What is the Japanese word for magician


An old advertising poster for a magician. He is smartly dressed and conjures up all sorts of things, like flowers or rabbits. Magic belongs to cabaret, but is also shown on very large stages.

Magic is an art used to entertain people. The art of magic does not mean that magicians can really do magic, i.e. do what is said to be witches, for example. Instead of magic, one also says the art of illusion: one amazes the audience with illusions. An illusion is something that just looks like something is really there.

So the magician makes you believe he can do something impossible. In reality, it's a trick. Some viewers think it's great that they can marvel. Other viewers like to guess what tricks the artist is working with.

For centuries there have been people who have been leading people to do something. Some claimed that they can actually do something that contradicts nature: make things disappear, fly, foresee the future. They wanted to show that a god or a demon will help them and that they have great power. That was how you could impress people. Other people were supposedly able to talk to the dead. These scammers did this to get paid by the gullible people.

That was called magic. When magic was supposed to harm people, it was called black magic or damaging magic. Some people have been accused of being witches and have even been convicted and executed. Today magic is mostly just another word for magic, and magicians like to call themselves magicians, i.e. mah-gi-er.

The so-called magicians of today just want to entertain people: to show a show that amazes and that one likes to watch. This is also called juggling. From around the 1800's there were magicians who did this on the big stages and who were known in many countries. The most famous wizard of all time was probably Harry Houdini. He was particularly good at freeing himself from chains and boxes, even under water.

What do magicians show?

On a street in Slovakia: the magician lets water flow out of a newspaper.
"Siegfried and Roy" performed for many years in Las Vegas, in the USA. They were known for their tigers and lions. Wizards like to dress up. They also come up with interesting names. Siegfried Fischbacher was born in Bavaria and Roy as Uwe Ludwig Horn in Lower Saxony.

There are many types of magic. Sometimes the artist only shows his show to a few people standing in front of him or sitting at a table with him. This is called table magic or "close-up": This is English for close-in-close. On the street, in front of casual spectators, that is street magic. The difficult thing for the artist is that the audience can see his hands well up close.

The stage magic takes place on large stages or in the circus. The magician often has larger objects and helpers, and music can be heard at the show. The stage was made beautiful like a concert or a play. Some artists dance or do acrobatics.

You can also ask what the artist is actually doing. Many like to work with small things like playing cards and coins. They make something disappear and surprisingly bring it out again. This is very suitable for table magic.

Other artists disappear themselves, or they quickly change their appearance. Or they do something to themselves or to other people that cannot be right at all. An escape artist like Houdini, for example, can be tied with chains and locks, and then quickly freed from it under a cloth or in a box. Some wizards change clothes in a flash. David Copperfield allegedly floated across the stage, and Siegfried and Roy made themselves and their tigers disappear and reappear.

The mental magicians or mentalists pretend to be able to guess the thoughts of the audience. Some of them explain it by saying that they are very good at paying attention to small gestures and how someone grimaces. You could read a lot from this. Memory artists seem to have memorized something, like all the pages in a book. It often sounds as if it really could be done without magic. In reality, however, mentalists and memory artists also work with tricks.

Do you know how the tricks are really done?

The French filmmaker Georges Méliès “performed magic” in short films. Here a woman gets out of a suitcase. Like Méliès, artists later worked with film tricks on television. Most magicians and viewers find no real magic in this kind of television magic. TV is all about technology, not about dexterity, for example.

Most viewers know: Nobody can really do magic, i.e. do something that contradicts the laws of nature. An object cannot just disappear like that. So the magicians came up with tricks, gimmicks and tricks to make it look like magic.

Wizards usually agreed among themselves: good wizards do not reveal their tricks. The audience should be amazed and not find out how it really worked. However, there are magicians who still explain how it was done on stage because some viewers find it interesting.

Other magicians write books about magic or sell items to do magic with. Or they work as a magic teacher and teach magic to others. After all, beginners must be able to learn how to become a magician somewhere.

Most of the time, when a wizard comes up with a really good trick, he keeps it to himself. He wants to perform with it and be a particularly interesting, novel magician. He can also use it to impress other magicians and win a magician award.

How do the tricks work?

A book about magic with many tricks. It appeared over 150 years ago.
An old trick: the lady first sits under a cloth. Then it disappears through a hole in the ground. Thanks to a frame made of wire, the cloth does not fall on the floor: Therefore, the audience believes that the lady is still sitting there. In a moment the magician will pull away the cloth and the wire. The audience will be amazed because the lady is suddenly gone.

Most tricks can only be performed if you are very skilled with your fingers. So a wizard can pretend his hand is empty. Then he turns his hand around briefly and then suddenly has a coin in his hand.

In truth, the coin was already in his hand, but he held it in such a way that it couldn't be seen. For example, he showed the palm of his hand and wedged the coin between two fingers so that it could only be seen from the back.

So it's about being able to hide something well. This can also be the whole body of a magician or his helper. When a magician lets his helper go into a closet, he closes the door and then opens it again: the helper can no longer be seen. This works because there is secretly another place in the closet that the helper squeezes into so that you can no longer see him.

A well-known example of how mentalists work: The mentalist is on stage and has his eyes blindfolded. His helper goes to a spectator and asks the mentalist what the spectator's clothes are. The mentalist suddenly knows that the viewer is wearing a shirt of a certain color, for example.

The trick: the helper speaks to the mentalist all the time. He uses certain words and phrases that he has discussed with the mentalist. For example, if the helper says: "What color is the shirt", then the color is white, if he says: "Can you tell me the color of the shirt?" Then it is blue.

Many magicians and also viewers basically know these tricks. They should be done well, and for that the artists must be able to do a lot and have practiced for a long time. A magic show only becomes particularly good when the artist can incorporate his tricks into an exciting story. Other artists are very funny. A show can also be special when the artist conjures up with objects that are otherwise not known from magic. For example, the artist doesn't make coins disappear, but pencils or smartphones.

Do wizards work together too?

Most magicians stand alone on stage or in front of spectators. They are usually not paid very well: Therefore, they could not afford to share the money with a fellow worker or helper. Still, some magicians work in pairs. The helper is sometimes the wizard's wife. Most magicians are men, but there are also some well-known women who do magic.

It is not easy to make a living from magic. Most magicians have to travel a lot, to places where there is a theater or other house with a stage. You don't have a magic assignment every day. Sometimes the audience is especially difficult: some viewers misbehave and shout out loud during the show about how the trick works.

Some artists are therefore members of magicians' associations. There they meet people who are doing the same. They have similar problems and can talk about them there. As with other professions, artists help each other. The clubs advertise magic and award prizes to good artists. In Germany, the Magic Circle is such an association.

What can a magician not do?

Those who call themselves magicians assume that most people know that magicians cannot really do magic. At most, wizards do not agree on whether or not you have to say that.

But some people do magic to deceive people. For example, they claim that they can talk to the deceased. In this way, they abuse the feelings of their victims, who are still very sad because a dear relative has died. These scammers take a lot of money from their victims.

Other scammers don't pretend they have magic powers. Con artists outsmart people on a daily basis in order to get their money. Such “pawn catchers” cheat, for example, when playing cards.

But even magicians on stage have to follow rules. You mustn't really endanger yourself or the audience. For example, some wizards pretend to swallow sharp things like razor blades. Then they pull the razor blades out of their stomach or throat again on a string. It has to be a trick: it would be far too dangerous to actually do it.

  • Harry Houdini tied up. He was born as Erik Weisz in Hungary.

  • DiArchy from Lithuania drives a car blindfolded.

  • The Magician Master Ning Cai from Singapore

  • Aatu Itkonen, a young magician from Finland