Super Junior member Kyuhyun′s father, Jo Young Hwan, recently opened up about his Korean education institute in Taiwan, and, of course, about his precious son.
TvN′s enews aired a list of businesses led by families of stars. The list included the Korean education institute owned by Kyuhyun′s father.
In a recent broadcast, Kyuhyun revealed that he had acted as surety for a bank loan his father got in order to set up a Korean institute in Taiwan. Enews met with Kyuhyun′s father Jo Young Hwan and asked him about the circumstances surrounding the institute, and even visited Taiwan for a video tour of the building.
Mr. Jo Young Hwan used to work at the Korea Housing Corporation, but left to open up teaching institutes in 1994. He owns a total of four institutes in Korea, including the Korea UIP Institute in Wolgye-dong, and is also the Senior Vice-President for Public Affairs at the Korea Association of Hakwon. A few years ago he even won an award from the Prime Minister.
On February 3, Kyuhyun′s birthday, Mr. Jo opened up a new Korean education institute in Taiwan. The first institute is located in Taipei, and new branches sprang up later on in Kaohsiung and Taizhong. Now, his institutes boast a status as the biggest Korean institutes in Taiwan.
At the opening ceremony held in February, the Super Junior members, who happened to be in the country for a performance, were in attendance, drawing about 1,000 fans to the scene.
Mr. Jo said, "After my son started to visit Taiwan for his concerts, I found out about the market in Taiwan. I was sad that Korean institutes in Taiwan were being managed not as educational facilities, but as companies aiming to make profit, so I opened my own in the country."
He added, "Taiwanese people are very pure, and they′re mostly very kind. They also love one thing for a long time, as is shown by how Super Junior′s songs stayed on the no. 1 spot for over 100 weeks in a row. If Korea is my first homeland, Taiwan is my second. I opened an institute thinking that I should find my place in the country for my son."
He said about the act of surety by his son, "I had actually forgotten about that, but I was reminded when Kyuhyun talked about it on TV. I needed about 300 to 400 million won in order to open an institute in Taiwan. I was short on money, though, so I had to get a loan from the bank. Kyuhyun acted as surety for that loan, and then he mentioned it in front of the press. I tried to earn a lot of money after that, and I paid back those loans first."
After the institute opened in Taiwan, rumors spread that students who want to enroll have to wait six months for a spot to open. Mr. Jo said, however, that "the rumors are not true."
"Fortunately, I′m making profit, but we can still accept more students," he said.
"I′m actually not running the institute in Taiwan to make big profits," he added. "I′ve been asking for 70 percent of the fees charged in Korea. I think it would be great for the government to support people who run businesses like mine, to spread knowledge of the Korean language overseas."
According to Mr. Jo, the institute in Taipei currently has about 1,000 enrolled students. The institutes in Kaohsiung and Taizhong also hold about 800 students each.
He said that though Kyuhyun didn′t give any financial help, he did help in many other ways. Mr. Jo laughed and said that thanks to his son Kyuhyun, the Super Junior members visited the opening ceremony in February and awareness of and interest in Korean culture spread more widely in Taiwan.
Kyuhyun also dropped by the institute in Taizhong on June 9, a day after its opening.
Mr. Jo said, "He didn′t really take time out of his schedule separately for the event, but around that time Super Junior had a concert in the city so my son came to the opening ceremony. No one came to the opening ceremony for the institute in Kaohsiung, so many fans showed they were sad."
The father also talked about what kind of boy Kyuhyun was when he was little. According to him, Kyuhyun was the kind that never gets into trouble.
"He was the kind of son that stays quiet and does anything his parents tell him to," Mr. Jo said. "Even when his life was at stake after his big car accident, I never believed that he would leave this world before his parents. It′s not respectful to leave this world before your parents. Kyuhyun isn′t a disrespectful boy, so I knew that he would wake up soon."
When this quiet boy said he wanted to become a singer, Mr. Jo was actually against the notion.
He said, "I wasn′t against it because I didn′t like it, but because it would be such a difficult way. Like the promise he made to me, however, he first got into college, and on the day of the entrance ceremony he signed his contract with SM Entertainment. I guess there were talks with SM Entertainment ever since he sang at the Chin Chin Song Festival when he was a high school senior, but he never told me about it."
He also said, "Kyuhyun had a serious yet off-the-wall personality. Since he turned six, whenever someone came to our home he would take out his baseball bat and check who it is before telling his mother it′s okay to open the door. The little boy always cared for his family′s safety."
He then added, "I think because now I′ve started to grow old, I′ve started to depend more on my son. I′m happy that Kyuhyun is with me."
Photo credit: tvN, SM Entertainment