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.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Magic at the Fruits Cake Factory

Yesterday I did some magic at the Fruits Cake Factory near Odori in Sapporo. It was some anniversary for the shop, if I understood correctly, so they had a party for their regular customers. There were around 30 or 40 guests at 5 different tables, and me and another magician went around to each table and did magic for about 10 minutes per table (so everyone got to see 20 minutes of magic).


My coffee cup was decorated with pears, which is funny since my name is a homonym with the  word for pears in Japanese.
There were all kinds of people there, some young people (around 20 years old), families with small children, retired people, the boss of the Fruits Cake Factory, etc. Everyone seemed happy with the magic, and they had some sort of cake meal plan too.


There was also a bingo game after our magic finished.
When we were introduced, the manager of the place said: "Welcome everyone. Today we have two magicians from a magic bar in Sapporo who will perform magic for you!" and there was a polite silence (people looked happy but said nothing). Then she went on to say: "After the magic, we will also have a bingo game!", and one kid sitting right in front of her screamed "Yeay!!!" very loudly. Apparently we were much less impressive than the chance of a bingo game, haha. Everyone else thought that was funny and laughed a lot. That kid did seem to enjoy the magic later, though.


After we were finished we got some cake too, and then we even got a present bag that contained even more sweets! A very nice afternoon.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Trip to Osaka

Randi Atsushi, who I have seen before, had gotten a huge name tag put inside his jacket. This was quite funny and he kept showing it at strange times during his performance.

The show table at Vernon's bar.

Daichi Kitano, who was in A - omoro when I went there last year.

Me and the very funny Daichi Kitano

Me and the staff of A - majide

Last week I went to Osaka for a meeting at Osaka university. I had the nights free, so I managed to visit two magic bars. I went to "A - majide" and "Vernon's bar". Both were very nice. I got to see two magicians at A - majide, neither of which I had seen perform before, and I saw no less than four magicians at Vernon's bar, two of which I had seen before.


Magic Bar Review: A - Maji De ・ エーマジで

Recently I went to Osaka for a business trip and I had a chance to visit the magic bar "A - majide" on the night before our meeting. The guy running A-majide is the same guy that ran the magic bar A-omoro when I was in Osaka last time, and these bars are very similar. I wore a t-shirt saying "I am not Japanese" in Japanese, which they kindly enough commented on a lot (most people in Japan do, since they think it is obvious that I am not Japanese even without that shirt).


The interior design was nice. There was one show area, with a crescent shaped table with 7 or 8 seats, good lighting, a sound system, a good mat, and good line of sights for everyone watching. There was also a bar counter where they also did some magic, and where they served drinks and let you sit and chat when they were not doing magic.


When I entered, a magician called Korogi was in the middle of a magic show for four Japanese men at the bar counter. I was asked to sit next to them and watch the rest of the performance with them. Korogi did some fork bending, with some ideas I had not seen before, he did a card trick were a beef patty (not real, but looking real and the same size as a real edible one) shows up in a deck of cards without you noticing how it got there (one of my friends in Sapporo also used to do this trick a lot), and he managed to make a deck of cards that I had shuffled end up in order from Ace to King in each suit through some magical means. He was pretty good and quite funny.


Next, "master Kubo" ("master" as in the boss of the place, indicating the owner) did a magic show for us after we had moved to the crescent shaped table. He did some rubber band magic, some card tricks where selected cards ended up under the glass of a spectator, mystically moving out of the deck without anyone touching it, ended up stuck to the arm of another spectator far up under his suit sleeve, etc. He also did a mentalist trick were each spectator in order got to pick either a cell phone, a wallet, or a watch that were all borrowed from different spectators. Despite having his back to us, master Kubo always managed to guess which object we took. Another mentalist effect was were he asked each of for some information, such as "Where would you go if you were to abroad tomorrow? What will you have for lunch tomorrow? What is the name of some girl you like now?" etc. When we all had answered one question each, he showed us a fan letter he had received this morning. When opening this and taking out the letter, it contained a huge letter (like 1 meter wide huge) with huge lettering stating: "Hi, this is [name of girl someone had mentioned]. I am writing to you from [country I mentioned] to thank you for the [food someone mentioned] dinner we had" and so on. Finally there were some levitating effects and a rose made from tissue turned into a real rose. A very nice show.


Osaka is famous in Japan for having many comedians, and every citizen of Osaka is expected to be funny. The staff of A - majide were all pretty funny, and after the magic was finished it was a lot of fun just listening to them talking too.


Location: In the middle of the Osaka entertainment district.
Type of magic: Close up.
Quality of magic: Good.
Cost: Very cheap, 2000 yen charge and then you pay for what you drink. I paid about 4000 yen total.
Interior: Nice, especially liked the magic show area.
Staff: Very funny and friendly.
Of special note: When not doing magic, the staff is constantly doing stand up comedy, which was funny.
Overall impression: Very funny. Cheap. Good magic. Open late. Highly recommended.