From fumi-san's thread on JOB dated May 30,2006
Translated by flowerbossa
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Yong Joon mentioned that “I do not have ki, so there are times when I cannot get along well with the other actors”. “Ki” is a genuine Hangul word, and I will explain what it means. I recall writing about this 2 years ago, in the beginning part of my analysis series on YJ.
So, what is “ki”?
There is such a thing called “charumera” in Japan (flowerbossa’s note: the music you can hear from the rahmen vendors), and I heard that the origins can be traced back to the days of the Korean Correspondent Mission.
It is said that in those days, the delegates from Korea played music while they marched in the streets of Japan, and this came to be called “charumera” in Japan.
Apparently, when the people heard this “charumera” by the Korean delegates, they gathered to see them. From this tradition, the “charumera” is used in the present day Japan for the purpose of attracting customers. In both Koreas, too, this “charumera” is the music used to attract people.
In the old days of Korea, there were many acrobatic groups (as can be seen in the movie “The King’s Man") and these groups were called “tantara”.
“Tantara” is a word which expressed the actual sound of the charumera. In Korea, this music used by these acrobatic troupes to attract an audience was called “tantara”. Even today, entertainers in show business are called “tantara” －although it is a discriminatory word.
Traditionally, the acrobatic troupes (also called “kuande”) were also able to sing, dance and do a comic act. This is the characteristic of the acrobatic groups of the old times. In Korean, “acrobatic group” means “to have the ability to do anything to entertain people”, and the talent to be a member of the “kuande” is called “ki”. It is an old, genuine Hangul word (meaning there is no Chinese character for it).
In the present day Korea, artists in show business are still called “tantara”.
The society sees actors or “tantara”, as people having versatile talent to do anything to entertain the audience, and in fact it is a “must” for them.
Thus, we often say, artists must have “ki”.
Now, Yong Joon does not sing, nor does he dance, and he does not pull funny jokes – he seems like an artist that is not capable of doing the things the “tantara” in the past were expected to do. In such a case, we would say, “Yong Joon does not have the talent as a tantara” in other words, “he does not possess ki”, and I believe this lead him to make that comment admitting this.
This concept of “tantara” and “ki” has a significant influence in the show business of Korea today.