The late Park Yong-ha
By Kwaak Je-yup
Thousands of Japanese fans of the late entertainer Park Yong-ha marked the two-year anniversary of his death with memorials in Tokyo and Seoul.
According to press reports, the temporary seven-day memorial set up until Tuesday drew nearly 8,000 visitors to its location at the Space Shower TV in the popular Shibuya neighborhood in the Japanese capital.
Yona Entertainment, the late star's management agency said more than 1,200 fans from the country are expected to arrive in Korea to attend a memorial service on Saturday, exactly two years after his death.
Born in 1977, Park made his acting debut on MBC's drama "Theme Theater" in 1994 and soon gained fame with his good looks and natural acting style. The 2001 TV series "Winter Sonata", one of the first cross-border hits, catapulted him to massive fame in Japan alongside co-stars Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo. He then shifted his career towards music and released several chart-toppers in the country while continuing to act in different television series.
Then on June 30, 2010, he was found dead in his Nonhyeon-dong home, southern Seoul, in an apparent suicide. His untimely death at age 32 brought light to depression and other psychological disorders from which those in the entertainment industry were suffering.
The official memorial service will take place Saturday at the Bundang Memorial Park in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, where the Park's remains lie. In addition to a traditional ceremony, screenings of the films he starred in will take place.
They will also be shown at the Cinemart in the Roppongi area of Tokyo until the first week of July.
After attending the Tokyo event, Park's mother and other family members are expected to be at the service on Saturday.
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