One of the most popular K-pop acts to ever exist in its history, one that helped pioneer Hallyu for current K-pop acts like Black Pink and BTS, is Super Junior. Also known as SJ or SuJu, the boy band has numerous hits to their name including Mr. Simple and Senorita.
To put it bluntly, Super Junior has survived the test of time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the boy band will be around forever. Sadly, one more member will be leaving Super Junior as Kangin recently announced his departure after 14 years. Fortunately, his agency Label SJ says he will remain an artist with them.
The K-pop community learned about Kangin’s departure from Super Junior through an update on his official Instagram account after eight months of inactivity. In the caption, he explains what is going on.
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안녕하세요. 강인입니다. 정말 오랜만에 여러분들께 소식을 전하네요. 좋지 않은 소식이라 마음이 무겁지만 고심 끝에 글을 올립니다. 저는 이제 오랜 시간 함께했던 ‘슈퍼주니어’란 이름을 놓으려 합니다. 항상 멤버들에게는 미안한 마음뿐이었습니다 하루라도 빨리 결심하는 것이 맞다고 항상 생각해왔지만 못난 저를 변함 없이 응원해 주시는 분들과 회사 식구들이 마음에 걸려 쉽사리 용기 내지 못했고 그 어떤것도 제가 혼자 결정해서는 안된다는 생각도 했습니다 하지만 제 문제로 인해 겪지 않아도 될 일들을 겪는 멤버들을 지켜보면서 더 이상 늦춰서는 안되겠다는 판단을 하게 되었습니다. 무엇보다 14년이란 오랜 시간 동안 언제나 과분한 사랑을 주신 E.L.F. 여러분들께 가장 죄송한 마음입니다. 많이 늦었지만 슈퍼주니어란 이름을 내려놓고 홀로 걷는 길에도 항상 미안함과 고마움을 가슴에 새기고 나아가겠습니다. 끝까지 저를 배려해 준 멤버들과 회사 식구분들께 정말 감사하다는 말씀 드리고 싶습니다. 언제나 슈퍼주니어가 승승장구하기를 응원하겠습니다. 감사합니다.
For readers who do not understand Hangul, the following quote is the letter Kangin wrote translated into English.
“Hello. This is Kangin. It’s really been a long time since I’ve delivered news to you all. My heart is heavy as the news I have is not good news, but after a long debate, I am writing to you.
As of this moment, I plan to let go of the name ‘Super Junior’, a name I had for a very long time.
I’ve always felt nothing but feelings of apology toward my members.
I’ve always felt that I needed to come to this decision as soon as possible, but due to the kind hearts of those who cheer me on unchangingly as well as my label’s staff despite my faults, I was not able to summon the courage, and I also felt that I was not in a situation where I could decide anything blindly on my own.
However, due to my own problems, I had to watch my members suffer misfortunes that they should not have had to face, and I’ve come to the decision that I cannot delay it any longer.
More than anything, I am full of apology toward E.L.F for the overflowing love that you always sent me for the past 14 years.
This may be too late, but even as I let go of the name ‘Super Junior’ and begin walking on my own, I will always remember these feelings of gratitude and apology.
I want to sincerely say thank you to my members and my label’s staff for respecting me until the end.
I will cheer for the success of Super Junior forever. Thank you.”
As shown in the translation above, Kangin is leaving Super Junior to litigate damages from his past actions. This includes two accounts of police complaints of violence and two accounts of DUIs since 2009.
No longer with Super Junior, but still with Label SJ
Despite Kangin leaving Super Junior, he is not leaving Label SJ. A representative of the label provided details of Kangin’s employment status now and the future.
“We have decided to respect Kangin’s decision to leave the group voluntarily. This does not affect his exclusive contract with the company; however, nothing has been decided regarding his future promotions.”
Even though Kangin leaving Super Junior is sad, nobody can’t take away his legacy he helped build through the boy band. We look forward to whatever solo activities Kangin will do in the future. Until then, enjoy this flashback to the very first song Super Junior performed titled Twins (Knock Out),