[Truth in Drink 1] JYJ Kim Jaejoong “TVXQ, It Was Not a Problem Between the Members”
For TVXQ, Korea’s top idol group, July of 2009 was an unforgettable moment of fate. The 3 members Xiah Junsu, Micky Yoochun, and Hero Jaejoong had suddenly filed for injunctive relief to suspend the contract against their agency SM Entertainment, arguing that the “13 years of exclusive contract is over the line.” The fans, who had been very absorbed into the “boys (who come) before flowers” (T/N: alternatively, “pretty men”), were extremely agitated. They had thought that [TVXQ] had been trotting along without a problem but in truth it was as if they were festering inside. These 3 in the end chose the road of separation ·independence in the name of JYJ. However, the environment that surrounded them was not very amicable. Sometimes they had to taste disappointment under a cold gaze.
About 2 years after the breakup, I invited JYJ’s Kim Jaejoong (Hero Jaejoong) to “Truth in Drink” as a representative of the rest of the members of JYJ. He had stepped out for a world tour with Thailand at the beginning of this year as its start. He shined in his roles, taking on 2 roles despite having only one body by doing executive directing of the stage. In his face was a relief of having finished grand stage without a problem. His expression was also cheerful. Further, most of all, his skin was so very (beautifully) pale and smooth.
JYJ’s Thailand Concert, Debut as the Executive Director of the Stages
Q: I hear that the Thailand Concert was quite the affair.
“It’s all because of the fans. There were points where we wish we had done better, but most of all, we were really happy with the fact that with our songs, we created a complete stage. It’s so moving.
Q: I hear that during the performances, the screams for Jaejoong were the loudest…
“Ah, there’s no way (laugh) If that were the case, that seems to be due to the red see-through outfit that I wore.”
Q: Then the outfits of the other members?
“Park Yoochun is in charge of the manly image in JYJ, so (he wore) blue, and Kim Junsu adds a humorous image so he wore green, I matched them. I expressed an image that was a bit androgynous.”
Q: There must have been a “right to [pick] first” as the executive director of the stage.
“(laugh) That’s right. That’s in the discretion of the director. From now on too, I want to keep trying stage directing.”
Q: Today is “Truth in Drink.” What’s your capacity for alcohol?
I’m on the moderate side when it comes to drink. Instead, if I drink a lot, my face becomes red. When I’m home alone and I can’t sleep, I sometimes drink a glass of sake or beer.
Wallpaper of Cell Phone, Still TVXQ
Q: We’ll address the difficult issues first. To Jaejoong, TVXQ is?
“There are bitter feelings still. However, at the very least, it is not a problem between members. I think there are misunderstandings and lies from around us. Speaking for myself, I can clear up the misunderstandings, even now. I can also send to the members text messages in my seat. In fact, the wallpaper of my cell phone is still TVXQ, also.”
Q: So it must have been disappointing during the Concert.
“I thought: How nice it would have been if the other two had also been, wouldn’t we had made better music.”
Q: Other disappointments?
“It is 7 years after TVXQ debuted with the single ‘Hug’ in 2004. Even if we don’t talk about the Korean songs, there are about 100 songs in just the songs we were active with in Japan. But we cannot sing them. That is so disappointing.”
During our conversation he showed me his cell phone wallpaper. He chose as albums of TVXQ as songs he listens to frequently despite admonitions from others. What was funny was that he has—6 cell phones. He said: Because there are so many prank calls… It seems that it’s better to use five or 6 all at once, more so than switching the number frequently.”
The Single Photograph: Luxury Interior Design? “I Ordered Them Myself Online”
Q: Nowadays many various pictures on the internet are talks of the town. What is this “date picture” from when you were in high school?
“Ah, I also saw that. I think it was probably around Myungdong, Seoul. It’s before debut so it seems that it’s probably when I was high school. It’s true that I was on a date with a girlfriend. But it’s been so long now that I don’t even know how she is.”
Q: The “I was there” shot in a gathering for drink with the entertainer Kang Yebin?
“Ah, that was my birthday party, on January 26th. I met with some of my friends in a bar in the vicinity of Apkujeongdong, Seoul, and I saw her for the first time then. I don’t know Ms. Kang Yebin very well but I came to say hello to her because she came with a drama script writer that I know very well. In truth we sat quite far apart, one front one back, but the picture had such an amazing angle that, on the picture, we seemed like we were leaning on each other. (laugh)”
Q: At that itme, what other people also came?
Most of them were my non-entertainer friends. Among the entertainers it was Hong SeokCheon Hyung and Narsha Nuna and such.
Q: The luxury interior of your new home to which you moved was also the talk of the town.
“I did them myself. However, they are not “luxury.” Among them, about 80%, I decorated with inexpensive internet orders. I’ve always liked doing interior design. Even when me and Mr. Kim Hyunjoong , the two of us, were living together, I did the interior design of the house.
Lived Together with Kim Hyunjoong, Living Alone Now.
Q: So you’ve lived together with “Boys Before Flowers” Kim Hyunjoong.”
Until the end of last year, for about 1 year, we lived together. And at the beginning of this year we moved, Hyunjoong to Chungdamdong and I to Jamshil.”
Q: How did [you come to know] Hyunjoong?
“I got to know him before debut out of coincidence. After that, we have been close friends throughout.”
Q: There must be points on which “men of warmth” (T/N: attractive men) connect.
“It’s not that… (laugh). I met Hyunjoong for the first time, and I felt a bit sorry for him. He looked fine, the way he’s shaped, but he looked a bit like a loner. (laugh) So my heart went out to him even more.”
Q: With the late Mr. Park Yongha, too, your relationship with him was special.
“When I think of that, even now my chest feels like it’s choking. It was when I had traveled to the US after the performance at Tokyo Dome in Japan. As soon as I arrived in the airport, there came a phone call by Yongha Hyung. He asked me where I was, and when I said America, he said “Ah, okay have a good performance, we should have a drink later’… to think that such was the last… And two days later I heard the news of his suicide.”