Tezuma, japanese magic

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Andres Reynoso
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Tezuma, japanese magic

Postby Andres Reynoso » December 5th, 2016, 1:08 pm

Last weekend there was “Art Mix Japan” here in Mexico City organized by Japan Foundation, a festival with cultural performances and sell of Japanese products. One of the activities was a demonstration of Tezuma, a traditional form of Japanese magic.
I haven’t heard before the term.
The performance/lecture was a 40 minute activity with Taiju Fujiyama san. He explained Tezuma is an Intangible Cultural Heritage (searching into UNESCO web page I couldn’t find information)dating from 1696. I’m not sure if Shinen Gejutsu and Suishi Keshi are the very first books in the theme. Apprently Suihsi Keshi describes what we know as Sterling’s egg. Magicpedia says Max Sterling presented an act entitled “the magic of Japan”. I always thought he had invented it, maybe only he popularized it into western.
The therm means “hand” and “wife” or ”lightbolt”. In this case is hand-lightbolt meaning hands fast as a lightbolt.
Mr Fujiyama indicated the difference between occidental and japanase magic is that while occidental contains a lot of surprise and a little bit of “others”, Japanese traditional magic is a mixture of poses, history, reinterpreting the props, surprise and others.
The magic he performed included umbrella productions, masks production and changing them, egg bag appearing three eggs, a form of gypsy thread using a paper strap and Sterling’s egg. This section was presented as a Tezuma pure form. The next section was said has occidental influence. It included thumb tie with a paper rope, torn paper rebuilded as a squares chain, then torn and unified as a strap. A superb routine with a production box (I’m sorry, I don’t know the correct name of this box, you know, the wood box with only the four sides and a detachable base for appearing or disappearing objects. You can detach the base and show the box completely empty as a tube holding it with one hand) I was impressed by the way he constantly loaded the box, producing silks, increasing their size; streamers, and Da Kolta flowers, finishing with a huge fan and umbrella production.
At the beginning I felt the audience cold. They started to react with laughs with egg bag and in sincere amazement with Sterling’s egg. The thumb tie was an audience favorite as the flowers production.
At the end it was announced a workshop with Mr Fujiayama that wasn’t in the program. Due the misinformation I was near 50 minutes walking around all the complex (a cultural complex with theaters and arts schools) and nobody could said me where was the workshop, at last minute I found the place but was so late, there was only 30 full spots, so I missed it.
My personal impressions: The magic is not so different from the effects we see in occident, the great difference is the presentation: ceremonious movement with poses that, as Mr Fujiyama said, are in certain moments in order to increase the impact and to say “I have finished, this is the pose in which I look better”
All the magic seems unified and in character. How many times I have watched magicians in dark style clothes appearing oriental umbrelllas and fans betraying the character. Even the props: to use a rope made of paper or Da Kolta flowers with mate paper instead the metallic versions, all that details produce a feeling that all are in the correct place and time. A unified aesthetic.
As is constantly said, if you know your character and/or style, you will know what kind of tricks perform, what kind of props to use, how to move yourself on the stage.
I searched on Genii database the term Tezuma and could find the word only two times, both of them in advertisements. Maybe in the future can we read about this magic in the magazine? Perhaps Richard knows people who could write about it, just suggesting.
Andres Reynoso

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Tezuma, japanese magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 5th, 2016, 1:25 pm

I've never heard the term "Tezuma" used before. The people I know in Japan, and who perform it, refer to it as "Wazuma." We will have a performance of it by Shintaro Fujiyama at the Genii convention next October.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Tezuma, japanese magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 5th, 2016, 2:21 pm

Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Andres Reynoso
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Re: Tezuma, japanese magic

Postby Andres Reynoso » December 5th, 2016, 3:54 pm

Here is a video from TEDx with Kohtaro Fujiyama using the term "Tezuma"

https://youtu.be/Ns-O_GX8QTk

The word Wazuma has appeared more times in Genii, including some videos in May issue when was published Hokasen.
Andres Reynoso

Max Maven
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Re: Tezuma, japanese magic

Postby Max Maven » December 5th, 2016, 6:51 pm

There are a number of Japanese terms for performance magic (just as there are in English, &c.).

Wazuma is probably the most appealing, as the "wa" in this case means "Japan," hence "Japanese lightning."

Other terms include tezuma ("hand lightning"), kijutsu ("trick technique"), and tejina "hand thing." The latter is the most common still in use (it's what appears, for example, on Tenyo products).

Of course, these days the most prevalent term is probably majikku -- the transliteration of the English word "magic."

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Re: Tezuma, japanese magic

Postby Bill Mullins » December 5th, 2016, 8:05 pm

"Hand Lightning". I like that.

Andres Reynoso
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Re: Tezuma, japanese magic

Postby Andres Reynoso » December 6th, 2016, 11:13 am

Thank you very much Mr. Maven.
Andres Reynoso


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