Native and Foreigner Magicians in Japan?

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Postby Chris King » 10/27/12 02:28 AM

Hey guys. I'm an American magician, and I've been living in Yokosuka, Japan for about 7 years. I've been trying to find more magicians around, as well as the the local Magic Circles (not an easy task when you don't speak Japanese that good)

Is there anyone else out there? Thanks!
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Postby Doug Thornton » 10/27/12 03:14 AM

You are pretty far from Tokyo, no? Perhaps you can contact Steve Marshall via Facebook or M.U.M.
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Postby Joji Matsuo » 11/21/12 10:49 PM

I used to go to school on the US Naval base there so I know how you must feel. Currently, I live in Fuji, Shizuoka which is easily 3+ hours from where you are. I don't know anyone who speaks English and does magic in your area. However, I do know that there is a well established club in Kamakura. There might be some folks there who you could meet.

You might also ask at MagicLand in Kayabacho, Tokyo. goods@magicland.jp
Ton Onosaka, the owner, speaks fluent English. He is very busy so you might not hear back immediately.
Unfortunately, they don't have an English website (Japanese version is http://www.magicland.jp)


Another place to ask is Magic House, run by Shigeo Futagawa. He also speaks fluent English. He might be able to point you in the right direction. Again, no English website but FWIW, http://www.magichouse.biz/
You can email him at: futagawa@magichouse.biz (also a busy person who may not be able to respond immediately.)

Hope this helps.
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Postby Jeffrey Korst » 01/18/13 03:36 AM

Wow, my 6 months performing in Atami would have been so different if the internet had existed. Kamakura was such an easy train ride away (and Fuji wasn't so far either) but I had no way to search for local magicians in 1988.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/18/13 11:50 AM

I was in Atami in 1985. It wasn't the most exciting place on the map.
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Postby Max Maven » 01/18/13 06:35 PM

Going to Atami for excitement is like taking Valium for excitement. Atami is a hot springs resort, and you go there to unwind.
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Postby Joji Matsuo » 01/18/13 09:02 PM

Jeffrey Korst wrote:Wow, my 6 months performing in Atami would have been so different if the internet had existed. Kamakura was such an easy train ride away (and Fuji wasn't so far either) but I had no way to search for local magicians in 1988.


6 months in Atami??? You must have slighted someone reeeel bad.
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Postby Jeffrey Korst » 01/19/13 02:34 PM

Joji Matsuo wrote:
Jeffrey Korst wrote:Wow, my 6 months performing in Atami would have been so different if the internet had existed. Kamakura was such an easy train ride away (and Fuji wasn't so far either) but I had no way to search for local magicians in 1988.


6 months in Atami??? You must have slighted someone reeeel bad.


Actually, I had a great time. I was very interested in Japan and Japanese culture. I didn't pick up a fork the entire time I was there and If I saw someone with blond hair, it was certain to be someone else in the show. I spoke just enough Japanese to make a connection with some of the locals and get invited to places I never would have found or seen on my own.

I was performing a dove/manip act in an ice show (on skates) at the New Fujiya Hotel. At the time, they had had an ice show there for a number of years. This version produced by Rick Porter out of Vegas.

The ice (40'x50') was built into the stage in the banquet room. The whole thing was on hydraulics and could be dropped into the basement. It was quite a set up.
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Postby Joji Matsuo » 01/19/13 10:01 PM

Wow, the New Fujiya is a big gig. I forgot about them. And your ice stage sounds really neat. Did the hotel have a big crowd when you were here?
The NFH is owned by the Ito-en group which is a pretty huge conglomerate in the travel industry in Japan so it must have been interesting to work there.

I don't know what Atami was like in the 80s, but in the 60s and 70s (I came to Japan in 76), people considered Atami as the place for honeymooners. Unfortunately, travelling abroad became easier and cheaper and eventually, Atami has lost its lure. Present-day Atami has more of a reputation as a cheap onsen town for the elderly and for companies on a budget*.

*This is a dying practice but some companies take all of their employees on a two-day excursion. Some that still do this to raise camaraderie (the families are not invited) go to Guam or Hawaii, but Atami is still there for companies that have to be back for business the following day, or for companies on a low budget.
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Postby Jeffrey Korst » 01/20/13 12:40 AM

There were certainly some weddings, but it seemed like much of the visitors in town were salary men. They'd get on the shinkansen, arrive in Atami and change into yukata for the duration of the stay. Put the suit back on and back on the train.

Lots of company banquet business.

The yukata was so such standard garb for onsen towns that I could wear it around town--at least at night--and get no more stares than usual.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/24/13 03:11 PM

Hey Jeff,

Nice web site and video man...

Cheers!
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Postby Mike Remington » 01/25/13 12:37 AM

My in-laws bought an apartment for their retirement in Atami. I spent a month there one week.
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