Rashomon Principle (or Smith Myth principle) was a term coined by T.A. Waters (some time around 1980) in which everyone in the audience interprets the same phenomena in slightly different ways.
Waters got the idea for the name from a Max Maven routine called "Rashomon " in the October 1979 Linking Ring. Rashomon was a movie released in 1950, based on the original Ryunosuke Akutagawa story (1915). The film depicts a crime through widely differing accounts of four witnesses. The stories are mutually contradictory, leaving the viewer to determine which, if any, is the truth. Waters liked the reference, and a year or so later began using it as a way of referencing the ambiguity principle found in such effects as "Everywhere and Nowhere," "Smith's Myth," and "The Tossed-Out Deck".
This principle became popular when "Smith-Myth" by Fred Smith was included as a bonus item in Hen Fetsch's book The Five O' Fetsch (1956). Everyone assumes that two different cards were selected, especially the two principal spectators, whereas in reality both have selected the same card.
- In the book Nouvelles Récréations mathématiques et physiques (1769) by Gilles-Edme Guyot there appeared an effect where one card was forced on each of four of five spectators who sat separated in the audience. Later this card and several others were shown to each spectator in turn, and each verified that his card was among the group.
- There is a reference to the concept in Ottokar Fischer's Hofzinser's Card Conjuring (1910) which Hofzinser was using in his effect Everywhere and Nowhere.
- Power Of Thought by Paul Curry marketed in 1947.
- Bluff and Challenge by F.V. Schoneck in The Phoenix No. 213 (October 1950).
- Impact by Orville Meyer in Ed Mellon's Mental-Wise vol. 2, (1956)
- Rashomon by Phil Goldstein in Linking Ring, October 1979.
- The Two Pile Trick in The Card Magic of Edward G. Brown (1973).
- Making Smith More Mythic by Jon Racherbaumer in Card Finesse II (1992)