[past interview] Rain talks with Kusanagi Tsuyoshi of SMAP for Japan’s Fuji TV. (2006)

Cloud cover by: Stephe, Managing Editor ^@@^


↑ ↑ At the time of this interview, Rain had held his concert at Madison Square Garden in NYC, released the hit song “Free Way” in Japan, and was busy filming his debut movie in Korea, I’m A Cyborg But That’s OK. The picture above was some months later at the I’m A Cyborg press conference.


↑ ↑ Kusanagi is a member of legendary Japanese idol group SMAP (Sports Music Assemble People), who debuted in 1991 and went on to release 20 albums and over 50 singles. I always kind of thought of SMAP as the earlier Japanese version of g.o.d. or BigBang because, in addition to doing group music, all of their members were known for frequently doing their own thing. (Image source: aramatheydidn’t.livejournal.com)

I have added images and videos to the interview below simply for enhancement and to help new fans out there who may not have seen the projects that Rain and Kusanagi are referring to.

Huge thanks to the Clouds on SOOMPI who originally posted this interview and made it possible for all of us to enjoy today. Thumbs up.^^

Stephe @ cloudusa.wordpress.com / CloudUSA.org

Originally posted on Rain’s official Music Thread on SOOMPI by: Rayndrop

Japan Fuji TV – Tsuyoshi Kusanagi interviews Rain
Credit: biwithrain / jinlees@soompi
Japanese to Chinese: Sorah
Chinese to English: Rayndrop

Kusanagi: Hello.

JiHoon: Hello.

K: You’ve worked hard.

JH: You’ve worked hard.

K: Please have a seat. Did you sleep well last night?

JH: Erm, yes, I slept well.

Screen caption: “It’s Raining” music video

Our topic today is a Korean artiste who is number 1 in terms of popularity: Rain!

In February this year, he made the talking point by being the first Asian artiste to hold a concert at Madison Square Garden. His favorite artistes are Michael Jackson and SMAP. He’s also challenged Japanese [the language ^@@^] in his new single. He’s currently 24 years old.

1260385238JH: Really looking forward to today.

K: Me too.

JH: I’ve [been] liking everybody in SMAP [for a long time.] I always watch your performances.

K: Thank you.

JH: You’re welcome.

K: Are you learning Japanese now?

JH: I’m learning some, but it’s difficult.

K: I see. You’ve had a concert in New York in February this year?

JH: Yes.

K: How was it?

JH: Really… I was in such high spirits.

Screen caption: Clips of concert at Madison Square Garden.

JH: Half the audiences were Asian fans, and the other half US fans. There were also many from the local music industry; producers, singers… many people turned up. It felt like I was making an entry into the US market. The concert atmosphere itself felt really enthusiastic. So I was very happy. And there were many Japanese fans there too. I’m very grateful.

K: I see. I’m a really great fan of Michael Jackson. (Rayndrop: That’s like… the most awkward shift in topic I’ve heard… LOL)

JH: Ah… Michael Jackson… I really like him too.

K: He’s a very warm person.

JH: Yes.

K: Have you met him before?

JH: Sadly, not yet.

K: I see.

JH: When I was young, I often imitated the dance steps of Michael Jackson.

K: Ever did the moon-walking?

JH: Yes.

Screen caption: 3 pm

K: How many times [have you visited Japan now]?

JH: I visit quite often actually. It’s my 20th visit this time round.

K: You do visit quite often!

JH: Although I want to stop over for a longer period of time for my promotional activities here, in reality, it’s really quite difficult. But when I drop by occasionally like that, fans welcome me warmly, and I am grateful for that.

K: I see. What are some of the places you’d like to visit in Japan?

JH: I’ve always liked hot springs. I haven’t been to a hot spring in Japan. I’d also like to visit the Tokyo Tower.

K: I see.

JH: I’d like to go have a look.

K: What kind of food do you like?

JH: When it comes to Japanese food, it’ll have to be sushi.

K: Sushi.

JH: Dai suki desu! (I like it a lot!)

K: It’s good isn’t it?

JH: Yup. I like it a ]lot!

K: I see. I heard your new song.

JH: Yes. That’s a new song. It’s my second single in Japan, a song called “Free Way.”

Screen caption: “Free Way” music video

K: It’s a piece of work from a Japanese producer?

JH: Yes, it’s Mr. Imai.

K: How is it?

JH: The beat and rhythm fit very well. I’m very grateful for the fantastic song he wrote for me. I think he is a very talented musician.

K: I see. Are the Japanese lyrics difficult?

JH: Very difficult. Especially the pronunciations like “tsu” and other difficult sounds. So it is very difficult. But I’m training very hard, and I think I’ve completed a good song.

K: [Your] pronunciation is very good!

JH: Thank you! I did feel a little uneasy at first. But it received some very good responses from many Japanese. This is great.

K: Rain is really great at dancing. Very cool!

JH: Thanks. I’ve been dancing since I was young. I started when I was 10 or 11, and have been training since then until now. Singing and dancing are both profound. So I often remind myself to keep practicing.


K: You’re filming a movie now, aren’t you?

JH: I’m filming a movie called “I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK” with Director Park Chan Wook. It should be quite an interesting movie. We’re about 90% complete now. Another 10 more scenes and we’re done.

K: I see. Director Park Chan Wook is one of my favorite Korean directors. [What’s] his directing like?

JH: Director Park Chan Wook, as everyone knows, has directed many films with character, such as “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance”, “Old Boy”, “JSA”, “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.” This movie is like the others. Although is it called a love movie [romance], it showcases Director Park’s unique style. I feel that rather than hearing me describe it, please have a look at the movie instead. When the movie is completed, I’ll be sure to invite you. Please do come and watch.

K: Yes, please.

Jung JiHoon nods head.

K: Well then, let’s do it the other way [around]. Anything you’ll like to ask me?

JH: In fact, I’ve been troubled when asked this question [before]. Do you like singing as a singer, or acting as an actor? Does Mr. Chonan like to be a singer or an actor. I think both have their alluring points. But if you had to choose, is there a preference? [Kusanagi’s stage name in South Korea is Chonan Gang. ^@@^]

K: In fact, I like singing. But I always get told by the SMAP members not to sing.

JH: Why?

K: “Chonan… you’re tone-deaf!” they’d tell me.

JH: But I’ve seen your singing performances. You sing well. You’ve got singing activities in Korea too and you sing very well. But I’ve been listening to songs by SMAP since I was young. I think everybody’s got a lot of character, wonderful.

K: Thanks. But basically, in delivering the purpose, singing and acting are the same.

JH: Yes.

K: Both are just as important.

JH: Yes, they are both important.

K: Well finally, Bi, please say something to all the Bi fans in Japan.

JH: Everybody, thank you very much. Although I can’t come to Japan often, I am always with you. Minasan, aisiteru. Arigatoo gozaimatsu~ (Everybody, I love you. Thank you~)

K: Thank you.

JH: Arigatoo gozaimasu (thank you).


~ by Cloud USA on December 12, 2014.

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