After the “TVXQ crisis” that has been causing a disruption similar to a nuclear blast in the Korean music industry for the past two years occurred, a book that looks into the foundations of this case has finally been written. This book, published by EnterPost and entitled Prosper JYJ (author Kim BumTae) is now for sale.
This book looks into the ‘faceless’ singers JYJ who ‘cannot perform on music shows even if their sales are number 1′ and makes sure that the issues facing them are squarely raised. The large agencies, entertainment organizations and broadcasters, including those who have been placed in the entertainment industry as merely shareholders used to make sure the corrupt system does not collapse, have created a cartel-like structure around artists like JYJ. This book includes information from various media blogs, such as EnterPost’s popular 3 month long series “JYJ walking back to the tent”.
The title expresses not only prosperity but also a sense of fun (興, fun, pleasure, joy). It showcases the entertaining nature in which the book was written as well as a wish for prosperity and joy for those it was written for. The books starts with the background of the event that sparked the “TVXQ crisis” on July 31st 2009 when three of the five members of TVXQ; Kim Jaejoong (Hero), Park Yoochun (Micky), and Kim Junsu (Xiah); applied for an injunction to suspend their exclusive contract with their agency, SM Entertainment. After the legal dispute with SM Entertainment, and the subsequent court rulings in favor of JYJ, the Korea Federation of Popular Culture and Art (KFPCA) sent letters to various broadcast stations and entertainment programs asking for them to intentionally stop any entrance of JYJ into their programs. This was the beginning of the irrational and obvious mistreatment of JYJ in both Korea and Japan.
The book talks specifically about the case of SM hiding the truth about [JYJ']s cosmetics business investment and using it as a source to blame for the lawsuit. Additionally the book also contains information about JYJ’s many feats—the release of their worldwide album, the entry into the Billboard charts, being the first Korean artists to hold successful solo concerts in Europe, and the outstanding musical as well as individual activities of each of the three members. Another strong point addressed is JYJ’s foreign power and how they brought the case of SM’s slave contract to light, causing a ripple among both domestic and foreign media. The book draws on various articles and cultural critics that were affected by the news and also takes a look into the hype of Hallyu.
Over the past few years the author has traveled to countries such as India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, and even Papua New Guinea in both urban and rural areas to see the local reaction to the “hot and popular” Hallyu trend.
He found that the response to Hallyu in Korea did not make sense because [people] were not allowed a healthy development of opinions that could only be caused by being exposed to criticisms and suggestions about Hallyu. In particular he talks about “the media’s arbitrary powers to exercise complete control over the information on Hallyu. The media bias clearly reveals influence from large governmental agencies or entertainment companies to maintain a certain image of The Republic of Korea’s cultural industry. Because of this the Hallyu wave is becoming more of a “distorted wave” and the current of false information hinders the public’s ability to see”. The book also discusses the “loyal gratitude” that idols must have. The author says “The companies use loyalty and gratitude as excuses to deny their stars of their rights and work them until they bleed”. These points in the book have sparked heated reactions from readers since the book’s first publication.
Readers who have read the book said “though this information for many people is new, it should not only be kept locally but should also be spread abroad”
They say that translations and publications to reach overseas fans in China, Japan, and Thailand were necessary.
The company is looking into and planning publications in Japan because of local curiosity about the investigations behind the practices restricting JYJ. “Prosper JYJ” is also republishing in Korea because of hot reactions from readers.
With readers of this book becoming more aware of the unfair and unreasonable situation surrounded JYJ, it is hoped that the entertainment industry will improve its structure. The author has said that a portion of revenues from this book will be donated to the World Vision Global Fund which aids over 100 countries worldwide with relief and development.
(T/N: This book was at the top of Interpark’s recommendation list on the first day that it was released. It is also currently sold out in Korea, which is why they are reprinting.)