Jul 18, 2006

Article from AERA July 24th Edition

This is the latest issue of AERA (a popular magazine in Japan published by Asahi Shimbun).
I would like to share an article from this issue
that deals with our family. Enjoy!

(a portion of this article was translated by Joanne in QUILT. No. 10153)

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Behold – The dramatic evolution of BYJ’s fans

Yon-sama’s Family is HOT as ever

People who have not been swept away by the charms of BYJ have already forgotten the “Yon-sama Boom".
But things are not so with his “family”.
They are busying themselves with activities such as Japan-Korea exchange, charity events, academic conferences etc.
Take a look at the deep and passionate world of these fans.

By Keiko Kimura
(translated by flowerbossa)

Once I went through the door, I found myself in the world of Yon-sama.

The walls were covered with posters of Yon-sama’s films and commercials, along with blown up copies of photos from magazines. On exhibit, were oil paintings and drawings inspired by him. On the tables too, hand made goods with Yon-sama’s photos embedded in them were being displayed.

Time: June 29. Place Shinjuku-ku (Tokyo). In a party venue in Korean Town, “BYJ Bar”, one of Yon-sama’s fan sites had its Tokyo gathering. Approximately 90 women, (the majority of them in their 40s) assembled on that day. According to one of the leaders of the site, Ms. Megumi Uematsu (age 49), they were forced to reject many members, “due to the capacity of the venue” and had a waiting list for people who wanted to participate.

The site itself has approximately 3000 members from all over Japan registered as “family” (Yon-sama’s fans are called thus). This day was set for members to get together to share their passionate feelings with fellow family. Among the participants, there were those who created “works of art” out of their overflowing love for him. These were what were put on display in that room.
At the opening of the event, a video was shown on the screen. This valuable video was taken by a member called “paun”-san (52) who was able to catch Yon-sama at the airport in Jejudo last March.

“Oh my!!!”
“He’s so cute !!!!”

Some waved at the screen, some were on a verge of tears from excitement, and others just stared at the screen dazed… But before one could cool down, someone called out,
“Pae go pa yo (I’m hungry)!”

It’s time for lunch – pul-kogi and a Korean rice dish was served. At each seat, there was a place mat and a small bag for chopsticks with a collage of Yon-sama printed on them. This was made by one of the staffs of this group who had both designed and printed every one of them using her own PC and printer. Everyone put them away in their bags before they ate, in order to avoid spilling anything on them.

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(caption: All the souvenirs are handmade. "I couldn't possibly drink with this mug.
It would make my heart flutter!" says a participant.

The souvenirs everyone took home were handmade also. There was an original mug which made use of white mugs sold in 100 yen shops (a store in which the price for everything sold there is 100 yen), and had photos of Yon-sama pasted on them which were scanned from the internet and magazines and printed on waterproof material. As for the chewing gum that was given away, the wrappers were again original items with a picture of him printed on them: product name, “Yon My Gum”, ingredients, “passion and love”, expiry date, “as long as love lasts”. Ingenious!

“The PC skills of fans who have fallen head over heels over Yong Joon-san have improved dramatically. For these people, creating things out of images they downloaded from the internet is a piece of cake,” explained Uematsu-san.

(to be continued)


flowerbossa said...

mrs a,

Hello! Did you leave me a message here? I'm afraid there is a problem with my blog, and I can't see it.

Would you mind writing again?

Thanks in advance!

jaime said...

thanks flowerbossa for translating this news. The Japanese sistes are so creative and enthusiastic.

Are there many BYJ websites in Japan other than JOB? I guess it's like China and Korea. WHat about for fans who do not access the internet? DO you know how they form a fan group and how do they keep in touch? Is it using the venue that you just blogged about?
Just curious since they are still going so strong even when there is no news on Yonsama.

flowerbossa said...

Hi jaime,

Some of the answers to your questions can be found in the latter half of the article.

Yes, there are zillions of fan sites and blogs here in Japan.
"Pallet" (my mom) of course belongs to the older generation, and it's interesting how people she's never met contact her through the IMX mail system. The other day, she met up with one of them at Brokore Land. Women have a way of making friends quickly!

As for the people who do not have access to the internet, I'm really not sure, but I think some of them make friends when they go see his films or attend events(they talk to the person sitting next to them!)

jaime said...

O dear flowerbossa,

Thanks for the info. You mean Pallet, the talented artist is your mom! Wow, that's new news to me! You have an abundance of talents in your family, both art, literacy and possibly more! Please say "hi" and send my regards and compliments to your dear mom.

Yeah I know, women can make friends so easily. We can find the tidbits of commonality and expand it to engross our lives. We are truly an amazing breed, aren't we? I guess men also have it, it's called "Sports". They can form any partnerships and teams once they discovered the other person plays it too! I can see my hubby playing golf, baseball, basketball, basically anything that involves a ball!