K-pop takes on the world while J-pop stays home
It has since been reported that the women’s parents may be behind the mutiny. In the fall of 2009, three members of Tohoshinki, arguably the most widely adored K-pop group so far, quit the band with similar complaints about management accompanied by similar gossip about parental interference. In both cases, the groups had already made their mark on Japan, which brings up the question of timing. When K-pop artists quit their agencies, theoretically they’re finished in show business. The three Tohoshinki members have managed to stay in the game as a new pop entity, JYJ, mainly thanks to their management in Japan.
After receiving very emotional messages from fans of JYJ, I have changed a sentence in the column that originally described the three members of Tohoshinki as “traitors,” a word that deeply offended these fans. I apologize for any pain this word may have caused. I believe most readers understood my ironic use of the word, which was not intended to insult JYJ. It was used in regard to the trio’s relationship to their former talent agency, in the sense that they “betrayed” their management by leaving their contract, or so the management claimed initially.