Original : Woman’s weekly 31st of March
Japanese to Chinese : SNOW (www.byjfamily.net)
Chinese to English : cam
[Trans] a few accounts of YJ’s 12 days stay in Japan as disclosed by BYJ’s manager
BYJ’s manager Shim Bom Soku, of BOFi in Japan, spoke to the magazine, “after we heard that he (YJ) was coming to Japan, our staff were jumping for joy, but feeling a bit anxious at the same time. Nevertheless everyone was very happy. Now after he has returned home, we’ve became lonely again”.
On the 26th of last month, BYJ came to Japan to carry out some interviews and photo shoots for his forthcoming book, provisionally called “the beauty of Korea” which introduces Korean Culture. Mr Shim shared 12 days with him like a family.
Our magazine interviewed Mr Shim. Here we will cover some small stories about YJ during his stay in Japan, which has never been covered elsewhere.
After landed in Sendai airport, YJ rushed to Morioka straight away. He stayed in Mr Jun Yong Bok’s house, a traditional lacquer painter, for a week.
“He was not only interested in lacquer painting, but also in the work of Korean craftsmen and Korean traditional culture. He has previously visited Mr Jun in South Korea. This time he came to Morioka especially as he was longing for the life of a lacquer painter”.
Living locally with Mr Jun who is also the Manager of the Iwayama Urushi Art Museum, all the meals were prepared by Mr Jun, with dishes such as chicken soup, made from chicken and glutinous rice, and sushi. In order to work, YJ was very happy to share everything without going out at all.
Mr Jun said to YJ, “creativity can’t be formed purely from the imagination, one needs to go out to visit mountains and see the ocean. This is a very important part of creativity.” YJ followed Mr Jun’s advice and went out there to feel and to see all the beautiful scenery, devoting himself fully to being creative. He was wholly absorbed in the learning experience, sometimes working until 6am. He visited the Miyako seashore and the cape of the so called Bear’s nose, where hidden between the beach rocks, there blooms seasonal flowers such as primrose. He also visited the Koiwai farm and Chusonji. YJ said, “I’m so happy to see such a snow scenery without human footsteps”. He took many photos as well.
Initially when Mr Shim heard that BYJ wished to take a walk, he was concerned whether YJ’s outing would cause a commotion. Something suddenly came to mind from YJ’s last May visit. [Last time YJ visited Japan and said “I can only take a walk in front of the family if I become more accustomed to Japan….” “I would love to take a walk on the street”. Up until now no matter what he does, it is always done inside the hotel. Except for pre-scheduled venues, he has not been to any other pla-ces. This time around, he said it again “I would like to be more accustomed to the Japanese society”. Hence I thought this could be a perfect experience for him.]
Looking at YJ’s an upsurge in emotion of [I would love to take a walk on the street] we then decided to take the challenge to the streets of Iwate. In there, what caught his attention were….
[He went into different stores, although it was cold, he had ice cream (smile). After that when he saw bakudanyaki (SNOW: a roasted meatball using more that 10 different ingredients, similar to the roasted octopus ball in Osaka), he then asked “What is this?” he seemed quite interested, also looked very happy.]
The week in Iwate came to an end very quickly. YJ and the rest decided to go to Tokyo. [We asked him what would he prefer, a 7 hours drive or a ride on the Shinkansen? He said “this would be my first time catching the Shinkasen so I would love to try it”. Hence we caught the Shinkansen to Omiya and from there drove to Tokyo.]
On the evening of the 4th, YJ went straight to the hotel in Tokyo. He went to bed after having a meeting with staff. The next day, he visited lacquer paintings in Meguro Gojoen, where Mr Jun carried out the restoration personally. [The elegant spiral garden elevator, the washroom and the VIP room in the dinning area where the fine craftsmanship of Mr Jun’s personal work can be witnessed in every corner, along with the balustrades (arm rests) and other pla-ces that come to sight. The museum personnel describe Mr Jun’s work as elegant and noted that it attracts many special organized viewing groups.
YJ went all over the garden, staring at all the lacquer work intently. Coincidentally, an exhibition of Japanese tradition painter Mr Hirayama Ikuo was also on at the time. YJ asked “if it is not too much trouble, may I see the exhibition…”. Shoes were prohibited inside the exhibition hall, so he changed to slippers and stayed for around an hour, appreciating the fine art warm heartedly.
After the visit ended, he went to the traditional Korean style restaurant Gosireh, owned by himself in Shirokanedai Minato-ku. In the restaurant, he tasted some new dishes and checked the ones in preparation for them being served to customers. He also toured each table and greeted all the visitors.
It was already 9:20pm when BYJ finished dining and meeting, on his way out he saw around 400 fans waiting outside.
He was surprised by the difference on entering vs leaving the restaurant. However he appeared to be extremely happy in the car on the way back. Although this is not an official visit to Japan, he is still hoping to see his family. He does not only wish to wave at them, but to shake hands with them. I believe when he was waving, he was also trying to greet them with eye contact. Perhaps this is his way of conveying his gratitude to the family.]
But at the same time, there were 2 things on his mind. Firstly, the families who wish to meet him in person, but had to refrain themselves from coming to the restaurant in order to avoid the chaos. Secondly, he was concerned about the nearby residents of Gosireh.
[He was “very grateful” for the families who came out to see him. But he was also concerned that the gathering might have caused some issues for the nearby residents. So he called the restaurant and asked the staff to “please pay the nearby residents a visit to convey our apologies”.
After the happy encounters (with his family), he headed to a nearby espresso coffee shop, then back to the hotel.
He was working in the hotel until the 9th, the day of his return, as the past 4 days have been raining every day, but he has not forgotten “that special taste…”
[On Saturday evening of the 7th after work we returned to the hotel. BYJ said: “it is not often that we come to Japan, let’s have ramen”. I was thinking of taking him to a different noodle shop, but he said “The noodle shop we visited previously is better. I would also like to greet them again”. Therefore we went to the one in Shibuya at 1am.
This noodle shop named Mennoboutorade is popular with celebrities. Its famous dishes are pork bone soup and tender roast pork. Our reporter visited the shop and ordered the “Yonsama’s meal”. The shop assistant presented “seaweed and half cooked egg ramen with some thinner noodles, it was slightly hard, but light in taste”. The shop assistant also mentioned that “Yonsama had this, with fry dumplings and rice ball previously. But this time he only had ramen. He is warm hearted just like the image on TV.
BYJ has tasted his favorite food and shared his last free night there.
Two days later, it was time to go home. BYJ was mumbling “ah.. I don’t wish to leave. I wish I could stay a bit longer. If I have become accustomed to Japan, I should be able to speak a bit of Japanese]
Let’s wait till then.
[SCAN＆번역]일본의 매니저 독점 인터뷰- 배용준님 일본 체재 12일간! Episode-shukanjosei 3.17
source: byjgallery by miemi
trans:BYJ Gallery miemi