Sunday, June 24, 2007

Korean wave and anti-Korean wave

I happened to work in a media which is considered to be one of the main engine of Korean wave in Japan.And I can safely say that the whole stuff was pretty much planned to boost the friendly atomosphere toward Korea and by seizing the momentum of 98 Obuchi-Kim summit(in theory that was the end of all tha apology diplomacy….)and 2002 world cup and 2005 Japan/Korea friendship year,turn the two countries relation into new phase.
Koreans agreed to open the contury for the Japanese culture inch by inch(though as of year 2007,it is still not allowed to broadcast Japanese language on ground wave,which means no J-pops and J-dramas,but only on cable TV),they were pretty worried about “cultural invasion”and to make Korean feel that the road goes both way,GoJ was asked very vauguly to promote Korean culture in Japan and NHK and Dentsu stood for the task.And there you have Kusanagi Tsuyoshi of SMAP learning Korean language and become “Choe Nang Kang” and NHK satellites(and ground wave)showered “Winter Sonata”endlessly to the nation.Coincidentally it was the time of renaissance in Korean cinema and there were a few good films.So there you have it.Korean wave.
At first Korean were pretty gentle.I mean afterall it was quasi cultural exchange like mission that nobody felt it would be a phoenomenon.and then things starts to slip after Yonsama become nation wide sensation.And even though Korean wave is a nitche genre in Japan,there is a working copyright protection scheme in this country.So Korean company could raise fairly good amount of money for sales on DVD unlike Hallyu boom in Mongolia or Vietnam.So they become ambitious.Start to place ripoff price for the product which eventually led to the bubble.There are fan of Korean entertainment remaining and continue to exist in this country,but I don’t think there will be any gold rush like the past few years without the help of J-media powerhouse’s muscle,of which was the true dynamo of the Korean Wave.

Now what GI Korea had said about Chosen Ilbo and Joongang Ilbo.Many of my colleague thinks they are nothing but a trash.Since they are not as anti-American like Hankyoreh,GI may have modest idea about the two.But I see little or no difference in it’s quality,especially when it comes to Japan related article.I have no idea why these editors wanted to put the Japanese version on the web.But because of the Yahoo Japan,these Korean paper’s articles with full of anti-Japanese sentiment inside are shown to Japanese through Yahoo news everyday.The Japanese youth who read these paper’s(and another national daily Donga Ilbo’s)Japanese edition on the web start to rear strong anti-Koreanism of which was none existent in this country.(there were prejuduce to zainichi Koreans before but that is mostly deteriorated due to the fact that most are not regarded as foreigners anymore,so the target of the prejudice had shifted to other foreigners like Chinese or Brazilian migrant workers).
So I wouldn’t surprise Korean wave cannot find fans in new generation.Aceface/Anpontan

This is the best explanation for Korean wave, for that matter, anti-Korea wave in Japan I have ever read in English.

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