magic for the stationed soldiers after WW II

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby MitsuMatsu » 05/25/12 02:58 AM

After World War II, it is said that any Japanese professional magician had no opportunity to perform for a living because all the people concentrated to restore their means of livelihood. So, many senior magicians who already died told that they performed for the occupation troops residing in Tokyo and its surroundings. I already checked Pacific Stars and Stripes to see whether any Japanese magician appeared in the Ernie Pyle Theater, a large scale confiscated theater, to entertain the stationed American soldiers, without success.
So, does anyone can access to the old programs where the name of each performer at the theater could be identified?
I also wonder whether any Japanese magician was asked to perform in a certain Camp to entertain them and their family.
Any advice and suggestion to investigate the magic scene during the postwar period will be appreciated.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 05/25/12 07:30 AM

I have never heard of of any Japanese who were left to capitulate and go on to perform at the Ernie Pyle Memorial Theater.
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Postby MitsuMatsu » 05/25/12 07:53 AM

The Pacific Stars & Stripes of April 30, 1949, reported, A program featuring leading artists of Japan was presented Friday evening at the Stilwell Theater by the Special Services Section, GHQ, FEC., and in the following sentences it told that many Japanese artists including magicians troupe appeared there.
This is only example I found.
I wonder where the Stilwell Theater was located in Tokyo.
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Postby Ted M » 05/25/12 10:57 AM

The Frances Guthrie Collection (MS311) in the University of North Carolina-Wilmington's manuscripts collection apparently contains two play programs from the Stilwell theater. They might indicate its location...

http://library.uncw.edu/web/collections ... MS311.html

Program, O Mistress Mine: A New Comedy by Terence Rattigan, American Theater, Far East, Stilwell Theater, Tokyo, 1949

Program, Private Lives by Noel Coward, American Theater, Far East, Stilwell Theater, Tokyo, 1948
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Postby Bill Mullins » 05/25/12 12:04 PM

Per the Pacific Stars and Stripes June 20, 1948 Page 2

The Stilwell Theater, adjacent to the GHQ Enlisted Men's Club, may be reached by taking the northbound Metropolitan bus.




If you search Newspaperarchive in the Pacific Stars and Stripes for "magician" between 1944 and 1954, you get multiple references to magicians performing for U.S. occupation troops. I saw references to:

Louis and Herbert McCoy (brothers) performing magic (with photo) (Jan 14 1948);
An unnamed Japanese magician performing at the Cabana Club in Kyoto (Feb 10 1948)
S/Sgt Rickie Rimsnider performing in Guam (with photo) (Apr 24 1948)
Andrew S. Youngman returns to U.S. Had been active magician, performed with Tenyo Shokusai, and was former president of Momoto Magic Society (May 7 1948)
Chaplain W. F. Larson performing magic (Oct 29 1948)
Joto the Magician performing at Club of the Orient (Dec 11 1948)
and many more
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Postby Brad Henderson » 05/25/12 03:13 PM

Bill rocks that way.
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Postby MitsuMatsu » 05/26/12 11:09 AM

Yes, I searched the Pacific Stars and Stripes in Newspaperarchive, and found the above example. That is why I asked here.
Paul LePaul occasionally appeared at the Ernie Pyle Theatre, but I wonder if his card magic was suitable to perform at such a big theater.
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Postby Allen Tipton » 07/16/12 06:25 AM

Not on your post re Japanese magicians performing to the troops Mitsu san but your last post
In the UK Billy O' Connor and Lionel King, whom I saw at Blackpool around 1946. He walked round the audience when performing his famous Nap Hand card trick. Both performed in our big theatres using JUST a deck of cards. Billy O' (inventor of the Instanto Pack--any card called for, cut to)was always billed as B O' C and his 52 Assistants. I saw him in a magic show, presented by Harry Stanley of the famous Unique Magic Studio. at the very big Scala Theatre in London Also our Billy McComb presented the Coin Through Bottle at the London Palladium. It is a case of the performer telling his audience what they are seeing & the reaction of any assistant helping.
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Postby MitsuMatsu » 07/21/12 03:09 AM

Thanks you for telling some of the great performances using small objects, Allen-san.
So, Paul Le Paul may have performed some visual effects such as transposition or change, not revelation, to let the large audience (3,000) in the Ernie Pyle Theater recognizes his card effects very well.
I wonder if his manipulative skill might have been also helpful to do so.
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