Korean boy band posters cause JR Metro pandemonium

Tohoshinki's women fans go crazy in JR Metro

A frenzy of cellphone camera wielding ladies, young and “not-so-young,” were going crazy in the Omootesando subway yesterday. I was innocently going from one business meeting to the next when I saw swarms of women excitedly photographing these dewie images of their favorite Korean boy band plastered on the columns outside the fare gates. Two security guards, one with a bright red megaphone, implored them to not obstruct JR Metro passengers.

The band is called Tohoshinki, and they are 5 super-young looking Korean boys who are doing a two day concert at Tokyo Dome entitled “Stand by U.” I was startled when two fans explained that the band has existed for four years. I wondered if the boys, who barely look pubescent now, had started before the age of 10. No, I was assured, they are now in their early 20s. One middle-aged fan was there with her son, who looked mildly embarrassed. The female fans hugged the posters, vamped, and were completely crazed!

Later the same day, I saw a crowd of several hundred Japanese women lined up to see Korean movie star Park Hae Jin making an appearance at Shinjuku’s Kinokuniya bookstore. In both events, not a single male fan was present. I wonder if this female adoration for Korean stars translates into Japanese women romancing or marrying real Koreans. Or is this fantasy merely for “idols” and not for reality? Is it like Boys Love, a fantasy and displacement that is never fulfilled? I *almost* felt sorry for Japanese men.

More photos after the jump.

Tohoshinki's women fans go crazy in JR Metro

Tohoshinki's women fans go crazy in JR Metro Tohoshinki's women fans go crazy in JR Metro

And the scene at Kinokuniya bookstore, which skewered somewhat older and again 100% female apart from the security guards and bookstore staff.

Paku fans at Kinokuniya bookstore

And for die-hard fans, here’s his Youtbue “video” for his “You have a crush on ME” song (which involves stills of him looking like a model).

And this still image.

Park Hae Jin

4 comments

  1. Ah! Tohoshinki! πŸ˜€ I love them. They’re also known as DBSK and TVXQ.

    Believe it or not, they’re like 23. πŸ™‚ Junsu is my favorite! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nGfx2O2M0Y Watch it. You won’t regret it. ;P

    You know, I feel like a dork when I walk into something that references something found only Asian culture. For instance, yesterday I was reading this old scholarly magazine issue (2001) on Taiwanese youth culture and one article referenced the Kinki Kids. I was like “I love them!” The article also mentioned “adult comics” and had a pic of the manga Hikaru no Go, which of course I responded to with “Hikago is NOT hentai!”

  2. Marius, You are a pop star scholar! How come these boys have 3 names? Thank you for the video link: nice dancing, lite bondage, and lots of emo-ting. Still, looking at their barely pubescent features, I can’t help feeling dirty and possibly criminal. *You* are going to have a fantastic time in Taipei high school.

  3. XD Screw anthropology, I’m gonna major in Beautiful Big-haired Bishounen!

    LOLs at your commment! If it makes you feel better, older people liking younger people doesn’t seem to be such a big problem (shota, anyone?). Again, manga isn’t a great source of nonfiction information. I think I read somewhere that the “age of consent” is lower in Japan than in the US, but your hubby would know better than me.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

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