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東方神起

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South Korea (2003 – present)

Tohoshinki (東方神起) is a South Korean duo (previously quintet) formed under SM Entertainment in 2003. In South Korea they are known as 동방신기; they were later introduced in Japan as Tohoshinki (東方神起) under the Avex sub-label Rhythm Zone in 2005. Their name translates as “The Rising Gods of the East”.

In 2008, with the release of their sixteenth Japanese single, “Purple Line”, which debuted atop the Oricon single chart, TVXQ became the fifth non-Japanese Asian artist and the first male foreign group to have a number-one single on the chart. With their twenty-third single, “どうして君を好きになってしまったんだろう?”, TVXQ set a new record, becoming the first foreign artist to have three singles debut atop the chart.

Twenty-ninth single, “BREAK OUT!”, released January 2010, topped the Oricon, selling 256,000 copies in its first week and breaking Elton John’s record for the highest first week sales for a foreign artist (which had lasted for 14 years and 8 months). Thirtieth single, “時ヲ止メテ”, extended their record, making them the first foreign artist to have eight number-one singles on the Oricon. In February 2010, TVXQ’s first Japanese compilation album sold approximately 413,000 copies in the first week of release, setting the record for highest first-week sales by a foreign group (last set by Bon Jovi in 1995 with 379,000 copies).

Legal issues with company SME resulted in the departure and formation of the trio JYJ (영웅재중, 믹키유천 & 시아준수).

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