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Old materials about JHJ
I am transferring here old materials about JHJ from the wulijohyunjae website.

I decided not to post these old materials in JHJ's official soompi thread as it will be out of sequence - we are now in 2012, while some of the materials I am transferring are from as far back as 1999.

I am going to transfer by category. Below is an index listing the contents (by category name) of this page to make it easier for visitors to find their way around.


Note: All translations are by wulijohyunjae unless otherwise indicated.


Page 1

Andre Kim and JHJ

Army News

Fan Meetings prior to 2012

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CATEGORY: Andre Kim and JHJ

Andre Kim Fashion Extravaganza

by wuliJHJ on May 19, 2009

You all know that during the break in filming of “G.P.506″ (hence the crew cut hairstyle), Jo Hyun-Jae took on an unusual assignment. He was the lead male model in the Andre Kim Fashion Extravaganza which was staged in Wuxi, China, on July 12, 2007.

That was the first time JHJ set foot in China (not counting Hong Kong) but, hopefully, not the last. His legion of fans are growing with the showing of “Only You” on Hunan TV in November-December 2008.

We don’t know what you think of Andre Kim’s garments, but after watching his shows before and after this one, we can confirm that the only model who can wear his clothes is our JHJ.

Here are some pictures from the fashion show:











And here are some videos from rehearsal up to the show itself:

JHJ in Andre Kim Fashion Extravaganza, Wuxi, China rehearsal (1)

In the video you will see that JHJ and Park Sol Mi are sweating, initially they just used their hands to wipe off their sweat. Andre Kim was so nice to give them tissue to wipe off their sweat.

JHJ in Andre Kim Fashion Extravaganza, Wuxi, China rehearsal (2)

Andre Kim and JHJ only.

JHJ in Andre Kim Fashion Extravaganza, Wuxi, China rehearsal (3)

This time with Park Sol Mi.

JHJ in Andre Kim Fashion Extravaganza, Wuxi, China rehearsal (4)

And this is the end-product - the actual show:

JHJ in Andre Kim Fashion Extravaganza, Wuxi, China (actual show)

credit: photos as labelled; videos uploaded on youtube by mandalaywith. Thanks!


Andre Kim touched JHJ's career twice in his lifetime: first when he awarded JHJ with the Best Star Award in April 2007; and second, when he made JHJ as the lead male model of his first fashion show in Wuxi, China on July 2007.

So it is only fitting that JHJ should pay his respects when the famous South Korean designer died on August 12, 2010.

Here are some pictures of JHJ attending Andre Kim's funeral:











credit: photos as labelled.

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Jo Hyun Jae completes 40 km trek

February 23, 2009


The following news was reported on CarpeDiem Korea which had confirmed with Jo Hyun Jae’s management company.

A note was left on CarpeDiem’s bulletin board on Feb.20, 2009 by a fellow soldier who underwent the same military training as Jo Hyun Jae.

Jo Hyun Jae went on a two-day 40 km camping night military training and successfully completed the exercise.

The writer also says JHJ is a regular guy and is well-liked by his fellow soldiers.

Private First Class Jo Hyun Jae — We are so proud of you! You are doing your duty to your country and serving as an ordinary soldier. You will emerge from the military as a better and stronger person.


News of Jo Hyun-Jae

March 22, 2009

This message was left on Korea’s CarpeDiem (http://cafe.daum.net/hyunjaelove) on March 21, 2009 at 14:37 p.m. by one of Jo Hyun-Jae’s fellow soldiers:

Hi! I am here to report on news of Hyun-Jae.

Yesterday’s work schedule started at 4:05 a.m. This was out of consideration for Hyun-Jae.

Hyun-Jae looked very tired; made my heart ache.

Patrol was finished at around 5:40 a.m. when we returned to camp.

Have a great weekend, everyone at CarpeDiem!


More news of Jo Hyun-Jae

March 29, 2009

The following message was left on Korea’s CARPEDIEM on March 28, 2009 by a fellow soldier of Jo Hyun-Jae:

Hi, everybody at CarpeDiem! I’m here to say “Hello” on behalf of Hyun-Jae.

This week’s training was shooting (target practice.)

I was fortunate to be on the same shooting range as Hyun-Jae.

Anyone who could hit 20 targets would get a bonus leave.

Unfortunately Hyun-Jae only hit 19, but he was still rewarded with a night out.

As for me, I gave up after the first bang.

The shooting range was quite far, so on the way I spent the time chatting with Hyun-jae which felt really good.

Have a wonderful weekend, CarpeDiem fans!


This message has not been verified by JHJ’s management company or the JHJ Official Fan Club. We cannot vouch for its accuracy. We translated it simply for the information of JHJ fans.


New JHJ photos

May 13, 2009





These latest photos of Jo Hyun-Jae were posted on the official Fan Club website on 5/13/09 at 6:30 p.m. He looks very healthy and bright in his military uniform. He seems to have gained a little weight; the disciplined life in the army obviously suits him.

JHJ is holding a DVD (actually 2) delivered to him by the JHJ Official Fan Club in Japan which edited the photos and videos of fans’ best wishes for his birthday. He is very happy to receive this precious gift from his fans.

credit: as labelled


New JHJ photos and videos

May 22, 2009


New Jo Hyun-Jae photos and a video were released on the Official JHJ Fan Club website on May 18, another 3 videos on May 19, and the final video on May 20.

We are not allowed to post the photos or videos here.

So we’ll do the next best thing and describe them to you.

You may remember that we posted three photos of JHJ from the Official JHJ Fan Club website on May 13 but had to remove them the next day. If you were one of the early birds and managed to catch a glimpse of these photos, good for you! If you missed them, all we can say is: “Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do; our hands are tied.”

These new photos, like the last three, were taken on JHJ’s birthday on May 9 at his camp. Actually, one of the May 18 photos was the same as the second one of the May 13 photos. That’s the one that shows JHJ with a DVD in his hands. The official JHJ Fan Club of Japan compiled his Japanese fans’ birthday wishes (photos and videos) into two DVDs which they presented to JHJ on his birthday. He was very happy and said he would always cherish them. JHJ is sitting and holding one of the DVDs (wrapped in pale blue gift paper with a white bow and ribbon on the right corner.) He is of course wearing his camouflage military uniform, with a mic clipped to his right lapel, so we already guessed then that he was recording a video for his fans. His hair is very short (shorter than on the day he entered the army on 8/5/08). He is looking very fit and healthy, and he has a broad smile on his face. Perhaps because of the hair or the smile or the angle of his head, it looks like he has put on a little weight. When asked about this, he tells his Korean fans (those who are fortunate enough to see him that day) that he still weighs the same.

The other two new photos show JHJ standing in some kind of open field with trees and grass and flowers. He is holding his two hands in front of him, his right hand over his left hand, so you can see clearly the watch on his left wrist — black, square, with a dark blue face. His sleeves are rolled up almost to his elbows. The two photos are near-identical, except in one JHJ looks slightly to the left and in the other to the right — smiling.

In all three photos JHJ is looking very bright and smart, with a smile on his face. The fact that he is so fit and healthy must mean military life suits him, or rather, he has adjusted perfectly in these nine months.

In the first very short video (only 15 seconds), JHJ says: “I have received the fans’ DVDs. I can only watch them when I go home. I will always treasure them. Thank you so much!” He is standing in some corner of the camp, with a bush and some kind of rail behind him, and a building in the background. He is holding one of the DVDs with BOTH hands; he looks at it several times while speaking, with a very sweet smile. In his typical taciturn style, JHJ speaks only a few words, but you can feel his sincerity.

In the other 4 videos (which are continuation of the first, ranging from 25 to 35 seconds), JHJ thanks his fans again for all their birthday gifts and mentions the hand-made booklet containing his fans’ birthday wishes for him. He is very proud he has been promoted to Private First Class, touching that insignia when he says this. He enjoys the disciplined life of the army with set time for meals and sports and rest, which makes him very healthy. He will be out in a little more than a year (Editor: 393 days from today), but meanwhile he will make the most of his time in the military. He thanks his fans again for their love and concern.

The above is the transliteration of yours truly, so you have to exercise “willing suspension of disbelief.” JHJ speaks in Korean and the subtitles are in Japanese (neither of which I understand, but quite a few Japanese words are really Chinese, so I used my intelligence and imagination.) We’re getting these translated, and as soon as we get the text, we’ll post them here.*

At the end of the 4th video, JHJ waves goodbye, so I suppose that should be the last. But a 5th video was posted on the official JHJ website on May 20, a sort of afterthought or sloppy editing. Whatever it is, we’re grateful for more.

OK, there you have it. Even though “a picture is worth a thousand words”, without the pictures all you have is our word for it. We are sure smart JHJ fans can all use their imagination. Colour it with your love and beautiful images will surface.

JHJ speaks almost non-stop for 2 minutes 20 seconds altogether, which must be a record. He is more fluent; he is really speaking a little faster; and except for biting his lips once or twice and blinking when he’s thinking, his mannerisms are not so much on display. He is definitely more confident and expressive.

Has JHJ gained weight? Every fan has a different opinion. We think if he looks “fatter” (actually just a little fuller in the cheeks), it is only because he was too thin before, especially in the few months before his enlistment. People don’t become fat in the army; they just become stronger. Have you ever seen a fat soldier? JHJ has quit smoking, so he now looks very fit and healthy.

Asked in a Q & A if he were to liken himself to an animal, what would it be, he answered: “A chameleon. JHJ is really a chameleon: when he plays a priest in “Love Letter”, he looks like a priest; when he plays a special forces agent in “Forbidden Love”, he looks like a special forces agent”; when he plays an investment manager in “3 Dads/1 Mom”, he looks like an investment manager……..you get the idea. So when he is a soldier, he looks every inch a soldier. When he emerges from the army on 19 June, 2010, he’ll look like a movie star again, no, he does not regard himself as such, but as a “pure actor”.

* 5/24/09 We’ve now got the translation which (surprise!) agrees mostly with what I wrote above. The only thing to add is: JHJ says he has received so many letters and a lot of love, and he thanks everyone again and again. A year may seem long but time rolls by and we can meet again. Until then, take care!


More JHJ photos (that you can see)

May 23, 2009







These photos may have been taken during the first weeks of basic military training in August 2008 and show a very happy and relaxed Jo Hyun-Jae with his camp-mates.

We apologise for the quality of the photos, but anything is better than nothing. The photos may not be of the highest quality, but it is clear JHJ is very much at home with his camp-mates, just one of the boys.

(Photos courtesy of dearjohyunjae.com)


Another year to go

June 19, 2009


JHJ picture taken on the day he entered the Army on August 5, 2008.

Jo Hyun-Jae’s message to his fans on August 4, 2008:

Gone for a while and I’ll be back

Finally tomorrow I’ll be joining the army.

Just thinking of parting from my family and friends, as well as my fans, makes me feel lingering reluctance and regret.

But then when I return, looking back, it would seem the time is very short, right?

All this time, many thanks indeed for all your generous encouragement and support.

I’ll return from the army in good health and good spirits.

On my return, if I see a lot of your letters welcoming me back, I’ll be so happy.

Hope you’ll all keep well and take care!

Exactly a year from today, on June 19, 2010, Jo Hyun-Jae will have finished his military duties in the Korean armed forces. He has already served 10 1/2 months since he joined the army on August 5, 2008. Private First Class Jo Hyun-Jae is currently serving as a regular soldier, having decided to forego the chance of being an “entertainment soldier”, the career path of choice of so many actors and singers.

We wish JHJ well in his final year in the military. We pray that North Korea will behave, or at least not be allowed to misbehave. May there be peace on earth!

Let the countdown begin!


Breaking news — JHJ was unwell (but is now OK)

June 28, 2009

Jo Hyun-Jae’s army colleague Nick-onjonglove left this message on CarpediemKorea on June 26,2009:

Jo Hyun-Jae news — not in good health

Hello, everybody! The cookies are delicious. I thank you all on behalf of my campmates.

We are all very well in the army. Thank you very much!

But Hyun-Jae is not well and is currently in the infirmary.

We will send our good wishes and we will go to see him often.

So please don’t worry too much.

(Credit: http://cafe.daum.net/hyunjaelove)

(Translated from the Chinese translation by bpkwon@johyunjae.cn(ING)

We originally published the above post on June 27. Now we have an update from EVERKorea on JHJ’s condition:

Rumor has it that Hyunjae is sick and it makes fans anxious about his health.

He pulled a ligament in his foot [while] on patrol.

The best way to treat the pulled ligament is to take a rest, as you know.

So he has stayed for a few days at the medical corps.

Today [June 27], he returned to his unit.

It is not serious. Don’t worry.

We are concerned about him at the slightest matter,

This news can make you feel anxious.

But Fans’ letter may be better to encourage him than anxiety.

Please send him many letters.


JHJ to be promoted

July 3, 2009


Jo Hyun-Jae will be promoted to “Sangbyeong” (U.S. army rank equivalent — Corporal) on August 1, 2009, almost a year after his enlistment.

JHJ entered the South Korean army on August 5, 2008 as Private Second Class (after completing basic military training) and was promoted to Private First Class on February 1, 2009.

The Republic of Korean Army — the sixth largest in the world — is the largest of the military branches, with 655,000 in the active force and 3,040,000 regular reserve in 2008. South Korea has mandatory military service of 24 -27 months. The duration of service varies from branch to branch of the military. In general, with few exceptions, most of South Korean males serve in the military between the ages of 20 – 30.

JHJ still has almost another year of military service. He is scheduled to be discharged on June 19, 2010.

(Information on ROKA from Wikipedia)

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“G.P.506″ in the military

July 27, 2009

Jo Hyun-Jae’s 2008 movie “G.P.506″ was shown on the Korean satellite TV station OCN on July 25 at 22:00. JHJ’s fellow soldier Nick-onjonglove left this message on CAFE on July 26:

Hello, everybody! Last evening I watched “G.P.506″ with members of my unit.

Jo Hyun-Jae’s acting is really superb!

Some who have already seen this movie [before enlistment] were also attracted to watch it again in the military.

The Jo Hyun-Jae in the movie is so different from the Jo Hyun-Jae by our side.

The snacks and cookies are delicious. I thank you on behalf of our camp-mates.

(Credit: http://cafe.daum.net/hyunjaelove. Translated from Chinese translation in johyunjae.cn (ING). Thanks!)

Imagine watching “G.P.506″ with JHJ next to you! His fellow soldiers are so lucky!


JHJ: a year in the army

August 5, 2009

Jo Hyun-Jae entered the Korean army on this day last year — August 5, 2008.

A year has passed; 318 more days to go. JHJ started as Private Second Class and was promoted to Private First Class in February 2009 and recently Corporal on August 1, 2009. When he completes his military duties on June 19, 2010, what rank will he be in?





“Defense Daily” interview

August 20, 2009










(From http://armynuri.tistory.com/. Photos courtesy of johyunjae.hk. Thanks!)


Q. What are your duties now?

A. I am an army dog soldier in the 2nd battalion, responsible for the health, education, and training of my dog, as well as to keep it in the best condition and to patrol the ammunition depot with it at night.

Q. Is there a special reason why you did not enlist as an entertainment soldier?

A. Both my parents and I thought it would be better for me to be on active duty. I have been busy working and concentrating on my career. Being a regular soldier will give me an opportunity and time for reflection. When I look back on my career, I could take pride in having served the Republic of Korea as an ordinary soldier.

Q. To your fellow artists who have yet to join the military, what do you want to say to them as a “senior”?

A. I’d like to say to those who have not completed their military service: “Enlist early!” There is nothing to fear. There is no problem even for those who come to military life late.

Q. After you have completed your military service, what would you like to do?

A. Make great films, of course. I would like to return to being a professional actor.

Q. How about a few words to your fans?

A. I’m doing well in the military. I’ll repay your loyalty with “great work” after my discharge. Thank you so much for all your love and letters. Stay healthy and be happy always.

Q. What difficulties have you encountered in your military duties with a dog?

A. We have day and night duty. The hardest part is the graveyard shift in winter when we have to go out and start patrolling at 4 a.m., a distance of about 5 km. all round the camp.

(Editor’s note: JHJ was still Private First Class when this interview with “Defense Daily” took place in July. He was promoted to Corporal on Aug.1, 2009.)


“Defense Daily” interview photos

August 21, 2009

These photos are taken from the video which is why their quality is not as good as the ones in yesterday’s post. Still, more is better.










Latest on JHJ

September 8, 2009

The following is the latest news of Jo Hyun-Jae from the official website (September 7, 2009):

Hi, this is Korean staff. I am writing this diary after a long absence.

Summer is almost over. Please take care because it is the turning point of the seasons.

I am here to inform you of the latest condition of Jo Hyun-Jae.

Last week JHJ went on a 3 nights/4 days military training.

I also have experience in the military. This is the most memorable training during military service.

On this 3 nights/4 days intensive training, you have to go on a 40 km trek carrying a heavy backpack.

It is tough training — you get blisters on your feet, it is so hot you can’t even walk properly, and some even fall by the wayside.

I am happy to report JHJ successfully completed his training. He is mentally and physically healthy.

However, he now has a tan on his face which makes him look even more manly.

I will write again if there is more news of JHJ

(Editor: Please see our 2/23/09 post “JHJ completes 40km trek” — an earlier military exercise.)


JHJ is taking a break

wulijohyunjae | September 21, 2009 | 4:49 pm

From the Official JHJ Fan Club website:

Sept.21, 2009 09:51a.m.

Hi! This is Korean staff.

South Korea has been raining since morning.

Apart from news of rain, I also have good news of Jo Hyun-Jae.

Starting today, JHJ is taking a 3 nights/4 days vacation.

He has just finished his arduous training. Hope this will give him some rest.

See you next time.

안녕하세요. 한국 스탭입니다.

오늘 한국은 아침부터 비가 내리고 있습니다.

비 소식과 더불어 오늘은 반가운 현재씨 소식을 하나 전해 드리겠습니다.

현재씨가 오늘부터 3박 4일간 정기 휴가를 나왔습니다.

힘든 훈련도 마치고 푹 쉬었다 들어갔으면 하는 바램입니다.

그럼 다음에 다시 찾아뵙겠습니다.


JHJ’s new photos

January 18, 2010






You all know Jo Hyun-Jae is an army dog soldier. Here he is with his army dog Briro after he returned from “Severe Cold” training on January 14. Photos are taken on the snow-covered grounds of his army camp.

The master looks much fitter and smarter than his dog which seems a little worn out. Briro looked very sharp in those Defense Daily photos a few months ago, remember?

(Source: Blog.naver.com)

“Skin shinier than snow”

January 18, 2010


Glowing? Glittering? Shiny? Glossy? Sparkling? Gleaming? Shimmering? Dazzling? Take your pick. I don’t know how to translate the headline in the news item which literally translates as “Skin shinier than snow.”

Jo Hyun-Jae’s life in the military is revealed for the first time when Defense Daily posted these photos of the army dog soldier on January 17. Jo Hyun-Jae enlisted in the military in August 2008 and will soon be promoted to Sergeant in March 2010. He is at present serving as an army dog soldier in the Army’s 2nd Battalion Support Command in Gyeonggi-do. He just completed “Severe Cold” training in blizzard conditions earlier this month.

In the photos released by Defense Daily, Jo Hyun-Jae and his German shepherd pose side by side on the snow-covered ground, full of smiles, very attractive, obviously totally acclimatized to life in the army. He looks very fit and smart, and his skin is whiter and more glittering than the snow which makes a deep impression.

Feedback from netizens on the web:

“even in the army his skin still glows”

“so good to see a serving soldier looking so fit in action”

” first actor to be army dog soldier puts in special performance”

Ever since he joined the army, Jo Hyun-Jae has been invited several times to become an entertainment soldier, but he declined because he just wanted to lead the life of an ordinary soldier.

Jo Hyun-Jae’s management company says he does not choose to be an entertainment soldier because he wants to serve alongside ordinary soldiers. He was recommended to be an army dog soldier but he has always liked dogs. Recently he successfully completed guerilla training, followed by “severe cold” training. He will do his best to complete all his military duties before his discharge in June.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

趙顯宰的軍隊生活第一次公開. 國防日報17日突然公開擔任軍犬兵上兵趙顯宰的面貌. 趙顯宰2008年以現役軍人入伍, 接下來的3月即將升為兵長. 目前在京畿道議政部陸軍2軍需支援司令部擔任軍犬兵一職. 這個月初在暴雪之下也完成酷寒訓練.

國防日報公開的照片中, 趙顯宰與德國牧羊犬軍犬肩並肩在雪地上笑容滿面的模樣吸引人的目光. 完全適應軍隊生活, 威風凜凜的面貌其中, 比雪還要雪白閃耀的皮膚, 讓人有很深刻的印象.

網民們紛紛傳來支持的訊息: “即使在軍中也獨自閃閃發光的皮膚”, ”現役軍人堂堂的活動面貌看起來真好”, “第一位任職軍犬兵的演藝人很有特色”.

趙顯宰在入伍之後雖然數度被演藝士兵召喚, 由於想要過平凡的軍隊生活的毅力使然, 婉轉拒絕了邀請.

趙顯宰所屬經紀公司表示, 不選擇演藝兵, 希望與現役兵一樣一起過相同的軍隊生活. 雖然在隊中被提議擔任軍犬兵, 但由於平常也很喜歡小狗因而自願擔當. 最近游擊訓練之後接著酷寒訓練也安全的完成了. 為了今年6月退伍之前好好的完成軍隊任務, 將盡全力努力以赴.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

조현재의 군생활이 처음으로 공개됐다. 국방일보는 17일 군견병으로 근무하고 있는 상병 조현재의 모습을 깜짝 공개했다. 조현재는 2008년 현역으로 입대해 오는 3월 병장이 된다. 군견병으로 경기도 의정부시 육군 2군수 지원사령부에 근무 중이며, 이달 초 폭설에도 불구하고 혹한기 훈련을 무사히 마쳤다.

 국방일보가 공개한 사진 속에서 조현재는 세퍼드 군견과 나란히 눈 밭에서 웃고 있어 눈길을 끈다. 군생활에 완벽하게 적응한 늠름한 모습 가운데, 눈보다 더욱 하얗고 빛난 피부가 인상적이다.

 네티즌들은 “군대에서도 빛난 이기적인 피부다” “현역으로 당당히 활동하는 모습이 보기 좋다” “군견병으로 근무하는 연예인은 처음인데 색다르다”며 응원을 보내고 있다.

 조현재는 군 입대후 연예사병 러브콜을 수차례 받았지만, 평범한 군생활을 하고 싶다는 의지 때문에 이를 거절한 것으로 알려졌다.

 조현재의 소속사 측은 “연예사병 대신 다른 현역병과 마찬가지로 똑같이 생활하고 싶어 했다. 대신 자대에서 군견병을 제안했는데, 조현재도 평소 개를 좋아하는 애견가라 이에 자원했다. 최근 유격 훈련에 이어 혹한기 훈련도 무사히 마쳤다. 오는 6월 제대까지 군생활을 잘 마무리하기 위해 최선을 다하고 있다”고 밝혔다.

(Source: Sports Chosun)


Congratulations, Sergeant Jo!

March 1, 2010

Jo Hyun-Jae has been promoted to Sergeant (from March 1.) This is his third promotion since enlisting in the Korean army on August 5, 2008.

JHJ is one of the very few Korean actors/singers who opts to be a regular soldier all through his two-year tour of duty.

We are proud of you, Sergeant Jo! Heartiest congratulations!

Our congratulatory card reads:

Success is working hard,

living right,

dreaming big,

and being the best we can be.

(a quote from A. Tennille), and on the inside:

You deserve congratulations for everything you’ve done.

You deserve the best for being who you are.

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2008 JAPAN FAN MEETING (Held prior to JHJ's military service)

Diary of a Star-Chaser (Part 1 – At Kansai International Airport)

February 25, 2009


The following is the first of three articles that Maria wrote after the Japan Fan Meetings last year (originally published in JoHyunJaeChina.)


(an eye-witness account of Jo Hyun-Jae’s Fan Meetings in Osaka and Tokyo in June 2008)

YT Link: JHJ arriving at Kansai Airport - Japan FM 2008

I cannot remember who said once you have seen Jo Hyun-Jae, you’re dead! Well, I’ve seen him not ONCE, but TWICE! No, THRICE! — at Kansai International Airpot, and at the fan meetings in Osaka on 2008.6.22 and Tokyo on 2008.6.23. And now I have become a diehard JHJ fan for life!

2008.6.21 (Saturday) Osaka

My first glimpse of Hyun-Jae was at Osaka’s Kansai Airport on 2008.6.21 at 2:30 p.m. when he walked into the Arrivals Hall (South Gate), having arrived on JL962 from Seoul a little earlier. I had been standing there for over two hours, along with over 200 Japanese fans (all women), some of whom had been waiting since 10 a.m.!

I was craning my neck, peering at every passenger who emerged, and fidgeting with my camera. Suddenly there was a flash of light, like rays of sunshine! A tall figure in a white ski cap, sunglasses, short-sleeved white shirt, black trousers, and white surfsider shoes (no socks) appeared. Before I could react, he was striding towards his waiting fans, smiling and bowing.

I was standing on the other side of the exit, pretending to meet other passengers, otherwise I would have to stand at the end of the long line of 200+ Japanese fans. I rushed after him, snapping like mad. He stopped a couple of times to accept flowers from his fans, smiling and bowing all the time (so polite!) By the time I reached the end of the line, Hyun-Jae (and his entourage) was entering the elevator. Good thing it was a glass elevator because I could still see Hyun-Jae waving at us as the elevator was going up.

When everything was over (like a dream), I checked my camera and discovered that I did not manage to take a single decent shot of Hyun-Jae (except the one of him in the elevator.) Every photo showed somebody’s hand or the back of a head or the air or (best) half of Hyun-Jae (the right side of his body.) (Sigh!) My hands were shaking too much; my legs were trembling; my eyes could not focus; in short, I was not functioning like a normal human being in the presence of our Prince Charming (about 8 feet away at the shortest distance.)

You know, my biggest discovery from this close encounter is — Hyun-Jae is NOT really photogenic! By that I mean he looks so much more handsome in person than in photos or on the TV screen. I would not have thought this is possible if I had not seen him with my own eyes! How could someone who is already perfect in every respect be MORE PERFECT in the flesh!

He was just wearing the most basic clothes — white shirt and black trousers (the shirt worn outside of the trousers), and yet somehow he made them look like the most glamourous garments in the word. There was an aura about him — he seemed to be radiating light! I was so blinded my mind went blank. My heart was beating so violently that at one point I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

After he was gone, his Japanese fans were comparing and sharing videos and photos. I joined them; we didn’t know one another but we chatted like old friends. Actually they could not speak English and I could not speak Japanese, but we spoke a common language. We were all going ooh…..aah…..wow….. Hyun-Jae!!!!! Ajumas were behaving like silly little girls, and it was a lot of fun! Everybody was looking forward to the fan meeting the day after.



Diary of a Star-Chaser (Part 2 – At Osaka Fan Meeting)

February 28, 2009


(An eyewitness account of Jo Hyun-Jae’s Fan Meetings in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan, in June 2008)

2008.6.22 (Sunday) Osaka’s NHK Hall

I had it from a reliable source that in Osaka Jo Hyun-Jae had a rehearsal soon after he arrived from Seoul in the afternoon of June 21. Two lucky Japanese fans in Osaka (and another two in Tokyo) were selected to watch the rehearsal. On the day of the Fan Meeting, JHJ arrived at NHK Hall at 11:30 a.m. (This is from another eyewitness.) The meeting begins at 2 p.m. This just shows how seriously Hyun-Jae takes his work.

At a little after 12 noon, JHJ fans were already gathering in the lobby of the NHK hall. Everybody was very excited and anticipation was in the air. At 1 p.m. we were allowed to enter; the queue was moving slowly because there were so many people. When we got to the top of the escalator, we saw many huge posters of JHJ — all unspeakably handsome! And there were all these JHJ souvenirs spread out on several tables. So we started charging at once! I made a beeline for the photo albums. They are BIG and BEAUTIFUL, with many previously unpublished photos of JHJ and his signature. I also collected a set of cups (2) with different JHJ photos on each, and cell phone straps (with JHJ’s signature.)


Clutching my precious purchases, I entered the hall which could hold 1500 people (full house.) Three huge JHJ banners were hung on stage, one on each side of JHJ in a black suit, and a set of three in the centre of JHJ in a grey cotton cardigan and white T-shirt with grey-and-yellow striped sleeves. Just looking at these made my heart beat to an unnatural rhythm.

A little after 2 p.m. the lights dimmed. Wah…..wah…..wah….. screams could be heard all over the main auditorium and the 1/F balcony. Suddenly projected on the big screen was a pair of black leather shoes. Then the camera panned to reveal a pair of ash-white trousers and then a jacket. It stopped at the neck! By that time everybody in the audience knew that it was JHJ backstage. Screams were reaching fever pitch. Drum roll……and Hyun-Jae appeared on stage left, walking to centre stage. Everybody was screaming at the top of their lungs.


The vision that appeared before our eyes was Hyun-Jae in an ash-white suit (short jacket — must be this year’s style), black shirt with polka dot lining (strategically revealed at the open collar), black leather shoes, and short hair (in the “3 Dads/1 Mom” style.)

Hyun-Jae started to sing. I didn’t understand a word but it was beautiful music. I have only heard him sing on MVs before. On stage he sounded much better and stronger; his voice was a rich, deep baritone. When he finished, the applause was deafening.

Then the Master of Ceremony (MC) and the interpreter appeared on stage, and they all sat on high stools, the two women on either side of JHJ. Hyun-Jae sat with his left foot on the lower crossbar of the high stool and his right foot on the floor in a pose that could only be described as elegant. (Try sitting on a high stool for over an hour with your back straight up and you’ll know how difficult it is to maintain such a pose.) The MC started with her questions, which Hyun-Jae answered in his characteristically terse way (not many words.) The interpreter was translating simultaneously and she was doing a good job, because almost as soon as the Japanese MC finished asking her questions, Hyun-Jae was ready to answer. (The interpreter was the same one as in the last Japan Fans Meeting a year ago.)

On the big screen appeared first Lee Dong Gun (whose younger brother’s funeral JHJ attended a few months earlier) and then JHJ’s co-stars in “3 Dads/1 Mom” — Shin Shing Rok, Jae Hee, and Eugene. I think they were wishing JHJ success with the Fans Meeting (the last two words were spoken in English.) Lee appeared thinner, Shin looked exactly the same as in 3/1, Jae was sporting a smart new hairstyle, and Eugene — I did not recognize her at first (without the wigs she wore in 3/1). Her real hair was very short which made her face look very round and full.

On stage Hyun-Jae was like a bright-eyed little boy who was curious about everything. He kept turning his head to look at his friends on the big screen. I guess the MC’s questions were about JHJ’s various TV dramas. I could hear the words “Seo Dong Yo”, “Only You”, and Andrea.

I did not understand a single word of Japanese or Korean, but I was caught up in the fervour of the moment. I laughed when everybody laughed, and I clapped when everybody clapped. We all know JHJ is a man of few words. But he seemed to be warming up after a while, and even spoke more than ten words at a time (Just kidding!) Seriously, he must have become more humourous because his answers were evoking constant laughter. We laughed and he smiled. We laughed some more and he smiled some more. The atmosphere was warm an electrifying.

After more than an hour, Part 1 came to an end. JHJ went backstage, waving and bowing. On the big screen appeared various scenes from his TV dramas which brought back happy memories.

After an interval of about ten minutes, JHJ re-appeared — on the 1/F balcony! He had changed into casual wear — a white collarless T-shirt, black vest, black trousers, and white canvas shoes — and he was so drop-dead gorgeous! He made his way across the whole balcony before coming down to the main auditorium which he criss-crossed, so that everyone had the chance to see him up close. He passed right in front of me, but the fans on the other side grabbed hold of him, so I didn’t even manage to touch his back!



Part 2 was games, one of which was “Stone, Paper, and Scissors”. Everybody stood up and played against JHJ. If you lost, you sat down. After three or four rounds, JHJ had already defeated most of us. Only 7 or 8 people were left and they were invited on stage to play with JHJ. The last two left standing received prizes and got to shake JHJ’s hand.

Another game was “Wheel of Fortune”. The lucky few that JHJ invited on stage turned the wheel to see what they could win. (Hyun-Jae was very considerate to his fans; the first one he picked was from the 1/F balcony.) The luckiest one of all got a HUG! The Japanese girl was shy but Hyun-Jae was shyer. There was a lot of foreplay before they finally came together for a brief second. Her head barely reached his chest, and I could see she was about to faint from the excitement.


In Part 3 fans competed for the gifts that JHJ brought with him, among which were DVD sets of “Seo Dong Yo” and “Only You”, won respectively by an old lady and a young girl who both looked overwhelmed.

The most bizarre part of the afternoon was JHJ demonstrating the art of eating. Actually he was supposed to be a culinary judge. A food cart was wheeled out on which were a number of dishes. JHJ first tasted some kind of pancake. He took a small bite but was made to take another bite by the MC. Hyun-Jae’s table manners were impeccable. He wiped his mouth and drank from a glass of water before trying the spaghetti. Can you imagine how embarrassing it was to eat spaghetti in front of 1500 people? with 3000 eyes watching every movement of your jaw? While he was trying to swallow, the MC kept talking to him, so he had to turn his back to the audience to gulp it down. He was so polite and well-bred! This happened twice because he had to sample two different kinds of spaghetti. I think it is torture.




Next the MC said something which of course I did not understand. The Japanese lady sitting next to me said (in English): “Stand up! Stand up!” I stood up without understanding why. Then she said: “Go out! Go out!” and pushed me towards the stage. I saw Taiwan’s Greencup and, being the smart JHJ fan that I was, I guessed overseas fans were invited to meet Hyun-Jae. Actually we stood just beneath the stage, about 8 or 9 of us, and each of us was asked where we were from. The man on my left said “Taiwan” (yes, JHJ does have male fans!) and I said “Beijing, China”, followed by Bigcat from Hong Kong and Greencup from Taiwan. The last person was from Italy (at least that’s what I heard.)

All this time I was standing about five feet from Hyun-Jae and I was staring (yes, staring, very rude, I know, but I couldn’t help it.) I was so near to him and I could see him so clearly. Oh, my God! He was so “beautiful”! This was what the Japanese lady sitting next to me was saying all afternoon — “He is so beautiful! the most beautiful in Korea!” And I answered: “In the world!” Yes, up close he was even more “beautiful”!

Without understanding Japanese, somehow I knew we were asked to play “Stone, Paper, Scissors” with Hyun-Jae. I played “Scissors” and Hyun-Jae used “Stone”, so I lost. I knew I was supposed to go back to my seat, but I didn’t want to take my eyes off Hyun-Jae. I had never been so thick-skinned in my life. I just stood there and kept staring, until the other losers started leaving. I cursed myself for losing, but I was losing my head in Hyun-Jae’s presence. The two winners were Taiwan’s Greencup who won JHJ’s shirt and a leather bracelet (I’m so happy for her!) and a Korean fan from CAFE who won JHJ’s jeans and also a leather bracelet. Lucky girls!


At some point the audience dedicated to JHJ the song in “3 Dads/1 Mom” that the three fathers sang for the baby girl on her first birthday — “You Were Born Out Of Love”. Hyun-Jae stood there solemnly receiving the tribute, even though the singing was out of tune sometimes, and he smiled and bowed and thanked us. After another brief intermission, it was “handshaking” time. The organizers moved very quickly and efficiently. A small table was set up on stage left. The fans lined up and took turns to shake Hyun-Jae’s hand. Then they were led to centre stage where two identical stands were erected for fans to take a photo with Hyun-Jae in groups of 30. The front row had 11 chairs (the centre one for Hyun-Jae); the two back rows were standing room only.

When it was my turn, I was pleasantly surprised (and very moved) that Hyun-Jae actually “shook” my hand and looked me in the eyes. His hand was soft and his grip was firm. He really took his fans seriously. Gazing into his big, beautiful eyes gave me a dizzy feeling.

I half-walked, half-stumbled to the stand and discovered I was just one seat removed from Hyun-Jae. Bigcat very generously offered her seat to me so I could sit next to Hyun-Jae. When he came over, I could not take my eyes off him. His face looked even more “beautiful” when it was less than six inches away. His profile was like that of a Greek statue. His skin was very fine and his complexion flawless. When he smiled (at us, not at me in particular), I was ready to drop dead from the ecstasy. It was all like a dream, a dream come true! I could not remember how I got off stage.

There were a few children in the audience. When they went on stage for their photo shot, they were placed next to JHJ. It was heart-warming to see Hyun-Jae put his arm around the child (children in one case — twin girls.) I could see Hyun-Jae loved children and he would be a good father when he had children of his own.

I was still on cloud nine when finally the handshaking part was over and JHJ came on stage again to sing another song and to say goodbye. Part of the proceeds of the show was donated to charity, and JHJ presented a cheque to a representative of the charitable organization, to thunderous applause.

Finally the MC presented JHJ with the fans’ messages in an album. While we were waiting in the lobby, we were given cards (the size of a business card) on which to write a message to JHJ, to be dropped in a box at the entrance of the auditorium. JHJ read out a few; the rest presumably he would take back to Korea. When he has nothing better to do in the army, I hope he will take out this album and perhaps come across mine that reads:

“To: Mr. Jo Hyun-Jae (in Korean) FIGHTING! From China with love 2008.6.22″


Time’s up but nobody wanted Hyun-Jae to go, so we kept on applauding and applauding until he came on stage again to say “Thank You” and “Goodbye” one last time.The Fans Meeting was billed as 2 – 5 p.m., but it actually lasted till 6:30 p.m. And I had to catch a 9 p.m. flight to Tokyo. I’ll not tell you about my mad dash to Kansai Airport. It was nothing compared to JHJ’s 4 1/2 hours on stage, most of it standing, and shaking 1500 hands and posing for photos with 1500 divided by 30 groups of fans (you do the math), all the time maintaining his elegant pose and sincere manners and genuine smile — all from the heart!

Diary of a Star-Chaser (Part 3 – At Tokyo Fan Meeting)

March 3, 2009


2008.6.23 (Monday) Tokyo’s Sun Plaza

The second of Jo Hyun-Jae’s Fan Meeting was in Tokyo’s Sun Plaza which could hold 2100 people. Before the scheduled time of 3 p.m., many fans were already gathered in the lobby, but they were asked to wait outside and not allowed in till 2 p.m. The Tokyo fans were more aggressive than the Osaka fans. As soon as they got in, they rushed upstairs to grab the JHJ souvenirs. I am not exaggerating — they did not queue up (not at first) and just pushed and shoved to get to the souvenirs. And I’m ashamed to say I did the same. I had to (to save my skin), and even then I was trampled on (my poor feet got trod on several times.) I had to buy more photo albums for my friends in China and some make-up mirrors (with two JHJ photos) which I did not see yesterday, more cell phone straps, and a JHJ florescent stick (to wave when he was singing.) When I finally made my way out of the mad crowd, it was like emerging from a war zone. These elegant women suddenly all became crazy, clawing and thrusting. Could they be, like me, doing something they never had the chance to do when they were teenagers and were now letting themselves go? How come JHJ with his clean-cut features, gentlemanly manners, upright character, and healthy lifestyle could have this effect on these ladies (me among them)?

After amassing my “loot”, I didn’t know what to do with them. Yesterday in Osaka they gave us a plastic bag to hold the photo albums, but today in Tokyo they did not provide this service. (Maybe they didn’t think anyone would buy so many.) I was hanging on to my hard-won spoils and they were feeling heavier and heavier. I must have looked very distressed because suddenly some lady with blue hair (yes, blue-tinted hair) gave me a big and sturdy shopping bag that could hold everything. And this was the lady who tried to sell me some unofficial JHJ souvenirs when I was waiting to get into the hall. I declined, and here she was, lending me a helping hand. JHJ fans really look out for one another. A certain kind of artist inspires a certain kind of fans. When my best friend heard I was meeting another JHJ fan that I got to know on the internet, she thought I was nuts. But I assured her I believed firmly JHJ fans are all good people.

With my precious purchases safely in the bag, I entered the hall and sat down to recover my breath. The stage set-up was similar to Osaka’s, except the JHJ banners were a little smaller (due to the size of the stage.) The opening was also different. There was no projection on the screen of JHJ backstage. He just walked onto the stage after the drum-roll, introduced himself, and sang the same opening song which sounded even better the second time I heard it. He was wearing a white suit this time, with a multi-coloured checked shirt (open low, but there was another T-shirt under that), and silver sports shoes, and his hairstyle was a little tousled — which produced a different effect from Osaka’s but equally breathtakingly handsome.


Then the Master of Ceremony (MC) (a different one) and the same interpreter came on stage. The format of the first part was the same as in Osaka, except JHJ looked less animated. He must have been so tired after yesterday’s show. But this MC was very sharp and kept prodding him, so that after a while JHJ was back to his bright, breezy self, especially in the second part.

After the short intermission, JHJ came out in a collarless T-shirt with grey-trimmed collar and short sleeves, white vest, casual black trousers, and white sports shoes. And he looked much fresher and more relaxed. Like yesterday in Osaka, he did the rounds of the hall, beginning with the 1/F balcony and then coming down to the main auditorium. This is the part when fans could have a close encounter with their idol.


The second part was Q & A (questions and answers) and games rolled into one, more compact and faster-moving than yesterday in Osaka. JHJ was very fair: he took care to choose fans from the 1/F balcony and every part of the main auditorium downstairs. One old lady at the back managed to catch JHJ’s attention by waving a colourful shawl. I didn’t understand what she asked JHJ but everybody laughed. And then she started to sing him a song which made him smile. Another lady asked a question which elicited an answer from JHJ that made everybody scream. I asked the Korean girl sitting next to me to translate. Japanese fan: “What is the most precious thing to you?” JHJ’s answer: “You — every one of you! All my fans!” When did he learn to say things like that? I thought he was never very good with words.

When it was our section’s turn, I waved my hand like a mad woman (since I had no scarf or shawl), but it didn’t work. JHJ picked the lady sitting right in front of me. Good thing I wasn’t chosen. I just put up my hand without knowing what question I was going to ask. JHJ was focused in our direction for the next few minutes, so I could take a good hard look at him. I kept remembering what the Japanese lady sitting next to me yesterday was saying over and over again: “He is so beautiful!”

In between the Q & A and the games, the MC was saying there were some overseas fans in the audience. Don’t ask me how I knew. I heard the words “Hong Kong” and “Taiwan”, and I saw some people putting up their hands and shouting “Taiwan” (must be Greencup on the other side of the auditorium.) So I put up my hand too and when the MC pointed to me, I stood up and shouted: “Beijing, China!” She asked me if I was in Osaka yesterday and I said “Yes.” Again, don’t ask me how I understood her; I just did.

Came the games part — the MC said something and everybody stood up and looked under their seats. If there was something there, you got to go on stage to receive a gift from JHJ. There were 9 lucky fans altogether. Each of them turned the Wheel of Fortune which determined what prize they got. There were “Seo Dong Yo” and “Only You” DVDs, T-shirts, caps, necklaces, bracelets, etc. Do you know how caring and considerate our Hyun-Jae was? For the ladies who won the DVDs, he not only autographed them but personalized them as well, that is, he wrote their names at the top. For the two luckiest (in my opinion), he put on the necklace and the bracelet for them, also the girl who won the baseball cap. I could only sit and watch with envy.


The show was over in two hours, but the handshaking part took longer because this Tokyo hall could accommodate 2100 people. The set-up was the same as in Osaka — first handshake, then photo with JHJ. While we were waiting and watching the other groups shaking hands and posing with JHJ, I got talking to the Korean girl sitting next to me. She could speak some English and she had a translation gadget with her, so we managed to communicate. She told me she had seen JHJ twice before in Korea, but never for so long and never this close. She asked me what I was going to say to JHJ when I shook his hand, (I didn’t say anything in Osaka), I suddenly had a brainwave. I asked her to teach me how to say in Korean: “Mr. JHJ, please come to China soon.” When it proved too difficult, I asked her to write it down for me in Korean. I told her I was going to show that sentence to JHJ when I shook his hand. Since she would be following me, I asked her to do me a favour and to say to JHJ: “You have a lot of fans in China.”

When it came to our turn, we had to wait for 10 minutes so JHJ could take a break. The Korean girl started counting and suddenly she whispered in my ear: “You’re #5 and I’m #6, which means we’ll be sitting on either side of JHJ!” And she was right! My God, lightning struck twice! Two times lucky for me! I couldn’t believe my good fortune! The Korean girl went on to say: “Why don’t we put our arm in his, just like some of the other women?” I said: “Oh no! I can’t! I dare not!” And she said: “We’ll never get another chance like this. The photo will be our happy memories forever.”

I struggled with myself, and when JHJ came to sit between the two of us, I didn’t know what came over me, but I did put my arm into his (and so did the Korean girl.) Hyun-Jae did not pull away, but some security man came over at once and “scolded” us. So you will see a very red-faced me when the photo comes out. But at least I touched his arm (bare skin and all!), or rather my sleeve did.

The Tokyo Fan Meeting was supposed to be from 3 – 6 p.m. but did not end until 7:30 p.m., again overrun by 1 1/2 hours. I remember thinking: If I were JHJ’s mother, my heart would ache at seeing him so over-worked. I am not his mother, but my heart still ached. JHJ bowed and smiled when he shook each fan’s hand, and he bowed twice when he came to each photo group of 30, and again bowed twice after the photo was taken. He was so polite and well-bred, with perfect manners.

The last part was the second song and the final “Goodbye”. No encores this time. JHJ must be so exhausted. Again part of the proceeds of the show went to charity. JHJ is not only a beautiful face; he also has a beautiful heart! And I am proud to be a JHJ fan!


After the Fan Meeting, we went with some Japanese friends to a Korean restaurant. When the meal was almost over, one of them received a call. Their “spy” informed them that JHJ was at another Korean restaurant a stone’s throw away and that he would be leaving in about 10 minutes. We dropped everything and rushed out. We saw the Mercedes-Benz S500 and the chauffeur waiting for JHJ. We stood discreetly at a distance. We were not going to take photos; we didn’t want to disturb him. We just wanted to wave goodbye. After a short time, the chauffeur drove the car 10 feet up the road, and several security men came out onto the pavement. One of them kept us at a distance, so that when JHJ finally came out of the restaurant, he was ushered into the back of the car, shielded by security men. We could not even catch a glimpse of him! But his manager/boss came out later and talked to our Japanese friends who were with the JHJ website in Japan. The Japanese lady told us this man was like a father to JHJ, so he was in good hands, which made me feel better. So this was the end of my dream trip to meet Jo Hyun-Jae in Japan, memories of which will have to last through the next two years when he is in the army.


(Originally published in JoHyunJaeChina)


ARTICLES ON JHJ's KOREA FAN MEETING 2008 before his military service

Korea Fan Meeting (1)

March 9, 2009



This is an English translation of Jo Hyun-Jae’s interview with “Korean TV Drama Magazine” (October 2008 issue) by misa123 first published in EVERjohyunjae on 2009.1.6

Emotional Fan Meeting in Korea Just before Entering the Military!!

On July 19, 2008, Jo Hyun Jae held his final pre-enlistment fan meeting at the auditorium of Seoul’s Yonsei University. The theme of the fan meeting was “Wait,” and a large number of fans—not only from within Korea but from Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan as well–crowded in to see Jo Hyun Jae with their own eyes just two weeks before he entered the army. As he took the stage sporting a crew cut, loud cheers rose from the crowd, marking the start of an emotional fan meeting where the fans and Jo Hyun Jae seemed to be reassuring each other.

report: Choi Hyo-Jeong

☆ The Opening—Conveying His Feelings for His Fans in Writing

At 2:15pm, a letter written in Jo Hyun Jae’s own handwriting is projected on a large screen, and Jo Hyun Jae’s voice can be heard reading the letter from backstage. When he finishes reading his letter, music plays and he appears onstage, microphone in hand. He sings his original song, “Beside You, Like the Wind,” which he performed at the June fan meeting in Japan as well. At one point, he forgot the lyrics, and the fans all joined together and sang along. The emcee took the stage and Jo Hyun Jae greeted the fans. “For this many people to turn out despite the rain. . . . Thank you so much.” And a shy smile appeared while he spoke.

☆ Jo Hyun Jae’s Letter to His Fans

I have written down my thoughts for my fans who always stand by me. Thank you so much! It is because you have always supported me, you have watched all of my performances, and you have showered me with such kind words that I, Jo Hyun Jae, have been able to have a career as an actor, and you make me feel that I can continue to grow as an actor in the future. No matter how many times I thank you, it never seems to be enough. We are in the middle of the enthusiastic summer season right now. I hope that all of you, my fans, will always be smiling like a summer’s day. I will try hard to continue to show you nothing but the best that I can be, my best efforts. Thank you.

☆ What I Want to Know About Jo Hyun Jae—Your Answers Please!

—Do you usually sleep a lot?

**I’m the type who sleeps for a long time once I fall asleep. Sometimes I sleep for about 11 or 12 hours. On average, I’ll sleep about 8–9 hours on my days off and about 3–4 hours when I’m filming.

—How much do you drink?

**If differs depending on the circumstances. If I drank maybe a bottle and a half of shochu I might get drunk. But it changes with the atmosphere. If it’s the kind of atmosphere where you can hang out and drink until late at night, sometimes I drink more.

—Why aren’t you enlisting as an entertainment soldier?

**At first, I’m planning not to enlist as an entertainment soldier but will try to make it on active duty. When I took the physical as well, I was treated as a candidate for active duty. I was not heavy enough, so they decided I would be in second class. In the first year, I want to lead the life of an active duty soldier, and then in the second year I wouldn’t mind being an entertainment soldier.

—Is there anything you want to try to do before you join the army?

**It still doesn’t seem real, so I don’t know what I should do. But I do want to spend time with my family and close friends and I’d like to go on a trip. I’d like to visit places where I’ve filmed before—this time by myself. I am pretty fond of mountain climbing, so while we were filming Seo Dong Yo, I used to climb the mountain that we used a lot for locations, so I think it would be nice to try to climb it again by myself this time. Also, I’d like to travel abroad. Until I finish my military service, it will be difficult to go abroad, and I’ve hardly ever traveled overseas outside of work. There are a lot of places I’d like to visit.

—Is there a present you’ve received that sticks out in you memory?

**I am very grateful for the fan letters. I have tried to read all of them, but to be honest, I haven’t been able to finish all of them yet. I plan to look at all of them. My fans sometimes join together and buy me big presents, like a refrigerator or a treadmill. It gets to the point where I think, “Can I really accept something like this?” I really thank them all.

☆ A Surprise Gift from the Fans

Jo Hyun Jae’s fans had prepared a present for him: a song by 015B, “It’s Already Goodbye,” which Jo Hyun Jae sang in the 14th episode of Three Daddies with One Mommy (2008, KBS), and a cake with the word “Wait” written on it. Just as the song says, “Goodbye doesn’t mean farewell forever. It’s a promise that we’ll meet again.” Jo Hyun Jae was greatly moved by the heartfelt song from the fans and told them, “You have shown me great affection, even though I still have a lot of things I need to improve and a lot of areas where I need to grow. Thanks to the love you’ve shown me, I will hang in there no matter what.”

☆ A finale that ends with tears of emotion

At the end, Jo Hyun Jae once again sang the song he opened with, Beside You Like the Wind. His voice was choked with emotion as the tears welled up, and shouts of “Its all right! Its all right!” were heard from the audience. He responded to the fans’ enthusiasm with an encore performance, singing his original song, The Words You Said To Me. In closing, he told the audience, “I think this was a meaningful way to spend my time before entering the military. I will do my best to hang in there. I will never forget this feeling of gratitude.”

☆ Although their fans miss them, one young star after another is entering the military— Jo Hyun Jae, we’ll be waiting for you for the next two years!!

Korea Fan Meeting (2)

March 10, 2009



This is an English translation of KBOOM’s (October 2008 issue) report on Jo Hyun-Jae’s “Last Fan Meeting” before entering military service (by misa123 first published in EVERjohyunjae on 2008.9.22)

July 19, 2008

Yonsei University Main Auditorium, Sinchon, Seoul

Jo Hyun Jae―The exciting actor with the gentle smile.

His last fan meeting before entering the army.

Before he took the stage, a video letter expressing his gratitude to his fans was shown.

“I can never forget all of you who have always given me such support.”

“I would have liked to have had the chance to meet more of you in person. I can never forget all of you who have always given me such support. I give you my sincere thanks. It is you who have helped make me what I am today. I plan to keep doing my best, so please stay in touch.” His heartfelt gratitude came through clearly to the audience.

For the 600 fans who attended―not only from Korea but from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and other countries―Jo Hyun Jae took the stage singing his latest digital single, “Beside You Like the Wind.” His hair, already cut short in anticipation of his military service, hinted that his farewell was at hand. “Since this is the last fan meeting, I have prepared a song to remember me by.”

Jo Hyun Jae had a good time with his fans, in an event that featured a quiz game, a chance to personally meet and greet him, and much more. In one part of the program, “Jo Hyun Jae, Answer Please!” he responded frankly to a number of questions from fans. When he was asked how he felt about being close to 30, he answered, “Like an adult at last. I have a long road ahead of me, so I have to give it my all!” Remarking on the presents many fans had prepared for him, he said happily, “I’m about to go into the army, and you’ve brought me so many things?” He went on to say, “I had much more I wanted to show you in TV dramas and other work, and I regret not being able to. But I don’t think today is the end.” He was unable to hold back tears as fans sang “So It’s Goodbye” to him.

“I can’t describe my feelings at hearing you sing to me. I am really grateful to be so well-loved, despite my shortcomings and the fact that I still have a lot of growing to do.” As a finale, he sang “The Words You Said,” and exited the stage with a grateful tear in his eyes, leaving behind many tearful fans. Jo Hyun Jae will report for military service on August 5, and after five weeks of basic training, will don the uniform of a soldier on active duty.

The way we were — the way things were

March 11, 2009


(Reflections on the Korea Fan Meeting in Seoul on 2009.7.19)

I was listening to Barbra Streisand singing “The way we were” –

Could it be that it was all so simple then?

Or has time re-written every line?

If we had the chance to do it all again

Tell me: Would we? Could we?


when it all came back in a flash — memories of the Korea Fan Meeting in Seoul on July 19, 2008.

I have never written about this event because there are some things I would rather forget. Still, it represents a first for me — the first time I slept in the same bed with a stranger! Because hotels were full, I had to share a room (which had only one bed) with Greencup whom I’ve only seen once in Japan. Neither of us slept a wink that night. Only for Jo Hyun-Jae!

The next night we changed hotels and the situation was much improved. I spent two nights in a big room with Apple, Piggie, and Greencup. I am the only daughter in my family and I’ve always had my own room. So this was like a dorm, quite fun in a way. Apple is the smartest and kindest JHJ fan I know: takes care of everyone and everything in a cheerful way, a genius at multi-tasking; Piggie the sweetest (in a dreamy sort of way) and most devoted: she spends every waking moment on JHJ, as least during those three days; and Greencup the most generous: she travels with an extra suitcase full of presents, for Hyun-Jae and other fans.

If you’re reading this, you must have seen all the video clips and photos of the Korea Fan Meeting. So I’ll just mention the superlatives here (which represent my thoughts and feelings.)

The WORST PART was of course the waiting for seats to be allotted before the show. We stood from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the rain and the heat, in the confusion and lack of order. Actually seat allotment was supposed to begin at 11:30 a.m. Why were we there at 10 a.m.? We thought we could help out but we were not needed. I have never felt so bad in my life: my legs were killing me (good thing I was wearing flats, the others were in high heels) and I was so parched! If it had not been for JHJ, I would not have suffered the utter chaos.

The MOST SURPRISING thing was the main hall at Yonsei University (the setting for parts of “Love Letter”, very beautiful campus) was not full! The upper balcony was not used at all. Even in the main auditorium downstairs, there were empty seats. Only about 500 people attended. Apparently the event was not advertised, so it was just an inner circle thing among diehard fans. However, what was lacking in number was more than made up for in enthusiasm and fervour. The fans here were no less ardent than those at the Japan Fan Meetings.

The MOST BORING part was at the beginning when the MC talked for half an hour. I was told he was a famous comic actor. He was tall and broad and he came out wearing sunglasses (no wonder, because without them he looked ordinary.) He addressed himself only to the Korean fans who were seated to the right (I was on the extreme left), and of course only they could understand him. I wish he’d realized this was not his show.

I was half asleep by the time Hyun-Jae finally appeared, not being able to sleep the night before. JHJ’s presence of course perked me up, and his singing was much improved. The MOST UNFORTUNATE thing was: my seat was to the extreme left, so when Hyun-Jae sat down to talk with the MC, all I could see was the right side of his face and sometimes just the back of his head. (I could see every unattractive feature of the MC who’s directly facing me.) I could not even see the big screen because obstructed (again I could only see the MC, not JHJ.) I almost dozed off because couldn’t see, couldn’t understand, too tired and sleepy.

The part that aroused the GREATEST ANTICIPATION was Hyun-Jae selecting the fans’ presents that were placed on the right side of the stage (farthest from me.) The first one he picked was given by some Hong Kong fans who sat just in front of me. They were overjoyed! It wasn’t until I saw it on the computer afterwards that I realized what it was: it’s little cups of pudding in a doggie container that can be used as a piggie bank. I bought the same thing at Hong Kong International Airport for a 5-year-old girl (daughter of a friend of ours) when I returned to Beijing last time. The second present Hyun-Jae picked was again from Hong Kong, a beautifully handcrafted “Lucky Swan” made by a fan called Puiwa. Hyun-Jae looked at the Lucky Swan with great appreciation and wonder. The third present (JHJ only picked three) was also handmade, and depicted a soldier figure against some country background.

The MOST MOVING moment was of course when Hyun-Jae was overcome with emotion during the singing of the third song. I could see the tears well up in his eyes (I was using a pair of binoculars.) He put his hand up to his mouth but could not go on, so he turned his back to the audience (twice!) He managed to finish the song, though. It’s moments like this that you want to hug him, to tell him that everything will be fine. I think he was not only overwhelmed by the ardour of the fans; he must have been thinking about the future too — the uncertainty, the unpredictability, the not-knowing, the inability to control one’s fate. What will the future hold? Who knows how many fans will still be waiting for him when he comes out of the army in two years’ time? Fans are fickle, and handsome young actors emerge on the Korean entertainment scene every day.

The MOST AMUSING part was Hyun-Jae playing games with his Korean fans. They were asked questions of his dramas and JHJ and the fan were each supposed to answer RIGHT (dot) or WRONG (cross) by putting up the respective sign. The fans got it all right (they must all be familiar with JHJ’s works) but Hyun-Jae sometimes got it wrong (somehow) and he “cheated” by turning the sign around. That was funny! Once he gave the wrong answer but argued his point of view, and everybody laughed, even though I didn’t understand what he said. And once he held the sign in such a way that it’s neither RIGHT nor WRONG, and when challenged, he explained his action to great laughter and applause. It’s good to see Hyun-Jae developing into a confident person who has a mind of his own.

Hyun-jae was MOST RELAXED when he played games with the three Japanese fans. That’s the one when they hit each other on the head with the plastic hammers if they’re caught in the wrong action. He obviously has special feelings for his Japanese fans who are so loyal to him. There were 130+ Japanese fans there. Most of them have attended his fan meetings in Osaka and Tokyo as well as the Nagoya dinner show, and now they have come to Seoul to support him . Many of them later went to see him off in Seoul on August 5.

Hyun-Jae sang 4 songs altogether (only 2 in Osaka and Tokyo). I remember wishing then that he would release a CD (and now he has.) He’s getting better and better as a singer. If he could sing like that on stage, in the recording studio the effect would come out at least 300% better. During his second song, he forgot some lyrics and smiled in embarrassment — he’s so cute!

At the close of the fan meeting, everybody got to shake Hyun-Jae’s hand, ( just like at Osaka and Tokyo), but there was no photo-taking. God! He looked so drop-dead gorgeous up close! And I could get used to shaking his hand (for the third time now.)

That night we attended the EVER party. There were over a hundred people, with overseas fans from Japan, China, and Thailand joining the Korean fans. It was good to see so many devoted fans of JHJ, all communicating without speaking a common language (the Koreans and Japanese have very limited English) and sharing information and memories about our idol. They were all nice people, unpretentious and easy-going, single-minded in their love of JHJ. I felt like I was a member of a big happy family. They showed MVs of JHJ and video clips from his various dramas, and the girls were screaming, like in a pop concert. It was an evening of comaraderie and fun.

If I had the chance to do it all again, would I? You bet!

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Farewell to Jo Hyun Jae: Seeing him off to join the army (Part 1)

April 15, 2009


2008.8.4 (Monday)

Greencup and I met up at Seoul’s Incheon Airport, she having arrived from Taipei and I from Beijing. We were here just two weeks ago (to attend JHJ’s fan meeting), so we were like two oldtimers, heading straight for the airport bus to our hotel.

After we checked in, we went to buy JHJ souvenirs. The young man in the shop recognized us at once from last time. (We were big spenders!) We splurged again this time. (There were so many JHJ goodies!) He was obviously impressed, because when he escorted us out of his shop, he kept shouting: “Jo Hyun-Jae! Jo Hyun-Jae! Jo Hyun-Jae!” He was so loud; the whole street heard him! It was hilarious! Spending several hundred thousand (Korean Won) to have JHJ’s name trumpeted like that on a busy Myung-Dong neighbourhood was definitely worth it. The young man’s parting words to us were: “Come again and ask for Myung-Dong Jo Hyun-Jae.” (meaning himself!)

We then went to another shop which was cleaned out by JHJ’s Japanese fans on July 19 — they bought everything in sight! This time the shop had new merchandise — lots of new JHJ souvenirs, even posters of the Thailand and Korea fan meetings (the latter took place just a fortnight ago!) Of course we had to empty our pocketbooks again. I wonder whether the manufacturers of these souvenirs pay for using JHJ’s likeness. Does JHJ profit from our buying his souvenirs? I certainly hope he does.

I had used up most of the Korean Won I had with me and needed to change some money (to buy more JHJ photo albums for JHJChina tomorrow.) When we were not looking for them, we saw lots of signs of money-changers. Now when we wanted to find one, we could not, even after walking around in circles in Myung-Dong. Finally Greencup said: “Why don’t we ask a policeman?” “A policeman?” “Yes, we just passed one.” I looked around and saw a tall figure in a dark blue uniform. I ran after him and asked: “Do you speak English?” (He wasn’t bad-looking from the front either.) To my surprise he said “Yes”, so I asked him where I could find a money-changer. He opened his mouth to reply, thought better of it, and just said: “Follow me.” (which Greencup said was the most comforting thing she heard all day.) We followed him for about five minutes until we came to a big sign that said MONEY EXCHANGE. The owner came to the door to welcome us, evidently very impressed we were introduced by a policeman. I had no doubt she gave me a good rate (she wouldn’t dare cheat us!)

After refilling our ammunition, we had to “cure” our poor stomachs which were rumbling. We had not eaten since breakfast on the plane and it was now 5 p.m. Tomorrow would be a full and busy day for us, so as soon as we saw a sign that said (in Chinese characters): SAMGYETANG (meaning “chicken soup with ginseng”), we both said at the same time: “That’s it!” It was an upstairs restaurant and its name was BAEK-JE! (JHJ’s Prince’s country in “Seo Dong Yo” — what a coincidence!) It advertised itself as having been established for 40 years. We were so famished we ordered the most expensive thing on the menu — “Double-boiled black chicken soup with ginseng” for KW20,000 (each). We felt much better after replenishing our energy, but we decided to retire early.

Going to bed early did not mean going to sleep. Greencup had received a phone call from JHJChina telling her about the message JHJ left for his fans on the eve of his departure for the army. We both felt like crying, and Greencup let me in on a secret — she did not cry when her son entered the army and now she was near tears when JHJ was going into the army. I said we should not feel sad because JHJ was doing his duty to his country and would no doubt emerge in two years a stronger and wiser person. At 12 midnight I said: “No more talking. We have to rest. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.” But did we stop? Who could stop talking about JHJ with a fellow fan?

Farewell to Jo Hyun Jae: Seeing him off to join the army (Part 2)

April 16, 2009




2008.8.5 (Tuesday)

We got up at 6:30 a.m. and had a big buffet breakfast at the hotel coffee shop. We knew we were not going to have lunch until 3 p.m. At 8:30 a.m. the interpreter arrived (Greencup had hired one for the day) and we took a taxi to the assembly point at Seoul Station (very near to our hotel.) We met up with the EVER ladies who had arranged for two big coaches to transport us to the army camp. The coaches had big banners of JHJ on the sides with his photo and words of blessing. Everything was very well organized; I was really impressed. There were a lot of Japanese fans and two from Thailand, plus Greencup (Taiwan) and me (China) which made up the overseas contingent. There was also a young Chinese girl BoBo who was studying in Seoul.

On the bus the EVER ladies provided us with donuts and fruit juice. They are such caring and considerate people! We began our journey at 9:10 a.m. and it took less than an hour to get to the vicinity of the camp. It was a rather remote place on the outskirts of Seoul and even the professional coach drivers had difficulty locating it. We eventually negotiated our way along narrow country roads to reach Camp 306. On the way we passed Camp 506 (not G.P.506, just Camp 506) and there was a collective “Ah…h…h…..!!!”

The most notable thing along the way were the big yellow horizontal banners strung every 300 m. on the freeway by the EVER ladies. Each banner had words of blessing and encouragement (for example, “Please take care of yourself.” “Stay healthy.” “You have our support forever.” “We will wait for you.”) These were strung on lamp posts along the freeway where cars could not stop, so the EVER ladies must have worked in the middle of the night when traffic was light. I was so moved when I saw the banners (and there were over 20 of these.) I am sure JHJ would be moved too. To have such dedicated and loyal fans is really a blessing.

We disembarked at 10:30 a.m. and stood under a tree behind several big yellow banners with the same words of blessing and encouragement. On the wall behind us was also hung another yellow banner with the words (addressed to camp members) “Please take care of JHJ!” There was a similar banner on the entrance to the camp. The EVER ladies left nothing to chances. They also distributed JHJ fans (much appreciated in the heat and humidity) and a curious hard foam poster/board (the size of an A4 sheet of paper) which depicted two shoes bound together by an iron chain (with a red heart-shaped lock with the word EVER), one a black army boot and the other a white woman’s shoe. The interpreter explained that Korean women used to leave when their men entered the army. So this poster/board meant we’re bound to JHJ forever, that we would never desert him, that we would wait for his return from the army which were what the Korean words on it said.

We stood there from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, during which time we were scolded several times by a very ferocious Korean woman who was selling bottled water and who obviously thought we were getting in the way. (Actually we were behind her and she was doing good business selling water to JHJ fans.) That’s when I learned the Korean word for “Sorry!”

Apart from JHJ, there were many other young Korean men entering Camp 306 today. We saw parents bringing their sons and girlfriends lingering over parting with their boyfriends. There was a Korean family sitting on stools behind us, a father and a mother saying goodbye to their son. There was also a little girl of about 4 or 5, his niece. We were so bored we started to play with the little girl, and then I suddenly had a brainwave. This young man was going into the same camp as JHJ! We asked the interpreter to ask him and the answer was in the affirmative. We asked her to request him to PLEASE take care of our dear Hyun-Jae. His parents must think we were nuts! The young man knew who JHJ was; he used to be in a TV games show. And then I heard him say something in putonghua; it turned out he had been to Beijing several times on business. So I said: “Please take good care of JHJ and I’ll treat you to dinner next time you’re in Beijing.” And Greencup said: “Come to Taipei and I’ll treat you too.” His parents, I’m sure, were convinced we were a pair of lunatics.

Farewell to Jo Hyun Jae: Seeing him off to join the army (Part 3)

April 17, 2009



2008.8.6 (Wednesday)

Greencup and I left the hotel at 6 a.m. and took the airport bus. We guessed JHJ was probably doing the morning drill in the army. The TV was showing the morning news and suddenly we saw JHJ! The newscaster was reporting newspaper headlines, one of which featured JHJ’s send-off by his fans the day before. We were thrilled! Before we boarded our respective flights back to Taipei and Beijing, we vowed to welcome JHJ back in June 2010 in the proper attire — with collar and long sleeves, and hat (if sunny) and umbrella (if rainy.) Dear Jo Hyun-Jae, we’ll be right here waiting for you!


(Originally published on johyunjaeChina)

Well, that was it! That is the last of Jo Hyun-Jae we will see — until at least two years later. It is now April 2009: eight months have passed since Hyun-Jae entered the army. From his own messages, he appears to be doing well and we are surviving. What is that English saying? Absence makes the heart fonder.


Korea Fan Meeting DVD Highlights

June 15, 2009


The first hour is devoted to the Korea Fan Meeting which was held in Seoul on July 19, 2008. This DVD brings back all the happy memories of the occasion. The English subtitles are not at all bad, although there are a few typos (which we edited). Below are extracts:

First Jo Hyun-Jae read a letter to his fans:

“Hello, I’m Jo Hyun Jae. How are you all doing? First of all, I’m really happy to meet you by writing this letter in person, and I hope you know that I always want to meet you. Most of all, I couldn’t leave out you, my precious fans, who always [stay by] my side. I really appreciated that you always cheer me up and give me great feedback after monitoring the programs I appear in. Thanks to all of you, I am now here as an actor, Jo Hyun-Jae, and I will likely become a more developed actor in the future. I feel I cannot thank you enough. It is now summer, the season of passion, so I hope a lot of good things and fortunate things will happen with a great joy just like this beautiful summer. I will continously do my best in order to show you my effort and goodness. Thank you so much.”

After singing one of the songs from his forthcoming CD “Next to you like the wind”, JHJ opened some gifts from fans. He then answered 5 questions submitted by fans:

5.Q. You were immersed in a character of a drama. Have you ever lived like this really?

A. In the drama “Three Dads One Mom” , I didn’t know it at first, but I was immersed in a unique character, then my way of talking was changed like this, and my speaking becomes much faster than normal.

4.Q.What about acting…?(characters that you wanted and so on….)

A. I love all my characters, but I want to be a hero in a drama, like a superhero in a Hollywood film.

Q.Is there any film that brought you to think like that?

A.Several….I watched “Hancock” before. It was really an attractive character, so someday I want to get such a role.

(Editor’s note: “Hancock” is a 2008 American comedy-drama starring Will Smith as a vigilante superhero.)

3. Q. What is your behavior normally?Do you sleep much?

A. I used to sleep[for] quite a long time. Probably 11 to 12 hours.

Q. How about drinking capacity?

A. Depends on the situation. Sometimes I drink a bottle and half of Soju, but I drink more when I stay longer. When I feel relaxed, I drink more. My favorite drink is Soju.

Q. What is your particular habits on drinking?

A. Hum…For me, it’s a little bit different from others. Normally people are changed after drinking….but not for me. It’s not an absolute rule, is it? When I drink, my [tongue] just trips…that’s all.

2. Q.How do you frankly feel about being recruited? You are joining the army as a general soldier, not as an entertainment soldier. Why?

A. Because I belong to the service on active duty, 2nd class because I’m under the standard weight.

Q. Is there anything you want to do before joining the army?

A. I want to spend more time with my family, friends and so on, including having a trip.

Q. Trips to where?

A. I would like to go to local places as much as possible……I would like to go there alone.

Q. Where is your most memorable place?

A. I like to go hiking, so I want to go to where Seodongyo was shot where I used to hike at that time.

Q. It is typical for men to drink with friends. How about you?

A. Yes…I want to do that too.

Q. Don’t you want to go on an overseas trip?

A. I’d like to do much, but I can’t do that because of unfinished army service. So I said I wanted to travel around the country.

1. Q. Who is your most memorable fan?

A. I can remember each person. Japanese Fan Meeting is also the same…especially all of them with bright smile on their faces come to my mind. Above all, I thank my fans who directly came to the film shooting site. I couldn’t even say hello because of too busy shooting schedule. I was really thankful for their visits when I realized their existence at the site after the location was completed. I miss them too much.

Q. Do you have any different feelings between overseas fan meeting and Korean fan meeting?

A. Korean fans have been with me for a long time and always encouraged me [and are] behind me with cheers. Korean fans are like my family….Some fans take care of me just like they are my mom….Comparatively Korean fans are [usually] quieter. But overseas fans are much more wildly excited at me, probably because they have not enough chances to meet me.

MC: Korean fans, be more wild!

There are some more questions and JHJ sings three more songs, during one of which, “Lucky”, he forgets some of the lyrics and smiles in embarrassment, And when he sings “Like the wind by your side” again, he chokes with emotions while his fans scream encouragement. I remember this touching scene so well — this DVD is worth collecting just for this alone.

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Thai Fan Meeting transcript

June 29, 2009





In the Korea Fan Meeting DVD, the transition from the Korea Fan Meeting to the Thai Fan Meeting is very abrupt, with no introduction whatsoever. And the Thai Fan Meeting portion has no subtitles. Here is our translation of the transcript of the Thai Fan Meeting on July 4, 2008 (courtesy of CarpediemJapan. Japanese translation by Rei and design by ahiru. Thanks!)

Transcript of Thai Fan Meeting (July 4, 2008) segment:

JHJ (Jo Hyun Jae) MC (female Master of Ceremonies) IN (Interpreter)

JHJ is wearing a light grey suit with an open-necked white shirt.

MC: Hello! (in Thai)

JHJ: Hello! (in Thai)

IN: Can you introduce yourself?

JHJ: Hello! I’m Jo Hyun Jae. Very happy to see you all.

IN: Are you always so shy? You speak so softly.

JHJ: I’m having a little problem with my throat, so I can’t speak too loudly.

IN: Is this the first time you’re visiting Thailand?

JHJ: Yes, the first time. This visit is my first.

IN: You went touring, right? What did you do? How did it feel?

JHJ: I went to Pattaya — to see the sea and watch sports performance. Ate a lot of good food and slept very well too.

JHJ waves.

From the audience (in Korean): How are you?

IN: How are you?

JHJ: (smiles)

IN: Are you very busy in your work?

JHJ: Yes, but it’s all right.

IN: How many days are you staying in Thailand?

JHJ: Two days.

IN: I heard the fan meeting is tomorrow. Did you make any special preparation for this fan meeting?

JHJ: There will be lots of games, and also mention of the environment.(Fans cheer.)JHJ (smiling): I hope a lot of people will participate in the part on the environment. I want to leave a good memory.

MC: Interpreter, everything looks fine. (Gestures with hands to form a smile)

JHJ: Thank you.

IN: Smile

JHJ: Thank you.

IN: Can you say something for the fan meeting tomorrow?

JHJ: I hope to have a wonderful time with the fans at the fan meeting tomorrow. (Smiles shyly.) I hope there will be a lot of people. Thank you!

MC: Say a few parting words.

JHJ: I had a very meaningful time today. Many thanks to all those present.

MC: raipomuyakkon (Thai). Can you say this?

JHJ (smiling): raipomuyakkon.

(Fans cheer wildly.)

JHJ: OK, until tomorrow…..(Looks at IN uncertainly)

MC: Oh, sorry!

JHJ: Thank you! Thank you!

Next day. Different venue. Different MC (male) Same interpreter: IN

JHJ is wearing a white suit with a grey crew neck T-shirt.

IN: Before you came to Thailand, you went to Japan. Please tell us what it was like in Japan.

JHJ: In Japan I had a great reception. The fans were very enthusiastic.

IN: When the fans knew you were coming [to Bangkok], many of them went to the airport very early. What was your first impression when you arrived at the airport? Was the weather very hot?

JHJ: It was hot in Japan too. The temperature is more or less the same. I did not expect so many fans at the airport. It was a great surprise to me.

MC: This morning you planted a tree — a “love tree”. How was it this morning?

JHJ: Because it was morning, I felt very carefree and happy when I was planting the tree.

IN: Well, come again to plant another tree next time. The tree this morning is called “jasmine” (symbolising: blessing, passion, and kindness.) Happy?

JHJ: Yes.

IN: Have you ever had a fan meeting in an opera house?

JHJ: It’s the first time I have a fan meeting in such a big opera house.

IN: Can you talk about your last drama? After you finished that, what did you do?

JHJ: My last drama is “3 Dads/1 Mom”, a very cheerful TV series, with a unique storyline. After that was completed, I had a rest and went on a trip. And then I prepared for the fan meetings and the recording of the CD.

IN: That drama is finished, although it is not yet shown here.

IN: Are there any memorable times on the shooting of “3 Dads/1 Mom”?

JHJ: Well, the baby proved quite a handful, but even then it was still fun. The 3 actors played 3 distinct roles, and we had a lovely time on set. The baby slept a lot in the daytime and went to bed very early at night. When she cried, we had to wait for 3 hours before shooting could resume. Even though it was hard, we still had a very enjoyable time shooting this drama.

After the Thai Fan Meeting segment, there is the last video shot on the day JHJ entered the army on August 5, 2008:

“I’ll never forget all the love you gave me. I will work very hard in the army. Thank you all so much! Please take care!”

The DVD ends with JHJ writing a few words for his fans:

“I shall remember this day forever. I love you.”


A “love letter” from JHJ

September 17, 2009

YT Link: JHJ reading a love letter to his fans - Japan FM 2006

Do you remember Jo Hyun-Jae reading love letters in his dramas, as Andrea in “Love Letter” and as Seo Dong in “Seo Dong Yo”? How do you feel about it? Deeply touched? Then what would you feel if JHJ, as himself, reads a “love letter” written by himself to his fans? Well, JHJ did just that at his first Japanese fan meeting in Tokyo in 2006. Those fans on site were so lucky. One of them captured this romantic moment and shares it with us here.

At the 2006 Japan Fan Meeting in Tokyo, Jo Hyun-Jae reads a letter to his fans — in Japanese.

I wasn’t kidding when I said a “love letter”. But this is not a love letter in its usual meaning — not to the opposite sex. It’s a “love letter” from JHJ to his fans (translated from Japanese into English here.)

Hello, everyone!

First of all, I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to you all.

I finally get to meet my fans in Tokyo. There are those with whom I’ve spent three days.

This visit to Japan gives me the opportunity to appreciate the warmth and kindness of the Japanese people.

I will never forget the time I spent here with you.

I am an actor in the world of drama. To be loved by my fans is the highest honour in the drama of my life.

The time spent with you is really very happy, so full of joy and fun.

Hope you enjoy my works. I especially hope you will continue to like my works, from now to ever after.

I am most grateful for your love. I will continue to work hard.

These three days that we spent together — I will never forget your love and support. I will work even harder from now on.

I like you all — you are all my fans.

Many thanks indeed!

(Credit: Video by Param of CarpeDiemJAPAN. Thanks!)


2007 Face in Japan

September 19, 2009

YT Link: JHJ recites poem in Japanese - 2007 Face in Japan

2007 Face in Japan (Tokyo, August 13 -16)

Jo Hyun-Jae took part in a fan meeting (along with a few other actors and singers) in Tokyo at an event billed as “Face in Japan”. A couple of childhood photos of JHJ were displayed for the first time on stage. And he read a poem in Japanese — to the delight of his Japanese fans.

Being with you

When you run to me

And throw yourself into my arms

Your sparkling laughter

Makes me fall into endless dreams.

Being with you is like a rainy day

Just like the raindrops that wet the window panes

Let me soak into your heart.

From the look in your eyes that hearten me

I see boundless blessings.

When we express our love

Hand in hand

Embracing one another

When you wrap me in your arms

Please don’t break my heart

You’ll live forever in my heart.

Because being with you I feel blessed

Being with you I can spread my dream.

(Credit: Video by Pocky of CarpeDiemJAPAN. Thanks!)

(Poem translated from Japanese by wulijohyunjae.)


JHJ sings at 2006 Japan Fan Meeting

December 16, 2009

YT Link: JHJ singing Tears Of Glass - Japan FM 2006

The song is called “Tears Glass” (glass of tears.) We checked it out; JHJ’s rendition is in no way inferior to the original by Park Sang Min. In fact, he has a better voice. JHJ forgets his words early in the song. Boy! Does he look embarrassed! but so cute!

JHJ looks different in Osaka and Tokyo – fan meetings only one day apart. This is because of the different hairstyles — he looks more matured with the hair up (more Han Yi-Joon) and is almost boyish with the fringe. Which one do you prefer?

(Credit: Videos by http://cafe.daum,net/hyunjaelove CarpeDiem. Thanks!)


More 2006 Japan Fan Meeting

December 18, 2009

YT Link: Sorry can't find the video of JHJ reading the letter. Will post it later when I find it.

Jo Hyun-Jae sings the same song at the Osaka Fan Meeting (1st video) and Tokyo Fan Meeting (2nd video.) How could he not have made it big as a singer? But in that case, there will not be the actor JHJ, since he can only do one thing at one time. We prefer to see him on the screen and to hear him sing on the stage (at fan meetings) — best of both worlds.

The second video has more. After JHJ sings, his fans sing to him. Watch the expression on his face: he loves it! And then JHJ reads a letter to his fans (in Japanese):

Hello, everyone!

First of all, I would like to convey my heartfelt thanks to you all.

I finally get to meet my fans in Tokyo*. There are those with whom I’ve spent three days.

This visit to Japan gives me the opportunity to appreciate the warmth and kindness of the Japanese people.

I will never forget the time I spent here with you.

I am an actor in the world of drama. To be loved by my fans is the highest honour in the drama of my life.

The time spent with you is really very happy, so full of joy and fun.

Hope you enjoy my works. I especially hope you will continue to like my works, from now to ever after.

I am most grateful for your love. I will continue to work hard.

These three days that we spent together — I will never forget your love and support. I will work even harder from now on.

I like you all — you are all my fans.

Many thanks indeed!

* Tokyo is the last of the 3 fan meetings in Japan, after Fukuoka and Osaka. Many Japanese fans attended all three.

(Credit: Videos from EVERjohyunjae.co.kr. Thanks!)


2005 Japan Fan Meeting

December 20, 2009

YT Link: JHJ Japan FM, 2005

This fan meeting in Tokyo on 2005.12.30 is Jo Hyun-Jae’s first in Japan. The video is nearly 35 minutes long, which is why we’ve scheduled it for Sunday.

You have to watch it at one go, so you can understand what it takes for JHJ to go to Tokyo for ONE NIGHT in the midst of filming “Seo Dong Yo”.

For the sake of those readers who do not understand Chinese, we have translated the transcript in its entirety.

In the car on the way from airport to hotel

01:15 Q: Been to Japan before?

A: Yes, to shoot a TV drama (“Star’s Echo”).

01:20 Q: How many times?

A: This is the 6th time but the first fan meeting.

01:30 Q: How does it feel to see so many fans at the airport?

A: Very happy. Didn’t expect them to come to the airport.

01:40 Q: Fan meeting tickets are all sold out.

A: Is that so?

01:46 Q: About the drama you’re currently filming.

A: I come directly after filming “Seo Dong Yo” yesterday.

01:50 Q: Tomorrow you’ll return to Korea to continue filming?

A: Filming has not stopped for one single day.

02:00 Q: Your impression of Japan?

A: Japan is a country I’ve always liked. Japanese food is very good.

02:10 Q: What kind of Japanese food?

A: Sashimi and shabu-shabu — I’ve had these many times. I also like ordinary food like udon.

(“Voice” in car says: Then we’ll have udon for dinner tonight. [Laugh])

02:36 Q: What is your impression of Japanese fans?

A: Very enthusiastic.

02:48 Q: Recent sleep time?

A: Last night 3 hours. Normal average is 3 hours. In one week there are at least 3 or 4 days that I have to go without sleep. Just non-stop filming. It’s been like that for the last 4 months. I’ve lost a lot of weight.

03:18 Q: How is your Japanese?

A: I did not learn. I wanted to but have no time. Recently I’ve been very busy filming SDY. Yesterday was whole day shooting.

03:40 Q: This time are you going to address fans in Japanese?

A: Yes. (JHJ says something in Japanese, but is corrected by the “Voice” in the car.)

03:50 Q: How are you going to spend the New Year?

A: Filming — Christmas was the same, spent at film sets.

04:07 Q: How long will filming last?

A: Till mid-March. Another 2 1/2 months.

04:20 Q: How do you maintain your strength?

A: Because filming has lasted too long, I’ve lost a lot of weight. Hope to keep it this way. I take energy drinks, also ginseng. I drink anything that’s good for health………But I am still young.

04:50 Arrival at hotel

05:20 Interview in hotel room (JHJ changes into turquoise jacket)

Q: Please talk about how you started acting in “Love Letter”.

A: At first an agent saw me, so I became a model. Then the director saw me in that advertisement and chose me.

05:55 Q: When did you want to be an actor?

A: When I was a model for commercials, I was already getting ready. I studied Performing Arts in university.

06:20 Q: You are going to sing in front of everybody, right?

A: I feel a little embarrassed. Could be no good. I have no confidence.

06:40 Photo session

07:00 Press conference (JHJ now wearing black jacket with white collar)

07:30 JHJ: Good afternoon. I am Jo Hyun-Jae. Thank you for coming here. I’ll try to answer all your questions. Feel free to ask anything.

07:45 Q: Please say something about the SBS drama “Seo Dong Yo” that you are currently filming.

A: It’s the story of Seo Dong, the 30th King of Baekje. He doesn’t know he’s actually a prince, only after he has grown up. His life is full of difficulties and troubles.

08:30 Q: What does it feel like this time coming to Japan?

A: At the moment I’m busy filming in Korea every day. I heard my fans are waiting for me, and this time many are participating. I’ll be very happy to meet everybody. I’m delighted to be able to see everybody. I’ve said before that Japan is a very clean country. The air is good and the weather warm. Korea is now very cold. I feel this city is very solid and steady.

09:40 Film shoots (JHJ is made to raise his hand, turn this way and that.)

10:00 On the way to the meeting hall

In the elevator someone coughs, and then someone asks JHJ: “Are you using throat lozenges?” His manager replies: “He had some just now.”

10:48 Fans waiting for show to start

11:00 Last minute preparations

11:30 Fan meeting starts (JHJ walks on stage, bows and smiles.)

11:55 JHJ: (in Japanese): Good evening. I am Jo Hyun-Jae. Very happy to see everybody.

12:25 Q: Did you learn Japanese?

A: No (MC says his Japanese is very good.)

12:45 Q: There are 1,400 fans here. How does it feel to have so much support?

A: I can’t express in words my gratitude to so many fans coming here.

13:45 Q: What is your impression of Japan?

A: Japan is a very clean country — streets are clean and people are kind.

14:00 Q: I heard Korea is very cold now. Do you feel cold in Japan?

A: Korea is especially cold. Even when I wear a lot of clothes during filming [of SDY], I still feel cold. As soon as I come to Japan, I start sweating. Even now when I am wearing so little, I still feel hot.

15:00 Q: Let’s talk about “Love Letter” — everybody is very familiar with this drama. Please say something about what to look for.

A: All three actors threw themselves completely into this drama; all three of us cooperated whole-heartedly. It’s about love. You’ll be moved if you concentrate on watching.

16:15 Q: Please watch these videos.

16:25 Soo Ae comes on — congratulates JHJ on his fan meeting.

17:00 Ji Jin-Hee comes on — says more or less the same things but then starts to promote himself, says he will come next year to see the fans.

18:05 Q: How do you feel about that?

A: Very happy. I haven’t seen them for a long time. I’m so busy I didn’t even call. I’ll call them when I get back to Korea.

18:35 Q: Ji Jin-Hee is supposed to congratulate you but he was really promoting himself to the Japanese fans. Aren’t your jealous?

A: No, no.

18:58 Q: Is it the first time for Soo Ae and Ji Jin-Hee to play lead?

A: Yes.

19:08 Q: The three of you cooperated closely to make this drama?

A: All three of us are playing lead for the first time, so everybody throws himself/herself into the drama. The plot is a little sad and there are a lot of crying scenes. In the second half of the drama, because there are too many crying scenes, we start laughing during filming. This is what I remember when I think back to the filming.

20:35 JHJ: Sorry. I keep saying such meaningless things.

(Fans laugh, obviously enjoying it all.)

20:57 Q: I heard you’re very busy how, also that you like to swim, hike, skate, play snooker — looks like you are an all-round athlete. You still have time to do all these?

A: I haven’t been able to do what I like for a long time. I just work now. Can’t help, it’s work every minute.

(MC: Hope you’ll have more time.)

21:48 Q: Now we’ll watch “Love Letter” and carry on our conversation.

(Scene of Andrea and Eun-Ha kissing on beach shown)

22:15 (Fans laugh. Why?)

22:20 Q: How do you feel now watching this scene?

A: Very embarrassed. But it was very cold when this scene was shot, so I have a deep impression.

22:45 JHJ’s presents for fans — personal items — 4 caps/hats, jeans, cologne, CD, DVD — so many presents.

23:20 JHJ begins lucky draw

23:55 Fan who wins hat embraces JHJ (after shaking his hand)

MC: Today is handshaking meeting, not embracing meeting.

24:07 JHJ to second winner: This is a cap I wear a lot.

24:20 Fan shakes JHJ’s hand, but then can’t resist embracing him.

24:40 JHJ to third winner: This is my cologne.

24:45 JHJ poses for photos and signs autographs

25:00 JHJ sings

26:30 Q: How does it feel to sing in front of so many Japanese fans?

A: I should have sung better, but I have the ‘flu. Very sorry.

26:56 Q: That line in the song — “You are the one I cherish most”, also words about being blessed. etc. Does this reflect your feelings for your fans?

A: I was thinking of this when I was singing.

27:27 Handshaking to begin

JHJ says something to his fans first: I am very grateful you give me this opportunity today. This will be a beautiful memory for me. I will continue to work hard, and I hope you will continue to support me. Thank you very much!

28:35 Handshaking begins (one fan is in a wheelchair.)

29:08 1,400 fans have all had their handshakes with JHJ

29:20 Q: How does it feel to shake 1,400 fans’ hands?

A: I feel very happy. I could feel the fans’ support. I will continue to work hard. Please continue to support me.

29:54 JHJ to say final words to fans and then goodbye.

30:04 JHJ: I am very grateful so many fans come to today’s handshaking meeting. I will come again. Thank you so much, everyone!

30:30 MC: Goodbye to JHJ. A big hand for JHJ!

30:50 JHJ comes on stage again.

31:05 JHJ goes down to mingle with the fans.

31:50 Then he goes back on stage and says: Thank you very, very much!

End of fan meeting

34:20 JHJ’s last words on video: So many people take part in the handshaking meeting this time! It’s so unexpected, and I feel very happy. I hope there will be another opportunity like this. I will work hard to make better dramas. Thank you very much!

(Credit: Chinese translation by ING. Thanks!)

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