Monday, January 29, 2007

Family of Man

If you have read the post titled Off Topic, you will know I have recently had terrible news of a friend who was killed. After this news, I was very angry and filled with bitterness. I wanted to beat the world with my fists.

I thought about this. I thought about Michael, my friend. He was a good man, and I never heard him say anything bad about anyone.

I had written a poem filled with sorrow, dedicated to him.

Then, without any plan I began to think about Oh Ji Ho, a Korean, about Rivi, from Sri Lanka, about Ara, a Basque friend, about Alexey, a Russian, about Jackie, a black woman (now), but a young girl when she was my best friend in Junior High School in Newark, New Jersey. All the people I have loved, Edgar, Gillian, Carlos, Lorna, Monica, Jacques…all different people with different beliefs and different colors, different national origins.

And I wrote this poem to heal myself. To remind myself that we are a family.

Litany Three

Almond eyes
Skin of ivory
River of hair
Taste of a woman
Taste of a man
Scent of heat
Curve of an arch

How beautiful
How beautiful

Eyes of earth
Black silk hair
Mahogany skin
Curve of the cheek
Voice of a bell
Voice of a gong
Scent of passion

How beautiful
How beautiful

Eyes of blue water
Hair of golden coils
Skin of snow
Dimpled elbow
Rose lips
Curve of the hip
The call of doves

How beautiful
How beautiful

Crinkled hair
Black sky skin
Eyes of night
Flashing smile
Full lips kissing
Feet of a dancer
The length of thigh

How beautiful
How beautiful

How beautiful you are

January 14, 2007
A. Murray

I wish to dedicate this poem to you, the ones who come here from all over the world. I dedicate it to the friends of Oh Ji Ho, our brother, who is troubled these days. We are all touching each other. We are family. We are humanity.

I bow before you in humble gratitude for your honored presence. Thank you.

A Letter to Zio

Dear Oh Ji Ho

I am really sorry for the whole bad times that u r going through ... I can do nothing but tell u truthfully that i am supporting u from the bottom of my heart...
I am arabian girl from UAE- Dubai.. the first drama i watched for u was My Wonderful Barbershop.... Since that time i was a big fan of u ...the drama touch me and u was great and awesome....
Since that i figure out that u r great person with high sensitive so plz let it go..
I know u r strong and u can handle it
One dear old man told me that "As soon as u live u r going to have nice day and bad dayS...But the live wont end easly"
It was wiseness of my life so plz make it yours

Go head and believe in ur fans and their supports

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Letter to Zio

Dear Oh Ji Ho Shi,

No one can fully understand what you are going through right now. Yet, we who care about you as an actor and as a human being are sympathetic and worried about your well-being.

Personally, I feel deep sorrow that your beloved friend was so trapped in what must have felt like a hopeless position. I wish her life on earth could have been happier. I do think that for her, you were a bright beam of joy. Someone who experiences love is very fortunate. She was fortunate to have loved and been loved…no matter how brief. That she felt compelled to end her life is tragic…but it was her choice, alone. Do not allow yourself to sink into guilt and depression.

I know that God loves her and has made a place for her in heaven.

For you, do what you do best…be focused, strive for joy and happiness, rely on your quiet humble strength and take deep breaths. Remember, the acute pain and sensationalism will pass. I pray that what does remain is the memory of love that allows you to love again.

May the God of your understanding hold you in blessings and light.

C. Chun

Off Topic

I am tired. My mind is dulled, and my eyes burn. Too many events have taken place in my life in the last eight weeks, and circuit overload is the result.

Though this is personal business, and perhaps not best mentioned here, I will anyway. As I tried to keep you informed during the computer crashes, when I wasn’t able to post, or only post in a very limited way, I’m keeping you informed now.

Very briefly: Late in the autumn I developed a problem with one of my feet. It is a condition I can do nothing about. It is extremely painful, but it does settle down for reasonable periods of time. It’s never completely gone, but I can live with it.

In early December a very strong wind storm passed through the region where I live. It was in fact associated with a tornado. We were very lucky that we were not in the direct path of this terrible storm which resulted in fatalities, and caused extreme damage where it touched down.

My home sustained damage from the winds. It was one of only two, in this immediate vicinity damaged. The insurance was not enough to cover the repairs, but anything is helpful.

In mid December I discovered that a friend had been murdered some time ago. I learned of it through the Internet…through news articles. There was no phone call to tell me of it, no softening of the story, just words printed across the screen like iced water being poured over me.

This past week, I had a flood in my home.

I had to call the fire department to come out to shut the water off, and while I waited for them, the water was blasting out of a pipe, soaking the floors. They are damaged to the point where they must be replaced, and they present a threat to me if I absentmindedly walk on a soft spot.

For a while now, the situation with Oh Ji Ho, and my recognition of the potential far reaching effect it could have, has dominated most of my waking hours while trying to encourage people to take a moment to send a card or note that will demonstrate we are behind this man. We don’t want to see him lose what he has worked so hard to achieve.

I am not the only person engaged in that activity; I suspect there are cards and letters addressed to him coming in from all over the globe.

That’s good.

I am so far behind in personal correspondence, I keep sending notes promising letters that don’t get written, or that are half written. It presses on my mind.

The upshot here is that I will only be posting photographs for a while. Of course if anything major develops, I will be here to let you know.

Some say, “No news is good news”. Probably more true than not. In this case though, there are many of us who have that bad feeling…and want to hear something or other.

UPDATE 1/31/07:I am now monitoring all comments. This simply means that I will be notified that a new comment has been added. I will then read it to be sure I am filtering out machine generated spam, or comments that are detrimental to myself or Oh Ji Ho, since this is not an open forum. It is a privately published blog.

I am reopening access to my e-mail address for the purpose of handling inquiries regarding contacting Oh Ji Ho. It is absolutely essential that we not stop sending cards or short notes of encouragement to him. He will need us for a good while. He has been through a nightmare.

You will not have to deal with the dread blue letters in order to comment or ask for the address. I hate that thing, and I can't stand inflicting it upon you good people. Monitoring the comments makes it unnecessary.

Right this minute I am seeing double images. I really need to get some rest.

Sit tight, stay healthy, and keep the faith.


I call this picture, "He sleeps..." I hope he does.

Oh Ji Ho -National love, and the working man...

National love withheld
January 12, 2007

We have a title, “national actor,” which refers to a thespian who transcends generation and class; he or she is loved by the entire country. Beyond possessing acting skills, the actor must be a model citizen. The designation is a form of praise that embodies the public’s love and respect. Similarly, we have terms like “national singer,” “national song,” “national drama,” and “national movie.”

This appellation first appeared in the 1990s. We called people like Jo Yong-pil and Shin Seung-hun “national singers.” The phrase emerged in reaction to a younger generation who seemed to be adrift and needed inspirational figures. Soon after, it became trendy to attach “national” as a form of praise― even a “national younger sister” made her appearance. Mun Geun-yeong was a good actor and student. As real teenagers become progressively more difficult, she conformed to an image of innocent teenagers for which the older generation longed. Sports stars like Kim Yeon-Ah and Bak Tae Hwan were hailed in the same way.

In addition, movies that draw ten million viewers are considered “national movies.” The designation suggests that the movie was enjoyed by the entire nation and did as well as Hollywood movies.
Recently, B-boys (break boys) have been called “national dancers.” They went from being rebellious street kids performing a dangerous dance to become cherished assets after dominating international competitions.

In reality, using the term “national” so frequently is purely a Korean phenomenon. It reveals the nationalistic and collectivist nature that underlies our culture. Culture is looked at from the standpoint of national interest and patriotism, and regarding preferences, the collective good is placed ahead of the individual. Ahn Sung-ki, who is called a “national actor” said, “Instead of calling me a national actor, just call me an actor.” He said the weight of the word “national” was suppressing his freedom as an actor. He also implied that his most important quality is his acting ability, not whether he is a model citizen. Mun Geun-yeong, who has been dubbed our national younger sister, has upset people by trying to adopt an adult image.

Our society, which habitually uses the adjective “national,” hardly ever applies it when talking about politics. One will never hear people using the term “national president,” “national assemblyman,” or “national politician,” despite the fact they have been elected by the people. This proves that Korean politics falls short of popular culture in regard to national interest and in terms of the love and respect of the public.

*The writer is a culture and sports desk writer
of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Yang Sung-hee

Link to original article:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Letters to Zio - "TO OH JI HO"

Posted as a comment by Anonymous. Unedited

Troubles are like a washing machine. They twist and turn and knocks us around, but in the end we come out brighter and better. Earhtly life is not easy. Don't think too much of the problems in life. This is just like a test paper given to us to see how much we learned in the subject "LIFE". Life becomes meaningful when we survive hurts of the past, we live fully of the present and we view our future with hope. Just remember, everyday God thinks of you. Every hour, God looks after you. Every minute God cares for you because every second He loves you. You are an amazing person when you are nice, you are a wonderful person when you are true, but don't you know that you are a blessing to many people who loves you? Be strong.

Oh Ji Ho's statement translated to English.

“This is Oh Ji-ho,”

“The reason why I am writing is because I still cannot believe she left. I can only weep,” he wrote. “It still hurts [thinking about our past], but everything I read now in news reports describing our relationship has become distorted and meaningless.”

“I was a celebrity who had to constantly be aware of what others think about me, and she was a girl who was not in a position to be proud of her job,” he said.
***** NOTE: He later remarked that he didn't care what kind of work she did. He loved her,

This statement by Oh Ji Ho was published by JoongAng Daily. The entire piece is below. Too much misinformation has been propagated by unthinking and uncaring netizens posting at various message boards for me to continue to avoid including this sort of input here.

In a sense, my hand has been forced by visiting a forum this morning to see the comment that Oh Ji Ho had "dumped his girlfriend after he got famous.

Commentary rescinded/deleted with apologies to a single injured party. As the forum name and /or the individual quoted/misquoted have never been identified or referred to by name here I feel this post alteration is adequate. I have apoligized to the individual in question publicly at that forum, dispite the fact it was predicted I would never show my face there again.

All this is off topic here, and will not be addressed any further.

Here then, in it's entirity, is the article from the JoongAng Daily, written in excellent English by the intelligent, articulate reporter, Lee Min-a.

Star admits to dating bar girl

For weeks, rumors followed actor Oh Ji-ho wherever he went that the bar girl who killed herself earlier this month had been the popular TV star’s former girlfriend.

The rumors did not die down even after Oh’s angry agent threatened to take legal action against the Internet users spreading the stories.

It was only last Tuesday, when the actor admitted that the woman known by her bar name “Anna” had been his girlfriend and that they had been very much in love that public opinion shifted from indignation to shock.

“This is Oh Ji-ho,” the 31-year-old actor began in his personal Web log. Oh confessed his feelings for his ex-girlfriend, who was found dead in her apartment bathroom.
“The reason why I am writing is because I still cannot believe she left. I can only weep,” he wrote. “It still hurts [thinking about our past], but everything I read now in news reports describing our relationship has become distorted and meaningless.”
“I was a celebrity who had to constantly be aware of what others think about me, and she was a girl who was not in a position to be proud of her job,” he said.
Oh said he dated “Anna” for one year before she initiated the breakup. She said she did not want to get in the way of Oh’s career.

Link to original article.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Editorial Comment by Arlene

I was in complete shock reading about what happened to Oh Ji Ho.

As a fan living in Hawai'i; I have admired his acting ability and his open heart.

I am hoping deep within my heart fans and non-fans will open their minds and see Oh Ji-Ho is hurting more than anyone else. Ji-Ho is the one that has to face a reality that in order to keep on working he had to hurt someone he had come to love very much.

I ask myself would it have been better if he had admitted to loving someone who was working in a bar? I highly doubt it and things could have still ended up the same way. His love would have been put in jeopardy and people would have had more of an opportunity to attack her. She might still have done this to save Ji-Ho's career.

I highly doubt there was a win/win scenario...but a lose/lose one way or another.

We take for granted living in a free country; being able to choose who and what we want in the United States...we often forget that in foreign countries life isn't like ours.

I live to hope that one day; everyone will open their minds and hearts and let celebrities be free to choose and live with who they want and just be happy for them.

I hope that fans remember what Jackie Chan went through and can see that Oh Ji-Ho can be forgiven; to me he has done nothing wrong. Celebrities entertain us...we don't live their personal lives for them.

Arlene, HI

Letters to Zio - A Note From Fiona

Hi Hyacinth

I am a big fan of Oh Ji Ho's and want him to know that he is in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Fiona, AU

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Letters to Zio

My dear friends,

You come from all over the world. I can see that through my web tracker. I am so happy to greet you today. Welcome to this place.


I have begun a campaign to encourage people to send a note or card to Zio to encourage him during this very difficult time.

I now have a verified address where he can receive mail.

I will respond to all e-mails requesting an address where he can be reached. My e-mail address is available through my profile. Just click the words "View my complete profile" to the right of this posting. You will find a "Contact" button inside the profile.

I am doing it this way to screen out the spammers. My mailer dumps them automatically. PLEASE send this good, decent man a sign of your support in good taste, and with respect.

As always,

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Message to Zio From Katie

Katie is a young woman who is a Soompi member. She put her beautiful supportive message on this photo, posted it at Soompi, and has allowed me to post it here. Thank you so much Katie. You express the hearts of so many of us with your words. The photo looks great!

Letters to Zio - A Note From Sue

Dear Oh Ji Ho

I'm very sorry to hear that you are missing now.

Do you eat?
Please don't cry too much.
Be strong!

Don't forget we always love you!

I can not find how to say to you now.

Do you remember Blue sky in Hawaii?
I can not forget your beautiful smile.

See you soon...

Sue from Hawaii

Letters to Zio

It is early in the morning. I am here at the computer, almost afraid to check in at Soompi. Soompi is the well filled with information. I am not so brave as to look straight into those waters without some sort of buffer...a little distance between myself and hard reality. If there is bad news, it will be there.

I came here first.

People don't comment here often, but I know they come here from all over the world.

Today there is a comment from a woman writing from Hawaii. Her message is personal and beautiful. Personal, in that it addresses Oh Ji Ho directly.

I believe that it should be on the front page because Blogger has a poor system when it comes to comments, and it takes infinity to open them. I lack patience with it. I am able to read them from the "inside", but the viewer must wrangle with the system, and I hate that. I want you, my viewer, to always feel welcome here, and I want it to be easy for you.

So, I am going to post any comments regarding him and his situation as it stands now, in the main body of this blog.

They will have their own titles. They deserve that small honor. They are welcome here. I am grateful to be assured that people care so much.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Light For Zio - To Help Guide Him Back

Dear Zio,
So many of us are terribly worried about you. You have been missing for more than three days now. No one seems to know where you are.

We understand that you need privacy and solitude at this time, yet we can't help but feel a sense of dread where you are concerned.

Please Zio, don't do anything harmful to yourself. So many people are afraid because you have "disappeared" yourself. They, no, WE, fear the worst.

Hyacinth...and thousands of her sisters from all over the world

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oh Ji Ho and the Korean Caste System

Judging from the many hits I’ve had here at the site, I feel it safe to assume the word about Oh Ji Ho’s friend and companion committing suicide has hit the fan, and everyone wants to hear all about it.

I probably know as much about it as you do, but do you know…?

Korea has a distinct caste system, although they are loath to call it that. Instead they excuse it by calling it tradition. I have despised it since I became aware of it, and I don’t excuse it on any grounds.

There was an amusing piece about K-Dramas posted at K-PopVideo recently. I thought it was pretty funny and close to the bone, so I posted it at The Hyacinth Papers.

Yes, it’s funny, but, there is something unfunny about the nasty truth it reveals.

8. When someone hits a subordinate, it is always on the head, and most often across the back of the head.

My note: why feel so free to hit a subordinate?

9. The wealthy have contempt for those without, and those on the lower rungs kiss the feet of their superiors. Korean society treats the wealthy and the poor completely differently.

This applies to those public figures that have achieved fame also. And it is a very powerful force in the culture of Korea, and within families where the bludgeon of guilt is useful.

If a family doesn’t want a son or daughter to marry someone they don’t feel fits their idea of ‘correct’ in terms of status, for one thing, the marriage is almost impossible to achieve. (See My Lovely Km, Sam-soon for the perfect example, or if you can stomach it, see Memories of Bali, an unfunny terrible story of family, business, and propriety according to the omnipotent parents who lean on custom like a crutch, and wield it like a club, in order to control, and incidentally destroy, their younger son who loves a ‘common’ girl. Nobody wins in that one.

Oh Ji Ho is a victim of this societal structure, this caste system. He is a Korean. He was raised with the customs, and has evidently buckled under their weight. You have to have seen Memories of Bali to appreciate just how intense that weight can be. It is The Irresistible Force.

You have no doubt seen the news coverage regarding Oh Ji Ho. In a sense, it makes him look so guilty because he lied.

Guilty of what? Self protection?

Yes, he did not tell all when the news first leaked out. His career is in jeopardy now, and in fact it may already be in ruins because this unhappy woman killed herself, and initially he denied being involved with her.

According to some articles I’ve come upon in a very conservative online version of the news(The Korea Herald), suicide has become almost a national pastime. I just typed the words korea suicides into Google, and got 1, 800,000 entries to choose from. It seems to have become the awful solution for so many woes.

When I view this situation in that light I see it from a perspective that is very saddening, but also more understandable. I have trouble with Oh Ji Ho’s denial, but I also have a real problem regarding doubtless extreme blame that will be launched at him from so many sides.

The bottom line is this though: This young woman made a choice. She took her own life. She was not murdered. She killed herself.

I am not romantic enough to believe that love is something you kill yourself over.

In my country, it would be viewed as a tragedy for all involved, definitely including Oh Ji Ho. He would be supported by those who care about him. He would very likely not be dumped alongside a cliff because he has become a financial liability. Actually, here he would not become one. We are not as a nation, so full of self-righteousness.

He will feel guilt for the rest of his life because the culture has failed him as it has so many others. It has formed him; it has overburdened him with obligations to a skewed societal structure. The woman was a bar hostess. So what? If he loved her here, they'd be left alone to live their lives and flourish. That's called Democracy.

The Korean culture creates people who are driven to be successful from the first minute they enter school. They are obligated the second they are born. Bucking up against the parental, scholastic, employer related, public related wall of demanded obedience to that society is to crash and burn.

It will be easy for some to say things about him that are damaging to him because they have an image of this man that is not accurate in the least. It is a dream.

He is imagined to be a hero of some sort. He is imagined to be a great lover. He is fantasized about as the rescuer who will ride in and take many women away from their drab lives. He is envisioned as a prospective husband to thousands of wishers.

He is none of these things.

He is human. He has his failures and flaws of personality. He has weakness and fear within himself. He is, simply put, just like me. And if you are honest with yourself, just like you too.

I will continue to support him, and I will continue to give all my heart over to understanding the entire thing with clarity, and good judgment.

There is a song sung by Tom Rush from a long time ago. One line always stands out in my mind. It is, “Don’t confront me with my failures, I’ve not forgotten them.” Right.

And just before you say, “I would never have done what he did”, remember this: never is a long time, and you don’t know what’s around the corner.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another Oh Ji Ho Fan speaks

"Another Oh Ji-Ho Fan said...

Thx for the great blog, Hyacinth.

You may be interested in posting the picture featured in this article from December 21, 2006, in the Chosun Ilbo:

Our boy looks so cute and sexy at the same time...sigh."
1/02/2007 11:13 AM

Dear Fan of OJH....
It is a very good picture, and here it is. Thank you so much for your comment.

Thursday, January 04, 2007