July 11, 2008


山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
It's so difficult to find a happy medium in most things, isn't it? For example, being a healthy fan: not obsessed, rational, objective...

A friend of mine thinks being a fan of somebody shows a lack of self-esteem and a tendency to idolize people. She says a fan is so busy keeping track of his/her idol's life that he/she doesn't live his/her own life fully.

I think that's a bit extreme, but sometimes I worry about that, about devoting too much time to the fandom and not enough to myself. In May, whenever I read a Full House report on a Japanese blog - I still owe you a summary of them - I felt very happy for Shoon, but also a little jealous. He was doing something he loves doing, acting, and he was having the time of his life. In the meantime I was... well, busy with a job that isn't my calling.

Unconsciously I keep putting off my dreams instead of fighting for them as hard I should. I seem to have this silly belief somewhere in the back of my mind that one day in a not too distant future I'll get up in the morning and magically write an amazing novel, just like that. But time is like a road and we're travelling in a car without brakes. You can't stop or go back, and the car eats mile after mile, and what was the present soon becomes the past, and what you thought was the future becomes the present. The future is NOW; it's such a mistake of us to waste so much time, as if we were going to live forever.

I need to drill this into my head. For a while I actually had a reminder of this on the wall, in front of my desk; a quotation that goes: "Life is not a rehearsal; it's a one-time performance", but it ended up stressing me, so I took it down. Now I have another that says: "Try and live each day without attempting to solve in a moment every problem you have". Both are wise advise; now I just need to find a balance between the two.

It's ironic that my favourite movement in Art is the Renaissance, which had balance as its basis, and yet I have such a hard time finding balance in my life.

Perhaps you're wondering what brought this about. Well, it was something rather innocent, an anonymous comment on an old entry (Shoon shops at Goro's) a few days ago:

Hey I have to say I admire your feelings and your research into this eagle pendent. Not too many people outside of JP know of Goros... Unfortunately though if you think that this boy or any JP star or idol dresses themselves then you really are living in a fantasy land. Young idols wearing Goros is just another trend that will come and go. I really doubt he even knows where Goros is or could be bothered to line up an hour or two that it takes to get in.

This made me reflect on myself as a fan. Do I come across as naive? Am I living in a fantasy land? Am I idolizing Shoon? Have I fallen for him, or for a romantic idea of him I've built in my head?

Well, let me say in my defence, that when I write fangirly posts I sort of "let my hair down" and allow myself to be a little silly and indulge in what I consider fandom is for: "sharing what you like with others and squeeing together". *winks at Mandy*

I titled the post "Shoon shops at Goro's" not because I actually think he shops there, but because it sounded catchy.

Some of the accesories JE boys wear are their own (for a while Yabu wore a pendant he mentioned Tottsu had given to him, for instance) but I must admit that until a few weeks after writing that entry, I thought that AT LEAST the oval shaped eagle pendant belonged to Shoon. I suspected when I found out so many of his recent pendants are from the same collection, but he used to wear the oval-shaped one a couple of years ago, and then he started wearing it again, so I just assumed it was his. Then one day I noticed a Question? member wearing an exact pendant, and, you know, a part of me wanted to believe that they had both bought the same pendant, but not much later I saw an old V6 scan, and one of the members of the group was wearing the same pendant too. It was rather disappointing. I thought: "So some of the accesories they wear are hand-me-downs too, just like the outfits they wear on stage?".

I must also admit that I don't usually pay that much attention to anybody else's accesories other than Shoon's, but this post on Shotani's LJ was an eye-opener.

It's a shame really. Goro's fitted so nicely with Shoon's love for leatherwork! And the philosophy behind Goro's jewelry fitted the romantic image I have of him too.

However, somehow I guess that I was just closing my eyes to the truth and that deep down I'd suspected all along most accesories are not his. Do you remember the pic on the right? It's been on the navigation bar for a while, and I put it there last December, on Shoon's birthday.

For those who don't speak Japanese, it says (with some probable grammar mistake as my Japanese is not perfect): "Shoon, if you happen to read this, please wear this pendant again. That way us, foreign fans, will know that you know you have our support." I put it there in the hope that, if some day he stumbled upon this blog, I'd have a way of knowing it.

The reason I chose that pendant is because it's the only one that I know for sure belongs to him. I can't remember where I got the pictures below, so please if you see them and they're yours, tell me and I'll credit you. This is a bit from a page of one of the comic books of Ya-Ya-yah ga yattekuru, a shojo manga published in 2005. It's very small, but if you squint really hard, it's the same pendant, and in the text Shoon explains: "It's a present I got for my birthday two years ago from a member of the Kansai Johnny's Juniors, Muro Tatsuki (室龍規) [he's one year younger than Shoon]. I took part in a Kansai concert, we became good friends, and he gave this pendant to me for my birthday. It made me really happy. Since then I wear it a lot. He also mentions that the pendant appears in the manga, as you can see on the right.

And you can see he's also wearing it on another page. In fact he wears it in some 2005 photoshoots.

I took that picture down from the navigation bar a couple of weeks after my friend told me she had managed to give Shoon my letter. In my letter I wrote the URL of this blog, and if he read it he might have visited and seen it, so it made no sense to have it there any longer. I was maybe a bit naive hoping he'd wear it in the August magazines - the July interviews were done in mid-May, and he hadn't been given my letter yet. I kept on telling myself it wasn't going to happen, but I didn't manage to kill that silly little hope, and so I felt somewhat disappointed when I saw he's wearing no pendant at all in the August magazines as you can see below, which is something rather unusual for him. These are from Duet and Wink Up; the pics on the header are from Potato. I'm not posting the scans as I got them from somebody in a Chinese forum who asks not to repost them, but if you want them, leave a comment. I'll post my own scans at the Shoon LJ community in a few days, as soon as I get my clippings.

Well, this could mean that...
a) he didn't read the letter;
b) he read it but didn't visit this blog;
c) he visited but didn't want to wear the pendant - after all he doesn't have to please some random fan just because she asks him to do something;
d) he visited and thought it unnecessary as he mentioned foreign fans in an article last month;
e) he read my letter, visited out of curiosity, thought I was a freak, and decided not to wear any pendant in the August mags. .___.

I hope it was any... except e. I feel so awful thinking I might have offended or hurt him in any way with my letter or something he might have seen here. A few days ago I actually had a nightmare about this. I dream I am with him and it has to be a nightmare... -_- We were in a car; Shoon sitting in front, next to the driver, and I was sitting behind the driver, so I could see Shoon's face. He was reading a letter, he was very angry, and he had dyed his hair at least three different colours. The colours thing is probably because in the letter I wrote: "please don't dye it; your natural hair colour is beautiful". ^^;;;

Maybe I shouldn't have written that letter at all. Maybe I shouldn't write posts like this and wear my heart on my sleeve, as I so often do. I'm passionate and yes, maybe a little naive, and also stubborn and sentimental, but what can I do? That's the way I am.

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental
To reach out for another is to risk involvement
To expose your feeling is to risk rejection
To place your dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule
To love is to risk not being loved in return
To go forward in the face of overwhelming odd is to risk failure
But the risk should be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he cannot learn, feel, change, grow, or love.
Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave. He has forfeited his freedom.
Only a person who takes risk is free.

I actually didn't mean to make an entry about this. I intended to talk about the August SCs, about how much I'm looking forward to them, about how much Shoon there will be in them, about Reon being a game assistant in Junior League for the first time, about the fact that there's a 4TOPS song (波) in one of the medleys, about how odd that is because no song that belonged to a junior group has ever been sung by other juniors in Shounen Club, as far as I know, about how that might mean that one day (soon?) they will actually sing Ya-Ya-yah songs, about how that might make me feel, but I ended up writing this.

I had also scanned another 2005 set and I will post it. In one of the pictures there's also a tiny hint of that strange awkwardness that makes me a Yamabu "believer". See if you can spot it! I love this set.

2005.11 Potato - Ya-Ya-yah scans

PS: The text on the header is a quotation from Mulan: The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. It refers to Shoon, of course.

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yahPOST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS