This band is the prime example of just how quickly things can go wrong for a group.
Dong Bang Shin Ki, also known as DBSK, is the Korean name of the group meaning “Rising Gods of the East”. They are known in Japan as Tohoshinki, or THSK, and in China as TVXQ (Tong Vfang Xien Qi). Their fan club is Cassiopeia, named after the constellation and was the largest fan club in Korea with 800,000 registered members. Indeed, DBSK made it into the Guiness Book of World Records as having the largest fan club in the world. Their number has recently been surpassed by Super Junior’s ELF fan club, who now boasts over 1,000,000 members.
One thing to note: Though they were an SM Entertainment group, in Japan they were guided by SM Entertainment’s former partner Avex Entertainment, so they had signed contracts with that company. This means when they are in Korea they are DBSK under SM Entertainment, but in Japan they are THSK under Avex Entertainment, for all intents and purposes they are two different groups with the same members.
DBSK was the elder brother group to Super Junior, and actually the members of the two groups are exceptionally close, as is noted in the member profiles.
In early 2009 three members of DBSK filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment. This was the first time SM Entertainment’s restrictive contracts were revealed and put under scrutiny. Within their contracts was a clause which took all manager, transportation, housing, costume, makeup, recording, and overall expenses which an entertainment company normally would be responsible out of their 1% of the profits, earning the members virtually nothing. There was also a clause that they wouldn’t be paid for any album that did not sell over a certain number of copies (which at the time no album released by SM had). The 1% of all profits earned as also to be divided among the 5 members. Also, if a member took a day off due to illness or for any personal reasons such as health or death in the family that day would be added onto the end of their contract.
The trouble began when members Jaejoong, Mickey, and Junsu attempted to film a commercial for a friend’s cosmetic company, but found they were not allowed to sign any contracts that were not approved by SM Entertainment, even if the work would be done in their own free time.
Members Jaejoong, Micky, and Junsu filed the lawsuit, with members Yunho and Max separating themselves from the matter. The families of these two individuals released scathing statements against the three. Fans of DBSK provided a series of schedules and other documents to the Korean Free Trade Organization, intending to help the three members in their court case. This began an investigation by the Korean Free Trade Organization against all entertainment companies and their “Slave Contracts” which is currently ongoing.
Jaejoong, Mickey, and Junsu won their lawsuit in the Seoul Supreme Court, but are facing yet another trial as SM Entertainment has filed a lawsuit of their own to overturn the original ruling that ended the member’s contracts with them. If successful each of the three members would have to pay over $312,000,000 in compensation to the company.
When their contracts were ended, DBSK was sent to Japan under Avex Entertainment, who still held the contracts of the three after SM Entertainment lost it. The three members were not allowed to speak on camera and there were rumors that SM Entertainment kept them divided by a screen at interviews and monitored their phones and computers to ensure there was no communication between them. SM Entertainment released a statement that this was most definitely not the case, backed by a signed statement from each member, though it was later revealed that the company forged the signatures of three members.
DBSK members continued to support one another, with Jaejoong giving encouragement to Yunho for his television show and Yunho showing support for Jaejoong’s movie in Japan.
SM Entertainment officially ended their partnership with Avex Entertainment in late 2009, and in 2010 formally disbanded DBSK. Jaejoong, Mickey, and Junsu have remained close throughout the lawsuit process, and have said whatever they do after the legal mess is over they plan to do together. They have said they hope to perform as a trio after pursuing careers in acting.
2. Thanks To
3. Tri-Angle (Extended version featuring BoA and The TRAX)
4. Will You be My Girlfriend?
5. Whatever they Say (Acappella)
6. Million Men
7. Like Now
8. I Never Let Go
9. Hey, Kid
10. You Always
~~This was DBSK’s debut song
12. My Little Princess
13. The Way U Are
14. Tri-Angle (DBSK Version)
2. Beautiful Life
3. Rising Sun
~~This became one of DBSK’s most successful songs
5. Love is Never Gone
6. Love After Love
7. Dangerous Mind
9. Love Is…
10. Free Your Mind (feat. TRAX)
11. Love Is All I Need
12. Always There…
1. O- Jung.Ban.Hap
~~This song was one of DBSK’s most successful in Korea
2. You’re My Miracle
4. Get Me Some
5. I’ll Be There
6. White Lie
8. The Story Had Just Begun
11. You Only Love
~~This is a vast difference from DBSK’s style, the song was performed in animal, Super Mario, or other child-like costumes
~~This was DBSK’s most successful album and earned them the coveted Best Album award
~~The lyrics to this song had to be changed because it was feared they were too grown up.
2. Wrong Number
3. Picture of You
4. CRAZY LOVE
5. HEY! (Don’t Bring Me Down)
6. You’re My Melody
9. Are You A Good Girl?
10. Flower Lady
11. Forgotten Season
12. Love In the Ice
Heart, Mind, and Soul
2. No Words are Needed
3. Tomorrow Will Surely Come
4. Somebody to Love
5. My Destiny
~~The “International Version” of Hug is sung completely in English
7. Break Up the Shell
8. Stay With Me Tonight
9. Can’t Love, Wanna Love
11. Rising Sun
13. Heart, Mind and Soul
14. Stay With Me Tonight (Acapella Version)
15. Somebody To Love (Acapella Version)
16. My Destiny (Acapella Version)
17. Tomorrow Will Surely Come
Five in the Black
4. Choosey Lover
5. Dead End
6. High Time
~~This song is about meeting up by chance and reflects back on how it was just luck that brought the couple together. It became DBSK’s song to one another, as it reflected the pure chance that put each member in SM Entertainment together. When they performed it live nearly every member had to turn their back to the audience at some point to cry.
9. Miss You
10. O Jung.Ban.Hap
11. I’ll Be There
12. Step by Step
13. Hello Again
3. Purple Line
4. Forever Love
5. Summer Dream
6. Ride On
7. Darkness Eyes
8. Lovin’ You
11. Last Angel
13. Love in the Ice
14. Forever Love (Acappella Version)
15. Lovin’ You
~~This album was beginning promotions when the three DBSK members filed their lawsuit
1. Secret Game
3. Doshite Kimi o Suki ni Natte Shimattandaro?
4. Nobody Knows
5. Beautiful You
8. Jumon: Mirotic
10. Stand Up!
12. Kiss the Baby Sky
~~This song was written by member Mickey
14. Purple Line
15. Doshite Kimi o Suki ni Natte Shimattandaro (Acappella Version)
~~This was a hidden track on the CD
Show Me Your Love
~~This was a duet mini-album with then-newly debuted Super Junior (then the 12 member Super Junior 05)
1. Show Me your Love
~~This song and accompanying MV were released as a special Christmas song less than a month after Super Junior debuted
2. I Wanna Hold You
~~This was sung only by DBSK members
3. I’m Your Man
~~This was sung only by Super Junior members
4. Show Me Your Love (Instrumental)
Hero is the eldest in DBSK and is the main vocalist. Since he does serve as lead vocals it was decided to make Yunho leader rather than him, since Yunho is only a couple of weeks younger. Hero had the image of being the “charisma” of DBSK, and was highly restricted on what he was able to do. He remained silent much of the time and was seen as the mysterious and solemn man. During Mirotic promotions members claim he was “Let off his leash” and quickly proved himself to be the most mischievous and “quirky” member. Members revealed he would take nude pictures of them in the shower so that he would have an image of them fans did not. Leader Yunho said this was normal until he was using the restroom and saw Hero’s arm come under the door holding a cell phone, which he used to quickly take Yunho’s picture then retracted it and hid. Hero was adopted and grew up with 8 big sisters. He is lifelong friends with Super Junior member Yesung, who grew up in the same area. When DBSK debuted Yesung came to their first stage to support Hero, though he had to cover his face backstage since trainees were not allowed to be caught on camera (a crew was following around DBSK to chronicle their debut). He was initially supposed to debut in a quartet with fellow DBSK member Yunho and Super Junior members Heechul and Kangin, but the idea was scrapped. Hero was unable to dance in DBSK’s “My Destiny” and “Rising Sun” MVs due to a torn ligament for the first and a broken leg resulting from a car accident in the second. He was also suspended from activities in 2007 for 2 months after recieving a charge of DUI. Hero starred in the Japanese film “Heaven’s Postman”. He is one of the three members who filed lawsuit against SM Entertainment in 2009.
Yunho was the leader of DBSK. He had the initial image of being a jock, and was the lead dancer for the group. Yunho became the target of an anti-fan attack in 2007. An anti-fan masqueraded as a fan at one of DBSK’s events and gave Yunho a drink laced with super glue. Yunho became immediately weak and was rushed to the hospital where he was able to recover. Super Junior’s Heechul, who he is very close with, then posted on his homepage a message for that anti-fan to try to come after him, and expressed major anger that his friend was harmed. The Anti-fan threatened to go after his friends or family and so he took it down and posted a milder response. The fan turned herself in to the police, but Yunho asked that she be released after learning she was just a young girl. He is also good friends with Super Junior member Donghae. When Donghae joined SM he was self-conscious about his Mokpo accent and very shy. Yunho, who was also from the same city, befriended him. Donghae came with Yesung to support DBSK’s debut. Yunho did not participate in the lawsuit of 2009, and has said he has no intentions of filing suit against his company. He starred in the show “Heading to Ground”, which drew great criticisms for low-acting quality in much of the early episodes.
Mickey is the second of the three members who participated in the lawsuit against SM Entertainment. He came to SM from Virginia in the United States, where he lived for seven years. He said living in the US was hell for him, since he couldn’t speak the language, his family had very little money, his parents got divorced, and he listened to his brother cry himself to sleep each night. Even after debuting he admitted to visiting his brother in the US (who then lived in LA) and hearing his brother say he did not think he could hold on much longer. Mickey eventually brought his family to Korea and lived in an apartment with them instead of living in the DBSK dorms. He was Junsu’s English teacher for a time (though Junsu never seemed to learn much~) and composed some songs for the group. He had the image of being the proper and well-behaved young man, but has sense lost that image to a more playful one.
Junsu is the last member to participate in the lawsuit. He initially was to have the image of being the sexy and rich member of the group, but that image was replaced with a much cuter and playful one within a few months of debut. He is therefore known as the “Fake Maknae” (maknae meaning “youngest member”) of DBSK. Junsu is known for his love of all puns (mostly bad ones) and his cute attempts at speaking English. He is long-time friends with Super Junior member Eunhyuk, as the two grew up together and began attending school together when they were 6. They even auditioned for SM Entertainment together, though Eunhyuk did not pass and re-auditioned (successfully) the next year. Junsu was supposed to debut in a quartet with Super Junior members Eunhyuk and Sungmin (and DBSK member Hero), but after the CD was recorded and before the group actually debuted it was scrapped and DBSK made their debut instead. After THSK was disbanded in Japan by AVEX Entertainment he returned to Korea and opened a Vietnamese restaurant with a friend. He has been seen working in the restaurant kitchens between activities with Hero and Mickey, as one of his dreams has always been to run a restaurant. He went to China to support his twin brother Junho, who debuted there as singer Zuno. Junsu is seen as instrumental in his brother’s debut, as Junho was asked to join an entertainment company after rapping on the show “Introducing Stars Friend”, which his brother invited him on as his guest. Junsu was also his brother’s vocal coach.
The youngest member of DBSK. When the members filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment, his family was the first to respond, calling the members greedy. Max was set to act in a drama “Paradise Ranch”, but it was postponed first due to his desire to take acting classes first, then scrapped altogether. When DBSK first debuted Max was supposed to have a very cute image, but when member Junsu revealed his own natural tendencies to be cute Max decided to come up with a new image, becoming the groups not-as-cute member. Max’s image fit between Hero’s mysterious look and his own original concept. He even admitted on a program to having no defined image. Max is DBSK’s lead tenor and shares much of the singing with Hero. He is known to be one of the mischievous members, having helped plan many pranks against other members. He is also the member who is said to be hardest to trick.