It’s been so long since I wrote my own Fan Account. In past days, my international eel friends visited Japan and Seoul to attend JKS’ events, and shared their precious Fan Accounts here. Now that it’s still difficult to travel freely, I, who was lucky to have the chance to attend 2022 JANG KEUN SUK FAN MEETING “We will meet Again” held in Tokyo on June 3rd and 4th, 2022, will share my feelings for you. I hope you will enjoy reading to feel the same way, and we (my eel friends and I) will meet again soon.
Photos shared by @CRAFT_42_ent Twitter, @jksjapan Twitter, Nikkan Sports News and FRAU INTERNATIONAL
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Japanese government hasn’t yet accepted overseas tourists. So many eels living abroad had to give up attending the FM. (The 1st day of the FM was webcast, and many oversea eels could watch the FM through the PC.) We attendees had to follow strict rules to make the FM successful. Needless to say, we were asked to wear masks during the FM. We were not allowed to say something loud. We couldn’t call his name or say directly “Welcome back” or “We’ve missed you”. Instead, JKS Japan Fan Club prepared cheering goods to show him our feelings. And actually they worked very well. I really thanked their idea. These goods made our precious moments more unforgettable.
This is called ‘hand cracker’. I don’t know if it’s only used in Japan. I can’t find the similar item on the internet. In Japan, we are still not allowed to shout in stadiums or concert halls, so using this item, we can make a big sound as if we clap or cheer directly.
It’s made from plastic. We interfold each hand-size holes, and make it a tubular form. Then, we shake it to make a big sound.
I think putting a hand on it makes the sound bigger. We can use it to make thunderous applause, and also make ‘JANG-KEUN-SUK’ sound. I was so moved to hear these sounds eels made together. That showed our united love and support to him for sure.
This is ‘YES/NO’ sign board. We turn it over to show our answer ‘YES or NO’ for his question. Usually he knows our answer from the loudness of eels, but this time he knew it from the size of ‘YES or NO’ color. It’s a good idea to show our true feelings, so perhaps he uses this item from now on.
According to the official announcement, 4 years and 4 months have passed since he was on the last stage in front of fans in JAPAN. It sounded very long, but actually I didn’t understand the meaning of 4-year-and-4-month absence. To be honest, I’m a busy person. That’s why I usually don’t care what a day of the week or the month it is today… So I didn’t know the absence meant to me.
I checked it using the blog’s past posts, and found that CRISHOW IV ‘Voyage’ additional stage finished on February 11 and Toki-Love Party finished on February 22nd in 2018. After such events held in Japan, he was busy filming and promoting drama ‘Switch’. In May, 2018, he had a DOOTA fan meeting in Seoul, and JKS showed up at 2018 6th Jang Keun Suk Benefit Photo Exhibition on June 17, 2018. After that, he was busy recording TEAM H ‘Mature’ album, and started alternative military service on July 16th, 2018.
I can tell clearly that I was and am always Jang Keun Suk’s eel. Day and night, under the same sky, I think of him, say “Good morning” and “Good night” to him, and wish his happiness. It hasn’t changed from before. And after his completion of alternative military service, he planned several online events for us eels to feel him closer even if we couldn’t see each other directly. I have thanked his sincerity so much, so I didn’t know how much I missed him until I saw him standing just in front of me. Yes, I just didn’t want to admit the fact, his long absence. However, once he appeared on the stage, I had to admit that our Jang Keun Suk, our eels’ Boss and our irreplaceable Prince was finally back to the stage!
Not getting too nervous, I always try not to enter the venue early. When I took my seat, the venue was almost full-seated, and it seemed that eels were too excited to wait any more. While waiting for the FM to start, eels were helping each other to show how to use ‘hand cracker’. I was also helped by an eel sitting next to me. I began to feel nostalgic experiencing such kind exchanges among eels. He’s back. And his eels are back too!
When the FM started, there was a scrim hanging from the ceiling of the stage. Jang Keun Suk was sitting at a desk writing a diary. The words in his diary were projected on the screen. All words were written in Japanese… They looked like a letter to eels. Finally we could see him directly through the scrim, but we were busy to read his words… In fact, we were overwhelmed by his words.
Then, he started to sing the first song ‘STAR’ on the stage. This is the first song he released after his completion of alternative military service and COVID-19 outbreak. At that time, this song healed us. Even if we can’t see directly each other, as we look up to the sky to see STAR, we can feel him shining under the same sky, and he can also feel eels’ existence. I don’t know how many times I listened to this song. After his releasing other songs, I think this song still meant to eels a lot. Jang Keun Suk, singing ‘STAR’ on the stage, under the spotlight really looked like a STAR. And finally I could see him directly without the scrim.
When his singing ended, the audience raised ‘welcome back’ banner all together. This was the first greeting from eels to him. I don’t know how to express the feelings then. We had several chances to say “welcome back” through texting during online events, but this time was totally different. He saw eels gathering in the venue, without shouts “Geun-chan, welcome back!” Raising the banner, and making clapping sound by ‘hand cracker’, silent eels were so happy to welcome him. He looked around slowly throughout the venue. Eels’ excitement reached the peak and never ended. We couldn’t speak loud, but under such constraints, the sound and banner built a feeling of unity. Eels were crying silently but happily. This was another precious memory for me.
As the emotional reunion time never seemed to come to an end, MC Yumi-san interrupted showing up on the stage. She brought humor into the tense situation. Her funny high-pitched voice calling him reminded us of old days. She has worked with him for a long time, and she knew his Tokyo Dome experience as a main cast, Prince’s butler. And furthermore, she’s one of his eels. She knows quite well about eels’ feelings. So she is good at speaking for eels.
She asked him how he was doing lately. He said, “My current life is stress-free and peaceful. I prepared for the FM doing aerobic exercise using the aero-bikes every day for a month. I prepared well, but my stomach hurt when I got too nervous before going up on the stage.” His such honesty relieved us. Knowing that he also got nervous to see us led to feelings of unity.
Usually in his FM, he reacts to requests and answers questions from eels. But, this time, he added his requests to the stage. He’s wanted to know how eels’ life is, and share each other’s stories and ideas in the FM. So eels’ stories were collected by Twitter using 6 hashtags. I couldn’t share my stories about 6 themes, but reading eels’ tweets still make me happy 🙂 You can read the tweets and see photos using the hashtags.
1st: blossom of youth #私の青春の全て_JKSFM2022
(ex: When do you think is the best moment in JKS young days?)
2nd: Keun-Suk item #私のJKSコレクション_JKSFM2022
(ex: What is your proud collection of JKS?)
3rd: marriage #グンちゃんの結婚_JKSFM2022
(ex: Can you give him advice of marriage as a person who is married?)
4th: 40 #明日への希望_JKSFM2022
(ex: JKS glides from his 30s to 40s. What do you expect him from now?)
5th: family #うなぎは家族_JKSFM2022
(ex: The bond between JKS and eels is like a family. Tell us an episode showing JKS is a member of your family.
6th: eel #私はうなぎ_JKSFM2022
(ex: Tell us an episode when you realize that you’re his eel.)
Using ‘YES/NO’ sign board, he asked how eels think about his marriage. He looked surprised to see that many more eels than expected accept it. But, he was still doubtful about the result 😛 We enjoyed showing our idea through ‘YES/NO’ sign board. After the QA segment, he sang ‘Day by Day‘.
Then, JKS shared Vlog prepared beforehand. Vlog means ‘Video Weblog’. He was trying to show us his daily life. But actually, his healthy breakfast wasn’t prepared by himself. He used PLENO cafe food 😛
Showing old photos when he was a little child, he posed in the same way, which made us laugh. He’s really adorable! Looking back to old days such as playing in drama ‘You Are Beautiful’ and performance at Tokyo Dome, he described his mixed feelings a head of the first FM to be held in more than 4 years. “To tell the truth, I’m scared. Because I haven’t appeared on stage for a long time. But I’ve missed you so much. Please help me not to get too nervous, sending cheers and support. And what I want to tell you most now is… I AM BACK!!”
After another talk segment, he read a letter to eels. It was projected on the screen at the beginning of the FM. We could hear what he wrote directly with his gentle voice. We were all ears not to miss a single word.
And he sang ‘Toki-o-Kakete‘ for the first time in his event.
After the main part of FM ended, ‘JANG-KEUN-SUK call’ used by ‘hand cracker’ occured naturally. And the encore started, and he sang ‘Go back sweet home‘. Usually when he sings this song, eels sing together. But this time, we were not allowed to… but we sang loud inside, with our whole heart, shaking ‘hand cracker’ and crying for happiness to welcome him.
I’m sure he felt our feelings more than ever. He told us, “I can hear your inner voice. I can feel you from applause and your friendly eyes. Thank you for making a place for Jang Keun Suk to come back. I hope to see you soon again… in Seoul, too.” He actually said, “Seoul”. That means another event will be planned in Seoul??
About 2 weeks have passed already since I attended the FM. I had to be back to my busy days, and it’s hard to describe what I felt exactly… but I hope you can feel my experience virtually.
This is the screenshot of my tweet after attending the 1st day of FM. I think this short tweet describes my feeling well.
And this is the English translation of a letter from JKS. A part of the letter was seemed to be an excerpt from his diary. The 1st paragraph was written before he did alternative military service. The 2nd one was written before the completion. The 3rd one was written when COVID-19 pandemic began and he couldn’t hold comeback events physically. And the last one was written when the FM was decided to be held at venue, in front of eels. This letter was written in Japanese. His Japanese is beautiful and carefully written. Needless to say, the content is touching, but just seeing his handwriting makes me cry.
Finally the time has come when I have to stop.
Having a blank period makes me anxious.
I wonder if I shall be forgotten gradually.
I wonder what the world will be like when I come back.
I don’t want to waste the next 2 years from now on.
Don’t forget me everyone. I’ll be back soon!
Finally the time has come when I return to original position.
Why does time move so slowly?
I smile before I know it.
I nervously keep looking at my watch every day.
Those who haven’t forgotten me and waited for me for 2 years.
To such people I can’t thank enough,
I want to show the more energetic me as soon as possible.
Are you still there, aren’t you? Can you still hear my voice, can’t you?
Those who haven’t changed and just waited for me as always.
I want to see you as soon as possible. I hope I didn’t leave you along too long.
We’ll meet you again!
The world changed so fast.
The time I thought I had to be patient for just a little longer
has gradually become no end in sight.
Why does it become like this?
Even if I know it’s no use complaining,
all I can do now is be alone at home,
waiting for this to come to an end soon.
After all, I failed to keep my word to see you immediately.
4 and a half years have passed.
When I have been exhausted by promise I can’t keep,
the world has begun to change again.
And how much I’ve wanted to be on stage.
Looking up at the stars in the same sky together,
We’ve endured the loneliness.
Sorry to have kept you waiting for so long.
Thank you for making the place I return to.
I will be happy if we can spend time together from now on.