I first met Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Hoo in Boys Over Flowers. I fell in love with this quiet, brilliant young man with a heart of gold. His character was rather tragic in that he fell in love with Geum Jan Di who chose Goo Jun Pyo. Our hearts ached and broke for him in his unrequited love.
After watching Boys Over Flowers all the way through twice in a row on netflix, I began researching the actors. I was interested in Lee Min Ho (Goo Jun Pyo) and Kim Hyun Joong. I discovered Lee Min Ho in City Hunter and thoroughly enjoyed the series. But, it was my discovery of Kim Hyun Joong that changed my life. I learned he had done a song for the OST of Boys over Flowers called Because I’m Stupid. The title made me giggle, but when I read the English Lyrics, I understood the meaning, and it was sobering and sad. I had wondered if he was actually a musician by his performances on many instruments in the drama. I was pleased to learn he and his group SS501 had done a couple of songs on the OST. I went online to find them and dowload them to my phone immediately. These songs were my first introduction to Korean Pop Music, and I was hooked.
I couldn’t really explain why the music of a man young enough to be my son appealed to me so much. I really was not into the boy band craze ‘back in the day’ here in the US. That era was during my college years, and I was a bit too old to be a ‘teeny bopper,’ the term we gave those who were into groups like Backstreet Boys and NSync. Not to kock any of them. Some members such as Mark Wahlberg and Justin Timberlake have gone on to be quite accomplished and mature artists/actors.
So, when my cousin who is one year older than I pointed out that Kim Hyun Joong was really just an Asian Justin Timberlake, I had to really think about why he had influenced me to listen to his music and others in the kpop industry as well as begin Korean language lessons. I researched Korean History, Culture, Customs and Food. I became obsessed with everything Korean all because of Kim Hyun Joong. I even devised a way for this completely broke DWF to make it to Korea on someone else’s dime. I would become a TESOL. I am still working out how that will be accomplished, but it is now my dream to become a TESOL who specializes in Teaching English to Asian Speakers. I want to devise a program using all types of tools to help Asian Speakers become fluent and to speak without accents. I’ll blog more on this later. The point is KIM HYUN JOONG started it all.
So, what was it about him? Good looks? Talent? Well, these are the things that attracted me in the first place, but Lee Min Ho is also good looking and talented. All the members of SS501 are also good looking and talented. Along with many other Korean hallyhu stars I have been introduced to through my exploration of Korean pop culture. But, Kim Hyun Joong has something none of those others have. Something intangible. Something magnetic and mesmerizing. It’s just Kim Hyun Joong. It’s hard to explain. So, I will illustrate through his actions.
The first thing that took my breath away (although I was already hooked) was the reports of his handshake fan meetings. That he would shake hands or hi-five everyone of his 3,000 or 5,000 fans after a rigorous two hour concert… I was awe struck. I’d never heard of any such thing. It was unbelievable. When I read that he was unhappy after the Japanese fan meetings attended by 60,000 fans because he was unable to meet them… well, I am speechless. I have never heard of an artist who is so in love with his fans. So thankful to them for their devotion. It’s unbelievable. This is the heart of Kim Hyun Joong. This is what has taken hold of my heart with fierce admiration. It’s really hard for me to express how this young man from across the world has reached out and taken hold of me. He is truly special. His aura is so powerful and beautiful. I want to be this amazing. I want to shine the way Kim Hyun Joong does.
The second thing that pulled me in was his work ethic. He wants to be the best he can be at everything he does. He sings. He dances. He has artistic control of his music and production (this is very rare with Korean pop artists). He keeps himself in good shape. He plays soccer. And now, he is focusing on acting. Every interview or sound bite I hear, he is talking about working hard to improve himself and give his fans the best he can give. He has said that he will always keep his followers interested with his activities. And he does. What he sets out to do, he delivers. Without fail. This has inspired me more than any other person I have met. Not that others don’t work hard, or deliver amazing performances. It’s just Kim Hyun Joong. He is so passionate and humble. He takes nothing for granted.
The third aspect was his personality. He is called 4D or 4th Dimensionsal, a Korean term that means someone who lives in their own world. Alien is another term I have heard used. He is just himself without fear. It is so refreshing it almost brings me to tears. I identify with him so… I have always been a bit of a loner, different than my family, my co-workers, my school mates. I don’t identify much with anyone. My world is a place of positivity, love, openness, freedom to just be myself. I get confused when others don’t see life the way I do. When others hold back because of their fear of not fitting in. I don’t care much what others think, and neither does Kim Hyun Joong. He says what is on his mind. Does what he thinks is right. Loves with all his heart. Lives with all his passion. He gives me the courage to live that way too, and stop berating myself for not understanding the rest of the world. He is such a wonderful role model, even I want to follow him regardless of the fact that he is so much younger than I am. And by the way, I find his frankness to be hilarious. He makes me laugh so much, and laughter is definitely the best medicine for the soul. Thank you, KHJ for just being you.
The final nail in my cross was the Alien Family, his fans. They are just as gentle, humble, intelligent, respectful and generous as their idol. When I read comments on blogs written by his fans, or articles about how they have generously given to charity or sponsored other fans to go to his fan meetings, I am pulled in. I want to be a part of this beautiful family. I AM a part of it… because I love Kim Hyun Joong as they do. When I saw that Hyun Joong posts a message to his fans on his official site at Key East his production company whenever he gets a chance in his busy schedule, I was just in disbelief. The level of interaction this man has with his fans is unprecedented. Un. Freaking. Believable. That’s all I have to say.
As I blog on my experience here, I will give my impressions, thoughts and feelings about Hyun Joong’s activities. He is so busy, I know I will be pressed to keep up with him. I have many great sources which I will list on the side bar under following and websites so you can check out the articles I am using. I will provide links where you can read all about his stats as I don’t believe relisting them here is an efficient use of my time. I only offer this one piece of Kim Hyun Joong trivia. Apparently his favorite color is WHITE. I think that is so fitting. He shines more brightly than any star and as far as I am concerned he has beautiful Angel Wings. He is the Angel of the East: Kim Hyun Joong.