And so this is it …..

Now that the person who encouraged us to start PSH4U for Park Si Hoo (“because he’s worth it”) is no longer with us, I have decided to officially close this website.  H is away, but I know she will understand because she knows I cannot function anymore.

It is appropriate that we should bow out on October 10 (since we started on October 10, 2011).  Thank you all for sharing the good times and enduring the bad times with us.  I will always remember our lives touched briefly in the passage of time because of a Korean actor called Park Si Hoo.

I leave you with one of my favorite PSH images.

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Goodbye is just another word

Goodbye Is Just Another Word

If the time should ever come
That you feel our race is run …
If you think our ship’s come in
Let’s just break it off my friend …
 aaaa
There’s nothing that’s so final about leaving
Even though I know that’s what you’ve heard
Just like forgive, forget and try again
Goodbye is just another word.
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(If you’re old enough, you’ll recognize this Lobo song and his lyrics.  I’ve always liked Lobo, even though some consider him just an average musician.)
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There’s a Chinese saying: “There is no banquet that does not end.”  天下無不散的筵席.

We’re bowing out and leaving the PSH arena.

PSH4U will cease operation at the end of March 2016.

The surprising thing is not that we’re calling it a day now but rather that we managed to hang on until now.

In August 2014 something catastrophic happened to my family (still ongoing).  I should have left PSH4U then, but I didn’t.  I struggled on because PSH was still struggling.

Now he is back with a Korean drama and an upcoming Korean movie and I needn’t worry about him anymore.

During these 4 1/2 years on PSH4U, H and I have been through heaven and hell.  We’ve had our fun, and then some, but it’s been very draining on our mental, emotional, and physical resources since February 2013, until recently.  Through sheer perseverance we managed to hold things together, even in the face of adversity (for PSH and for ourselves).  If you’ve detected a certain weariness in our tone lately, that’s because we are really very tired.

I am very grateful to all our members, especially those who have been with us from the very beginning, as well as those who have recently joined us.  I am sorry you discovered us too late.  I’ll miss you all.  I’ll miss our PSH4U family.

And I’ll miss PSH (even though I’ll still keep an eye on him) — such a fine young man and the best Korean actor I’ve ever seen.  These few years we spent with him are times of ecstasy and agony.  He has grown “up” (I hope), and I have grown old.  I’ll remember the good times and forget about the bad (as I hope PSH will too.)

We’re keeping our website http://parksihoo4u.com (for sentimental reasons) but switching back to a shared server instead of a dedicated server from April 1, 2016.  (You don’t want to know how much we’ve had to pay for webhosting every month.)  If you’re a relatively new member, you may wish to read some of our old posts (some gems among them, believe me.)

And we are keeping our parksihoo4u@gmail.com e-mail address.  If you wish to remain friends, please feel free to write us anytime.  I promise I will reply to every e-mail (as I’ve always done.)

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I’d like to leave you with a scene from my all-time favorite PSH drama (indeed all Korean dramas) – “Family Honor”.

This is Lee Kang Suk and He Dan Ah watching the sunrise and saying goodbye to one another (or at least they think it’s goodbye then.)

Thank you for being by my side.
The memories I made with you are like a short festival.
I’ll be sad when they’re over, but I’ll remember them.

Today is Easter Sunday when Jesus was resurrected from the dead.  PSH was in limbo for three years and has arisen from the ashes like the legendary phoenix.  There is no symbolic significance for PSH4U, however.  We shall not be back …. except on PSH’s wedding day^^

So, this is our l-o-n-g goodbye, since we’re not fading into the sunset until March 31.

P.S.  I’d like to say a special THANK YOU to Japanese fans who have been our website’s #1 client (in terms of hit rate) from Day 1 (as well as PSH’s staunchest supporters).  あなたにとても感謝する!

P.P.S.  We have some parting presents for PSH4U MEMBERS ONLY:
1. PSH 2015 birthday DVD (+ photobook)
2. Ise-Shima DVD (+ photobook + 2016 calendar)
3. “Scent” DVD (+ booklet + magazine)
– If you are interested, please e-mail us at parksihoo4u@gmail.com BEFORE March 31, 2016 to pledge your continued support for PSH.
– If the demand is great, we’ll have to apply the 5loaves2fishes principle again and split up the DVD so more people can share.
– Priority will be given to active members and members who have been with us longer.  Please indicate preference.
– Recipients will be notified by e-mail after April 1, 2016.

(Credits: http://dramacool.com. Thanks!)

No news is not good news

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You don’t bring me flowers anymore

This is a follow-up to our earlier post:

http://parksihoo4u.com/2015/06/27/no-news-is-good-news/

No news is not good news where PSH is concerned.

“No news is good news” applies only when you are expecting bad news and are relieved when none is forthcoming.

Every time the doctor says she wants to speak to me (alone), I brace myself and half-expect her to say “This is the end.”  Once she told me, “This should have been the end but he’s surviving on borrowed time.”  So, no news is good news.

In the case of PSH, he’s not coming to the end of his acting career.  On the contrary, he’s trying to make a comeback.

To paraphrase Dylan Thomas,

Do not go gentle into that good night
Stay, stay to the bitter end and fight

PSH has been in the pits and he has clawed his way out.  His own tenacity was of course the major factor, but the loyalty of his fans was an important contributing element.

“Some” of his fans, I should say.  It is a fact that he lost many fans during his ordeal.  Those who stayed, however, are the rarest of breeds — enduringly faithful, infinitely patient, abidingly loving, all-forgiving, all-embracing.

But love has to be nourished.  We have already been on a diet for too long.  Don’t starve our love.  Don’t take us for granted.

We just want to make sure you’re OK, PSH.  If you’re OK, we’re OK.

So, are you on vacation?  taking a break?  reading scripts?  filming CFs?  decorating your new house?  secretly shooting a K-drama? (we wish!)  getting hitched? (we wish too!)

You don’t drop off the radar.  You don’t disappear from view.  A public figure who is no longer in the public eye is not a public figure anymore.

Silence is not golden in your case.  You want people to know you’re still around.

Are you still around in Korea?  Even if your star has dimmed in Korea, you are still much loved in China and Japan and many other countries in the world.

Shouldn’t you keep in touch with your international fans?

Surely it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to post a message on JOFC or SHR or Weibo or Twitter or Facebook, etc.?

Is it too much to ask?

Do you care?

P.S.  The whole PSH world is like 一潭死水 (a pool of dead water), not good, if you ask me.  No PSH news, not even a snippet.  So fans amuse themselves any way they can.  Talk about anything remotely related to PSH or his works.  Or even veer off into totally unrelated subjects so at least they can stay together.

P.P.S.  I actually wrote this article the day after the earlier one, but shelved it because I didn’t want to sound too downhearted.  Nearly one month on, with nothing to post, I resurrected this piece which is still relevant.  Don’t fault me for being negative: I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth.

(Credits: PSH photo from ENISHI.  Thanks!)

A flawed hero

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PSH at Seoul’s WPS on 1 March 2013

I’m not as crazy about Wm Shakespeare as perhaps an Eng. Lit. major should, but there are a few lines in his plays that I’ve committed to memory.  The following from “Othello” (not my favorite tragedy) is one of them.

Othello on Desdemona:

She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d,
And I loved her that she did pity them.  (I.3.159-168)

Why do I like Park Si Hoo?  I like what I see — the way he looks, the way he acts (1. performs in his dramas/movies, and 2. behaves outside his works.)

For all of his fans, PSH is beyond reach, even though the lucky ones among us occasionally get to see him in person (at fan meetings, birthday parties, and other such events.)

Idols are always put on a pedestal, whether literally, like those figures of saints in a church, or figuratively, like the way actors/singers are held by their fans.

But many idols are not saints, as we all know, and that is why it is best to behold them from a distance (where you can’t see everything in HD – high definition^^)  Once you see them up close, you discover their physical imperfections (even under make-up).

PSH, however, is a rare one.  Everyone who has seen him in person says he looks better in person than in photos or on the big/small screen.  That is really strange — to be an actor but to not be photogenic^^

Many star-chasers believe their star is perfect.  I’ve never thought or felt PSH was perfect.  He’s not the handsomest actor I’ve ever liked (the others are non-Koreans), but I’ve never liked an actor as comprehensively as I like him.

An actor of course should be good in acting, but you’ll be surprised how many actors can’t act.  PSH, as I’ve said more than once, is the best Korean actor of his generation.

I also expect my favorite actor to be a good person (even though that really has nothing to do with acting — a good actor can act like a good person^^)  From all that I have seen, heard, and read about PSH, he is without doubt a good person.

BUT he is a flawed human being, an angel with clipped wings.  The heroes in Greek tragedies all have a tragic flaw — the proper term is “hamartia” — from Aristotle’s “Poetics”.  The Greek tragic heroes are all characters of high rank, prestige, and good fortune whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty — the tragic flaw — so that their downfall evokes pity and fear in the audience.

PSH fits into the Greek tragic hero mode, as does Shakespeare’s Othello.  “Character is destiny.” (from Greek philosopher Heraclitus).  PSH’s character determines his fate.  His shortcoming is paradoxically his strength — his trust in people.

He’s a country boy, no matter how acclimatized he is to the big bad city Seoul and how sophisticated he looks.  Once a country boy, always a country boy — in the good sense, meaning down-to-earth, honest, forthright, sincere, simple (NOT simple-minded), pure-hearted, guileless, a little naïve, childlike (NOT childish), but most of all, trusting.  He trusts people, especially those he knows (or thinks he knows.)

An error of judgment or discernment due to ignorance (of his “friend” K’s motives and A’s scheme) has led to PSH’s catastrophic near-ruin — of his character and his career.

If I liked PSH enormously before, I found myself drawn to this flawed mortal more than ever after his “downfall”.  To paraphrase Shakespeare, I love PSH (more) for the sufferings he has endured (and he loves his fans that they did “pity” them.)

The way this young man conducted himself during his ordeal amazed me.  In his two appearances before Western Police Station, he was so full of courage and dignity that watching him brought tears to my eyes.  Most people would rather there’s a hole in the ground so they could burrow themselves in, but PSH strode purposefully towards the reporters and apologized for keeping them waiting while promising to clear things up with the police ASAP.  This must be the most difficult scene he has ever acted in — a heroic performance.  He was so thin, hollow-cheeked and hollow-eyed, he broke my heart.

A flawed hero, yes, but still a hero to me.

(Credits: I forgot which of the K-media the photo was from, sorry, but thanks anyway.)

 

Ashley thanks you …

… but who are YOU?

At Park Si Hoo’s birthday party on April 3, 2015, two Japanese fans gave me some presents care of Nance who just passed them to me a couple of days ago.  She knew one of the Japanese fans but not the other.

I have immediately thanked the Japanese fan who was named.

Now I have no way to thank the other because I don’t know who you are.

So I’m doing it publicly here — THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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Please e-mail me at parksihoo4u@gmail.com so I can thank you personally.  Feel free to write in Japanese (which I can make out with online translator.)

(Credits: Photo created by H.  Thanks!)

 

Fans’ ways, idol pays

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Hey!  What kind of English is this?  My English teacher would have given me a C- for asymmetry.  “ways” is a noun and “pays” is a verb — used in the same sentence, they don’t balance or are not symmetrical.  Ungrammatical, no; but poor style, yes.  I was trying to be cute with words — “ways” rhymes with “pays” — but ended up with inelegant English^^

I was actually trying to translate from the Chinese 粉絲行為, 偶像埋單 (literally: fans’ behavior, idol foots the bill).  This is one of the many gems I found on Weibo.

PSH’s fans are very cautious and conscientious about how they should behave because they know that fans’ behavior reflects on PSH himself.

There is a famous saying, oft repeated on PSH4U: “A certain kind of actor attracts a certain kind of fans.”  Oh, that’s us^^  Even if you don’t know anything about the actor, you can tell from his/her fans what kind of a person he/she is (or is projected to be – they’re actors, remember?)

How did I become a PSH fan?  That’s too long and boring a story to tell here.  But I do want to say that I became a double diehard PSH fan when misfortune befell him in February 2013.  First, because I always root for the underdog; and second, because he conducted himself in such a way that made me proud to be his fan.

How would you react if you are falsely accused of a heinous crime?  And every day dozens of fabricated evidence is heaped upon you.  It’s a David vs Goliath scenario, and this David has no weapon to protect himself, let alone counter-attack.

PSH issued one statement to clarify the issue at the outset of the outbreak of the scandal, and he appeared twice at Western Police Station in March 2013 to give his side of the story.  I remember at one appearance his lawyers tried to steer him away from the reporters (who were like vultures), but he walked purposefully towards them and said he would cooperate fully with the police and the matter would be cleared up in due course.  He looked so gaunt and haggard he broke my heart.  He managed to hold his tears in but I couldn’t.  As I was listening to his brief speech, uttered with such dignity and humility, one phrase kept reverberating in my head — “grace under pressure” (that’s how Hemingway defined “guts”.)  After that I would do anything for the man — to do whatever a fan can to keep him from falling and to help restore him to his proper place in the K-entertainment world.  The first has been accomplished (by PSH himself): he stood tall; he didn’t collapse.  The second is still a work in progress.

In this respect, PSH’s loyal fans played a crucial role.  Oh, he lost tons of fans, to be sure, but true fans stayed.  They were there for him when he needed it most, not just his Korean fans but especially his international fans who collectively form a formidable force.  He even gained new fans, people who could judge for themselves the merits of the case.  His admirable behavior (never said a single bad word against those who tried to destroy him) and his never-say-die attitude, his resilience, his perseverance (he has said in an interview that he’s a long-distance runner, not a sprinter) inspired his fans.

Because our PSH is such a special person (and not just a marvelous actor), we must of course do our best for him because he’s worth it (as we always say.)  Not only that, we have to be worthy of him and never do anything to make him look bad.  That is why we do not allow our members to say nasty things about other actors.  We keep reminding them that these other actors’ fans love them as much as we love PSH, so we should not denigrate them.  We have deleted members for conduct unbecoming which is how seriously we take our task as this blog’s admin.

Whatever people say about Chinese fans — that they do not respect intellectual property; they do not care about invasion of privacy; they think money can buy anything; they are loud, brash, and obnoxious ….. Guilty as charged, on all counts — but this is applicable only to some, to a minority.  The majority of PSH’s Chinese fans are courteous, considerate, and caring people; they just want to do the best they can for an actor they love.

China had a late start, and it’s only in the last ten years or so that it has really sprinted forward.  Star-chasing in China is as yet not fully developed, so it’s sort of a free-for-all.  Anybody can do what she wants, within certain limits, which results sometimes in outrageous behavior.  But I’m certain that given time and more exposure to the outside world, Chinese fans will conform to civilized behavior.

Everybody knows I think the Japanese are model fans.  PSH’s Japanese fans (I have no idea how many there are, but I don’t think they over-run the earth^^) have worked wonders in keeping his dramas on TV — re-runs after re-runs — and his CD on the charts for over 3 months now.  And now they have even succeeded in getting “Scent” onto the big screen in Japan.  I don’t know how they managed to “persuade” the distributor to take on this little-known movie (little-known outside of the PSH circle).  I love the Japanese fans because they don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk.  They’ve been buying “Scent” tickets before the screening date was even announced.  Sales figures really talk.  I hope “Scent” will do as well as, or, better still, better than “Confession of Murder” in Japan.

I am not really a patient person but I have become mellow in my old age.  I have been praying for PSH every night since February 18, 2013, and I have been straining my neck to look forward to the day when he can make his comeback as an actor in Korea (so much so that I have almost become a giraffe^^)  To his enemies/adversaries/opponents/detractors (whatever) in Korea, I just want to say this: “You can’t put a good man down.  You can’t destroy the best actor of his generation with a lie.  If your country doesn’t want him, let the world have him.  The world loves Park Si Hoo!”

(Credits: Photo from http://parksihoobar.com.  Thanks!)

Why PSH still can’t make his comeback in Korea

I’ve been meaning to write this article for the last few weeks but couldn’t find the time until now.

Above video was taken on February 26, 2015, when Lee Byung Hun and his pregnant wife returned to South Korea from the U.S.A. in the early hours of the morning (flight delayed).  In spite of the odd hour, the K-media were out in force.  This was LBH’s first public appearance after the outbreak of his sex scandal.

[ED: If you’re not familiar with this sordid affair, please see this link:
http://seoulbeats.com/2015/01/immediate-aftermath-lee-byung-huns-blackmail-scandal/]

As soon as he stepped out of the arrivals area at Incheon, LBH apologized to the Korean public.

[English translation of LBH’s speech by H.A.T.]

“I should have apologized to the public earlier, but I didn’t do so, for which I apologize to everyone.

As a public figure, as head of a family, I have disappointed you all.  I should have apologized earlier; I’m really very sorry.

This incident started with me, so I should shoulder all blame.

I understand fully why you’re disappointed in me.  My mistake was in wasting all that time.

Because many people are disappointed in me, I am seriously and deeply engaged in self-reflection, and I will continue to do so.

Above all, I have committed an unforgivable sin against my family, for which I can’t atone for even with my whole life.

I have also received a lot of reproaches.  Today let me take this opportunity to publicly apologize to the public.  Sorry!”  (Bow)

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As soon as I saw this video, I understood why PSH is still not allowed to make his comeback in Korea.

He has not apologized to the Korean public.

When a big star like Lee Byung Hun had to swallow his pride and publicly apologize, it is obvious that this is the standard protocol in Korea.

In the LBH court case, he was the plaintiff, not the accused.  He was being blackmailed, never mind he supplied the fodder.

In the PSH case, he was the accused (even though he was innocent, as we all know.)  He caused a social scandal with his escapade.

And he never apologized.

The nearest he came to apologizing was having Hoo Factory issue a statement just before he returned to Korea from the U.S.A. in early October 2013.

[ED: Please see our old post:
http://parksihoo4u.com/2013/10/03/press-release-from-hoo-factory/]

But this is not good enough for Korea.  The “sinner” must prostrate himself before the Korean public and beg for forgiveness.

I can see clearly where PSH is coming from.  Why should he apologize when he has not done anything wrong?  He was wronged!  He was framed!  Any fair-minded person can see this.  Anyone but the myopic Korean public who was out for blood.

I admire PSH for his stiff backbone (what the Chinese call 骨氣)。He would not compromise his integrity and pride for kimchi (in Chinese it is 不為五斗米折腰 – not bow for 5 bushels of rice, not kowtow for a handout.)

Fast-forward to March 2015.  Has anything changed?  Not really.  The Korean public is as unforgiving as ever (even though there’s nothing to forgive.)  The K-entertainment big shots are still of one mind in “freezing” PSH (even though the young’uns currently in vogue only look pretty but can’t really act.)

As I said before, 此處不留人,自有留人處  (If one is not allowed to stay in this place, there are always other places.)  If Korea would not allow PSH to practice his considerable acting talent, there are many countries, notably China and Japan, who welcome him with open arms.  PSH does not have to restrict himself to being a Korean actor; he can be an international star, as he indeed is already.

But to someone who is as proud of and as loyal to South Korea as PSH (remember the tie he wore at the Xinjiang Auto Show? with the colors of the Korean flag?) not being able to work in his own country is tantamount to exile.

However popular he is in Japan, however successful he is in China, I think he would in a heartbeat give everything up in exchange for a chance to act in a Korean drama again.

But if he has to cringe like the grim-faced LBH, to fawn on the Korean public, to say things they want to hear, to belie his own conscience, I believe he would rather go back to Buyeo to farm his ancestor’s land.  After all, he has already built his Ark there^^

 

(Credits: Video from http://ettoday.net.  Thanks!)

 

To post or not to post

I’m in a hospital room but I’m not the one on the sick bed.  I’m bleary-eyed from reading, so I’ll try to write about something that has been bothering me for some time.

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China Fan Meeting in Shanghai’s Oriental Art Center 2015.02.13

At the recent China Fan Meeting in Shanghai, Chinese fans posted photos and videos of the show in progress.  When H and I saw these, we were not really surprised because this was not the first time it happened.  We debated for a few minutes and unanimously decided to publish them on our blog.

Now some people took issue with this.  This was of course blatant infringement of copyright, no respect for intellectual property.  Photo-taking and videotaping are not allowed in any concert or show.  Even though announcements were made before the start of the FM, and in spite of the efforts of the security guards to stop them, Chinese fans found a way to flout these rules.

We would not do anything of the sort, of course, and we do not condone such actions.  But once these photos and videos were all over the internet (on Chinese sites), why should we deprive our members of the right to see them?  Our members are from all over the world and most do not have access to Weibo and the like.  They would attend a PSH fan meeting if they could, but most would never have the chance in a lifetime.

We can understand people who forked out a couple of thousand to attend would feel upset that others who didn’t pay a cent got to “watch” the CFM almost LIVE.  But surely soaking in the atmosphere on site is something that mere photos and videos cannot compare.  And seeing PSH in the flesh is a dream come true, far superior to just seeing pixels on a screen.

Some people said PSH was angry and disappointed with his fans for doing what they did.  If he was, I’m really surprised.  For one thing, it has happened before — at the 2011 Shanghai Fan Meeting.  At that time, the most (and best) photos and videos were posted not by the Chinese but by a Singaporean fan who made a name for herself in the PSH world.  For another thing, PSH is not a boy ingénue but a man of the world.  He will not be fazed by such behavior from his Chinese fans.  He knows the pop culture in China is different from that in Japan, and that no DVD will be issued of the China Fan Meeting.

I do not like people who put words into PSH’s mouth.  I especially do not agree with the speculation that PSH did not leave a Chinese New Year greeting on Weibo because he was upset by what the Chinese fans did.  If PSH is really so 小器, he is not the PSH that I know and love.  How to translate 小器 in English?  Small-minded?  Intolerant?  Vindictive?  Unforgiving?  Not quite.  The two Chinese words literally mean “small vessel”, namely, can’t hold much.  The opposite of 小器 is 大量 (big volume, meaning “magnanimous”), so maybe that would give you a better idea.  I do not believe he would bear a grudge against his fans.  If he did not have a heart big enough to forgive and a mind broad enough to forget, he would not have survived February to May 2013.

I am not defending what the Chinese fans did, but I would not condemn them either.  I think the more they know about the ways of the civilized world, the more they will learn.  Give them a few more years and I am sure they will respect intellectual property in time.  I remember what Giorgio Armani said when he went to Shanghai for the grand opening of his flagship store in 2004.  Someone showed him a fake Emporio Armani watch and he said (not his exact words, I’m just recalling from memory): “Hey! This is pretty good!  As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  The Chinese may buy fakes now, but when they have more money later on, they will go for the genuine articles.”  I remember being so impressed by the wisdom of the man (as well as by the elegance of his creations.)  At a time when the other brand names were suing left, right, and center for copyright infringement in China, he had the grace to accept the reality of the present and the foresight to see the possibilities in the future.  And his prophecy has come true.  So many Chinese tourists now go to Paris and Milan to buy French and Italian brand name products that these august houses have to train their staff in Putonghua! (no, not just hiring Chinese staff but actually having their native staff learn Putonghua because that’s the way the big spenders like it.)

Since his comeback in Korea is still very much in the air, still so full of uncertainty, it looks like PSH’s immediate future lies in other parts of Asia, and in particular, China.  I just read in a Hong Kong newspaper a few days ago about the emerging Hallyu stars — actors who are expected to dominate the Korean entertainment scene once Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, JYJ, etc. enter military service this year (can’t postpone any longer) — none of whom I know, since I have not watched a single Korean drama since CDDA.  From their looks (and I am of course biased), I can say none of them can hold a candle to PSH.  But they are all at least 10 years younger and time is on their side.

I was not at the CFM but I’ve read and heard a lot about all the imperfections of the event.  My favorite comments are from Baidu:

(Translation)

I have seen too many concerts; I know a lot about other stars’ fan meetings; I understand the effects of Japan FM.  So I did not have any expectations of the Shanghai Fan Meeting, but the effects on scene surprisingly exceeded my expectations and I was moved and satisfied.  Although the opening was delayed, although the process was not smooth, although the interpreter was rather stiff, although the MC was not too familiar with the sequence, although the staff was not too professional, although the organizers’ standards were low, but what did these matter?  There were the shouts and screams from PSH fans, there’s Sihoo’s give-it-his-all performance, there’s the MC’s craziness, there were the two encores at the end.  For me, I came to support Sihoo.  As long as there’s Sihoo, as long as I could hear his voice, as long as I could see his efforts, as long as I could feel his gratitude to his fans, I was already so satisfied I could not ask for more!  This was a performance that unexpectedly offered too much, that let me see the overflowing love between Sihoo and his fans.
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看过太多的演唱会,知道太多的其他明星见面会的情况,了解日本FM的效果,所以对于上海这场,我根本就没抱任何期望,而现场效果却出乎我意料的令我感动和满意。虽然延迟开场,虽然衔接不顺畅,虽然翻译小哥有些木讷,虽然主持人不太熟悉流程,虽然工作人员不太专业,虽然主办方水准较低,但是有什么关系呢?有厚粉的声声呼唤,有施厚的卖力表演,有主持人的步步花痴,有结尾的两次返场,对于我来说,我是来给他捧人场的,只要有施厚,只要能听到他的声音,能看到他的努力,能体会他对粉丝的感激,我已经满意的不能再要求什么了!这是一场出乎我意料之外太多的,让我看到施厚和粉丝之间满溢爱恋的表演。

(守厚星厚毒至深@ http://tieba.baidu.com/p/3586304415?pn=1#64387197536l)

As long as there are Chinese fans like this, all can be forgiven.  The transgressions of the minority should not earn the majority blanket censure and condemnation.  I for one am grateful to Chinese fans for always making PSH welcome in China.  They may be too effusive sometimes, they may be overbearing, even offensive (without meaning to), they may overstep some boundaries, they may be overwhelmingly passionate, but their love is pure and genuine.  And it has stood the test of time (at least for the last two years.)  At a time when PSH’s own country people are ostracizing him at worst and ignoring him at best, I am sure he appreciates the warmth and welcomeness (my computer spellcheck tells me there is no such word^^) of his Chinese fans.

Chinese fans, thank you for sharing, but please don’t do it again, OK?

(Credits: CFM photo from Weibo.  Thanks!)

The story of N

HFYTJFM4At the 2014 Japan Fan Meeting, I met a very special PSH fan – N.

She is from Nagasaki, but it took her two days to travel to Yokohama.  That’s because she could not travel on an airplane; she had to take the train and make a stopover at Fukuoka.

She has heart problems and has to use an oxygen inhaler.  And she always moves by wheelchair; she can walk slowly but she cannot walk long distances.

We met on the evening of September 27.  She was accompanied by her husband because she could not travel by herself.  I was so moved first to meet a PSH fan who would move heaven and earth to see him, and then to see a Japanese man who would indulge his wife’s passion in this way.

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At the Intercontinental lobby on September 27

This is N’s story (in her own words):

I got a serious heart disease several years ago.
At first I listened to music in bed all the time.
When my husband gave me Korean dramas, I started to watch those.
After watching more than 40 dramas, I came to “Prosecutor Princess”.
Though I didn’t like the female lead, I fell in love with PSH.
All the time, when he laughs, when he is troubled, when he cries…PSH looks splendid. I am moved by his acting.

About ten years ago when I was healthy, I had traveled to Brazil, Australia, and other places. I liked traveling very much.
I don’t know the reason why, but I got a lot of satisfied emotions from PSH’s dramas, just like in my travels.

And I bought all of PSH’s dramas except “Let’s Marry”.
I love everything about him.  His beautiful face, changeable eyes, muscular chest, long legs, sweet voice — all excellent.

Sometimes he is like a child; sometimes he behaves like a gentleman.
He plays his roles very heartily and naturally.
I couldn’t get these satisfied feelings from other Korean actors.
I can live very happily just watching PSH dramas.

When he was set up and got into trouble, my health became worse with anxiety.

Then I found PSH4U.
I was helped by PSH4U.
I got a lot of energy from here.
I  have many thanks for PSH4U.

I am really worried about my broken heart^ -^
But I am always very happy in my heart because of Mr. PSH and PSH4U.
I hope to say a lot of thanks to Mr. PSH and PSH4U.

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At the Yokohama Pacifico National Convention Hall before the first JFM on September 28

Now I resume with N’s story – because she became a STAR at the JFM (Part 1)!  Her number was drawn and she was the second fan to go on stage to do the re-enactment of scenes in PSH dramas – “Queen of Reversals” for her.

When I saw her going on stage, I was shocked… and worried.  Shocked that she could actually walk all the way and climb the steps to the stage, and worried that her heart might not be able to sustain the excitement.

When PSH picked her up and swung her around a few times before setting her down, I was so afraid she would faint.  But she just stood there beaming, especially when PSH gave her the present of the necklace* and put it on for her.

She made it safely down the steps and when she passed our seats, I grabbed her hand and congratulated her.  She had this Cheshire cat grin on her face, and I was thrilled for her.

At the end of the JFM (Part 1), I saw N and her husband in their seats and I went over and congratulated her again.  She was still grinning and I didn’t think anything could wipe that grin off her face that night.  Her dear husband was also very happy, and obviously proud of his lucky wife.

I thought it was very plucky and brave of her to walk up stage and face PSH (especially when movement was not easy for her), and very good sport to take part in that game.

Good for you, N!  I am so proud of you! and so happy for you!

[* I forgot to mention in my JFM diary that all these presents that PSH gave to the 3 lucky fans were ON him — he was wearing he bracelet and necklace, and the Jami and Dami keychain was hooked to his trousers.  So they all got not just the presents but also a “piece” of PSH^^]

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This is the game PSH played with N, but this photo is taken at the evening show

And this is how N described her unforgettable experience:

I went to JFM of Mr. PSH.  This was the first time I saw Mr. Park Si Hoo in person.
He looked splendid! His low voice was wonderful!
There was a part where he acted in some scenes with fans.
He chose three seat numbers from a box.
My seat was one of the three seats!!!
How? How? How?
I was confused for a while, but I went up to the stage.

I felt my heart beating wildly.
There was Mr. PSH in front of me.
He looked very cute and gorgeous.
Small white face with a broad smile, long arms and long thin legs, muscular chest.
He was perfect; he looked like a beautiful doll.

My turn came after the fan scene in TPM.
The performance was the scene in QOR.
Gu Yong Shik picking Hwang Tae Hee up from the ground and holding her in his arms.
I said, “I am heavy.”
Mr. PSH looked at me and seemed to say “Don’t worry” with his eyes.
He made me sit down on the chair.
He carried me in his arms like a feather and spun around three times, and then he threw me up in the air and caught me before putting me on my feet on the floor.
Honestly, I was anxious whether he could carry me up.
But he was very powerful.
I was surprised at his strength.
I was very impressed by him.

He gave me a big present.
He laid his hands on my long hair and put the necklace on my neck.
I heard a lot of fans screaming.

Mr. Park Si Hoo, I am sorry I am not a young lady.
Though it took me 8 hours to go from my town to the JFM, it was worth it.
I got a big treasure that I never expected in this world.
I was very very very happy!!!
I hope to share this big happiness with members of PSH4U.

My big pains have evaporated into the sky because of Mr. PSH.
Thank you very much, Mr. Park Si Hoo!!!
Thank you very much, PSH4U !!!

(Credits: First photo from Youtube, last from Korepo – Thanks!  Others by H.A.T.)

2014 Diary of a star-chaser (4)

HFYTJFM3 My favorite 2014 JFM look

I love going to Japan Fan Meetings.

Tickets are one price, so no I’m-superior-to-you stuff.  Tickets are by lottery: if you’re lucky, you get your tickets; if not, too bad.  I can accept this.  The venues are always first-rate.  I know I’ll be in for an enjoyable evening.  They are without exception well-organized; everything runs according to schedule.

The Japanese are model fans in many respects — affectionate, loyal, respectful, courteous, considerate, cordial, enthusiastic.  They’re 靜若處子 , 動若脱兔. (demure as a virgin, sprightly as a rabbit) — they are well-behaved but they can also be very lively.

What I admire most about them is they are all very 大方 (natural and poised).  When their number is picked by lottery, they graciously go on stage to play games, however embarrassing it may be.  A Japanese fan told me to them going to a fan meeting is a big deal, so as soon as tickets have been bought, they would groom themselves from head to toe, so they can look their best in case they get to go on stage.  Now if my number had been drawn, wild horses could not have dragged me on stage.  I am very shy; I dare not even rush forward to shake PSH’s hand.  I may suffer a heart attack if I get up close and personal; on the other hand, PSH could have a fit on seeing someone 又老又醜(old and ugly) drooling over him^^  Yes, Japanese fans are super good sport!

HFYTJFM PSH singing “Sexy Back”

I don’t understand a single word of Japanese (or Korean), except “Hello” and “Goodbye”^^.  But our hearts and minds are one: I laugh when they laugh, scream when they scream, and applaud when they applaud.  The camaraderie is amazing.  At the evening show, the Japanese lady standing in front of us (everybody spontaneously stood up when PSH came bouncing on stage with his guitar) was so into the moment that she was “performing” along with PSH, complete with gestures, you know, like those girl groups.  She was totally caught up in the emotions, and H and I looked at each other and felt we’re so inhibited.

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PSH loves Japan Fan Meetings too.  It is obvious he knows he is among friends, even family (not just fans.)  It warms my heart to see him grinning from ear to ear, genuinely happy, relieved he is with people who love and support him (who have loved and supported him through thick and thin.)  That first song on his CD – クデル=君を(“Love” = You) – which he invited his Japanese fans to sing along with him by releasing partial lyrics beforehand was a case in point.  This was the last song PSH sang at the evening fan meeting (before encore).  The lyrics are very touching (from what I could read of the Chinese words in the Japanese subtitles – this is PSH’s THANK YOU to his fans for their unwavering support and love), and PSH sang it in a heartfelt way.  And when he reached the end, the very last words, I could see his eyes were brimming with tears (and he bit his lower lip.)  H and N can testify to this; we all saw this.

2014JFMstage

Thank you, Sihoo-ssi, for a wonderful day (2 Japan Fan Meetings)!  And thank you, Japanese fans, for making it a memorable day for PSH and for me!

My series “2014 Diary of a star-chaser” is dedicated to Mr. Park Si Hoo and a tribute to Japanese fans (a few of whom I’m privileged to call my friends.)  I love you all marni-marni (actually “많은 manh-eun” = a lot)!

(THE END)

(Credits: Photos are printscreen from Hoo Factory Youtube video; last photo from Twitter.  Thanks!)