Korean drama ‘Winter Sonata’ was aired for the first time in Japan 10 years ago and has caused a sensation. Several sources have pointed to the decline of the Hallyu Wave now. Japan-Korea relations are cold now due to the issue of comfort women and Takeshima, demonstrations against Korea has been ongoing. I am tempted to ask the feeling of Hallyu fans. [Kobayashi Sachiaki, Yamada Michiko]
- Separate politics and culture
On April 2, 6 pm, about 50,000 people filled the Tokyo Dome concert venue. It is Korean idol 3-member unit JYJ first grand performance in Japan after 3 years.
On stage, Kim Jejung(27), Park Yuchun(26), Kim Junsu(26), the handsome trio appeared and began to sing, along with a flashy performance. Audience began to wave their red penlights and the dome seemed like a flower garden. Most have began humming the lyrics in Korean.
JYJ was from 5-member singing group Tohoshinki but due to conflict with management, the 3 members formed the group independently. After this conflict, rather than weakening, their popularity is still as strong as ever. “Time was what the 3 of us were most afraid of. But standing here on stage, I thought I was foolish (of thinking like that)…” Near the end of the concert, which lasted 3 hours, Jejung, speaking in Japanese, addressed the audience with a sense of unity and was engulfed by the cheers of the audience.
Before and after the performances, a long procession of mostly middle age women can be seen near the Suidobashi JR station. “I am very happy to meet these 3 people for the first time in a long while.”, said by a flushed 50-year-old female office worker who came from Osaka. We dared ask about the complicated relationship between Japan and Korea. “This concert has got nothing to do with that territorial dispute over Korea. It doesn’t matter to me because I like them.”
“Separate politics and culture”, said by a 64-year-old woman who came with her younger sister from Kyoto in response to the question. “Political problems should be solved by politicians. This is a cultural exchange.”
‘Winter Sonata’ was first broadcasted in April 2013 in NHK BS2 station in time of the Japan-Korea World Cup tournament. Bae Yoon Joon (Yon-sama) has captured the hearts of female viewers. Even then, dramas such as Jewel in the Palace were broadcasted. Tohoshinki debuted in 2005 on top of music charts. 3 Korean groups have appeared in NHK’s Kohaku Gassen – Tohoshinki, Girls’ Generation, and KARA.