Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Journey into Zen

Hi dear sisters ...... our handsome prince has been so quiet these days, huh? He's really staying away from the limelight and trying to restore his health. You know, when I read the interview that he gave to the Korea media right after the Tokyo Dome ‘Beauty of Korea’ Event, I got the impression of a very changed man. Yong Joon has become more assured of himself, more outspoken and definitely more aware of his influence on social issues. After spending an entire year researching his book and away from acting, this man seems to have found his calling in life and is earnestly steering his path in that direction.

Quoted from his interview :
"I once was interested in business, but now I am really not interested in it. I've concluded that business is not my way because I can't afford the constraints that it brings me. There are many things that I want to do instead. I don't know how long I will stay as an actor. After that, I would like to become a farmer, then a photographer, and then a ceramic artist."

While I am a bit taken aback by his candidness (and even a slight bit of naiveté) since he is undisputedly the top star in Asia and owner of a powerful entertainment conglomerate, but it’s quite understandable of where this is all coming from. When you think about Yong Joon had spent a whole good year traveling to remote mountains and villages of Korea in search of lost traditional arts. These extraordinary artisans he met not only possess rare talents and skills, but they also cultivate their own unique philosophy about life. Imagine after many nights of heart-to-heart exchange over tea/wine about topics on art, culture and life, Yong Joon must have been enthralled and immersed into this life of external simplicity and internal contentment. A year ago, he left us to search for worthy Korean sights to introduce to the world, now he came back being washed with the morning dews of nature himself.

More quotes from his interview :
“As I’ve written in my book, I think one must gain (i.e. learn) much in order to discard much when you go through the *Moo Moon Kwan 無門關*. One day, when I was contemplating on this subject at home, I felt that the furniture were the owner of the space, not me. That moment I thought, “Someday I should get rid of these things. I should reduce my possessions.” The time might come earlier than I expect. We don't become happier by having more, do we? I think we can stay happier when we live in a more simple way ..... when we feel something is missing. Nowadays, I am exercising on discarding things. (laugh)”

* Explanation of Moo Moon Kwan, 무문관, 無門關 :
It is a book written in Song Dynasty (China) by a monk named Jong So (종소, 宗紹), who recorded the preaches of his master Moo Moon Hye Gae (무문혜개, 無門嵆開). The full name of this book is SeonJong Moo Moon Kwan 선종무문관 (禪宗無門關). It contains 48 major themes that are important in Zen Buddhism. The meaning of '無 (none)' does not mean the opposite of '有 (being, existence)'. The '無' means the absolute level of recognition that one could reach ... one does not even discriminate '無' and '有' if he/she reaches there. The major theme of this book is the pursuance of that '無'.
In many cases, 무문관 also means studying hard in a temple to reach the level described above. YJ used this word in this meaning.*

I am particularly impressed with Yong Joon’s innocence, purity and courage in search of this state of Zen. In p.366 of his book, Yong Joon wrote :
“I once planned that if I build a Korean traditional house, I would go in there with lots of books, lock the door up, and study there for a long time. However, the surprising thing is, the Moo Moon Kwan requires one to go in without anything. No books, no belongings, just your body. I was disappointed. What shall I do without my books? I felt that I have a long way to go to reach that level. I have to learn more to discard myself.”

It’s coincidental that during my recent trip back to Canada (before the Tokyo Dome events), I looked around my house and was totally turned off by how much ‘stuffs’ I have accumulated over the years! By stuffs, I don’t mean anything valuable, but just boxes and piles of toys, books, old clothes, broken knick-knacks that you can’t even name, let alone categorize! Maybe during this move to Tokyo which we only brought along our daily clothes, books and computers (oh oh I almost forgot, I did transport all my treasured BYJ belongings everywhere with me :), that I realize how little possessions one really needs to live on. Our lives are more free and our hearts much lighter here, with minimal physical possessions (if we can resist the fantastic shopping here :) and simpler human relations (haha, maybe because we can’t communicate much). Following Yong Joon’s example, I hope to work on reducing, reusing and recycling most of my ‘stuffs’ when we return home. Achieving simplicity and internal contentment will require more than just discarding one’s physical possessions, but I feel having a calm and uncluttered environment does help to create the desirable atmosphere. Yong Joon ssi, you are a great inspiration, as always. Please take care of yourself and be happy.

source : Maeil Economy Star Today, reporter Cho Eun Yong
translated into English : gaulsan in Quilt, thanks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

This is it!

Hi hi sisters ....... hmmmm, you probably know what I am going to write about just by looking at the title, eh? Yes, that last 'concert documentary' movie of Michael Jackson. I am not really a Jackson fan, I mean I didn't follow his work, bought every single album of his or lined up for tickets to his concerts. But I do love his music and dancing, I guess who doesn't? Most of us practically grew up with him, or in his music. His songs were mega hits, and each gave us memory, whether sweet or bittersweet, of a certain time in our lives.

So when Kiyomi san asked me to join her and her talented daughter, who is a professional dancer, to watch 'This is it', I readily said YES! The movie was basically a documentary of his concert rehearsals. Even though these footages were not intended for public release originally, Sony Pictures bought the film rights and edited the footages into a 'magical' Jackson's rehearsal concert.

This is the official movie trailer :

I must say I haven't enjoyed a movie (um hm, except Yong Joon's of course :) so much for a long time. Michael Jackson was really a legend, an icon at the pinnacle of his fields. This man was full of rhythm and beat, I cannot think of any pop artist who is even close to his rank. He performed all of the old favourites like 'Thriller', 'Billy Jean', 'Black or White', ..... Every single move came out from him was so painstakingly meticulous, yet he delivered it with such perfection and poise.

There was actually a powerful message that Michael Jackson wanted to convey through his planned 50 concerts - saving the rainforest and animals, thus saving the planet. He composed the melodious 'Earth Song' and fortunately the message video had also been filmed. Please enjoy the beautiful music and lyrics :

Earth Song :

'This is it' was released October 28th worldwide for 2 weeks, so it's already over. In Japan, today is the last day of showing. Can you believe it? Toho Cinema even has a 1am and 3am showings as I am typing now, and they're all SOLD OUT! So if you love pop music and dancing, please do not miss this movie. This is it!

Seal the Deal

Hi Hi sisters ...... This video of our handsome prince's narration has been out since yesterday. Since the message is of a critical nature, I'd like to post the related news and video here to remind myself of our responsibilties to the future generations.

'Missionary for Environment' BYJ, to deliver message at the UN Climate Meeting

BYJ will appeal the seriousness of climatic change to human race all over the world at UN using with his voice.

BYJ participated in a narration work in a public service video for 'Seal the Deal' Campaign, led by Bahn Kimoon, UN Secretary General. The 'Seal the Deal' is a global petition movement the UNEP (UN Environmental Plan) promotes. They are getting signatures from general citizens in the whole world to urge necessity of Climatic Agreement through its Seal the Deal homepage (

The Seal the Deal public service video, where BYJ participated in, will be introduced while entire world is watching at the 15th general convention of the concerned countries for UN Climatic Change Agreement, held in Copenhagen, Denmark from coming December 7 to 18. After that, it will be followed by movements in each country to urge Climatic Change Agreement, and it is planned to be used in a movement for Environmental Protection of the Earth in association with portal sites in Korea.

BYJ, having been interested in the environmental protection in ordinary times, delightfully accepted the proposal to participate in public service video from UN. He finished the narration work on 11 in recovering status after he suffered from the sepsis. In a 4 minutes 35 second long video, he appealed with powerful voice the necessity of Climatic Agreement. The format is to narrate in Korean with subtitling in English.

UN Climatic Change Agreement in this time is in preparation for the Climatic Agreement which will go into effect from 2012. The main point is making decision on reponsibilities and standards for developed countries and developing countries to undertake, respectively, to reduce amount of green-house gas emission. Naturally, it will become a focus by press in entire world, and BYJ's voice will be introduced to the world.

Reported by Kim Ingoo,
Copyright @ JES,
posted in Korean by Kwon Ohkyeong on KOB
translated from Korean to English by Joanne in Quilt, thanks.

This is the 'Seal the Deal Campaign' video narrated by BYJ :

from YouTube posted by 413conan, thanks.

Below is the translation of his narration :

No matter where you are living, warning message sent from the Earth is clear. Due to climatic change that becomes serious every day, we will carry burden on our back that we are not able to cope with. As glaciers melt in both Poles and sea level rises with rising temperature on Earth, several million people are in danger.

Scientists give warnings. If the Earth temperature rises by only 2 degree, there occurs grand extinction of living things on the Earth. By year 2025, two-thirds of human race will live in areas where water is in short supply, and mandatory displacement of millions of climatic refugees will become a reality. We might have to inherit diseases, drought, and starvation to the next generation. The climatic change is the reality. It is progressing in this very moment.

The greenhouse gas that we emit have reached its peak at this time. Mr. Bahn Kimoon, the Secretary General at UN, determined the climatic change as the top priority task for human race in 21st Century.
And, in December 2009, in Copenhagen, Denmark, there holds a general assembly of the concerned countries for the Climatic Change Agreement which will decide on the Earth's future. There, leaders of various nations will discuss a new, long-term and effective climatic changes.

The 'Seal the Deal' Campaign, which is to close the Climatic Change Agreement in Copenhagen, is waiting for signatures from every one in Global Villiage who desires the conclusion of the Agreement. From Africa ... Europe ... and to Asia, the 'Seal the deal' Campaign is collecting the wills of all Global Villiage people. Not only the experts but also the people in the entire world are aware of the necessity of the Climatic Change Agreement for the only one Earth.

The new Agreement will lead the green growth and sustainable low carbon economy. The 'Seal the Deal' Campaign, to be accomplished by our signatures, are moving the policy makers, urging NGO Media, businesses, and general public in entire world to participate in the signature, and informing the importance of the climatic changes and the meeting in Copenhagen.

The success of the Copenhagen meeting depends on the following 4 agenda...
First, the developed countries will positively agree on the reduction goal of the greenhouse gases,
secondly, the developing countires will practice the plans to reduce the greenhouse gases,
thirdly, a fund is raised for the poor countries, victims of the climatic changes, to confront the climatic changes,

and the lastly, there is a guarantee that this fund can be used fairly and effectively.

Then, what are the things that we can do. Please connect to homepage of the 'Seal the Deal' now and participate in the campaign... And then, place you signature..Our signatures will determine the history of mankind..
We can make changes... Are we going to tell our children that we did nothing at the moment when we had hope?..

'Seal the Deal'.. Your signatures will save the Earth..

posted in Korean by Cheoeumsarangkkeutggaji on KOB
translated from Korean to English by Joanne in Quilt, thanks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Behold my eyelashes

Hi hi ...... our dear sister yudi told me she did not notice that Yong Joon has long eyelashes! Hehe, it's probably because our handsome prince is always hiding his long lashes behind those eyeglasses? Or maybe dear yudi is too distracted by his shiny hair, his distinguished nose, his luscious lips, and the whole gorgeous face?

Yong Joon : so yudi, you don't know I have long eyelashes?
Ummm..... want to check them out?
See, they're naturally long, ever since I was a barefooted youth.
People said I was so beautiful then (hehe, they'd no idea what was about to come :)
When I dream, my eyelashes tickle my face :)

If you miss me, watch me in TWSSG again. You can see my eyelashes all the time @@

Hehe, please don't stare at me like this, I am too shy :)

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bassini winter 09

Hi hi sisters ..... The handsome prince's casual winter collection, he's in short hair already. Looked like he was relaxing in a mountain lodge, somewhere in Europe! But of course, we know he hadn't left Korea, so where can this place be??

Pictures from BYJGallery by vento

Bassini fall 09

Hi hi sisters ...... there are some new winter Bassini pictures out, but before I post them, please let me put up the fall pictures just to complete my records. Hehe, I think you don't mind looking at his long hair again, eh :)

Pictures from BYJGallery by style and daisukibyj