Name: 영웅재중 / Young Woong Jae Joong
Also known as: Hero Jaejoong
Japanese name: ジェジュン / Jejung
Chinese name: 英雄在中 / Ying Xiong Zai Zhong
Real name: 김재중 / Kim Jae Joong
Profession: Singer and actor
Birthplace: Gongju, Chungnam, South Korea
Star sign: Aquarius
Blood type: O
Talent agency: SM Entertainment
Telecinema Heaven’s Postman (SBS, 2010)
Sunao ni Narenakute (Fuji TV, 2010)
Banjun Drama (SBS, 2005)
2nd Annual SM Entertainment ‘Best Competition’: 1st Place for Best Appearance
KPOP group: TVXQ
Official group debut: 2003-Dec-26 at the BoA and Britney Spears Showcase (TVXQ)
Languages: Korean and Japanese
Hero was born as Han Jaejoon in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. At a young age, Hero was given up for adoption by his birth mother to the Kims and his name was changed to Kim Jaejoong. When he was fifteen, he moved to Seoul by himself in order to take part in the auditions held by SM Entertainment. Life in Seoul proved to be hard for Hero and he had to take various odd jobs to come up with the ₩150,000 needed for the rent. He once took on a role as a soldier in the movie Taegeukgi Hwinallimyeo (태극기 휘날리며); he then used the money acquired from the job to buy gum, which he sold to a female employee at a supermarket.
Hero auditioned at SM Entertainment in 2001 and was accepted into the agency. On December 26, 2003, he debuted with TVXQ at a BoA and Britney Spears showcase. Apart from the group, Hero has worked on solo activities. He sang, “Insa” (인사 lit. Greeting), for the soundtrack of A Millionaire’s First Love. Hero collaborated with label-mates The Grace for the Japanese version of song “Just for One Day”, which was featured on their fifth Japanese single and their debut album, Graceful 4. Hero also sang the solo track “Maze” which was for the fifth and final single in the Trick project, “Keyword/Maze”. Hero wrote and composed “Wasurenaide” (忘れないで, lit. Don’t Forget?) which included on TVXQ’s twenty-fifth single “Bolero/Kiss the Baby Sky/Wasurenaide”, as the last two A-sides. The song later appeared on their fourth Japanese album The Secret Code, along with another song which he composed, “9095″. For TVXQ’s fourth studio album, Mirotic, Hero wrote and composed Saranga Uljima (Don’t Cry My Lover) (사랑아 울지마). In 30 September 2009, he and Micky released a self-written duet, “Colors (Melody and Harmony)/Shelter,” which was used as the image song for Hello Kitty’s thirty-fifth year anniversary.
Along with the other members of TVXQ, Hero has starred in two televised programs, Banjun Theater and Vacation. He is set to feature in an episode of Japanese-Korean joint television drama, Heaven’s Postman (천국의 우편 배달부). It is about a mysterious man who delivers letters to heaven for people who can’t forget their deceased loved ones. His co-star is Han Hyo Joo.
On March 9, 2010 it was announced that Hero was cast in the Japanese television drama Hard To Say I Love You (Sunao ni Narenakute, 素直になれなくて) where he portrays a “doctor”, who moved from Korea to Japan with his younger sister, working for a medical equipment manufacturer.
In September 2005, while rehearsing the dance steps for “Rising Sun”, Jaejoong ruptured his cartilage in his knee and was admitted to a hospital in Seoul. He underwent surgery on the same day to repair the tissue.
On April 7, 2006 at 1:20 AM, Hero was pulled over in his father’s friend’s BMW by a police officer on his way home from the Renaissance Hotels. He was ordered to take a breath test and his level of alcohol was revealed to be 0.071%. After spending 20 minutes at the police station, he was released. Due to violating traffic laws, Hero was temporarily suspended from all TVXQ activities and had his license taken away for 100 days.
On November 21, 2006, a man with the surname Han filed a lawsuit against Hero’s guardians. Han claimed he was Hero’s biological father, and thus wanted parental rights.
Han cited the reason for the lawsuit against Hero’s legal guardians as “for not going through the proper procedures before registering [Hero] in [the legal guardians’] custody. He divorced Hero’s biological mother in late 1980s, and gave up his custody over his child, leaving him under Mrs. Han’s custody. However, he had found out some years ago Hero had been raised by a third party, not his biological mother. A DNA test was to be performed in order to prove validity of Han’s claim. Many legal consultants comment that since the adoption had taken place correctly according to the corresponding law, no legal change will be involved regardless of the outcome.
The first hearing was to be held in Hero’s hometown, Gongju, on November 29, 2006. But on November 22, Han dropped the charges against Hero’s legal guardians. Han said that he originally intended to resolve his biological son’s military duty conflicts after being informed of dual citizenship by Ministry of Military Affairs, which involved verifying the fact that he is the biological father. He did not expect his intention to lead to such a scandal, and states that he was scarred by speculations that he wanted to take advantage of Hero’s fame.
In reaction to the matter, Hero uploaded a journal entry on his official fan club website, and said that he was informed of the existence of separate biological parents by his mother two or three years ago, and it had been quite a shock to him. With his current mother’s support, his biological mother has been able to keep in touch with him, and to meet occasionally, but whereabouts of his father had been unknown.
He vigorously expressed his will to live by the name of “Kim Jaejoong,” not by his birth name Han Jaejoon (한재준), and promised to be loyal to all four of his parents. He also said he did not want his family history exposed to the public due to this incident.
^ (Korean) “Hero ‘Once, I didn’t have enough money, so I sold gum’”. Yahoo! Korea. 2008-10-10. http://kr.news.yahoo.com/service/news/shellview.htm?linkid=4&articleid=20081010143556406h4&newssetid=1352. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
^ (Korean) . Yahoo! Korea. 2008-10-16. http://kr.news.yahoo.com/etc/print_text.htm?articleid=20081016142446413e9. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
^ (Korean) “TVXQ singers of the popular nuclear blast”. 2004-05-13. http://m-talk.inews24.com/php/news_view_mtalk.php?g_menu=380600&g_serial=114236. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
^ (Korean) “TVXQ’s Hero “Solo” Affair”. Hankook Ilbo. 2006-01-30. http://sports.hankooki.com/lpage/music/200601/sp2006012510525458550.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
^ (Korean) “The Grace’s Japanese Single Goes Public”. Newsen. 2007-08-07. http://www.newsen.com/news_view.php?uid=200708070900551001&search=title&searchstring=%C3%B5%BB%F3%C1%F6%C8%F1. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
^ (Korean) “The Grace’s Simultaneous Release In 14 Days”. Inews. 2007-11-13. http://joynews.inews24.com/php/view_scrap_joy.php?g_serial=294673&g_menu=700100&pay_news=0&access. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
^ (Japanese) “Keyword/Maze (JEJUNG from TVXQ)”. Yahoo! Music Japan. http://music.yahoo.co.jp/shop/c/10/rzcd45861/. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
^ (Japanese) “TVXQ, movie – Subaru – recording new album’s theme”. Barks. January 22, 2009. http://www.barks.jp/news/?id=1000046477. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
^ (Korean) “TVXQ, Japan 25th Single ‘Bolero’ released on the 29th”. Joins!. January 29, 2009. http://article.joins.com/article/article.asp?total_id=3473145. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
^ (Japanese) “東方神起『ヒット曲も収録した濃密で強力なロックアルバム！』”. Oricon. 2009-04-01. http://www.oricon.co.jp/music/interview/090401_01_06.html#close. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
^ (Korean) “Hero-Micky “Shows off musical skills””. ETO. November 10, 2008. http://www.eto.co.kr/?Code=20081110090828303. Retrieved June 20, 2009.
^ (Korean) “Hero Jaejoong and Micky Yoochun to participate in M-flo’s album”. Yonhap News. 2009-08-05. http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/entertainment/2009/08/05/1101000000AKR20090805034600005.HTML. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
^ (Korean) “Retro Dance Queen Bae Seul Ki ‘TVXQ Woman’”. Hankooki. 2006-03-03. http://sports.hankooki.com/lpage/entv/200603/sp2006030308025358390.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
^ (Korean) “TVXQ, Theater Actors”. Star Money. 2006-07-04. http://star.moneytoday.co.kr/view/stview.php?type=1&no=2006070409244401535. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
^ (Korean) “Hero Jeolchin, Top, Kim Hyun Joong Smoke Report?”. Joins. 2008-11-25. http://article.joins.com/article/article.asp?total_id=3392519. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
^ “TVXQ’s Hero Jae-jung’s Movie Premiers”. KBS World. 2006-11-09. http://world.kbs.co.kr/english/entertainment/enter_chart_detail.htm?No=10803. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
^ “Jejung joins “Sunao ni Narenakute” cast”. Tokyograph. 2010-03-09. http://www.tokyograph.com/news/id-5895. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
^ (Korean) “TVXQ Hero Cartilage Rupture, Surgery, 8 Days”. 2005-09-08. http://www.newsen.com/news_view.php?uid=200509080907321001. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
^ (Korean) “‘Knee Cartilage Rupture’ Hero, The Operation Successfully Finished”. 2005-09-09. http://www.newsen.com/news_view.php?uid=200509090944431001. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
^ (Korean) “동방신기 영웅재중 음주운전…100일 면허정지 TVXQ Hero drunk driving … 100 days license suspension”. 2006-04-07. http://news.onmam.com/news_content.asp?NewsNum=26513&p_cate_code=002004&linkid=dnews. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
^ (Korean) Yoo, Sang-woo (2006-11-21). “악재 겹친 ‘동방신기’, 비상”. Daum. http://news.media.daum.net/entertain/music/200611/21/newsis/v14795775.html. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
^ (Korean) Kim, Sangho (2006-11-21). “동방신기 영웅재중, 친자 확인 소송”. Daum. http://news.media.daum.net/entertain/music/200611/21/SpoSeoul/v14796353.html. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
^ (Korean) Ryoo, Chul-ho (2006-11-23). “<속보>영웅재중 생부 가족, “재중이 위해 소송취하하겠다””. Daum. http://news.media.daum.net/society/region/200611/23/newsis/v14812250.html. Retrieved 2007-02-16.
^ a b (Korean) Kang, Sujin (2006-11-22). “영웅재중 “난 김재중으로 살고파””. Daum. Archived from the original on 2007-11-12. http://web.archive.org/web/20071112171857/http://news.media.daum.net/entertain/music/200611/22/sportskhan/v14810962.html. Retrieved 2007-02-16.