The Japanese Thumb

I first saw this thumb tie performed by Asahi, the Japanese magician, a number of years ago. His presentation of it made it a work of art. His co-ordination of movements was so perfect that he could produce his effect right in the midst of the audience as well as on the stage. Ten Ichi, another Japanese performer, produced this same effect also.

The experiment created a sensation among magicians, and many solutions to the secret have been brought forth, some good, some mediocre. The method which I describe here is the most practical method and the one which is favored by the Japanese magicians. The Japanese magicians, however, use twine or rope bound with rice paper, where as I have found pipe cleaners to be very satisfactory and need no preparation. Instead of tying the thumbs with ropes, I use the wiring method. This is just as effective as tying.

First, I shall describe the pipe cleaner method and then I shall teach you how to prepare ropes with rice paper to be used in the original Japanese tying method.

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