Saturday, October 31, 2009

A week to cherish - V

Dear sisters ...... sorry for the time lapse again, I really don’t have much sense of continuity, miahnae! Hmmm ....... last time I mentioned, I would be very content if the event just ended after he mailed the postcard cause that was at a high note, but it seemed like Kim Tei ssi and Miyamoto san still an agenda in their hands. Just as I was wondering, loud traditional Korean music started playing in the background, and to the right side of the main stage, a procession of imperial guards was marching slowly out to the main aisle. Now I thought the balloon ride yesterday was a big blessing already. I wouldn’t even dare to dream that Yong Joon would go around the Dome again, knowing that he is not likely to repeat the same act twice.

But there he was, standing by an emperor type of chair on a moving car, looking fittingly like a King amid the solemn guards. Since I sat very close to the front on the first level, I couldn't believe I would be able to see Yong Joon this close. ‘Excitement’ was not the right word to describe my reaction at that time, my mind went virtually numb but I could feel my hands and knees were shaking uncontrollably. I didn’t know how I should prepare for this epic moment in my BYJ journey - should I wave and cheer like everybody else, or should I remain calm so I could retain some sense to remember his face? But hehe, call me patriotic or simply idiotic, I instinctively dug out the little Maple Leaf flag from my bag and held it close to my heart. I guess as a dutiful Canadian abroad, it is my responsibility (well, besides voting and paying taxes) to proudly display our presence in any public event, right? Haha, just kidding, how is Yong Joon able to see the tiny me in the dark anyway?

As Yong Joon’s car pulled closer and closer towards our section, the commotion was getting really high. I swear I could feel the vibration of the screams (including my own) in the air, and maybe Yong Joon did too. He turned his face from the Arena to our section and there he was – the star of all stars, the king of all kings was right in front of my eyes!

Just for that moment and that moment only – my world turned soundless, my surroundings became motionless, appeared before me was only a dark hole. At the end of that dark hole was this angelic human being - the delicate features on his pale face was as exquisite as a Greek sculpture, his eyes so compassionate as to comfort the loneliest soul, his smile so tender as to melt the coldest heart. My whole universe just stood still for that instant, the only movement was the flying dust dancing in the air accentuated by the extraordinary bright light surrounding him, I was in seventh heaven!

It was pretty hard to pull myself back to earth, but I was awaken when Yong Joon suddenly stopped, stood up and stared directly at the next section. He kept waving and nodding at them, then tears began rolling down his beautiful face. We all exclaimed as we witnessed what was happening from the giant screen. His eyes still red and teary, but he quickly wiped the tears away and turned around to the arena.

Three and a half hours only felt like an hour, it’s time for Yong Joon to bid farewell to us. I know we should be very grateful to have him ‘alone’ for so long already, but I really didn’t want to see him leave. Where will he go from here? Will he carry on that torch fulfilling his duties as the tourism ambassador? Or is he really going to hibernate and become a farmer? Or will he think about acting again, as we all hope for? Little did I know then, what our Yong Joon really needs the most is rest, rest and more rest.

I didn’t have much time to stay behind and reflect as we had another exciting engagement followed. PESASA, the successor of one of the largest Japanese fan circle BSJ, held a dinner gathering in the Tokyo Dome Hotel restaurant, and the organizers had graciously invited the overseas fan groups to join – let’s see, there’s the Singapore family, Malaysian family, Taiwan family, Hong Kong family, Korean family and our Canadian family - all as one big happy family. Thanks flowerbossa, satovic and marinet san for your hospitality, the dinner was a perfect closure to our 2 days event – both emotionally and nutritionally (gosh, I was starving!) If you are interested, please check out the pictures posted by flowerbossa in her blog, it brings back wonderful memory. As you know, Style nim is a very well-respected BYJ fan for her contribution and sharing of Yong Joon’s news and pictures. She and her team generously showed us the BYJGallery banner which Yong Joon graced with his autograph. That’s enough to pull us away from our delicious food to swoon over the banner and savored the handsome one’s handwriting.

See the date? It's right before Yong Joon left for Japan!
As the night was drawn to a close, I dragged my overstrained body and rain-soaked bags through the deserted Tokyo subway trains. For the fourth night in a row, I returned home passing the bedtime of my family. As I bent down to kiss my sleepy boy goodnight, I whispered in my heart, "Yong Joon ah, thank you for sharing the most 2 precious days in my life, chonmal hinbok ne! Now I have to go back to be with my family as you will go back to your own busy life. Mata ne, aishitemasu (^:^)"

The End ...... thanks for reading, my dear sisters.


Anonymous said...

DEar Jaime and Bae sisters:
Greetings on the beginning of Daylight Saving Time.
I marvel at how you are able to capture the preciousness of a moment and make time stand still and so grip the heart of your readers, just as Bae Yong Joon grabbed the heart of his audience and his own, causing tears to well out of his eyes.
Congratulations for encapsulating the phenomenon and transforming it into an epi-phenomenon!
Sarang Hamnida,

Marce said...

Hi Jaime,
Just amazing, each word made me feel the moment, like i was who was there, thanks Jaime. I have no words to say thanks to share that moment with us.
God Bless you sis, have a nice weekend.

gosijo said...

Dear Jaime,

Wow! This was well worth the wait! Your description of how you saw him, so poetic, ("his eyes so compassionate as to comfort the loneliest soul, his smile so tender as to melt the coldest heart") so true!

My recollection of the whole program is already dimming - will definitely want to watch the DVDs - and I'm wondering now, when did he say a few words in Japanese? Did he come back onstage one final time after the procession or was that before? All I know from seeing it on youtube is that it ended with "Arigato gozaimasu" and then a word I couldn't catch during the applause, then a pause when his expression conveyed something like "I may be shy but I cannot leave without saying these words to all of you who love me so much, followed by "aishitemasu."

How can we doubt his sincerity in saying that now we know the poor state of health he was still in at that time?

Ara, Yong Joon-ssi.

When I think back on the four mega events held in Japan - Saitama, Kyocera and WLS Anime-Tokyo Dome and Beauty of Korea-Tokyo Dome - it seems to me that at Saitama his emotions and reactions to the outpouring of love from the Family were at their freshest possible, his sense of being overwhelmed still so new. On the other hand, he spent very little alone time with the Family - still, sooo moving.

And at Kyocera he shared the stage with so many others. Luckily there was the moving stage - so touching when he came down afterwards and started walking; that was the only time in all his visit that we saw him limping and yet, when asked "Are you tired?" he immediately said "Annyo, I could have gone one more turn around." And his eyes shone with excitement.

Then at the Anime event he got his wish of not only going twice around the arena but of getting closer to those in the upper levels.

Still, even though his feelings of awe at the size of the crowd and the emotions tangible in the air were less fresh, less intense, this time at the Beauty event he spent more time alone with us than ever before (except for the smaller fanmeets pre 2005). And we now know that he gave us beyond what he should have had within himself to give, carried by an iron determination not only to follow through with his plans - tantamount to a promise - but to avoid at all cost collapsing in front of us and turning that promise into an occasion for grieving by all.

Wing said...

Dearest Jaime - thank you so much for sharing your story and experience of our prince's visit to Japan. your words and thoughts has warmed my heart and I truly felt i was there. I am very grateful that you shared your experiences with us.

wishing you and yours the best this holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaime,

Gojiso's right when she said, this post is worth the wait.

Once again, you have captured the essence of how we felt during the days at Tokyo Dome. The memories of the events were already dimming for me but with this post, I am "fresh" back to where we were a month ago. Thanks so much for sharing this with us and expressing it so well too.

Hi Gosijo and Jamie,
I hope all's fine with you. Take care and have a happy weekend. Happy belated Halloween.


p/s. Thanks for mentioning the Malaysian family. Like you, we couldn't help but put up our banner with our country on it when he passed us. However, I don't think he saw it. The Korea family was just behind us and he cried looking at them.

jaime said...

Dear Josephine,

So you have started daylight savings time already, the day must seem very short now. Winter is really coming soon, huh?

Thanks for your kind words. Actually I find I have much difficulty in writing about this special affection we have for Yong Joon. Maybe we can explore this in the future. Please take care!

love ... Jaime

jaime said...

Hi Marce,

It is also my wish that all BYJ sisters could be there to see and cheer for Yong Joon. It is indeed a wonderful experience. Thanks for reading.

love .... jaime

jaime said...

Dear gosijo,

I feel embarassed reading your kind words, especially you are such an accomplished writer. I also forgot about a lot of details. It's really only that instant when Yong Joon passed in front of us that I did imprint his image in my mind.

Yong Joon actually spoke to us in Japanese at the end after the going-around. You are right, you can tell he is not the type of guy who speaks of the word 'LOVE' lightly. Look at the long pause, the blushed face and the courage he gathered up before the word "Aishitemasu' came out of his mouth! That's why we cheered so loudly after that. Hehe btw, the word he said prior to that, which was covered by the applause was "soshite" meaning "and also".

Gosijo, I am totally with you. I also feel Yong Joon's own experience from the 4 events was also very different. The April Snow Saitama Event was a fresh and overwhelming time for him. The Osaka TWSSG Event, he was with many other actors. In WS Anime, it was like a walk back in time. This Book Event is really all about him and his passion. This is definitely one of the most memorable event and I am so glad I can share it with you. Thanks for everything!

Please take care!
love ..... jaime

jaime said...

Dear Wing,

Thank you for reading. I know the event had been a while already and I am too wordy, did I bore you? Hope you have a wonderful impression of these 2 events.
All the best in the holiday season too! (I assume it's the US thanksgiving you are talking about, right?)

love .... Jaime

jaime said...

Hi Dear Marilyn,

Thanks for coming by to check on my write up. I am so happy I walked over to your table and introduced myself (I am usually too shy to do this, but I remember xiaoyi told me about the Malaysian family). It is indeed a pleasure to see all of you.

Oh dear Marilyn, I think Yong Joon could see your banner. He loves and appreciates overseas fans flying all the way to Japan to see him. Hehe, I even wonder if he actually repeated in his heart -ok, I find China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea ..... and started sobbing woowoowooooo :) Just kidding.
Until next time! Please take care!

love .... jaime

gosijo said...

Dear Jaime and Bae sisters,

I cannot agree more with you about how hard it is to write about this special affection we all share for Yong Joon. It seems to fall outside of all the types of loves that have been documented so far, borrowing from each, perhaps, but still distinct. And yet not universal enough to be instantly recognizable... and validated. The most incredible aspect, however, is that this very special affection seems to be returned by him or, I should say, IS returned by him.

I constantly ask myself whether I am delusional in thinking that; whether it's just an act on his part - he IS an actor after all - to boost his following and his sales. Others who are not Family must shake their heads and think he's laughing all the way to the bank. Imagine telling them how unwell he was during his latest Japanese visit. "Yeah, right," they would say, implying... well, we can all guess what!

But we know his acting doesn't come easily to him and requires work, study and multiple rehearsals. And that is why moments like his farewell to us can only have reflected what he genuinely felt. I am so grateful you were able to supply the final piece in the puzzle, his "soshite" followed by the gathering silence as we sat on the edge of our seats (even those of us who didn't understand his words) and waited, hoped, and sent him our encouragements: "You can do it, Yong Joon! Don't be shy, it's just us!"

I like how you say he took the time to gather up his courage. Also, perhaps he took the time to take one final look around because once he said those words it would be the end. And I'm sure, no matter how little Japanese some of us actually understood, his tone and expression left us in no doubt whatsoever about the sentiment he was conveying. It matched ours precisely.

Yoko said...

Hi Jamie,

Sorry that I'm always behind with info.

The wine present at the custom at the airport is really a good news since I love it. Of cours if YJ-ssi's special photos come with it, it would be better.

Your expression about Mr.Lee "Stairway guy" or something like that was awakened to the truth. Everytime I saw him in the photo, I felt someting but didn't realize it. They made a good choice for the president KTO.

Oh, I didn't go to the events ,so enjoying your posts and others'.

Love Yoko

jenny said...

Dear Jaime

Thank alot for sharing the touching final part of the 2 days events with us. I am happy to have a near encounter with our prince at that event. Although i am not there at the event but after reading your beautiful write up and heard from our sisters , i think everyone leaving with a heavy heart at the end of the event. Until now i can see from our sisters, they are still thinking of those touching moment of the event.

I think our prince is an extra ordinary superstar on earth that we all adore very much . Have a nice and wonderful week ahead jaime .

A big hug to u



karen said...

Hi hi Jaime,

So sorry, I late again to reading this posting cos I am so busy over the weekend. Did u enjoy ur Halloween Party ?? touching posting Jaime,
Even I am not there I can feel how you feel thru your writings, when Yong Joon-ssi round the dome n come nearer to the 1st level...I am speechless when I see this posting..tks so much for sharing jaime. Can u sleep well when the 2 days event ?? Did u dream of him ?? hahahaa...

How is your Christmas celebration sister ?? Do u need to prepare a lot of thgs ?? Me normally just have a dinner with my family.

Take Care ya.


jaime said...

Hi Yoko,

Thanks for coming by. Oh, you didn't make it to the events, I am sorry. I guess it's not as easy for fans who live outside of Tokyo to take time off. I hope you did get to watch all the video clips posted in many sites. Happy to know you enjoy Makori, I will definitely fall asleep after 2 sips :)

Have a nice evening!
love ..... jaime

jaime said...

Dear Jenny,

Thanks for reading. You are right, I think I left with a heavy heart knowing Yong Joon was not toatlly cured at that time. Also, we really don't know what his next step will be, other than continuing the WS Anime voice over. Wonder how long he will hibernate this time? As you said, he is an extraordinary man and we will continue to support him.

Have anice evening!
love .... jaime

jaime said...

dear karen,

Hehe, disco music was blasting the whole night in a nearby hotel on Halloween night. So, we got a free party at home :)

Hehe, I guess nobody can sleep after seeing Yonsama. But I couldn't sleep because I have too many chores waiting for me to finish every night :)

Dear Karen, I normally have big parties with family and friends at Christmas in Toronto. But now that we are alone in Tokyo, we will try to take a trip somewhere. I am sure your dinner with family must be very cozy, warm and happy. Please take care!

love .... jaime

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Jaime

How do you do it? You write so well, captured the emotions so vividly and made the entire event so picturesque for us who were not there. This closing chapter almost brought tears to my eyes, as I could feel the warmth, the love, the high emotions that filled the Dome that night.

Honestly, there have been many times I've felt, like what Gosijo mentioned, whether I had been delusional. Why should I, a level-headed working adult be so interested in a person so far removed from me and not even aware of my existence? But after the Dome's events, there are no more doubts about his sincerity towards his 'family'. And I am happy he knows people like us exist, and he truly cares :)


Anonymous said...

Hello Jaime:
Another sister here from CA, USA.
I love your blogs, they are so witty and funny they just made up my days! :)
Seems to me you are a very BYJ dedicated "sister", made me wonder if you could answer a question re. WS (yep, I just finished watching my first BYJ movie. I know, I had missed the BYJ train thousand of miles:)).
On the last episdoe os WS, there was a scene where Yung Jin and Sang Hyuk just came back from France and chasing after a little girl, not sure if you remember or not (or perhaps other sisters?). There was a glimpse (back angle) of someone (looked like Joon Sang) looking at the three some.
I didn't understand this plot (pls help). Was that Joon Sang? He's supposed to be blind, so how did that connect to the plot and how did that contribute to the rests of the story line?
Thank's a million and thank you for the beautiful blogs!

jaime said...

Hi dear alcy,

Thanks for dropping by to read my very late report. The hardest part is to remember what we have experienced there as there were so many things happening at the same time and also so many different emotions running through my mind. Happy to know if this can give you a sense of the 'real thing', please excuse me as I have missed a lot of details.

Yes, I often wonder myself what kind of attraction is this, between us logical women and Yong Joon? Let's attempt to find out some day :)

Please take care!
love .... jaime

jaime said...

Hi Dominique,

Welcome to my little home. Aiyo, you gave me a cushy assignment. I willfully reached for my Winter Sonata DVD and rewatched the part you mentioned. You are so right, there is someone's partial back looking at the Yujin! From the hair and clothes, it does look like Junsang is watching! How come I never notice that?? And I've watched WS for over 20 times! Hehe, I guess I only paid attention when Yong Joon was up :)

Sorry my dear,I am not sure the significance of this image. It is not reasonable that all those 20/20 vision people could not see the blind JunSang standing right in front of them! Thank you for being so observant, you must be a big WS fan too, eh? If any sister has any idea, please feel free to let us know. Thanks!

regards .... jaime

Anonymous said...

Hi jaime

Maybe we should not attempt to find out but just immerse ourselves in the warmth and care of the family bonded by the one love of wuri Yong Joon.

If I may refer to Dominique's question, I also questioned that image when I first watched WS but I reasoned that it was JunSang at a distance, not visible to the group as he was on lower ground. He came back periodically to check out the place but would not approach to keep their parting promise. Did you notice that Yujin seemed to sense JunSang's presence? She looked around and lingered for a while before being called into the building. That's my interpretation.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jaime and Alcy:
Thank you so much for responding to my minor inquiry regarding WS.
I agree with Alcy's interpretation, thank's a bunch Alcy :). I guess Joon Sang just missed Yu Jin so much without the courage to see her, maybe? My logic said, why would he go back to "see" her without really seeing her? But again, with WS, one can only think using her heart..*sigh*
To answer your question, Jaime, yep, I am a fan of WS and now queueing up at the last of the million miles of YJ's family. Particularly on WS, I don't seem to be able to absorb the "weakness" (or, obedient?) Yu Jin for not able to decide which guy she should go too? Again, I can't be too logical, can I?
Thank you for your beautiful posts. I love visiting this lovely home of yours. I hope I wasn't trespassing in anyway.
Gotta go to my dreamland, Ciao!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaime, Dominique and Bae sisters:
Greetings on a lovely day inspite of the Septa strike that paralyzed buses and metrorail traffic.
I have always watched that episode of Junsang/Minyung back just in front of Yujin's house. And I love that symbolic cinematic image!
1) It reverberates with the Korean motif in many movies of people/lovers accidentally meeting each other without being physically conscious about it. There is psychological tension though. It is Fate!
2) It is Junsang really visiting the place, like he used to many times when he broke up with Yujin, almost to the point of stalking, remember? And Yujin could feel it in her gut level.
3) It is a symbol and a foreshadowing that they will meet again, eventually in the ending.
I specifically like the suspension of disbelief in this scene, the concealment and unconcelment of Junsang. We should congratulate the director of Winter Sonata for this brilliant cinematic metaphor.
Sarang Hamnida,