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.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Magic show for kids at MACS

A few minutes before the show started, about half the kids had already sat down in front of my table.
Last year I did a 30 minute magic show at the English conversation school MACS, followed by about 30 minutes of teaching the kids two simple card tricks. I was asked to repeat it this year too, so I had to come up with 30 minutes of new material (which was a bit difficult). I have new material since last year, but most of my work is close up magic not suitable for showing to around 30 kids at once. And most of my material is aimed at people coming to our magic bar, which means some of it is not appropriate for kids...

去年、英会話スクールMACSで30分のマジックショーと30分の簡単なマジックを子供に教えるイベントをやった。今年も依頼が来た。30分の新しいネタを考えないと行けないことで、ちょっと大変だった、笑。新しいネタは色々あるが普段クローズアップをやっているので、皆に見せるネタがそんなにない。普段酔っ払いに見せているから、子供に見せられないネタも多いし…

There was even a sign on the toilet with information about my show.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun, and the kids seemed to enjoy it too. The only thing is that after the show, lots of kids (and some parents!) come up and start grabbing all my stuff. Some things can break easily, and are expensive to buy, so even if you did not care about giving the secrets of magic away, that would also be a huge concern. This time, one foldable box was kind of broken by one of the parents, despite having been put into one of my bags... I could fix it later with no problems, but still... Some of the secrets of the tricks were discovered by some kids since there were too many of them, and only one of me trying to stop them from grabbing at everything.

結局、楽しかった。子供たちも喜んでくれたみたい。ちょっとだけ嫌なことがあって、ショーの後、子供も(親も!)道具を触ってくるんだ。壊れやすいもので値段が高い道具色々あるから、タネ気にしなくても触って欲しくない(タネ知らない方がいいと思うし)。今回、折りたたみの箱が親にちょっと壊された。バッグに入れてあったのに!その後簡単に直せたからそんなに問題なかったが…色々なマジックのタネもばればれになった。子供が多すぎて、1人で同時に全部とめることが出来なかった、笑。

Since the show took place at an English conversation school, they had some English expressions related to magic on the notice board.
This is something that some of my other magician friends also have happen to them. No one seems to know why people find it OK to grab a magician's tools, while the same people would probably not pick up a guitar after a concert and start fiddling with it. I am still not sure exactly how to deal with this when it comes to some performance situations. When putting things on a table, people often grab at them (when standing behind the bar counter, I no longer have problems). When the audience is too close to my table at parlor magic, sometimes they come up and start touching stuff afterwards (when on a stage very separate from the audience area, this is never a problem). Maybe I can start putting up "Do not enter!" plastic tape around a small area around my performance area?

マジシャン友達の中で同じ経験の人が多い。何でマジシャンの道具を勝手に触っても大丈夫だと思われているか、誰も分からない。例えば、コンサートに行って、コンサートの後バンドのギターとかを勝手に触ってちょっとひいてみる人がいないよね?僕はまだどうすればいいか分からない時がある。クローズアップで、テーブルの上に置いたものがたまに触られる(カウンターでマジックをやると特にない)。お客さんと僕のパフォーマンスエリアが近いとショーの後で触って来る人が結構多い(ステージがお客さんのいるところとだいぶ違う雰囲気があれば、特に問題ないけど)。次回、「立入禁止」のテープを持って行って、ステージエリアの周りに付けてみようかな?(笑)

The kids also got popcorn at the event, so there was some cleaning of the floors necessary afterwards. They used a very old Swedish vacuum cleaner.
Anyway, I don't minds so much with kids, as long as they do not break anything (and that rarely happens). From grownups, I would expect more common sense, though. And to be fair, most grownups manage to restrain themselves and do not touch my stuff without asking.


まぁ、子供なら大した構わないけど。道具を壊さなかったら。大人なら、もうちょっと常識というか空気を読んで欲しいけどね。ちゃんとした人間で、勝手に触らない大人が多いけどね。

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tokyo magic bar trip

Tokyo

On Monday I went to Tokyo with a friend. The goal was to visit some magic bars and to shop for funny things at the new Tokyo Sky Tree.

月曜日に東京に行ってきた。友達とマジックバーに行くためと東京スカイツリーで面白いものを探すために行った。

First we went to Harajuku to look for some funny t-shirts for me. I wanted a few more of the t-shirt with a salmon eating salmon sushi that I use for magic tricks. It turned out that the whole shop was gone, and no one else sold such t-shirts... which was a big shock and disappointment. I bought a t-shirt with bears eating bear paws, and two t-shirts with funny writings in Japanese instead.

最初原宿に行って、サーモン寿司を食べているサーモンのティシャツを探していた。僕がそういうティシャツをマジックに使っているので、後2~3枚くらい欲しい。だけど、前に行った店がもうなかった!ショック。同じものを売っている店がなかったし。別の店で熊の手を食べている熊の家族のティシャツと「ドM」と書いてあるティシャツを買って帰った。

Usagi-ya

The hard to find Usagi-ya
Then we went looking for the restaurant Usagi-ya in Akasaka. We had a small map, but it did not show anything to use as a landmark when looking except for a small temple (no subway stations or anything like that) and we could not find the temple either so it took as much longer than we thought to find this place... Once we actually managed to home in on the general area (Japanese addresses are not very easy to use, so even my Japanese friend, who has lived one year in this same district (!) could not figure out where to go), it was still a bit tricky to find the restaurant. It turned out you had to go into the temple yard, more or less, and turn around down some small streets with temple affiliated buildings and private homes. Then, around three more corners we found the restaurant.


The bartenders of Usagi-ya

その後、赤坂にある「うさぎや」というレストランを探しに行った。思ったより時間掛かった。道全然分からなかった。地図があったが地図に目印になるもの(地下鉄駅とか)が載っていなかった。お寺くらいしか載っていなかった。何となく近くに来たと思っても、どの道に入ったらいいか分からなかった。結局お寺に入って、小道に入って、高そうな一軒家しかない小道で角3回くらい曲がったら、レストランもあった。

The starters at Usagi-ya
Once inside, everything was great, though. The restaurant served a full course meal, and all the food was great. Every day there are two magicians working in the restaurant too. There are many magicians working different days in the restaurant they told us. Both magicians came to our table and did magic for us, and in total we saw about 35 minutes of magic. The bartenders were also very funny to talk to.

The soup
店に入ってから全部良かったけど。フルコースを食べて、凄く美味しい料理だった。毎日マジシャン2人がいるそうだ。沢山のマジシャンが働いているが 同じ日に2人しかいない。2人ともうちのところに来て、マジック見せてくれた。トータルで35分くらいのマジックを見たかな?バーテンダーたちの話も面白かった。

The fish

The pasta

The desserts
Some strange things that showed up during the magic performances at Usagi-ya
I got a fan from Usagi-ya because it was some anniversary of the restaurant.

Surprise

Magician Ryusei Kamiguchi, at Magic Bar Surprise
Then we walked for two minutes to the Magic Bar Surprise, also located in Akasaka. I had been there once before, 15 months ago, but for my friend it was his first visit. The owner of the bar recognized me immediately, and even remembered where I was from, that my name is impossible to pronounce for Japanese people, and where I do magic. There were three magicians working in the bar on Monday, and all three showed us magic. We saw magic more or less non-stop for two and a half hours, I think. And it is quite cheap too! It was a lot of fun this time too.

ウサギやで食べ終わったら、歩いて2分くらいの「マジックバーサプライズ」に行った。僕は15カ月前に1回行ったが友達は行ったことがなかった。サプライズのオーナーさんがすぐ僕のことを分かって、どこから来ているとか、どこでマジックをやっているとか、名前の発音が日本人にとっ手無理だとか、色々覚えてくれた。マジシャン3人がいた。皆が1人づつマジックを見せてくれたから全部で2時間半くらいのマジックを見た!サプライズの値段が安いし!今回も勿論面白かった。

I bought a book with simple magic tricks at magic bar Surprise, and Ryusei Kamiguchi signed it form me.

Half Moon

My cup of cranberry juice at magic bar Half Moon
Then we rushed to catch the last show at the magic bar Half Moon, which is possibly the greatest magic bar in Tokyo (I also like Toto's Bar a lot), which is located in Ginza/Sinbashi. We tried to get a taxi (it is not that far even walking, but we were running late) but the first taxi just said: "That is not the direction my car is pointing, go get a cab on the other side of the street". Apparently in Tokyo the taxis are like trains and can only go in one direction? We found another taxi, but he did not know exactly how to get to the address where Half Moon is located, even using his GPS navigation system. We told him to just go to Shinbashi station and we would walk from there.

サプライズを出て、急いで新橋にあるマジックバー「ハーフムーン」を向かった。赤坂から歩いて行っても大丈夫だが遅れていたからタクシーに乗ろうとした。「私のタクシーは銀座方面を向かっていないから道路の向こう側ですよ」と言われたけど。東京のタクシーは列車みたいなもんで、曲がることが出来ないのかな?別のタクシーに乗って、ハーフムーンの住所を教えても、運転手さんが行き方分からなかった。カーナビを使っても分からなかった!新橋駅でいいよって言って、そこから歩いて行った。

The interior of Half Moon
Half Moon was great, of course. The presentation style is fantastic. They do a lot of very high level magic during the show, which would be impressive in itself, but the thing that is most impressive is the performance style. Half Moon is a bit expensive by Sapporo standards (almost three times the charge we take in my magic bar, for a shorter drinking plan), but worth every yen. Highly recommended.

ハーフムーンが勿論凄かった。見せ方が素晴らしい。色々なレベル高いマジックもやっている。そのマジックは下手に見せても凄いかもしれないがハーフムーンの感動するところはやっぱり見せ方だね。簡単なマジック(あまりやらないがそういうマジックの時も)の見せ方も素晴らしいので、他のマジシャンがやっている凄いマジックより印象がある。勿論、凄いマジックをやっている時にその見せ方でさらに凄いね。ハーフムーンは札幌と比べたらちょっと高い(うちのマジックバーの料金より3倍くらい)がその値段で全然いい。かなりのおすすめだ。

The Next Day



The next day we went to the Tokyo Sky Tree. It is a new 634 meters high tower, but you cannot go up unless you book in advance. It is fully booked for 6 months or so! We took some pictures of the tower from below and went on a shopping spree in the department complex in and around the tower.

次の日に東京スカイツリーに行った。634メートルのムサシ、かなり前から予約しないと登れないから、下からの写真を撮って買い物しただけだけど。

Then we went to the airport and took the four o'clock flight back to Sapporo. This was right before the latest typhoon hit Tokyo, so we had nice timing. There were lots of canceled flights during the day and during Wednesday.

その後、羽田に行って16時の便で札幌に帰った。台風が東京に来るチョイ前だったから、タイミング良かったね。

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Magic show at restaurant Chavda

On Sunday, I did a magic show together with a friend at the restaurant Chavda. The current boss of the restaurant is the woman who introduced me to this friend three years ago, so when she asked if we could do some magic at their one year anniversary of the restaurant we said yes. Even though we were scheduled to fly to Tokyo on Monday morning and would really have preferred to have Sunday off.


日曜日にチャバダというレストランで友達とマジックショーをした。その友達を紹介してくれた人は今のチャバダの店長だから、周年の時に何かやってくれないかと聞かれた時に、「やる」というしかなかったね。2人で月曜日の朝の早い便で東京に行く予定があったから、タイミングが残念だったけど。かなりの寝不足になった…

Drumming
There were other performances too. One of the waitresses who is an aspiring singer sang a song (and did so very very well), a group of stand up comedians from a nearby stand up comedy bar did a short comedy performance (though at least half their talking time they spoke about where there bar is and their opening hours, that they have now opened a second bar, etc., haha), and there was a group of people paying African music on various types of drums (these people were excellent, and got the biggest audience reactions).

他のパフォーマンスも色々あった。プロ歌手を目指しているウェートレスが歌を歌ってくれた。超上手かった。近くのお笑いバーの人がコントをやっていた(彼らの時間の半分以上はその笑いバーの場所・営業時間・新しい店舗などの話だったけど、笑)。色々な太鼓みたいなものでアフリカ風な音楽をやってくれた人たちもいた。その人たちが一番凄いリアクションになった。上手かった。

Stand up comedy
Me and my friend did two 15 minutes shows in front of everyone, and also walked around during those times when there were no performances going on and did close up magic. We had a lot of fun, and got good reactions from the guests. For our parlor magic performances, we also did a small illusion, making one of the waiters disappear. Originally, we were planning to do an illusion with the boss of the place, but one day she just said: "Ah, no. This guy will take my place instead".

僕と友達が2回15分のサロンマジックのショーをやったし、他のショーが無い時に回ってクローズアップマジックもやったし、色々やった。お客さんのリアクションが良かったので、楽しかった(最後のサロンの時にお客さんがあまりいなかったから、リアクションが薄かったけど)。イリュージョンまで頑張った。ウェーターのお兄さんを消した。元々は店長とイリュージョンをやる話だったが結局「いや、このお兄さんがやる」と言われた。

Magic and other strange things at the Sapporo festival

Thursday to Friday we had the "Hokkaido Shrine Festival" and the "Sapporo Festival" here in Sapporo. At these, you can get lots of interesting food, and you can see some performances of different kinds. I enjoyed a performance with a monkey doing tricks.

木・金・土曜日に北海道神宮祭と札幌祭りがあった。色々なパフォーマンスがあった。猿が漫才みたいなことをやったパフォーマンスが凄く良かった。

Woman standing on a box
There was also a tent that said it sported a mysterious show. It included a woman eating a live snake, and another woman doing a magic trick. A woman with huge boobs floated in the air.

Woman floating in the air
他に不思議なパフォーマンスが色々あると書いてあったテントにも入った。まだ生きている蛇をそのまんま食べる女の人がいたし、イリュージョンをやる女の人もいたし(巨乳の女の人が空中に浮いていた)、面白かった。

Woman biting into a live snake
The woman who ate parts of a snake also threw something into the audience after she was finished. It looked like she threw the leftovers from the snake, but was in fact a rubber toy snake. Very nice reaction from the people standing next to me that got hit by the "snake".

Woman eating parts of a snake that was no longer alive
蛇を食べた女の人が食べ終わった時に蛇の残り物っぽいものをお客さんに投げた。うまいタイミングでほんとの蛇とおもちゃの蛇を入れ替えたので、投げたのはガムの蛇だったが僕の隣に立っていて、投げた蛇あたった女の子たちのリアクションが凄かったね、笑。

Friday, June 8, 2012

Karakurid dooru ・ からくりどーる


Today I was called up by a friend when I was about to go to sleep (up early for a meeting at work, stayed until 23:30 at the university, need to get up early tomorrow too and work until morning (and on Saturday)). There was some stuff related to an event during the weekend that he wanted me to take care of today.

今日寝ようとした時に友達に呼ばれた(今朝早起きしてミーティングに行って、23時半まで大学にいたし、明日も早起きだし、朝まで働かないといけないし、土曜日も早起きからの朝までのシフトになるし!)。週末にあるイベントのためのやって欲しいことがあった。

By chance, I also ran into the famous magician Karakuri dooru in our magic bar. He had apparently done a show for some company party at the Sheraton Hotel, and he and his lovely assistants were in our magic bar as an after party. They were all very nice customers.

それをやった時にたまたま今有名になっている「からくりどーる」というマジシャンに会えた!札幌のシェラトンホテルで企業パーティーでマジックをしたらしい。その後、からくりどーるさんと可愛いアシスタントの女の子たちが打ち上げでうちのマジックバーに来た!皆がめっちゃ良いお客さんだった。

In the end, I ended up doing a short magic show for them too. Since I had not planned to show any magic to anyone, I ended up doing magic with random props. One trick I ended up doing with the practice version of my prop (the nice version being left at home), so it did not go as well as it usually does. The card magic went fine though. The 105 yen cards from Daiso are great, haha.

結局、僕もマジックショーをやることになった。準備無しで言われたから、あるところで普段使っている道具ではなく、練習版の道具でやったら、そこまできれいに見せれなかった。申し訳なかった。トランプネタが大丈夫だったけど、笑。ダイソー、いいよね。

School festival rehearsals


Today was the first day of the school festival at our university. Every year, the magician club of our university has a "magic cafe" at the school festival. There you can see stage magic and table magic. I used to perform there, but now I have been retired (you can only be in the club for 3 years). I did go to see the rehearsals of the new people, though. Some of them seemed fine, some still needed more work.

今日からうちの大学の学園祭なんだ。毎年、大学のマジッククラブ(部活)が学園祭でマジック喫茶店をやる。ステージマジックも、テーブルマジックも見れる。僕は今まで毎年パフォーマンスしたがもうOBになった(3年間しか出来ない)。今日後輩のリハーサルを見に行ったけど。パフォーマンスのきれいな人もいたし、まだ練習が必要な人もいた。

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Food and magic ・ 食べ物とマジック


Recently, there has been a lot of food in relation to me doing magic. On Sunday, I went to an "all you can eat" sweets buffet restaurant with two of the students in our lab. One of them asked me to show some magic to his girlfriend, who was also with us. Since doing magic during our limited 80 minutes of gluttony would be a waste of our precious time, I did some magic later in the Odori park, where we also found a group of other cute girls that my French student knew.

最近、食べ物とマジックの繋がりが強い。日曜日に後輩とスイーツ食べ放題の店に行った。後輩1人が「俺の彼女にマジック見せて」と言った。食べ放題の80分なら、マジック見せるのが勿体ないと思ったので、後で大通公園でマジックを見せた。その時に後輩の知り合いの可愛い女の子5人もいたし。


Two days later, I was invited to a barbecue party with more or less unlimited food. There there were two other magicians present too, so we all had to do magic tricks in turn, in front of the other 6 guests. The food was good, and the magic was fun.

火曜日にマジシャン友達の家に誘われて、バーベキューした。食べきれないくらい沢山食べ物があった。友達もお父さんも趣味としてマジックをやっているから、3人で順番でマジックを他の6人のゲストに見せることになった。食べ物が美味しかったし、マジックが面白かったし、いい日だった。


Yesterday in our magic bar, a magician who is back in Sapporo from Tokyo had brought "hato sabure" omiyage. Since my name, "Jonas", means "dove" originally, and "hato" is "dove" in Japanese, this is a good combination. In our magic bar, there were two groups of people who had come to see me, three friends and a group of five people who I have met because they study English together with my old boss at the university.

昨日、マジックバーに東京から札幌に帰ってきたマジシャンが来ていた。東京お土産の鳩サブレーをくれた。僕の名前は元々ヘブライ語の「鳩」(平和の象徴の白い鳩)という言葉なんだ。鳩サブレーに合うねって言われた。同時にマジックバーに僕の友達の3人組と僕の前の職場の先生と先生の英会話友達の5人組も来ていた。


Since I almost always wear a t-shirt with animals eating the same type of animal (a chicken eating eggs, cows eating beef, etc.), and since my friends know my name means dove, they thought it was hysterically funny that I was eating hato sabure while wearing a pigs eating fried pork t-shirt. "Cannibalism!", they said.

僕がマジックバーでほぼ毎日共食いの動物のティシャツを来ている(鶏が目玉焼きを食べる・牛が牛ステーキを食べるとか)。友達はヨーナス=鳩だと知っているし。
「何を食べている?」
「鳩サブレー」
爆笑。共食いのティシャツ(豚がトンカツを食べるティシャツだった)を来ている時に共食いしている「鳩さん」が超うけたみたい。

Is that an inflatable penis in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?


On Monday it was the 24 year anniversary of the "snack pub" Ropossa here in Sapporo. The mama of the Ropossa magic snack pub does magic but says she is not a magician. She is very good at spoon bending, balloon swallowing, and producing sponge rabbits, and would probably be called a magician by most people.

月曜日に「ロポッサ」というスナックの24周年だった。ロポッサのママがマジシャンではないと自分で言い張っているがスプーン曲げ・風船を飲む・スポンジ、色々なマジックをやっている。一般人から見たら、マジシャンだね。

She also does a lot of magic tricks with penis shaped sponges and balloons (she also loves poo-shaped toys, sponges, and balloons). My boss in our magic bar also loves tricks with penis shaped objects, so the Ropossa mama had bought a penis shaped balloon that she wanted to give to him.

ママはチンコの形のスポンジや風船のマジックも大好きだ(うんこのおもちゃやスポンジも大好き)。うちのマジックバーの店長もチンコのスポンジとかのマジックが大好きだ。ママがチンコの形の風船をうちの店長にあげたかった。

Since I went to Ropossa to congratulate them on the 24 year anniversary but my boss did not have time to go (both our magic bar and Ropossa are open more or less the same hours, so he had to work), the Ropossa mama asked me to take this huge penis shaped balloon and give it to my boss when I met him next.

僕がロポッサに行ったが店長がいけなかった。営業時間がほぼ同じだから。僕がチンコの風船を店長に渡してねってママに言われた。

In Sapporo, I often get stopped by the police and they want to see my alien registration card (my Japanese ID) and they ask me what I am doing etc. Sometimes they ask me to empty my pockets and show them everything I have on me. I am not sure why this happens to me all the time (my foreigner friends tell me it never happens to them), but my Japanese friends tell me it is because I look suspicious.

札幌では警察によく止められるんだ。外国人登録証明書を見せてとか、ポケットにあるもの全部出してとか、色々言われる。何でこんなに止められるか、よく分からない。外国人の友達が一回も止められたことないとか、皆そういう感じだそうだ。日本人の友達によれば、僕の見た目が怪しいから勿論止められるって。

Anyway, walking around with a huge penis in my pocket would not be the best time to be stopped by the police, so I walked straight to our magic bar and handed over the balloon that same night, haha. My boss was very happy.

でかいチンコのスポンジを持ち歩いている時に止められたら大変かもしれないと思って、直接マジックバーに渡しに行った、笑。店長、大喜び。