[T/N: These are excerpts from this article about K-pop in Japan. The only parts that have been translated are the parts pertaining to TVXQ.]
‘The Unknown Truths of K-pop’, as told by four Japanese women
-The secret behind K-pop singers’ topping Oricon’s daily charts is the fans’ bulk-buying?
-The stars who speak Japanese most fluently are TVXQ!
The K-pop craze that is spreading around the globe has no thoughts of slowing down. With Japan having the second largest album market in the world, it is the country the K-pop stars visit most often. However, we rely on the official information released by entertainment agencies for our information on this phenomenon. We gathered four Japanese women who call themselves K-pop maniacs and talked about the K-pop craze. We will shed light on the situation in Japan through their stories.
*Participants of this interview are Eriko Metsumoto (55), Yuriko Kimura (50), Yuma Yamamoto (42), and Hitomi Ohhara (39). The following comments are the personal opinions of these participants.*
– Is Tokyo Dome really the biggest concert venue in Japan? Singers call it ‘the stage of dreams’.
Yuma: It’s true. Tokyo Dome can hold around 55,000 people. The only K-pop stars who are able to fill Tokyo Dome are TVXQ, Big Bang, KARA, Girls’ Generation, Super Junior and JYJ.
Hitomi: To be honest, the concert culture in Japan has been developing for a long time, so there are a lot of Japanese musicians who could fill Tokyo Dome. What’s actually meaningful is if a singer can successfully hold a Five Dome Tour (Sapporo Dome, Nagoya Dome, Fukuoka Yahoo! Dome, Osaka Kyocera Dome, Tokyo Dome). Even amongst Japanese musicians, the only ones who have filled all five Domes are SMAP, B’z and Arashi.
– Then which K-pop stars have successfully held a Five Dome Tour?
Yuriko: TVXQ. They are the only team who could fill the Domes in all of the regions. For other K-pop singers who held Dome tours, their concert venues were unfortunately empty. It’s impossible to fill a Dome venue with just the people in that region. It’s only possible if people in Tokyo travel to support their singers in the other regions as well. It’s a good measure of how loyal fans are to their singers.
Eriko: I saw that some of the singers would cover empty seats with black cloth. To make it look like those seats had never been open to fans in the first place. And also so that they don’t look like empty seats on camera. (laughter)
– What about Budokan? When you say a singer ‘performed at Budokan’ in Korea, people assume that the singer has successfully entered the Japanese market.
Yuma: It’s a famous but small venue. It only fits about 14,000 people. The stage mostly has just a symbolic meaning to artistes because it was the first venue that The Beatles performed in when they came to Japan. And that happened a long, long time ago.
Hitomi: The biggest concert venue in Japan is the Yokohama Nissan Stadium, which can fit up to 72,000 people. TVXQ will be performing there. A rumor is circulating in Japan that U-Know Yunho may be enlisting in the army next Summer. So everyone is trying to go to their Nissan Stadium performance this year.
Yuriko: Looking at the red ocean created by TVXQ’s fans waving their red fan-lights brings tears to my eyes. They don’t just wave one each. They hold four in each hand, to have a total of eight fan-lights in their hands. (Equipment that can hold four fan-lights has been created.)
Eriko: It’s because TVXQ are a team who are able to top the Oricon Charts without having to resort to ‘New Song Release Event’ marketing strategies that other K-pop acts use.
– There are a lot of K-pop stars who are fluent in Japanese these days, right? Who’s the best at speaking Japanese?
Yuma: If BoA is considered a K-pop star, then I would say she’s the best.
Hitomi: Couldn’t the two members of TVXQ be considered to be on the same level as Japanese people?I went to a TVXQ concert yesterday, and they performed all 30 of their songs in Japanese for three hours. They even said all of their comments in Japanese as well. Seeing them converse in Japanese and even using Japanese four-character idioms made me think that they’re as good as any Japanese native speaker. If you don’t consider BoA, then they are obviously number one. They’ve been performing in Japan for the longest as well.
Yuriko: Don’t you feel like TVXQ’s Yunho understands the Japanese culture very well? U-Know Yunho never tells his fans that he loves them. He always ends with a 90 degrees bow and a ‘Thank you’. To be honest, Japanese people don’t use the expressions ‘I love you’ very often. Even when we confess our feelings to our lovers, we say ‘I like you’. It’s a very weighted expression, and using it too much could give off the impression that you don’t really mean it.
Eriko: Japanese people are more moved by small acts of kindness rather than big acts of charity or donations. We hear about these small acts and use them to create our judgments on them.
Source: [Lady Kyunghyang + 명동피플@Yuaerubi]
Translated & Shared by: dongbangdata.net