[Trans] Tohoshinki SHINE 2nd Artist Book Interview – Yunho

Q: From the time you debuted in Japan until now, what is the thing that has made you the most happy?
A: As expected, the thing I was happiest about was being able to sing at Budoukan. This is because we really did our best, beginning when we came to Japan and performed on a really small stage, all the way to Budoukan. Moreover, I’m really happy that our fans gradually keep increasing.

Q: I think this might turn into a conversation about “sadness”, but when I was talking to you in the dressing room of Budoukan, you said even though in Korea you were really loved by so many people, when you came to Japan you felt lost and confused because you had to start all over again from zero as newcomers, right?
A: But that became a good lesson for us instead.

Q: And so because of that, when you laid your eyes on Budoukan being filled by fans, weren’t you all the more overjoyed?
A: That’s right. But I don’t cry even at happy times. I didn’t cry at all even when we received a big prize in Korea. If you ask why, it’s because I made a promise a long time ago. There are extremely painful memories of when I was a trainee…. When an uncle that I respected and really loved passed away, I had a really painful period of time. At that time I made a promise to myself. “In the whole of Asia, and the whole of the world, until I myself am able to become a human being I am satisfied with, I will never cry.” But at Budoukan, I ended up crying a little for the first time (smiles bitterly). Seeing Junsu and Yoochun crying, I too……..but I was really happy, standing in Budoukan. Because while singing and dancing, when I looked at everyone’s faces, they had become one with us, and sang along for us with faces that seemed so happy. That was truly something that made me happy.

Q: That was really the best moment, wasn’t it?
A: Yes. I always think, “I wonder if everyone who came listened to our music and was able to become happy.” When I saw everyone feeling happiness, I was also able to be satisfied. Since in Budoukan everyone became one and seemed to be enjoying themselves. When I remembered the lifestyle we had ever since coming to Japan, when I thought about how we’d started on a small stage and were able to make it all the way till here, my heart welled up with all kinds of emotions.

Q: It was really a good experience, wasn’t it? Now next, would you tell me about “anger”?
A: The thing I was most angry at myself about was injuring my leg and not being able to participate in “a-nation”.

Q: It was last year, wasn’t it?
A: Yes. The truth is it wasn’t just “a-nation”, but because I also couldn’t participate in all kinds of events in Korea. Now I can laugh while talking about it, but at that time I was told by the doctor, “You might not be able to dance ever again. Your Achilles tendon is weakening, and it’s a miracle you’ve been able to dance up till now.” At that time, I really got so angry at myself that I beat my own leg. And I cried and cried and cried. It was such an important period for Tohoshinki, and because I wanted to be able to participate even if it was just a day earlier, from morning till night I played sports, I did physical rehabilitation exercises, I gave it everything I had!

Q: You’re a strong-willed person, aren’t you? Have you been that way since you were a child?
A: I have a personality where I definitely do things that I feel I want to do. Since a long time ago, if I start to concentrate on something just once, I really don’t like it if I don’t do it all the way till the end.

Q: I see. That’s something that’s really understandable just by looking at you. Now next, shall I ask about “enjoyment”?
A: Something I enjoy is performing, after all. The top of the stage is the place I am most able to become completely engrossed with my happiness. The stage Yunho and normal Yunho are different. If I’m standing on stage there are times my consciousness flies away from me. When I’m singing a ballad I keep myself properly conscious since I think I need to deliver this song, but during dance songs I have too much fun and shake off all the emotions of the song, and there’ve been times I just lose my memory of what I’ve done (laughs). Also, being with the Tohoshinki members is fun. Whether it be as work companions, or as friends.

Q: Because these few years, you’ve been together with them even longer than you’ve been with your family, huh?
A: That’s right, these roughly four years.

Q: Tohoshinki itself is pretty much like a family already, isn’t it?
A: We aren’t members, we’re brothers. We fight a lot, too. But we make up really quickly.

Q: And if you have things you’re worried about, you talk to others and get talked to as well?
A: We do talk to the others and get talked to ourselves.

Q: Next is “sadness”. Earlier this did come up a little in the conversation, but is there anything else?
A: Earlier I was talking about the artist Yunho, but privately the saddest time for me was when I was a trainee. Because my household was undergoing all kinds of difficult circumstances. On the money side and all. So because of that I worked part-time while continuing to be a trainee. It was a little saddening during the moments when I thought, “Don’t tell me, it might be impossible for me to continue being a trainee…..” Since at first I didn’t know anything about what was happening at home….I became very anxious.
(Apparently rather than being a personal circumstance, there was a period in which the country’s economy had taken a sudden downturn which had an impact on his household in general. This was also one of the strongest impetuses for Yunho’s deciding to become an entertainer.)

Q: It was difficult for you. Being a trainee, even commuting back and forth takes a lot of money, doesn’t it?
A: Because my home was far away from Seoul, when I was in Seoul I would live in Junsu’s house and commute from there.

Q: Even in times that were that difficult, being able to think of your family so much, you are really someone who thinks of his younger sister, thinks of his family, aren’t you? You are really a person that works hard.
A: I worked the hardest at that time (laughs). Later on I heard from my relative, an uncle, that my father had really given his all at that same time too. When I heard that I cried. The person I respect is my father. He will listen to anything I have to say, and he’s a person with a really big heart. I love everything about my father. And so my father is my aspiration. My mom tells me, “Your father is cool, isn’t he?” too (laughs).

Q: That’s a good relationship, isn’t it?
A: Yes. Even during difficult times, my family always kept living while smiling. Even during truly difficult times, my parents would smile at us and say, “It’s alright, it’s alright.” I respect my father and mother for being that way.

Q: What a wonderful father and mother. It’s like an image of the ideal husband and wife, isn’t it? Your parents were classmates, weren’t they?
A: Yes. They’ve been childhood friends since they were in elementary school.

Q: Would you tell me which foreign artists you’re currently interested in?
A: For me it’d be Yolanda Adams.

Q: The gospel singer?
A: Yes. She’s a black woman; she’s good at singing but more than that, I like how it feels like she sings with her heart.

Q: Yoochun and Changmin also said they liked her, within the members do you let each other listen to the songs that you like?
A: Yes, we do. A person I’ve respected from a very long time ago is Michael Jackson. The truth is even though Michael is good at dancing, he’s even better at singing. But doesn’t he have an image that he’s good at dancing to people in general? But the truth is that it’s his singing. In Tohoshinki I have a strong dance image as well, but the truth is I that also really love to sing.

Q: Which of Michael Jackson’s songs do you like the most?
A: “You Are Not Alone”. But I like them all. “Beat It”, too.

Q: How about Japanese artists?
A: The Gospellers, Skoop On Somebody and MISIA.

Q: All good singers, aren’t they?
A: Skoop On Somebody has many songs that make your heart feel warm, and the Gospellers don’t need any explanation. We’re also a chorus group, but their chorus singing is really beautiful. In chorus singing, five people’s harmonies assemble and become one. I think that balance is the most important of all. The Gospellers are really wonderful at that.

Q: How about Korean artists?
A: I like Yoo Young Jin. And also Kim Dong Ryul. Also, Im Jae Bum. Because Yoo-san and Kim-san can compose songs as well, and they are wonderful people both as artists and as human beings. I admire them.

A: I love to travel. When I have time I go on trips with my friends. It’s just that going overseas is impossible after all, so we just do it within Korea.

Q: I think you’ve taken all kinds of journeys up till now, but which remains in your memories?
A: I think everyone said this too, but Bora Bora. Because it was really a beautiful island. I’d really like you to go by all means. And the Czech Republic was also good. It has a charm that is unique only to Prague. The night view is especially beautiful. But I want to go to Bora Bora again after all!

Q: If that’s so, someday as your honeymoon….what do you think?
A: But I think I’d like to go to a place I’ve never been before on my honeymoon.

Q: Why?
A: It’s because after all, I think it’d be better to create new memories together, in a new place, with your most important person.

Q: A trip around the world would be nice too, wouldn’t it?
A: I want to go on a trip around the world with my parents and family. Since my father and mother are both quite old already a reeeeally far away place might be impossible, I think. The truth is, I’m currently searching for a holiday destination. I’m reading books, asking people I know, and am in the midst of coming up with a plan.

Q: Is there anything you’ve been absorbed in lately?
A: Composing. I spent the whole of yesterday composing too.

Q: Do you think you’re going to get a good song out of it?
A: It’s a dance song; it looks like it’s going to turn out good.

Q: Have you composed a lot of songs?
A: I’ve performed them in Korea before. Recently, I sang a song I composed myself during my solo performance at our concert in Korea. The other members are also performing their own songs in Korea. My songs are rock. One of my friends is a famous rapper, so we did it together after a long while. I made a promise with that friend from a long time ago. “If I become famous, let’s sing together on stage.” I was really happy that I got to keep that promise.

Q: This is a digression, but if you had a time machine, which period of time would you like to go to?
A: I’d like to go to the future in twenty years.

Q: And your reason is?
A: Since one of my biggest dreams is to become a good father, I’d like to know what kind of father I become.

Q: By the way, do you take after your father?
A: We have the same point of view. We both have a really charismatic air. But it’s not a tough charisma, it’s a gentle and waa~rm charisma.

Q: Your father is your goal, isn’t he?
A: Yes. But I want to have a higher kind of charisma (laughs). Speaking of time machines, there was once five years ago when I wrote a letter to myself. I wrote it with Heechul and Donghae of Super Junior, and we said we’d read it six years later, and buried it in the ground, but now it’s gone (smiles bitterly). Since five years ago was the hardest period of time for me as a trainee, I wrote two separate parts of the letter: “If you’ve succeeded, this is what you should do. If you haven’t succeeded, this is what you should do.”

Q: What kind of contents did the letter have?
A: “If you’ve succeeded, always be humble. Call your parents at least three times a week.”……..that kind of thing. Another thing I think I wrote was, “If you weren’t able to become a famous artist, give your everything to accomplishing your other dream, your original dream of becoming a public prosecutor.”

Credits: pinkulemon@LJ

2 Responses to “[Trans] Tohoshinki SHINE 2nd Artist Book Interview – Yunho”

  1. OMG! I’m touched! He’s really a family person. His parents are really good, and they are lucky too to have him as their son.. 🙂

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