Jun 20, 2006

From Fumi-san 's posting in JOB

I would like to share an excerpt from Fumi-san's posting in JOB, dated 2006-06-06

Originally in Japanese
Translated by flowerbossa

Today, I would like to give my views on why the Korean media is keeping quiet on the success of "April Snow" in France. There are of course journalists who support YJ, and I think they will write something related to this.

To give you an idea on the situation , here is an example. Last year, the Korean media used the phrase “a star representing northeast Asia” to describe a certain actor. Frankly, I laughed at this. What do they mean by “northeast Asia”? (Perhaps North Korea and the northeastern part of China?) I think they wanted to come up with a phrase that had Asia in it - like “representing so-and-so Asia”, but they couldn't use “east” in that phrase. If they said, “a star representing east Asia” or “a star representing Asia”, that would no doubt mean Yong Joon in Korea.

With another actor, they started to describe him as “a man transcending Asia, and a star that represents Korea in the west”.

In other words,

The star of Asia is Bae Yong Joon
Mr. A is the star of northeast Asia
Mr. B is the most popular Korean star in the U.S.
Mr. C is the most popular Korean star in Europe

This is the type of thing we see often. When you look at how “April Snow” is doing well in France, you would think people would write articles mentioning, “Bae Yong Joon, a star also popular in Europe”, but this would be “dokshiki (独食)”, something Koreans loathe.

Dokshiki literally means “to devour everything alone”, in other words, reign supreme. The male Korean society especially dislikes this dokshiki. In a company, too, when a single man gives a high performance, people will say “don’t dokshiki” and look at him with a cautious eye. They will try not to create such a person in the first place.

In Korea, it was reported that “Winter Sonata” was also well received in the States, and if he turned out to be successful in Europe, too, this would inevitably give the impression that Yong Joon is monopolizing the market. They would also probably want to deny his popularity in the U.S. and Europe.


marissa said...

Hi flowerbossa,

I've been wondering about it too since I've been watching arirang and they've mentioned about Duelist not doing well in France but never about the success of AS.

bb said...

thanks flowerbossa.

this is actually not the first time fumi has mentioned doksil... sighs, i guess in a way i can understand the mentality, but it's just so sad that some of the media have to resort to bashing yong joon coz they're afraid to make a hero out of him :(

bb said...

found that earlier piece of writing fumi posted on the quilt, here

flowerbossa said...

Hi marissa,

Fumi-san mentioned in a different posting that out of the 22 female members of the Korean National Assembly, 9 of them chose YJ as their favorite actor. They seem to like him for is warm personality. So, there ARE people who appreciate him at home.

bb, thanks for the link to the former posting. I'm sure he knows that he can't please everybody, but he just wants to go ahead with what he believes in!

jaime said...

Hi flowerbossa,

Interesting you bring this up in your post. I just happened to read a Hong Kong entertainment magazine today, they were bashing Zhang
Ziyi, the famous Hollywood Chinese actress. I have no opinion of her, but in China and Hong Kong, I read a lot of criticism about her.

This also leads me to remember another Hong Kong singer back in the 70s - Agnes Chan. Does that ring a bell? (or am I really that old?) She was an English folk song singer turned Japanese pop who made it big in Japan. She was invited to the famous Red and White Show for a few years. She was bashed in Hong Kong so badly even though she was very famous in Japan.

So, does that mean : contrary to the popular assumption that people take pride when one of their own make it big outside of their circle, instead they feel envious and defeated, therefore resort to belittling or suppressing that person's achievements? If this is indeed true, then the term 'dokshiki' should be more applicable to those people who do not like to see others succeed.

Yong Joon has gained a lot of fame and fortune, but he also gives a lot back to society through his charitable work and Hallyu promotion (Expos 2006).

Hopefully there will be more righteous and ethical reporters who approach a topic in a neutral manner, capturing views from different standpoints. Shouldn't this be in Journalism 101 already, by the way?

Sorry for the long comments, flowerbossa. Hope you don't mind.

regards ..... jaime

Toujours_BYJ said...

Hi Flowerbossa, I'm going to leave now but can't resist to drop a comment on your blog.
Thank you for your translation, I know that lots of Korean love YJ but just can't understand K-media.
And there are only K directors who are famous in Europe.

flowerbossa said...

Hi Jaime,

So you know Agnes! She is still a well respected figures here in Japan with her contributions to UNICEF etc.- here is a picture of her visiting Sudan:


Frankly, she was never my favorite singer, but it's amazing how she's secured her place in Japanese show biz after all these years. I didn't know she was bashed in her homeland, but somehow I am not surprised. On a similar note, I read an article written by an English sports journalist today, who said that he was sick of hearing his countrymen bash David Beckham. Which goes to show that there are people like that in any country. Sad.

There are some Korean journalists like Ms. Root Lee (I think you read about her in Quilt) who write positive things about him.
Hope others will follow.

flowerbossa said...

Camille, thank you so much for stopping by before taking off on your vacance.

Perhaps some people are jealous that a nice French fan like you have been so diligent in translating the comments made by the French audience.

We will miss you, but do have a wonderful time with your family!

bb said...

oh no... should i admit it or not...? i, err... know who agnes chan is :p

jaime said...

Ok flowerbossa and bb,

Nowthat the dirt is out, I also know the Bay City Rollers and David Cassidy! Those high rubber platform shoes back then could really break your ankles!

Yeah I remember when I was a little (I stress "little") girl in Hong Kong, one day I was walking behind Agnes Chan on the way to school. She was quite famous already but no one paid any attention to her. She looked very petite and fragile, reading a book while walking, quite a lonely sight from the back. I am glad she found her happiness in Japan.

So much for nostalgia!
regards .... jaime

flowerbossa said...


Hm,we seem to have a lot in common...

1. Not only do I know the Bay City Rollers, I was in love with Pat for awhile. It was in those days I discovered my "vocation" as a translator - I translated tons of fan letters for my friends.

2. I ran into Agnes a few years ago when I was on vacation with my family. And it was NOT in Japan. She was with her family, too, and yes, she seemed like a fragile person. Her sister is a doctor - my friend who lived in Hong Kong for awhile went to her clinic.

Talk to you soon!

jaime said...

Hi flowerbossa,

haha, so you were once a BCR's fan! Did you have a pair of those killer platform shoes? I remember begging my mom to buy those "giant erasers" for me cause I thought they looked so cool. Now I can't stop laughing!

So you found your calling to be a translator so early. How did you distribute your work back then with no internet? Lucky for us sisters now benefiting from your expertise. Thanks .... jaime

flowerbossa said...


Back in the good old days, we used to "write" our letters on dainty flowered stationery, remember? My classmates will bring in their Japanese drafts and after I gave the translations back to them, they will then copy it in their own handwriting. It wasn't only BCR, eiher. Queen, Kiss, and oh, what else? It was actually quite fun.

jaime said...

Dear flowerbossa,

Ah, who can forget those dainty flower stationary and pretty Japanese accessories? Unfortunately there was nothing that pretty here after I moved to Canada? Can you believe it, I still have some unused letter set with dry pressed flowers?

Thanks for bringing back these sweet memories!

love .... jaime

bb said...

bay city who...?

liezle said...

hi flowerbossa! thanks for sharing fumi's post in JOB. been wondering why kr media doesn't write about AS's success in frances? so this must really be the reason.

hmm, can i share this in byj thread at soompi?

flowerbossa said...

Hi, liezle,

Thank you for stopping by!

Feel free to take it to Soompi if you think they will enjoy it.

Have a nice day!

liezle said...

many thanks flowerbossa! *hugs*