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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Meeting Shoot Ogawa

Me and Shoot Ogawa

The magician Shoot Ogawa was visiting Sapporo over the weekend. He did a show here, and I really wanted to go but I had other things to do (work, mainly). I met him in a bar, though. He was super nice. He was not there to work, but ended up doing magic for different groups of people over and over again.

Shoot Ogawa showing some magic to strangers in a bar

He was very very skilled. He was also very funny. And of course seemed like a really nice person when not doing magic. We talked a little about Sweden, and about some Swedish magicians he knows.

More people trying to see what was going on, some of them so short they had to stand on chairs to see anything

I got to see him do his extremely nice China Rings routine. I have seen two other people (both from Hokkaido, strangely enough) who do the China rings really well (and lots and lots of people who do them OK), but Shoot Ogawa is the best I have seen so far. Very impressive. Some very difficult stuff, and very entertaining presentation.

Me taking a photo of a guy taking a photo of a man taking a photo of Shoot Ogawa.

He also did a lot of coin magic. Coin magic can be technically impressive and quite mysterious, but it is often quite boring to me. Some people do coin magic very entertainingly, and Shoot Ogawa is one of them. Since there were pretty much only magicians watching, he did a lot of things to surprise magicians. His use of the balance palm was extremely impressive. Some of the things looked insanely difficult to do.

He also showed us a lot of card tricks. Again, very entertaining and very impressive. Even to people who know magic, quite surprising things happened (which is not that common, once you know the basics of magic, you tend to not be fooled by most of the magic other people do). As with the rings and the coins, some of the things he did seemed extremely difficult. This is impressive to magicians, while "normal" people usually cannot tell if you are doing difficult things or not.

He also did some fun things with colored hair bands and things like that.

Eating Soup Curry

Shoot Ogawa is Japanese (though he lives and works in the U.S.) but he is not from Hokkaido. Hokkaido has a famous dish called "soup curry", which sounds like taking Japanese curry and adding water but is actually a completely different dish. This is not common anywhere else in Japan, so the people running the bar wanted the guests to try soup curry.

They called a regular customer who runs a soup curry place and asked him to make two extra servings and bring them after he closed for the day. Only, on Mondays his place is closed. But since they really wanted Shoot Ogawa to get to try soup curry, they managed to convince this poor man to go to his restaurant, start up all the stuff needed to cook, cook some rice, make some curry, etc. and bring two servings to the bar. And he did. It took him a few hours, but he showed up with two special servings for Shoot Ogawa and his manager. They said they liked it (though after having seen someone go through all of that just to bring you food, most people would probably not give negative comments).

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