A magnificent collection of fascinating articles from all over the globe, for your perusal. Inside this issue:
Mitsunobu Matsuyama discusses a mathematical mind reading effect in his article, “Metsuke-ji: The Trick that Taught a Country.” In addition to the history and method of the effect, Matsuyama details the influence of the trick and how it helped to elevate the literacy rate in Japan.
Next, we are very pleased to offer “The Emperor of Coins: Allan Shaw,” by Jerry Christensen. Allan Shaw was one of the great coin magicians of all time but, aside from a few published items and his claim to being one of the inventors of the coin roll, most magicians don’t have great familiarity with him or his work. This article hopes to change that.
Many of our readers are familiar with Magic Christian, author of the exceptional Non Plus Ultra books on Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser. Mr. Christian has been kind enough to send us an article on his latest discoveries with regard to the great Viennese card handler in “The Truth: The Fate of Hofzinser’s Props.”
We round out our issue with “One Thousand and One Years of Persian Magic,” by Reza Saberi. This article concerns a work by Ayyub Alhaseb Tabari, titled Tuhfat al-Ghraib. This work, whose title translates in English to The Gift of Wonder, is estimated to date from around 978 to 1135 CE and falls into the genre of books of secrets which is more commonly found in the sixteenth-century Italian tradition. Mr. Saberi brought this work to our attention and also translated two full chapters of it — these contain the bulk of the work that relates to our field.
This issue runs the gamut, and we think you will find much of interest.