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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.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Visiting magic bar Surprise in Tokyo

Kamiguchi Ryusei folding cards

I went on a business trip to Tokyo for my non-magic related work. I managed to sneak away at around 21:00 in the evening and decided to visit the magic bar "Surprise". I have been there four or five times.


When I got there, Kamiguchi Ryusei (magician and the owner of the place) was sitting next to a customer and they were talking magic. The other customer was also a magician (though perhaps not a pro-magician). There was also a young girl standing behind the counter, and she later introduced herself as the magician Ko-ume (which would translate as "small plum").


I had never met Ko-ume before, but I have met Kamiguchi several times and he always remembers me. We talked about various magic related things for awhile, and later the magician Sacchi also showed up. Even later, Kamiguchi Ryusei said: "Maybe someone should show Jonas some magic". The girls said that since I was a magician, maybe I already know all the tricks they do, or perhaps it should even be me showing other them magic. He said that even so, it would be strange if you come to a magic bar and no one shows you magic.


Ko-ume and a Rubik's Cube

So Ko-ume showed me magic. She did a nice routine with three ropes that changed lengths and also used a ring that kept going on or off the ropes in mysterious ways. I also saw a card trick where she used lie detector skills to determine which card was my card. Finally she did a set of Rubik's Cube tricks. A cube I mixed up turned up to be mixed up exactly like a cube she had in a bag. She put the big cube back in the bag and then solved my mixed up cube. When I opened the bag that I had been holding the whole time, the cube inside the bag was also solved.


Sacchi then showed me one card trick. She said that since I had seen her perform twice before, she did not have any new tricks to show, but this one was a bit special. I picked a card, and she shuffled the cards perfectly, to "unshuffle" them. There was something written on the side of the deck and as she shuffled the text became clearer. It said the name of the card I picked. The cards were also in new deck order. After that I picked another card, this time from a face up deck. She then showed that not only were there letters on the side of the deck, there were drawings on the backs too. These were an animated cartoon, and when she riffled through the deck it showed an animation of a guy picking a card and holding it up. The cartoon guy held up the same card that I had picked. She said: "The really surprising thing about this is that I actually drew all the pictures myself. This is only impressive to magicians." I was impressed, haha.


Sacchi also told me that recently another guy from Sapporo had been to magic bar Surprise. He was a student at my university, doing magic. I said that then there was a high likelihood that I know him, and it turned out he was one of the guys in the magic club I was also a member of. Small world.


A tiny origami book

Another magician looking guy also showed up. He showed us how to take a single sheet of paper and fold it into a book. The book was tiny, but was a perfectly book-like object with pages you could browse through etc. Impressive.


We kept talking magic for awhile more, and Kamiguchi Ryusei kept folding playing cards with a one handed card fold that I have also practiced. When he was pretty much through his whole deck, it was time for me to go back to my hotel, and I left.


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