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Harry Black

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Harry Black
BornHenry James Black
December 22, 1858
Adelaide, Australia
DiedSeptember 19, 1923 (age 64)
Tokyo, Japan
Resting placeYokohama Foreign General Cemetery

Harry Black (1858-1923) ,aka Haru Burakku, Black Ishii, Black Kairakutei, worked as a professional storyteller in Japan under the stage name of Kairakutei Brakku.


As the son of John Roderick Black who published one of the earliest English-language newspapers in Japan, Harry Black quickly became fluent in Japanese and with Japanese customs and culture. He became extremely popular in vaudeville which he started under the name of "Eijin Black" (British Black).

He became a naturalized citizen of Japan when he took a Japanese wife and changed his name officially to Black Ishii.[1]

It was reported that for a brief time he may have performed magic and hypnotism. Around 1914, Black started to send manuscripts on Japanese magic to Will Goldston's magic journal, "The Magician Monthly" (which appeared in serial form starting in September 1914 issue. This gave western magicians the first authentic look at how magic was being performed in Japan.

He survived the Great Kanto Earthquake that struck Tokyo in 1923, only to die eighteen days later at the age of sixty-four.[2]


  1. Gibecière Vol. 03 No. 02 (Summer 2008)
  2. Gibecière Summer 2011