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K. T. Kuma

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K. T. Kuma
BornKinjiro Tanko Kumjaro
February 04, 1884
Seoul, Korea
DiedMarch 27, 1963 (age 79)
New York City

K. T. Kuma (February 4, 1884 - March 27, 1963) was born Kinjiro Tanko Kumjaro in Seoul, Korea, was a circus performer and magician.


He began magic at the age of 5 as an apprentice to a Japanese magician and became a professional performing in 1892. He moved to the United States in 1904 and was known at that time as Kim Yen Soo. During World War II he claimed he was a Korean.

According to Tenkai's autobiography (Tenkai was a close friend), Kuma told him that he first joined a certain Japanese circus troupe when it visited to perform in Korea. After he married a Japanese, he left the circus to learn some magic. He then went to England where a large Japanese exhibition or some kind of world fair was held, sent by a event promoter, along with other several dozen performing artists. After that, he went to the United States.

He is credited with the invention of the Kuma Tubes, but mostly was performing a very old trick.