"Who are the best in their fields that the heart must come before ability, honor and money... "
"The attitude should be wholehearted and truthful."
-Bae Yong Joon-

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

[News] (37) 'Yonsama': Korean love god captures Japanese hearts

source: hancinema / soompi / dam-su

Actor Bae Yong-joon waves upon his arrival as Japanese fans gather at Tokyo International Airport in Narita on Nov. 25, 2004. Bae, a main actor of the mega-hit Korean soap opera "Winter Sonata", was on a promotion tour of Japan. / Korea Times file
Actor Bae Yong-joon leads 'hallyu' (Korea wave)
Some years ago, this writer climbed into a taxi in Seoul. As is commonly the case, the driver asked where I was from. On hearing "the United Kingdom" he responded, "Aha! Beckham!" Then, in excellent Konglish, he continued, "U.K. ― David Beckham! Korea ― Bae Yong-joon!"

For a moment, I was nonplussed. I was about to respond, "No my good man, Bae is a thespian, not a footballer" when the penny dropped. Bae was to Korea what Beckham was to the United Kingdom: An international sex symbol.

While the United Kingdom has had its share of male superstars dating back to the days of John, Paul, George and Ringo and the "British Invasion", this was a novel experience for Korea, a nation that had previously been known more for exports of supertankers than dreamboats. Moreover, Bae's fame had ignited in ― of all places ― Japan, the nation that had, for most of the 20th century, had an (at best) problematic relationship with Korea.

The vehicle that conveyed Bae to super-stardom was inauspicious. 2002's "Winter Sonata" was a do-it-by-the-numbers Korean soap opera; A "no-sex-please, this-is-pure-love" romance that plays out to the tune of syrupy ballads and features only drop-dead gorgeous actors and dreamy locations, as well as that classic (and much-used) device of the Korean melodrama, a character who loses his memory. In short, this was no downbeat, day-to-day soap of ordinary people a la "EastEnders" or "Coronation Street". This was romantic fantasy. The series was a hit in Korea and across the region, but its real explosion of popularity ― an authentic phenomenon ― would come across the Yellow Sea.

This was remarkable, as relations between the two neighbours in the 1990s had been particularly prickly, with historical and territorial disputes rising again and again and again. There had been amity and cooperation ― but also suspicion and competition ― during the jointly hosted 2002 World Cup. Arguably, "Winter Sonata" would do more to inch the nations closer together than the world's most popular sporting event.

Korea conquers Japan
The show's main fans were love-lorn Japanese housewives of a certain age. So keen on "Winter Sonata" was this sizeable population segment that the series repeated twice in the same year on NHK. Social critics, taken by surprise by its runaway success, speculated that while Japanese TV had become more sophisticated in its productions, this Korean import was a throwback to a simpler, kinder and gentler era.

A "Winter Sonata" boom resounded across Korea. Eager Japanese housewives flooded the nation on tours to visit the filming locations and, of course, drop yen in the boutiques and department stores that queued up for "Winter Sonata" stars to endorse their outlets and brands. Japanese tourist numbers surged; extra flights were reportedly scheduled to keep up with the demand.

But while Korean travel agents ― not to mention canny marketers, merchants and merchandisers ― raked it in, it was Bae who was the big beneficiary. In the series, he had played the lead male role, the Prince Charming. Beholding his smooth skin, gentle smile, bespectacled eyes and (not least) his carefully knotted muffler, Japanese matrons swooned en masse.

Bae's fame rocketed. He appeared as a host on Japanese TV; he was approached to endorse products, open restaurants, pen books. At summits, he was cited and mentioned by Japanese prime ministers and Korean presidents alike. When he landed at a Japanese airport to promote another TV project, the scramble to see him was so desperate that a number of fans were injured in the crush. According to reports, Bae sportingly paid their medical costs.

Koreans had been leaned on to take Japanese names near the close of the 1910-1945 colonial era, but when Bae was re-christened "Yonsama" ("Prince Yong" after the actor's first name) by Japanese fans, nobody minded: This was not coercion, this was an honor.

For the first time, a Korean was a sex symbol in Japan. There had been nothing remotely like it since "Rikidozan" the star of 1950s Japanese pro-wrestling. But Riki was not nearly so wholesome a figure as Bae: He was a tough guy rather than a sex symbol, and anyway, he had promoted himself as Japanese, keeping his Korean ethnic identity close to his chest. Bae had no reason to do this; he was unabashedly Korean.

Wave rolls on; Bae left behind?
The term Korean wave ("hallyu") had been coined in China in 1999, and is generally believed to date back to the slick action blockbuster "Shiri" which came out that year. "Winter Sonata" was the first monster-hit soap opera. It would be followed by other Korean melodramas; the next biggie, which took the region by storm, would be 2003's "Daejangeum" ("The Jewel in the Palace") a costume drama about a Joseon-era royal chef. From then on in ― and in sync with a corresponding crescendo of Korean popular music ― the Korean wave surged ever onward and ever outward.

Bae spent increasing time on lucrative product endorsements, but continued to work in dramatic roles. His first major post-"Sonata" role was a departure: He appeared in (and out of) Joseon-era costume in a racy 2003 Korean remake of "Dangerous Liaisons" entitled "Untold Scandal". The film, which was R-rated in Japan for its steamy bedroom scenes, scandalized a number of his fans, who had preferred the romantic gentleman of the soap opera to the conniving, shag-happy cad of the film. He later appeared in the more conventional TV historical epic "King Gwanggeto" in 2007. But no succeeding projects won the headline success of "Winter Sonata" abroad, and Bae may have been irreversibly typecast. Perhaps due to the reception to "Untold Scandal", his 2005 movie "April Love" had been a tender "Sonata"-style love story.

While Bae's English language website boasts of his versatility - "he always comes to us in different ways" ― it prominently features love ballads and the main photos are a selection of the kind of smiling, cutesy image fans so loved from his most famous drama. According to news reports, although he can command $5 million per picture, other Korean actors can now demand double that.

His image has also been called into question. His smiling public persona was as Mr. Nice Guy, but local entertainment reporters alleged that he had a mercurial temper and was not above dishing out physical violence when displeased with managerial decisions. (His site lists his hobbies as weightlifting, hapkido and kendo.)

And he suffered from stress. Bae admitted to reporters that he was suffering a crisis stemming from his popularity. Unable to go out in public, his life was a constant shuttle between home, the office and (of course) the gym.

Yet rumors of violence did not impact his image and fears online and in popular media that he might commit suicide – the fate of one of his "Winter Sonata" co-stars in 2010 ― proved happily unfounded.

Yonsama: icon

Today, the Korean wave has spread far and wide. Posters of Korean actors, actresses and musicians are plastered over the bedroom walls of teens and 20-something funksters and hipsters across Asia and beyond. It is soaps – along with K-pop – that make up the bulk of the wave; movie exports (which tend to be edgier and less formulaic then dramas and music) are a distant third. "Winter Sonata" was the first Korean super soap, Bae its superstar.

Like Beckham ― who could never be described as one of the world's greatest football players, but who has won fame as a global male fashion icon ― Bae may never be recalled as one of Korea's finest dramatic talents. However, his chiseled bod, smooth-faced good looks and dazzling smile cannot be denied. These are the assets that ensure his place in the history of pan-Asian popular culture: Yonsama was Korea's first international sex god.

Andrew Salmon is a reporter and the author of three works on modern Korean history ― "U.S. Business and the Korean Miracle: U.S. Enterprises in Korea, 1866 ― the Present", "To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951", and "Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950".

By Andrew Salmon
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/... ( English Korean )

Monday, May 28, 2012

[News] S. Korean entertainment agencies expand into new areas

"I replace the image with a photo of BYJ which associated with this blog"
source: The Jakarta Post
Park Min-young, Asia News Network (The Korea Herald)

Dining, drama production and tourism business new way up for South Korean entertainment agencies.
After heating up the world, especially Asia, with the Korean Wave, South Korean entertainment agencies are starting to explore other business realms like dining, drama and musical productions and even tourism.

( --skip unrelated--)

 Key East, led by biggest shareholder and hallyu star Bae Yong-joon and actor Kim Soo-hyun, runs several restaurants already including Gorilla In the Kitchen in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul; dessert caf Tea Loft in Lotte Department Store in Sogong-dong, central Seoul; and Korean cuisine restaurant Gosireh in Tokyo.

 (--skip unrelated--)

The food and beverage business is considered as the easiest way for entertainment agencies to find a new way out as it can make the best use out of the popularity of its actors and actresses.

Experts see time agencies as having found ways to diversify income sources which had a rather weak profit-making structure relying heavily on its top stars’ TV appearance fees, endorsement fees and music album profits.

(--skip unrelated--)

For the same reason, agencies are creating various merchandises like bromides, T-shirts and caps with their stars’ faces on, and also stepping into musical and TV drama production businesses.

(--skip unrelated--)

The agency also co-produced with Key East last year the hit TV drama “Dream High.” At the time emerging stars Kim Soo-hyun and Suzy, also a member of the K-pop girl group miss A, shot to stardom through the drama.

The show reportedly earned Key East over 4.2 billion won last year, which took up 16.2 percent of its total revenue. The drama’s popularity led onto the birth of the sequel “Dream High 2” which aired earlier this year.
(--skip unrelated--)

Tourism is also rising as an attractive market for entertainment agencies.

Among the 4.98 trillion won worth of production expected to be generated through hallyu, according to Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange last year, tourism-related productions is assumed to generate about 1.59 trillion won. Linked with hallyu concerts or fan meetings, the sector’s growth is hoped to accelerate even faster.

(--skip unrelated--)

It also works the other way around: tourism agencies are jumping into showbiz as well. Chess Tours which especially focus on Japanese tourists runs entertainment agency My Name Network; BS Tour, BS Star Entertainment; Jau Tour, Jau Entertainment; and Modu Tour, Tourtainment.

“As the hallyu market grows, more entertainment agencies will move to own its own travel agencies, like SM,” said Kim Gil-ho, an official at Corea Entertainment Management Association.

For the full news, please click the link below:
The Jakarta Post

Thursday, May 24, 2012

[News] Kim Soo Hyun Will be Staying with Key East; FA Rumors Not True


Kim Soo Hyun plans to stay with his current agency, Key East, at least until his enlistment.

Recent rumors stated that Kim Soo Hyun’s contract with Key East would expire early next year, making him a free agent (FA), but a rep from Key East explained, “We’ve signed a five year contract with Kim Soo Hyun. We still have a lot of time left in his contract.”

The rep said, “We signed an exclusive contract in January 2010 after seeing his impressive acting in the dramas Will It Snow for Christmas? and Giant, and he continued to grow with the company through Dream High and The Sun and the Moon. Such rumors that say he signed a three year contract or that he receives 50 million won per episode are all not true. We believe his fame is bringing on such rumors. We’ll continue to support Kim Soo Hyun so that he can grow to become a bigger actor.”

Kim Soo Hyun won the Excellent Acting Award in television at the Paeksang Art Awards held in April.

At the ceremony, he showed his attachment to his company, saying, “I miss Bae Yong Jun.” Kim Soo Hyun continues to boast ties with Bae Yong Jun as he came to work with Bae Yong Jun’s manager, director Shin Hyo Jung, making it more improbable that he may be leaving his agency.

Kim Soo Hyun is currently active as the model of 16 different products and is also planning to sign two or three more modeling contracts, meaning he’ll be busy for the time being.

The agency rep added, “He has a schedule full of ad shoots until June. From July he’ll start promoting for the film The Professionals and will enter schedules for his next film Be Covert, Be Great. He’s recently becoming more popular in China due to The Sun and the Moon, so he may be promoting overseas also.”

Reporter : Lee, InKyung (judysmall@cj.net)

[Photo] History of Bae Yong Joon Season 3

source: sayaka's blog


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

[Photo] BYJ Official Premium Box

source: byjgallery/pola

[photo] BYJ - KGC Photo Cards

source: byjgallery/kumin

[News] KBS Drama ‘Dream High’ to be performed as musical in Japan

source: soompi/willenete

The popular drama “Dream High” will be performed as a musical at the New National Theater in Tokyo from July 3 to 20.

According to the official web site of the musical, the role of Sam-dong played by Kim Su-hyeon will be played in Japan by singer and actor Matsusita Yuya, the role of Jin-guk played by Taek-yeon will be played by Mizuta Koki, who has become famous through “Prince of Tennis” and “Pinocio,” and the role of Go Hye-mi played by Miss A's Su-ji will be played by singer and actor Nanakaga.

Posted Image

Since the popular drama “Dream High” produced by Hallyu star Bae Yong-jun and producer Park Jin-young has been aired from January last year, it was aired by TBS in Japan in July last year, drawing great interest from the public. [Yonhap]

credit : KBS Global

[Photo] BYJ & KHJ - 'Ballantyne'

source: yasai's blog

Monday, May 21, 2012

[Photo] BYJ Wax Figure at Madam Tussauds Hongkong

HELLO Everyone!! 

Today I just came back from my short vacation. ohhh.... i missssss 'MY BYJ' so much!! hehe^^And I'm so glad to be able to greet you all here again. And now, I would like to share a little about my trip, I hope you all don't mind.. (^__^)v

I've just visited Hong Kong and Macao. And in Hong Kong I met with 'BYJ'.... heheh^^ but unfortunately NOT the real BYJ, but only his wax figure at Madame Tussauds.... hehehe (^__^)v

Maybe the people who saw me when I took a photo with BYJ wax figure at that time, would be think there is something wrong with me... hahaha=))) Since I taken  a photo of his wax figure from many angles (from the front, bottom, right side, left side, close up) ... hahaha=))
And i don't know for how many times I've changed my poses....  from hugging, staring, hug again, and stare again ...... hahaha .... And If only it can be bought, I will certainly bought it and take home his wax figure as a souvenir .... hahahah=)))

And in Macao, I stayed at the 'Venetian' hotel, where's that hotel was used of a filming of the Korean drama called 'Boys Before Flower'.. ^__^

Well,  these are some photos which I took..... Enjoy!^__^

Venetian - Macau

And for those of you who are interested to know more about BYJ wax figure at Madam Tussauds - Hongkong, here is some of the link (old news):


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

[Info] on leave

Dear All, 
Tomorrow I am leaving for vacation. Not long, only for a few days. And during my short trip, I may not be able to fill this blog. But of course you can still follow the news about our beloved BYJ from other Bae-sisters blog. Or you can visit 'Soompi-BYJ threads'. I'm sure you all already know that... heheh (^__^)v

But I am very happy today to be able to see him play the drums before i'm leaving!! SUPER CUTE!! hahaha...=)))) *Thanks to sis tomato99*. And I will remember it in my mind during my trip, because it certainly can make me smileeeee... (^_____^)v

I will soon be filling this blog as soon as I return...

Well, keep support and love our wonderful star 'Bae Yong Joon'!!! ^__^
See you soon everyone!! 

Thank you so much for visiting....

With Love,