Dec 29, 2008
「篤姫」 "Princess Atsu"
(This was famous actor Ken Ogata's last work)
(Thank you BYJ & Ryuichi Sakamoto for the inspiration!)
About the author: Momoko Ishii (1907-2008) Writer, Novelist, Translator ("Winnie the Pooh", "The Tale of Peter Potter"), Editor
☆ Best Actor
☆ Best Actress
Dec 19, 2008
Written by satovic
Originally posted on JOB & BSJ on Dec.15
translated by flowerbossa
(abridged with satovic's permission)
When I first heard that YJ was to appear in this event via live broadcast, being a skeptic, I had thought "ahh, he's probably just going to make a short appearance in the very end and say his 'kongan hashigo, henbokaseyo' to us... I 'm not going to expect much more than that..." But after presenting the first song, Kang Yo Hwan called out "hyeung~!"
What?! Was he going to appear so soon? Are you sure? Are you really sure?!!
When the camera moved back from the hard glass which showed the images of venue, we saw that it was a television built into the wall, and when the camera panned from there, BYJ who was watching it appeared in front of our eyes.
We all waved our hands toward the screen^^
If we were dogs, we would be wagging our tails - until they tore off^^
There are two kinds of live broadcasts; the first being the cheaper and easier method in which the sound and image are sent over, but because it is only one way, they are not able to see us. Only through a telephone, are they able to find out what is happening on our end, and that is how we communicate. The other way involves sending OUR sound and images to their side as well, and we talk to each other watching the respective monitors. When we take up the latter method, all the sounds of both ways get picked up, and there is also the problem of time lag when the relay stations of up and down are different and the handling of lines become quite complicated. But seeing that they still decided to adapt the way that is more costly and complicated, it must mean that they tried to create an atmosphere where we can become one, right? Yong Joon is actually looking at us! Doesn't that fact alone make one happy? It was a touch that really conveyed their intention, and we were off to a great start!
Yong Joon is sitting in a cream colored room with a Christmas tree behind the sofa - his long hair is that slightly wavy look, and he wears black framed glasses. In casual jeans and what seemed like a jacquard jacket of good taste, he had had a big black scarf wrapped around him, and he also wore the usual pinky ring and bracelet- elegance all around!
Responding to Yo Hwan-ssi's call, YJ started to call out to us saying "kajok yorobun...." and because it sounded so familiar like all his other messages, the fan wearing a big mask sitting on the right side of me mumbled, "tch, it's the same old message..." and those of us around her couldn't help laughing to her claim, but following that YJ started to say "Yo Hwan-a~! I always listen to your song on my site". This is great! When he calls out to the family, he tends to resort to the same message like a tape recorder, but this was different as it seemed more casual and we are able to listen in on a conversation between YJ and his friend. He continued with the words "Yo Hwan-a~,don 't be nervous now. I hope you family will give him your support too so he doesn't get tense." but when he tries to speak, there was time lag due to the satellite, plus the translator tried to do her job with his previous lines that ended up colliding with YJ's words. As a result, YJ stumbled a few times trying to speak.
If this was Kim Tei-ssi, she would have handled the situation accordingly and translated in the appropriate timing, so I was on the verge of shouting "Kim Tei-ssi! Please help!", but the expressions YJ showed when he was puzzled by the situation ("huh?", "what's that?") were quite cute. These type of unexpected occurences can only be seen in a live event like this. YJ is always at his best when he is natural!
Then, they introduced Ryu Seung Soo-ssi who was sitting next to him. Having his friend with him, YJ was very relaxed, but on the other hand Seung Soo-ssi seemed extremely nervous (^m^)
Even when he was handed the mike, he would not say a word - so remembering the episode we heard recently of how YJ would tell him to wake up early in the morning, I really got the strong urge to tease him and shout "hey, wake up early you hear~!" I was pretty confident that I could be heard among a crowd of 10,000 people, but it wasn't going to reach Seoul, so I decided not to ^^
"Ahh ... I ... I'm Ryu Seung Soo and I played the part of Kang Joon Sang's friend Yong Kuk in "Gyeoul Yeonga (Winter Sonata)". Nice to meet you..."
He was so tense that both YJ and the audience clapped with delight.
Then KYH sang song called "Hizashi (sunshine)" and then "You are My Everything" the BGM song on KOB. Running all over the stage, shaking hands and making high touch with the audience, he must have enjoyed himself in the atmosphere of "THE KYH SHOW!!" It would have been nice to have subtitles of the section spoken in Korean, but perhaps that's asking too much. We should try to understand Korean♪
Then Kim Tei-ssi entered the stage and asked him some details and he told us about how the song for KOB was created - once when YJ, KYH and RSS were having a meal together, YJ talked about how important his family was to him. Upon hearing this, KYH thought that he wanted to do something in return for all the support he has been receiving from BYJ. I had kind of suspected that some staff had done research on the Japanese family and commissioned the lyrics of the song using some keywords, but that was not the case. Along with the heartwarming story, I was impressed with his work.
He also mentioned that although he had a change of plans and arrived in Haneda Airport a day early, fans were waiting for him there and he was worried that they may have caught cold. Actually, there are people who go to the airport everyday to see if someone would come^^ But there were fans in the audience who already had the new CD that was released that very day and called out to him - surprised, KYH said "Wow, I saw that for the first time. Even I don't have one yet." I guess there actually were diehard fans that waited at the airport all night. It's good to see family produced by BYJ gaining popularity like this.
In the next project, BYJ is due to make his debut as a voice actor in the animation of "Winter Sonata". They said it was not decided what character he would be playing, and although Min Yeong was the only character which was made public until now, with Yujin newly introduced that day, we were able to see the trailer of the animation.
Yujin in the work looked just like the Yujin portrayed by Choi Ji Woo, and the story was set in France. She was on the way to a restaurant riding a bus in the countryside, but her expression is dark and something seems to be troubling her. But when she hears the sound of the seagulls on the sands of Mont Saint-Michel, it brings back the memories of the time they spent together on the shore chasing seagulls, and her expression lightens up instantly. In her bag, there was the cassette given to her from Chun Sahng on Christmas, where as CS held on to the 100 won coin which had been glued together. Watching the trailer makes us Winter Sonata fans very nostalgic, and the work seems like something worth forward to.
At the end of the clip, after Yujin squeezes out a scream "Chun Sahng-aaaaah" the screen goes white , it is followed by a narration "Have you ever loved someone so much that you are at loss for words?" and the trailer ends there.
SO?! Don't, don't tell me...
Could it be that Chun Sahng looses his eye sight and Yujin ends up suffering from aphasia due to stress?And that scene with her squeezing out her voice "Chun Sang-a" in the end - is it where she recovers her speech?
Does this mean they were not able to get CJW to participate in the production?
(now, if they censor this sentence, I'm probably mighty close to the truth^^)
(to be continued)
p.s. There was a post on JOB by a fan reporting on the press conference of the "Winter Sonata Animation Production" . According to her, there was a message from CJW, so she WILL participate in this work. I am so relieved^^I cannot imagine anyone else playing the part of Yujin...
Dec 18, 2008
Written by satovic
Originally posted on JOB & BSJ on Dec.15
translated by flowerbossa
(abridged with satovic's permission)
Yorobun annyong haseyo!
Ah, I must say that it’s been sometime since I had enjoyed myself as much as I did yesterday.
I was SOO happy!
It was SOO fabulous!
“Even Though We are Apart - Christmas with the Family” turned out to be an exciting event that was far better than I expected..
"Hey, I’m not going to an event that costs 6000 yen when YJ isn’t coming – in the first place, we're a bit TOO far apart if you ask me!"
Having these stingy thoughts, I had not bought a ticket for the show, but when I heard there was going to be a LIVE broadcast from Seoul, I got the sudden urge to see it - and thanks to a YJ chingu, I was able to get myself a ticket! If this live broadcast of YJ himself was not included, I still think 6300 yen is expensive, but with this live thing, it’s really worth it! In fact, I wish they did it every month!
It could be “A Chinese New Year with the Family” or “Chuseok with the Family”….whatever. If they did something like “Brought to you LIVE from the site of the shooting”, how happy we would be! Though it’s always great to have him come to Japan, I always get restless thinking about “where can he be at this moment?” and I also get this feeling that it would be bothersome for him to have us rush to the airport or hotel. So, I was actually able to enjoy myself more at ease with a live broadcast like this. The direction was good, and the professionalism of the show carried us into a world of dreams.
(Here, satovic warns us that she will give her “candid” comments on the event.)
I have to say that the event held at the Kyocera Dome in June was good only in the respect that YJ was actually there, but in terms of the staging… at the point the steel pipe stools were brought on stage, I realized with disappointment that the director of this show was not a dream maker. But this time around, considering everything from staging to the management of the whole show including ushering, I think this event deserves a high grade of 97 points.
Before I comment on the 97 percent that was fabulous, I will give my thoughts on the 3 percent that I had to take away, and that is on the chaotic management of how they led us before the performance. In order to enter the venue, an enormously LONG line encircled the dome, and there were some that had to wait as much as 2 hours to get in. But from some point, either because they increased the gates for entry, or opened up the entrance for the staff, a short cut was created for some who were able to get in passing by the people who were waiting in this long line. Because I reached the site just in time for the opening, I was able to get in through this route, and I’m sure that the people who had gone through the waiting thought “what was I doing for 2 hours?”
What surprised me this time was that I spotted a fair percentage of men in the audience. I would guess that some of the ladies from various areas of Japan came with their husbands. For those of us who have been family for 4 years, we could put up with this thinking “okay, here we go again…” because just about anything could happen at a Hanryu event, but I sympathize with the husbands who had to go through this treatment.
Next, about the photo exhibit that was supposed to be the other highlight of this event. Though I hear that the last 2 photos there were really gorgeous, because the photos of a Polaroid size contained in a glass case were exhibited in an office like space, the people were only able to go in in small numbers at a time, making it a very time consuming process. The way things were arranged makes one feel that the aim of the photo exhibit was not to “have the family enjoy it", but “to draw a bigger attendance by promoting the fact that there is going to be an exhibit”. Rather than this, why not display the photos on the outer circle of the long line having them face inwards so people in line can see them? Then the line will probably move faster with people wanting to see the next photo, and we can actually enjoy the time of the wait. Plus, because there would be security staff to watch over the line anyway, these people can watch over the photos too, and that would help save cost!
Because a portion of these photos were shown through a projector after the event, about a half of the audience who left their seats early were not able to see them, but those who noticed that they were being shown stayed to watch them. I thought that was a great idea in controlling crowd traffic so everyone will not rush to the exit at one time.
SO, now that I’ve gotten that out, let me rewind my cerebral video and we can start watching this fantastic event from the very beginning!
Alright, it’s now 5 to 5.
At a glance, the dome seems to be full, but the seats on both sides of mine were open, and I noticed 2 to 3 vacant seats in each row, which would probably mean the venue was about 95 percent full.
The stage was decorated with 5 illuminated objects in the shape of a Christmas tree. Because the smoke machine was placed on stage in a bare state, I had the bad feeling that this show was going to produced by the same production company as the pachinko promotion event. But the solemn sound of Christmas hymns sung by a male choir filled the dome, and I felt a pleasant sensation of the atmosphere warming up with the Christmas spirit. The person sitting on the left side of me was in a festive mood, wearing a santa hat with wings attached.
On stage was a very big screen, but there was also a 3 way monitor hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the dome, and we were able to enjoy a very clear image. They repeatedly ran CFs of Meganeichiba and the YJ Festival due to be aired on Skyperfect TV. YJ in the Skyperfect program looked really great, resembling the mood he is captured in between shootings.
Come five o’clock.
All of a sudden, even without a BGM, Kim Tei-ssi appeared on stage, and announced “…before we begin the show…”. We were mystified at first, but it turned out to be a presentation ceremony of a joint effort by Meganeichiba and YJ who together raised 10 million yen for a project to donate vaccine for the children of Nepal. When the amount 10 million yen was announced, the audience expressed a flicker of excitement and let out an “ahh~”. It is wonderful to see a company taking such initiatives. Doesn’t it make us proud to see wuri prince stand in front setting a good example? Kim Tei-ssi wore a black dress and short white bolero as if to cover her figure which has turned a bit plump after giving birth to a son recently, and from her voice, she seemed to have a cold. I was somewhat worried for her.
Then, the venue went dark, and with the image of fireworks on screen, a message from BOF was announced.
They said that after having their first event in June, they wanted to have one more family get together within this year. That’s right! With YJ only releasing a work only once in two years, if they don’t feed us with events like these, we will suffer from symptoms of withdrawl^^
And then on stage, Kang Yo Hwan –ssi made his entrance and started to sing the main theme “The Day You Come” from “Hotelier”. On the large screen, they started to show the scene where Donhyuk is jogging up hill.
“AAH, THIS SHOW is going to be a blast!”
I thought to myself.
Judging from the cut the director selected for the opening, it seemed that he knows the family’s taste and also that he had done his homework on the drama “Hotelier”. In the June event, it was very disappointing to see promotion clips from TWSSG in back of the orchestra’s live performance, which had no connection with the music.
But with this show it was different. For example, the airport scene where we were on the edge of our seats watching the two of them miss each other was connected from the highway scene where Donhyuk reads the e-mail; the last scene where the two reunite in the lobby was connected from the scene where the general manager is walking along side Jin Yeong … These cuts could not be created by someone who did not know the drama.
AND of COURSE, with that sexy cute pool scene and that nihilistic Donhyuk standing alone at the foot of the lighthouse included in the clip, this was indeed a “Hotelier Special” with the best of the scenes. Seeing that they only took up the famous scene in the hotel kitchen where Donhyuk forces Jin Yeong to kiss him with only a photo and that they did not include the exciting scene where he throws champagne against the wall, this may not have been a work by a “family”, but I thought it was satisfying enough as their intent of trying to please us was clear. It had been sometime since I was able to immerse myself in the world of “Hotelier”.
I had heard that Kang Yo Hwang had previously gone by the name of Kang Chul, and I was wondering if that meant that the hotel staff who went up on stage to sing the main theme and he were the same person. I had the impression that the actor playing the porter was tall and darkish with a square face, but the Kang Yo Hwan I saw singing yesterday was a fair guy with YJ like glasses, and he still seemed to have some boyishness left in him. After singing one song, he said hello in Japanese, and then called out, “now, I will like to introduce my hyeong (brother) to you. Bae Yong Joon-ssi!” He was calling out to Seoul. Who would have thought YJ would make his appearance so early in the show? I was so surprised!
Dec 10, 2008
translated by flowerbossa
The costumes of the common man are all airy...BUT....
"OK, we're going to take the fighting scene!"
"Oh... alright (sighs)"
It gets pretty tough when they get wet....
"Try moving more quickly~!"
"I ... I feel weighed down.....^^;"
Dec 8, 2008
Seems wuri bb caught the "VIRUS" recently...
Wouldn't mind catching it myself, provided it's that specific one^^
Her post reminded me of two of the greatest dramas I saw this year.
More Beautiful Than a Flower (2004) - 꽃보다 아름다워 (Kkot-bo-da A-leum-da-wi)
This is truly a gem of a drama, screenplay by Noh Hee-Kyeong, the writer of Have We Really Loved.
Here Kim Myeong-min is part of the main cast, playing the part of Jang In-cheol.
Some of you may remember KMM went up against BYJ in the MBC Awards last year for his performance in The Great White Tower. Though I have not seen the drama, I would guess that he was very good in it judging from his acting in the former work.
Would be fun to watch him & BYJ together some day!
This was another drama in which the story, acting and photography blended beautifully creating a work that will be long remembered.
Here, Jan Keun Suk plays Hwang Jin-i's first love Eun Ho.
Dec 2, 2008
Well, now they have a new outfit!
Enjoy your date Chun Sahng & Yujin^^
Nov 24, 2008
Nov 12, 2008
Thank you makishi-ssi for the VOD on QUILT!
Four years ago on this day Nov.12.
MC Kotaro Koizumi (who is btw, ex-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi’s son): First of all, please look at this photo.
Main MC Monta Mino: It’s Yon-sama.
(video of WLS, newspaper clippings etc.)
Narrator: Last month, BYJ was awarded Korea’s Order of Cultural Merit, and also appointed promotional ambassador.
YJ: I feel a great responsibility in my new position, but I will do my best to promote the beauty of Korea and its cuisine.
N: More than 500 fans from Japan flew to Korea to get a glimpse of him at the award ceremony. It was 4 years ago that BYJ started an unprecedented boom.
(video of his arrival at Haneda Airport)
On his first visit to Japan, many as 5000 fans flocked to the airport to see him. That was the greatest number of people ever to gather at the airport to greet one man. Fans called him “Yon-sama” and this boom became a kind of social phenomena.
In the midst of this, a sensational announcement was made. In his first photo collection, he was to reveal himself in a totally different image from what he was known for. It was on this day November 12 2004 that advanced orders for this book were accepted in Korea and Japan simultaneously.
What is it that he captures the hearts of Japanese women so?
BYJ debuted as an actor at the age of 22. He started out in this world after participating in an audition with a friend.
(video of “Love Greetings”)
From his very first drama, he was cast in the leading role. Even here, he can be seen wearing eye glasses which have now become his trademark.
His 1996 drama “First Love” marked the highest viewing rate in Korean drama history of 65.8 percent. BYJ had become a great star in Korea only after 2 years from his debut.
BYJ appeared on Japanese TV in April of 2003, in a drama depicting pure love, “WLS”.
(video of WLS, brief explanation of story.)
In this drama BYJ portrayed a role of an elegant and a gentle man.
The drama was received with unexpected enthusiasm, and many Japanese women came to love him.
Ad copy writer Junko Matsuyama is one of these women who fell for the drama and even wrote a book analyzing BYJ. She comments:
“It was a sensation I had not experienced in a long time. First, my mother had borrowed the DVD, and that was really something. She lost 7 kg, and her complexion was glowing. It may sound strange, but I think she regained her hormone balance – by knowing BYJ she was restored as a woman (flowerbossa: she used a funny phrase “like the tap was opened again.")
The women who fell in love with him started calling him “smiling prince Yon-sama”, and purchased BYJ related merchandise which came out one after another.
Reporter: So this is a Yon-sama cup.
R: Is it alright for you to drink from it?
F: Oh, isn’t it awful of me~?
From their urge to be near to him as possible, many even went over to Korea, and Fuyusona (WLS) tours became the rage.
F: Oh this is so wonderful, it’s like a dream.
And finally on 2004.4.3, Yon-sama planned his first visit to Japan. Women outnumbering fans who would go to greet a Hollywood star flocked to the airport to see him, and waited breathless for his appearance at the gate.
Mr. Takemura, a reporter who covered this event for Nikkan Sports recalls, “There was nothing like it. Some people waited all night in order to see him. It may be alright for a young girl, but an all-nighter for a 60 year old woman can be pretty tough.
BYJ was actually not feeling well that day, but hearing that fans were waiting for him from the day before, with the help of IV, he landed in Japan in spite of his condition.
And THE moment….
(video of chaos…. Fans: “where? where is he?”
Yon-sama, though overwhelmed by the fervor, showed his brightest smile.)
(photos courtesy of Japanese sister tomochang )
For the fan gathering scheduled on the following day, 60,000 people applied for the 2000 tickets which were sold. Despite the pouring rain, fans that were not able to obtain tickets flocked to the site anyway, and even waited at the back entrance.
In his first words towards his fans, he told them (in Japanese), “I really wanted to see you. In this moment, I am filled with happiness.”
This was not the only expression of his sincere feelings towards his fans… Later in the meeting, he called out to the lighting staff,
“Could you turn on the lights in the audience so I can see everyone’s face?”
The fans were moved all the more for his feelings towards them.
In an interview (2004.11) he claimed:
“I enjoy being with my family. Meeting them one by one, shaking hands while looking into their eyes, exchanging greetings… I want to talk about personal things too, but I am really sorry that I don’t have the time for it.”
For Yon-sama, his fans are his family.
Takemura-san: BYJ who calls his fans family, realizes that he owes it to his fans that support him to be in his present position. It is perhaps an attitude that Japanese celebrities have forgotten, and accepted as something fresh by the Japanese people.
His popularity which knew no limits, even led him to appear in commercials where he flashed his signature smile.
(video of CF – Oronamin C)
Yon-sama with his fresh appeal…
But in October, a sensational announcement was made.
In his first collection of photos, he was to reveal his muscular figure.
“Unlike ordinary photo books with photos of me in my usual style, I wanted to take on a challenge in a new genre as an actor creating a new kind of work, creating a new image of myself."
Commemorating his 10th anniversary since his debut, he wanted to show himself in a new image to his fans, freeing himself from the image in WLS.
To achieve this goal, he went through an excruciating training program to change his physique.
The general producer of the project Lee Dong Hoon explains " because we had only 3 months to complete the collection, he worked to build his body through various ways including a strict diet -he restricted his intake of salt, ate fillet and tomato in the evenings. He claimed that without making such efforts, it was meaningless to present a photo book to his fans."
BYJ: Because I didn't take any salt and sugar, I had sleep disorders and experienced nights when I could not sleep at all.
N: Through such efforts, the collection was completed.
The product of a strict diet and a 4 hour daily training program was a fabulous physique with only 3 percent body fat.
And exactly 4 years ago on Nov.12, 2004 from 12 a.m., advance orders on the internet was accepted both in Japan and Korea. Fans tried to access the site immediately after the designated time, and due to an overload of access 40 times more than the usual amount, the server went down temporarily.
The book which cost 14,700 yen per copy was so popular that only after 5 days, the first edition of 50,000 copies were sold out, marking a sales of 735 million yen.
What is it about BYJ that captures that hearts of women so?
Takemura-san: It's about the diversity of his style. This star BYJ possesses many dimensions and his fans accepted this. N: In a Korean restaurant called "Madan" in Shinjuku (Shin Okubo), there is a room where the walls are decorated with photos of BYJ. Women who are enchanted by him visit this room daily.
(photos from the site "Ni-Korea)
76 year old fan: Just when my life attained some peace, BYJ appeared. He gives my life purpose, and I am enjoying it. I would like to live at least 10 more years.
74 year old fan: Obviously he looks wonderful, but now days I support him for his attitude towards life. (applause)
N: BYJ - this man brought excitement to the hearts of Japanese women. He shall continue to make them shine, by always showing himself in new ways.
Nov 6, 2008
Ayane Sakurano as Kiha
Yuhi Ozora as Hogae
the first troupe to introduce the revue to Japan. Celebrating its 95th anniversary, they will stage "TWSSG " - Under the Star of Jushin -"
On Oct. 29, they main cast and staff held a press conference:
Asked about the pressures of playing the same part as "Yon-sama", top star Matobi answered:
"It's true that people around me mention to me, 'so you're going to play Yon-sama's role'. I do feel pressure in a good sense, and at the same time, it is an honor. To be given the chance to perform the role the one and only Yon-sama played is truly a rare opportunity. The figure Damdeok is a king, yet he seeks the happiness of the people. I sympathize with him. How should a leader act? (As the top star of my troup) I presently think about the same thing along with Damdeok. "