What makes South Korean entertainment click?
The alarm is not limited to China. In recent years, Taiwan regulators intervened to reduce the projection of soap operas in South Korea, while thousands marched in Tokyo against the careful selection of shows on Japanese television.
The industry booming behind this regional anxiety is the theme of “The Korean Wave: Korean popular culture in a global context.” This is a new collection of academic essays of varying quality in the growth of South Korea’s entertainment industry to prominence in East Asia and the Southeast. It was edited by Yasue Kuwahara, a professor at the University of Northern Kentucky, and published by Palgrave MacMillan.
From Manila to Mongolia, Seoul TV and music companies have found an enthusiastic audience. Its success reflects the cultural appeal of one of the most advanced economies in the region and has opened the door to other South Korean industries, including tourism and cosmetics.
In the collection, it is not the obligatory chapter in “Gangnam Style”, the psycho rapper that has become the most watched music video in Internet history.
The authors do well to focus on the new role of music consumers to help promote songs to share online – although there is unnecessary hyperbole in their final statement that “Gangnam Style” “may have been a turning point in the world of the Show “.
Similarly, the book begins with an essay by British professor John Walsh, who described it as a “government building.”
Walsh lists several government initiatives to support the entertainment industry. But not at all to demonstrate that one of these elements has been fundamental in the success achieved by the sectors of music production and vigorously competitive country music.
When they showed great sensitivity to the international market, government interventions have often seemed uncomfortable. The South Korean government Lee Myung-bak, for example, spent more than $ 70 million for the “Korean food globalization” – with the results until uncertainty affects the National Commission has ordered a special audit.
As a contributor, Hyejung Ju later suggested in the book, if we want to include government action is the liberalization in 2000 of the television and music areas, which has allowed new, small and independent companies to enter the industries and give Let loose the dynamic forces of the market.
However, even this does not explain the enthusiasm I felt for shows and songs from many South Asian consumers, often with the exclusion of competing products in their own countries or in the West.
Many critics claim that the secret lies in a glamor seductive blend of winning that is normally associated with American leaders, filled with an underlying strain of traditional Asian family values.
Oh Chuyun puts an interesting twist on this theory with an analysis of SNSD, South Korea’s most successful pop group in recent years. “They surpassed any specific race or ethnic group,” she said, giving them a “multicultural muteness from Korea.”
The book concludes with a suggestion from its editor Kuwahara that “most Japanese do not care about Korean culture” and see South Korean shows because they are like “a fun mirror house that shows them what the Japanese and their society. ”
This does not fit well with the hope that Korean cultural exports could serve as a bridge between nations as a result of the deterioration of diplomatic relations. However, this can reassure people Qinsong Xu, head of the Communist Party of China of Guangdong.