Hi Hi sisters ........ it’s been a while, I hope you have been keeping well. I am embarrassed that this is a long overdue report but hope you are still interested in Yong Joon’s book event. On the morning of Sept 30, there was a BYJ Winter Sonata Anime Exhibition held in Sunshine City, Ikebukuro. A lot of our overseas sisters had planned to attend, but somehow I made a booboo and missed the boat, sob sob :( Back in summer 2007, I visited the Hallyu Expo in Tokyo Dome and saw the Winter Sonata display, so I sort of comforted myself that this would be similar. Heard that there were displays of some Anime sketches, Yong Joon’s figure and clothes, and more event merchandise for sale :
Hehe, recognize when and where Yong Joon wore these? Sorry, no prize :)
Still, I was happy at least I could join our overseas sisters for lunch before heading to the Dome. Today’s book event started at 4pm but the rain lingered on from last night, it made us extra awkward to maneuveur among the crowds carrying so many bags.
The set up of the stage remained the same as yesterday, they had replaced the sparkling trees around the center stage with a silk screen canopy of Korean foliage patterns, very poetic.
The event started with a video of Yong Joon’s journey around Korea in the past year. It took us to different masters and their respective arts. It was like a trip back in history showing us the traditional way of living in the remote mountains, villages and temples of Korea. Then the turntable in the center stage slowly rose up and no surprise, we saw Yong Joon again in less than 24 hours!
Our handsome prince was dashing in his dark suit, carrying his book in one hand, he looked formal and prudent. He greeted us with his usual gentle and warm smile, often holding the microphone close to his heart.
He proceeded to open up his book and started reading a paragraph - p. 257. From my Japanese version, I think it’s about Hwangryongsa-ji of Kyungju and his thoughts while admiring the thousand years old stone tower under the moonlit sky. As you can imagine, just looking at his elegant sitting posture, listening to his velvety voice echoing around the Dome and feeling his emotions, which language he spoke didn’t seem to be pivotal anymore. It’s his sincerity that led us to share his enthusiasm about the beauty of his country.
While we were still mesmerized with his voice, the next performance on Korean traditional dance was already underway. Hehe, usually I will skip any non-Yong Joon part. But the surprise factor in the middle of this act was a beat boxer and a break dancer came out and switched the beat to hip hop! I heard that this mix of traditional and techno was Yong Joon’s idea, very cool!
Next, the expected interview on Yong Joon and lacquer art master Jun Yong Bok by MC Miyamoto san and Kim Tei. As you know, Yong Joon is very respectful to his sensei, he kept looking at Mr. Jun like a son admiring his father. Before Mr. Jun left the stage, his advice to Yong Joon was to “allow yourself to loosen up”. He must have witnessed that extreme dedication and ‘perfectionist’ work attitude during his apprenticeship at Iwayama Urushi Art Museum.
I'd like to mention that I really like the MC Miyamoto san and Ms Kim Tei. Miyamoto san is very smart and has this quick wit, he commented that the revolving stage was like kaiten-zushi. Hehe of course, they were the zushi on the table. Ms Kim Tei always said what the fans like to hear, she responded quickly, then everyone would want to pick Yong Joon for sure :) We were very lucky to have fabulous MCs like them.
Then hanbok designer Lee Hyo Jae was introduced. Yong Joon personally walked over to help her up on stage, you can see Yong Joon is very attentive to this sensei. She is very shy and soft spoken, I thought her embroidered blouse and green pantaloon were kind of bohemian-looking. I later found out that Ms. Lee is also a lifestyle specialist who has great respects of her environment and tradition. The most drooling scene was Yong Joon modeled the bag that she tied using bojagi (furoshiki for Japanese). We cheered joyfully because he just walked like a pro on a catwalk, swinging the bag over his shoulder – looking incredibly sexy in his lanky figure!