I have been sitting on this video for a while… It is Fujiyama Kohtaro presenting tezuma, the classic Japanese magic of the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) at the TEDxTokyp back in May of 2013. The act is silent, accompanied by traditional music, and Fujiyama’s opening narration had been dubbed into English. It is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever seen and every time I watch it I can not decide if I want to go practice more or just throw all my props away and give up!
Fujiyama Kohtaro is the son of Fujiyama Shintaro, the famous champion of traditional Japanese magic. He has who multiple prizes for his performances. You can learn more about Fujiyama family and their magic at their website (in English or Japanese). Even better, there is a second TEDx video of Fujiyama Kohtaro giving an English language presentation on tezuma. We will post it later today.
As promised earlier, here is the second TEDx Talk video featuring Fujiyama Kohtaro. In this video he speaks on the history of Japanese magic. Did you know the first Japanese magic book was published well over 1,000 years ago? Even better than the history, though, is some of the theory he hints at in the talk.
Classic Edo magic, known as tezuma, is the captivating integration of illusion, traditional Japanese acting, musical performance, costumes and stories. Kohtaro Fujiyama, a product of Chiba University’s Magic Circle and the eldest son of tezuma legend Shintaro Fujiyama, followed his father onto the professional stage in 2006. In 2012, he won the Japan Magic Association award for best magician for the third straight year, and recently took the grand prize at the Agency for Cultural Affairs Arts Festival. Kohtaro showcases his unique skills overseas as well, at venues that include Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and the famed Magic Castle. In addition to performing, he passes on the secrets of the art as a tezuma instructor and practices acrobatics.