~ The 2 of them who have continuously been running on, their future and thoughts which are nurturing them ~
Dance tracks which are moderately restrained and ballads which tug at the heartstrings. The unchanging consistency as artistes and the hearts which think of their fans. Tohoshinki, who capture and do not lose hold of the hearts of their fans through their never-ending charms. They succeeded in last year’s 5-Dome tour and Nissan Stadium’s live concerts and starting from and through their renewed activities in this year’s Tohoshinki Live Tour 2014 ~ Tree, they broke the 2 million audience mobilization barrier for the 3rd year of their live concerts. The present where they are continuously creating new records, it is to the extent that one is unable to know just till how far they can ascend. The present which coincides with their 10th year since debuting in Japan, what is the place which they have newly set as their goal?
Captions next to their photoshoot photos
Yunho: The trustworthy existence standing on the stage and embracing the same dreams as me, that person is Changmin
Changmin: Thinking about the food belonging only to that region, I want to eat it no matter what I have to do (to be able to eat it)! That is it (laughs)
Yunho’s best 3 are Fukuoka’s motsunabe, Hiroshima’s grilled food, and Sapporo’s seafood dishes.
Tohoshinki, who have personally dived into the insides of the hearts of the audience members
Heights of approximately 185cm. However, in reality, Tohoshinki is seen to be much taller. That means the surroundings are overwhelmed and captivated by the presence of the both of them. Displaying the powers of the both of them to the biggest extent, that is without any doubt their live concerts. For instance, the sea of lights created by the red fan lights which is called the “red ocean”, as the 55,000 audience members in Tokyo Dome wave them around. That goes fanatical while they ride along with the rhythm of the intense dance tracks, and at the ballads, just like a wave washing over the ocean, they quietly settle down. In live concerts of such capacity, being able to fully grasp and command the atmosphere of the concert venue, perhaps one will need to be of Tohoshinki’s standard.
Changmin – “We virtually do not have any realistic feelings that we are at the top. People may perhaps think that we are trying to be humble, but we really do not have such thoughts. Because to us, we can see “a much higher top” “.
They have already been acknowledged to have the reputation that the satisfaction of attending their live concerts is such that it definitely converts one to be their fan after having attended their concert once. In this year’s tour “Tohoshinki Live Tour 2014 ~ Tree~”, despite the long duration of 3.5 hours, through their performances which did not slow down for even a moment, and through the MC segments rounded off with a “service” mentality whereby they portray their usual sides where they get along very well, one will virtually not be able to feel wearied out at all.
Yunho – “Although it is not that we specially practised it, it seems like compared to before, we have come to be able to portray and convey themselves much more in an honest way. I think that Changminnie’s talk segment is also perfect. (laughs)”
Changmin – “If it was like before, I would probably have liked to speak like this. I would probably have thought like this, “I have to speak coolly, I have to be properly funny at this part”. If I don’t do that, I think that it is doing everybody a wrong.. It is right to have to be that careful. But even so, recently, that type of anxiety has disappeared, it seems like everybody likes us showing the natural sides of both of us.”
After the start of their activities in Japan, it is the 10th year with the coming of this year. “At the time of debut, we of course did not think that we would have been able to come to this position.” What Yunho was referring to was last year’s 5 big Dome tour nationwide, and the 2 days’ worth of concerts in Nissan Stadium as the finale. With a capacity of 72,000, it is approximately 1.3 times of Tokyo Dome, and it is also good to say that they had reached the zenith in terms of the capacity of concert venues. However, amidst the experience obtained in that venue, they came to harbour yet another different type of thoughts. This year’s tour had the Arenas, which have a small capacity compared to the Domes, as the core focus, and the huge reason for the tour consisting the highest number of frequencies of concerts, 11 cities and 29 concerts, was found there.
Yunho – “Although last year’s Stadium concert was an enormous experience, I was happy that the distance between us and everybody became closer this time around. I could see clearly everybody’s facial expressions one by one, and didn’t it turn into a form of earnest communication? In particular, what left an impression on me was Sendai, which we were able to visit for the first time in 5 years. The concert venue became one, and I felt the realization, “So everybody has been waiting for us”.”
Changmin – “If it was a concert venue which was too huge, there are also aspects where I come to think, “Can I convey that?”, when I think about the sense of unity which can be felt in Arenas and what I want to convey through our songs and dances. This time around, it is not just that one can see the suave performances, I came to be able to possess the assurance that I am indeed alive, “So I am without a doubt breathing along / in tune together with everybody”, “So I am conveying it well”.”
In the interview about the album “Tree”, which had been the theme of the tour, what was memorable were the words, “When we are singing, in the event that even if our body conditions are not at their best, it is not about “we can’t do it because of that (not being in tip top condition)”. Instead, our daily routines become incorporated into the songs, and it would be ideal if everybody could come to be able to enjoy after becoming one”. The “much higher top” which they speak of, it is perhaps not about becoming artistes who are able to have live concerts in even larger concert venues, or about creating complete techniques and performances, but perhaps about conveying that of the themselves who are vividly existing within their songs. Of course, now there is no need to even speak of how high level their singing and dances are. However, what were to be conveyed together with those (singing and dancing) at a live concert, were the human feelings of joy, anger, sadness and happiness as they usually are without any hint of restraint and wariness, like the hot passion which approaches fervently, and the desperation one feels. For that kind of Tohoshinki who zooms into our hearts in that stripped bare manner, there is probably nobody who will not be captivated by them.
Because the thoughts of “Even as Tohoshinki, we of course have to grow even further!” are strong, there are also times amidst Yunho’s individual activities when he can feel that it is a little empty without that pressure. “I am feeling a different kind of anxiety. The fact that Changmin is not there = there is no one to cover for me. If I come to be alone, I can feel, “Ah ah, so this is the real ability of myself now.” Because of that, I think that there are aspects which I work diligently for individually during acting activities etc. I believe that if I grow in that way, Tohoshinki will also be able to go towards the “much higher top”.” (Yunho)
Changmin – “When I am tired on stage, if I look at Yunho who is working hard beside me, the look of him becomes encouragement for me and I would be able to dance with all my might once again. But even so, if I don’t take on the full responsibility alone in my solo activities, that can’t be right, isn’t it? Although it is tiring / difficult, because I realize the aspects of myself which are lacking during those times, I think that it seems like the good parts and the bad parts are consistent / connected.”
Yunho who is advancing forward in an upright and passionate way without any hesitation, and Changmin who is calmly walking his own path and who is “Tsundere” (meaning someone who is cold but gradually shows his warm side over time) while being a little bashful. Although everything becomes picturesque even if they are respectively alone, what we realized at the photoshoot was that if both of them are standing together, something different appears. Even if they are both looking in completely different directions, their affectionate shoulders and arms which are suited for the close distance between them which is sufficient to feel their exhalation of each other’s breath. If they thereafter come to be facing the same direction, that feeling doubles.
The intense gaze which is filled with conviction. Although there are thoughts that their personalities are diametrically opposite to each other, what they both feel about each other is perhaps that both of them are one. In reality, if Yunho answers first for one question, Changmin says, “But that was similar to what I wanted to say”, and if Changmin speaks meticulously, there is Yunho who says, “this is what was said (by Changmin) a short while ago too”. What they have set as their goal for the next upcoming 10 years, that answer itself is also like picturesque. It is “Receiving more love from everybody, and keeping on with Tohoshinki’s activities”.
Changmin – “Honestly, I don’t have any lofty dreams. I just want to improve on what I am now interested in. Playing musical instruments, singing, work as an actor. And taking photographs as a hobby. It would be great if I am able to live my life while enjoying those type of things occasionally.”
Yunho – “Those types of experiences have to continue through Tohoshinki’s growth.”
Changmin – “There is also such a thing, I think that it also becomes my own growth.”
Yunho – “I myself want to delve into making creations. In our Korean tour, I sang songs which I composed. Because Changminnie is also writing good lyrics for our juniors’ songs, it is also great if one day we can release the songs both of us created, and I also want to perform them during our tours. If I were asked to try talking about bigger dreams of 10 years later, 20 years later, I want to try producing for the both of us as a group. If it were us, who know all of each other’s strengths, I think, “wouldn’t we be able to create various diverse things while throwing out various ideas?”
Credit: Ourchangmin 님 for scans of the interview and pictures,