[TRANS] El Sol – Taiyou Photobook Interview, full translation

interview with TOHOSHINKI


A certain day in the month of June, 2011, about half a year since the official restart of activities. The duo touched down in Malaga’s Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun), Andalucía Province in Southern Spain. The 5 day, 4 night trip was filmed in the surrounding 3 cities to become the duo’s very first photobook. From the first day, I noticed the differences between Changmin, always operating at his own pace no matter when or where, and Yunho, the type to match and adapt to the place and environment he’s in.

YH : “I felt that a common point shared between Spain and Tohoshinki was ‘passion.’ We had a tight schedule but still, when we did try to communicate with people walking on the streets, they were always calm and composed and had lots of passion within. There were lots of people who gave that sort of impression to me, so I think that’s how we’re alike.”

A very Yunho-like analysis from Yunho, who, as a leader, has had greater passion than anyone and everyone to come stand at the lead. And of course, it’s the same with Changmin, who has a poker face but also a hidden passion within. On a Summer day of last year, the two of them stood on stage as Tohoshinki in a SMTOWN event. The uneasiness and pressures up until then changed into personal catalysts, and they took the stage with the pride of being Tohoshinki. Afterward, when speaking of that day, Changmin revealed, “my legs were trembling and shaking when standing on that stage.” Thinking about it, the reason for that trembling wasn’t fear, it was certainly because of the helpless period during the hiatus that had stifled their burning passion for singing until then.

CM: “Honestly, wondering about how the fans and other people who know about Tohoshinki would think of us for having activities as two people was worrying; it was probably the most nerve-wracking stage up until now. However, the moment we finished, we heard tremendous cheering. I thought for a fact, ‘I am Tohoshinki,’ ‘being this Tohoshinki is good,’ without any doubt. There, I found my confidence again, so I didn’t have those same doubts and worries during our official restart of activities this year. Instead, I felt, ‘I’m sorry for keeping all of you waiting,’ and a spirit of, ‘I’m going to show them what I’ve got.’ It was that simple, a me without any doubts. Nevertheless, when it was decided that our first Japanese TV activity was to appear on [Music Station], I think I might have gotten just a bit sensitive. It was a live broadcast of a very famous music program, and perhaps they’d think, ‘now that they’ve become two members, something’s lacking.’ But I thought, ‘I really hate having thoughts so negative,’ ‘let’s show them our true strength,’ and I remember how Yunho and I cheered each other up in our dressing room. After successfully finishing, I was relieved to hear no bad reports, and after probably saying ‘let’s go!’, Yunho and I looked at each other. Ever since that moment, we’ve spent the last half year in that same mood. We did it with those feelings.”

After they decided to shoulder the burden of continuing Tohoshinki as two, Yunho began to battle unease and pressure, all the while continuously questioning himself day after day.

YH: “Since becoming the leader, I’ve been in a position where I can’t just consider my personal feelings. I habitually thought of many things; I really thought like that all the time. In reality, some things changed, some things didn’t, so how was I to best digest it all? It certainly wasn’t easy. Even so, I thought, ‘if it’s Changmin with me as two, we can do it.’ Holding onto that sort of conviction in a Summer event, it had the meaning of a new start, something like, ‘our adventure is beginning!’ My feelings naturally completely changed into an excited positivity. Compared to before, I’m now able to treasure and feel the importance of every single thing that happens. Always having had been an artist that achieves good results each time, I’ve however unconsciously become accustomed to certain aspects of that life. The me right now has fallen in an instant and I’m climbing again, and it’s as if I’m midway up that mountain right now. Tohoshinki as two must restart from square one, but we’re aiming higher even faster than before because we have the knowhow and experience to do so. Experiences we’ve had in the past feel new again and we have fun with them, a feeling sort of like ‘a newcomer that’s not new.’ In the past, I would be excessively cautious and wonder, ‘how will this turn out?’ before moving forward as the leader. The artist that I am now focuses properly on singing and entrusts all the rest to the audience. I feel like I’ve been able to allow myself that peace of mind. Our staff has also told me that I have that sort of aura now, and I think that I’m finally en route to growing into what it truly means to be an artist.”

Forced into a situation that the two of them never wished for, finding motivation once more certainly wasn’t an easy task. What they felt in their hearts during the hiatus is something that we can never understand. I think the various expressions they show through this photobook indicate just how many hardships they’ve overcome.

CM: “I’ve been told quite frequently as of late that my face has changed a lot. It’s true that when I compare a photo of myself from debut to a photo of myself several years later or right now, there is a considerable change. I myself can’t pinpoint exactly what has changed, but maybe it’s that the things I’ve held in my heart have come to show on my face. Yunho said that we’re restarting from square one but I think it’s a bit different for me. When thinking of the time when everything was suddenly gone, in order to hold my head high again, I could only trust in myself and the foundation I cultivated from the 8 years since I debuted. So for me, I’d say that I wasn’t starting from square one. It’s true that some things changed, such as how we shouldered the responsibility of standing on stage only as two, how I could feel that the stage became so much more expansive, and I’m sure the audience sensed that as well. In order to not have that happen, there was nothing I could do except make the greatest of efforts. If I made it seem like the past was better, I of course would feel apologetic to the fans, so I definitely didn’t want to do that. But truthfully, it was myself that I didn’t want to admit it to. Regardless of how it started, it’s a path that I chose for myself. In order to take pride in that this path was the right one, I had to walk it well. That way, I could show to the world that my choice wasn’t wrong. That was the huge motivation within me that drove me.”

Changmin, who was doing the interview and flipping through the photobook materials, suddenly stopped at a cut that was taken on the beach. Then, he let out an amused laughed, and began to speak.

CM: “Recently, there’s something that’s been troubling me. Ever since we became a duo, there’s been a huge pressure from all directions for us to value our relationship (he laughs). Of course we’re close, it’s been over 8 years since we debuted with each other, almost 10 years since we met, so now, we can pretty much understand what the other’s thinking just by looking at his face. Still, during our promotions for this album, we’d hear, ‘let’s take a shot of how the two of you are close friends,’ ‘try putting your shoulders together,’ and so on every time; actually showing closeness for people like that is somehow…isn’t it embarrassing? Especially since I don’t have that sort of personality. But, if appearing close would make the fans happy and give them peace of mind, I thought, ‘oh well, it’s fine.’ In reality, our bond isn’t that cheap. On the contrary, showing it on purpose made it seem more unnatural; it isn’t how we normally are. After all, wouldn’t it be stranger to be that way every day with someone who you’ve been living with for so long? However, when shooting for this photobook, this trip gave us a feeling of freedom; we laughed really naturally when we were on the beach. Seeing this again, it’s interesting and unexpected to see that there’s an expression that Yunho has that even I don’t know.”

When asked about “an expression Yunho has that even Changmin doesn’t know,” Changmin roared with laughter and said, “shower scene.” Speaking of which, is there another side to Yunho that isn’t in accordance with the “passionate guy” label attributed to him?

CM: “In the past, I used to say to Yunho, ‘isn’t it better to carry less burden on your shoulders?’ But, it was pointless (he laughs). He was seriously always serious to the point of being too serious. But, since it was Yunho, I came to appreciate that he was fine just the way he was. Friendship isn’t something that can be piled up. It’s deepened by sharing time and experiences with each other. Our characters and personalities are exact opposites. I can say with certainty that I’m quick-tempered and shy around strangers so I lack the confidence to close my distance with another person, and I can’t speak frankly. According to the staff, ‘you really value an anti-social space and time for yourself, you can’t be bothered to do much, and you’re stubborn. You’re a model B-type,’ (he laughs). Just like how I’m walking the same path with Yunho, our values are the same. But aside from that, everything else is really completely different. In fact, in the past, Yunho’s words and actions would make me think, ‘ah~ why is he like that?’ and ‘I can’t understand him at all.’ Although at some point, I started thinking I would just go along with him during those moments (he laughs). But, it’s the same with Yunho: during the times when my personality makes me try to distance myself, Yunho will step forward and go along with me. That mutual acceptance is why we have a good balance. That’s what makes me feel good now.”

This question about the changes in the nature of their relationship was also posed to Yunho.

YH: “Thinking about it now, I wonder how much Changmin’s had to endure in the past as the youngest. Truthfully, when we first debuted, there wasn’t much communication going on between Changmin and I. I tried to make a clear distinction as a leader by being stricter with myself, there was a period when I tried to oversee everything moreso than each of the members, and generally speaking, I tried with all my might to lead everyone because I thought I had to. Because of that, I didn’t have much one-on-one time with Changmin. In the beginning, I was the cheerful and positive type while Changmin seemed to be the type to never budge an inch, so whenever I saw that, I’d think, ‘will this be okay?’ I remember that we were completely like a senior and a younger brother in the past, but somewhere along the way, without realizing, we became friends. Now we’re close friends on equal footing. In the past, if I felt like he was different from usual, I’d ask, ‘did something happen?’ and talk together. Now, without saying anything, I have the confidence that ‘since it’s Changmin, he’ll be okay,’ and I rely on him a great deal as well. He seems like an older brother for me as well, especially since we always face each other one-on-one after we became a duo. We can now see the things that we weren’t able to see before and we can properly understand and match with each other. Our personalities are really 180 degree opposites but being able to attain a balance with each other in that polarity is in itself quite novel. That isn’t something that just casually happens by chance, it’s a relationship that’s built by spending time together.

YH: I’m a guy that likes to joke around but in truth, that’s really the loneliest. I hate being alone so I love people, and I want to be in the hustle and bustle and have fun. Changmin understands this fundamental aspect of me. I think that the way we understand and complement each other now is really something worth treasuring. I tried to be a progressive leader in the past, but now, it’s better that Changmin and I clear a path for ourselves together. It’s because of that that I can now have peace of mind, and in a good way, it took the burden off of my shoulders. I am only human after all and doing nothing but working so hard is exhausting (he laughs). Reassessing myself in that way, looking at everything objectively, occasionally reading the atmosphere…it isn’t just our relationship that’s changed, I myself am in the midst of growing into a man that’s more than just passionate.”

8 years since their debut. Boasting an explosive popularity in Korea, Tohoshinki has also steadily taken over since their debut in Japan. In the past, Changmin was relatively reserved in interviews, but somewhere along the way, he evolved into a being who, in his own words, has the fighting spirit of an artist.

CM: “My dream from here on out is, as expected, to go that little bit further to finally achieve a Dome Tour. Maybe Yunho’s style is different from mine; I don’t set myself sudden, colossal goals, I’m the type to do things step by step and aim at perfecting each one. Since debuting in Japan, we’ve performed at Nippon Budoukan, had an arena tour, and performed in Tokyo Dome. Now that these dreams have been fulfilled, when asked about what’s next, there’s really no other answer except a tour of Japan’s 5 Great Domes [t/n: Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo]. This is something very huge but I still wish that this can be granted. I don’t want to give up on it. The two of us may be foreigners in Japan but we’ve spent months and years living here. So many things piled up but whenever we cleared each of them one by one, we would feel so much joy and worked hard to advance to the next step. I still have that same feeling now. So the Dome Tour, and one more thing: if we can achieve a million sales, I think I’ll reward myself by buying a Lamborghini as commemoration (he laughs). I never really thought about rewards and the like in the past; it would be at the level of being able to eat delicious foods, but now that I’ve become a bit more of an adult, I’ve started becoming interested in things like cars……I also have pragmatic dreams of wanting month-long vacations, but maybe because I’ve been a workaholic for so long now, I’m scared that it seems I’d tell myself, ‘if it happens, it happens, please do work (he laughs).’”

Meanwhile, Yunho seems to have found inspiration for a stage performance even on this trip to Spain. In order for Tohoshinki to climb even higher, they constantly have to remain sharp and make sure to look one step ahead.

YH: “To me, Tohoshinki is the one place that seems like a home I can return to. Last year, I gathered many good experiences from solo activities I had during the hiatus, but when I returned to the stage as Tohoshinki, I thought, ‘this is the reason I’m alive.’ There’s nothing else that can replace it. It’s really to the extent where I want to die on the stage, because more than anything, being on that stage gives more proof than anything else that I’m alive. If there was no Tohoshinki, that stage wouldn’t exist either. If it were gone, it would be like living with no meaning. Tohoshinki is everything to me and I want Tohoshinki to succeed. Then, eventually, I want to use that foundation to support happiness in the world. Even if it doesn’t happen in this era, I’m sure the next generation will shoulder this burden. Leaving behind this sort of legacy will leave behind the existence of Tohoshinki. In order to do that, I personally respect and want to be like Michael Jackson. Dancing even at the age of 40 or 50, my goal is to have a spirit that continues to challenge new things. Since debut, we’ve challenged acapella and dance and those results have become Tohoshinki’s weapons. But that’s not enough; I think it’s a must to always show everyone a new Tohoshinki. Practically, I think that the things I learned when challenging acting and musicals during my solo activities can be applied to the current Tohoshinki. By doing so, we can progress in new ways while always being able to anticipate the step after next. I want Tohoshinki to be like that. Right now, I have a lot of new ideas. I think my problem now is that there are too many things I want to do (he laughs).”

In truth, there are certain things that they wanted to say in this photobook no matter what. Those things would be their feelings for the fans. During the shoot where they visited the sunflower field, they didn’t say anything to each other about it, but that was foremost in both their minds.

YH: “I’ve loved sunflowers since a long time ago so I was excited to be there. It was to the extent that I improvised and sang a ‘Sunflowers~’ song. At that time, I actually thought of the fans. Sunflowers signify that ‘they’ll always be there waiting,’ and concerning us, I think that that’s what our fans are. I’ve been thinking this since forever ago. The most explosive, best stages aren’t made from us alone, it’s by uniting with the fans’ energy and excitement. It has this sort of meaning, and for me, also means that the fans are the final members of Tohoshinki.

YH: During the year and half hiatus, I thought that there was nothing I could do even if our fans became fans of other artists. I wanted to think, ‘that’s good for them,’ and that even if it happened, I wanted to give an apology and say ‘I’m sorry.’ But, when we resumed our activities, seeing on stage with my owns eyes all the fans who believed in and waited for us gave me so much happiness that I couldn’t express it simply in words. I was grateful towards our fans before, but a simple ‘thank you’ isn’t enough, I want to convey it even more from my heart. That’s what I’m trying to express now in every stage. Adding in more singing and dancing, eye contact, expressions, putting in 2 to 3 times more energy than usual, it feels like I’m exceeding my own limit each time (he laughs). But, I think that those feelings are being conveyed properly to the fans. It’s the same as when I’m unwell; if I show how I feel even a little bit, it’s immediately transmitted to the fans. During the hiatus, I watched many performances and learned from them. At that time, as a viewer, I realized anew the power of conveying emotions, and it became clearer to me what it is that I myself should do on stage. If I do one thing, then I can come to see what it is I should do next. That’s what it means to grow, and it’s something that we can do to repay our fans. The fans’ faces are my own face. The fans are a mirror. For this reason, it’s important to enjoy each time we perform, and I want people to say that Tohoshinki and Tohoshinki’s fans are really having fun together. The hiatus was painful but I think it was a good thing to be able to return to that sort of unsophisticated beginning. One day, I want to make a song called ‘Sunflowers’ and send it to the fans!”

From some time ago, the staff who know the duo so well have illustrated them as such: “Yunho is the sun and Changmin is the moon.” Their individual personalities are further emphasized from Changmin’s words when talking about those same sunflowers.

CM: “Sunflowers face and bloom towards the sun. They receive nutrients from the sun to grow……I thought that the sunflowers are like us. I feel it resembles us when we’re facing the fans, but sometimes, the reverse also has to happen. I think that sometimes, we and the fans interchangeably become the sun and the sunflowers. But, the one thing I feel uneasy about is that if we’re thought of as the sun, I hope the fans won’t be like sunflowers and exist by making us their absolute.

CM: I do think that we’re here because of the fans’ support, but for fans who regard artists as their whole lives, we can’t realistically support them and become their partners. Even if our stages and products can meet their expectations, we’re not responsible for each of their lives and futures. Being sad for us, becoming unwell for us, that’s painful for me as well. ‘But, there’s nothing else that we can do except to sing.’ So, even though that’s all we can do, I hope the fans will be like sunflowers and be well after looking at the sun. If they can exist like that and receive that sort of nourishment from us, then I’ll want to work hard, and it’s something that I want to see.

CM: I, Yunho, and each of the fans, we can all only live life once. There are many chances for people to meet and I think it’s a wonderful thing that that’s when bonds are formed. But, I don’t want there to be an environment where those bonds are kept to forcibly support each other. It’s the same with my relationship with Yunho. I don’t want to forcibly make things like ‘it has to be this way.’ If you ask why, it’s because when there’s pressure, rigid things are easy to snap. Conversely, flexible things like rubber can change shape and remain unbroken during those times of pressure. I think that for important things, that sort of relationship is best.”

Even in the photobook, they showed new expressions that let us feel their growth as men. Talks of their private lives digressed to the ever constant topics of games and the manga “One Piece,” but what was most curious was the unknown philosophies of love that flickered across their faces.

CM: “As a man, I want to get married to a cute woman, become a father with a strong sense of responsibility, and be a reliable husband at all times. I do have that dream, but I think it’s a little too soon to say.

CM: The most important things in life need to be cherished according to one’s own values. Those might be different from the common consideration, but to build things using my own experiences as foundation, I want to cherish that as the most important criteria to me. Looking at it objectively, there will be times when the best choice isn’t made, but I have faith in myself that I won’t make the 100% wrong choice no matter when. If it’s in accordance with the standards I have within me, no matter how bad the choice is, I don’t think it’ll ever be the worst one.

CM: This is included in the half of me that’s extremely stubborn; because I always take a step back to assess my situation, I can’t get angry even if I want to, I won’t be able to persuade someone else, and I build up a lot of stress for myself. Because I’m the type to store up emotions until I just about suffocate myself, sometimes, it’s really exhausting (he laughs).

CM: In this way, in regards to a girl, I guess I’m the type to surrender everything to her. I get the sense that to lose to her is to win (he laughs). Which reminds me, recently, when I was watching ‘One Piece,’ there was a line that said, ‘you should listen to a woman’s lies even if you know she’s lying.’ I thought I would do that too. I wouldn’t go out with a woman that would corrupt me with lies in the first place, and if I go out with a woman that I can properly rely on, even if she lies, there won’t be problems. In the past, my feelings were simpler, there were times when I’d come to like a girl and let dating affect my work. But in these last few years especially, the way I feel and act toward people have changed. Before plunging into the feeling at once, I’ve come to calmly think about it first. To tell the truth, I like really beautiful people. But, as expected, what’s important in the object of any romantic interest is what’s on the inside. I don’t let the outward appearance lead me astray. I consider whether she’s considerate of her surroundings, have proper etiquette, and whether or not she can do fundamental things as a person. These are common, ordinary things, but finding someone like this is rather hard. I probably haven’t said this until now, but I have amazing powers of observation towards women. For example, if I see 10 women, I remember everything about them to the point where I know who was wearing what outfit and I can draw portraits of their faces. Actually, I often look from the stage as well. I’m definitely looking a lot more than the audience thinks (he laughs).”

Changmin, who had this special skill kept under wraps, declared: “I did find a lot of beautiful women in Spain, but as expected, I prefer Asian women.” On the other hand, there’s news that the day before going back to Korea, a local girl called out “pretty boy” to Yunho while he and the staff were sightseeing to hit on him!

YH: “I hardly ever get hit on so I was surprised. But since I was with everyone else……well more than that, it’s not like I would be swayed by flirting in the first place (he laughs)!

YH: But with that said, I’m not so straight-laced. Certainly, my policy is ‘actions over words.’ Following that isn’t easy, and I may be thought of as ‘very serious’ for carrying through with it, but the real me is very free spirited. My father has influenced me, and ever since I was a child, I’ve worked hard to be able to keep the promises I’ve made. That is a fact, but if I were to be a character in ‘One Piece,’ I would be Luffy. It’s just that as the leader of Tohoshinki, I have to put forward another side of me first. To tell the truth, I enjoy the gap between the two sides, and Changmin and the staff who are so close to me understand well the duality of my personality. So then, when that’s applied to having relationships, the most fundamental aspects of me are free spirited, but when it comes to people I want to protect, I don’t do things halfway. When something sad happens, I’ll want to embrace her even more than simply cheer her up, and do the things that my girlfriend wants to do. I’m the type to put that as my priority over anything else, but conversely, I often keep my own troubles to myself and then tell her afterward. Because of that, there is the occasional misunderstanding (he laughs). Even still, I think men should think this way. I’m the first-born son in my family so I’ve always had a leader-like role, and because of that, these things come naturally. But truthfully, I want to be led by my girlfriend and have her give me advice. That’s unexpected, right? To put it even more truthfully, I usually try to be cheerful in reaction to how lonely I am. In my position as leader, I have to be strong on the outside, but I dislike being alone in my room, I get uneasy when there’s no work to do, so I’ll exercise or set up a schedule so that I won’t have any unoccupied time. Because I know that about myself, I really feel that ‘I want strength.’ Of course, because I’m a guy, there are parts where I have to lead. I want to spend time together as a pair, depending on each other and being depended on, walking the same path together as two main characters. I think being able to respect each other like that is my ideal. I think I’ll become a pretty good husband. Surprisingly, I like tidiness. Since living together with the members of Tohoshinki, I came to match with my surroundings, but when I go on trips with my friends, they’ll be shocked by the way I keep the room clean and in order (he laughs). After I get married, I think I’ll help out with the housework. If she asks me, I’ll do it. I’ll wash the dishes and the like but that’s in exchange for cooking for me (he laughs).”

After two years since their hiatus, the two talk candidly in this official interview of what’s in their hearts. While growing and changing together, they give reaffirmation to the fans who’ve watched over them all this time that these two will never betray their hopes and expectations.
Lastly, the two of them have left behind off-the-record messages to each other and to their beloved fans.

YH: “It’s awkward and there are a lot of things I can’t say because I’m embarrassed, but I think Changmin’s worked extremely hard up until now. Both Changmin and I still have things to work on, but if it’s us, things will be okay. I love the relationship we have now, we believe in each other, and I’ll trust the rest of my endurance to come from myself. I think that’s enough. I’m truly grateful that up until now and even now, he’s here beside me. I’ve said ‘thank you’ countless times to convey that feeling. Truthfully, there’s one more thing I want to say to him, and that’s ‘I love Changmin,’ but that’s embarassing so I won’t say it (he laughs). I don’t think Changmin will request those words anyway. But, that’s the Changmin I love because I believe in him entirely. It’s fine if he can’t force himself to go against his own intentions, it’s fine to carry through with the path he’s envisioned for himself from now on. That’s my message to him.

YH: Now, a message to the fans……

YH: From now on, we’re going to create a history of the new Tohoshinki. I want to do that together with the fans who are Tohoshinki’s final member. Live each day to the fullest because we’ll never be able to return to them again. Because of that, we have to do things with all our might so that we won’t have regrets.

YH: Speaking truthfully, I did miss the chaos of the past when shooting on location for this photobook, and I felt just a bit lonely. But, more than that, being like this increased the memories of the two of us, and I’m really looking forward to and excited for that future. What sorts of adventures are waiting for us next? No matter what the venture is, if I’m with Changmin, we can overcome it. As for what it is we’ll see at the peak of the mountain we’re climbing, I hope the fans will be there to see it with their own eyes with us. I couldn’t directly say ‘love you’ to Changmin, but to the fans, from the bottom of my heart, I love you. Really, thank you as always! I look forward to the day when we can meet again!”

CM: “There isn’t a single thing that I consciously want to change; rather, I’m always thinking, ‘I don’t want things to change.’ I don’t have a particular ideal image that I want to become. I just want to take each of my experiences and turn them into fuel for strength, and it’d be good if I could naturally become the me that I should be. But, as Tohoshinki’s Changmin, there are things that I thought about anew in Spain. In the past, no matter what kind of picture I took—for example, taking photos that weren’t like me—since it wasn’t just my own fans who would see them……I didn’t really pay much attention to it. But now, with Yunho as two, we have to produce more in our visuals and songs in order for them to be good enough. This time, with that meaning, I think all the above have come out in a way that’s like me. I had that feeling when I was taking photos, and while relaxing due to this trip’s sense of freedom, I’ve reassessed myself so that I will be myself in the Tohoshinki from now on. Come to think of it, without the public’s gaze, I’ve walked this road alone for almost 9 years. Just before debut, I had blond hair, so even though I was a regular student, I stood out (he laughs). Releasing the feeling of tension from the public’s gaze, I could return to my original feelings once again.

CM: What I want to tell Yunho is that with our relationship as it is, compromising with each other, understanding each other, working even harder in each thing we do for work, we’ll prove to the world that the path we’re walking wasn’t the wrong one. If I’m with Yunho, I believe we can do it. It’s just this.

CM: It’s not that I can say this just because there’s 2 of us; more than anything, I can say it because I think the current circumstances I’ve chosen for myself are absolutely not wrong. Being this way, I can say with confidence to the fans having Yunho at my side of course reassures me, but even before that, having made this choice according to my personal values, I don’t have a single regret and I’m not uncertain at all. Even having said that, I don’t want say “please understand me” and force anyone to do so. I’m going to continue on this path and change nothing. It would be great if the fans can believe in us like this from now on.

CM: Truly, we’re so grateful for the fans who’ve so warmly received us. We were so happy and we received courage. When Tohoshinki returned to the stage, what illuminated us like the sun were the smiles of each of the fans. Really, thank you. We’ll continue to work hard in a way that’s just like us.”

Translated by yuxi

Distributed by hominfatale.net ~ Please take out with full credit ~

(Source: hominfatale.net)


[TRANS] 261211 Person In Focus : Tohoshinki In AERA Magazine Part 2


Dressed in simple, casual T-shirt & jeans, boots and backpacks – the two appeared at the set for the photoshoot in very similar casual clothing. The difference was, Yunho held a book in his hand all the time, and did not put it down even when he went to the toilet. “Recently I like reading books, and my personality is such that once I start reading, I will want to read (the book) all the way to the end. As work keeps me busy, in order to soothe myself, I am reading (some) Korean essays.”

Self-control, that is precisely what has allowed Tohoshinki to achieve success in their works so far. Being able to do that, is Tohoshinki’s strength.

Thoughts That Cannot Be Put Into Words

Yunho, who says it is “unexpectedly embarassing”, has something that he always does before he stands on stage, since debut. That is, to shout “I am amazing”. “I want to become a king of the stage. I want to show everyone the energy I have.” He heads towards each stage telling himself that.

January 2011. Restarting activities at the Yoyogi Stadium in Tokyo, he shouted it all the same. His uneasiness did not disappear, but he said, “I thought (to myself) that given that we had not had activities for about a year, even if only a few fans were left, I had to give it my all”. However, the number of fans that waited for them was much more than they imagined. ” ‘Thank you’ is all I can say, but there are thoughts that these words cannot express”, said Yunho. Changmin too, held the same thoughts when the duo made their first live appearance. “Since (we were performing again) after a year, I was nervous, as expected.”

Both agreed that what kept them going during the time when their activites were put on hold was the fans. “The messages (that the fans) brought to the management company, of ‘Waiting for (Tohoshinki) to return soon’, allowed us to keep our determination to stand on stage strong. Through these messages, we could feel more tangibly that there were fans who were waiting for our return.” (Changmin)

These feelings of gratitude that could not be put into words are all contained in the album “Tone”, which was released in September. When singing “This is the place to return to” in the song “Weep”, Yunho, who “so far, hasn’t really cried”, says that he was almost brought to tears.

The year since they restarted activities began with a number 1 ranking on the Oricon charts, and (will) end with their appearance in the NHK Kohaku Utagassen for their 3rd time, 2 years since their last appearance. “Kohaku, was a stage we dreamed of since we were new artists. This time, it’s also a conclusion of the wait that everyone has had to go through, so I’m even happier”, said Yunho. Changmin also said, “To be able to stand on a stage as great as Kohaku this soon after we’ve restarted our activites, I truly am thankful.”

From Asia To Europe & America

For the two, who have outstanding talents in singing and dancing, it must not have been easy to achieve new successes while being in a difficult situation. The strong bond that has been forged since their debut was a big strength for them. Perhaps this can be viewed in the same way as the symbolism that “Kizuna (bond)” has due to the Tohoku Great Eathquake. (T/N: The Japanese people have placed great emphasis on “Kizuna(bond)” as a representation of the bonds between people that will help them tide through tough times.)

Their activities began in Asia, then spread to Europe, and now America. “I want to allow my singing and performance to mature, as Tohoshinki. I’d also like to grow as a person.” (Yunho) “In January, the long awaited tour will begin. Everyone, please look forward to it.” (Changmin)

Starting with Yokohama Arena, on 18 Jan 2012, Tohoshinki will soar higher in the upcoming year.

Source : [Yoonhostar + AERA]

Translated & Shared by : dongbangdata.net

[TRANS] 261211 Person In Focus : Tohoshinki In AERA Magazine Part 1

“I want to learn how to cook. But the only thing I’ve ever made for Yunho is ramen.” (Changmin)

This is Changmin, who relieves stress by eating good food. A person who focuses on the basics, Changmin has the qualities of a good chef. Although according to Yunho, Changmin’s ramen seems to be “…”

It’s not just Japan and Korea. In Paris, fans who couldn’t get into the concert started a demonstration, and an extra concert was added. Even till now, they are supported passionately by their fans, with a  “Star” presence that hasn’t changed.

They were filled with nervousness during the shoot, but after it was over, Yunho ran up to one of the magazine staff members and said , “You look like Matsujun.”

He said that the staff member looked like Arashi’s Matsumoto Jun. Then, he said to the embarrassed staff member, “Because it’s my hobby to look out for lookalikes,” giving a carefree laugh.

With an overwhelming aura, yet occasionally showing a type of friendliness that makes them feel like they are within you reach. The combination of these two qualities make Tohoshinki, Yunho and Changmin’s true worth. But there are also points where the two men are in total contrast.

Oblivious of the intense performances on stage, Yunho is full of  cute actions. Changmin considers everything one by one and replies politely. For example, they were asked how they was able to answer in Japanese without the use of an interpreter in the midst of such a hard schedule, these were their answers.

“I watch anime, such as ‘Detective Conan,’’One Piece,’ and others.”(Yunho)

“I took the time, and studied everything properly starting from grammar.”(Changmin)

Even the places that they want to go in Japan are different. Yunho chose Hokkaido’s Niseko (T/N: One of Japan’s most famous Ski resort towns). As snowboarding is his hobby, he really wants to go there. Despite the persistent questioning, he said “Who with? Hoho..”and was thrown into a situation.

For Changmin, he searched on the internet for delicious shops that he was interested in and wanted to try going there. But regretfully, it is not so easy to just go to these places. Therefore, he would order from a popular curry shop where you can pick the spiciness of the food. He orders the “10 times”(spiciness level). “It’s good when you eat it while going ‘Hot!’” he said. The perfect style is achieved by maintenance, such as not consuming anything but water after 7pm.

Tohoshinki’s “true self” is a blend of different characters. In the opening of 2012, they will be doing nationwide lives at 9 locations in Japan, and we wonder what kind of blend they will show us.

Part 2 here

Source : [Yoonhostar + AERA]

Translated & Shared by : dongbangdata.net