Korean Wave in very prominent in Japan. During our visits to Japan, we came about many Korean wave merchandise store there. Probably as many as there is in Korea.
By looking at the above picture, you can see K-pop groups like Big Bang, KARA, Tohoshinki and B2ST.
Korean wave(Hallyu 한류) is known as Hanryu (ハンりゅう) or Kanryu (かんりゅう) in Japanese. Korean pop gained recognition in Japan through BoA and Dong Bang Shin Ki (Tohoshinki 東方神起 in Japanese). Both BoA and Dong Bang Shin Ki reached #1 in Oricon weekly charts during their peak around 2005.
In 2010, two of Korea’s most popular girl-groups, KARA and Girls Generation (Shojyo Jidai 少女 in Japanese) debut in Japan. The girls were seen different from J-pop girl-groups as they are seen as “cool and strong-minded” rather than “kawaii”. In Korea, Girls Generation probably reigns as the No.1 girl-group in their home country but KARA seems to be more popular than Girls Generation. In fact by looking around the streets of Japan, KARA is everywhere, alongside with Japan’s No.1 girl-group – AKB48.
You can also hear KARA’s Japanese songs in shopping malls and boutiques. The reason behind KARA’s popularity in Japan is as follow:
1. KARA’s proficiency in the Japanese Language. They work hard to speak Japanese without an interpreter in variety shows as pointed by KARA’s Goo Hara.
2. KARA’s Goo Hara’s resemblance to J-pop Queen – Namie Amuro by many Japanese fans
3. Their songs are targeted more to the Japanese market such as “Mister”, “Go Go Summer”, “Jet Coaster Love” and “Winter Magic”. In fact, “Mister” is the most sung song at Karaoke beating Japanese group, AKB48. The “Mister butt dance” is very popular in Japan.
You will also able to see KARA at Japan’s “Family Mart”.
KARA, SNSD andTVXQ for Kohaku Uta Gassen
Dragon Idols: Gyuri & Seungyeon
KARA donates all income from “Jet Coaster Love” towards Japan’s disaster
T-ara donates entire royalty from their Japanese “Roly-Poly” single for Fukushima disaster