History of Hawaii Magic

International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.) is an organization for both professional and amateur close-up and stage magicians, with approximately 15,000 members worldwide. The headquarters is in St. Charles, Missouri, and there are over 300 local groups, called Rings, in more than 30 countries, largely concentrated in cities of the United States and Canada, though there are members of the international organization from at least 80 different countries. The organization publishes a monthly periodical entitled The Linking Ring, which features tricks, coverage of shows and events in the magic community, and interviews with magicians.

The Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.) is the oldest fraternal magic organization in the world. Its purpose is "to advance, elevate, and preserve magic as a performing art, to promote harmonious fellowship throughout the world of magic, and to maintain and improve ethical standards in the field of magic."

To promote these endeavors the S.A.M. presents awards and fellowships in recognition of outstanding achievement in the Art of Magic.

Hawaii magicians documented their activities, organizations, performances, and secrets since the 1900s in magic journals.

Hawaii has been a destination of many world traveling magicians.

Visiting British magician - Professor John Henry Anderson (the Wizard of the North) performed to royalty of Hawaii in 1859.

Thorn, Darvin, and a fellow named Burton performed in Sydney, Australia in 1879. After a performance for King Kalakaua in the Hawaiian Islands in 1880, they headed for San Francisco, where they played the Standard Theater, infamous for hosting cancan dancers.

In 1912, the great Max Malini entertained Queen Liliuokalani. Japan's Tenkai also lived in Hawaii and performed during the 1940s war years.

Hawaii hosted magic conventions in 1945, 1960 and the major 1972 Pacific Coast Association of Magicians (PCAM) and 1983 International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.) conventions which attracted over a thousand registrants and included major talents such as Dai Vernon, Channing Pollock, Karrell Fox, Shimada, Mr. Electric, Harry Blackstone, Fantasio, Michael Skinner, Daryl, Michael Amar, Shigeo Futagawa, Paul Harris, and many more.

This year, the Society of American Magicians will induct as President Hawaii's magician - Ronald Ishimaru.

Hawaii have 2 magicians in the SAM Hall of fame - Jimmy Yoshida and Tenkai.

Hawaii magicians competed in numerous regional competitions such as PCAM, Texas Association of Magicians (TAOM), SAM, IBM, and Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM).

In 1978, John Hirokawa placed 1st in the junior General Magic. Les and Terri Au placed twice in the IBM gold medal stage competition.

Kelvin Chun placed 1st in the PCAM, TAOM stage contest and competed in the IBM gold medal stage competition.

In 1998 Pacific Coast Association of Magicians - PCAM - Seattle, Lot Kahawai placed 1st - Senior Stage, and Kristi Toguchi placed 1st - Junior Stage.

Hawaii magicians are performing artists and have preserved their creativity by publishing their works in professional journals and lecturing at major conventions.

Curtis Kam and Allen Okawa are well known Close-up magicians lecturing at numerous international magic conventions.

Hawaii magicians are performing artists and have preserved their creativity by publishing their works in professional journals and lecturing at major conventions.

They have many specialties in close-up, parlor and stage magic. The magic is a blend of western and eastern philosophy. A journal entry mentioned Harry Masunaga gathering ideas from the orient and the occident. "He comes to the center of the stage adorned in full Chinese attire, speaks in Japanese, and occidental music played by the orchestra running through his act! Beat that for being cosmopolitan."

There were magicians specializing in card and coin sleight of hands, and others performed escape artistry from ropes and chains. There were numerous disciplines that ranged from mind reading and telepathy to elaborate stage productions of cards, silk, and colorful props.

These magicians were locals, visiting servicemen, and travelers from around the world. They socialized and organized meetings and performances at private residences, excursions, restaurants, YMCA and hotel ballrooms.

These enthusiastic entertainers had stage names such as the "Professor," "Social Mystifier," "King of Coins," "Conjurer," "King of Hearts," "Chew Gum Long," "Nekko - the supreme mystifier," "Professor Tengu," and "Professor Fun."

Throughout history, the magicians subscribed and contributed to professional magicians' journals including "The Conjurer's Magazine, " "The Sphynx," "The Linking Ring," "The Seven Circles," and the "MUM : Magic Unity Might."

Hawaii magicians have created their own secret societies that is linked to the national and international societies. The International Brotherhood of Magicians have Rings 50, 4649, 559, and 185. The Society of American Magicians Assembly 89.

The names of the local organizations are:

1926 Harry Hanaoka #559

1928 Fat Sut Circle

1930 Ring 50

1931 Honolulu Mystic Circle

1932 International Magic Circle

1933 Cosmopolitan Magic Society

1933 Ring 4649

1947 Hawaii Magicians Society

1949The Kahuna

1949 Kamaaina (Old Timers) Magic Circle

1966 Dec.1 IBM Aloha Ring 185

1973 Society of American Magicians Aloha Assembly #89

Hawaii Society of American Magicians Jimmy

2002 Monty's Magic Theater


P.R.I.S.M.- (Hawaii Magic 5-0)


Below are more details of members, and activities which included conventions, contests and achievements.


British magician - Professor John Henry Anderson (the Wizard of the North) performed to the royalty of Hawaii in 1859.

1912 Max Malini performance in Honolulu

When Max Malini (1873–1942) — one of the greatest magicians of all time — arrived at Honolulu in 1912 on the first of several visits to Hawaii, he entertained Queen Liliuokalani at a luncheon given in her honor.

In 1933, the Fat Sut Circle was considered the best organized club in Hawaii. "Fat Sut is magic in Chinese. This club, composed of strictly Chinese living in Hawaii, extends its workings not only to magic alone, but also to any social activities."

May 15, 1920

Chas. D McNerney

Rope and Chain Escape Artist

Performance in Minneapolis

December 15, 1924

Harry Hanaoka card effects article to

The Sphynx - SAM

1926 Ring 559

Harry Hanaoka


Fat Sut Circle - a Chinese Magic and Social club..


Fat Sut Circle

Reginald Lee, President, (IMC- International Magic Circle)

Milo Lum, Vice President, (IBM)

Robert Ching, Secretary

Peter Look, Treasurer (Shanghai Magic Festival)

Paul Sam Ching, Sergeant of Arms)

May 1930

Ring No 50

Honolulu, Hawaii

President Harry Hanaoka

Vice President Chas. D McNerney

Secretary Harry Masunaga

Treasurer Edward Cooper

October 1931

International Magic Circle

Milo Lum

Dr David Katsuki

Harry Hanaoka

Victor Aquina

Lawrence Kam

April 1932

Honolulu Mystic Circle

Lawrence Kam

Harry Hanaoka

David Katsuki

Benny Matsunaga

Nora Kaya

Sumiko Okada

February 8, 1933

Cosmopolitan Magic Society

Prof. Lawrence Kam, President

Prof. Clarence Silva, Vice President

Prof. Harry Hanaoka & Prof. Milo Lum (Social Mystifier)

Publicity Chairman

Prof. Kamehameha Wong, Secretary and Treasurer

Prof. David Nekko, General Affairs

Prof. George Lake, Program Chair

Prof. E. Crabbe, Assistant

March 1933

IBM 4649

Harry Masunaga

Japan Magician Tenkai performance for the Fernandez Circus on November 21, 1939 in Honolulu

December 1945

Honolulu Magicians Annual Conference

Milo Lum

Tenkai and Okinu

George Lake

Wallace Yes

Lt. Cmdr Patrick Lyman

David Cheong-Marn

Alan Chang

Bill Murata (Chew Gum Long)

Lawrence Kam

Andrew Park

Harry Okimoto

Henry Luke

Larry Pritchett

Albert Ching

March 2, 1947

Hawaii Magic Society

President Vernon Kuhns

Secretary Amos Nakamura

January 23, 1948

Hawaii Magic Society

Benefit Performance to National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis


Hawaii Magic Society

Victor Koehler, President

Harry Okamoto, Vice President

Charles E. Penton, Secretary

Amos Nakamura, Treasurer

Official minutes was documented in “The Kahuna” in 1949.

April 1949

Kamaaina (Old Timers) Magic Circle

Andrew Park, President

George Lake, Vice President

Charles E. Penton, Secretary

Milo Lum, Treasurer

Allen Chang, Sergeant at Arms

Herbert Weatherwax, Harry Okimoto, Jimmie Kalilikane, Dr. Richard W. You - Directors

Performance to Servicemen in Guam by Andrew Park

February 1952

Kamaaina Magic Circle

Dr. Richard W. You, President

Milo Lum, Vice President

Carolyn Yap, Recording Secretary

Rose McCarty, Corresponding Secretary

You Kai Chang, Treasurer

Liko Pang, Sergeant at Arms

Andrew Park, Advisor


Hawaii's first Magic Convention

Hawaii currently have 2 adult magic organizations:

December 1, 1966

International Brotherhood of Magicians

Hawaii Magic Society

Aloha Ring

Ring 185

Sam Chung, President

Leroy TWK Sui, Secretary


Fred Ball, President

James Yoshida, Secretary

Illusions Unlimited / Junior Magic Club 1969 to 1974


James Yoshida, President

Robert Windham, Vice President

Lyle Merriman, Secretary

See Kong Goo, Treasurer

Allen Okawa, Sergeant at Arms


Pacific Coast Association of Magicians - PCAM

Close-up contest

Allen Okawa

July 2-5, 1972

Pacific Coast Association of Magicians - PCAM -Hawaii Convention

Sheraton Waikiki

January 1, 1973

Society of American Magicians Charter

1978 FISM Junior

John Hirokawa

1st General Magic

teenage club in the '70's

that produced their own shows (giving us the experience to produce later club events like 2000's MAGIC & COMEDY BLAST! and

the more recent HAWAII MAGIC FESTIVAL series:

FYI "ILLUSIONS UNLIMITED" (Teenage Magic club, mostly students of Jimmy Yoshida) 1971-1975

There was a club by and for teenage magicians of note for producing several club shows completely on their own from 1971 to 1975,

This was "Illusions Unlimited" the core of which were students from the magic classes of Jimmy Yoshida. Members as young as 13 actually

created new acts for every show. Then met at ZIPPYS or ANNA MILLERS to go over the results and plan the next one.

The club was fairly prolific, producing up to 2 shows a year.often to packed halls at THE WISTERIA>

For one show, members divided radio personality Keala Kai in the ZIGZAG illusion.

Performers included John Hirokawa, Curtis Kam, Mike Ching, Christopher Ferreira, Way Wong, Marvin Oka, K.O. Skinsnes, Charles Young,

Stanford Egi, Alson Inaba, Dean Harada, Greg Gabaylo, and also Alan Arita & Kelvin Chun I believe,and more. Guests adults initially hosted the shows

such as Jimmy Yoshida of course, Norm Gold, Derrick Lord,Clown duo Flower & Posey (Chuck & Joan Lehr?), Teenage members then assumed

hosting duties.

July 1-4, 1983

IBM Hawaii Convention

Pacific Beach hotel

International Brotherhood of Magicians

Leslie and Terry Au

Award of Merit

1991 Stage Contest - Baltimore

Gold Medal Finalist - Top 6

Mike Ching published "NEW ANIMATIONS" The Dancing Handkerchief Book in June 1991.

1992 Kauai SAM Assembly 229

Peter Badua, President

1995 Franz Harary at Aloha Stadium E.K. Fernandez State Fair

1993 - 1997

Hawaii International Magic Arts Festival

Hawaii 5th Annual Magic Convention in Paradise

Hawaii Wonderworkers Workshop

1993 1st Annual Hawaii Close-up Competition

2nd Michael Wong

3rd Jim Kawashima


International Brotherhood of Magicians

Leslie and Terry Au

Stage Contest

Gold Medal Finalist - Top 6


Curtis Kam

Professional Close-up Magic

Palms of Steel

1998 Pacific Coast Association of Magicians - PCAM - Seattle

1st - Senior Stage, Lot Kahawai

1st - Junior Stage, Kristi Toguchi

1997 Franz Harary - Blaisdell Arena

2000 Pacific Coast Association of Magicians - PCAM - Tacoma

1st - Senior Stage, Kelvin Chun

2002 Monty's Magic Theater

2003 Texas Association of Magicians - TAOM - Lubbock

1st - Senior Stage, Kelvin Chun


P.R.I.S.M.- (Hawaii Magic 5-0)


International Brotherhood of Magicians

Kelvin Chun

2005 Stage Contest - Reno

Gold Medal Finalist - Top 6

2006 Franz Harary @ Hawaii Theater

2012 Koolau Theater

2012- 2017

Holiday Magic

Annual Hawai‘i Magic Festival

2018 Society of American Magicians, President

Ronald Ishimaru

Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame Hawaii membership


Tenkai and Okinu (Sadajiro Ishida) 1889-1972; 1895-?

Jimmy Yoshida (1920-2011) was a magic dealer and magician, performing as Tengu, in Hawaii.

Yoshida started a magic shop and a magic school on the island of Oahu, becoming known as the "Godfather of Magic" in the islands. He continued to perform until he was 81.

2022 Kelvin Chun SAM Close Up Finalist

International Brotherhood of Magicians' Ring 185 - Hawaii Magicians Society

Official minutes was documented in “The Kahuna” in 1949.

This organization was International Brotherhood of Magicians' Ring 185 - Hawaii Magicians Society.

Hawaii currently have 2 adult magic organizations:

The International Brotherhood of Magicians' Ring 185 - Hawaii Magicians Society.


The Society of American Magicians: Jimmy Yoshida Aloha Assembly #89

Hawaii Magic Club Assembly #89

S.Y.M.-Society of Young Magicians Assembly #107

The International Brotherhood of Magicians is the world’s largest organization of magicians, with members in 88 countries. Founded in 1922 by Len Vintus and Gene Gordon, the I.B.M.’s membership today includes the top professional magicians and thousands of enthusiastic hobbyists from all walks of life.

Chun, a member since 1995 in Ring 185 (Hawaii Magic Society), is currently the Hawaii Territorial Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Chun is an award winning educator, magician, balloon sculptor, and kite enthusiast from Honolulu, Hawaii.

The history of magic and the entertainment industry in Hawaii goes back during the war years of the 40s ...Bill Murata, a veteran record producer based in Hawaii, started Tropical Music, Inc. in 1974, was a magician.


Our local magicians would develop tricks of their own and publish these effects in magic journals:


Waikiki Location

This location is the invention of Bill Murata, a resident of Waikiki, who marketed this card location anonymously as a manuscript. This would apparently have been through the name of The House of Magic under the title of

“The Waikiki Card Location.” It was advertised in The Sphinx, Vol. 44 No. 5, July 1945, p. 126. The trick was reviewed in Walter Gibson's Conjurors' Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 8, Sep. 1945, p. 15.

by Curtis Kam » 09/06/12 08:42 PM

Speaking of unpublished Tenkai material, you may know that Tenkai was a "guest" of the US government during WWII, and he was interned in Hawaii. Local magicians Bill Murata and Jimmy Yoshida visited with him frequently, and Jimmy kept a notebook of the tricks Tenkai taught them.


Tenkai lived for some time in Chicago. While a resident of Los Angeles, he was performing in Honolulu when Japan bombed pearl harbor during World War II. He was not permitted to leave Hawaii.

In the 1958, he moved back to Japan.