Eric a.k.a Moon Jung Hyuk, The Perfect man: 150822-23 After going to the Shinhwa concert

weew such a long article but so worthy to read.  One thing we’d like to add our opinion on the blogger’s thought of “rather than making such a big investment, it could have been better to pay the trademark royalties and continue with the Shinhwa activities”.  While that may be true, no one actually knows how big the fees were for a fair comparison.  I think the biggest thing for Eric to persist on getting the Shinhwa trademark back is the complete freedom.  17+ years with many turbulence, the only eternal peace is Shinhwa name in their possession instead of being at the mercy of some one else. And yes changing the name to Shincom pretty much dried up (or lessen) the royalties Jun Media could get from Shinhwa. It’s a brilliant move!

It’s no way perfect but Mun Leader, thanks for being persistent and never gives up.  Fame aside, the financial sacrifice Eric gave up had us in awe.  Thank you Shinhwa members for supporting & putting your trust in your leader.  Thank you CEO Lee Minwoo for hemming the Shinhwa’s stage and albums.

Without futher ado, here’s the translation.  Note: the photos are not in the original blog entry. We added them to make the translation prettier 😊 .  All photo credit as tagged.

There is a man.

Everybody will perceive him as a fanciful man.

He’s a tall and dignified person, as well as a public-approved handsome face.

He turns 37 years old this year. Though not very young, this man has a bright future ahead of him.

Despite being born in a wealthy family as a precious child who will take the lead of the family tree, he escaped out of his parents’ lap at a young age and pioneered a road of his very own. With his own strength, he was able to gain both wealth and fame. Therefore, you can call him an impeccable and perfect man.

However, this information is inadequate to explain how perfect he is.

His perfection will become complete only after I discuss about the group that he protected by dedicating his entire self to, the group that he perfectly protected, and the group that made him perfect - Shinhwa.

The time I officially started getting interest in Shinhwa was 15 years ago, year 2000, the last year of the 20th century.

During that time, I was a junior high school student in uniform, and the Shinhwa members were in their early 20’s and were young enough to have -kun following their names when being referred to.

Their song ’T.O.P’ that they released in the year 1999 presented them big popularity. ’Yo!’, which was their follow up song, also garnered attention from young female fans, but I don’t think Shinhwa had a loyal fandom of their own during that time from what I can recall. I, too, was rather a fan of H.O.T.

They started gaining popularity through a familiar melody that sampled ‘Swan Lake’. The positive responses they received afterwards probably had been satisfying for the young members who had already experienced a bitter failure of the first album, but Shinhwa was merely a rookie group. The following spring of 1999, Shinhwa made a comeback with ’T.O.P’ through a sophisticated young man concept, putting the most emphasize on Kim Dong Wan. Fifty girls in my class, including myself, were still listening to H.O.T’s song ’Hope’ that overpowered 1998 winter, which was the previous year.

However Shinhwa of 2000, the following year, was different. The main track of their 3rd album ’Only One’ was not able to receive a popularly sensational response as ’T.O.P’ that sampled a ‘Swan Lake’. In 2000, Shinhwa achieved a strong fandom called ’Shinhwa Changjo’ through ’T.O.P’ and ‘Yo!’, allowing them to receive high expectations from young girls (a.k.a bbasuni… I can’t use the word 'young girl’ anymore because it’s embarrassing, so I’ll just collectively refer the fans as 'bbasuni’) and being able to make a great comeback (muscular Kim Dong Wan, who once was a pearly white young man inside the Swan Lake, appeared with a copper suntanned skin and ended up disappointing all of the female fans… Disclaimer: 'Bbasuni’ is a Korean slang for 'female fans’.)

The year 2000, when I successfully convinced my mom into changing my cute mouse-shaped Pipi into a flip phone with 16 polyphonic ring tones, it was one eventful peaceful spring. In the blessed season of when roses, lilac, and wildflowers bloomed all over our beautiful historic campus of the girls’ school, I saw his name inside my best friend P’s diary. That was when I finally realized his real name is Moon Jung Hyuk.

Hyuk was common, but Jung was an unfamiliar hanja. After searching in Okpyeon, I was able to find out the meaning behind his name. Being the young girl I am, I thought it was such a cool name. (Shin Hye Sung is a star, but Moon Jung Hyuk is a sun… it suits them so well, OMG… but Shin Hye Sung is not his real name, so pass.)

However, he was a quiet man and a type who despises standing out. If I were to express it in a good way, I would say he was reserved. If I were to express it in a bad way, I would say he didn’t have a very big existence. He was always a guy who stood one step behind the members. Silently performing the duties he was given, and that was all.

Eric, 22 years old in Korean age, name Moon Jung Hyuk, a rapper (who didn’t have any existence other than the impressive English rapping skills). That was all the information I knew about him, and I didn’t have enough interest to learn more than that.

Everybody assumed Shinhwa’s leader was Lee Min Woo. The leaders of the 20th century idol groups were represented by H.O.T’s Moon Hee Jun and Sechs Kies’ Eun Ji Won. It was an absolute thing during that time that the leader possesses the most powerful presence among the group. In that sense, this man didn’t seem like a leader or even looked like a leader. Now and then, he still has a sculpture-like handsome face that never went under the knife, but I think his visuals might have been too burdensome in a teenage girl’s eyes.

Later that year in December 2000, Shinhwa’s company SM Town released their 2nd winter album, with the sole intention of snatching away young fans’ pocket money. In this album, Shinhwa’s Kim Dong Wan’s self-written song called ’Prayer’ was included in the track list.  While doing activities for 'Prayer’, Shinhwa practically went around as a beggar for the SM album, and the member who received the most attention was Shin Hye Sung.  Slender figure and bright blonde hair, a slim young man with a pretty face – it was the 'lemon-syung’ generation. He was a young man who fitted perfectly into the requirements of a teenage girl, so the female fans went crazy over the beautiful 'lemon-syung’. Having a pearly white skin, he was mentioned as a member who suits the winter’s season the most, and he deserved all of the cheering and support (15 years later since then, golf-maniac Shin Hye Sung transformed into the darkest member of Shinhwa and appeared in the concert, bringing astonishment to many female fans. However, it’s too early to mention about this right now, so let’s put it aside for a while… I wonder why my eyes are tearing up…)

In January 2001, from which was only one month later, Shin Hye Sung grabbed hands with Kangta and Lee Ji Hoon for a song called ’Doll’. This song was a big hit, making Shin Hye Sung acknowledged as a vocalist from the public. Since this time, Shin Hye Sung was my only interest (as opposed to how he looks, Shin Hye Sung had a greatly horrifying real name called Jung Pil Gyo…)

While Shin Hye Sung topped the music charts with 'Doll’ in February 2001, I was a freshly-graduated middle school student who has just entered high school. That spring I turned 17 years old, a big event had stirred up a controversy in the music industry. H.O.T announced their split.  It was a huge deal for young girls in uniforms and myself, being one of their biggest fans, but I’ve had no choice other than to keep my cool on the outside and let it sink it.  Even though I was only 17 years old, I wasn’t an innocent little fan who believed “oppa’s” promises and the whole “H.O.T forever” thing. I thought that there can be no strong friendship or loyalty that beats money when it comes to idols who dyes their hair, wears hip hop pants, and lip syncs in stage.

2001 was a year of which honor and fluctuation coexisted for Shinhwa.  Shinhwa’s 4th album that came out in summer 2001 was released in a configuration of 5 members but ironically, this album made an immense hit despite one member dropping out. The legendary chair dance of ’Wild Eyes’, which was the follow up song of the main track ’Hey, Come on!’, dominated the talent shows of the girls school (starting from class 1 to class 15, all of the students followed the chair dance…)

Guerilla concert was the hottest subject back then, and Shinhwa took over the challenge of 10,000 people audience mobilization and successes, establishing their position as a class A idols (and Shin Hye Sung got too excited and overreacted from perfectly completing the challenge, causing him to crush his knee ligaments and fainting. Through this, he strengthened his weak duckling image…)

Here I thought Shinhwa will continue doing activities in the 5 member configuration, considering the fact that the album was of bigger hit after a member has dropped out. In the profit aspect, it seemed as if 1/5 was far more tempting than 1/6, too. How many people wouldn’t surrender in front of money anyways? Even the mighty H.O.T that conquered an entire generation disbanded just because of money.  Although I wasn’t just any ordinary person (a more appropriate term will be 'Muggles’, but this word didn’t exist back then.), I wasn’t a hardcore fangirl to classify myself as a purebred “Shinhwa Changjo”. Thus, I had no idea what kind of opinion “Shinhwa Changjo” had of the successful 4th album excluding Andy. In a general perspective, I thought that fans who voted for the 5 member configuration overwhelmingly outnumbered the fans who wanted Andy’s return.

Therefore, the next year, which was the spring of 2002, Shinhwa’s 5th album ’Perfect Man’ that went by the configuration of the original 6 members left a fresh impact.

Eric, who was Shinhwa’s leader and the oldest member, was only a 24 year old greenhorn. Though I can’t state for sure how high his position was in the group, through the eyes of an outsider, his presence was still weak. Lee Min Woo and Shin Hye Sung seized the fandom while Junjin and Kim Dong Wan were in the center of attention through ’Dream Team’ and their lame jokes, yet Eric just remained still in silence. When Andy made an reappearance in the group 13 years ago, I don’t know how influential Eric had been. It’s obvious that the Shinhwa members’ commitment played a great role to Andy’s return, but there is no way to find out how much Eric interfered to gather their support in order to get Andy involved again. However, judging from his pace, it seems like he will demonstrate exceptional leadership in the future, too.

Anyway, I still clearly remember that day when I’ve first bought that green album titled as the 'Perfect Man’ 13 years ago that cost me about 12 dollars. That richly-colored album in shades of gorgeous emerald was one of the first CDs I’ve ever purchased from an idol group. I was one of those people who only purchased and listened to small tapes that briefly cost about 5~6 dollars back then and even that alone was rare. I never dared purchased any CD’s that were over 10 dollars with my own pocket money.

It was a life-changing experience for the 18 year old me who has spent decades of her life living off of listening to tapes, but I’ve never imagined this would change the next 10 years of my life. I bet Shinhwa themselves in 2002 had never imagined they’d be releasing their 12th album in 2015 (not that I’ve imagined that I’d be still fangirling in my 30’s either).

Many things that you’ve never even imagined happen like this from time to time.

And Shinhwa were strange men who fearlessly took the challenge of walking on a path that nobody has ever walked before.

They have no idea how to settle down in a large ship that others are dying to ride.

Somehow always managing to get down and paddling a raft with no equipment other than their own hands. That is Shinhwa.

The sea that the members submerged themselves in may look calm, but there are more times when it isn’t. Sometimes, there are storms.

Even after 17 years and 5 months, Eric is still seamlessly paddling away the ship, carrying the members. He’s just like the pine tree, but during that time, nobody was aware of his consistency.

However, there is saying that goes, “A tapel inside a pocket” (meaning a person with a remarkable character/talent will be discovered no matter where he hides).

These words were correct. He had to confront the very first event of which later on revealed his true nature.

Summer 2003 was approaching.

During that spring of 2002, when Shinhwa released their 5th album, they started acting as SM’s slaves again with their summer album whilst promoting 'Perfect Man’. The same year somewhere around the late December, they released their 6th album ’Wedding’. Their schedule was tightly-packed and forced. The reason was so obvious that everyone knew why.

The five-year contract with SM that started in March 1998 was about to expire.

Just like Shinhwa, SM wanted to earn as much money as they could before the contract expiration.

At the year 2003, SM offered a deposit of 6 billion Korean won per person and a total of 36 billion Korean won in order to resign the contract (now and then, each and every fandom of a SM artists gather their mouth and complain that SM is a vicious company).

In my opinion, I have to admit that the contract term SM offered to Shinhwa was pretty generous and bountiful. Back in 2003, a deposit of 36 billion Korean won in a single idol group at the time was the highest ever recorded. Taking into consideration that even after TVXQ’s separation in 2010, which was 7 years later, no single idol group ever received a deposit that exceeded that amount, I can tell that SM offered a munificent proposal to Shinhwa to encourage contract renewal.

And it doesn’t stop there. The contract renewal that SM offered was not 5 years as it was previously, but just 3 years. A contract term deposit of 36 billion Korean won in just 3 years. Even in a 19 year old fangirl’s point of view, it was a high-sounding sum.

It was before watching their senior groups, H.O.T and S.E.S, split up. I’ve prayed in desperation that Shinhwa would accept SM’s offer. However, even after so many earnest prayers from fans, they’ve coldly decided to turn down SM’s offer.

In May 2003, SM announced that the contract negotiations have broken off with Shinhwa.  The presentation that SM reported that day was a bit humiliating to some extent.

On May 1, SM stated, “Throughout the contract negotiation process with Shinhwa, we offered a high number of 36 billion Korean won in condition to releasing 3 albums, but the negotiations were broken off due to unmatching detailed conditions. We hope that Shinhwa will sign the contract with another company in a condition that meets up their requirements”.

Apparently, “We hope that Shinhwa will sign the contract with another company in a condition that meet up their requirements” was said for the sake of politeness.

In short, they’re basically saying, “You guys will never receive more than 36 billion Korean won wherever you go. Good look in finding one, ha”.

From what I know, Shinhwa are people with unbeatable high self-esteem. With that being said, I wonder how these guys felt when their 5-year company SM announced this. However Shinhwa interpreted it, in a fangirl’s perspective, it indeed sounded humiliating (and this humiliation was released after 1 year and 6 months when Shinhwa won the Seoul Music Awards.).

Afterwards, it seemed like a company that offered more than 36 billions Korean won actually appeared.

June 2003, which was one month later, it was reported that Shinhwa signed the contract with the conditions of 36+ billion Korean won within 3 years.

It was a record-breaking case of an idol group to last more than 5 years, to release their 6th album, and to go to a new company without a single member change.

Rumor has it that the opponent was an anonymous investor or a new company, but nobody knows the truth.

To my dismay, the contract was cancelled after less than a month. From my assumption, I’m thinking the problem was that the investor was unable to invest the 36 billion Korean wons.  July 2003, Shinhwa signs the contract once again with Good Entertainment in the same contract condition of 36 billion Korean wons. Since Good Entertainment is a company that the previous SM managers opened, they’re probably close with Shinhwa (to be honest, I think SM would’ve been extremely pissed. These little kiddos are now stealing the managers and setting up their own company?). Anyways, it was risky watching billions worth of money fly over the heads of Shinhwa in a month. While I did want to trust their choices, I couldn’t put my trust in them.

The person who led this dangerous contract was Eric. Not only himself, but he was betting the members’ fate as well in such a risky adventure at the age of 25.

I was puzzled at how different the contract conditions Shinhwa chose were in comparison to the contract terms SM presented. Though I had no idea how much was the contract offers, I was suspicious at whether it was worth jumping the safe fence SM set, as well as trying to attempt a risky adventure.

By the year 2003, SM improved so much in the music industry that their position was equivalent to Sam Sung.

That time, I thought Shinhwa was blinded by money (3 years later, I learned what an arrogant thought this was after the Good Entertainment contract renewal phase).

Afterwards, I lost all my interest in Shinhwa. My SAT test was fast approaching and I only had 100 days left. Also, with my lousy fangirl judgment, I thought Shinhwa will fail and end up disbanding now that they left SM. (not just the lousy fangirl, but the mighty Lee Soo Man thought this way, too). It was clear to me that staying away from Shinhwa will do my mental health justice.

Here, we’ll fast forward. This is the story of March 2012, which is 10 years from then. While watching TV, I saw shocking scene that presented me great astonishment. After making a comeback with their 10th album ’Venus’, in a program called ’Win Win’, I came to realize after 10 years that some members received individual contract renewal offer from SM while some of the members didn’t. Watching that scene, the shock it presented me was fresh and tingling. I felt a deja vu back to the days when I was 18 years old and watching Shinhwa’s 5th album 'Perfect Man’ of which Andy rejoined. All of the members decided keep their mouth shut despite getting offered contract renewal all for that member who didn’t (to be honest, if it were me, I would’ve went around blabbering around about 100 times). To this day, I came to realize the old western saying that goes like, “Silence is gold”. What a terribly great caring mind they have.

Simultaneously, I also finally came to realize why Shinhwa escaped out of SM like that. Since Shinhwa is a human and is doing Shinhwa as a occupation and not a hobby, it might sound tempting, but I’m assuming it was difficult for them to put their futures in the hands of a company who tried to destroy the members through individual contract renewal. Only the Shinhwa members know the truth, but I have strong belief that the underlying story behind that case isn’t much different from my assumption.

The controversial thing was never revealed until the end. To be exact, though it was revealed, the amount of money was unspecified due to so many discrepancies in the newspapers that reported the case.

It was reported that each members gets paid 1 billion Korean won with an additional sum, making the total amount 42 billion Korean won, and there were reports that the payment was way more than that, but the exact amount wasn’t displayed in any newspaper from what I can remember.

I’m still yet to find out how much Shinhwa received during this phase, but I do think the members accepted some amount of money, taking into consideration that Good Entertainment practically became penniless after pouring billions of money to Shinhwa with the start-up subject. But, I guess money does come and go. Within a year, a remaining financier that’s adequate enough to recollect all of the lost money has appeared. And that was the drama Fire Bird.

Fire Bird was the most popular drama of 2004, and Eric became the best CF king through one set of drama. I wonder if Lee Soo Man, the person who picked him out in the audition and made Shinhwa, even saw this one coming. His tremendous success made a good impact in marking Shinhwa’s new beginning, and Shinhwa became the top since then. However, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch his success or Shinhwa’s comeback live. The year 2004 of when Shinhwa was experiencing the best year since debut, the 20 year old me was studying my butt off in a Gangnam school. I terminated my cell phone and TV for a year, so including any information about Shinhwa, all information has been cut off from the outside world, except for my academy instructor’s notification. I lived forgetting about him and Shinhwa. Obviously, it was impossible that Eric will appear in my SAT test (a few years later, he did write a powerful message in the EBS text book, but that’s still the future).  [Translator’s note: blogger refereed to >> Eric rebutting a reporter when he bashed Shinhwa’s 7th album <<. Eric’s reply was a very well written piece with great punch line so it was put in high school textbook as an example of well written argument]

And November 2004, it was a cold winter day like that day when he first met Shin Hye Sung in L.A. (like my man Teddy says). After finishing my SAT test, I turned on the TV and started browsing on the internet. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Far from dismantling, Shinhwa dominated the idol industry as the best boy group. Putting aside the lip syncing they always used to do back in SM days, they became a group who only insists on doing live singing. And Eric, who always used to watch the members one step behind, transformed into the nation’s most romantic king. It makes me wonder what ever happened in the year 2004. I was able to smell his heart burning everywhere I go, and the war happened because Korea lacked attentiveness. (Disclaimer: These are viral sentences from the drama).

The next month, which was December, Shinhwa won award twice. It was an award they never dreamed of back in their SM days. It was a perfect success. Between my college acceptance letter and Shinhwa’s award, I didn’t know which one was better. The following year, in 2005, although Shinhwa didn’t release any album, it was the most pleasurable and comforting year of my life as a fangirl. Eric’s drama ’Super Rookie’ was broadcast successfully, and in the same phase, Shin Hye Sung made his first solo debut after 8 years of debuting. While listening to Shin Hye Sung ’Love of May’ album, I had a fun time fangirling and spazzing. (and that summer, Shin Hye Sung started doing activities of his follow up song all tanned, making many fangirls dislike…)

(Is it a coincidence that fans seem dislike whenever Shin Hye Sung gets tan…)

Then, things started getting fishy again around that ending year of 2005. Their goddamn contract expiration date has come again. Shinhwa had signed a contract with Good Entertainment in June 2003 for 3 years that was supposedly ending in the summer of 2006. What was the problem? The oh-so-popular Eric, of course! Rumor had it that the ransom he got offered was worth around 20 billion to 30 billion won. I guess this is what happens when one of the members suddenly becomes too famous. This is when my anxiety and concerns become overwhelming.

That time, I assumed Shinhwa will separate. I was uncertain about the other members, but I thought it was a right thing for him to leave Shinhwa. If I brainwashed myself with that thought, it felts as if I would be less hurt regardless of Shinhwa’s separation.  Eight years of activities and releasing 7 albums in total was already an unprecedented level ever recorded. Not only did they reach the peak by attaining 2 best artist awards, but the rest of the members all rose to stardom evenly. What more can I expect.

However, the results were unexpected (why is it the assumptions I make of Shinhwa is always wrong.) It seems like Eric still wanted to do ongoing activities as Shinhwa (coming to think about it, the true Shinhwa fan here seems like him). The following year, which was January 2006, my reaction was close to being disappointed when I heard Shinhwa signed the contract again with Good Entertainment. Just like when they left SM, it was reported that the contract renewal condition was 36+ billion Korean wons, although the exact amount wasn’t revealed. There was a drastic level difference in Shinhwa of July 2003 and Shinhwa of January 2006, however, it didn’t seemed like they’ll get much benefit from the January 2006 contract renewal. It meant now that Shinhwa reached their climax, a downhill was waiting for them. Excluding Shin Hye Sung who received an exemption from the military service due to knee cruciate ligament rupture, the rest of the 5 members were waiting for their turns to enlist.

January 2011, 5 years from then, according to Kim Dong Wan, who freshly completed the military service obligations, made a confession at an entertainment program of a cable broadcaster: In the last two contract renewals, Eric showed an outstanding leadership to handle all the work, and the amount of money he was offered during that time was 4 times greater than what he was offered as a Shinhwa member. In short, the sum was 24 billion Korean won.  Kim Dong Wan mentioned that Eric gave up on the money without a single hesitation.  Since Eric received 6 billions Korean won as a Shinhwa member, he practically lost 18 billion Korean won in return to choosing Shinhwa.

(Even if you win a lottery, the prize is far from 18 billion Korean won).

(He is a man who throw away the lottery in an unrecoverable trash bin).

(It makes me wonder if he’s doing Shinhwa to earn money, or if he’s earning money to do Shinhwa).

January 2006, Eric gave up an amount of money that others will never even dream of touching even if they work a lifetime. Getting one more year older after a year has passed, though it looked as if he lived life long enough, he was only 28 years old.

Among all of the men I know that gives up immense amount of money for loyalty and friendship, there is one person more. Once upon a time, his name was Han Soo Jung Hoo Kwan Woon Jang. In the Shinhwa concert the day before yesterday, Shin Hye Sung said that he looks like a Guan Yu as he watched himself transformed as a black knight in the VCR (Guan Yu who can’t even look after his own body). After I heard Shin Hye Sung mentioning that, I imagined a man who really reminds me of a Guan Yu (every now and then, I send many applause to Eric for always remaining constant). I wonder if Shin Hye Sung knows that he’s living life with a 20th century version of a Guan Yu in his doorstep.

Shinhwa has opened their debut 10th anniversary commemoration concert in March 2008, followed by an announcement of their 3~4 years of activity pause, promising that they’ll return no matter what and that “Shinhwa never lies” (okay, but please do lie about your relationship-related issues, thank you).  I, of course, didn’t believe that promise. They’ve been together for a full 10 year and they were already in their 30’s.  "Even if they do come back, they’d be roughly about 34. There’s no way they could be idols in that age“, I thought. I’ve firmly believed that Shinhwa wasn’t going to return (not that there was any time I was ever right about these guys anyway…). There were a few other groups who were just as successful and popular as Shinhwa and if not, more. Majority of them made false promises that they’ll return and begged for their fans’ to believe in them. But that promise has never been kept and none of them ever made an appearance ever again. Shinhwa, on the other hand, was luckily able to stay strong and fill a full 10 year together. That was enough. Even if Shinhwa decided to never come back, I was ready to understand and embrace it.

Being the oldest member in Shinhwa, Eric was the first to be implemented in the military service. A couple of sluggish dramas after ’Korea Secret Agency’ but he still had the most potential in the group. Maybe that’s why, but his nassau training seemed as if he was putting an end to his 10 year of his debut as a member of Shinhwa. I was ready to forget Shinhwa and put all the memories behind at this point.

Time flies! (as long as it’s not you who serves in the military, time always flies fast). Anyway, Eric was soon offered a huge amount of appearance fee and was casted in a drama as soon as he was released from the military service (of course, me being the typical fangirl, I watched all of the episode).  And as most people already knows, 2011 ended up being one of the worst years for him both publicly and privately. I was devastated. Even if Shinhwa’s comeback was happening on the stated date, there was still 4 years of rest period. It would’ve been inadequate even if his drama makes it big, allowing the Shinhwa members to make a comeback through the support of popularity.  He was responsible of being the focal point among the members, but things just kept getting worse and worse. Because of all this, I wasn’t even that delighted when I heard about the big news of Shinhwa Company finally being established.

While the Shinhwa Company Corporation was a close one, they didn’t even have the rights to use their own name at the end of the day. They weren’t allowed to use their name elsewhere, let alone claim it as theirs. There was another owner. With such situation, I highly doubted that this company would be able to succeed their way up.

Not much different from the assumptions I had over Shinhwa throughout all this time, my expectations were wrong once again.

March 2012, Shinhwa made quite a successful comeback after 4 years of inactivity. Regardless of the comprehensive channel that inflicted a lot of talking from the public, the Shinhwa Broadcast show got many achievements worthy of making up for all the controversy, as well as appearance fees. Eric received a mouthful of compliments from all of the members for his outstanding leadership, but as always, he would always tremble his lips and roll his eyes around whenever someone praises him. Venus, the 10th album, didn’t meet up with my ideal expectations, but the results were equally satisfying for both the fans and the Shinhwa members. While simultaneously stimulating the nostalgia of the existing fans of my age, it appears they had successfully gathered up young fans in their 20’s. As a result, that following year in March 2013 at a gymnastics stadium, I met a 16 year old fan, who’s more than 13 years old younger than me. Sixteen was the age I first found out Eric’s name. I felt a deja vu as if I’m looking into an old reflection, and I was lost in reminiscence of the millennium that’s faint like an eternity - the long-gone 13 years.

Their 11th album This Love that was released on May 2013 seemed much more flexible than Venus. They’ve looked as if they were completely ready to compete against their juniors decades younger than them, and I didn’t have any more expectations towards them as I’ve firmly believed that that was the Shinhwa that I’d continue seeing from now on, the same Shinhwa that I’ve always known, the same Eric as the leader of Shinhwa, the same everything – just like that. But then, something that was beyond my expectations had happened yet again (at this point, I think I’d be better off if I quit making assumptions). The Shinhwa’s trademark dispute has started again, and it was Eric who had to handle all of the complicated, headache-worthy problems.

As previously stated, it was May 2003 when Shinhwa and SM’s contract expired.

Ridiculously, SM applied for the Shinhwa trademark back in 2004. At that time, if Shinhwa had disputed back in 2004, there’s a high probability that SM’s trademark application would’ve been rejected. I wonder if Shinhwa knew all of this, but wasn’t able to make a move, or if they unilaterally tortured themselves through it knowingly. Whichever side it is, it seems as if SM clearly betrayed them. Though I’d hate to admit it, 9 years had already passed. Shinhwa was courageous, but they voiced their opinion far too late. It was highly unlikely that they’ll win over the lawsuit battle.

In the fandom’s side, it seemed as if the fans were cheering for the legal battle that Shinhwa started, but being that fangirl I am, I thought it would be better to remain still. (You know your opinion is always wrong.) In the year 2011 of when the Shinhwa Company was established, it is unknown in what conditions the agreement was made between Shinhwa and Jang Suk Woo when the contract was drawn up, but despite having another owner for their name, there was no apparent constraint to do activities in the name of Shinhwa. Jang-ssi, the trademark owner, was put in prison for illegal actions until April 2018, so for at least a few years, it was unlikely that he’ll stop Shinhwa from doing activities (also, it’s a loss for Shinhwa if they’re unable to use the trademark, but the same applies to Jang-ssi). The trademark fee they had to pay for each year was worth billions, but the sum wasn’t an overwhelming amount to cover up. Rather than investing on formidable costs to use lawyers and continuing with the lawsuits that’s highly unlikely to win, I thought it would be far beneficial to stay calm and just pay the trademark fees. This man named Eric certainly has an unmatched talent in making fangirls anxious and nervous.

One year later, in May 2014, I heard 2 news.

One was a big news I was looking forward to. Eric was casted for a drama called ’Discovery of Love’ as the main male lead, Kang Tae Ha. It was his first comeback as an actor after 3 years. Most importantly, I was relieved that the female lead wasn’t some cat-look-alike actress (but if that cat-look-alike was his next-door male neighbor who lives downstairs, then I’d be more than happy).

The other news was something that I already saw coming. In the lawsuit filed in the name of Moon Jung Hyuk as the CEO of the Shinhwa Company Ltd., Shinhwa had lost.

However, you know what kind of person he is.

He’s a persistent man who has to chop down a tree mercilessly until it finally falls down (for more than 17 years, I’ve been chopping only one man. Do I have a chance? lol ). He didn’t give a damn about losing the first trails, and instead, he changed the company’s name and appealed without hesitation. All of the fangirls in this world have an idea what kind of guy he is during this phase, so nobody was surprised at his move.

That summer of 2014, Eric successfully returned as an actor and won a total of 3 trophies at an award show. Working his butt off, he also returned with Shinhwa. He changed each and every thing that included the name Shinhwa and his own company name, so the 12th album ’WE’ was the first album to be released completely excluding their group name (are you looking down on 'Thanks To’ next?). It may have the first yet last album, but me being the fangirl-self would’ve never expected (as always) that it was going to be the last.

Now that I finally can discuss about this year’s events, it seems as if this useless ranting and complaining will come to an end.

May 29 2015, the tree that he recklessly tried to chop down has finally separated from its roots. At last, Shinhwa has become the owner of their group name. This happened after 17 years since the barely-20 young boy debuted, and 12 years since he escaped out of SM, and 3 years since the legal battled started.

Now they have the rights to use their own name, and at the same time, Shinhwa is the one and only existing group who doing activities in a company they established. Not only is it unprecedented, but I can proudly state that there will be no one to break this record until Shinhwa becomes old and weak.

12 years ago, without a moment of hesitation, this man who placed his and the members’ fate in the stale raft that nobody wanted to ride has finally invested a ship with his own name as the flag. Until today, he’s still paddling in silence with the members riding behind. He’s weathering through the endless sea just like that.

Their most recent concert was the first concert they’ve held after winning the rights to their trademark.

To be honest, I can’t say that the sound was very high quality (but was it ever?) and the VCR that was suddenly stretched out was hard to ignore, the audience was rather quiet, and most importantly, the timing wasn’t very good (not that it’s entirely because of the whole North Korea thing). Nonetheless, Shinhwa has put in all their effort and tried their best on stage. And… ’STAY’ and ’Don’t Cry’ that Shin Hye Sung was singing his heart out on, ’Cat’ that almost seemed as if it was a musical show , ’2gether 4ever’ that I haven’t heard in a really long while… all of this was great, but there was something else that had a special place inside my heart.  It was Eric – the guy who doesn’t know what ’change’ is.

I was aware of his hard effort to win their rights of their trademark, but he’d never show it. He’s that type of person who just hates bragging and showing off about themselves. Instead of bragging about his good cause for attention, he’d immediately switch the subject. He’d do anything to avoid situations where he gets praised and complimented for (each time one of the members attempts to say something nice about him, he’d use kisses as a shut up method). He’s the type of man that will never, ever change even after he turns old and gray.

On the concert on this past 23rd, Kim Dong Wan intimately acknowledged the fact that monetary negotiations existed apart from the legal trials during the process of retrieving their Shinhwa name.

According to the news I personally heard, Eric had to pay a price of an amount that’s difficult for most people to gather even if they work a lifetime, and in the process, much of the burden was his to carry. Though he’s a man of great wealth, even if that’s taken into account, the amount of money he had to invest was nowhere near small (also, despite the fact that he has many possessions and wealth, he’s not into extravagant living). To be honest, if we were to take the financial aspects into consideration, rather than making such a big investment, it could have been better to pay the trademark royalties and continue with the Shinhwa activities. Obviously, it’s not like he doesn’t know that, but he didn’t do it anyway. That’s because that’s his way of living, and that’s how his nature.

It has now been 17 years and 5 months since Shinhwa has debuted.

The barely 20 year old boy has now turned into a full-grown 37 year old man.

I can’t predict how long Shinhwa will last or if they will maintain their popularity. The sames applies to the member’s private life and how many years this group called Shinhwa will exist for. But I think I can now take a step back, without my affections changing towards them, and watch them from afar with comfort. I think I can do that now.

Here, there is a man.

He takes control without domination, has leadership without commanding, and governs without reign.

His leadership is quiet yet powerful, as well as clumsy yet flawless.

He’s affluent yet prudent, cool yet humble, and is a person who combines a sober judgment and a warm caring mind. This man, who has a dazzlingly high self-esteem but knows how to control his stubbornness, is tall and dignified, as well as strikingly beautiful.

All of his talents are uneasy to acquire through cultivation, so perhaps his passions were something he was equipped and gifted with since birth.

Eric a.k.a Moon Jung Hyuk is the most perfect person I know of.

Source: maatkare @ naver
Photo credit as tagged
Translation: EricMun.Tumblr (pls credit properly if repost)


get to know me meme, kpop edition: (1/8) favorite male soloists » Shin Hyesung

The future? I don′t have anything planned, really. I′m not a singer that′s really breathtakingly good at singing or can take on every genre thrown my way, but I know my limits and I′ll continue to show off my own brand of music with little changes within those limits. You can look forward to it.

150701 Shinhwa Sweep The KpopStarz Mid-Year Polls Taking Best Song, Group And Artist For The 1st Half Of 2015

After two weeks of voting, the polls are officially closed, and it’s time to announce the winners of KpopStarz Mid-Year Awards.  Veteran K-pop act Shinhwa proved to be the clear front-runners from early on and ended up sweeping all three categories.

★★ In the category of Best K-Pop Song, Shinhwa’s “Sniper” came out on top while Super Junior D&E’s “Growing Pains” took second and INFINITE H’s “Pretty” brought home third.  The rankings in the Top Ten for the Best K-Pop Songs are as follows:

1. Shinhwa “Sniper”
2. Super Junior D&E “Growing Pains”
3. INFINITE H “Pretty”
4. EXO “Call Me Baby”
5. SHINee “View”
6. Jung Yong Hwa “One Fine Day”
8. Big Bang “Loser”
9. GOT7 “Around the World”
10. Junsu “Flower”

★★ In the category of Best K-Pop Artist, Shinhwa’s Eric claims the title of K-Pop’s Best while TVXQ’s U-Know Yunho takes second and JYJ’s Jaejoong clinches third.  The rankings for the Top Ten Best K-Pop Artists are as follows:

1. Eric (Shinhwa)
2. U-Know Yunho (TVXQ)
3. Jaejoong (JYJ)
4. Yoochun (JYJ)
5. Minwoo (Shinhwa)
6. Andy (Shinhwa)
7. Dongwan (Shinhwa)
8. Jun Jin (Shinhwa)
9. Hyesung (Shinhwa)

10. Jessica Jung (Girls’ Generation, formerly)

★★ In the category of Best K-Pop Group, veteran group Shinhwa took home the crown while Super Junior claimed second and INFINITE third.  The rankings for the Top Ten Best K-Pop Groups are as follows:

1. Shinhwa
2. Super Junior
4. EXO
6. BTS
7. GOT7
10. Big Bang

Special shout out to former Girls’ Generation member Jessica Jung for being the sole female to crack the top ten in any of the categories (number 10 for Best Artist with 3.05% of the vote)!

Source: Kpopstaz

CONGRATS SHINHWA CHANGJOS, WE DID IT!!!   AND we got all 6 Shinhwa members to the top 10 for Best Artist category too.


Thank you for giving us so much and asking for so little. Thank you for not giving up and teaching us how to be strong… Above it all, thank you for always choosing each other no matter what; for staying together through thick and thin. Thank you for giving us a family, for making shinhwa into a home we all can come to. But the most important thing I want to thank the world for, is letting you all find happiness in each other. Happy eighteenth anniversary, you embarrassing fools. Let’s keep growing old together.

#신화18주년축하해 #Shinhwa18thAnniversary