A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

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A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 22nd, 2013, 1:12 pm

I just returned from Japan, where I interviewed all the major creators of Tenyo's tricks. Each interview was four hours long and very detailed. I also interviewed the founder of the Tenyo company, Akira Yamada.

The book will contain new handlings and tips, photos and videos of prototypes (both produced and not produced) many tricks from the Tenyo creators that have never been published in English, reproductions from the Japanese catalogues, and much more, including at least two DVDs tipped onto the inner covers (the way I did with the Berglas book)

Each book will come with an envelope containing the props for at least four tricks by those who have created tricks for Tenyo. The book should be between 300 and 400 pages and in full color.

There will be a deluxe edition with a page signed by a dozen members of the Tenyo creative team, including all the original members (Hideo Kato, Shigeru Sugawara, Hiroshi Kondo, Takuya Yoshizawa, Tomoyuki Shimomura, Tooru Suzuki, and Dr. Sawa). The deluxe edition will also contain props for two additional tricks.
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Tom Leyland » April 22nd, 2013, 1:40 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I just returned from Japan, where I interviewed all the major creators of Tenyo's tricks. Each interview was four hours long and very detailed. I also interviewed the founder of the Tenyo company, Akira Yamada.

The book will contain new handlings and tips, photos and videos of prototypes (both produced and not produced) many tricks from the Tenyo creators that have never been published in English, reproductions from the Japanese catalogues, and much more, including at least two DVDs tipped onto the inner covers (the way I did with the Berglas book)

Each book will come with an envelope containing the props for at least four tricks by those who have created tricks for Tenyo. The book should be between 300 and 400 pages and in full color.

There will be a deluxe edition with a page signed by a dozen members of the Tenyo creative team, including all the original members (Hideo Kato, Shigeru Sugawara, Hiroshi Kondo, Takuya Yoshizawa, Tomoyuki Shimomura, Tooru Suzuki, and Dr. Sawa). The deluxe edition will also contain props for two additional tricks.


Insane!! It's like dying and going to Tenyo heaven :mrgreen:

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Brad Henderson » April 22nd, 2013, 1:50 pm

would the voice of st Peter sound like Steve Cohen?

(that's an instruction translator joke).

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Angelo Carbone » April 22nd, 2013, 7:54 pm

Sounds like an amazing book!

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 22nd, 2013, 8:22 pm

You'll be in it!
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Angelo Carbone » April 22nd, 2013, 8:24 pm

:-)

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby erdnasephile » April 22nd, 2013, 9:38 pm

Maybe we might see a special Angelo Carbone creation as one of those included tricks? ;)

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby MManchester » April 22nd, 2013, 9:49 pm

For his Magic Newswire podcast, Dodd Vickers once interviewed the staff at Tannen's magic camp. They lamented that the Internet and YouTube generation lacked creativity. It seems that Tenyo would be a great introduction to magical creativity. Demonstrate an effect and have youth work out possible solutions.

Very much looking forward to this book. Tenyo sounds like the magic equivalent of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. When is the planned publication date?
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 22nd, 2013, 10:19 pm

Intended publication is by the end of this year.
There's actually less writing involved than most of my books. :)
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Tom Leyland » April 22nd, 2013, 10:41 pm

MManchester wrote:For his Magic Newswire podcast, Dodd Vickers once interviewed the staff at Tannen's magic camp. They lamented that the Internet and YouTube generation lacked creativity. It seems that Tenyo would be a great introduction to magical creativity. Demonstrate an effect and have youth work out possible solutions.

Very much looking forward to this book. Tenyo sounds like the magic equivalent of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. When is the planned publication date?


This is interesting. I have heard the assertions that the "Internet generation" lacks creativity before. What many people who say this fail to realize is the astounding creativity it took to construct the Internet as we know it.

It's not all mathematics as people think it is. Sure the core of it is, but the way the Internet was actually formed (use case) and is currently utilized is all creativity. It's like a building in Rome with its mathematically precise geometry and beautiful symmetrical lines only made possible by the artisan. What would the framework be without the facade? Math can't exist without creativity but the converse is not true. The same is true for the Internet. So IMHO, creativity hasn't gone anywhere.

Einstein proved that one could be both mathematically inclined and creative at the same time. I think as we evolve, this is going to become more and more common. It is in fact inevitable if you think about it.

My opinion is that as the world becomes even more ill-addicted/dependent on technology as we are today; the great disciplines and techniques of the past will fade away, but not creativity.

For example, the great painting masters and their coveted techniques are already long gone but to a few lingering disciples. Gone are the magnificent works of Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, Botticelli, Picaso, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Dali. I put magic in this group of arts that all of us must pass along in order to preserve what we still have.

I also think people are going to become so sick of technology as it matures even further, there will quite likely be a massive artistic revival to express our disgust for what we are and have become.

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Bill Mullins » April 22nd, 2013, 11:27 pm

Tom Leyland wrote: I have heard the assertions that the "Internet generation" lacks creativity before. What many people who say this fail to realize is the astounding creativity it took to construct the Internet as we know it.

The "Internet generation", the one using it now, is a full generation after the generation that created the internet. (Does that make sense?)

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Tom Leyland » April 22nd, 2013, 11:58 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Tom Leyland wrote: I have heard the assertions that the "Internet generation" lacks creativity before. What many people who say this fail to realize is the astounding creativity it took to construct the Internet as we know it.

The "Internet generation", the one using it now, is a full generation after the generation that created the internet. (Does that make sense?)


Oh absolutely, it's actually 3 generations before the one using it now. "Vin" Vint Cerf's 1974 RFC on TCP kicked started into motion what would become TCP/IP, but DARPA began laying the U.S Military Internet ground work in 1959. Our Internet today as we know it spawned from those original fault tolerant DARPA requirements first layed out in 1959.

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Pete McCabe » April 23rd, 2013, 2:12 am

Exactly—this is why when I first started using it, it was called the DarpaNet, then the Arpanet, and finally the Internet.

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 23rd, 2013, 8:17 am

I usually like the design of Tenyo items as "proof of concept" pieces. From this outsider's view, the items toy store provenance make finding Just-so performing frames awkward. The mysteries all seem trivial to solve with a pen knife. Is there any follow-up to where the designs were used in-context to achieve some useful results?

Today it's about CISPA via Cisco and who's got dibs on the built in backdoors.
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Brad Henderson » April 23rd, 2013, 9:49 am

I have a performance frame that allows one to present tenyo tricks right next to sophisticated sleight of hand, elevating both the tenyo trick and performer in the eyes of the audience. Its a good frame as it allows one to use many different types of tricks most would avoid because of their visual trickiness.

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Bill Mullins » April 23rd, 2013, 9:51 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote: The mysteries all seem trivial to solve with a pen knife.


Is this a criticism?
There are very few apparatus-based tricks whose mystery will survive destructive investigation by a spectator.

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 23rd, 2013, 10:28 am

Postby Bill Mullins » 23 Apr 2013 06:51
Jonathan Townsend wrote:The mysteries all seem trivial to solve with a pen knife.
Is this a criticism?
There are very few apparatus-based tricks whose mystery will survive destructive investigation by a spectator.


If the audience sees the performer as demonstrating clever toys, that's fine. If the "what else could it be" hypothesis fails critical inspection - they may as well show the gaff and get credit for the mechanics. Turning that into the sales pitch (you want to see the apparatus buy it) is ... not so much a part of magic as it is sales IMHO. If one wishes to play the part of magician and the audience suspects the apparatus, and it really is, maybe the beginner sections have some helpful advice.

Designing tricks/routines that come across as magical and the props fade into the cognitive background is non-trivial.
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 23rd, 2013, 10:30 am

Bill - my item of interest is here: " Is there any follow-up to where the designs were used in-context to achieve some useful results?"

Brad, nice that you have a frame. What specifically permits that frame to work for your audiences? Would that frame likely work for other performers? Are you selling the frame now?
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Bill Mullins » April 23rd, 2013, 1:01 pm

I guess I think you aren't quite being fair to Tenyo. Your criticism is equally valid for just about all small pocket-sized apparatus tricks -- why single out this company?

If a performer is himself interesting, and the small plastic box is a means by which the performer can be interesting, then good magic can result. That's the fundamental problem of magic, isn't it?

If the magic ends up being bad, is it the box's fault, or the performer's?

(and either way, I think there is plenty of room in the world for puzzling little tricky boxes, regardless of how "magical" they are. )

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 23rd, 2013, 1:29 pm

First, no criticism of Tenyo on this one. I am curious about whether the designs have been repurposed to serve as more than obvious toys with cute/clever appeal.

Tricks don't make a dog interesting, nor do props make a magician an interesting person. Magic has its rules of engagement. The social ploy of "look at my trick" lost it's value as social crutch back in junior high school. IMHO that's why we borrow a ring, have a card selected and signed, ask someone to read a sentence in a book... part of the direct or by-proxy engagement process.
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Angelo Carbone » April 23rd, 2013, 2:21 pm

I think it is totally acceptable for magicians to use weird looking props. They go together like hand in glove. Spectators want to be amazed and I don't think they really care what you use or how you do it, as long as you do amaze/fool them. That is our job.

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 23rd, 2013, 2:25 pm

Prop comedy has its place. Doing magic in the style of a prop comic has its place too.
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Angelo Carbone » April 23rd, 2013, 2:36 pm

Sure but I wasn't being specific to comedy magic. I was talking in general. We can get away with fancy props because the lay audience have become used to it. Not all magic has to use everyday objects or be natural or justified. As long as we are entertaining and perform good magic and fool our audience, who cares if we use say a blue hexagonal box with gold handles, red studs and have green spikes inserted into it. :-p

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 23rd, 2013, 3:00 pm

Sure but I wasn't being specific to comedy magic. I was talking in general. We can get away with fancy props because the lay audience have become used to it. Not all magic has to use everyday objects or be natural or justified. As long as we are entertaining and perform good magic and fool our audience, who cares if we use say a blue hexagonal box with gold handles, red studs and have green spikes inserted into it. :-p


Okay, some can get away with farting and reading the phone book if they are entertaining. That is not magic - unless perhaps done as poetry and we blindfold the puppet so it can't see the phone book. ;)

Audiences want to be entertained. Our bargain is that we can realize the absurd for them and it stays within the show. They in turn are willing to suspend their disbelief that we will do so - as you pointed out - up to and including lousy attempts at humor, obviously gimmicked props, poorly executed production design, furniture that went out of style back in Freud's day ... all that and more so long as they like us and the tricks have a magical looking payoff. In stage magic we have a great example of the Asrah levitation with its couch and tinsel background as example of how far they will forgive the contrived just to get that wonderful gasp when the cloth gets whipped away from a floating nothing. It's not that they are used to it so much as they are willing to forgive it.

Let's not conflate the mechanics of entertainment (that's engage and rapport while sticking close to accepted enthymemes) with the specific craft of performing magic - which offers them the experience of simultaneously knowing what happening and knowing what can't possibly be happening.

To be fair, today most people drink from plastic coated paper cups more often than they do glasses. Today milk pitchers are more often plastic than glass. The glass of milk is not thought of as precious, and few would react by crying over spilt milk. In this case - it's the notion of a glass being made of glass rather than plastic that's gone from self evident, to possible to unlikely since it's the plastic ones that are in the supermarkets. The audience's context in life greatly affects what they perceive of our props and what materials/characteristics they model about those props. Of course they is likely still merit in a clamshell style cell phone that has fire or a spring snake ... for the prop comic. :D

Can we get back to Tenyo design as "proof of concept"? Have engineers from Tenyo done other work or used these toys as calling cards for getting other work?
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Bill Mullins » April 23rd, 2013, 4:10 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:First, no criticism of Tenyo on this one.


I think when you refer to Tenyo items as "toys", you are certainly putting them on the slum end of the magic apparatus spectrum. And as an engineer, "proof of concept" implies to me that you don't believe the tricks are fully developed.

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 23rd, 2013, 4:16 pm

Customers: What's the target customer for Tenyo magic items? Do these customers have any other market brand/profile similarities?

Audience: How is a magic trick done using Tenyo style props versus ancient or current/organic style props seen by ordinary audience members? What do they prefer?

Relationship to performing magic in-venue there: Any working performers there build their act from Tenyo items? As sold, customized, rebuilt? What do the workers there think about the items?
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 23rd, 2013, 8:46 pm

It doesn't matter what prop is in your hand, only what you do with it.
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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Brad Henderson » April 23rd, 2013, 9:04 pm

Jon, sent you an email. I don't know that selling a scripting frame would prove useful. But I'm proud of it for what it is. It allows me to use a lot of material that, without the frame, might create an image I prefer to avoid. (magic as prop that works itself). I performed it at the recent Dallas super session. It went over well for magicians too

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Re: A Report on My Trip to Japan for the Tenyo Book!

Postby Tom Leyland » April 26th, 2013, 4:38 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:Exactly—this is why when I first started using it, it was called the DarpaNet, then the Arpanet, and finally the Internet.


Wow Pete!

You don't meet too many DARPANET users, let alone ARPANET users!

Very cool. :mrgreen:


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