K-pop girl group Billlie’s member Moon Sua, the younger sister of ASTRO’s Moonbin, will be handling all the responsibilities of her brother’s funeral as Chief Mourner, as per several South Korean outlets on April 20, 2023. The duo shared a deep bond that was known by many as they often went viral for their interactions.
The role of Chief Mourner, aka the Sangju, is of great importance in the South Korean funeral tradition. Usually, the responsibility is given to the eldest son or grandson, or the one closest to the deceased. Sangju is in charge of preparing the body, making sure the funeral wake goes according to Korean traditions, and organizing everything from start to finish.
In Korean custom, it is believed that the Sangju “lets” their loved one pass away. In return for this, they are tasked with all pre-burial, funeral rites and memorial responsibilities.
In recent times, pre-funeral rites are usually done by professionals. However, Chief Mourner still has to be a central part of it. Other responsibilities of Sangju include seeing guests and accommodating them.
ASTRO Moonbin’s sister Moon Sua of Billlie listed as Chief Mourner, fans react with heavy heart
In the wee hours of April 20, reports announced that ASTRO’s main dancer and lead vocalist, Moonbin, passed away on April 19 at approximately 8:10 pm KST. The news left the Korean entertainment industry and fandom in shock. K-pop fans got especially concerned about Moonbin’s younger sister, Moon Sua, who is also a K-pop idol.
On April 20, Billlie’s agency announced that the group had canceled their activities for the week. It was also reported that Moon Sua had been appointed Chief Mourner, aka Sangju, in the wake of her brother’s funeral.
Fans who were already heartbroken over Moonbin’s news were devastated to learn about Moon Sua’s Chief Mourner duties. They talked about the many Moon siblings moments they witnessed and sympathized with how difficult the entire experience would be for the Billlie member.
ASTRO members Cha Eun-woo, Rocky, and more are reportedly at the mortuary
As per reports, ASTRO’s MJ, who was completing his military service, took an emergency leave after the devastating news. He went directly to the funeral home. Rocky, who left the group and agency some time ago, also arrived at the mortuary. Sanha and ASTRO leader Jinjin have been at the mortuary with Moonbin’s bereaved family since the night of the news.
Meanwhile, Cha Eun-woo, who attended Coachellea 2023, was reported to have taken an urgent flight back home from the US. He is expected to reach Seoul on the evening of April 20.
Moonbin, 25, was found dead at his residence in Gangnam district, Seoul, by his manager. Police suspect that he died by suicide. He was in the middle of his DIFFUSION Fan Con Tour with fellow member Sanha and met fans at one of the tour stops in Manila last month.
The K-pop industry has entered a period of mourning where several groups and companies have postponed or canceled their schedules.