Sep 30, 2006

"Have We Ever Loved" Revisited

At the beginning of the year, I had the privilege of translating a beautiful piece of writing by our Japanese sister nory (aka "n829" on JOB).

Reading a posting today on KOB related to this drama, I was compelled to read nory's piece again. I find this tribute to one of Yong Joon-ssi's most extraordinary works, is just as moving as the drama itself.

So, to lovers of Jae Ho and "Have We Ever Love", I would like to share this piece again.

♪    ♪    ♪    ♪    ♪    ♪   

What Jae-Ho Left Behind

The main character of “HWRL”, Kang Jae-Ho was a boy who lived in the poor part of Seoul, literally laying his life on the line.He was a poor nobody, with no backing, and being abandoned by his own mother in his childhood days, he bore an emotional scar that would never heal. From the very day that his mother left him, he seals off the innocent and sweet boy he used to be. If he didn’t, it was going to be very difficult for him to keep on living. As a 12 year old boy with a wound in his fragile heart that was still bleeding, he would have to support his younger sister, and survive in a world that was not only suffering from depression, but filled with prejudice. This intelligent child probably learned about the irrationalities of the world the hard way. While diligently working for his living, he is ambitiously on the look out for a girl who he could use to climb up the social ladder. For a boy who could not love his own life, to live, was to fight.Until he meets a certain girl….
By being with her, he discovers his true self – the good person that he had buried in his young age. By discovering the utmost joy in the plain happiness of loving her and being loved in return, Jae-Ho experiences “happiness” for the first time in his life, and attains tranquility in his heart.And when he almost loses that happiness, it is then that he realizes the most important thing for him. That “to love her, is to love his own life.”
Attaining love in exchange for his own life, he even acquires a sense of appreciation for what he has, and leaves behind to those around him, things that are most important in life.

To Suk-Kook, he left behind “trust”.Jae-Ho was betrayed by this man countless times.But in the very end, he was the only friend that he could rely on.Jae-Ho entrusts his beloved sister to him. And on the very day that he was to be summoned to heaven, he held in his arms, the child who was born to Suk-Kook and his sister. Jae-Ho passes on his own life to this newly born baby, who was named after him. ”Raise him with care.”Smiling, he left his last words to his friend.

To Jin-Sook, he left “the affection of a son”.They were not mother-son by blood.In the days gone by, Jae-Ho must have suffered love-hate emotions towards this aunt.Jin-Sook, who was desperate in trying to survive in her own life, Jae-Ho gradually became a precious son to her.To this aunt, Jae-Ho was able to reveal his true feelings.Jae-Ho said to her. “Aunt, you mean more to me than my own mother…”For Jin-Sook, there were no words that could please her more. To his sister, he left behind the “affection of a blood relative.”Jae-Young too, had been abandoned by her mother, but not a day went by when her older brother’s affection was not bestowed on her.Protected by her brother who was both a father and mother to her, she was even allowed some self-indulgence at times, and was able to feel the warmth of a real family.Having become a mother, she would no doubt bestow the deep love she received from her brother on to her own son.

To his real mother, he left behind “forgiveness”.He resented his mother who had abandoned him, and there were times when that resentment was the only thing that kept him going.There were times when he would look back on the hard days he lived through, and thought he would never be able to forgive her.But even as he hated her, what made him long for her some where in his heart, and that gave him the courage to live, was a photo of her.Many experiences gradually melted his heart.In the end, mother and son parted after feeling the warmth of each other’s hand.

To hyon Gil-Jin, he left behind “true manliness”.Hyon was someone that Jae-Ho often could not surpass, and was like a older brother to him.Gil-Jin was born to an affluent home, and compared to Jae-Ho, he seemed to have everything.But even this Gil-Jin fought with all his might in order to help the woman Jae-Ho loves.He was the one who beheld the figure possessing “true manliness”, which must have left a strong impression in his mind.The two men had a special bond, and they respected each other, regardless of their differences in age and position.

To Hyn-Soo, he left “pain”.She was a sad woman, who could only love Jae-Ho in her own special way.No one was able to stop her from her outlandish conduct.However, she was finally able to come to her senses, when she saw Jae-Ho silently seek love in the limited time he had left.In living her life, she shall never be able to forget the pain.This pain was a path she had to go through on her way to becoming an adult.

And to his most beloved Shin-Hyung, he left the image of himself trying his best, an image which was to live forever in her memory.Shin-Hyung, who accepted the love from Jae-Ho who gave his all, embraced his life with love.“Do you know that I love you from the bottom of my heart?”“I am content just to have you realize that.”In the end, it was as though he was sleeping - the child-like beauty and innocence that had come over him was imprinted strongly in Shin-Hyung’s mind as she prayed.“May he rest in a world where he shall never feel pain again…”.Shin-Hyung shall live on. Proudly she will live for the rest of her life, with love always in her heart.

What then, did Jae-Ho leave for Bae Yong Joon?
Yong Joon claimed that he had a drink with this best friend of his, on the final evening.
Did he send him off in tears?Did he send him off with quiet words?
Only he knows the answer.
He, after filming “HWRL”, left show business to make a late entry to college, like Jae-Ho.
He is a man who continues to participate in volunteer activities for underprivileged children like Jae-Ho.
When Yong Joon speaks of “doing his best”, could it be that he is reminded of his close friend ?
This friend of his, who was not able to actualize his dreams, but was able to obtain love, the most precious thing of all, and left this world with a deep feeling of gratitude?

Bae Yong Joon should never be able to forget him.
Jae-Ho’s strength is Bae Yong Joon’s strength.The image of Jae-Ho living his life to the fullest, is the very image of Yong Joon living his life.
I would like to believe that Jae-Ho always has a place some where deep in Yong Joon’s heart.
Jae-Ho is not a figure who accomplished something.On the contrary, he had lost his father and mother, and due to his illness, he was not able to work for his beloved. In the end, he was not even able to see her or hear her voice.
Why is it then, that someone who has so little, can move us so?It is because he taught us what is most important in life, through the way he lived. He was not a clever man. Struggling with many things, he often shed tears. But even through these hardships, he never gave up on his life.He loved his woman with all the strength he could muster, and supported by her love, he loved his own life, and then made his exit from it.

We will never be able to forget what Jae-Ho has left us.What I want to remember more than anything Jae-Ho, is your smile.Jae-Ho, who is a real living figure for us, is probably working in the fish market of Seoul even today, working in sweat, dreaming of a happy life with the woman whom he loves most.

I'm going to SEE Seikyo Kim!

Thanks to our lovely sister Tomato, I was able to apply for a talk & autograph session which is going to be held at Brokore Land next week end.

As most of you know, Maestro Kim conducted the music of "April Snow" at the Saitama Arena event held last summer.
If you are interested in revisiting what the Maestro has to say about BYJ, please see my June 13 posting in the archive.

Because he is an extremely popular conductor here, fans rushed to participate in this event. I was really lucky to get in.

Thanks again, tomato!

Incidentally, Maestro Kim appeared in a popular talk show called "Top Runner" last month.

Tomato was in the audience that day!

AND, one of my favorite sopranos Maki Mori also made an appearance on the same show very recently.

I'm planning to line up to ask for Maestro's autograph.
AND I hope to ask him to collaborate with Yong Joon-ssi some day soon! (The Maestro is also an IMX artist!)

If any of you want me to pass a message to him,
I will be happy to.
Please let me know!

Sep 25, 2006

Actress Lim Sang Hyo

On playing a small part like Sujin in "April Snow"

- I did not have second thoughts about playing the part, as I had always liked Director Hur's films, and it was a good opportunity to act with my "face".
..... I am not saying that a beautiful face is important. It's just a vessel of expression. I also liked Sujin's presence that prevails throughout the film.

(From Brokore Magazine No.1, 2005)

Sep 24, 2006

A Very Special Recital by a Japanese Prima Donna

Today I attended a recital by a wonderful soprano called Maki Mori.

This recital was particularly special for me, because she held it in the local hall of my town, just 15 minutes from where I live!

Ms Mori won first place in Placido Domingo’s Operalia Competition and made her U.S. debut with the Washington National Opera. With the Los Angeles Opera too, she received rave reviews for her performance in “Werther” with Robert Alagna and Frederica von Stade.

She also made an appearance in the “Three Tenors” concert with Domingo, Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti.

As for solo recordings, Ms Mori has released “Bist Du Bei Mi”, a live recording of her recital in Carnegie Hall (2004, avex-CLASSICS).
She actively performs with both domestic and international orchestras, with an extensive repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary works. She recently collaborated with conductor Seikyo Kim (IMX artist), too!

Not only is Ms. Mori a wonderful singer, she is a beautiful person inside and out. Because I had the privilege of doing some translation work for Ms. Mori, I got to meet her backstage today, and she generously offered to pose for a photo.

Please enjoy!

Sep 15, 2006

The Other Side of Pallet

Untitled III
(Oils, 100×100)

Untitled II(2004 , Oils, 60× 74 cm)

Untitled I

(2003 , Oils, 100× 80 cm)

Sep 13, 2006

A Close Look at the Charisma - Part 1

The Real Bae Yong Joon Seen Through the Staffs of “April Snow”

This article is from the Japanese magazine
“We Love Korean Dramas!”
Mr. I.H. who was the director of the making of “A.S.” DVD ( and others) reveal the REAL B.Y.J. they saw while working with him for four months.

[No.1 – The BYJ They Saw Everyday]

☆ What was B.Y.J. usually like during the shooting of A.S.?

B.Y.J. always came to the site an hour early. From the moment he arrived, he would say hello to us in a good humored manner. Then, after changing into his costume and briefly putting on his make up, he would sit next to Director Hur and start to discuss the scene for the day.

The talks usually lasted for an hour, and sometimes it could go on for as long as 3 to 4 hours – the two would exchange ideas on the emotions Insu experiences that day, along with the means of expressing that emotion. In this way, the shooting would begin by harmonizing their views.

After they go through this dialogue and by the time the camera starts rolling, BYJ had already transformed into Insu. He concentrated on the character, and at times, he seemed to be agonizing on his acting. That is the BYJ we always saw on the site.

[No.2 – Mood Maker]

☆ What impressed you the most in terms of BYJ’s character?

Because he is such a big star all over Asia, I first felt a distance between him, and found it hard to approach him. But since BYJ likes photography, it was he who came to us first. The photography team, the direction team, and a lot of other staffs all became a photogenic subject for him, and through that process, he and the staffs became close. Maybe, BYJ was using photography as a means of approaching us.

He was exceptionally supportive of the younger staffs who were tired from the overnight shootings, and acted like a big brother to them. He was always cheerful on the set, and brightened up the atmosphere. Those humane qualities left a deep impression in me.

The long shootings that took all night must have been very hard on him too, but he would never avoid his fans that came to see him on the set, and tried to greet them if only briefly.

[No.3 – When BYJ was in a Good Mood]

☆ When was BYJ in a good mood?
In order to keep himself in top shape, BYJ was constantly exercising, and he took very good care of his physical condition. The efforts paid off, and we always saw him in an energetic state.
However, when I look back on the times that he was in the best of his moods, it was of course the times when he was satisfied with his own acting. The scene that he sings in the car and the scene in which he cries while drinking with his younger colleague are among the ones he seemed to feel satisfied with. Also, on the day we shot the scene he went on a date with Son Ye Jin to the cave, he claimed that he was able to act in a better way than what was expressed in the scenario, and seemed pleased with himself.
Also, he seemed most moved when he met with fans who truly loved him. When he met the fans who waited for him in the cold for several hours in the back section of the shooting locations, he expressed his deepest appreciation. When he received gifts that showed their affection for him, such as Korean ginseng juice, BYJ looked truly happy.

[No.4 – When he was not satisfied]

☆ At what times did B.Y.J. seem frustrated?
It took some time for even B.Y.J. to get accustomed to Director Hur’s spontaneous way of directing. He even confessed many times that it was hard on him in the press conference – the style was that stressful for him. So, when he felt that the emotions of the character he was playing was not expressed sufficiently, he seemed extremely sensitive.
For instance, when he was shooting the scene where he watched his wife having an affair on the digital camera, he agonized over his acting until dawn. In the scenario, Director Hur set the situation to have Insu confirm the scene of his wife’s betrayal on the camera, and then had him run to the bathroom to vomit. But when it was time to shoot, BYJ seemed to have a hard time accepting Insu’s behavior.
BYJ was really a perfectionist with a rational personality, and he really seemed to dislike having to proceed with the filming when he was not convinced with what was going on.

[No.5 – His exceptional acting]

☆ When were you most impressed with BYJ’s acting?

I think his acting in the scene when he cries while drinking with his younger colleague was exceptional. During rehearsal, BYJ empathized with Insu and immediately started to shed big drops of tears – the director and the staffs were amazed to see him do that.
After rehearsing the scene once, we did about two takes, and BYJ himself said he was surprised that Insu’s sorrow was really surging in on him. Because he is the type of actor who takes time to grasp the character, all of us had anticipated that the day’s shooting would take all night, but unexpectedly, we cleared it in two hours. His acting was that special.

[No.6 – His shyness]

☆ BYJ claims that he is a shy person – did you think that was really the case?
With people he was close to, and with people he got to know on the set, he seemed very assured and acted in an open manner. But when he met someone for the first time, his sensitive side was revealed. In that sense, he seemed like the shy type.
Even though he is always studying Japanese and English diligently, when it came to saying hello to his Japanese fans in Japanese, he would shy away. Turning back, he would say “I can’t do it. I’m embarrassed” with a shy expression on his face.

[No.7 Animated conversation]

☆ What kind of things did BYJ talk about at the location site?With the staffs, he mostly talked about the things related to each staff’s specialty. For example, with the recording staff, he seemed to talk about the performance of the microphones or its position, and how it was really hard to hold them up for a long time.Also, BYJ always took photos of the staffs while they were working, and created a lively atmosphere on the set by sharing these photos with them. He took interest towards online games that were popular among the staffs, and that became a major topic, too.While maintaining a glamorous image as a star, he also had interests which were quite similar to other men his age, and that made it possible for staffs to have enjoyable conversations with him.

[No.8 On the chemistry with the director]

☆ What kind of relationship did BYJ and Director Hur have?Because BYJ was not used to the director’s style of working on a scene with out a concrete storyboard, we often saw the two of them exchanging ideas. You can say that the two were polar opposites in terms of their approach. The director was not the type to give clear-cut answers – he would only give vague opinions like “yes, I guess you can say that….” BYJ on the other hand liked to come up with the best solution, and start from there. With these differences, both of them seemed to have difficulties in adjusting.Due to the difference of their styles, we ended up shooting the telephone scene in the hallway of the hospital more than 30 times.But I think both of them maintained their own position as either actor or director, and trusted each other to the very end. Consequently, even though their personalities and work styles were considerably different, by the time we finished shooting the film, it became easy for them to create the images they sought together without relying on lengthy conversations.

[No.9 On his partner]

☆ What was the relationship between BYJ and Sohn Ye Jin like?As the Director Hur requested for the two to remain distant from each other, BYJ and SYJ avoided dining together or hanging out with each for about two months. The shooting took place by faithfully following the emotional flow of how Insu and Soo Young became attracted to each other, opened themselves up, and eventually fell in love.After the mid-stage of shooting when the two of them became close, BYJ and SYJ joked around casually between shootings, and also had serious conversations on their acting, SYJ respecting BYJ as a senior, and vice versa. As an actor, BYJ envied SYJ’s innate acting abilities, and I think SYJ respected her partner for his magnetism in attracting people.

The Real Bae Yong Joon Seen Through theStaffs of “April Snow”
This article is from the Japanese magazine “We Love Korean Dramas!”Mr. I.H. who was the director of the making of “A.S.” DVD ( and others) reveal the REAL B.Y.J. they saw while working with him for four months.

[No 10 Sense of Humor]

☆ What kind of jokes did BYJ make?BYJ was very careful with his words, and was not someone who joked around very much. But there were times when he made us laugh with his spontaneous behavior on the set. For example, when we were shooting him from the back as he walked away alone in a lonely manner; immediately after the director called “cut!” he suddenly turned around towards the staff and laughed really loud. During another scene when he was throwing snowballs, he imitated a famous pitcher and smiled…. At times he seemed like a child, and he had a kind of pure sense of humor that seemed to come from innocent personality.

[ No. 11 Tension]

☆ Were there times when BYJ became difficult on the set?Hardly any. BYJ is not an actor who gives the impression of being “difficult”. But of course, since he is a top star, people paid attention, and were very careful around him. That kind of atmosphere created a certain amount of tension, but that was not due to BYJ himself.

[No.12 When he was drunk]

☆ Were there any changes in BYJ when he drank?In “April Snow”, there were about 2 scenes where drinking was involved. One was the scene where he drank with his younger colleague, and the other was when he dined with Son Yejin – for both of these scenes, BYJ actually drank in his acting. He was drinking shochu and beer - because he is the type that gets red in the face when he takes in alcohol, he seemed somewhat embarrassed with that, and there were times when he avoided our camera for the making film.But as the amount of alcohol increased as the shooting continued, he actually became even more considerate. He showed concern for Son Yejin asking her, “you must have drank a lot, are you drunk? Are you, alright?”, and towards the actor playing his younger colleague, he gave thorough advise on the balance of his acting. When we finished the drinking scene and were cleaning up, BYJ in a tipsy mood joked around with Director Hur saying things like, “you pick on the actors and give the staff a hard time – you are a bad director!” and made us all laugh.

Sep 11, 2006

The Legend

The beginning of a new legend.

Bae Yong Joon and Moon So Ri.

Sep 6, 2006

Merci, and congratulations Camille!

From the '06.9.11 Edition of the Japanese magazine AERA

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In Japan, the “Director’s Cut” Version is to be released soon-

Paris Falls in Love with Yon-sama’s “April Snow”, too

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Dear “family”, did you know that your “family” is growing by the minute?
There is a Parisienne that has been taken over by his beauty and gentleness.

One day, we received a mail from a passionate family of “Yon-sama” here at the editorial department.

“The film ‘April Snow” is going into its third week of screening in France. Won’t you cover the real story of how it is doing over there, and write about it in ‘AERA’ ?”

We sure will – and immediately, we looked into the situation in France.

The film was released on April 12th, Wednesday. In France, informative magazines and cultural magazines come out on Wednesdays, coinciding with the day new movies are released. Despite the situation where the film went up against rivals such as the animated version of the nation-wide popular cartoon “Asterix” series, “Sophie Scholl -The Final Days”, and “Rent”, “April Snow” made the cover of the “Pariscope”, which is like the French version of the Japanese “Pia”.

Evaluated as Second from Best

The French residents in Japan all claim that “Making the cover of ‘Pariscope’ is proof that the film is drawing attention”, but for both director Hur Jin Ho and actor Bae Yong Joon, this was the first film to be released in France. The number of theaters that were going to screen it was not that many. There was to be eight in Paris, and a mere 35 in total. The aforementioned “Asterix”, was to be released in 36 theaters in Paris alone, and a total of 606 throughout France. But considering the fact that this was the “first film” for the team, the situation was quite good.

According to the statistics of the French box office, “A.S.” had an attendance of 1449 on the day it was released in Paris alone, and the total number of people who saw it in France during the first week came to 23,000. Decidedly, the cultural magazines gave favorable mention of the film.

The weekly cultural magazine “Télérama” evaluated the film second to best (out of 5), and introduced it as “ A gem of film, with a beautiful portrayal of the subtleties of emotions…. The two leading actors present a miraculous performance in expressing the gentleness, hesitance, and wavering emotions. “

Also, news magazine “Le Nouvel Observateur” gave the highest praise, claiming it was “the most moving film since ‘The Bridges of Madison County’”.

There were also reviews that paid respect to the director’s ability, such as that in “ZURBan”.

However, I could not find an article that featured the actor Bae Yong Joon. I was starting to wonder whether this meant that Yong Joon fans did not yet exist here, when I came across a blog created in French called “Always Bae Yong Joon”.

The writer of the blog was Camille (49), a Parisienne who is also a mother of two sons.

Three years ago, a Vietnamese friend of hers who was an avid fan of Korean dramas lent her “Winter Sonata”, and she went head over heals for him ever since.

“At first, I was taken over by actor Bae Yong Joon’s smile, beauty and gentle demeanor. But the more I learned about him, my love for him in terms of his sincerity, gentleness, and human qualities grew deeper and deeper. Even when he is a great star in Asia, he is never arrogant, and is always humble. He is courteous, gentle and always calls us fans ‘family’. This is the first time in my life that I have grown to love a celebrity like this!”

Camille started her blog last December. It is basically in French, but in order to communicate with her “sisters” in Japan, she also translates her entries into English. She claims that on average, she gets about 40 visitors per day. She took paid holidays from work to see “April Snow” on weekdays, and saw it in the theater six times.

“I also had the chance to see it in a small film festival before it was officially released – the audience erupted into applause when it was over. In the theater, I have even seen a man humming the music as he was leaving. Every time I went, it was impressive to see that no one stood up from their seats until the credits were shown, and the lights went on in the theater.”

Through dramas and films, Camille discovered that “family” had a greater significance for the Koreans compared to the French.

“In the French society, the family system is not as austere as in Korea, and we are not tied so strongly to our families. When the children turn 18 years of age parents stay out of their lives. In our society, children do not need the consent of their parents’ to have a relationship with someone, and neither do they hide it from them.”

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Experiencing Happiness from Seeing the Film

In the portal sites where the viewers can leave comments on the films, one visitor called it the “ultimate melodrama”, and there were also a substantial number of comments which hailed the actors’ performance.

“Though the characters do not speak much, the actors’ rich expressiveness to deliver enables one to fully understand their emotions through the gestures and use of the eyes.”

“The scenario is not particularly unique, but the actors are good and the images are excellent. I experienced the happiness of seeing a film.”

Ms. Kuriko Sato, a Japanese journalist in Paris looks at it this way.

“I think the French felt a new sensation in a pure melodrama. Both man and woman are portrayed in a totally different way from the French films. In the past three to four years, many Korean films, particularly artistic works by directors such as Kim Ki Duk and Hong Sang Soo have been released here. In France, films are seen as a creation of a director, and these Korean directors are highly regarded by the cinefils (movie lovers) and critique magazines. Little by little, I think these films are becoming recognized as ‘Korean films”, independent from “Asian films.”

Expanding from the genre of artistic films, this year alone saw the release of two Korean films – “A Bittersweet Life” and “Duelist”. “Brotherhood”, which was released last May was screened in 108 theaters in France.

The Day Yon-sama will be Named No. 1

Although of a different genres from “April Snow”, “The Host (Gwoemul)” by director Bong Joon Ho stole the attention of the attendants during “Director’s Fortnight” at the Cannes Festival. From the fact that master filmmaker of Hong Kong Wong Kar Wai was chosen jury president, along with Zhang Zi Yi as jury, we could see that Asian films are given high recognition around the world.

Yes, in France, the “wave of Korean films” is gradually approaching.

Today, the “the most famous Asian actor in France is (still) Jackie Chan” (Camille), but it may not be long before that name is replaced by Yon-sama. And the day we see him walking down the red carpet in Cannes may be right around the corner.

(Written by Yuko Furuya)

Mr. Patrice Leroy Talks About Korean Films

A Nostalgic and Refreshing Relationship Between Man and Woman
- Brought Forth Through the Eyes

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In the early 70s, “Asian films” in France meant “Japanese films”, “Ozu”, “Kurosawa” and Nagisa Oshima. Later however, until Takeshi Kitano appeared, Japanese films lost their value in France.

The French then shifted their attention to Asian films other than the ones from Japan, such as Korean films. In them, they found not only a unique use of color in the images, but sensuality, delicate wavering of emotions, and the hidden eroticism of a man and woman… These are sensations that have been forgotten by the French people of today. France has become a very liberal country in terms of its religious beliefs and romance.

Living in such a society, the Korean film “April Snow” showed us a relationship between a man and a woman that is different from reality. Here, both of them desire to touch each other but cannot, and feel the connection between them through each others’ eyes. For women over the age of fifty, this is a nostalgic feeling, whereas the young generation discovers it as a novel sensation. Not only romantic movies, but Korean films with “violence” as their theme are also well received in France. The violence in Korean works becomes apparent with the eruption of hidden emotions. In France, violence is a closer existence. The difference is probably what attracts the viewers.

At the same time, some of the intellectuals have started regarding Korea as a historically interesting country. I do believe Korean films are beginning to set root here.

If I were to be asked if there was a possibility that Bae Yong Joon would be popular in France, I would answer “yes”. Presently, they are airing an American love story every morning which is obtaining a high viewer rating. If they show “Winter Sonata” in this time frame, it would surely draw attention. I would think that the yearning to see a romantic drama and the joy of discovering a man with a pure heart like Yong Joon is a psyche shared by women of all countries.

“April Snow” has laid the groundwork for him to be recognized there. If another film was released shortly, and draws attention, there would be a possibility that he would become a star even in France. Though of course, the French do not possess the mentality to rush over to the airport to see him (laughs)

(Patrice Leloy belongs to the French Ministry of Culture and is also a visiting professor at Keio University in Tokyo. Until 2005, he appeared in NHK’s French language program, involving himself in its production as well. He is currently creating a documentary film.)

Sep 5, 2006

And Finally....

Thank you yokee and tigger mom for sharing these photos!

Sep 3, 2006

O & N Once More!

This VOD was posted by 권오경 on QUILT.
Thank you 권오경!


Dam Deok!

Courtesy of 558923

AND makishi has kindly edited the Taiwanese news clip.


Sep 1, 2006

The Indian Calendar and Gosireh

Before I began to be involved with India, the thing that I found the most odd was the fact that the people there worshipped Ganesha, an elephant-headed god.

Because I am Christian, we do not worship idols, but I was in the mind of respecting what other people respected.BUT. An elephant’s head? Seriously?
It seemed just a bit too primitive…

That was my reaction, and I wasn’t really up to putting my palms together along with the other worshippers.However, the faith the people of India have for this deity is extremely strong.
The reason for this is because this god dispels every kind of obstacle.
Thus the Indians always worship Ganesha when they begin something new.
For example, when one begins building a new house, or when one drives their new car for the first time, they will make sure they worship this god.
It is also the god of learning, and the symbol of opulence.
When you look at it that way, it does give an impression of affluence、and the comic expression makes one happy.

It was introduced in Japan in the form of Shoden, and it is worshipped in some of the shrines. Considering an elephant's size, it makes me think that it would crush any hurdle that should come one’s way, and now, I have come to feel great affection towards this deity.

Pune, a town I visit often, is famous for its grand festival for Ganesha.
This festival called Ganesha Chaturthi takes place from the end of August to early September, and they celebrate the 14 days in which they believe the blessings of Ganesha is becomes the greatest. Today (August 27) happens to be the beginning of the festival...
So, if any of you are contemplating on starting something new, it may be a good idea to take the leap and start it between today and September 8. It is said that things go smoothly free of obstacles.

Actually the Indian calendar indicates not only the days of Ganesha, but many other good and bad days as well, and these mostly match the phases of the moon. The full moon is always a good day, but it also indicates certain things being appropriate depending on how many days have passed since this full moon.In the past month, the day considered the luckiest of all was August 4th.
I have an Indian friend who had their house warming party on this day.
And it just so happens that wuri prince chose this day for the opening of his restaurant “Gosireh”. We hear that Gosireh is fully booked so far, which means they are off to a good start. However, the waitress told us that 98 percent of the customers are wuri family, so they need to think about how to attract the interest of the general public. Also, because the sense of the season was not reflected in the menu as strongly as it is in a Japanese cuisine, it would be up to them to come up with variations that will motivate customers to visit again.

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Actually in the past, there were about two instances when Yong Joon held his press conferences on the day that landed exactly on the lucky day of the Indian calendar. In Korea too, there are people who tell fortune by looking at the calendar, and I got the impression that there may be a strong resemblance in the two calendars.

Ha ha ha, I look forward to seeing if the press conference of “Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi” will coincide with the next lucky day.

So, if you are thinking of giving up smoking, going on a diet, or saving money etc. and want it to succeed, why don’t you try preparing for it thoroughly and begin the project by the 8th of September?

The elephant god just may give you a kick in the back!