By Lim Rhie-young
The Korean wave is certainly knocking doors of all East Asian nations. To get a sincere insight on the Korean wave in other Asian countries, Japanese exchange students gathered in a room at Hanwoori Hall to answer questions regarding the Korean Cultural boom in Japan with the popularity of ?inter Sonata at its peak.
What are their thoughts about the Korean gale in Japan? "Some are cynical about the Korean culture entering the minds of Japanese, because it seems like the Japanese culture is simply evaporating into thin air," said Megumi Muramatsu (Social Sciences, 1). Megumi also said that the popularity of ?inter Sonata is not just popular because of Yonsama's irresistible smile, but because the drama contains profound meaning that the Japanese lost long ago like respecting the elders and staying loyal.
The Korean gale first commenced when the soap opera series started being exported to China in 1996. According to the Tourism Marketing Report with Korean Wave conducted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Korea earned 840 billion won in tourism from the Winter Sonata effect. This is a phenomenal development in national income from tourism compared to last year when the tragedies of the Iraqi War and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
Ironically, Japan, a nation that is rather reluctant of encompassing other cultures, went through a revolutionary change as the Korean culture dramatically seeped into theirs. Professor Jasper Kim (International Studies) says, "the immense transpiration of the Korean wave is Japanese people's longing to return to the past. Now, the Japanese community is strongly individualistic where earnest feelings are hidden behind the smiles of courtesy."
"In order for the Korean wave to continue its prowess through Asia, Korea must augment creativity and thrive to increase human resource," says Minister of Culture and Tourism Chung Dong-chae.