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Byung-hun Fever

Posted May. 05, 2006 03:18,   


Movie star Lee Byung-hun (36-photo) made new “Hallyu” history in Japan.

On May 3, Lee successfully completed a fan thank you event in Tokyo’s Tokyo Dome in the Bunkyo neighborhood, among 42,000 excited female fans.

Tokyo Dome is the home stadium where baseball player Lee Seung-yup plays as no.4 batter for the Yomiuri Giants, the dream stage where it is difficult for even top Japanese movie stars to make an appearance.

The Japanese press reported that last September, more than 27,000 people showed up for the “Hallyu All-star Summit” at Saitama Super Arena, but it was the first time over 40,000 people gathered, which was surprising.

The performance began at 6:00 p.m., but female fans in their 30s to 50s

started to gather around the Tokyo Dome in the morning.

Tokyo Dome representatives said, “It was more intense than the biggest pro baseball game between the Yomiuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers.”

As soon as Lee, smartly dressed in a white suit, arrived, the 42,000 fans perfectly executed the “wave.”

Lee opened by saying, “This is the first time I’ve seen such a magnificent display.” He continued, deeply moved, “We prepared this event because I wanted to meet the fans directly, but I don’t know what to say.” At the end, the Japanese press said his eyes were misty.

They showed clips of “Summer Story”(director: Cho Geun-sik), which Lee is currently shooting, and the production episode of the photo album “LBH Meets LBH,” which goes on sale on June 24, at the event, which was almost three hours long. He also passionately performed the theme song for the drama Beautiful Days titled, “Promise.”

The Japanese press said, “Because of the current Dokdo issue, relations between Korea and Japan have cooled, but on the other hand, this example shows that the cultural Hallyu fever is getting hotter.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com