Dec 19, 2006

Thank you everyone ♪

I would like to thank every one of you for sharing a wonderful year with me.

Have a merry
Christmas, and a happy new year ♪

Dec 16, 2006

Introducing GOSIREH's Master Chef

Master Chef Chung Hyun Su introduces a seafood chige served at Gosireh.
This dish is not spicy - it uses miso, and has a gentle flavor.
He explains that it increases metabolism and helps cure hangovers.
A great menu for the holiday season ♪

(From Japanese women's magazine "LEE")

I just went over to KOB and to my joy, found out that Korean sister Gaulsan is translating the ASIA TOUR DVD for us! Since it is always so much better to translate from the original source, I think all of the English speaking family would benefit from her translation. Therefore, I will stop my project, and I hope all of you will go to KOB and enjoy Gaulsan's translation.

To the sisters who have e-mailed me, thank you for waiting...

Thank you Gaulsan♪ I look forward to reading your version, too!

Dec 9, 2006

DVD 2005 BYJ's Asia Tour

I am planning to transcribe (translate the Japanese subtitles) of the ASIA TOUR DVD for my English speaking friends. Because this is entirely a private project intended for my friends, please contact me by e-mail if you are interested in receiving a copy. (click my profile f0r my e-mail address.)

Hopefully, I can complete this before Christmas^^
Happy Holidays ♪

Dec 8, 2006

Chan Woo

Celebrating the showing of "First Love" on KBS America!

Dec 4, 2006

CD of the Month♪

A collection of Italian opera arias by my favorite soprano, Maki Mori.

English site.

Care Compagne ~ Italian Opera Arias

1.  O luce di quest’anima (Donizetti: Linda di Chamounix)

2.  Care compagne... Come per me sereno (Bellini: La Sonnambula)

3.  Il dolce suono... (Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor)

4.  Qui la voce sua soave (Bellini: I Puritani)

5.  Una voce poco fa (Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia)

6.  È strano... Ah, fors’è lui... Sempre libera (Verdi: La traviata)

7.  Quando me’n vo’ (Puccini: La Bohème)

8.  O mio babbino caro (Puccini: Gianni Schicchi)

Maki Mori, soprano
Shuya Okatsu, conductor
Wroclaw Score Orchestra

[Recording] 22-25, June 2006 Great Hall of the Polish Broadcasting Company in Wroclaw

Listen to samples. 

☆ For more info on the diva, please check my previous posting.

Dec 2, 2006

Marriages and More Marriages

Excerpt from Sohn-san's blog Dec. 1

(Sohn-san starts out by saying,one of his valuable staff left the company to be married.)

There is another one who’s getting married – my best friend of many years, who’s probably sound asleep at my house while I’m still here in my office. This is going to take place on Christmas Eve. My friend and I both belonged to the film club in Sungkyunkwan University, and he's the one that made me realize that I should not become film director ( I had never thought that it was not possible…). I had passionately told him that “one day, I will become a producer to your films” – it turned out that I never became a producer, but as for him, he did become a film director.

This morning, when I looked through the internet news my messenger updated, I found articles announcing his marriage. Ahh, he needs to get a proper photo taken, I thought, but most of the articles more or less featured the bride-to-be, Moon-san, and he was mentioned as someone becoming her husband. So I guess it doesn’t matter that much.

People should not give up their dreams. We all face hard times, but I believe we can overcome them if we hang on to our dreams – or rather, I want to believe that.

My best friend was able to make his first dream a reality. He chose not to take a job even when he didn’t have any money, but it’s wonderful that it all worked out. I don’t know if getting married was one of his dreams, but if so, it’s going to come true very soon, so congratulations on that, too. I’m happy for you, really.

But. But come on, please tell me when you are planning to finish the script for your next film after “Save the Green Planet”. And let’s try to be clear on when you are planning to move out of my place, too.

I hope both of you will be always be happy with each other…

☆ Sohn-san also added the following in the comment section:

I got a call from Yong Joon last night, and he was taken aback that he did not know anything about this. He was upset that it was all kept a secret from him. But the wedding will take place only with their families participating, so even I’m not invited. I asked if they couldn’t make me a relative under the name Jang Il Hyung, but Moon-san only laughed. I guess I’m really not being invited…

Nov 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I would like to share a beautiful piece of writing by our American sister baosang. She had posted this piece on KOB, and as I was very moved, I asked for her permission to keep it on my blog.
Thank you baosang for sharing♪

Happy Thanksgiving Day
to all my American friends!

(Incidentally, today is Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan.)

On the day of Thanksgiving,
I thank God for creating our dearest YJ,
I also thank God for letting YJ becoming an actor, and
Most importantly, I thank God for guiding YJ chose those unforgettable roles to play who inspire me and encourage me to live my own life.

Through Love Greeting, I relived my bitter and sweet college years.

Through First Love, I learned a loving family is the strongest support who can have in the world, and
Family love is always unconditional and always countable, no matter who one has become or what one has done.

Through PaPa, I confirmed again that communication is crucial in a relationship and jealous can be a lethal weapon to love, and
I also learned no matter what the parents think, children always want a family with two parents together.

Through Barefooted Youth, I learned how strong the bond among blood family members can be and one can give up his/her life long dreams for it.

Through Hotelier, I related some of my memorable colleagues to Frank and I even saw myself in Jin Young.

Through Winter Sonata, I recollected many of my firsts and enjoyed the love journey with Jun-sang/Min-hyung and Yu-Jin, although it was quite a bumpy ride.

Last but not least, through Have We Really Loved and my beloved Jae-Ho, I saw the real life played on the screen.

Although my personal experience was nothing close to it, I can't help thinking what if my parents were like Shin-Hyung's parents and what if I could love the one persistently like Shin-Hyung did, would my life turn out differently?

I believe that this is a drama that everyone should be able to relate to either through their own life experience or through other's who they live with.

Even some don't like the ending that Jae-Ho left us forever, I think his death glorifies his life and makes us love him more.

After watching Have We Really Loved, I started to write again in my native language other than letters to families and friends.

I wrote my childhood when I first knew what hardship was
I wrote my friend who we lost to cancer
I wrote my family gatherings which I miss so much
I wrote my unforgettable encounter with the rough sea which taught me to appreciate the beauty of the nature
I wrote my young child's life stories which amazed me and inspired me

Everything I wrote maybe insignificant to the others, but they mean a lot to me and were part of my life.

Have We Really Loved taught me that everything or everyone worth writing if they had touched one's life, regardless of its meaningfulness or ones status.

Just as if nobody wrote the story about Jae-Ho and YJ didn't play Jae-Ho, who would have known that there is a beautiful person like Jae-Ho who has so little can move us so deeply?

On the day of Thanksgiving,
I thank YJ for bringing Jae-Ho to life,
I also thank YJ for letting me know so many talented Bae sisters all over the world, and
Most importantly, I thank YJ for treating us as family.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the Bae family members who celebrate this holiday!

Thank you all for sharing your love to YJ with me!

(The link to her Chinese version:

Nov 22, 2006

Happy Birthday IMX ♪

From Sohn-san's blog Nov.22:

I was finally able to eat lunch. Today’s menu was a bento (a Japanese lunch box) of grilled mackerel. I usually eat my lunch alone – I look forward to the change of fish in the bento, not that there are that many variations. I sometimes wish there was more variety in the fish that was available here. That aside, you’re probably thinking the photo has nothing to do with what I just talked about. You’re right.

The photo is what I ate for dinner at a Mexican place near UCLA when I was in L.A. recently. I really love Mexican food, but the portion was a bit too much that day. Forgetting that I once gained 13 kg when I spent a year in the States, everything looked so good that I ordered too much. But it WAS good. Being the old fashioned type, I hate to leave food – I realize this is the cause for my weight gain. I have a liking for ethnic food like Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican… things that have an exotic aroma such as coriander (has nothing to do with the fact that I am “Korean” ). Of course, I like things like grilled mackerel, too which only smells of fish. But I don’t quite feel like taking a picture of it …

Incidentally, IMX turned 5 years old today. November 22, 2001 was the day IMX was born. As they all say, the days went by in a flash. Many people had given comments to my previous posting telling me to be careful while driving, so last night, I slept on the sofa to avoid driving at a late hour. Because memories of the past five years started coming to me, I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep – but just as I thought so, I fell asleep. I slept deeply until the security guard woke me in the morning.

… Tonight is the opening night of the Staatskapelle Dresden concert. After that, the staff of IMX is planning to have a get together to celebrate our 5th anniversary. I don’t know how many will be coming – we rarely go out to drink like this. Having written this, I’m getting worried… what if I’m the only one that’s not invited?

So, did you enjoy your lunch today?

Nov 21, 2006

Next stop Hong Kong!

Sohn-san wrote in his previous posting that Leslie Kee's "Super Stars" Exhibit will next travel to Hong Kong.

Classical Music Can Be Dangerous, Too...

From Sohn-san's blog Nov.21:

Classical Music Can Be Dangerous too…

Late last night, we received the color proof of the box and booklet for “BYJ Classics”. “It’s fabulous!!!!!!!!!” About seven of us gathered around the samples and talked in excitement for more than an hour – I talked so much that I was exhausted. Some said that it would surely be a no.1 hit in the classical music chart, others said it would be the best IMX product ever… the DVD we made of the So Ji Sub event was a really stylish product too, but this one is so beautiful that I never tire of looking at it. (Of course the credit goes to the model, photographer, and the designer - I have nothing to do with it.)

As for the 2 CDs, I was able to received the actual sound source which will be used for the product (the content of these are incredible as well) so I hastily played it in my car on my way home. The highway I get on for my commute is congested even late at night, so I turned up the volume. Listening to it, I got goose bumps, and my sight blurred as if I were hit by something. Then, the sudden crash of the cymbal! Look out! I was about to crash myself…

According to the Product Liability Law, we are obligated to alert the consumer on any conceivable damages that may be inflicted by the use of the product. For a split second, I debated whether to note on the package “do not turn up the volume while driving as it may cause an accident.” PLEASE refrain from experimenting with the product in attempt to confirm my point. I’ve heard many stories that the OST of “Winter Sonata” almost lead to dangerous situations caused by the tears that were shed by the listeners, but this one is a different story.

I've got to tell you ... this album is truly dangerous.

Nov 19, 2006

Congratulations Maestro ♪

Maestro Seikyo Kim married Mimura on November 15.
Mimura (22) is a Japanese actress whom he met when he appeared in a film called
"Kono Mune Ippai no Ai wo (This Love that Fills the Heart)" starring Mimura.

The cast: The maestro is standing on the left of Mimura.

Congratulations Maestro and Mimura on your marriage ♪

Nov 13, 2006

Stories Leslie Kee Shared at the Exhibit

A member of a Japanese fan site B.S.J (Satovic’s site) went to the Super Stars Exhibit held in Tokyo on the opening day , and had the good luck of seeing Mr. Leslie Kee there. The photographer generously shared his stories and views on B.Y.J. (because there were many people surrounding the photographer at the time, please be informed that there may be minor discrepancies in this report)

☆ I (Leslie Kee) met Yong Joon and President Sohn of IMX at Gosireh before its official opening. Now that we were facing this situation (about the Tsunami? Or perhaps YJ’s popularity?), I, as a Singaporean and the two of them as Koreans agreed on doing something together for the sake of Asia here in Japan.

☆ In front of his camera, Yong Joon seemed more like a creator/ artist than an actor.

☆ He possessed an aura resembling that of god.

☆ Yong Joon himself chose the two photos to be shown at the exhibit among the 270 (?) which were taken.

☆ He looked at the photographs of the other 300 participants before he chose his own.

☆ I was very happy that he chose photos which were totally different from the other ones. (I would have been at loss if he had chosen something similar to the front page of “CREA” magazine.)

☆ He seemed to possess a sure eye on photography that was up with the professionals.

☆ Among the words for the caption (English words that could be understood by elementary school children) he chose the word “Family”. (I recommended “Royal”, but he chose “Family”)

☆ He voluntarily posed for the photos in a natural way. He liked the photo in which he laid down on the sofa. I gave him one in the same size as a gift, and Yong Joon said he had it up on his wall at home. He never thought about doing such a thing in the past. 

☆ He was not smoking.

☆ Compared to the other people, he only brought a few costumes to the photo session.

(I thought I heard him say, that he was invited to hold an exhibit in Seoul).

Thank you dorasuki-san for your report!

Nov 11, 2006

Introducing Leslie Kee

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From Sohn-san's blog:

I just got back fro L.A. ……………….(omit)

Today, I would like to introduce Leslie Kee to you.
This man who is a year younger than me is an extremely famous photographer in the world of fashion and advertising. He is another person I met in connection with BYJ. Although I am rarely able to become friends with someone I meet through work, with Leslie, I was able to open up to him immediately.

When he was working in New York, he saw the news of the Tsunami Disaster in Asia, and he set out to help the victims by doing what he was best at, which was to take photographs. He explained his ideas to the celebrities he met through his work and photographed them without compensation. He covered all the expenses such as studio fee, hair and make-up etc. on his own, and photographed a total of 300 Asian stars. Of course, Bae Yong Joon is one of them.

When we talked about doing something together, we immediately decided to collaborate on this exhibit of his photo collection, with IMX is participating in the planning committee. During its preparation, the staffs in charge were really hard at work, and Leslie himself worked all night until sunrise for many days at the IMX office. What is really wonderful about him is that through it all, he was always smiling, and proved to be a cheerful conversationalist. He is so positive at all times – being a worrier by nature, I sometimes feel disgusted with myself when I am with him (looking at in a different light, you could say that Leslie is naive.)

The exhibit we prepared hard for will begin in Omotesando from the 11th. And, the making of the shooting sessions has been compiled in a wonderful book. Of course, the book contains YJ’s photo, but it also includes an interview between Leslie and me (Sohn-san feels shy about it). Reading it, I find that I was not able to convey my real thoughts, and just like when you have your photo taken with puffy eyes, it is somewhat embarrassing. But the interview by the other artists and the photographs are really wonderful, so I hope you will come see the exhibit and also take a look at the photo book as well.

I think I will be writing about Leslie again in the future - I feel that as an Asian friend who I can share my dreams with, I hope we can always be close friends. Don’t you think that it gives you strength to carry on even at hard times, when you have a friend who you can really talk to? Following his example, I hope to try even harder in the future.

I would like to thank Leslie who has fulfilled his dream due to his strong will, and every one of the 300 stars who has participated in his photo collection and this event. I am also grateful for the staff members who are still dedicating their energy this very moment.

Nov 10, 2006

Why Classical Music?!

From Sohn-san's blog

Why Classical Music?!

I’ve often been asked, “why is your company dealing with classical music?" On such occasions, I try to explain it this way - there are many talented musicians in Asia, but because they perform music which has its origins in Europe, even someone who had been tagged a prodigy often has a hard time making it as he grows older. It is my wish to assist these artists to realize their potential.

For everything there is a catalyst, and what lead me to start dealing with classical music began with my encounter with Maestro Myung Whun Chung.

I had known of him since my childhood days – he is a celebrated figure in Korea who is known by virtually everyone. As a child, just like everyone around me, I took violin lessons around the age of six and quit immediately, then was made to practice the piano, and quit that, too in no time. Looking back, I think I should have stuck with it a little longer, but as a boy, I enjoyed baseball more, so it’s no use regretting it. Being the type that has a hard time keeping at something that is difficult, I can’t help respecting someone who continues to pursue his specialty for many years, remaining a leader of the world.

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Needless to say, it is great to see him in a concert for his wonderful conducting and performance at the piano, but I am also moved by the man himself – his down-to-earth and kind personality is revealed at times when we dine together. He changes from a charismatic conductor to a nice, good natured “ajoshi” (no offense) who serves pasta for the people at the table. . More than anything, he has been passionate about helping the artists of the next generation for some time now, and although he is very busy with his own career, he is constantly thinking about volunteering his services and carries them out energetically.

When I met the maestro for the first time, it was in the presence of HIH the Crown Prince of Japan, and both of them talked about Bae Yong Joon and “Winter Sonata”. They said Bae Yong Joon-san was really something. I guess a man who is really great receives the recognition he deserves.
Now, it wasn’t ME they were praising, and “Winter Sonata” is not even my own work, but I have a feeling I said “thank you” at the time. How foolish of me…

(Sohn-san goes on to recommend the upcoming concert that will sponsored IMX. Maestro Chung will be conducting the world renowned orchestra,Dresden Staatskapelle this month in Tokyo and Osaka.

Incidentally, Sohn-san complained of jet lag in his previous post, and had written the above early in the morning before he came back to Japan.
Turns out that he has just come back from a business trip to LA!)

Nov 7, 2006

And another...

The Making of Super Stars
by Leslie Kee

Price: 3500 yen

Available at Brokore, and Seven Eleven Stores

(10 % of proceeds will be donated to World Vision)

BYJ ~ Hero Compilation Set (REVISED!!)

I've revised the info on this product.

There are THREE ways to order, but only TWO types of products.

I hope I got it right this time ♪

BYJ Classics ~ Hero~

We bring you BYJ’s “present” along with the musical gems created by the geniuses of the past.
BYJ Classic- Hero is a compilation album of our recommendation chosen by BYJ from the classical masterpieces he enjoys on his own.

The photo book enclosed in the “Special Edition” contains many new photos taken by the world famous photographer Leslie Kee.

More, we have included heartfelt essays written by BYJ himself on each of the works and composers.
In the booklet enclosed in the “standard edition”, contains many new photos taken by the world famous photographer Leslie Kee.
An essay describing the scenes when BYJ listens to the music selected here etc. is also enclosed.

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BYJ Classics - Hero Standard Version

Price: 3500 yen

Contents (tba)

9 works to be included such as:
. excerpt from Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 “Eroica”
. “ Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte
. ” Richard Strauss’s “A Hero’s Life”

☆ 1 CD
28 p booklet

. booklet includes new photos by Leslie Kee – contents different from Special Edition

. Original essays written by BYJ himself on each of the selected work. (different from Special Edition)

.(photo of the product is subject to change)

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BYJ Classics – HERO- Special Edition

Price: 8500 yen

Contents (tba)

13 works to be included such as:
. excerpt from Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 “Eroica”
. " Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte
. " Richard Strauss’s “A Hero’s Life”

☆ 2 CDs
60 p photo book
contained in a special box (tba)

. Photo book includes new photos by Leslie Kee – contents different from Standard version

. Original essays written by BYJ himself on each of the selected work. (different from Standard version)

. Contained in a special box.

.(photo of the product is subject to change)

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BYJ Classics – HERO- Special Edition & Standard Version Set

Price: 12,000 yen

☆ To members who reserve the “Special Edition & Standard Edition Set”, you will receive a gift of a “Card with BYJ’s photo”.
This gift is provided only for shoppers at Brokore, so don’t miss it!

A Christmas present from wuri prince ...

A compilation album of classical music selected by BYJ.
With essays written by wuri prince himself!
AND photos by Leslie Kee

Nov 4, 2006

Actress Moon Sori

I am sure most of you are familiar with the fact that Ms. Moon Sori is a well respected actress in Korea.

Last week when I went to see "Family Ties" at TIFF, there was a Q&A session after the screening where the audience was able to ask questions to Director Kim Tae-yong directly. There, he shared some stories about his leading lady Moon Sori:

Moon Sori-ssi is a very intelligent and diligent actress. She is the type that likes to prepare thoroughly for her roles, rather than act spontaneously on the set (sound familiar? ^^).

Off the set, she is a lady who holds her drinks quite well.

We often drank together, and she would end up saying, "you know, I haven't had a boyfriend for some time now... if I meet someone nice, I just may quit acting altogether!"

And about Bae Yong Joon-ssi:

"Since I am working with BYJ right now, do you think I would have a chance to be a Hanryu star?"

Now, what do YOU make of these comments?

I personally think she is one modest actress.

And, just suppose......

If Moon Sori-ssi finds wuri YJ attractive, then what?