何人か似たような質問した。その先輩がだいたい「あ、ヨーナスは寒いと思っているから、マフラーしてきたって」と言い出した。珍しくて、日本で皮肉が伝わった、笑。

I chose a seat next to the gas burner.
Speaking of irony, it turned out that unlike last year when we were in a very hot restaurant, this year our party took place on top of the Norubesa building. On top, and not inside. There were plastic film making something like walls so it was at least no windy, but it was cold. The other people in general kept their coats and jackets on... This came as quite a(n unpleasant) surprise to me :-) I found a chair close to the gas burner keeping the staff vaguely warm, and sat there.

1次会の店に着いたら、ちょっとしたショックになったけど。去年、暖かい居酒屋でやっていたのに、今年は札幌にあるノルベサという建物の上でやっていた。建物の中ではなく、建物の上。壁みたいにプラスチックのフィルムが張ってあったので、風が通らないことにはなっていたが寒かった。他の人がだいたいコートやジャケットのまんまで食べていた。僕がストーブの一番近い椅子に座った、笑。

Flowers and a present.
In the magic club of our university you graduate after three years. This was my third year, so I was one of the people getting kicked out. At this final big party, we were all given flowers and a small present. The present turned out to be a small towel that when rolled up in a nice way looks like a piece of strawberry cake.

北大の奇術研究会では、三年間で卒業になる。僕が今年で三年目だったので、他の三年目の人と一緒、打ち上げでプレゼントやお花を貰った。プレゼントは巻いたらショーとケーキに見えるタオルだった。来年4月からもうマジックのサークルのメンバーではなくなる。

The 40th Magic Festival ・ 2011年12月17日「第40回Magic Festival」

The magicians that were on stage this year.
On December 17, the magic club of the university (which I am a member of) had its yearly big stage magic show. This year it was the 40th time for this event, which is called the "Magic Festival". We rented the Sapporo Kyouiku Bunka Kaikan, which has a nice stage, with lighting, sound, curtains etc.

2011年12月17日に北大奇術研究会(僕が入っている部活のマジッククラブ)の大きなステージマジックショーがあった。今年第40回目の「Magic Festival」だった。札幌の教育文化会館を借りて、ちゃんとしたステージでやった。

This is what pictures from my camera look like now...
Sadly, my camera decided that this was a good day to die, so I could take approximately 0 pictures back stage... It made a short recovery for two minutes, so I did get a few pictures of things I was not that interested in, but now I am using my super old camera until I have time to go buy a new one. Other people took pictures, though, so I will try to get their pictures later. And the whole thing was recorded with video cameras too, so I will put up a movie of my performance when those guys get finished with processing the videos.

残念ながら、僕のカメラがちょうど17日の朝に死んだ。裏で面白い写真撮りたかったが出来なかった。一瞬、カメラがちょっと復活したがその時に撮りたいことが特に何もなかった。カメラが又すぐ駄目になった。ステージショーが終わってから、家に置いてあった6年前に買ったカメラを取りに行ったが新しいカメラを買いに行かなきゃ。他の人が結構写真撮ったので、後で写真貰おう。勿論、ステージショー全部動画も撮ってあるから、動画関係の人の処理が終わったら、ユーチューブに僕のパフォーマンスの動画をアップする。

Magicians waiting back stage, when my camera was still working.
The show started at 13:00 and went on for two hours with a short 10 minutes break. We had been working since 8:30 with preparations, though, and I had to do some stuff for my own performance too so I had been up since 6:30.

13時開演で、2時間くらい(10分の休憩を含めて)のステージショーだった。我々が8時半からずっと色々な準備していたけど。僕が自分のパフォーマンスの為の色々な準備もあって、家で6時半から色々やっていた。

This year, the whole hall was sold out, so it was packed with people. I am told. When I was on stage, I had a very strong spotlight on me and no light on the audience, so I could not see anything at all.

今年満席になった。と言われた。僕のパフォーマンスの時に客席が真っ暗で、僕に強いスポットがあったので、何も見えなかった。

Me producing lots of balls from a flower pot.
My performance went so-so. Several things could have been performed better, but the audience seemed happy enough. Every year there is a questionnaire where the audience members can vote on which performance they liked best. Last year the juggling group were number 1, the MCs where number 2, and I was number 3. This year I only made it to number 5 (of 18), but that is not bad I guess.

僕のパフォーマンスがまあまあになった。大失敗はなかったが自分で見たら、色々なところでもうちょっとうまく行けば良かったなぁと思う。毎年、アンケートもある。観客が誰のパフォーマンスが一番良かったかを書くんだ。去年、一位はジャッグリング組で、2位は司会で、3位が僕だった。今年は18演目の中の5位しかなれなかったがそれでも悪くないかもしれない。

And some more balls.
I performed a routine from Tom Stone's book "Vortex". I like it a lot myself, though there is quite a lot of work for me to do before the performance even starts. People who came up to me later during the night said they liked it too but thought it was too short. They wanted to see more (this year everyone had been told to make their performances short, since there are too many active members, but not so many other people actually did...).

僕がTom Stoneの「Vortex」という本に載っているネタをやった。自分で見た時に大好きなネタだ。準備が結構大変だけど。ショーの後で話してくれた人がだいたい面白いと言ってくれたが「短かったね!」とか「早く終わっちゃったね」と言われた。もっと見たかったそうだ。今年演者が多すぎて、皆自分のパフォーマンスを短くして下さいと言われたからだったけど(他の人があまりしていなかったみたい、笑)。

Apart from me, there were about 30 other magicians that performed all kinds of magic. There were illusions; flowers, CD:s, balls, parasolls, etc. being produced; juggling; rope tricks, and much more.

僕の他に、30人くらいのマジシャンも色々なパフォーマンスした。イリュージョン・花やCDや玉や傘の出現・ロープのマジック・色々あった。

I will be back with more pictures and a movie clip when I get my hands on them.

写真や動画が手に入ると又ブログに書くね。

Friday, December 16, 2011

A girl from Hong Kong ・ 香港からの女の子

Yesterday it was Thursday, so not a day that I would normally be doing magic in our magic bar. It so happened that one of the other magicians were away doing magic in a restaurant and I helped out while he was away. With excellent timing, the bondswoman for my apartment called me and asked if I was working. I said that I did indeed happen to be working. So she came to our magic bar together with a friend from Hong Kong. They went to college together in the U.S.

昨日、木曜日だったので、僕が普段マジックバーに出ていない日だったがもう一人のマジシャンが営業でレストランに行ってマジックをやっていたので、バーに人が少なかった。僕も早い時間に手伝いにマジックバーに行った。良いタイミングで、僕のアパートの保証人から電話掛かってきて、「今日出ている?」って。たまたまそういうことになっているねと答えて、結局保証人様が香港人の女の子とバーに来てくれた。2人が同時にアメリカの大学に行っていたそうだ。

So I ended up doing magic in English for them. I rarely do magic in English so it is a bit awkward. My English is much better than my Japanese, but since I always speak Japanese during magic, I do not know what to say when speaking English or even Swedish...

久しぶりに英語でマジックをやることになった。めったに英語でマジックしないので、結構違和感がある。日本語より英語の方が話せるがマジックをやる時にいつも日本語で喋っているから、英語やスウェーデン語でやろうとすると、何言えばいいか分からなくなる。


Later, two other friends showed up (separately) and I had a great time. One of them took a strange picture of me.

もうちょっと遅い時間に他の友達2人も(別々で)来た。楽しい夜になった。1人が上のおかしい写真を撮った。

Another fun part was when another magician picked up a deck of cards and claimed that he could just by touch take a stack of cards with exactly the number of cards anyone else specified, as long as the number was around 10 cards or so. And indeed he can. I said I can do that with any number of cards, perfect every time. And I did do it about 7 or 8 times. My magician colleague kept saying "kitanai!" the whole time though, haha. That is Japanese for "dirty", here in the sense that your personality is dirty. He thought I was cheating.

他に面白かったのは、マジシャン友達1人が「トランプからお客さんが言う枚数を感覚だてですぐ取れる」と言った。10枚くらいだったら、本当に出来るんだ。僕が「僕も出来る」と言った。何枚でも。7~8回くらいやった。勿論毎回パーフェクト。マジシャン友達がずっと「汚い!」と言っていたけど、笑。感覚でやっていないと思われたね。心の汚い外国人ですみません。

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Funny magic clip: David Williamson

I like David Williamson. He has a kind of bizarre humor that fits me very well. Here is a clip with him doing a card trick together with a Swedish woman. He also manages to be rude to all things Swedish :-)

David Williamsonというマジシャンが大好きだ。いかれたユーモアで、僕の好きな喋りなんだ。この動画ではスウェーデン人の女の人とカードマジックをやっている。スウェーデン人に関しての色々な失礼なことも言っちゃうし、笑。

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

An American called Ben? ・ ベンというアメリカ人?

I have managed to book plane tickets to go to Saitama (near Tokyo) for New Years. My brother is coming to Saitama with his girlfriend. I got an e-mail saying that it would be good if I was still in Saitama on January 2, since then some of his girlfriend's friends are coming over and they want to see some magic. It also said, "By the way, she has told them that you are an American magician named Ben." It did not say why she would do such a thing...

お正月に埼玉行きのチケット取れた。弟が彼女と一緒に埼玉に来るんだ。メールで、「1月2日に(彼女の)友達が来るので、マジック見せて欲しい」って。そして、「ちなみに、ヨーナスがベンというアメリカ人のマジシャンだと(弟の彼女が)言った」って。何で彼女さんがそういうことを言ったか、書いていなかったけど…謎。

Recent stuff ・ 最近の出来事

Recently I am very busy with work, and somewhat busy with rehearsals for our Christmas show (December 17). Apart from the rehearsals, not so much is happening on the magic side so the blog is kind of at a standstill. I bought a new Tenyo "The Third Eye" as a backup for when the one that people keep dropping all the time stops working.


At the rehearsals last week, I managed to fail spectacularly both times. The first time I managed to pretend to put something in my right hand (that would later disappear) but forgot to close the right hand so it was pretty obvious that there was nothing there... At the next rehearsal, which took place at a real stage with curtains, lights, and everything, I managed to not notice that my bag with all the things I was going to use during the trick had disappeared into the table somewhere while the table was being carried out onto the stage, so things did not start out great. Reaching down with the left hand to retrieve something when no one was looking, I suddenly realized that there was nothing there to retrieve... I also managed to forget the order of things that I was supposed to do, and forgot to grab my final load at the appropriate time. All in all, two funny disasters.


In our magic bar, one guy proposed to his girlfriend with support by magic during the weekend. That was a first, I think. It went well.


最近忙しい。仕事でも、クリスマスの大きなステージマジックショー(12月17日)のリハーサルでも。リハーサル以外、最近マジックに関して特に何もないので、ブログが進まない。テンヨーのザ・サードアイをもう1個買った。お客さんに落とされるやつが壊れたら、すぐまたマジック出来るため。

先週のリハーサルで、2回リハーサルに行って、1回とも大失敗した、笑。最初の時に手にものを入れたふり(後で入れたものが消える)をしてから、手閉じていないことに気付いてちょっと恥ずかしかった。何も入っていないことが勿論バレバレだった。次の時にちゃんとしたステージでリハーサルがあった。音響・幕・何でも本番と同じ感じだった。僕が使うテーブルがステージに運ばれていた時にテーブルに付けてあった箱、パフォーマンス中に使う道具が入っている箱、テーブルの中のどこかに消えていたことに気付かなかった。演技中に、誰も見ていない時に箱から道具を取り出そうとしたら、あれ?ない!その後も手順を忘れて、最後のスチール忘れた、笑。うける…

週末にマジックバーで男の人が彼女にマジックでプロポーズした。マジックバーで初めてだったと思う。うまく行った。

Monday, November 28, 2011

A show I want to see ・ 見たいショー

When I was at Magic Bar Stockholm last week, they had fliers for this show. I linked to some clips with Brynolf & Ljung in a couple of previous blog posts, and I would love to see them live. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be touring Japan in the near future, and even when I am in Sweden I rarely have any free time...

先週スウェーデンに行っていた時に、マジックバーに行ったらこういうチラシが置いてあった。Brynolf & Ljungの動画が前にブログに載せた。生で見たいなぁ。残念ながら、日本に来なさそうだよね、笑。僕がスウェーデンに行く時にも暇な時間がほとんどないし。

Friday, November 18, 2011

Magic bar review: Magic Bar Joker ・ マジックバージョーカー

My friend U-san, the master, me, and the young magician.
In April 2011 I went to the magic bar "Joker" with a magician friend from Sapporo. We entered right at the opening time, and we were the only customers at that early hour. The bar is quite small, with mainly a small counter that we sat at. Joker is the most expensive magic bar I have been to so far, with 7000 yen for one hour (Half Moon, that I wrote about before (and coincidentally lies 23 seconds walk away from Joker), costs 8000 yen but for a longer show). It includes unlimited drinks, and more or less unlimited snacks like peanuts, chocolate, etc. The snacks included strawberries, and were quite impressive.

2011年の4月にマジックバージョーカーに札幌のマジシャン友達と一緒に行った。早い時間に入ったので、まだ他のお客さんがいなかった。店が結構狭くて、小さなカウンターがメインできれいだった。1時間7000円で今まで行ったマジックバーの中の一番高かった。(前のブログネタになったハーフムーンが8000円だが時間がもっと長い。)飲み放題とお菓子食べ放題付きだった。お菓子の中イチゴもあったからちょっと感動した。

Snacks included in the price (free refills!) and a fork that ended up looking weird.
First, a young magician did a fairly long performance for us. He was very good and also very funny. My friends 1000 yen bill ended up inside a green pepper fruit for instance. He also produced lots of strange things like rubber corn out of our armpits. The funniest thing was when he produced lots of things out of a coin purse that was just the metal frame (so it would seem to contain nothing), and a small very fancy looking bottle appeared. We marveled at this beautiful bottle, probably containing Champagne. He said: "Actually, it is a bottle of body soap which just looks like an expensive bottle of Champagne". Which was true. While we marveled at the genius of designing a bottle of shower gel to look like expensive Champagne, another bottle also appeared out of the purse frame without us noticing it. That first bottle was quite possibly the funniest thing I have seen produced by magic. 

最初に若いマジシャンが結構長いパフォーマンスをしてくれた。上手だったし、面白かったし。例えば、友達の1000円札がピーマンの中から出てきた。うちらの脇の下からトウモロコシとかを出したりしたし。一番面白かったのは、がま口というか口金だけからコインとかを出したりして、突然瓶も出てきた。お洒落なシャンパンの瓶に見えたが、「実はこれがボディーソープなんだよ」と言われた。よく見たら、そうだった!その瓶に感動した。感動しながら、口金から本当のシャンパンの瓶も出てきた。全く気付かなかった。マジックで現れたものの中で、あのボディーソープが多分今までの一番面白かったと思う。

Not only was the magician quite skilled (though he flashed from time to time during the coin magic), he was also very funny to talk to. He did lots of coin and card magic and bent a fork. I also liked a trick where a cut open card box (very 2D) turned into a 3D card box actually containing a full deck of cards. Probably very angle sensitive, but still funny. 

上手だった(たまにコインがフラッシュしたけど)だけではなく、喋りや見せ方も結構面白かった。コイン・カード・フォーク曲げがあった。切られた(2次元)トランプの箱が突然普通の箱(3次元)になって、トランプ52枚が出てきたネタも結構面白かった。角度厳しそうだな、笑。

Other things we received: an unopened PET-bottle with my signature, a card signed by my friend cut out from a lemon, the owners business card, a photo taken when we did not notice.
Then the master/owner of the bar also did a fairly long performance for us. He did an unbelievable number of tricks that could all be closing tricks in any magic bar. My friends 50 yen coin ended up in a glass bottle after being signed (switching a signed coin was impressive) despite being too large to insert; a crushed and empty can of Coca Cola was returned to unopened and full status by magic; a signed card ended up in an unopened PET-bottle, another signed card ended up inside a lemon; and more. He was good, though sometimes you could see for instance his break when doing the ambitious card with an omni-deck. The trick I liked most was when he showed a photo of a bunch of fruits, put the photo into a book/album, and when he reopened the book, lots of fruits fell out. Including a grapefruit that would be impossible to fit inside a closed book, to say the least, haha.

その後、店のマスターも長いパフォーマンスしてくれた。レベル高くて、〆にしてもいいネタを信じられないほど沢山やっちゃった。友達の50円にサインして、そのコインが物理的に無理なのに、グラスの瓶に入った(サインコインのスイッチ、初めて見たと思う、笑)。コーラの缶の復活。サインカードが新品のペットボトルに入った。別のサインカードが本物のレモンに入った。色々あった。上手だった(たまに、アンビシャスのオムニデックの時のブレーキが見えたりしたけど)。一番好きだったマジックは、果物が写っている写真を見せて、本(アルバム?)に入れて、本閉じて、本開くと本物の果物が沢山出てきた!グレープフルーツとか。本にどう考えても入らないものだった、笑。

We also received a photo taken of us when we were watching magic, that we did not notice when they took. All in all, we got to see a lot of high level magic, and a lot of it was not only high level but also very entertaining. While it was expensive, it was probably worth the money.

気付いていない時に撮られた写真とかも貰った。レベル高いマジックを沢山生で見ることになって、楽しかった。ちょっと高かったがその値段でもいいと思う。

My friends 1000 yen bill ended up inside a green pepper and thus smelling strange so he got a new one, which was folded like a shirt (also a word play joke in Japanese, were bill is "satsu" and shirt is "shatsu").
Summary:
Location: good, near Shinbashi and Ginza stations, where there are many magic bars (only a 23 second walk from the magic bar Half Moon, according to Google maps)
Type of magic: close up
Quality of magic: generally very high, lots of very high level magic done in a short time
Cost: 7000 yen (for 60 minutes)
Interior: small, but clean and nice
Staff: nice. Apart from the two magicians there was also a female bartender. Especially the young magician was nice and funny.
Overall impression: the most expensive magic bar so far, but a lot of high level magic. Maybe too many closing level strength effects done right after each other, which lessens the impact of the individual effects.

まとめ:
場所:いい、新橋や銀座の近く。他のマジックバーが回りに沢山あるところ(ハーフムーンが歩いて23秒だそうだ(Google Mapsによれば、細かいなぁ))
マジックの種類:クローズアップ
マジック:レベル高い。上手。
値段:1時間7000円
インテリア:狭いがきれい
スタッフ:マジシャン2人以外に女の人のバーテンもいた。皆優しかった。特に若いマジシャンが面白かった
全体的な印象:今まで一番値段高かったがレベル高いマジックを沢山やる。もしかしたら、レベル高いネタを出しすぎ、1個1個のネタのインパクトが弱くなっているかもしれない。

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Magic museum review: Musée de la Magie


Another very old magic prop, which inspired me to make my own modern one.
I went to Germany on a two week business trip in 2009. Since the people at the research institute I was visiting did not want to work during the weekend, I had two days off during my stay. I took the train to Paris and visited the famous sites (the Louvre, where more than half the visitors spoke Japanese; the Eiffel tower; the L'Arc de triomphe; Notre Dame; etc.). Fairly close to Notre Dame, there is a museum of magic called Musée de la Magie, Paris.

2009年の秋にドイツに出張で行った。2週間くらいだったが相手の研究所の人たちが週末に働かなかったので、週末に暇になった。電車に乗って、パリに行った。有名なとこり色々回った(ルーブル美術館・エッフェル塔・ノートルダムとか)。ノートルダムのまあまあ近くにマジック博物館もある:「Musée de la Magie, Paris

Old magic props.
The items in the museum collection is the private collection of a famous French magician, Robert Houdin. There are big props used for large illusion, small items used for close up, old posters for magic shows, a magic shop selling lots of magic props, a small stage where they do magic shows for you, and lots of optical illusions.

マジック博物館にあるものが全部フランスの有名なマジシャンの「Robert Houdin」のプライベートのコレクションだった。イリュージョンの大型のものもあるし、クローズアップ用の小さなものもあるし、昔のマジックショーのチラシもあるし、昔のプロマジシャンのものを見る機会になる。マジックショップも、ステージもある。ステージで短いマジックショーを見ることも入場券に含まれている。

A very old painting showing street magic.

The museum was much smaller than I had expected. It was basically two pretty small rooms with old magic props on display. Seeing the very old props used by professional magicians of years long gone was quite interesting though. There is also a magic show included in the entrance fee. A young French magician did a short salon magic show for me and about 20 other visitors. Most people were French, but since enough were not he spoke both French and English during the show. He did some nice rope magic, some card tricks, and a chop cup routine (if I remember correctly). He was pretty good.

博物館が思ったより狭かった。普通の部屋2つくらい。そこに昔のマジック道具を沢山置いてある。面白かった。マジックショーも観れる。若いフランス人のお兄さんがサロンのマジックショーをやってくれた。僕の時に見ている人が20人くらいいた。フランス人が多かったがフランス語が分からない人もまあまあいたので、フランス語でも英語でもマジックの説明してくれた。ロープ・カード・チョップカップを見せてくれた(と思う)。上手だった。


The stage used for the magic show.

There was also a magic shop selling books and magic props (modern ones). They had some interesting things, like gimmick coins looking like Euro coins.

他にマジックショップもあった。本やマジック道具を売っている(昔の道具ではなく、今の普通なもの)。ギミックコインのユーロ系の道具ちょっと気になった。


Optical trickery.

The museum also has a large collection of optical illusions and similar things, which I really enjoyed. There is also a large collection of old mechanical (wind-up) toys, that was pretty nice.

目の錯覚のものとかも沢山ある。面白かった。昔の動いているおもちゃとかも沢山ある。

The interior of the building is very nice. The walls and doors etc. are beautiful, and the display cases housing all the props are also nice. The stage for the magic show was small but nice. There were three levels of seats so everyone could see what was going on clearly without being blocked by people in front.

建物のデザインがきれいだった。壁やドアがきれいだったし、ディスプレーもそうだった。ステージも良かった。狭かったが三段の席があって、前に人がいても皆マジシャンちゃんと見れる。

Summary:
Place: kind of out of your way, so in a little inconvenient place. Nothing else of interest nearby, though I had an excellent lunch in a restaurant around the corner.
Price: very cheap
Size: very small
Magic show: a short salon magic show is included, and it was good
Overall impression: if you are in Paris and have time over, do visit. The famous things like the Eiffel tower or Louvre are better, though, so if you do not have time to see all, the magic museum should not be a high priority.

まとめ:
場所:ちょっと不便だ。他に何もないところ(すぐ近くの小さなレストランで美味しいランチ食べたけど)
値段:凄く安かった
広さ:狭い
マジックショー:サロンマジックのショーも含まれている。良かった。
全体的な印象:パリで時間があれば、行っても面白いと思う。有名なところ(ルーブル美術館とか)の方がまだいいけど。だから、時間があまりなければ、マジック博物館に行かなくても大丈夫だ。

Magic bar review: Te to Te to Te


Te to Te to Te 
The first time I ever went to a magic bar was in 2008. I spent one week in Asahikawa because of a conference I was presenting some research at. The last day of the conference everyone else left Asahikawa but I was staying to meet a friend who lives in Asahikawa the next day. I was all alone in the evening and just randomly walked around the entertainment district. I came upon a sign saying they showed magic inside, and decided to check it out.

人生初めてのマジックバーに行った時は2008年の夏だった。旭川に一週間泊まっていた。学会で発表をする予定だった。学会の最後の日に他の研究者が皆帰っちゃったが僕が次の日に旭川に住んでいた友達に会う予定があったので、一人ぼっちになった。旭川の面白そうなところで歩き回っていた時にマジックをやっていますよって書いてあった看板を見かけた。面白いかなと思って入ってみた。


The interior of Te to Te to Te

So on June 13 I had my first magic bar experience (though I had seen magic live once before at a lecture by the pro magician Tom Stone back at my university in Sweden), at the magic bar "Te to te to te" in Asahikawa.

6月13日にマジックバー初体験になった(スウェーデンで一回マジックを生で観たことがったけど。大学でプロマジシャンのTom Stoneが発表をした時に短いマジックショーもしてくれた)。「てとテと手」という店に入った。


The business card (used in magic) of the owner.

There was an older magician (the owner) doing magic and a younger magician in training who did not perform for me but talked to me and made drinks. There were no other customers at the time I was there but when I was leaving a group of people entered the bar.

年上のオーナーさんが沢山のマジックを見せてくれた。他に弟子っぽいお兄さんもいたが話したり、飲み物を作ったりしかしなかった。早い時間に入ったので、他のお客さんがまだいなかった。帰った時に団体が入ってきたけど。


Some light food I tried.

A non-alcohol cocktail on a playing card coaster.
Since it was quite a long time ago I went there, I have fairly foggy memories of what magic I was shown. There were of course quite a lot of card tricks, but there were also tricks with rubber bands, paper clips, business cards, and lots of joke props. They also had a lot of napkins folded into animal shapes etc. Including one made to look like Godzilla. The magic was good, but nothing that stands out compared to the top level magic bars in Tokyo or Osaka (or Sapporo, though I may be partial here :-) I had a very nice evening, and if I have nothing to do in Asahikawa some other time I may go again.

もう3年以上経っているから、何のマジックを観たか、そんなに詳しく覚えていない。カードのマジックが勿論色々あった。輪ゴムやクリップや名刺のマジックもあったし、ジョークネタの道具も色々あったし。他におしぼりで作られた動物も置いてあった。ゴジラもあった!マジックのレベルが良かったが今まで行ったレベル高い店(東京や大阪や札幌(自分で言っていいのかな?笑))の方がもっともっとレベル高い。楽しい夜すごせたから行って良かった。また旭川にいる時に予定のない夜があれば、また行ってもいいと思う。


Napkins folded like birds, rabbits, and Godzilla.

A napkin Godzilla!

Summary:
Location: Good, close to Asahikawa station.
Type of magic: close up
Quality of magic: OK
Cost: 4000 yen
Interior: nice, with a door that will not open in the normal way etc.
Staff: nice
Food & drinks: some light food available (drinks, the normal bar fare)
Overall impression: it was my first time in a magic bar, and I had a lot of fun. I have since been to places are much better, though. Nice if you are in Asahikawa, where there are not so many other places to go.

まとめ:
場所:いい(旭川駅の近く)
マジックの種類:クローズアップ
マジック:普通のレベルだった
値段:4000円
インテリア:きれいだし、面白いポイント(ドアが普通のやり方で開かないとか)
スタッフ:優しかった
食べ飲み物:軽い感じの食べ物もあった(飲み物は普通のバーのものだった)
全体的な印象:初めてのマジックバーで結構面白かった。その後は沢山のマジックバーに行ったことがあるからもっと面白いのもある。旭川に似たような店があまりないので、旭川にいるんだったら、行ってもいいと思う。

Magic bar review: Magic bar 12ji ・ マジックバー十二時

Me, Kiyono, and my friend U-san.
I have been to the magic bar 12ji ("12 o'clock") twice. It is located in Ginza, close to many other magic bars (Toto's bar, Half Moon, Joker, comes to mind) and stays open very late (5 A.M.) so you can go there after the other places have closed. They also have a very nice stage where they do stage magic. Even if you show up at 4 A.M. and no one else is there, they will do stage magic just for you.


十二時という店に2回行ったことがある銀座にあるので、回りに他のマジックバー沢山ある(例えば、ハーフムーン・都々’s Bar・ジョーカー)。5時までもやっているので、他の店に行ってからもまだ行ける。綺麗なステージもあって、何の時間でも本格的にステージマジックを見せてくれるんだ。午前4時に2人だけで入っても。


Me and the magician Mac
The first time I went there with a friend, we entered at around 3:30 or so, and no other customers were there at such a late hour on a Monday. Two magicians performed for us. Sasuga Ryu (a word play name in Japanese, it is a palindrome in writing) did mentalism on stage and Mac-san did close up magic for us at our table. They also hung around chatting with us, as did a girl who did not do any magic but was very funny when talking.

初めて行った時に友達と行って、3時半頃に入ったと思う。月曜日のそんな遅い時間に他のお客さんがいなかった。マジシャン2人がマジックを見せてくれた。流石流がステージでメンタルマジックを見せてくれた。マックという若いお兄さんがテーブルマジックを見せてくれた。他に面白い女の人もいた。マジックしなかったが喋りが面白かった。

A card with my signature ended up inside an unopened PET-bottle.
The second time, I went there with the same friend, and at about the same late hour on a Monday. Sasuga Ryu and Mac were both there again, and Sasuga Ryu performed more mentalism for us close-up, and a female magician Kiyono did a stage magic show for us. The funny girl who does not do magic was also there, and was still very funny.

2回目の時に同じ友達と行って、大体同じ時間に入ったと思う。流石流もマックも今回も店にいた。ステージで喜代野という女性マジシャンがステージマジックショーをやってくれた。喋りの面白い女の人もいた。まだマジックは見せてくれなかったが変な行為や喋りが面白かった。


Sasuga Ryu, my friend U-san, and me

The interior of the place is quite interesting, with several small rooms in more or less a maze (finding your way back from the toilet can be challenging). They have a large and very nice stage with a curtain and all, and lots of tables with sofas in front of the stage.

店のインテリアが結構面白い。小さな部屋いくつかがあって、迷路みたいになっている(トイレから帰る時にちょっと難しいくらい)。結構広い本格的なステージがあって、幕も付いている。ステージの前にソファーとテーブル沢山ある。

A fork bent into a "peace sign" (what in other parts of the world would be a V for victory, but in Japan it is V for peace)
The magic was OK but compared to the top level places in Tokyo it was not really on the same level. It was nice to see stage magic; including some jumbo card mentalism, water changing color when adding sand (and the sand becoming dry again when scooped out), fork bending etc. from Sasuga Ryu; and card manipulation, a three ring routine, and multiplying bottles from Kiyono. The close up magic included signed card to PET-bottle, packet tricks, finger manipulation, and all kinds of card magic.

マジックのレベルが大丈夫だったがトップレベルの東京のマジックバーと比べたら、ちょっと違うって感じだ。それでも面白いけど。ステージマジックを見せてくれるのがいい。例えば、ジャンボカードを使ったメンタルマジック・色が変わる水、水に入れた砂が一瞬で乾いて取れる・フォーク曲げを流石流に見せて貰った。喜代野さんが例えば、カードのマニピュレーソン・リング・増えるボトルとかを見せてくれた。クローズアップで、サインカードとペットボトル・色々なパケットトリック・指の技・カードマジック、色々あった。

Another PET-bottle and peace sign fork from our second visit.
12ji is part of a chain of magic bars, including 8ji, 10ji, and soon to open 11ji, all at various places in Tokyo. A magician I met in Sapporo had worked at 12ji and said he had been going around all the other places too, performing in all of them.

十二時はマジックバーのチェーンの1店舗なんだ。他に八時・十時・十一時(まだオープンしてないと思う)もある。全部東京にある。札幌で会ったマジシャンが前に十二時で働いていたそうだ。その時に他の姉妹店にも結構行っていたって。

Me and a funny girl who never does magic but does a lot of funny/weird things.
Summary:
Location: good (near Sinbashi station, and fairly close to Ginza station)
Type of magic: stage (salon) and close up
Quality of magic: OK.
Cost: 6000 yen
Interior: interesting, dark, European old magician's house style
Staff: very funny and nice
Bonus points: open until 5, when most other places have closed.
Overall impression: nice with a real stage, and impressive that they do stage magic shows for you at any time, even if you are the only two guests in the place.

まとめ:
場所:いい(新橋駅の近く、銀座もまあまあ近い)
マジックの種類:ステージ(サロン)も、クローズアップも
マジック:普通
値段:6000円
インテリア:面白い。暗くて、昔のヨーロッパのマジシャンの家みたい
スタッフ:面白い
特称:営業時間が5時まで
全体的な印象:本格的なステージがあっていい感じだ。いつでも、2人しかいない時も、ステージマジックショーもやってくれるのが凄い。

Magic bar "Pochi no mahou" ・ マジックバー「ポチの魔法」

A fork ended up very bent in a mysterious way.
On February 22 2011 I went to a magic bar in Roppongi (Tokyo) called "Pochi no mahou". It was a great magic bar, but sadly the have since closed the place. Here is their old web page: Pochi no mahou.

2011年2月22日に六本木にあった「ポチの魔法」という店に行った。凄く良かったが残念ながら店がその後閉店した。ポチの魔法の昔のウェブページがまだある。

When I arrived it was already quite late (I got there more or less with the last subway train). There were lots of people in the bar when I got there but all but three customers left right after I entered. When things calmed down I was asked to watch a magic performance together with the other three customers at the counter. 

着いた時にもう終電の時間だったので、人沢山入っていたが僕が入った時に皆帰り中だった。ちょっと落ち着いたら、僕と他の3人のお客さんしかいなかった。一緒にカウンターでマジックを見ることになった。

Katsuya Mizusawa, very good magician.
The magician performing for us was Katsuya Mizusawa, or Katchan as he asked us to call him. He was great. He did the best fork bending I have seen so far (and every place in Tokyo included fork bending so I have seen many magicians do it), and managed to bend a spectator's signed coin without me noticing. He is also excellent at cigarette magic. He managed to hide a burning cigarette in his mouth and have us check if we could see it (we could not) when inspecting his mouth up close, and he also drank some tea before producing the cigarette, still burning, from his mouth again. It was also the first time I saw someone swallow lots of needles and a string and then reproducing everything again live.

マジックを見せてくれたマジシャンは水沢克也(カッチャン)だった。凄かった。東京のマジックバーでは、どこに行ってもフォーク曲げ見せられたがカッチャンのフォーク曲げが今まで観たの中で一番凄い。お客さんのコイン(サイン付き)もいつの間にか曲がったし。曲がるんだろと思ったのに、気付かなかった。タバコのマジックも超うまい。燃えてるタバコを口に入れて、近距離で改めて(口にないっぽい)、お茶をちょっと飲んで、また燃えているタバコを出した。針を沢山のんで、糸をのんで、口が空だと見せて、また全部出すマジックを初めて生で見た。

Since everyone figured out I was a magician fairly quickly (anyone coming alone to a magic bar has a very very high chance of being a magician, especially so if they are a foreigner), I was asked to show something to the other customers after Katchan finished. I did an original trick of mine using hiragana (Japanese alphabet) practice cards, which went over very well. After they left I was told the woman in the company was actually a celebrity (so I should have taken a picture together with them!) which I as usual had no idea before being told. 

僕もマジシャンだってすぐばれた(1人で来る人なら、マジックをやっている可能性が凄く高いみたい。1人で来る外国人だったらもっと高い)ので、カッチャンのショーの後、僕も他の3人のお客さんに何か見せて下さいと言われた。自分で考えたひらがなトランプを使ったマジックを見せて、結構うけた。その3人が帰ってから、女の人が有名人だよと言われた。そういうのは全然知らないから自分分からなかった。一緒に写真撮れば良かった。

After all the "normal" people had left, Katchan talked to me for over an hour about all kinds of things and also showed some card magic (which he is very very good at but does not normally perform in the bar since every other bar has lots of card magic too). He was very kind, and very nice to talk to.

一般人が帰ってから、カッチャンと長く話せた。凄くいい人そうだ。カードマジックとかも色々見せてくれた。うまいが店でほとんどやらないと言った。他の店でカードマジックが多いので、自分であまりやらないって。会話も上手で、面白かった。

A 1000 yen bill very realistically painted on the floor.
The interior of the bar was fairly small, but nice enough. Especially the counter was very nice. The toilet was very interesting too. There was a 1000 yen bill painted on the floor in a very realistic way, so it looked like someone had dropped some money there. Trying to pick it up, you found out it was just a painting.

店のインテリアが割と狭かったがきれいだった。特にカウンターが良かった。トイレも面白かった。床にかなりリアルに1000円札が描いてあった。取ろうとしたら、あれ?本物ではない。

Summary:
Location: good (close to Roppongi station in Tokyo)
Type of magic: close up
Quality of magic: extremely good
Cost: 6000 yen
Interior: nice
Staff: very nice
Overall impression: possibly the most technically skilled magician I have seen so far, doing lots of magic I have not seen in other places. Would go again if the bar had not been closed...

まとも:
場所:良かった(六本木駅の近く)
マジックの書類:クローズアップ
マジック:凄くうまかった
値段:6000円
インテリア:きれい
スタッフ:優しかった
全体的な印象:今まで観たマジシャンの中の技法が一番上手な人だったかもしれない。オリジナルなネタも多かったし。店が閉店していなかったら、また行きたかった。

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Magic bar review: Magic Bar Surprise ・ マジックバーサプライズ

Ryuusei Kamiguchi and me
On the February 22, 2011, I went to Akasaka in Tokyo to visit Magic Bar Surprise. I got there pretty much at the time they opened, and there were not many customers there yet. It increased as the time grew later, though.

2011年2月22日に東京の赤坂にあるマジックバーサプライズという店に行った。早い時間に着いたので、入った時にお客さんがほとんどいなかった。遅くなったら、沢山入ったけど。

Alice and me
I was lucky and got to see many more magicians than normal. I had gone to Surprise for two reasons, they open early so no other magic bars are open, and they have many female magicians working there. This is not so common, so one of my Sapporo magician friends said that I had to go there and see if they are any good. They day I went there, two girls were scheduled as the normal performers, Sachi and Alice. Apart from them, the owner of the bar, Ryuusei Kamiguchi, was also there and when he heard that I was a magician coming all the way from Sapporo (and being non-Japanese, and able to speak Japanese) he also performed quite a lot of magic for me despite not actually being supposed to be there that day. Finally, there were two guest magicians in the bar that night, Taji -magic (appearing on TV in Japan quite a lot lately) and a woman slightly older than me with the stage name Wakaba. Everyone performed for me.

普通の日よりマジシャンが沢山いたので、タイミングでラッキーだった。サプライズに行く理由が2つあった。第1早い時間からやっているので、他のマジックバーがまだやっていない時にも行けるし。第2女性マジシャンが多い。女性マジシャンが割りと少ないので、札幌のマジシャンにサプライズに行って、女の子たちがちゃんとマジック出来るか、観て来てって言われた。当日、スケジュール通りのマジシャンは女性マジシャン2人、「さち」と「アリス」、だった。オーナーの上口龍生さんもたまたまバーに来ていて、札幌からのマジシャン(外国人だし、日本語も通じるし)が来たと聞いたら、マジックも結構長いパフォーマンスやってくれた。そして、ゲストマジシャン2人もいた。最近テレビでも見られているタジマジックと「若葉」という女性マジシャンもいた。5人、皆マジック見せてくれた。

Me and Sachi holding magic props.
The bar itself is very nice. They have a small counter, and very nice looking white sofas with low tables. At first I was sitting at a sofa table with some older Japanese man watching magic there, and was moved to the counter with some other customers later when the bar became full.

店が結構きれいだ。割と小さなカウンターがあって、きれいなソファー席も沢山あった。最初はソファーで座っていたが店が込んできた時にカウンターに移動された。

The magic was pretty nice. First Sachi showed me some magic, which was mostly fairly simple standard tricks but performed well. Alice also performed things that looked fairly simple, but quite a few tricks had original presentations that I had not seen before. Ryuusei showed some very impressive coin magic, produced lots of hamburgers, and in general performed mainly magic that I have never seen anyone else perform. Entertaining, too. Ms. Wakaba showed me a few tricks at the counter, and they were entertaining (though not very advanced). Finally, Taji-magic did a lot of mental magic like card tricks that were probably impossible or uninteresting for "normal" people to try to keep up with, just because he knew I was a magician. Some of it was quite impressive, but some was so complex in the setup that at the end you did not know if it was surprising that whatever happened or if that was what could be expected (you no longer had any idea what was going on). For normal people he does completely different magic I was told. All of his magic was highly original.

マジックが結構良かった。トップバッターのさちさんがスタンダード的なマジックを見せてくれたが見せ方がきれいだった。アリスちゃんも簡単そうなマジックを見せてくれたがストーリーがオリジナルで僕が聞いたことなかったのが多かった。上口さんが凄いコインマジックを見せてくれたし、ハンバーガーを沢山出したし、色々なマジックを見せてくれた。全部オリジナルな感じで、見たことないマジックだった。面白かったし。若葉さんもカウンターでちょっとマジックを見せてくれた。シンプルなネタだったが面白かった。最後にタジマジックさんが色々見せてくれた。メンタルネタが多かった。凄いのもあったがセッティングが複雑過ぎて、オチまで来たらそのオチが不思議か普通もそうなるか、もう分からないのも色々あった。僕もマジシャンだと知っていたからマジシャン相手の難しいマジックをやったそうだ。一般人には全然違うマジックをやるらしい。タジマジックさんのマジックも全部オリジナルだった。

Me and Taji-Magic
I was trying to be a "good" spectator but when I was asked to select a card from apparently 52 cards fanned in front of me for a mental effect, the cards where shoved up so close to my face that I could not see that the same 8 cards where repeated over and over again, but then again I could not distinguish hearts from diamonds in the fan (only a small part of the index was showing) and apparently "saw" a card that was not actually in the deck and spoiled the trick... Even though it was not on purpose and I don't think it was my fault I still felt a bit bad when I realized that I was thinking of a card that had not been in the deck.

いいお客さんにしようとしたがある時にカードを見て一枚覚えて下さいと言われた時に、カードのファンが目のすぐ近くになっていたから本当は同じ8枚が何回も繰り返してることがばれないようになっていたが近すぎて、ハートとダイヤの区別もつかなかったので、僕が観たカードが結局デックに入っていなかった(ダイヤの7とハートの7の見間違え)。申し訳ないことで、そのマジックがうまくいかなかったね…自分で「あ、見間違えたんだろ!」って気付いたら、恥ずかしかった。まぁ、僕のせいではなかったと思うがそれでも、デックに入っていないカードを選ぶって申し訳なかった。

I also got a promo DVD of Ryuusei Kamiguchi doing stage magic, and a cute looking business card with Alice on it
Anyway, the interior design was very nice, the price was fairly standard for Tokyo (6000 yen for free drinks, or 3000 yen table charge and buying a few drinks for one or two thousand yens total if you do not drink that much), the magicians were all very nice, and the magic was good. It was a nice experience. The place is a little out of the way compared to other magic bars in Tokyo (Shinjuku and Roppongi has a lot of other things to do, Ginza has a lot of magic bars), it is easy enough to get there by subway and there are shops/restaurants/bars nearby too.

店のインテリアーがきれいだった。値段が普通だった(飲み放題6000円、チャージ3000円に1000~2000円で何杯か飲むのも出来る)。マジシャンが皆優しかった。マジックも面白かったし、上手だったし。面白い夜だった。場所は他に行くことがないところだが地下鉄で行きやすい。レストラン・バー・服屋、周りに色々ある。

The three female magicians Alice, Wakaba, and Sachi
And how about the reason I was sent there, all the female magicians? Compared to the best magicians I have seen, they were not at all on the same level, but they were pretty good.

行く理由第2、女性マジシャン、結局どうだった?僕が観たトップレベルのマジシャンと比べたら、完全に女性マジシャンたちが負けるが、結構良かった。

Summary:
Location: fairly easy access, but not an area you would go otherwise
Type of magic: close up (though Ryuusei Kamiguchi and Alice also do a lot of stage magic, only not in the bar)
Quality of magic: ranging from OK to very good (especially Ryuusei Kamiguchi was good)
Cost: 5000~6000 yen
Interior: nice
Staff: nice
Special point: many female magicians
Overall impression: a nice experience

まとめ:
場所:行きやすいが他の時に行かないところだ
マジックの種類:クローズアップ(上口龍生さんやアリスちゃんがステージも結構やっているみたい)
マジック;良かった(特に上口さん)
値段:5000~6000円
スタッフ:優しい
インテリア:きれい
特別なポイント:女性マジシャンが多い
全体的な印象:良かった

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tenyo 2012, the third eye ・ テンヨー2012年、ザ・ザードアイ

Yet another update on the Tenyo 2012 item "The third eye". I have been using this a lot in our magic bar lately, and it is great. Sadly, people often drop the eye when you hand it to them to put between their eyes (or when they hand it to someone else). This has led my third eye to be very glitchy. I though it was broken first, but it started working again later.

またテンヨーの2012年の新作品のザ・ザードアイの話なんだが最近マジックバーでよく使っている。うけがいい!残念ながら、お客さんに渡してから、お客さんがよくあの目を落とすんだ。僕の目が光らなくなったから壊れたと思ったが自然に治った。接触が悪くなったと思う。

Anyway, apart from it having to be handed out to drunk people and the risk of them dropping it (breaking your expensive toy), it is highly recommended. It does not work that well with only one or two spectators, but the larger the group the greater the impact. You explain that anyone with this eye between their eyes can see where the selected card is, and when the first person to use the eye slightly suprisedly says "Yes, I can see it!" the other people get curious. They still cannot see anything out of the ordinary. You have one more person try it, and go "Ah, I see it!". People get even more excited, since they still cannot see anything. This keeps building, so the more people the better!

酔っ払いに落とされて壊れる恐れ以外はかなりのおすすめだ。お客さんが1~2人しかいない時にあまりうけないが人が多いと凄くうける。この目を自分の目の間に付けると選んだカードがどこにあるか、分かるよって説明して、最初のお客さんが「あ!分かる!」と言ったら、他の人がちょっとテンションあがる。自分にはまだ見えない。2人目も「分かる!」と言ったら、もっと「何?何?」ってテンションあがる。人が多ければ、どんどん盛り上がって行く!

I think I will go and buy myself one more of these wonderful toys, since the first one seems quite unreliable by now.

この素晴らしいザ・ザードアイも一個を買いに行こうかな?持っているのは信頼性がちょっと低くなった。

Magic birthday

Cake!
Yesterday there was a birthday dinner for all the people in our magic bar (staff, regulars, etc.) that had their birthday in October or November. We had lots of nice food, a cake, and presents!

昨日、うちのマジックバーの関係者の誕生日会があった。10月・11月生まれの人のお祝い。美味しいものいっぱい食べれた。プレゼントも貰ったし!

Five magicians (and at least two more that do magic from time to time) celebrating birthdays.
I got an umbrella that looks like a katana (samurai sword), and 103 decks of cards of the design I like best! Apparently my friends have scoured the whole city, calling every Daiso shop in Sapporo (and other cities like Obihiro) and reserved every deck of this type available. I also got a (long) list of all the Daiso they had checked. A great present, but a little heavy to lug home.

僕が刀の形の傘を貰った。そして、僕が一番よく使うトランプを103個貰った!友達が頑張って、札幌にあるダイソー30ヶ所以上電話したみたい。ひらがなトランプがあれば、全部買いに行った。帯広や他の街でも探したそうだ。凄いプレゼントだったが帰りはちょっと重かった、笑。

A samurai sword style umbrella.

103 decks of cards for me!