Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Trick bar Twister and me in the newspaper

There was a newspaper article about our magic bar here in Sapporo in the Hokkaido Shinbun. I wrote about it on my other blog.


Visiting Toto's Bar in Tokyo

When in Tokyo, I almost always visit Toto's Bar, a magic bar in Ginza. Toto is very very entertaining, and the other magicians there are good too. This time too, I found some time to stop by (which resulted in me getting a severe lack of sleep, since I had to get up early for work every day, but it was worth it).

東京に行く時にほぼ毎回銀座にある都々's Barに行く。都々さんが大変盛り上げ上手だ。めちゃくちゃ楽しい店なんだ。他のマジシャンも上手だし。今回もちょっと時間作っていった(そのせいで仕事中で寝不足で大変だったけどね)。

Toto did a parlor magic show and there were doves and bowling balls produced, fascinating cigarette magic, rope tricks, and much much more. I also saw Toto do a colored sand in a bowl of water type of magic trick for the first time, which was nice. Toto also did some very nice close up magic. Apart from doves and canaries that I have seen before, Toto's bar now also has an owl that helps out with the magic show.

都々さんがサロンマジックのショーを見せてくれた。鳩やボーリングボールが出現した。タバコの不思議なマジックがあった。笑えるロープマジックも良かった。色々あった。初めて都々さんの水に色々な色の砂を入れるマジックを観れた。きれいだった。最近、フクロウも都々's Barにいるし。可愛い。

I also saw the magician Yamato, who showed off a very impressive bottom deal and some mental magic.


One thing that surprised me a lot was that another guest there started speaking Swedish to me (he was Japanese)! It turned out that one of his relatives had married a Swede and now lives in Sweden, so this guy had also lived one year in Stockholm. I also ended up talking to an older and very drunk Japanese businessman who had been to Sweden several times for work.


There was also a woman there who I have talked to at other times in Toto's bar. She remembered me (and I her), and she gave me a slice of apple pie that she had brought because of someone's birthday. It was a very good apple pie. Ginza is one of the expensive high class districts of Tokyo, and this pie had that kind of feel to it.

前に都々's Barで何回か会ったことがあるお姉さんにもまた会えた。僕のことを覚えてくれた。誰かの誕生日の為にアップルパイを持ってきていたから、僕も高級なアップルパイをいただいた。美味しかった。さすが銀座、レベル高いなと思った(笑)。

I also met a young Russian girl, who originally came from a place where my brother spent 6 months. She seemed nice, but had to leave fairly quickly.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Visiting Magic Bar Issey in Tokyo

The huge fish tank of magic bar Issei

During my Tokyo trip I also had time to stop by the magic bar Issey in Roppongi. They do a stage show three times per night, and they show you close up magic at your table or at the counter too. There are not that many places with stage shows, so I like visiting Issey for this reason.


I had to work much later than I had expected and I had to run from the subway station to the bar (which is a very short run, but still) to make it in time for the 21:00 stage show. As it turned out, I did not actually need to run. When I entered, I was the only customer there. The weather was really bad, which may be why the place was empty (the previous times I have been there it was packed).


Since it was only me, they explained that they would not do the stage show. Instead, they did a "counter show", where they did more close up magic than they normally do, and different magic than the standard close up things.

There were two magicians there, Shun and K-suke. There was also two non-magicians working, and one of them remembered me from my last visit. The first time I visited magic bar Issey, Shun performed both stage magic and table magic for me and my friend. I had never met K-suke before.


First K-suke showed me some magic. He did some nice card tricks and quite a bit of coin magic. He also made a crushed can of CocaCola return to its unopened and uncrushed state full of soda, and he made a signed card appear inside an unopened PET-bottle. The things I liked the best was when his booklet thingy that had a cover text saying "K-Suke" changed into a booklet saying "magic show" instead, and a trick where a cocktail shaker (that had a signed card appear out of it before) suddenly stopped being empty and instead contained a cocktail of the color I had selected from a menu earlier.

最初はK-SUKEさんのマジックだった。カードマジックもコインマジックも見せてくれた。他にコーラの復活もしたし、サインカードが新品のペットボトルに入ったし。僕の一番好きなマジックはメニュー表みたいなものに「K-SUKE」と書いてあって、「Magic Show」に変わったマジックとシェーカーから僕が選んだ色のカクテルが出てきたマジック。その前にシェーカーが空だったし、サインカードなども前にシェーカーから出てきたし。

Shun, with a nail in his nose

The Shun did a counter show for me, including some Tom Mullica style cigarette magic. He also did some card magic, including a signed card appearing inside a kiwi, a chop cup routine (where the kiwi appeared), fork bending, and some levitations with one of my credit cards. I was also quite happy to see him produce three big nails from his nose. I have never seen anyone do the nail in nose stuff live (apart from seeing myself do it). The first nail seemed to have been there more or less the whole time he did the rest of the magic, but I do not think I could pull out three nails that size from my nose (and his nose was smaller than mine), so that was nice.


Presents for me

After the magic was finished, we sat around talking about Swedish magicians and other things for a long time, and the owner (?) who did not do magic also joined in. They also gave me two business card size magic tricks as a gift, and both tricks are pretty cute. Last time I was in Tokyo I considered buying one of them (in a magic shop in Ikebukuro), but in the end I did not.


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.