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Korean Wave Brings Different Strokes for Different Folks

2005/03/23 | 312 views | Permalink | Source

In Japan, it's Bae Yong-joon; in Taiwan, it's Lee Young-ae; in China Jun Ji-hyun, and in Hong Kong Choi Ji-woo - wherever the Korean wave has washed ashore, fans have a different favorite among the country's stars.

In a survey of 372 Asian tourists conducted by a Korean entertainment marketing firm from Feb. 21 to March 18 at Incheon International Airport and the Korean National Tourism Organization, respondents chose different Korean stars depending where they came from.

Of 227 Japanese tourists, 82 chose Bae Yong-joon of "Winter Sonata", while 36 out of 71 Taiwanese tourists chose MBC TV drama "Dae Jang Geum" star Lee Young-ae. Some 23 of 52 mainland Chinese tourists chose "My Sassy Girl" actress Jun Ji-hyun, while six of 15 Hong Kong tourists chose Bae's "Winter Sonata" costar Choi Ji-woo.

Since the four countries have been exposed to many of the same work and stars, results suggest that national characteristics influence the preference of viewers.

People in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong - all, of course, Chinese - tended to prefer one particular entertainer, while the Japanese tended to like a wider range of Korean entertainers besides Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo, such as Lee Byung-hun, Won Bin, Song Seung-heon and Boa.
As Korean actor Bae Yong-joon appears at the hand-printing event for the Blue Dragon Film Awards on Nov.19, 2004, his fans -- including Japanese women -- scream and reach out to the actor. /Yonhap

That contrasts with the concentrated adulation given to "Winter Sonata" couple Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo in Japan until last year, suggesting that the fan base of Korean stars in Japan has been growing. The implication is that the Korean wave in Japan is likely to last for some time.

Some 268 of the respondents -- 72 percent -- said they came to Korea to meet a Korean Wave star or visit a film set. Another 305 respondents -- 82 percent -- said they bought or expected to buy products related to their favorite Korean stars, dramas or films.

Source : www.chosun.com...

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