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Hallyu's four kings set to stir Japan

최종수정 2009.11.17 01:27 기사입력 2009.11.17 01:27

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The Four Great Kings of Hallyu: top Korean actors Lee Byung-hun, Jang Dong-gun, Song Seung-hun and Won Bin (from left) are set to gather at Tokyo Dome. [10Asia]

Will there be another miracle at Tokyo Dome, a place that was heated up by the presence of Yonsama near the end of September? After the news broke out that a mega-scale Hallyu event "Here Comes A Miracle: Hallyu's Four Cards - FOUR OF A KIND" was going to be held on December 17, with stars Lee Byung-hun, Jang Dong-gun, Song Seung-hun and Won Bin, people are wondering how huge of a crowd the event will succeed in attracting. The event -- to be held twice (at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.) on November 17 -- will be directed by Japan's famous producer and lyricist Akimoto Yasushi with Korean filmmaker Heo Jin-ho in charge of the cinematography. Akioto Yasushi is currently the producer of AKB48, Japan's top girl band of the moment, but he was more famous as the producer of 1980s female idol group Onyanko Club, one of whose members, Kudo Shizuka, became the wife of Kimura Takuya. He has a good reputation among Hallyu fans in Japan, after directing Lee's fan meeting in 2005 at Tokyo Dome and producing all of the actors events in Japan ever since.

The Akimoto-Heo duo is planning a "dramatic reading" at the event, which producer Akimoto described as "a reading of a movie, which will be read and acted out by four actors on stage in accordance with Heo's cinematography. Placing four of Korea's top actors on one stage is nothing short of a miracle. I am also looking forward to this once in a lifetime performance by them." This could be seen as a fresh approach to wipe out the common consensus that "Hallyu events are expensive but do not contain much to see."
The fans are showing tremendous reaction to the news. With each celebrity being huge Hallyu stars, the local fans could not believe all four would appear at a single event and even doubted the authenticity of the news. But some of the fans are complaining about the high ticket price of JPY 15,800 yen. There are even negative comments on the website not only about the ticket price but also about the four stars attending the same event. One fan wrote, "It feels they're putting steak, eel, sushi and seafood soup all on one table. Truthfully, it's overwhelming" while another wrote "Wouldn't it be better to have a separate event, each star per event?" But with the full-throttle publicity by the event's host TBS, ticket reservations have started on November 2 at convenience store around the country and general ticket sales are set to kick of on November 28.

Won Bin, left, in "Mother" and Jang Dong-gun in "Good Morning President"

Amidst all these happenings, two of the "Hallyu Four Cards" Won Bin and Jang Dong-gun are meeting fans with new movies prior to the event. Won Bin visited Japan on November 27 to attend the premiere screening for the film "Mother", which opened in Japan. First Lady Miyuki, wife of Prime Minister Hatoyama and an avid Hallyu fan, attended the event and tickets were sold out in two minutes. Won Bin graced the covered of weekly entertainment magazine "Pia" during the Tokyo Film Festival in October, and Japanese media covered Won's first visit in five years after he served his Korea's military duties.

On another note, the Korean Film Council will be hosting "Korean Film Showcase 2009" at the Yurakucho Subaruza Theater from November 21 thru November 30. A total of ten Korean movies will be shown at the showcase, including Jang Dong-gun's "Good Morning President", "The Executioner" and "Castaway on the Moon". Director Jang Jin of "Good Morning President" is scheduled to visit Japan and have a Q&A session as well. Will the 'Four Cards' of the Hallyu prove they are the wild card which will reignite the withered Korean Wave?

Reporter: Im Da-ham (Tokyo Correspondent)
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@asiae.co.kr, Lee Ji-Hye seven@10asia.co.kr
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