The Korean Wave in China

Posted on koreamelon.com

I just read an interesting article about the influence of Korean media on Chinese Youth culture on NY Times:

China’s Youth Look to Seoul for Inspiration

I’ve read about the Korean wave since I saw my first Korean movie in 2000 (SHIRI). It wasn’t until last year when I went to Japan that realized the impact of Korean culture on other Asian countries. Going to a bookstore I would see a separate section for Korean magazines, Korean photobooks (on actors, movies or TV-series) and Korean learning material (I found more Korean textbooks than German textbooks). Going to a department store I would see commcercials and posters with Korean celebrities, at the cinema I would see posters promoting the latest Korean blockbuster. The first artist to sell more than one million CDs was BOA, a Korean singer (who’s under contract with Avex Traxx, a Japanese record company). I couldn’t even go to the ice rink to escape the Korean wave. They were constantly playing the songs from ‘Winter Sonata‘, a Korean TV drama that could be described as the Korean ‘Titanic’.

It was really interesting to observe this phenomenon in Japan. Historically Japan felt little connection to other Asian countries. After WWII Japan’s main cultural influence came from America and that hasn’t really changed till today. Japan is the most important market for American movies. ‘The Last Samurai’ made more money in Japan than in America. Japan is the most important export market for Hip Hop music.

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