Occidentalism
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The truth about the

August 29th, 2005 . by Matt

With the so called ‘Korean Wave’ flooding Japan, I have often wondered why it is that I am unable to come across Japanese people that like the Korean actors and singers representing the Korean Wave (in Japan its called ‘The Korean Boom’). This, despite dealing with Japanese people, especially girls in their late teens and early 20’s, on a daily basis. Indeed, most have told me that they were uninterested in the Korean Wave.

Reading the Korean media about the Korean Wave, it is easy to be fooled. With Korean articles with unlikely titles like ‘What is it about Korean Men that Japanese Women Adore?’, and claims that Japanese women are going crazy over Korean stars, it is worth examining just who these women are. Do we dare believe the Korean media?

Warning: This post may offend some people, so keep in mind that it is not the intention of the author to insult, just to make fun of the Korean media. Read on at your own risk!

I now introduce you to the ‘Geriatric Wave’

The Be Yonju (‘Yonsama’) fans

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Japanese chicks going nuts over Yonsama!

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Typical fans of the Korean boom

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She is a big Yonsama fan

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“oh my, I am sweating!”

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More J-girls!

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“I am so happy”

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They both are!

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This chick says her legs hurt^^

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This woman says that if she were only 30 years younger…

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These women are among the youngest of Yonsama’s fans

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So cute when they put their hand over their mouth to cover their laughter, isnt it?

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So happy, she is crying

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Happy to meet Yonsama

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Yonsama makes her very happy

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Says she couldnt see Yonsama

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Dont worry, these ladies get to touch a statue instead!

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Korean man hunters?

The Kwon Sangwoo Fans

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Elderly Japanese chicks waiting for Kwon Sangwoo at the airport

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Kwon can make some money here. I bet these ladies didnt know that he burnt a Japanese flag in one of his video clips

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A crowd of people, all elderly Japanese women

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Hmmm, you say Kwon is sexy?

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How old are you? 71!

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This lady drew a picture. I hope with these pics that I am drawing a picture, too ^^

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This hot J-girl senses Kwons attractiveness.

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Nothing will stop them!

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‘He is so cool!’

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‘Oh gawd, he is so cool, I am so happy!’

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“I am very joyous”

The Pak Yongha Fans

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Typical Yongha fan

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2,500 older Japanese women turned out for Yongha at the airport

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Yongha, face to face with his fans!

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“he is so cool”

I think that I have pretty much shown that the Korean Wave is indeed popular among a certain segment of the Japanese population, but it is not the segment that the delusional Korean press has been saying it is. Anyway, long live the Korean Wave! (irony intended)


113 Responses to “The truth about the”

  1. comment number 1 by: Mika

    Argh, that article was written by Norimitsu Onishi(大西哲光). For your information, he is from the Asahi Shimbun Company and is known to write intentional pro-Korea or anti-Japanese articles to NYT.

  2. comment number 2 by: ponta

    Victor
    Yeah, your post just goes to show my point.You looks so excited again, about New York Times telling the story about Korean stars.
    Korean fans ,whether you read Korean or not, are so excited about Korean entartainers being accepetd in many countries.. So the Korean media interacts with the Korean fans and stretches the truth a little bit to give them more excitement.After all the media wants the more readers, so it writes about what the readers are excited about. So it goes like “Korean stars are so popular among Japanese girls” And on reading it Korean get excited moret.. So the media stretches a little bit more, so it might say ” Korean guys are loved by Japanese girls” and Korean get more excitements and so on.
    It does not work in this way in Japan. I heard the singers “puffy” got famous in the US. Many Japanese would welcome it. Few Japanese are excited about it, Fewer Japanese boast of it.
    Anyway I am happy about you being happy about Korean stars welcomed in the world.

  3. comment number 3 by: Victor

    Mika and ponta, you guys are so strong.

    To set the record straight, I’m a citizen of Canada!! and I support Hong Kong cinema as much as I support the Korean wave. I do love Japanimations and when I said they are “non-oriental” I meant the physcal features of the characters (sharp nose, round eyes, voluptuous bodies, long legs, etc). Compare them with Mulan (a disney animation set in China) and you’ll know what i mean.

    Anyway, how about the Indian press talking about the Korean wave? (note that the article doesn’t list Japan when it talks about the international fever surrounding “winter sonata”.

    The article says:
    “Korean TV dramas, like Winter Sonata, have already been dubbed in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam and adapted in countries like Ghana, Uzbekistan and Mongolia among other countries……Winter Sonata has in fact generated mass hysteria in all the countries it has aired.”

    “According to the commission, in 2004, Vietnam (1.5 per cent), Malaysia (1.8 per cent) and the US (2.2 per cent) emerged as growing markets for Korean TV products.”

    “Another 2003 Korean MBC production Jewel in the Palace has hit the popularity charts in Japan, Latin American and Middle East countries….

    Read the whole thing here:

    Korean ‘hallyu’ hits MIPTV 2005
    By APARNA JOSHI
    Indiantelevision.com Team

    Oh, please don’t tell me that I’m overexcited or I’m bragging. If you keep saying that I’m going to have a serious identity crisis.

  4. comment number 4 by: ponta

    Victor
    Thanks for spending so much time to let us know the Korean stars are big shots in the world.
    I wholeheartedly believe that.I am happy to know that. Someone told me I look like Yonsama, so I like him too.(I’m kidding)
    My point is that if most Korean fans were just as excited as you were, that would explain partly how and why the media stretches the truth.
    Please do not get identity crisis. You are yourself wherther you are Korean Canadian or not,
    In my case, being Japanese is a part of my indenty, and that is importan part, but my identity is more than that, so I escape from identity crisis if something happen to my race or nationality.

  5. comment number 5 by: Victor

    oh, well. Thanks for bearing with my post!

  6. comment number 6 by: ponta

    Victor
    Sorry if I offended you. I enjoyed your post.
    I just wanted to understand things.

  7. comment number 7 by: Victor

    Ponta, No offense taken! I wasn’t being sarcastic when I said thanks for reading my posts.

    Au revoir à tous
    Que dieu vous bénisse, amen.

    mexican fan club

  8. comment number 8 by: qbase

    sorry for bringing this topic up again. But i see a clash of cultures between the young and older generations in Japan today. I’ve heard that older Japanese are more traditional and conservative. That’s why I could understand why so many older Japanese women would love Bae yong Jun and winter sonata.

    This is just a casual observation but the younger generation seem to be into the ‘unusual’ whether it be in fashion, music or even how they even see relationships.

    And then there’s this porn culture that seems to be prevelant in Japan that’s not in Korea…..Terms like ‘bukkake’ and cosplay, sailor uniform fetishes exist in the Japanese and websites like j-list that conviently showcase porn products together with other everyday goods seem a little too ‘normal’ for my tastes. Not to mention those porn vending machines? lol You don’t see that anywhere but in Japan.

    i also notice too, that in the personal ads like craig’s list in the US, Japanese women tend to be more liberal in their choice in men than other asian women.

    For example, J-women are more open to dating african americans than other asians. I guess that comes from the culture where Japanese tend to view african americans more as a novelty than actual people. Aren’t there racially themed bars in tokyo, where only black guys go to meet J-women?

    Given this cultural context, i can see why young J-women wouldn’t necessarily be attracted to a character like bae young jun. Or maybe, young J-men who are also part of this liberal mind-set are not in contention with the ‘Korean boom’ per say but rather with the conservative values that ‘winter sonata’ represents?

    one thing that japan and the west do share is their attitudes toowards sex.
    The younger generation (both sexes)may think that bae young jun as a ‘wuss’ or ‘prude’ because he didn’t even get to sleep with his girl. Hence, the criticism that Bae young jun is effeminite. I heard harry potter…lol

    You have to realize that the themes of love vs sex debate is coming out into different manifestations even in the west. In the US there’s a backlash against native programing such as “desparate housewives” and “vegas”. There are websites/forums dedicated to korean drama where the great majority are non-koreans. Many claim they don’t watch Hollywood shows anymore because all they portray is a sexfest of blond bombshells, and millionare husbands cheating with their secretaries. (You get the picture) Wheras, they claim korean shows are about real conflicts involving families, themes of love, respect and decency. They say they relate to it not because they’re korean but because the dramas reflect real-life situations in which they themselves can identify in their own lives.

    so im not surprised why many young j-women aren’t into the korean boom.
    But I disagree that the japanese (whatever the japanese demogrphic) would have less than fanatical attitudes when it comes to fads/actors/singers. This is especially true with the japanese obession with the west. where do i even begin with this?

    .

  9. comment number 9 by: takeshima

    The Corean wave in Japan is mostly corean-Japanese old ladies. Corean media goes to great pains to find even one remotly young women to photograph for their propaganda.

    However, you should feel sad for these little old ladies. They are in horrible situations with their Corean-japanese husbands so they all dream of a simple time, with a fairy tail husband.

  10. comment number 10 by: Victor

    The Corean wave in Japan is mostly corean-Japanese old ladies.

    Do these “Corean-japanese old ladies” go crazy over BoA too?
    LOL..

  11. comment number 11 by: ponta

    qbase

    the younger generation seem to be into the ‘unusual’ whether it be in fashion, music or even how they even see relationship

    Younger generation are always attracted to something new, something unusual and older generation complain that they can’t understand younger generation.When I was young, my generation used to be called “new species.”

    And then there’s this porn culture that seems to be prevelant in Japan that’s not in Korea…..Terms like ‘bukkake’ and cosplay, sailor uniform fetishes exist in the Japanese and websites like j-list that conviently showcase porn products together with other everyday goods seem a little too ‘normal’ for my tastes. Not to mention those porn vending machines? lol You don’t see that anywhere but in Japan.

    Bukkake must be so impressive for foreigners bacasue I heard many foreigners mentioned it.
    But it is like suvenior that not many native Japanese are attracted but are sold only for forigners.
    I think there is no category for bukkake on the adult sites for Japanese .(I am not sure though)
    Cosplay is for animation fans, isn’t it?
    And I think uniform fetish exist everywhere.I have seen a man on TV wearing like a police stripping on the stage and women were excited. It was in England, I geuss.
    Have you seen the pornovending machine in Tokyo? It is difficult nowadays to find them unless you bother to look for it.The porno vending machines are resitricted to the place where only those who have much concern about porno can accecess. Tokyo, law restricts the place where you can place those pornovending machines. Other prefectures have similar law.
    In my opinion, you can have any sexual imagination and express it in the form of photos, novels, movies. The important thing is that you should restrict it in the place where those who agree to enjoy have access and that you should not cofuse fantacy with reality.

    You have to realize that the themes of love vs *** debate is coming out into different manifestations even in the west.

    Sexuality is very relative to culture and time.(see,Foucault, history of sexuality)
    I think Christianity invented the strict morality of sex in modern western nations.
    In many Asian countries,they were free from such strict morality.
    I think it was after western culture was imported that Japanse began to follow that rule.
    In Japan, before meiji restoration, some artists refined the eroticism in an artistic form , which you might have seen in the musium.

    But I disagree that the japanese (whatever the japanese demogrphic) would have less than fanatical attitudes when it comes to fads/actors/singers. This is especially true with the japanese obession with the west. where do i even begin with this?

    Yes there are a lot of Japanese fans for movie stars and singers whatever their races.Korean star, American stars, Chinese Stars.Afirican stars.
    I think Jackie Chan is popular among young Japanese woman.
    In my views, yonsama is too handsome. a classical handsome guy.Japanese movie stars 50 years ago were like that.But nowadays people tend to value personalities than the beauty of face.
    Jackie is not as handsome as Yonsama, but his personality and actions appeal to a lot of young people.

  12. comment number 12 by: takeshima

    Regarding Yonsama…. but an investigative journalist like yourself knows that.

  13. comment number 13 by: ponta

    Regarding Yonsama…. but an investigative journalist like yourself knows that

    What is it? I am curious.