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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Japanese Tea Ceremony Cups & Balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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panlives
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While hanging out at one of my home city’s local magic shops, a traveling worker told me he was in Tokyo last month and saw what he described as a “really cool” version of the Cups & Balls.

It used the implements, movements and methodical pacing of the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.

The description was quite detailed and I cannot repeat it as intricately as it was described to me. He did say that the traditional implements of the ceremony, from the cloth used to wipe the tea bowl, to the tea scoop which was carved from a single piece of bamboo (and acted as the wand), were all used to great effect.

The final loads were mounds of powdered tea poured out of small tea cups.

Has anyone encountered this kind of routine before?

I read a bit about the ceremony on Wikipedia and the picture below does seem to be an ideal staging ground for a Cups & Balls performance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tea_ce......ng_1.jpg
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
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Bill Hegbli
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Paul Gertner has done a Tea Cup routine in his lecture for years. He uses a chop cup with a handle and tea bags. The finale is a pile of loose tea, not in bags.
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Kent Wong
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If you want to see the Japanese Tea Ceremony being performed, watch the old Karate Kid II. It is extremely slow and precise, with much symbolic meaning. I can visualize this being done, but you would likely need to be a master of misdirection in order to be able to perform at this speed. Personally, I don't understand the Japanese enough to know whether or not a mimick of the ceremony for a magical effect would be acceptable entertainment or culturally insensitive.

Kent
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Lawrence O
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Some time ago, I sent to Bill Palmer for his museum an original C&Bs routine about the Tea Ceremony.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Bill Palmer
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I had forgotten all about that routine, which is very unusual for me, especially considering how well-scripted and well thought out it is.

This is a very clever routine.

Thanks for the routine and for reminding me about it. It has been just a little over a year since you sent it to me.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Pete Biro
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This is so funny... one of the people in the ceremony is taking photos....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCA0FVu1xQk&feature=related
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Bill Palmer
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That's kind of like a bad wedding photographer.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
kentfgunn
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Having spent entirely too much of my life in Japan I doubt very much any Westerner should attempt this idea without some serious trepidations.

For some the Tea Ceremony is a truly religious and spiritual event. To use either the implements or any part of the ritual would most likely be offensive to a serious Shinto or Buddhist practicioner of the Tea Ceremony.

I can imagine someone using chalices and the sequence of the Catholic/Anglican Mass as the background for a magic trick as well. It would be just as insensitive and probably a poor choice as well.

I am pretty politically incorrect in many ways. I swear like a sailor and have offended many, many people in my life. Don't use my reasoning as any sort of plumb-line or moral compass.

I still think a cups and balls routine based on a religious ceremony is at best inappropriate.

KG
Magnus Eisengrim
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Aw come on Kent. I was thinking of doing a Communion Cups and wafer trick at Easter. And maybe a 7 keys to Mecca during Ramadan. What could be wrong with that?

John
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2010-07-21 12:34, kentfgunn wrote:

I can imagine someone using chalices and the sequence of the Catholic/Anglican Mass as the background for a magic trick as well. It would be just as insensitive and probably a poor choice as well.

I am pretty politically incorrect in many ways. I swear like a sailor and have offended many, many people in my life. Don't use my reasoning as any sort of plumb-line or moral compass.

I still think a cups and balls routine based on a religious ceremony is at best inappropriate.

KG


You just gave me a SMASHING idea for a cups and balls routine... Smile
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2010-07-21 12:34, kentfgunn wrote:
[...]
I can imagine someone using chalices and the sequence of the Catholic/Anglican Mass as the background for a magic trick as well. [...]


Yes... instead of just uttering a "magic" word, such as abracadabra, you could holler: "The power of Christ compels you!"

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Bill Palmer
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That's almost as good as Benny Hinn's cattle prod up the sleeve.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
kentfgunn
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Heathen!

I am surrounded by heathens.

. . .

Oh, wait a minute, I'm a heathen too. Nevermind.

How about a cross for the magic wand and producing three bloody spikes as final loads in one's Chop-Holy Grail routine?

As long as you know you're being politcally incorrect and insensitive that forgives all sins. It's ignorance I can't stand.

KG
Woland
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Not very far from "Spiriti miei infernali, obedite!" is it? The origin of Abracadabra is also of interest.
jazzy snazzy
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Smile Smile Smile ... we're all gonna burn.
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Lawrence O
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Rules are done for the obedience of the fools and the guidance of the wise
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panlives
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I did ask the fellow who related the story about the possibility of impiety or disrespect by mimicking the Tea Ceremony and turning it into a magical effect.

He told me that the concept of religious orthodoxy and notions of heretical sacrilege are not the same as they are in some Western (Middle-Eastern) religions.
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Bill Palmer
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Panlives is right about that.

A couple of decades ago, there was a restaurant in Houston called "The Happy Buddha." It was a takeoff on the Benihana chain, but without the franchise fee. It was named after a rather large Ho Tai statue that was in the lobby of the
restaurant. For those of you who are not familiar with this statue, Ho Tai is the rather rotund manifestation of the Buddha who is portrayed laughing, with his hands palm upwards above his head.

A local group that claimed to represent concerned Buddhists protested the name of the restaurant, stating that if they had opened a place called "The Jolly Jesus," the outcry would have been severe.

However, a number of people who were more familiar with Buddhist attitudes said that the group that complained were not Buddhist at all, but were people who owned a rival restaurant. Several Buddhists said that they understood about the statue and didn't figure that the Buddha would have been offended, either.

Sometimes this statue is called "The Laughing Buddha" or "The Happy Buddha."

Then again, one never knows what will offend someone who has a lack of understanding about a subject.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
fortasse
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..........which brings to mind the ongoing discussion as to whether the trick known as "Chink-a-Chink" may be offensive to some and ought therefore to be re-named.

Fortasse
scottjenkins
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How about a religious themed restaurant for kids? You could call it Chuck E. Jesus!
Scott Jenkins
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