[Event] Ji Chang Wook returns to Japan after 3 years with “Waiting For You” fan meeting

On 11 January 2020, Ji Chang Wook kicked off the first stop on his 2020 Asia Fan Meeting Tour “Waiting For You” at the Pacifico Yokohama National Convention Hall in Yokohama, Japan.  The following is a compliation of news reports and friends’ accounts from that evening.

Ji Chang Wook, the powerful and handsome actor who starred in a variety of popular dramas such as “Melting Me Softly” “Suspicious Partner” “The K2,” and “Healer,” held his first Asian fan meeting tour after his release from the military.  It was his first fan meeting in Japan in over three years.

Ji Chang Wook has been quite active since he left the army last April [2019].  Fans eagerly awaiting a reunion with him filled the hall to the third floor.  With his introduction to the audience while singing Paul Kim’s “Have Coffee With Me” with the live band, Ji Chang Wook entered the centre of the stage carrying a bouquet of flowers, which caused a burst of cheers from the audience.  “Hello, I am Ji Chang Wook.  How are you all?  I really missed you.  Thank you for waiting for me.  I’m glad to be with you at the beginning of the year,” he said, adding “I revealed that I had chosen the title “Waiting For You” with that thought in mind,” receiving even greater applause.  Fans in the audience were further enraptured when he then sweetly sang “101 Reasons Why I Like You” from the “Suspicious Partner” OST.

After singing, he again greeted the audience, and made a surprise announcement was that he would see everyone off after the performance.  When the unexpected news flooded the audience with joy, they laughed and commented, “I think it would be better to see you off than here at the fan meeting.”  Ji Chang Wook grabbed the hearts of the fans from the beginning of the event.

As in past Japan meetings, the emcee was talento Yuki Shiina.  The conversation that followed between Shiina-san and Ji Chang Wook was carried out in the form of a “hashtag.”  The first hashtag discussed was #BeginnerYouTuberChangwook.  Mimicking the visual of a YouTube channel, the large screen behind the stage played various videos of Ji Chang Wook, but most especially, the “Shower Kiss” clip from “Melting Me,” which recently finished airing in Korea.  “I had a hard time with my nose and eyes in the shower, and it was really hard because the shooting was cold in winter,” he said about filming the kiss scene.

Emcee:  “Ji Chang Wook started a YouTube channel that I really like.  I insist that you please click on the channel registration button.  What do you think about starting YouTube?”

JCW:  “It’s been about 4 months since I started, but I want to quit. I’m running out of material (laughs),” and the venue burst into laughter with him.

In the midst of all this, hashtag #PhotoTime was suddenly set up based on questions about the proper angles of having his picture taken. Ji Chang Wook walked across the stage, and said “This is my gift for you all.”  [Note:  For those of you not familiar with the process, Japanese fan meetings allow for a specific amount of time – usually 3-4 minutes – where the star poses on stage in order for the audience to take photos.  At any other time during the performance, cameras and other video recording devices are forbidden, and if you are caught, they will be confiscated by the ushers.]

The next hashtag discussed was #JellyLove.  Ji Chang Wook revealed that he liked jelly from an early age.  And when he discussed his favorite jelly (several were lined up next to him on the stage), he ended up giving it to a little girl sitting in the front row.  He always cares about his fans!

In the next hashtag corner, #TheManWhoLovesMotorcycles,” a video introduced his trip to Jeju Island and showed Ji Chang Wook riding a motorcycle.  He explained the meaning of that hashtag from his recent trip to Jeju Island.  “Actually, I’m good at parking,” he says, “and I like to travel on the spur of the moment.  That’s why I like it, including accidents.  Life doesn’t go as planned.”  In Spain and the U.S., he also rode his motorbikes and said he liked the feeling of cutting off the wind.”

In the next hashtag corner, “#JiChangWookWishlist,” he said, “I like our fan meetings, but I want to perform in musicals and plays.  If I have the chance, I would like to say hello to you in such a place,” he said, showing his enthusiasm for future activities.

Next hashtag discussed was #WinterJiChangwook.”

Emcee:  “How do you spend your winter?”

JCW:  “I personally love winter.  I’ll be warm!  It’s cold (laughs), so I’m the type to go out but stay warm!”

Ji Chang Wook then talked about winter songs in January.  Lee Juck’s “One Fine Winter Day” and “Dimples” are the songs Ji Chang Wook often listens to in the winter.  He told the audience “This is my first time to perform these songs in front of you, but I’m going to sing these songs because I want you to listen to them.”  He then performed “One Fine Winter Day” and “Dimples” for the audience.  The venue filled with a warm atmosphere with ballads and cheerful love songs suitable for winter.

Ji Chang Wook stated, “When I live a lot of my life as an actor, I have many thoughts.  There are times when things go well and times when things don’t go well.  At times like that, I try to think that ‘the time will come when I will be rewarded.’  If you wait, the season of ‘you’ will surely come.  I’m rooting for you so that your future will be a flower-opening future.  With that in mind, I’ll sing the next song,” which was “After You Left Me” by the indie group Acouvre.  The song, which was impressive with its beautiful lyrics, became deeply ingrained amongst the fans.

After getting addicted to Ji Chang Wook’s sweet songs, it was time for the #FunGameCorner.  Ji Chang Wook took on challenging the VR [visual reality] version of Fruit Ninja, an arcade game that cuts flying fruits with a sword.  He took off his suit jacket, put on the VR goggles, and started the game with the determination that “I have no experience in VR games, but I am confident!”  It was fun to watch him focus on the game and move his body.  Also, if Ji Chang Wook amassed more than 500 points, an audience member would be given a present by lottery, which made the fans cheer loudly for a win!  It seemed more difficult than he expected and he had a hard time getting 500 points, but then the level was quickly lowered to 100 points.  Ji Chang Wook stated while taking off the VR goggles, “I’d like to give the present now because I’m in a hurry,” and presented a photo collection and jelly to the lucky fan lottery winner.

In the second half of the fan meeting dubbed the “VCR Corner,” a video played of “Kissing You” from the “7 First Kisses” Lotte Duty Free OST, with the live band assembled also providing a spectacular performance.  Unlike his smart outfit in the beginning, Ji Chang Wook reappeared after changing into a cardigan and turtleneck after the VCR Corner.  He performed a fictional radio show called “What Ji Chang Wook Wants To Do in 2020” as his “Wook DJ” radio personality.

Speaking in a warm and gentle voice, Ji Chang Wook introduced messages from his fans in the audience.  When he heard that a fan was to become the manager of a Korean restaurant in April, he said, “I’m going to go eat if she opens a restaurant in the future,” but when he found out that the fan was going to become the manager, he declared, “OK, I’ll send flowers to the restaurant!” He was moved by the way his fans loved him.

One fan had written, “I want him to release an album because he is good at singing.”  Ji Chang Wook pondered that request for a moment, while saying “I’ll seriously think about it.  I love singing, but I think it’s a miracle that there are people who do what they like and are happy to do.”  He was then asked, “If you release an album, what songs would you like to sing?” In addition, when he received a message from the audience asking to sing a song in a cappella, Ji Chang Wook performed a verse from Lee Juck’s “Laundry.”  He truly enjoyed communicating with the audience.

The last part of the event was performing the OSTs from the dramas “Empress Ki,” “Healer,” and “Melting Me.”  During the performance of “I’ll Protect You” from the “Healer” OST, the venue was filled with surprised audience members, as Ji Chang Wook walked through the upper levels of the auditorium while singing.  Fans suddenly wished they were in the seats on the second and third floors.

The last song of the evening was “Rainy Blue” by Tokunaga Hideaki.  “I chose this song to sing with you,” and performed it entirely in Japanese.  When Ji Chang Wook appeared on stage again for his encore, he finished with “Even Though I Loved You” from the musical, “The Days.”

Finally, Ji Chang Wook expressed his gratitude towards his fans, saying, “I’ll do my best whenever and wherever.  I want to respond to the love and support of the fans who have trusted me and waited for me.  I think today’s happy memories will remain forever.”  Then speaking in Japanese: “Thank you again for your support.  Everyone, I love you!  See you again!”  And after the performance, he did his best to see everyone off as promised, as all audience members were treated to a hi-touch after the end of the show.  It was a warm fan meeting filled with feelings and gratitude for the fans who had waited for him, and ended with great success and the promise to meet again next time.

After the end of show greeting, all audience members were given a photocard and note written in Japanese:



Songs Performed:

Have Coffee With Me – Paul Kim
101 Reasons Why I Like You – “Suspicious Partner” OST
One Fine Winter Day – Lee Juck
Dimples – Lee Juck
After You Left Me – Acourve
Kissing You – “7 First Kisses” OST
Amaranth [When Your Heart Slowly Withers Away] – Chen (EXO)
To Butterfly – “Empress Ki” OST
I’ll Protect You – “Healer” OST
Love Passes By – “Melting Me Softly” OST
Rainy Blue – Tokunaga Hideaki
Even Though I Loved You – “The Days” OST (encore)

Translated from Japanese to English by cherkell; there may be slight inaccuracies.  PLEASE DO NOT REPRINT, REPURPOSE, SCREENCAP OR OTHERWISE COPY OUR CONTENT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION.

Credits:  Ji Chang Wook Official Japan Fan Club; RUBEUS; Koari.net; OSEN

About cherkell

Left Coast Otaku and Chicago Expat, successfully mangling both the Japanese and Korean languages at the same time. Devoted Ji Chang Wook Follower since 2007; proof positive at jichangwookkitchen.com. Fangirl Squeeeeeing Nightly; No Cover Charge.

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