Rain (비), real name Jung Ji Hoon (정지훈), reported for military service on the 11th of October.
All Korean men have mandatory military service for two years, and while celebrities reporting for duty is nothing new, the level of coverage surrounding Rain’s departure has been unprecedented. News outlets from various countries have reported the event, including The Korean Times, the BBC, the Guardian, CBS, TIME, the China Daily, and more.
The Guardian’s Justin McCurry even went as far as to compare Rain to Elvis, stating:
‘More than half a century after the US military draft put Elvis Presley’s career on hold, his modern-day South Korean counterpart bade farewell to tearful fans this week as he prepared for two years’ national service.’
McCurry certainly has a point. At only 29 years of age, Rain’s career has been impressive and diverse. Primarily known for his
dancing and later his music, Rain has also starred in several Korean TV Dramas including Fugitive: Plan B (도망자 Plan B). He additionally broke into film through his role in the Korean film ‘I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK‘ (싸이보그지만 괜찮아, 2006), and even featured in Hollywood fare in ‘Speed Racer‘ (2008), and as main character Rizo in ‘Ninja Assassin‘ (2009). Rain’s popularity and wealth has also allowed him to create his own entertainment company entitled J Tune Entertainment, and has taken the top spot of TIME’s 100 most influential people poll for 3 years running.
With so many achievements, it will interesting to see how Rain’s military service will impact his career.