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Old 2012-01-03, 02:57   Link #1954
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Half Australia, Half Tokyo, Bits and pieces in US
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
South Korea's K-pop culture growing in Japan

Apropos of this discussion, I happened to see this piece on the BBC this morning. Has the arrival of K-Pop improved the image of Koreans in Japan? Do young Japanese (and Koreans) care about the events of the first half of the twentieth century, or is that all now simply ancient history?
First of all, I think the image of Koreans have been improving a lot since the Winter Sonata took the housewives by storm.

The recent KPOP has been a intesting trend because it seems to be actually feeding off the girl idol group trend restarted by AKB.

regards to their popularity though, it's a little hard to say because of several points.
1) we don't really understand what they are singing even though they are singing in Japanese and have really out a lot of effort into mastering the language.
I think this is one of those problems that never go away...

2) many Korean groups are so obviously over done with plastic surgery, and many Japanese find that hard to accept.
Sure, many AKB have had minor tweaks too, but not as obvious.
This also can be seen in the fact the Itano Tomomi is always ranked 7th or 8th in AKB.

3) some people feel that the trend is only created by the media and not really happening in real life.
This is still a controversial topic, but there was an incident where thousands of people went and demonstrated in front of Fiji television saying that they were forcing Korean television on to the japanese, despite many of them not really being interested in it.
It's hard to pin point how this happened, but most probably because we still do care about what happened in the past.
Every since the demos happened, you can see in online forums where people make racist comments about the Koreans and how they keep trying to make business off of the Japanese.
It has come to an extent where people are not buying Korean products, and canceling SoftBank phone accounts. (SoftBank is owned by a Japanese korean CEO)

I personally have nothing against the Koreans.
I think their KPOP is cute, and if that boosts the total level of Asian entrainment, then that is beneficial for all of us.

Whenever something new is entering the market, of course there will be a bunch of people who love it, and a bunch of people who hate it, and it may just be more prominent because of the history between the two countries.
But the lack of any conflict usually means a lack of presence, not acceptance, especially for Japan.
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