27 June 2011– Stylish Korean star Jang Keun Suk held a press conference on 28 June 2011 for the release of his first photo-book “Jang Keun Suk 1st Official Photograph J Plus Series”, which will be on public sale from 27 July onwards. Besides 500 fans specially invited to the press conference, nearly 400 reporters came to cover this event and the organizers had to change the venue last minute for security reasons.
The role of Hwang Tae-kyung in “You are Beautiful” was the reason behind JKS’ meteoric rise in popularity in Japan, and there were 800 fans at Haneda airport yesterday to meet JKS. Besides the 800 fans today at the press conference and autograph session, there were also many fans waiting near the venue to catch a glimpse of JKS. At the start of the press conference, JKS said he felt touched by fans’ passion. “Because there were so many people, I was worried that accidents might happen, but luckily I reached safely.”
A point worth noting is that the scale of JKS’ press conference today exceeded that of Lady Gaga’s “MYV Video Music Aid Japan” which attracted over 200 reporters, and nearly on par with the currently most popular showbiz event “AKB48 Third Elections”, fulfilling the prediction that JKS’ popularity in Japan is slowly reaching a level far beyond other Korean stars.
Media also becomes “eels”? 2 fat uncles “declare their love” for JKS
This is JKS’ first official appearance in Japan since the Great East Japan earthquake, so not only are eels anxious with the long wait, even the usually calm reporters are also excited. JKS’ debut single “Let me cry” topped the Oricon weekly chart in the first week since its release on 27 April – not only is it a record since Kondō Masahiko 30 years ago in the 1980s, it has also set the record for the highest-selling debut single by an overseas singer. As a result, various TV stations came up with variety and news programmes to analyse JKS’ charm. At bookshops, one would discover that more than half of the Korean Hallyu magazines have JKS on their cover. Because of his schedule, JKS could not spare time to visit Japan, and some Japanese media even flew to Seoul to grab the chance of interviewing JKS
With such a good chance of interviewing JKS today, the reporters were obviously not going to miss it. A female reporter from “Tokudane”, Fuji TV’s news programme, asked, “Remember when we went to Seoul to interview you, you promised to attend our programme when you have a chance. May we ask when that will be?”
JKS said with his usually honey-coated words, “Ah, I remember this promise. I have always wanted to attend.” But the official answer was not enough to satisfy the reporter, who continued to ask, “So when is that?”
JKS said in resignation, “The people around me tell me that I cannot go out.”
The reporter asked again persistently with a note of whining, “So when can you come?” The other reporters could not help but laugh. Finally, JKS came up with an answer that pacified the reporter for the time being. “I’ll try to get a chance within this year.”
Just as the emcee reminded the media that the Q&A segment was ending, JKS suddenly pointed to a fat man dressed in a red shirt, “I know you, you’re the uncle from “Woman Herself” 《女性自身》. Please ask your question!”
The man was shy but stood and asked, “I think everyone wants to know the type of girl you like best.”
Having been asked this many times before, JKS said, “I think everyone (fans) is very clear that I like more feminine women whose hearts are generous. I often travel overseas to work. I hope that she can understand my work nature and wait at home for me to come back. Never mind if she cannot cook, because I can cook quite well.” Hard for girls not to be moved at such a gentle guy! Later, this man became the target of reporters who asked him about how he knew JKS. He said that he has interviewed JKS a few times. “I like him very much, but I didn’t expect that he recognizes me. I’m very touched.”
Towards the end of the press conference, JKS once again interrupted the emcee and specifically invited another reporter, an “uncle” dressed in black, to ask his question. This man is a well-known comedian, chan-kawai, who shouted, “I like JKS very much! I’m his loyal fan!” He was much bolder to “confess his love” for JKS in comparison to the previous man.
Praises Japanese girls for their gentleness and courtesy
“The Japanese I just learned? Kabayaki (grilled eel)!”
A reporter asked, “What do you think Japanese girls (fans) are like?”
Without hesitation, JKS replied, “I dislike them!”
The atmosphere froze instantly. JKS said, “Hahaha, bluffing you! I like them very much!” JKS’ laughter brought the audience/media back to their senses. After such a superficial answer, JKS continued with his opinion of Japanese women, and reporters marveled at his words “He’s good at speaking!”
JKS said, “I like feminine women, and Japanese women possess this quality. I like them waiting quietly for me.” JKS also praised the fans waiting in an orderly manner for him yesterday at the airport; it warmed his heart. After a thoughtful moment, JKS continued to be playful. He pointed to a female fan in the audience and said, “I like you especially!”
Everyone could not keep up with JKS’ swift change in thought and remained puzzled and quiet. JKS explained, “These (provocative) words make you feel unhappy, right?” People burst out laughing again. This press conference appeared to be fast becoming JKS’ fan-meeting as the reporters seemed drawn into “the sea of eels”!
Feels horrified at the current “JKS craze” – I will face it calmly
JKS may look as if he’s a child who has not grown up with all his antics, but this time, he impressed the media with his high level of EQ when he brought up the topic of the “JKS craze” that has been sweeping Japan for the past half year. Yesterday when the author (reporter) went to interview JKS at Haneda airport, he felt that one word can be used to describe JKS’ high popularity in Japan – “scary”, and he didn’t expect that he would hear the same words from JKS at the press conference.
“Frankly speaking, having gained the love of so many people in such a short time, I feel somewhat horrified at myself becoming a ‘boom’. I want to continue to enjoy my work calmly with happy feelings, and not to be affected by the influence of external factors.” This reveals JKS’ hopes that the JKS craze is not going to become a bubble that will burst as quickly as it had formed. Although many have considered JKS to have surpassed Bae Yong-joon to become the top Korean Hallyu star in Japan, JKS continues to face the ever-changing entertainment scene with a calm heart and ordinary mindset.
Freedom-loving JKS who doesn’t like restraints admits that the increase in his popularity comes with a fresh set of problems. “This time in Japan (actually previously I was also like that), I’ll often have some sudden ideas and actions which if I insist on carrying out, will make my staff angry, so I always hear ‘No’ or ‘You cannot do this’, so my ears also become painful.” Although JKS says this with a smile, one can still see JKS’ sense of frustration at having his degree of freedom limited.
For example, JKS mentioned that he wanted to go for a stroll at the park near his hotel, but if he wanted to go out, he must be accompanied by a group of security and staff. Because of his insatiable curiosity and sudden actions, he would make his staff angry. As JKS related all these, JKS appeared sad and fans in the audience murmured, “So pitiful!”
Reporters understood from Tree-J and staff that in consideration of security issues, JKS had his meals in the hotel yesterday and today. Despite JKS having said many times that he wanted to go out, all these requests have been rejected. Although this was “cruel”, it was necessary.
“If you all have a change of heart, I’ll turn you into grilled eel and eat you up!”
When asked what is the newest Japanese phrase he has learnt, JKS said that he has always called his fans “eels”. “I can get nutrition and energy from them, so I call them eels. Recently I learnt the phrase ‘kabayaki’ (grilled eel). If you all have a change of heart, I’ll turn you into kabayaki!” said JKS with a “ferocious” expression on his face.
Concert in October, JKS wants to see fans in swimsuit?
Besides the questions from reporters, JKS also selected fans and answered their questions. One fan holding the card “please give me a kiss” successfully got JKS’ attention and became the first fan to ask a question. She said, “Erm, erm, I want to ask, I like JKS very much!” Perhaps because she was too nervous, her question became a “declaration of love”! JKS burst out laughing too! After a few seconds, the fan became more composed and said, “We hope that you can come more often to Japan in future, and organize events such as autograph session.”
“I also hope I can come more often,” JKS promised.
In October this year, JKS will be having his concert tour at Arena. “All along I have been singing at fan-meetings. This time, it will be a true concert. I’ve started preparing 5 months ago. It will be a high-standard performance, and I’m looking forward to enjoying this together with fans.”
While replying a question from the “Tokudane” reporter, JKS came to the topic that he had the intention of organizing a pool-side party with fans this summer. “That will have to depend on Frau’s director. Did you hear that?” JKS called out to the director on the spot. The emcee had to jump in to say, “The director is feeling shy and hiding where everyone cannot see.”
“I thought I am like Eun-ho, but everyone says I’m more like Hwang Tae-kyung”
When asked about which character JKS was most similar to, JKS said he thought his character was like Eun-ho in “Hwang Jin-I”, but “those around me think that I’m more similar to Hwang Tae-kyung”, to which fans clapped heartily in agreement.
(1) Did a strange dance 4 times; playing a fool in front of and behind the camera
At the press conference, during the lapses in between listening to reporters’ questions or the translator, JKS continued to engage in “interactive gazes” with his fans and also blew a few sweet kisses at them. When asked to do a different pose (face or action) in front of the camera to show a different side of himself, JKS hesitated for a moment and then said, “Then I shall do a dance. I actually don’t like to dance in front of the camera, so it’s only for a short while.” Taking out his mobile phone to revise what the dance looked like, JKS started to spin around. “This is the latest shuffle dance I’m smitten with. It’s really nice. Let’s dance together!” Everyone looked on in confusion, but still broke out in laughter. Don’t think that JKS intentionally wanted to perform this in front of the camera; while waiting behind the door for the press conference to start, JKS was already dancing this (though the media could not see it). Such “craziness” made his managers and bodyguards laugh too.
After the press conference, he did the shuffle dance too as he walked out. Also halfway through the autograph session, JKS also did this dance abruptly as a “break”. According to the author’s observation, JKS did this strange dance (which JKS claims to be healthy) 4 times, in front of and behind the camera. Staff said, “This is JKS’ nature. Sometimes, we also don’t know what to make of it. During this period of time, JKS would suddenly just dance this. We’re taken aback sometimes, but we get infected by his happiness.”
(2) JKS’ most-used phrase: “I want to go out and have fun”
The temperature in Yokohama that day reached 32 degrees Celsius, but apparently JKS whipped up the atmosphere to more than that. Before the press conference, JKS had gone on an inspection of the photo-book exhibition at Sogo and had left many messages there for fans, such as “You’re only permitted to look at me” (together with a domineering tone and expression), reminding fans not to have a change of heart and to like him always.
What left an impression on the author was that on that day, JKS said many times, “I want to go out and have fun.” This had almost become his favourite phrase. Having just completed his FM in Taiwan, JKS only spent a day in Korea before coming to Japan. On 30 June, JKS has a brand concert to attend. Moreover, there is still the filming of the movie “You’re my Pet”, the new album and performance tour for the rest of the year, JKS’ wish to go out and travel will not be realized anytime soon.
The first photo-book “The Romance Jplus Photograph Collection” that JKS is releasing comes in 3 versions – “Limited”, “Favourite” and the Japanese limited version. As a review of his past 24 years, the main theme is to display the real JKS. “Be it handsome or beautiful … I want to show everyone the me in real life”. As this is JKS’ first photo-book, JKS feels anxious and nervous. But actually, his worry is needless, because 50,000 books have been pre-ordered, and sales are estimated to rise.
Source: Tengxun Entertainment News
English translation: Aphrael77
腾讯娱乐讯 （Mango/图文）韩国旬男张根硕6月28日在横滨举行了个人的第一本写真集《JangKeun-suk 1st.Official Photograph J Plus Series》（7月27日发售）和写真展的纪念记者会，除了被特别招待的500名粉丝，还有近400人的媒体记者前来报道，难怪主办方临时更改了会场，确保活动的安全问题。《都是美男》中的“黄泰京”一角让张根硕在日本的人气爆发得不可收拾的，昨天到达羽田机场就有800名粉丝接驾，今天除了参加记者会和签名会的800名粉丝，还有不少人自发地在会场附近等候他的现身。记者会伊始，张根硕表示对粉丝的这份热情十分感动：“因为来了很多人，曾担心会出意外，幸好平安地抵达（日本）了”。
值得一提的是，张根硕今天的记者会超过美国流行天后Lady GaGa出演的MTV慈善演唱会“MTV VIDEO MUSIC AID JAPAN”（200多人记者）的报道规模，已经逼近现今日本艺能界的第一盛事“AKB48第3届总选举”吸引了约500名记者报道的规格，“逐步兑现‘他在日本的人气已经慢慢走向无其他韩星能及’这一预言”。
这是张根硕在东日本大地震发生后第一次正式亮相日本，所以不仅鳗鱼等得心切，向来冷静的记者们也开始不淡定起来。出道单曲《Let Me Cry》4月27日发行后登上公信榜周榜冠军，这不仅是自上个世纪80年代的近藤真彦后时隔30年之久的创举，也刷新了海外歌手出道单曲的最高销量纪录。自此，各大电视台一窝蜂地轮番推出解析“张根硕魅力”的娱乐和新闻节目，到书店更能发现半数以上的韩流杂志都是把他当作封面人物。因为档期原因，张根硕一时无法访日，不少媒体甚至飞赴首尔争取他的专访。
张根硕这次发行的第一本写真集《The Romance JPLUS PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION》共有《Limited》、《favorite》和日本限定版三种形式，以回顾他这24年来的身姿，展现镜头下最真实的‘素颜’为主题，“帅气的，美丽的……想表现私底下的我给大家看”，并称因为是第一次，“所以感到不安和紧张”。但其实他的担心是多余了，目前写真集光是预订量就已经达到5万部，而可以估计销量数字还会继续攀升。
4 thoughts on “[News] JKS’ popularity in Japan surpasses Gaga, anxious over popularity”
Thx Aphrael for the long reporting. He is really GREAT everywhere now
WOW!!! What a FANTASTIC write-up!
Thanks aphrael77…. though I have read this long article from BaiduSukbar yesterday, but I really appreciate very much you have taken the effort to translate (so promptly & well) this long article to share with all in the blog.. THANKS!!! ^_^
You’re welcome. It is a long article, and I fell asleep last night while translating it, so that’s why i only posted today …. but still, 1 day late is better than never ^^
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