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It is with great sadness that I report the passing of one of magic's brightest talents: Haruo Shimada. He was born in 1940, so he was over 80 years old. The cause of his death has not be shared with us, but he was hospitalized recently. Shimada was first interested in magic when he got a job demonstrating tricks at the Tenyo Magic Shop in Tokyo. He starting performing professionally at the age of 18 and was invited to a command performance before Emperor Hirohito.

He created a dove act after seeing Channing Pollock in the 1962 Italian film European Nights. Shimada left Japan in 1965 to tour Mexico and Australia. While in Australia he met and married Deanna, who became part of his act. Together, they toured twenty countries. They moved to United States in 1970 where he premiered his oriental-style Parasol Act.

In 1975, he premiered his Dragon Act in which, after producing a multitude of colorful parasols, he battles gigantic 60 foot long fire-breathing dragons in a mythical tale set against a spectacular kabuki theater backdrop. Up to this point, his act had been done in Western-style costume, a modified tail suit. Shimada decided that to satisfy his repeat customers, a second, Eastern-costumed and -styled act would have to be developed.

Shimada who performed as Liberace's opening act at the Hilton Las Vegas in 1982. For five years, he appeared as the guest star of the Riviera Hotel's "Splash" where he featured his Dove Act. He was the first Japanese entertainer to star in a Las Vegas production show for an extended multiple year contract.

Four television specials in Japan were filmed around him in 1989
He has appeared on the tonight show with Johnny Carson four times and has also worked with Merv Griffin, Dick Cavett, Bill Cosby
His daughter Luna Shimada, carries on the magic tradition.

Personally, because we were reasonably close... I find his passing devastating....
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MJ Marrs
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Sad to hear of this. Thanks for sharing.

I saw Shimada perform at the Castle and downtown LA at a charity event many years ago. It was a real treat.

His performance on the Stevens magic tape is one of my favorites. Truly remarkable. So polished.

My condolences to family and friends.
Tom Cutts
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I had an extremely rare perspective on Shimada’s act. I was assisting another performer on the bill and so was positioned backstage during Shimada’s entire act. I had a solo view of his moving shadow encased by the spotlight creating it upon the backdrop of the stage. I watched this unique, almost pantomime, but definitely vaudevillian, “version” of his act. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

His presence in the magic world will be greatly missed.

RIP Shimada.
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Shimada had more control over the audience's attention than any other magic performer I've seen.. with Richiardi being a close second. His focus and ability to draw you in to whatever he was doing was remarkable.
I worked a fair number of shows with him over the past 40 years and he was never less than totally in command of the audience. As far as I am concerned .... he was the last of the great manipulators.
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Dave Scribner
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Shimada was one of my mentors when I began dove magic. The magic world has suffered a tremendous loss.
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I saw him dozens and dozens of times when he was in Splash! in Vegas and I was in another show at the same casino. I also saw him do his act on ice in a version of Spellbound. He signed my copy of The World's Greatest Magic in Japanese.

Click here to view attached image.
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I think I worked with him last, about two years ago... pre-covid, at a series of 'special event' shows at the Magic Castle. I opened for him and did his transition intros in the Palace. he did the dove act, much of the parasol act (minus the dragon) and a third segment of thimbles and billiards... all made for a very special night!
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Met him in Fism Busan. Korea.
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Another great loss to the magic community. Smile
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Truly one of the good guys. I'll check around the 'net, but does anyone have Luna's email address that they can share? I haven't run into him in many years, but I feel that I should send condolences and perhaps a story or two to lift her spirits.
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A truly talented and artistic performer. A huge loss to magic.
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He was an inspiration!

R.I.P. Shimada

Mister Mystery
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