Jul 27, 2008
. Proposal to the Media
“You mentioned that I have appeared in a variety of genres of dramas and movies in the past… the Korean reporters who regard me favorably say ‘you show us a rich variety of styles in acting’…But the reporters who do not have a very good impression of me or don’t look at me favorably point out that my acting is always the same.”
…laughs as if to liven up the atmosphere
“I think there are more reporters who are favorable towards me than those who are not… Actually, there was one time when someone from the Korean press said to me “you are not cooperative”, and I told them “I don’t like you people either.”
“I (always) speak my true feelings, so I don’t want them distorted when they write the articles.”
.... in a gentle tone, BYJ revealed his honest feelings.
“When I see my comments coming out in an article in a totally different form, I become truly disappointed and hurt. I think words convey a totally different meaning depending on how it is expressed, and some of our Asian family may also be hurt from reading these articles. So, the reason why I said that to the Korean media is because I thought that if I just kept quiet, there would be no distorted articles. But I told them if you are willing to write without distorting my thoughts, I would be happy to speak to you as long as you like.”
“On the subject of genre…. I am the type that when I have an aim to choose something, I become motivated to do it. So, I want to take on as many different types of challenges as possible. But, even if there is a variety in the works that I choose, as long it is expressed through me, I think you will be seeing similarities in them. However, I do have the desire to appear in a variety of works and genres, and I have done so till now. By doing so, I think I will be able to grow.”
. About the future
“The next work is not yet decided. I will be doing a voice-over for the “Winter Sonata” animation. There is also a plan to make a drama from a Japanese comic, but this has not been finalized yet. In any case, I think I will be able to see you all in a new work.”
It was way past the scheduled time for the interview, and the staff asked us to limit our questions to one for each company. However, BYJ saw what was going on, and amiably offered to go on with the interview treating all of the companies in the same manner. While we (the press) were all feeling gratified for his thoughtfulness, as if to loosen up the atmosphere even more, he softly commented on the tape recorder that was placed on the table.
“(When it comes to gadgets like these) I like analogue ones too.”
He made us feel even more relaxed.
“Analogue things really have charm.”
(Asked which he enjoys more – producing the restaurant “Gosireh” or working as an actor.)
“I cannot compare the two. I am initially an actor, but I have a completely different aim in producing Gosireh, that is introducing the food culture of Korea. So, I cannot say which I enjoy more.”
The original interview was scheduled for 30 minutes, but an hour and 20 minutes had already passed.
. Between the two cultures
“In Gosireh, I am introducing the Korean culture to the Japanese people, and I am always asking my staff how I can do the opposite, that is to introduce something from Japan to Korea. In my country, sometimes I feel there are more Japanese restaurants than Korean ones, and things like “natto (fermented soybeans)” which were not known 5 or 6 years ago are popular now. So honestly, I really am at loss in trying to come up with something to introduce. If I could walk around freely and look at all sorts of things, I could get some ideas, but I regret that I am not able to do that.”
. About the future drama
“I experienced many injuries while working on my latest drama. I did not expect such things to happen. When you think about it, you really cannot predict what will happen an hour from now, can you? Nor can we predict what will happen tomorrow, never mind 10 years from now. In my mind though, I wish I can promise my family that I will continue to work hard forever…, but these promises should not be made lightly. So, that’s why I want to live each moment to the fullest and live through time with a sincere attitude. What I am able to say is that I do have the will to make an effort.”
(on the matter of the press knowing about the possibilities of the new drama “Drops of God”)
“How did you know? Was it written somewhere?
BYJ asks press. Reporter immediately answers “everyone in the family knows.”
BYJ says wryly, “So, I guess I’m the only one that didn’t.”
Press answers, “it was reported in the Korean papers after the Premium Event.” BYJ was careful in answering.
“It is not decided… I haven’t read the comic yet… as of the role, yes I think I would be playing the part of the big brother.”
(asked about the bed scene in the comic.)
“I don’t think we can put that in because it is a drama.”
(asked if he likes wine.)
“Before I injured myself, I usually drank a glass or two everyday, but since my knee has not recovered yet, I am not drinking.”
When the long interesting interview finally ended, the press burst into applause. We were quite impressed with this man who “possesses his own words, and speaks in his own words” in a sincere and polite manner.
……it seemed that BYJ had a crammed schedule on the day we met, and the interview started later than planned. His staff apologized many times about the delay, and added that “since his leg is hurting, he is presently going through rehabilitation.”…
…. Many members of the family are not only mesmerized by his acting, but by BYJ himself. Perhaps they see something in him that cannot be found in the men around them, and consider him an ideal man of sorts. From that perspective, we come to respect him highly for his extraordinary thoughtfulness and graciousness. We cannot hide our disbelief in the fact that such a man exists in this cold world.
His previous visit to Japan was made before the box office ratings for“April Snow” had come out. However, this time, he came here after the great success of“TWSSG” in Korea, and him winning the MBC awards at the end of the year. Probably because of this, we were able to feel a sense of confidence about him and he seemed to be relieved that he had overcome a big challenge. During the interview, he slurped his ice-filled Yuzu tea with a straw in a boy-like manner which was quite cute. It may sound strange to speak of a grown up man like he is a boy, but curiously, this seems natural when it comes to BYJ.
I recalled how BYJ was labeled a “perfectionist” from the drama crew – now after going through this meaningful interview, I have come to think that rather than being a perfectionist, he is merely someone who pursues “quality” more than anything else. For this very reason, we were able to have this interview - rich in content - under his motto of doing his best in every moment. Spending time of high quality with fellow reporters, I left the hotel with a certain satisfaction one feels when one’s intellectual curiosity is fulfilled. Bae Yong Joon, a special actor “who possesses his own words, and speaks in his own words”. We will still not be able to take our eyes off him in the years to come.
Jul 25, 2008
(photo courtesy of Japanese sister arayo)
Excerpts from FLIX magazine 2008 August edition
BYJ - a Man Who Speaks in His Own Words
. BYJ’s thoughts towards his parents:
“Being a good son means to show them I am healthy and doing my utmost…”. But as if he felt he was being too serious he added, “I was hospitalized after finishing the drama… but I told my parents that ‘since the newspapers exaggerated on my condition, I am pretending that I am in pain. So don’t mind the articles.'" As he said that, BYJ laughed “ha ha ha” like an innocent boy.
. His feelings of appreciation towards his fans:
“What I liked most about the Premium Event was that I was able to move around the dome in a car. On stage, I can't see my family no matter how hard I try. This time, I was able to see their faces, and we were even able to have eye contact. We were not able to exchange words, but I was moved to find that we were able to have a transaction of feelings and hearts through looking at each others’ eyes.”
But after saying that in a solemn manner, he said,
“But the other members like Kim PD and Moon Sori-ssi claimed that the muscles of their faces were twitching from trying to smile.”
BYJ placed the palm of his hands on his cheek, and using his long fingers, he demonstrated how their muscles were twitching. Laughing the whole time, he added , “ha ha ha, but I didn’t experience anything like that. It was probably because I was reveling in the happy experience…”
So happy he seemed to have been able to have eye contact with his family, he joyfully added, “when we finished going around, the Korean family members said, don’t bother with the rest of the program, just keep on going round and round.”
Again bursting into a laugh, he said “I felt the same way. And I came up with another idea. Maybe if we made the car smaller we could get closer to the family.”
. About Philip Lee
“I do not have a younger brother, but Philip became like a real brother to me. It may sound strange to say this about a man… but I truly feel affection towards him. He is like a real family to me. Because he was born and raised in the states, he is very straight forward in how he expresses himself. When he calls from New York, he says things like “Hyung (big brother), I want to see you (I miss you)” or “Hyung, how are you doing?” in a frank manner. He is here with me in Tokyo now, and enjoying going to different places in Japan. Park Sung Woong is here too. While I’m doing this interview, they are sleeping and eating to their hearts content, and enjoying shopping (laughs).”
BYJ seemed somewhat envious.
“Since I enjoy taking photos, I told Philip that photography is a good hobby. He bought a camera right away, so I gave him a lens to go with the camera as a gift. He is really into photography now.”
BYJ is giving a lot of gifts to his co-players. Asked what he gave to himself as reward, he thought hard. After awhile, he said unemphatically, “first of all, I rewarded myself with a trip to New York. After that, I came to Japan, and though my previous trips here usually ended up with only work, I am planning to stay on for a few more days this time. I’m hoping to go to a few places so I guess you can say that that is my reward.”
(to be continued)
Jul 21, 2008
Translated by flowerbossa
"What ... what is the cause of this pain...."
"It must have been the salty food ...."
"I made this a health-conscious restaurant from the lessons I learned from my previous life."
("You've got to be kidding...")
Jul 19, 2008
Jul 12, 2008
Translated by flowerbossa
The Agony of the Young King
Since leaving the Guknae Castle, his insonmia got even worse....
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
Thank you saita4 nim for sharing♪
(4 koma manga, or 4 frame comics is a form of Japanese comics originating in newspapers and magazines.)
Jul 7, 2008
Written by satovic
Translated by flowerbossa
Shinkansen (bullet train) Nozomi no.72 – to depart Shin-Osaka at 8:17 a.m., arrive in Shinagawa at 10:45.
From Shinagawa to NHK in Shibuya… should take about 30 minutes. That means I would make it to the press conference on time!
Putting a toothbrush in her mouth, Satoko turned off the PC.
The couch surrounded by tattered Indian documents in the Ayurveda lab had served as her bed for the last 2 days.From the morning after the dreamlike event at the Kyocera Dome, Satoko had been assisting the task of translating the Indian document written 1500 years ago called Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita. In the meantime, Yong Joon was in Nagoya to look at the new building where he was due to open a new restaurant.
From her “sisters”, Satoko received tons of mail reporting YJ’s every move. Reportedly, he made his appearance wearing Michael Jackson-like sunglasses.
Satoko herself was busy with the task of making a list of natural medicine until two in the morning, along with her almost 80 year old master.
The work was unglamorous – it involved identifying the Latin name to each of the Sanskrit botanical name, picking up the constituents of the plant from the English documents and adding the Japanese name to it. While going through this monotonous task, YJ’s soft voice she heard at the dome rang in Satoko’s mind.Oh, he was so fabulous~ ♡ It was because she was able to derive energy from him that she was able to work hard.
In the past few years, Satoko’s mind was occupied with Korea and India. Her passion for Korea of course meant “BYJ”. And as for India, her devotion was directed towards the traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda. Originating 5000 years ago, Ayurveda is not merely a method of managing ones’ health; it is an ancient science full of wisdom for the happiness of all living things.
Satoko had started a company last year to spread Ayurveda with the hope of getting the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare to recognize it as a form of alternative medicine. But because even the most basic instructional books have not been translated into Japanese, she needed to complete the translations while the old masters were still alive.
Sleeping on the couch was nothing, if she would be able to succeed in her project. It was a walk in the park compared to spending 30 hours in a “cage” at Kansai Airport^^
Many people who first met Satoko were bewildered by the combination of her activities as a “die-hard BYJ fan” and her devotion to the sacred ancient medicine, but Satoko saw no conflict between the two because for her, both “made people happy" - she was pursuing the two things on the same line.
Indeed, the Kyocera Dome was filled with an aura of happiness with the fans excitement over being able to see YJ.Satoko could not forget seeing an old lady in the ladies’ room that got up from her wheel chair with great effort smiling all the time.
Fans from all over Japan were happily exchanging local sweets and goods they made on their own. There were some sisters living in the Osaka area who willingly took their friends on a sightseeing tour around the area, and there was even a sister who had invited Satoko to a formal tea room in Kyoto.
Through the internet, Satoko met these people she never would have met if it hadn’t been for YJ, and the friendship had lasted for over 4 years. Even junior high and high school lasts for only 3 years – they had spent more years together, laughing at times , crying at times. A valuable bond, all brought forth through YJ.