vendredi 28 septembre 2007

grants opportunity

Message: 3Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 13:45:26 -0700From: "Buswell, Robert" Subject: Re: [KS] AAS Korea Research GrantsTo: Message-ID:<>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" Dear Colleagues, It is my pleasure to tell you about the Korea-related grant opportunities available from the Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). The fall deadline is fast approaching: all applications must arrive at the AAS office in Ann Arbor, Michigan by October 1, 2007. The application process is relatively simple and there are a variety of categories in which to apply for funds. These include grants for research travel; small conferences on Korea; projects that enhance teaching about Korea; inviting distinguished speakers on Korea to speak at your institution, and support for graduate students whose papers have been selected for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. Also, please note that the spring deadline for these applications is February 1, 2008. The application form and specific information on each grant category is available on the NEAC/AAS website: For more information, please contact Jan Bardsley:bardsley@email.unc.eduJan BardsleyChair, Northeast Asia CouncilAssociate Professor, Japanese HumanitiesThe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

mercredi 12 septembre 2007

Korean grant

Found this on a Korean studies website, may be of interest for some of my readers

I would also like to introduce the Kyujanggak's annual travel grant program.
This grant provides administrative assistance in accessing the archives, as
well as 1,000,000 won for both foreign and Korean scholars, and up to
1,500,000 won for foreign scholars who require a longer-term stay (more than
3 weeks). Please contact me if you are interested.

Warmest regards,

Eun-su Cho
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy
Editor, *Seoul Journal of Korean Studies*
Seoul National University

mardi 11 septembre 2007

publishing opportunities: asian media

Hallo everybody!
As the deadline approaches in three weeks here is another reminder:

Additional contributions are sought for a collection on global television
formats forthcoming from Routledge Press.

Programming formulae that are exchanged, adapted or cloned for production in
multiple localities worldwide have long been staples of international
television. Few televisual shifts, however, have so shaken the global media
environment as the current explosion of global format circulation. For some,
the global format itself constitutes an alternative model of media
globalization as contemporary increase in flow, trade, "pirate" adaptation
and visibility of global television formats challenge established
understandings and offer new theoretical models for scholars and critics.

When viewed historically, or in conjunction with technological developments,
industrial strategies and textual migrations beyond the boundaries of
nation, schedule, playback media, and viewing conventions, the current
television environment presents substantial and creative challenges for
media studies. Focusing on the global format, the collection features
contemporary scholarship that addresses the complex televisual exchanges of
format texts, styles, industries, regulatory institutions, audiences, and

To complete the volume, we seek essays in the following categories:

*Geographical areas: Essays addressing contemporary or historical formats in
East Asia, Africa, The Arab world, or Europe.

*Beyond reality tv: Essays that engage with less visible global formats such
as sports and news programming (historical or contemporary).

*Institutions/Industries/Audience: Essays that approach the study of
television formats through institutional, technological, or viewership

*Global Television Studies: Studies that focus on style, generic convention
or the multiple contact zones of television as a global textual system.

Please send abstract of 500-900 words (or essay) by Sept. 30 to Tasha Oren
( and Sharon Shahaf ( inquiries,
essays and abstracts are welcome anytime until the deadline.

Tasha Oren
Associate Professor of English and Media Studies
Director, The Film Studies Program
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Curtin Hall, PO Box 413,
Milwaukee, WI 53201 (414) 229-4869

Sharon Shahaf
Assistant Instructor, PhD candidate
Department of Radio-TV-Film
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station A0800
Austin, TX 78712-0108

lundi 20 août 2007

Good news: publishing

I am pretty happy and proud to tell that the first paper I presented at the UMAT conference will be published in French for the Critique Internationale review. Critique is edited by CERI (centre d'étude des relations internationales), a research lab related to Sciences Po, my former grad school. The article will be published in early 2008.
The article will tackle the consumption of Asian television programs in Easter Asia as a forthcoming sign of the emergence of a public sphere in Asia. Big program...

mardi 14 août 2007

Asian dramas on

If you are conducting some research on Korean and Asian dramas here is a great link,
better than dailymotion and youtube ^^

mardi 17 juillet 2007

conference at Temple univ

From: David Slater
Date: 2007/07/05


The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) at Temple University, Japan Campus, will host "Youth and Imaginative Labor: East Asia and Beyond,"
a two-day conference in July focused on the issue of youth today in the neoliberal economy of immaterial/affective labor, the social and political challenges young people face and their imaginative responses that creatively and critically transform their situations.

The conference will include leading scholars working on Japan, Korea, China and Hong Kong in academic panel sessions and will feature multi-media presentations by graduate students, performers and youth NPO advocates presenting work on and by youth in East Asia.

In addition to academic panel sessions, on Saturday evening (July 21), the conference will have a session at Super Deluxe in Roppongi, where NGO activists, designers, and academics studying youth culture will give short multi-media presentations as part of "Pecha Kucha University" (
Following this, Donald Richie will introduce and discuss a screening of the anime film "Avalon,"
which will be followed by a Hip Hop party organized by Zulu Nation Japan, with live painting by Rinpa Eshidan and a Spoken Word performance by Marcellus Nealy.

See below for schedules, panel presenters and paper titles

Anne Allison (Duke University David Slater (Sophia University, Kyle Cleveland (Temple University,

Collaboration: Klein-Dytham Architects, Super-Deluxe, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, SurvivArt

Date & Time:
Saturday, July 21, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday, July 22, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Locations: TUJ Mita Hall in Minami Azabu / Super Deluxe in Nishi-Azabu Access to Temple University, Japan Campus (Mita Hall):
(Saturday night events after 6 p.m. will be at Super Deluxe. Click here
for map.)
Cost: 1500 yen for the Saturday evening event (only); the academic panel sessions at TUJ are free of charge.

To register and for further information:

Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ)
Tel. 03-5441-9800

Conference Schedule :
Youth & Imaginative Labor: East Asia & Beyond

Saturday, July 21st (Temple University, Japan Campus, Mita Hall)
10:00-12:30: Panel Session I: New Forms of Sociality and Subjectivity
12:30-1:30: Lunch
1:30-4:00: Panel Session II: Imaginative, Connected, and Popular

Evening Session: (Super Deluxe in Roppongi)
6:00: Doors Open
6:30:-9:00: Pecha Kucha University Presentations:
Digital Youth
9:00-11:00: Screening of Avalon with commentary by Donald Richie
11:30-2:00: Hip Hop Afterparty w/ Zulu Nation Japan
Live Painting by Rinpa Eshidhan
Spoken Word by Marcellus Nealy

Sunday, July 22nd: (Temple University, Japan Campus, Mita Hall)
1:00-3:00: Pecha Kucha University Presentations:
Youth Politics, Sociality and Engagement
3:30-4:00: Coffee Break
4:00-5:30: Plenary Panel: The Politics of Youth Culture
5:30: Reception (light food and drinks served)

Sat. 10am - 4pm; Sun. 1pm - 7pm
Temple University, Japan Campus
Mita Hall, room #502

Panel Presentations

*******Panel I: Forms of Sociality and Subjectivity (Saturday 10:00-12:30)

Anne Allison (Anthropology, Duke U.)
"The Sociality of Neoliberalism: Affect, Family, and Japanese Kids"

James Farrer (Sociology, Sophia U)
"A Moral Economy Perspective on Youth Sexuality in China and Japan"

Nozomu Shibuya (Sociology, Chiba U)
"The Invention of Resistance: the Pre-individual and Neoliberal Culture"

David Slater (Anthropology, Sophia U.)
"The Freeterization of Labor and the Collapse of Capitalist Imagination in Japan"

******Panel II: Imaginative, Connected, and Popular

Hiroshi Aoyagi (Anthropology, Kokushikan U.) " Reviving Local Lifeworld Through Pop Music: Okinawan Youngsters and the Imaginative Labor of Oki-Pop "

Cho Hae-joang , (Anthropology, Yonsei U.) "Youth as New Dwellers of Network Society in South Korea"

Anthony Y. H. Fung (Communications, Chinese U of HK) "Fandom, Youth, and Consumption in China"

Whang, Sang-Min, (Psychology, Yonsei U.) "The Emerging Features of Korean Youth Culture in Cyberspace"

******Roundtable: The Politics of Youth Culture (Sunday 4:00-5:30)
Convener: Yoshimi Shunya (Cultural Studies, Tokyo U.)

Presenter: Ken Wissoker (Editorial Director, Duke U.
Press) "Temporalities and Transnationalism in Youth Culture"

July 21: Sat. 6pm - 2am
Super Deluxe (SDLX) in Roppongi

"The sound of conversation" in a marketplace of ideas outside the classroom

The inaugural installment of Pecha Kucha U. will feature short-form multimedia presentations (20 slides, 20 seconds each) by graduate students, NPO activists, and artists dealing with youth culture. Pecha Kucha sessions will be Saturday and Sunday afternoons at TUJ and Saturday evening at SDLX*.

*Specific order and time of Pecha Kucha presentations to be announced: see -

*******Youth Politics, Sociality and Engagement

Alberto Fonseca, Ricardo Yamamoto, Brazilian youth labor in Japan Robin O'Day, Flexible labor, freeters, and protest Sachiko Kaneko, The moral panic of "net cafes" in Japan Nate Smith, Right-wing youth and mediated activism Mo, Hyunjoo, Fabulous single &
doenjangnyo: politics of consumption of single career women in their 20's and 30's Tolvonen Tuukka , What happens when 'youth', 'independence', and 'policy'
mingle: the case of the Japanese wakamono jiritsu juku Ota Satoshi, It's not a big deal: Taiwanese young women in 'service' industry Mary Reisel, Sex, massage and "health" services - rising labor for the new age Kim, Jiho; Park, Junpyo; Park, Gunha; Shin, Jeoungsu; Kim, Heewon, Introduction of Learning Ecosystem Project Julian Seltzer, James Seltzer, Ayu Tanaka and Go, F.L.O. (Free Lance Outcasts), Making manga: The birth of Cross-War Koga Wakako, (NPO: Sodateage) Hikikomori, NEET and readjustment into society Saito Takashi, Rutsuko Nakajima, (NPO: Kodomo Social Work
Association) Family support for hikikomori Catherine Hagan, Hiromi Aoki, From Tokyo to Chennai: youth in NGOs reaching across borders

*******Digital Youth

Jee-yeon Kim, Ki-Tae Ryu , Consumption patterns in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
(MMORPG): World of Warcraft (WoW) and Lineage II Sang-Won Yoo, Regina Kim , Communications in
cyberspace: how and why do Cyworld users communicate with each other?
Youngyim Doh, New life exploration in Mabinogi, an on-line game.
Le Han, Female anime fans and Chinese doujin writing online Patrick Galbraith, Moe: Intimate meanings, erotic tensions, and capitalist designs in "blossoming"
otaku passion Gunnar Hempel, Dojinshi life and labor in Tokyo Sunny Lam, Imaginary power of young designers and animators:
contribution to or exploitation by the creative industries Chunghan Lee, Popular music and affective labour Eve Leung, The emergence of adolescent labour in Hong Kong popular music industry Dwayne Dixon , Shoumouhin/Shoumou(in):Tokyo skateboarders and the expendability of shoes and self Kim, Heewon, Can I make money with virtual products? - the irony of UCC (User Created-Content) Kang, Yoonjung, Lee, Kyuho Mysterious English land


A Multi-part Series Devoted to Unexplored Tangents of the Japanese Film

AVALON (film screening with commentary by Donald Richie)
Directed by Oshii Mamoru, written by Ito Kazunori 2001

A road not taken. Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) Mamoru's brilliant and beautiful live-action anime about the perils of alternate reality games. Set in ruined Europe, it shows us our Polish heroine's finding a hidden level in the Game. Involving and involved, the film won foreign prizes but no imitators - the experiment was never repeated.

Curated by Donald Richie
Named by TIME magazine, "the dean of Japan's art critics," and acknowledged as the foremost authority on Japanese cinema, Donald Richie has also written widely - some forty books in all - on other aspects of the country and its people. The Inland Sea has been called a classic and its film version has won prizes at international film festivals as well as the National Geographic Earth Award. His Public People, Private People has been called "unforgettable" by Tom Wolfe and of his two collections of essays, A Lateral View and Partial Views, Susan Sontag has said: "Donald Richie writes about Japan with an unrivaled range, acuity, and wit."

Richie has lived in Japan for most of his life.
Arriving on New Year's Day, 1947, he worked as feature-writer and film critic for The Pacific Stars and Stripes. After graduating from Columbia University in 1953, he returned to Japan as film citic for The Japan Times. He has written for Newsweek, The Nation, Variety, The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, and all major films magazines. In addition he presented the first retrospective of the Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu at the 1962 Berlin Film Festival and has since acted as guest director of the Telluride Film Festival, and served on the juries at the Hawaii, Lacarno, Thessaloniki, and Kerala Festivals.

In addition to writing a column for The Japan Times, lecturing around the world, and continuing to lend his distinctive voice to Japanese studies, Donald Richie teaches film at Temple University's Japan Campus.

Hip Hop Party hosted by ZULU NATION JAPAN (SAT. SDLX,

Rinpa Eshidan , Live Painting and Pecha Kucha

Marcellus Nealy - Spoken Word -

NOTE: This conference is being held at two venues:
Temple University's Japan Campus in Minami Azabu during the daytime on Saturday and Sunday, and at "Super-Deluxe" in Nishi Azabu on Saturday evening.
The Saturday evening event is conjoined to the academic conference, and contains presentations and performances which evoke the academic content of the conference.

Access to Temple University, Japan Campus :
4-1-27 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073
Mita Hall, room #502
Tel: 0120-86-1026 (03-5441-9800)

Access to Super Deluxe: B1F
3.1.25 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031, Japan
T: 03.5412.0515 | F: 03.5412.0516


David H. Slater, Ph.D.
Faculty of Liberal Arts
Sophia University, Tokyo

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mercredi 11 juillet 2007

Article from Libération about manga

Maudits mangas
A l’heure où Tokyo décerne le premier «prix Nobel du manga», la frange la plus conservatrice du pays s’alarme de l’impact nocif de ces BD ultraviolentes. On les accuse même d’avoir inspiré deux crimes récents.
Par Michel Temman
QUOTIDIEN : mercredi 11 juillet 2007
3 réactions
Il a 43 ans. Il est Chinois. Il s’appelle Lee Chi Ching. Ce dessinateur hongkongais n’a pas que du talent. Il est aussi le premier lauréat du Prix international du manga, créé en mai à Tokyo pour récompenser des illustrateurs étrangers. Lundi 2 juillet, c’est le ministre japonais des Affaires étrangères, Taro Aso en personne, qui lui a remis son trophée, pour sa BD l’Art de la guerre, adaptée du traité de stratégie militaire de Sun Tzu (Ve siècle av. J.-C.). Cent quarante-cinq candidats de vingt-six pays étaient en lice.

Sur le même sujet
Déferlante de bulles japonaises

Avec ce «prix Nobel du manga», comme l’a appelé Taro Aso, le Japon vend son image et vante sa pop culture (BD, dessins animés, jeux vidéo, etc.). Il était temps. Car depuis des années, le succès à l’export de ses mangas et autres an ime (films d’animation) est foudroyant. Le Japon a même créé en 2004 une statistique pour mesurer le succès global de ses produits culturels, le PNC (Produit National Cool). Véritables produits d’appel, les mangas (littéralement «images dérisoires», «images du monde flottant») inondent les jeux vidéo, le cinéma, Internet, la mode, l’art contemporain, la musique pop ou électronique.
Le triomphe est tel que le marché sature. Les chiffres donnent le tournis. Au moins 40 millions de Japonais lisent un manga par semaine. Parmi les quinze magazines imprimés à plus d’un million d’exemplaires, dix sont des revues de mangas de 250 à 500 pages, dont le tirage peut avoisiner 6 millions d’exemplaires.
Comme le constate Nicolas Finet, directeur d’ouvrage du futur Dicomanga (en librairie fin 2007 aux éditions Fleurus) et chargé de mission pour l’Asie du festival d’Angoulême, «avec ses mangas, gigantesque industrie de papier, le Japon a réussi à bâtir une synergie de l’image qui triomphe dans le monde entier».
Mais le succès a aussi son revers : les mangas de plus en plus gore favoriseraient, pêle-mêle, la rébellion antiparentale et antisociale, la violence à l’école, les délits sexuels, la délinquance juvénile. Dans un récent rapport, vingt-cinq parlementaires japonais souhaitent ainsi que soit «considéré un contrôle» sur «l’expression excessive de la violence et du sexe», compte tenu de son «impact négatif sur les jeunes». Au gré de la polémique alimentée par des élus conservateurs, la police, des sectes religieuses, des associations de familles ou de parents d’élèves, une frange de l’opinion réclame donc des lois, un contrôle des éditeurs, une police des mœurs.
Spectres et démons
«Il y a un boom sur les mangas violents et ceux destinés aux fantasmes masculins», confirme Tomomi Fujita. Perruque violette, costume de Candy et lentilles de contact bleu translucide, Tomomi est vendeuse au grand magasin Mandarake, un eldorado du manga qui offre la palette complète du genre : histoire, science-fiction, eroguro (érotiques et grotesques), gekiga (sociaux et réalistes), josei muke (pour femmes), seinen (pour adultes), shojo (pour jeunes filles), honen (pour garçons), etc. «Devil Man, dit-elle, est un des titres les plus adulés des lycéens. Si on le lit, la tête déraille. On finit le cœur brisé. Cassé en deux.» Ce manga est aussi le préféré de Taro, 19 ans, étudiant en droit à l’université Chuo à Tokyo. «Ma mère m’interdit de le lire. Car c’est très violent, avec des têtes coupées, du sang qui gicle à chaque page. La fin est un cauchemar.»
Pour avoir la paix, Taro va le lire en douce dans des mangas kissa. Dans ces cybercafés ouverts vingt-quatre heures sur vingt-quatre, les bédéphiles viennent se repaître de planches aux dessins frisant la perfection, peuplées de personnages déments, de jeunes filles dévergondées ou suicidaires, d’un enfant sauvant le monde de l’apocalypse nucléaire, d’attendrissantes majorettes protégeant le Japon de l’attaque d’un mouton géant, de collégiens persécutés, de pilotes kamikazes, de héros cybernétiques, de fantômes et spectres inquiétants. Amitiés blessées, rancunes, trahisons, vengeances, ijime (persécutions à l’école), jalousie sont des thèmes récurrents. Certains ouvrages sont très morbides. Dans d’autres, le sexe s’étale, souvent pervers et sans tabou (hormis la représentation des poils pubiens, toujours officiellement interdite par la censure).
Matsu Akira, sénatrice de choc élue sous l’étiquette du Nouveau Komeito (parti proche du PLD au pouvoir et de la secte bouddhiste Sôka Gakkai), est convaincue de la nécessité d’un contrôle. Dès 2004, face à une commission parlementaire, elle affirmait que «les contenus extrêmes des mangas ont un impact très nocif sur les jeunes. La Constitution garantit la liberté d’expression. Mais dans le cas des mangas, nous ne pouvons pas admettre que cette liberté soit illimitée.» Un discours qui gagne du terrain.
Depuis que l’Association de protection infantile a fait savoir, l’hiver dernier, que «30% des mangas adultes en vente sur Internet, contiennent des descriptions d’actes sexuels impliquant des enfants», la police a fermement invité certains éditeurs à la «retenue». Et ce, au nom de la «loi sur les livres nuisibles» (sic). Quatre titres «nuisibles» ont déjà été retirés de la vente. Après Osaka, l’an passé, la préfecture de Kyoto a annoncé, en juin, qu’elle s’attaquait aux «mangas nuisibles».
Deux crimes récents donnent des arguments aux censeurs. En mars, une Britannique de 22 ans, Lindsay Ann Hawker, prof d’anglais dans une école de langues à Chiba (est de Tokyo, a été assassinée. Son corps nu, ecchymosé, a été retrouvé gisant sur le balcon du studio d’un de ses élèves. Quand la police a débarqué chez le suspect, Tatsuya Ichihashi, un chômeur de 28 ans, celui-ci a réussi à prendre la fuite. Depuis, tous les flics du Japon sont à ses trousses. Venu à Tokyo récupérer le corps de sa fille, le père de la victime a crié son horreur devant les caméras de télé. Aux obsèques, à Coventry, l’ambassadeur du Japon en Grande-Bretagne était là. Très vite, la police a ciblé les lectures du jeune homme. Etablissant un lien entre le meurtre et les piles de hentaï mangas (érotiques et pornos) retrouvés chez lui : il est «fort possible que Tatsuya Ichihashi, fan de mangas, ait élaboré sa macabre mise en scène en s’inspirant de l’histoire d’un hentaï manga. Les seijin mangas [pour adultes], très populaires au Japon, contiennent pour la plupart des scènes obscènes de jeunes filles et femmes violées et torturées», a déclaré un policier.
Mère décapitée
Bien moins banale, la seconde affaire a ébranlé tout le pays. Le 15 mai, un adolescent de 17 ans, qui n’allait plus trop au lycée, s’est présenté à 7 heures du matin à un commissariat de AizuWakamatsu (préfecture de Fukushima) avec la tête de sa mère dans un sac. Vers 1 heure du matin, alors que sa mère dormait, le jeune homme l’a décapitée avec un couteau de cuisine. Puis, il lui a coupé un bras, qu’il a peint en blanc et déposé dans un pot de fleurs. Ahuris, les policiers ont découvert le corps sans tête sur un futon ensanglanté. La mère, qui n’habitait plus avec son fils, était venue lui rendre visite. A la recherche d’explications, les enquêteurs et des tabloïds ont incriminé «l’influence des mangas». Chez l’ado, les enquêteurs ont mis la main sur une panoplie de BD ultraviolentes. Interrogé par des psychiatres, le jeune homme aurait dit avoir «senti sur [ lui] l’influence négative des mangas, de certains films et anime».
Pour Mafumi Usui, professeur à l’université Seiryo de Niigata, célèbre expert en psychologie sociale et criminelle, «les jeunes, au Japon, sont des takaramono [«des trésors»] pour leurs parents qui ne leur refusent rien. Ce sont surtout des enfants gâtés, emmurés, formatés ayant perdu le goût du risque et pas autonomes». Pour autant, dit-il, l’influence néfaste des mangas reste à prouver.
«Certes, des mangas peuvent causer des hallucinations et abîmer l’esprit, explique le professeur à Libération. Mais en matière de délits, l’environnement social est aussi en cause. Il reflète les maladies de la société. Quand des jeunes isolés et désemparés décrochent, que leur effondrement psychologique entraîne un passage à l’acte, il y a plusieurs motifs. Ce jeune qui a décapité sa mère ne la haïssait sans doute pas. Mais peut-être que cette mère le harcelait ou l’étouffait depuis son enfance. En fait, ce type de crimes familiaux incombe moins aux désordres mentaux qu’aux maux de notre société. Le Japon est riche et opulent. Mais il maintient sur ses enfants une pression telle que ceux-ci, parfois, se rebellent et font des erreurs. Les adultes sont eux aussi responsables de ces erreurs.»
«Fonction cathartique»
«Insinuer que certains mangas extrêmes poussent au crime et détraquent le mental des jeunes ne tient pas, s’emporte de son côté Nicolas Finet, le directeur d’ouvrages . Ce serait faire peu de cas de leur fonction cathartique. Faut-il dès lors conclure qu’au cinéma, les Kill Bill, Massacres à la tronçonneuse et autre Scream fabriquent chez les ados américains de futurs délinquants et assassins ? Bien sûr que non !»
Reste que l’addiction aux mangas n’est pas près de disparaître. «C’est une passion», résume Makoto, étudiant de 20 ans, cheveux ébouriffés et look hip-hop. «Cela m’a toujours aidé à libérer le stress accumulé au collège, au lycée et à la maison avec mes parents. » Makoto a peu d’amis. Pas de petite amie. Mais se sent «proche» de ses personnages favoris, comme le samouraï Musashi Miyamoto, héros de la série Vagabond. «Grâce aux mangas, dit-il, je voyage dans des mondes parallèles. Des univers surréels et merveilleux.» Pour lui, la violence des mangas libère les jeunes de la violence qu’ils affrontent au quotidien. «C’est dur de vivre au Japon», soupire Makoto. Pas étonnant qu’il continue de s’y vendre plus de 2 milliards de mangas par an.

jeudi 7 juin 2007

[Talk of the town] Soap star king (2007/06/06)

[Talk of the town] Soap star king (2007/06/06)

Bae Yong-joon, the sweetheart of the Korean Wave, is coming back as the king of an ancient kingdom, following a four-year break.
This is Bae's first TV drama since the "Winter Sonata", which was a mega hit in Japan in 2002. The show turned Bae into a living legend, especially in Japan.
Bae's new TV drama, "Taewang Sashingi" (or "Legend") was written by Song Ji-na and directed by Kim Jong-hak. Song and Kim have previously produced hits like "Morae Sigye" (Sandglass). Bae plays Damdeok, the great king of the Goguryeo dynasty. The cast includes other big names such as Moon So-ri and macho actor Choi Min-soo.
According to Kim Jong-hak Production, the company behind "Legend", a total of 24 episodes have been shot over the last two years, in advance of first airing, which is a rarity in Korea. Many Korean TV dramas are still in the course of shooting when they first air. Forty-two billion won ($45.3 million) has been invested in the drama, a record for Korean TV. "Legend" will debut on the 25th of this month on MBC, and will be aired on NHK in Japan as well.

Source : joongangdaily.joins.c... ( Anglais Coréen )

KOCCA introduces its own Content Export Specialists Group (2007/06/06)

KOCCA introduces its own Content Export Specialists Group (2007/06/06)

"Advancing into foreign markets must continue. However, it should be preceded with thorough preparation. The success of Korean cultural content in foreign markets depends on how well we know the market and how thoroughly we prepare for it. A group of specialists will serve as guides to ensure the successful export of our cultural content".

* 11 content export specialists who participated in the inauguration ceremony and set to work

The Korea Culture and Content Agency (KOCCA, CEO: Suh, Byung-Moon) recently introduced its own elite team of content export consultancy specialists, which is comprised of 11 Korean international export specialists. This group's systematic consultancy effort will propel the export of Korean cultural content to foreign markets, which is an opportunity used to be enjoyed only by a handful of companies. This time, however, companies that wish to advance into foreign markets are assisted by the best support teams, and this group will function as an export policy team of the highest caliber.

These 11 specialists in export consultancy are veteran exporters who have worked at least for five years in various fields of content export, engaging in the successful export of products such as animation, cartoon, and mobile content. "Each individual in this specialist group is a veteran who has over 10 years of export experience", said Im, Kwan-Oh, director of KOCCA's Export Support Team. "It is expected that these specialists, who belong to the first generation of Korean content producers that advanced into foreign markets, will offer practical consultancy services based on their experience and expertise".

The Source : CT News

Source : ( Anglais Coréen )

Family Home of Ryoo Si-won a Popular Tourist Spot (2007/06/07)

Family Home of Ryoo Si-won a Popular Tourist Spot (2007/06/07)

A Japanese travel agency has introduced a package that includes a visit to the family house of Korean star Ryoo Si-won in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province.

During the three-day tour of Ryoo's family house in Andong, tourists can see beautiful natural scenery and experience traditional Korean culture. They will also get to sleep in Damyeonjae, where Queen Elizabeth II was given a birthday party and watched the Hahoi mask dance during her visit to Korea in April 1999.

Ryoo's fans should particularly enjoy this tour package, since Ryoo's mother will personally cook Korean dishes for the tourists and tell stories from his childhood.

Source : ( Anglais )

'China becoming future Hollywood' (2007/06/07)

'China becoming future Hollywood' (2007/06/07)

Lee Soo-man, 54, founder and producer of SM Entertainment, expects that China will emerge as the world's largest entertainment market in years to come.

The former singer and show host, who helped turn Korea's pop music industry into big business, made the prediction in his lecture on the future of Asian entertainment to about 50 Harvard MBA students who visited the company's headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday.

Lee emphasized that the biggest star always comes from the biggest market, and thus the Asian market will become the most important source of the world's top entertainers, as it includes China, which is what he believes to be a "future Hollywood".

"Our advanced know-how in star management will contribute much to bringing huge benefits to Northeast Asia then, combined with Japanese capital and Chinese human resources", said Lee.

Next month, the head producer behind such big stars as Boa, TVXQ, Kang Ta and Super Junior will become the new president of SMAC, a joint company of SM, Japanese Avex and Chinese Chengtian Entertainment, which he announced to be the essence of his company's innovative spirit. "Korean pop culture's popularity in Asia is moving into a new phase, the third stage of the Korean Wave", Lee said.

He noted that the first stage was initiated and led by Korean cultural content and artists born in Korea, such as now disbanded boy band H.O.T., and the singer Boa. The second one came, he said, when local agencies turned their eyes to neighboring markets -- China and Japan -- to make their talent and content big in Korea and elsewhere in Asia with the help of Super Junior's Chinese member Han kyung and Jang Ri-in, the 18-year-old Chinese girl who won the Best New Solo Artist Award at the MKMF Music Video Festival.

"The second stage was important only as a transition to prepare the third one. In the third stage, Korea, Japan and China will exert control over global entertainment market through their cooperation", Lee said. In that case, "made by Korea", should be more important than "made in Korea", he continued.

The lecture was part of a Harvard MBA student annual field trip to Korea titled "HBS Korea Trip", through which potential future global business leaders meet with the country's leading political and business figures. The week-long trip ends today.

Also attending Tuesday's lecture were celebrities under the company's management, including Boa, Kang Ta, Lee Yeon-hee and Han Kyung.

Introducing Boa to the students, Lee jokingly called the star, who is fluent in both English and Japanese, "the most expensive interpreter", which triggered laughter in the audience. After the lecture, the students had fun together with the stars on the stage, taking photos together.

"It was impressive and very useful too", said Michael Cohen, a student from Boston, who used to work for Sony USA as an intern.

"The lecture was wonderful for business purposes because how to appeal to your audience is really understanding what their need is supposed to", said Marie-Jose Bahnam, a female student from Lebanon.

By Lee Yong-sung

Source : ( Anglais Coréen )

lundi 28 mai 2007

Cannes and Asian films

Palme d'or

4 mois, 3 semaines et 2 jours de Cristian Mungiu (Roumanie)
Grand prix
Mogari no mori de Naomi Kawase (Japon)
Prix du 60e anniversaire
Paranoid Park de Gus Van Sant (Etats-Unis)
Prix du scénario
Auf der anderen Seite de Fatih Akin (Allemagne)
Prix d'interprétation féminine
Jeon Do-yeon dans Secret Sunshine de Lee Chang-dong (Corée du Sud)
Prix d'interprétation masculine
Konstantin Lavronenko dans Izgnanie d'Andreï Zviaguintsev (Russie)
Prix de la mise en scène
Julian Schnabel pour le Scaphandre et le Papillon (France)
Prix du jury
Persepolis de Marjane Satrapi et Vincent Paronnaud (France) et Stellet Licht de Carlos Reygadas (Mexique)
Caméra d'or
Les Méduses d'Etgar Keret (Israël)

Un certain
California Dreamin' de Cristian Nemescu (Roumanie), lire page 4
Prix spécial du jury
Le Rêve de la nuit d'avant de Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi (France)
Prix coup de coeur
La Visite de la fanfare d'Eran Kolirin (Israël)
Prix de la critique internationale
4 mois, 3 semaines et 2 jours de Cristian Mungiu (Roumanie)

Secret sunshine

60e Festival de Cannes. Sélection officielle. Le sobre «Secret Sunshine» sonde les limites de l'être humain.
Lee Chang-dong en éclat de crise
Par Didier PERON
QUOTIDIEN : lundi 28 mai 2007
Secret Sunshine de Lee Chang-dong (Corée du Sud), avec Jeon Do-yeon, Song Khang-Ho... 2 h 22.
0 réaction
Une jeune femme, Sin-ae, quitte Séoul avec son fils Jun, 7 ans, pour s'installer dans la petite ville de Myriang où était né son mari, mort dans un accident de voiture. Elle veut repartir à zéro, acheter un terrain, se faire construire une maison et donner des cours de piano pour gagner sa vie. Mais, à peine arrivée, son fils est enlevé puis finalement retrouvé mort, noyé dans un canal. Le coupable est vite retrouvé et mis en prison. Sin-ae, fauchée par cette nouvelle tragédie qui endeuille son existence déjà sombre, est sur le point de devenir folle de douleur quand elle découvre la religion et se met à fréquenter assidûment le temple de la ville.

Sur le même sujet
«4 mois, 3 semaines» et une palme
Cannes canin
Gala pour la Casamance
La phrase du jour
Vive John Wayne
«Persepolis» palmé par la banlieue
Au travail
Mais qui SMS?
Bello Marcello
Le Palais se fait une beauté
Stars au jasmin
Kusturica d'école
«California Dreamin'», Nemescu gagnant
De l'autre côté
La tentation monumentale
Palmarès officiel
Les Roumains reprennent la main

Mélodramatique. Le réalisateur sud-coréen Lee Chang-dong a d'abord été romancier avant de passer à la réalisation et de devenir, pendant un an, en 2003, le ministre de la Culture de son pays. C'est à la fois un intellectuel réputé et un cinéaste à succès. Peppermint Candy puis Oasis sont sortis en France, mais sans recueillir d'autres suffrages que ceux d'une critique elle-même relativement décontenancée par la fibre mélodramatique du cinéaste qui n'hésite pas à inventer des situations que d'aucun jugerait impossibles à filmer. Oasis, qui devait remporter plusieurs prix à la Mostra de Venise, racontait par exemple une histoire d'amour entre un jeune homme débile léger et une paraplégique. Réussir la séquence où l'un et l'autre avaient à même le sol leur première relation sexuelle est soit un exploit dans le registre de l'obscène soit la preuve d'une délicatesse de fond. Et peut-être les deux !
Lieu d'une crise. L'humain saisi dans ses états limites, physiques et psychologiques, le cinéma comme lieu d'une crise et non d'une catharsis, c'est à nouveau ainsi qu'on se prend en pleine figure Secret Sunshine . En fait de «rayon de soleil secret» ou de «lumière invisible», le récit interroge à travers la personnalité erratique de Sin-ae, déchirée par la double dépossession mortelle, d'abord de son mari puis de son fils, le statut de la créature en proie aux affres d'une existence dont elle cherche à comprendre le sens, les valeurs supérieures, par-delà ou en deça des épreuves et des obstacles. Y a-t-il un dieu qui regarde nos actes ? Pourquoi laisse-t-il assassiner un enfant innocent ? Pourquoi apporte-t-il la paix au criminel qui a rencontré la foi en prison ? Lee Chang-dong ne nous conduit pas vers une vérité ultime, et le temps qu'il prend, le sérieux qu'il met à regarder son personnage reprendre confiance au sein du groupe religieux ne rendent que plus intense le retour d'incrédulité qui pousse Sin-ae à bout et oblige ses proches à la faire interner. Le cinéaste, comme à son habitude, met toutes ses forces dans la vraisemblance des situations qu'il écrit et met en scène, et son style est le moins ramenard qu'on puisse imaginer. Cette sobriété était bienvenue, après un Festival dominé par des effets de signatures.
Rayonnante. Dans le rôle de Sin-ae, Jeon Do-yeon est tout simplement exceptionnelle. Elle est pendant deux heures vingt à l'écran, d'abord rayonnante puis hébétée, illuminée de Dieu puis ravagée par le sentiment du désespoir et de la déréliction.

Comments from the mouse: Oasis and Peppermint are two films I really loved, so I guess I'll love Secret Sunshine too...

dimanche 27 mai 2007

Japanese soft power in Korea: Japanese anime, dubbed in Korean

Students from Hanguk University, Broadcasting association, did a performance during the Daehangro Festival.
They dubbed live a few episodes from Japanese anime: Crayon Shin Chan and Kerokero.
Needless to say that Crayon Shin chan is very popular in Korea!

Manhwa bar in Seoul

A place where you can read in a cosy coach some manhwa. Pay per hour.
Where? In a street in Hyehwa, close to the cats' bar

Second hand Japanese mangas in Seoul

This ajoshi was selling second hand mangas translated in Japanese. There were series of Dragon Ball Z among others.
Where? In a street in Hyehwa, Seoul

vendredi 25 mai 2007

"Dans la bataille des images, l'Europe doit constituer un pôle fort face aux USA et à l'Asie"

"Dans la bataille des images, l'Europe doit constituer un pôle fort face aux USA et à l'Asie"
LE MONDE | 23.05.07 | 15h46 • Mis à jour le 23.05.07 | 15h46
Conservez cet article dans votre classeur.
Abonnez-vous au : 6€ par mois + 30 jours offerts

ous êtes à l'origine du premier Festival européen des quatre écrans, dédié aux images de cinéma, télévision, net et mobile et qui se tiendra du 27 au 29 septembre à Paris. Quelle philosophie préside au rapprochement de ces médias ?

La création de ce festival résulte du constat que l'image ne se consomme plus exclusivement par la télévision et ses grands rendez-vous, mais aussi sur

Internet et les téléphones portables. Le cinéma est également touché par cette révolution numérique.

Aujourd'hui, c'est le consommateur qui choisit et décide quand il veut, comme il veut, ou il veut. En complément des genres plus accessibles que sont le divertissement, l'animation, l'humour, il faut offrir au public des programmes où l'image est outil d'intelligence et de connaissance de notre temps.

En plus des projections et des trois compétitions (télé, Net, mobile), se tiendra l'université de l'image à la Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) où seront débattues toutes ces questions liées à ces nouveaux modes de diffusion : modèles économiques, production d'informations, problèmes juridiques, etc.

Vous-même, comme patron de presse, êtes-vous inquiet de la concurrence des images amateurs captées par téléphone ou diffusées par Internet ?

C'est pour moi, et je suppose pour tous les patrons de sociétés de production, une préoccupation essentielle : faire entrer mon entreprise dans le monde numérique. Etre capable, à partir d'une même idée, de décliner des programmes adaptés à chacun des supports. Par ailleurs, c'est vrai qu'une partie de notre travail, en tant que producteurs d'images, sera, dans l'avenir, de recevoir des images amateurs et de les labéliser par une contre-enquête et une vérification des sources. Cette révolution du numérique s'accompagne d'un redéploiement du marché publicitaire. Nous sommes dans une période de digestion, de réflexion, qui doit associer tout le monde, professionnels et public averti. C'est le rôle de ce festival d'y contribuer.

Dénominateur commun aux reportages, documentaires et fictions qui seront montrés au cinéma MK2 Bibliothèque à Paris lors de ce festival présidé par Jorge Semprun : "Les images du réel" : qu'entendez-vous par là ?

Toutes ces images visent à permettre de mieux comprendre l'actualité, la réalité, les phénomènes de société. Ce festival est une manifestation volontariste, parce qu'il se nourrit de la conviction qu'un citoyen mieux informé, mieux éduqué au décryptage de toutes ces images qu'il reçoit, est un citoyen averti, plus libre, plus responsable.

Vous tenez beaucoup à la dimension européenne du festival ?

Oui, parce que dans la bataille, la confrontation et l'affrontement des images, l'Europe doit constituer un pôle fort, grand producteur d'images face aux Etats-Unis et à l'Asie qui monte en puissance.

Propos recueillis par Macha Séry
Article paru dans l'édition du 24.05.07.

mardi 1 mai 2007

LEE Byeong-heon Cast in High Profile Japanese Film (2007/04/20)

LEE Byeong-heon Cast in High Profile Japanese Film (2007/04/20)

The cast of the Japanese film Hero has been complemented with Korean leading man Lee Byeong-Heon. LEE will play a Busan based elite South Korean detective opposite of the Japanese star Takuya Kimura.

LEE has become a favorite of Japanese audiences through the release of his popular and acclaimed films in Japan, including Kim Ji-woon's "A Bittersweet Life" (Dalkeomhan Insaeng, 2005) and Park Chan-wook's "JSA - Joint Security Area" (Gongdonggyeongbigooyeok JSA, 2000).

Hero is based on a hit Japanese television drama about a prosecutor with an own particular style for investigating crimes, played by Kimura. Kimura's character joins forces with LEE's character to solve a manslaughter case.

Kimura made an impressive feature film debut in last year's Love and Honour. Masayuki Suzuki is directing Hero. Filming has already started and the project is scheduled for a release in September. The television drama version of Hero holds the highest rating record for a drama in Japan.

Yi Ch'ang-ho (KOFIC)

Source : ( Anglais Coréen )

'Winter Sonata' Fever Continues in Japan (2007/04/20)

'Winter Sonata' Fever Continues in Japan (2007/04/20)

The blockbuster drama "Winter Sonata", credited for the Korean Hallyu boom in Japan, will be aired at a movie theater at Tokyo's Nakano Sun Plaza on May 6 & 7.

Screenings will occur three times each day.

The event will include a talk show with actor Jeong Dong-hwan and actress Song Ok-seok--who played the father and mother, respectively--of the male lead "Junsang", played by Bae Yong-joon.

Pianist Lee Ji-su, who helped with the drama's original soundtrack, will also perform along with a mini concert given by Seo Jin-young, who sang the theme for "Summer Scent", another of producer Yoon Seok-ho's four season-themed drama series.

Source : ( Anglais )

dimanche 29 avril 2007

キム・テヒ 日本で“ソウル大学出身の韓流スター”関心爆発

キム・テヒ 日本で“ソウル大学出身の韓流スター”関心爆発






Copyrights(C)gonews & etimes Syndicate &

日本 韓国ドラマのリメイク版放送…韓流“再点火”

日本 韓国ドラマのリメイク版放送…韓流“再点火”




Copyrights(C) & etimes Syndicate &

2007/04/26 13:48:10 入力

『HERO』のイ・ビョンホン&木村拓哉 釜山で記者会見

『HERO』のイ・ビョンホン&木村拓哉 釜山で記者会見










Copyright 2006(C)YONHAPNEWS. All rights reserved.

2007/04/27 11:56:39 入力

lundi 23 avril 2007

box office, Korean films, as of March April 2007

The Best Selling Films of 2007 (admissions to March 25) Korean Films Nationwide Seoul Release Weeks
1 Voice of a Murderer 3,162,000 n/a Feb 1 4
2 Miracle on 1st Street 2,683,000 n/a Feb 14 5
3 A Day for an Affair 1,798,600 n/a Feb 8 4
4 Highway Star 1,601,700 n/a Feb 14 4
5 Mapado 2 1,318,000 n/a Jan 18 2
6 Herb 1,286,300 n/a Jan 11 3
7 A Perfect Couple 1,257,100 n/a Jan 25 3
8 Master Kims 915,200 n/a Feb 8 2
9 Robot Taekwon V 616,100 n/a Jan 18 3
10 Yobi the Five-Tailed Fox 420,000 n/a Jan 25 3

All Films Nationwide Seoul Release Weeks
1 Voice of a Murderer (Korea) 3,162,000 n/a Feb 1 4
2 Miracle on 1st Street (Korea) 2,683,000 n/a Feb 14 5
3 300 (US) 1,912,500 n/a Mar 14 2*
4 A Day for an Affair (Korea) 1,798,600 n/a Feb 8 4
5 Highway Star (Korea) 1,601,700 n/a Feb 14 4
6 Mapado 2 (Korea) 1,318,000 n/a Jan 18 2
7 Herb (Korea) 1,286,300 n/a Jan 11 3
8 A Perfect Couple (Korea) 1,257,100 n/a Jan 25 3
9 Master Kims (Korea) 915,200 n/a Feb 8 2
10 Curse of the Golden Flower (China) 897,400 n/a Jan 25 3

Seoul population: 10.32 million
Nationwide population: 47.9 million

Films in Korea are usually priced at 7000 won (~$6.00). The above figures indicate the cumulative
number of tickets sold in each region. 'Weeks' indicates the number of weekends that a
film placed in the top 10, and an asterisk indicates that the film is still on release.

Figures are taken from Film 2.0 and KOFIC's quarterly box office reports.

dimanche 22 avril 2007

『春のワルツ』ソ・ドヨン 「完結編ではなく、新たな愛の始まり」

『春のワルツ』ソ・ドヨン 「完結編ではなく、新たな愛の始まり」



実際に見るソ・ドヨンは、元ファッションモデルというだけあって、すらりとした長身と小さな顔に、はっきりとした目鼻立ちの、彫刻のような美青年。今回は、韓国観光公社に招聘されて来日に至ったもの。5月16日と17日には、東京国際フォーラムで開催される<ユン・ソクホ ドラマコンサート 冬のソナタ~春のワルツまで>への出演も決まっている。





-ドラマに主演するにあたって、どのような役作りを? 難しかったことは? 





-国際フォーラムのドラマコンサートでは、そのピアノ演奏を披露されるそうですが、自信のほどは? また、どんな準備を? 





ソ・ドヨン「行くべきでしょう(笑) 韓国人として守るべき義務であり権利ですから。」


2007.04.17 都内にて


東京ドーム公演を控えたRain(ピ)「5月25日に会いましょう! 」

東京ドーム公演を控えたRain(ピ)「5月25日に会いましょう! 」



昨年12月、ソウル・オリンピックスタジアムを皮切りにスタートしたRain(ピ)のワールドツアー<RAIN’S COMING 06/07 RAIN WORLD TOUR>。同ツアーの日本公演を控え、4月18日、Rainが緊急来日。同日、東京ドームホテルで記者会見を行った。

会見では4thアルバムのタイトル曲『I’m Coming』のライブ映像が上映され、噂どおりのダイナミックなステージに、会場にも緊張感が走る。いよいよRainが登場すると、カメラのフラッシュとともに、一斉に拍手が沸き起こった。

<RAIN’S COMING 06/07 RAIN WORLD TOUR>は、構想1年、総制作費380億ウォン(日本円約50億円)。公演3か月前から毎日11時間のダンスレッスンと5時間のヴォイストレーニングを行い、200人のスタッフが作り上げる総重量300tの巨大な舞台装置に130基の照明。

Rain「あまりにも多すぎて…(笑) そうですね、コンサート中、伝統打楽器にあわせて、鳥のような振り付けで踊る演出があるのですが、それは特に気に入ってます。ぜひ見てほしいですね。」




Rain「コンニチハ。レインデス。5ガツ25ニチ…トウキョウドーム…デ? アイマショウ(笑)。」

Rain「まず、会場が広くていいですね(笑) 今回のツアーは、会場が大きくないと…もちろん、観客が大勢いてこそ、コンサートが盛り上がるものですが。5月25日は、本当に楽しいコンサートになると思いますよ。」











Rain「いつも応援してくださり、ありがとうございます。日本に来る度に歓迎してくださるので、幸せを感じています。5月25日のコンサートでお会いしましょう! 」

2007.04.19 東京ドームホテルにて


チャングム”イ・ヨンエ 東京ドームで4万人とファンミーティング

チャングム”イ・ヨンエ 東京ドームで4万人とファンミーティング




Copyright 2006(C)JOONGANGILBO NEWS. All rights reserved.

2007/04/16 16:36:37 入力

source: wow Korea

イ・ビョンホン 映画『HERO』で木村拓哉と競演

イ・ビョンホン 映画『HERO』で木村拓哉と競演


イ・ビョンホンは今年9月、日本で公開される木村拓哉主演映画『HERO ヒーロー』(監督:鈴木雅之)に、スペシャルゲストとして参加。日韓両国のトップスターがタッグを組むという、最高の話題を提供する。



今回のイ・ビョンホン出演は、日本の制作側からオファーがあったもの。 今月末、釜山(プサン)でロケが行われる『HERO』制作陣は、韓国での撮影分に登場してくれるよう、イ・ビョンホンに“ラブコール”を送り、イ・ビョンホンは映画『いいやつ、悪いやつ、変なやつ』の撮影の合間をぬって、『HERO』の韓国ロケへの参加を決めたという。

source: wowow Korea

vendredi 20 avril 2007

Japanese Fans Keen on Drama 'Mawang' ("Devil") (2007/04/13)

Japanese Fans Keen on Drama 'Mawang' ("Devil") (2007/04/13)

The KBS drama "Mawang" ("Devil"), currently airing in Korea, will soon be shown in Japan, targeting fans of the earlier hit Korean series "Revenge".

Mawang ("Devil")'s production agency Olive Nine said the drama will air on the cable channel So-net TV from October and that the drama's film set will soon be unveiled to Japanese viewers.

Japan's interest in Mawang ("Devil") is largely due to the Korean drama Resurrection, which is currently airing on Tokyo MXTV every Wednesday night. So-net TV had aired it last September and will begin reruns next month.

An Olive Nine official said Resurrection is very popular in Japan, citing its airing on multiple Japanese channels including FBC Fukuoka TV and Hokkaido TV.

The two dramas are by the same director and writing staff.

Source : ( Anglais )

Actress Kim Seon-ah Publishes 'Samsoon' in Japan (2007/04/16)

Actress Kim Seon-ah Publishes 'Samsoon' in Japan (2007/04/16)

Actress Kim Seon-ah has published a book on her previous hit drama "My Name is Kim Sam-soon" in Japan.

The Japanese media reported Saturday that the book published by the Asahi daily publishing house is gaining popularity as it introduces the Korean drama in detail. 'Sam-soon' was especially popular among Korean women in their 20s and 30s.

The book explains Kim's surrounding characters in the drama and includes an interview with male lead Hyeon Bin and a message by script writer Kim Do-woo. In the book, producer Kim Hyeon-cheol also compares Kim Seon-ah with the character Sam-soon, whom she played.

Many Japanese women have said they empathize with the chapter of the book entitled "Life in Kim Seon-ah Style" addressing the identity of 30-something single women.

Source : www.... ( Anglais )

Star Lee Hyo-lee Stirring Interest in Japan (2007/04/16)

Star Lee Hyo-lee Stirring Interest in Japan (2007/04/16)

Japan's Fuji TV network is showing extraordinary interest in sexy Korean star Lee Hyo-lee.

Most of the Korean celebrities who are popular in Japan are men, such as Bae Yong-joon, Lee Byeong-Heon, Song Seung-heon and kwon Sang-woo. Only a few female Korean stars are well-known there, including Choi Ji-woo and Boa. Because most of the Japanese fans fueling the "Korean wave" are female, it has mostly been men who have surfed the wave to popularity in Japan.

Fuji TV, however, has decided to air Lee Hyo-lee's musical drama "If in Love Like Them" on its cable channel and will closely watch how she does. The network has invited Lee to Japan to help promote the show, and is prepared to give her the VIP treatment.

During her stay in Japan, Lee will be provided with the same high-end hotel and services afforded to top-level foreign celebrities. Fuji TV will also film her five-day trip, from arrival to departure.

Lee's management agency said, "When Lee visited Japan in the past, she had some private time for shopping and other things, but that doesn't seem possible this time. This kind of exceptional treatment shows Fuji TV's expectation for Lee".

The controversial drama "If in Love Like Them" was the talk of the town here when it aired on Seoul Broadcasting System. Fuji will broadcast the show on its CS TV channel for two weeks from June 17.

Lee is also scheduled to appear as a special guest at an SG Wannabe concert at the Tokyo International Forum on June 3.

Source : ( Anglais Chinois Coréen Japonais )

[Talk of the town] JAPANESE HALLYU FANS FLOCK TO SEE SEO DO-YEONG (2007/04/17)

[Talk of the town] JAPANESE HALLYU FANS FLOCK TO SEE SEO DO-YEONG (2007/04/17)

Tickets to the Korea Day event in Japan were sold out in less than an hour last week after a group of ardent hallyu (Korean wave) fans found out that actor Seo Do-yeong will be holding his first meeting with fans on that day.
Seo is known for his role in the recent television drama "Spring Waltz".
Shortly after 9 a.m. on April 6, news that Seo will hold a series of meetings with fans was released. Within one hour, a total of 9,000 tickets for three events were sold out. Seo will meet fans in Tokyo (April 18), Osaka (April 20) and Fukuoka (April 23).
"Spring Waltz" is one of four seasonal television series produced by Yoon Seok-ho.
His winter drama, "Winter Sonata", was the first to be introduced in Japan, bringing fame to Bae Yong-joon, or "Yonsama" as he's known in Japan. "Spring Waltz" is Yoon's second release in Japan.
Top hallyu stars have been participating in Japan's annual Korea Day event since it began.
This year was no exception, and the organizers of the event had to deal with floods of phone calls asking about ticket reservations, said a Korean Tourism Organization official.

By Lee Min-a Staff Writer

Source : joongangdaily.joins.c... ( Anglais Coréen )

The Good and the not so good (2007/04/17)

The Good and the not so good (2007/04/17)

Deauville Asian Film Festival 2007

By Gautaman Bhaskaran

South Asia Correspondent

There are a million film festivals through the year, but there are some that sparkle. The Deauville Asian Film Festival on the French Atlantic coast in Normandy is one, and this year it gave in its recent ninth edition some interesting strips of celluloid.

My favourite was a South Korean movie by Lee Yoon-ki, "Ad-Lib Night". Shot in 10 days and in a chronological order to mark a single night, this film conveys the anguish of a young girl (played with remarkable sensitivity by television star Han Hyo-joo) when two men pick her up on a crowded Seoul street and take her to a dying man with a plea that she act his daughter. The girl hesitates in the beginning, but later relents, and the journey helps her in the end to understand who she herself is, and come closer to her mother.

"Ad-Lib Night" is obviously a series of night scenes created to produce an effect of a sombre tragedy — of a man dying alone without his family. Yet, Lee does not resort to any melodrama or mood pulls to tell the story. In an extremely restrained way, he structures his narrative to portray the dilemma of the girl, who finds herself in a situation that can be right or wrong, depending on the way one looks at it.

"Ad-Lib Night" won the International Critics Prize as the best feature in the nine-entry Competition section.

The main jury at Deauville had other ideas of what constituted the best. It gave the top Grand Prize to a Thai movie, "Syndromes and a Century" by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Part of the Venice Competition in 2006, the film meanders in a magical way, and focuses on two doctors (based on the director's parents) working in a hospital. Weerasethakul does not make his work a depressing report of disease and death. Rather, he takes us on a journey of herbal cures, holistic healing techniques, hospital romance and the quirky private lives of monks.

(I am told that two scenes among a few more – of doctors drinking on the hospital campus and a doctor kissing his girlfriend in the locker-room – were points of objection in Thailand, where the medical fraternity and the government felt that such sequences seemed improper in the context. The helmer was asked to excise the offending parts, but he refused. The picture's release has been delayed: it was to open in two Bangkok screens on April 19, 2007.)

Funded by the city of Vienna as part of the celebration marking the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, "Syndromes and a Century" blurs the line between the past and present, and has been compared to a Harold Pinter play exploring the subjectivity of memory. Based on the director's memory of his doctor parents before they fell in love, "Syndromes and a Century", like his earlier "Tropical Malady" (which won a Jury Prize at Cannes in 2004) is divided into two parts, set 40 years apart.

Just like the way our memory plays with us, "Syndromes and a Century" often appears like snippets and keeps wandering from one slot to another, though the path it takes is often witty. Here are some examples. A dentist wants to become a singer and takes an interest in one of his patients. A Buddhist monk dreams of becoming a disc jockey. A doctor fumbles before proclaiming his passionate love for a fellow doctor, when she tells him about her infatuation for an orchid expert. A woman doctor hides a pint of liquor inside a prosthetic limb. A monk tells a doctor of some bad dreams he has been having about chickens. A young patient with carbon monoxide poisoning bats tennis balls down a long hospital corridor.

Such images can confuse a viewer, but that best thing is to let the movie sink in, particularly when it speeds from the real to the surreal. However, in the final analysis, "Syndromes and a Century" leaves you in a trance.

The Jury's Prize went to South Korea's "The King and the Clown" by Lee Joon-ik. Set in the 1500s Korea during the Chosun dynasty, the film is an opulence of colour and glitz that underlines a deep political message. Two clowns are arrested by the king when they stage a satire on him, a satire that can be interpreted as downright vulgar in modern times, but which passed for humour then. The jesters make a deal with the king. If they can make him laugh, they should be freed, but the plot slips into a couple of alleys of jealousy and homosexuality, somewhat diluting the theme.

"The King and the Clown" was South Korea's official entry for the Oscars this year.

Besides these award winners, there were a few more movies in Competition that caught my attention for the right and the wrong reason. A trend I noticed this year at Deauville was the inclusion of entries that dealt with para-normal phenomenon. Songyos Sugmakanan's "Dorm" (Thailand) runs like a ghost story seen through the eyes of a 12-year-Old Boy, who feels that his school hostel swimming pool is haunted by the spirit of a student who drowned there. It may catch the fancy of a teenager, but I found it quiet juvenile for adult viewing.

"Route 225" (Japan, Nakamura Yoshihiro) is another bizarre tale of two schoolchildren who find that they have been pushed into the nether world of their dead parents. A confusing film at best, it is, though, extremely well paced and well acted out by its two child artists, Tabe Mikako (as Eriko) and Iwata Chikara (Daigo).

Two movies from China: Yuxin Zhuang's "Teeth of Love" chronicles the love affairs of a young Chinese woman as she moves though the country's turbulent decade from 1977. The director often juxtaposes her mental turmoil with that of China's. Although no patch on China's "Summer Palace" (part of the 2006 Cannes Competition) by Lou Ye (where two lovers play out their erotic love/hate relationship in the backdrop of the nation's intense political unrest), "Teeth of Love" touched me by its intimacy and uncomplicated way of story telling.

Zhang Yang's "Getting Home", was also a simple and straight narrative of a man who carries his Dead Friend, often on his back, across China to his home in Three Georges. Seemingly a film about commitment and honour, "Getting Home" had a hidden agenda. It was propagandist to the core, where the director played PR to the administration by painting a goody-goody picture of his country. Here are some examples. A highway gangster returns the money he robs from the man when he realises his mission. A schoolgirl offers her share of water to the man. A priest embalms the body free of charge. A policeman escorts the man to the dead guy's home. Well, what a fairytale of a China!

Not the best of selection in the three years that I have been to Deauville, but, nonetheless, the effort to showcase Asian cinema in an essentially French city — and which is very well patronised by the locals — is commendable.

Source : ( Anglais )

Singer Kang Ta to Begin Activities in Japan (2007/04/17)

Singer Kang Ta to Begin Activities in Japan (2007/04/17)

Singer Kang Ta, a significant contributor to the Hallyu boom in China, is set to advance to Japan.

He will hold his first fan meeting and live concert June 10 at the NHK Osaka hall, which can seat 1,300 audience members.

A former member of the sensational boy band HOT, Kangta was named a goodwill ambassador for the 2007 Korea-China Exchange Year in light of his great popularity in China.

The Osaka event will include a mini live concert as well as talk show and games, all to be enjoyed with his Japanese fans.

Source : ( Anglais )

Japan to Show Encore Films by Director Kim Ki-duk (2007/04/18)

Japan to Show Encore Films by Director Kim Ki-duk (2007/04/18)

To mark the Japanese release of director Kim Ki-duk's 1996 debut film "Crocodile", a special showing under the title of "Continuing Mandala of Ki-duk" will be held in Euro Space in Tokyo on April 28th. It appears that the name Kim Ki-duk has become a brand in and of itself.

The film "Crocodile" will be shown twice a day until May 18th, together with six other works by Kim--"Birdcage Inn", "The Coast Guard", "Address Unknown", "The Isle", "Bad Guy", and "3-Iron".

Separate from this event, Kim's 2006 film "Time" has been playing at a Japanese theater since March 10th under the title of "Love of Absolute".

Another special presentation of director Kim's films titled "Super Ki-duk Mandala" took place between February 24th and March 16th at the same locale. Starting on the 7th of next month, the two most lauded films from "Super Ki-duk Mandala"--"Wild Animals" and "Real Fiction"--will be shown again.

Eom Tae-woong to Meet with Japanese Fans in Seoul (2007/04/18)

Eom Tae-woong to Meet with Japanese Fans in Seoul (2007/04/18)

Actor Eom Tae-woong, whose popularity has risen further due to his role in his latest TV drama "Devil", will meet with his Japanese fans in Korea.

Some 130 Japanese fans of the drama will visit the drama's shooting location in Pyeongtaek on April 21 and attend Eom's fan meeting that same evening at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul.

The Japanese fans will present the cast of "Devil" with 10,000 folded-paper cranes to wish success for the drama. Journalists from some 20 Japanese media outlets will reportedly accompany the fans.

Eom has gained popularity in Japan for his role in the TV drama "Revenge". "Devil", which has drawn significant attention in Japan, will air in that country in October on a satellite TV channel.

Source : ( Anglais )

Cannes and Korean films

Two S. Korean films to compete in Cannes Film Festival (2007/04/19)

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- Two homegrown films about love have been invited to compete in this year's Cannes International Film Festival, the films' distributors said Thursday.

The two are "Secret Sunshine", the fourth feature film directed by Lee Chang-dong, and "Breath" the fourteenth film of director Kim Ki-duk.

Ryoo's Single 2nd on Oricon Chart (2007/04/19)

Ryoo's Single 2nd on Oricon Chart (2007/04/19)

Singer and actor Ryoo Si-won's fifth Japanese single "Babylon" ranked second on the Oricon chart upon its release Wednesday.

Babylon features dance music, which is a first for Ryu since his debut. He was coached by the former member "Sam" of Japan's top 90s dance group TRF.

Ryo's regular album "With You" will come out May 23rd and his 2007 nationwide Japanese concert tour will begin June 23rd. He has held the tours for the last two years.

Ryoo's Single 2nd on Oricon Chart (2007/04/19)

Ryoo's Single 2nd on Oricon Chart (2007/04/19)

Singer and actor Ryoo Si-won's fifth Japanese single "Babylon" ranked second on the Oricon chart upon its release Wednesday.

Babylon features dance music, which is a first for Ryu since his debut. He was coached by the former member "Sam" of Japan's top 90s dance group TRF.

Ryo's regular album "With You" will come out May 23rd and his 2007 nationwide Japanese concert tour will begin June 23rd. He has held the tours for the last two years.

Rain to Perform at Prestigious Tokyo Dome (2007/04/19)

Would be really really interesting to see whether the sociological profile of the fans I saw at the Lee Byung Hun fan event would be the same as the Rain Pi's fans profile...

Rain to Perform at Prestigious Tokyo Dome (2007/04/19)

In yet another confirmation of his stature as an international star, Rain is scheduled to be the first Korean singer to hold a concert at Japan's Tokyo Dome stadium. The pop sensation traveled to Japan on Wednesday, two days after returning from last week's successful performance in Australia, and announced his plans to perform at the Tokyo Dome at an official press conference.

Star M Entertainment, which is promoting Rain's world tour, recently agreed to bring the "Rain's Coming" tour to the Tokyo Dome on May 25. The Dome has hosted the world's top talents, such as Mariah Carey, the Rolling Stones, and Beyonce. The Dome, which is also the home of the Yomiuri Giants and Korean slugger Lee Seung-yeop, is the ultimate dream of many Japanese performers, but only top-drawer local acts have ascended its stage, including Ayumi Hamasaki, Glay, and SMAP.

Star M Entertainment announced the news in Japan with Rain and said, "With Japan as the axis, Rain spread the wave to Southeast Asia. Now he's reconfirming his stature with the concert at the Tokyo Dome".

The performance at the Tokyo Dome means Rain is one step further from being just an Asian celebrity and one step closer to being a world star. The Dome can hold up to 42,000 people but it requires a minimum of 35,000 tickets to be sold. Only top-selling performers attempt to play there. Among Korean celebrities, Lee Byung-heon held a fan meeting at the Dome last June with 42,000 guests. The Japanese press at the time made a great fuss, calling it the biggest event in the history of the "Korean Wave".

Lingering rumors say that Star M Entertainment was worried about bringing Rain's tour to the Dome, which would mean just once performance there. Rain, however, decided to go ahead with the idea, believing himself to be "Asia's singer" and eager to be the first Korean singer to perform at the fabled stadium. It is said that the concert promoter's Japanese partner UAE strongly pushed for the concert at the massive stadium.

Source : ( Anglais Chinois Coréen Japonais )

'Tutor' Teaches No-Fun Lesson (2007/04/19)

'Tutor' Teaches No-Fun Lesson (2007/04/19)

By Kim Tae-jong
Staff Reporter

"My Tutor Friend Lesson II" is being promoted as a sequel to the 2003 hit romantic comedy of the same name. It only follows the basic theme of a boy and girl of the same age that happen to meet as student and tutor, and later fall in love.

New actors are cast in this movie. But ironically little changes. It is a typical high-teen romance with a cast of wacky youngsters _ you can easily guess how things turn out. The only big change is that it is worse than the original.

Directed by Kim Ho-jung and Ji Kil-woong, the film is a romantic tale between a Korean man and Japanese woman.

Junko (played by Lee Cheong-ah) is a Japanese of Korean ancestry, who falls in love with a Korean student in Japan. As he goes back to Seoul, she decides to visit him.

Junko finally comes to Seoul as an exchange student to the same university as her sweetheart. She finds lodging at a guesthouse that provides room and board.

She dreams of meeting her love and confessing her true feelings for him in Korean, but things turn out to be more challenging than she expected.

Junko discovers that her sweetheart has gone into the army, and the guesthouse is full of wacky boys including Jong-man (by Park Ki-woong), the son of the place's owner.

When Junko wants to leave the guesthouse, Jong-man entices her to stay by lying to her that her sweetheart used to live in her very room. And Jong-man's father offers her private Korean lessons from his son.

The first half of the film attempts to produce fun moments from the cultural differences between Korea and Japan, which are often exaggerated. For example, Junko is shocked by the Korean dining culture, in which people eat the same soup using their own spoon.

The film also exploits the fact that she is under the influence of the mischievous boy. Junko often finds herself in awkward situations when she practices her Korean. Jong-man has taught her mostly slang or inappropriate expressions.

Supporting characters do not help the film. They are too wacky to be part of the story. It is like a short television comedy show is added to the film out of blue, and tragic of all it adds no charm or humor.

As a pathetic effort to produce hilarious moments, the film includes a scene where the main characters sing karaoke with strange performances. It is just like the scenes that we have seen too often in other films such as "My Boss, My Hero" and "Almost Love".

In the later half, the film suddenly turns serious, uncovering Jong-man's secret _ why this talented boxer has stopped boxing and instead spends most of time to earn and save money.

As you can easily expect, Jong-man gets over his agony with the help of Junko. The rest of the film simply follows a generic high school girl's romance storyline.

Though the basic idea is quite appealing, it could have been much more fun had it been developed with a stronger and better-written script. It's a problem that has plagued local films recently.

Source : ( Anglais Coréen ) Films/dramas liés à l'actualité

My Tutor Friend Lesson II
(동갑내기 과외하기 레슨 II - 2007)
Almost Love
(청춘만화 - 2006)

My Tutor Friend
(동갑내기 과외하기 - 2003)
My Boss, My Hero
(두사부일체 (頭師父一體) - 2001)

lundi 16 avril 2007

Daniel Miller at Hallym University

For those who are interested, the following event takes place at my univ.
It's at Hallym Univ, Chuncheon

60th Hallym Communication Colloquium

What is a mobile phone relationship?

Daniel Miller (Anthropology, University College of London)

일시: 2007. 4. 18. (수) 오후 5:00-6:30PM
장소: 한림대학교 다산관 5층 사회과학연구원 회의실

jeudi 12 avril 2007

blogs on pop

this is a blog I found recently

blog on Asian pop

Came across this blog in my research promenade of the day:
bonne lecture ^^

mardi 10 avril 2007


For those who are interested in Korean TV, Arirang let you watch online their Korean TV programs if you register for free on their website. It's in Korean, subtitled in English.

jeudi 5 avril 2007

Korean wave in Japan (metropolis article)

You gotta have Seoul:
Korea Reconsidered
Differing views of history as portrayed in a school textbook have again sent diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan into a deep freeze. But at the grassroots things are warming up. Dan Grunebaum looks beyond the government line.
Shoppers in trendy Shibuya flock to Parco's Tondaemon Ichiba Korean clothes market, devour the latest Korean films and popular music, and book trips to Seoul in record numbers. Korean food no longer means only yakiniku. K-pop is cool. What's more, one of Japan's biggest stars, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi of SMAP, is trying to make it big in South Korea as well.
Although hard to quantify, it's clear that something is changing in Japan. In droves, Japanese are discovering their neighbor, a country whose culture was systematically repressed in the prewar years and then systematically ignored in the postwar era as Japan became besotted with American Big Macs and rock'n'roll.

When it comes to history, the Japanese feel reserve towards Koreans. But the young don't feel this.

Quixotic quest
A tour through this wave of Korean culture now sweeping Japan begins at 1am on Friday nights, when Kusanagi of the omnipresent pop group SMAP takes his quixotic quest to conquer Korea onto Fuji Television, in an unusual pseudo-documentary program entitled “Chonan Kan.” A distinctly serious alternative to the usual lowbrow late night fare, the show features Kusanagi as Chonan Kan, an alter ego distinct from his familiar identity as the sensitive guy of SMAP.
Kusanagi's search for success takes him to Seoul and through various strata of Korean society and its entertainment industry. Along the way, Kusanagi, who learned Hangul (Korean) for the program, is forced to confront the realities of Korean perceptions of Japan, and to reconsider his own identity as a Japanese. A recent episode of the program, which began last April and will continue until March, featured Kusanagi drinking with a Korean soldier. The young man had broken up with his first love in the course of his mandatory military duty, and castigated the selfishness and lack of a sense of duty among the Japanese.
Fuji Television's Itsuko Onuki says Kusanagi launched the program because he wanted to boost his profile in Korea to match that of hunkier SMAP member Takuya Kimura, who is already popular there. But along the way, the program seems to have metamorphosed into a sometimes-profound reconsideration of Korean and Japanese identities, albeit with comic overtones.
Onuki says that the program is producing strong ratings and that viewer response has been overwhelming. “Not only Kusanagi fans, but various [other] people are watching. Viewers have been particularly impressed with his attempts to master Korean. Some say he has inspired them to return to their studies, while others who had no interest are becoming interested in Korea.”
The program hasn't shied away from historical problems including, recently, a discussion of the thorny textbook issue. Things don't always go smoothly, says Onuki. “But with a top Japanese star trying to articulate Korean culture to a Japanese audience, Japanese-Koreans in particular are very appreciative.” The show might not solve any political problems, she grants. “But it can serve as a bridge between people and create a positive image for each other's cultures.”

Kool sites
Over in the more freewheeling realm of cyberspace, meanwhile, a vibrant and unprecedented exchange between Koreans and Japanese is taking place at all levels, from the casual to the academic. A recent segment on NHK's flagship evening news program featured young Japanese traveling to Korea to meet Korean peers they had first contacted over the Internet. At a party organized at a disco in Seoul, the teenagers struggled to communicate but were clearly infatuated with each other.
In a more intellectual vein, a number of websites exist with the intention of fostering serious dialogue between the two peoples. Kim Myung-Soo, a Japan-born Korean sociology professor at Kyoto Koka Women's University, launched The HAN World ( in 1995. Standing for “Habitants of Alienation Network,” the trilingual site (Japanese, Korean and English) offers a bulletin board and links to a wealth of resources.
Kim says that the site has seen steady growth since its launch and now receives about 1,000 hits per day. He notes that, as with “Chonan Kan,” his website is prompting Japanese to reconsider their identity. “Many Japanese don't have a sense of national identity,” he says. “Through a consideration of Korean-Japanese identity, Japanese first begin to consider their own identity.”
Kim adds that when he first launched the site, what surprised him most was how many Japanese wrote to apologize. “More than half the messages I received were from Japanese,” he says. “What surprised me even more was the fact that many of them apologized for the colonial occupation of Korea by Japan.”
When asked about a perceived Korea boom in Japan, Kim observed that, as with much popular culture, young Japanese women are in the vanguard. “Among females, from three years ago when the World Cup was decided, there has been a boom in travel and food and Korean esthŽ.” Japanese men, he says, still retain a more limited view. “Recently, complex issues of culture and identity are beginning to be considered, but men are still focused on politics.”

Kogyaru fashion
For a clearer picture of the impact of women on the Korea boom, take a stroll over to Tondaemon Ichiba market (Tondemun Sijan in Korean), which occupies two floors of Shibuya's youth culture Mecca, Parco department store. Opened in September 2000, the market is named for Seoul's Tondemun East Gate, an area that houses small-scale Korean apparel manufacturers and retailers that have become popular with Japanese tourists.
Less well-known is the role these manufacturers played in the kogyaru boom of the last few years. Because they were able to accommodate the rush orders of kogyaru designers like Egoist, the Korean manufacturers caught the attention of Japan's Market Production Co., which invited them to set up shop in Parco last year.
While the fashions are perhaps more Japanese than Korean, one aspect of the market is distinctly Korean: shoppers are encouraged to bargain, with discounts of up to 20 percent possible for the skillful negotiator. Tondaemon manager Mikio Minami says that his market is in it for the long haul. “In the beginning we were boosted by phenomenal media coverage,” he says. “But we're still doing well. As K-pop and Korean movies get popular, we are seeing steadily growing interest. Rather than any temporary boom related to World Cup soccer, we have long-term business and cultural exchange in mind.”
With the success of the first Tondaemon Ichiba, a second, even larger outlet was opened in March in Yokohama's World Porters, with plans, says Minami, to expand to Shinjuku and Osaka in the near future. Elsewhere in the fashion world, the organizers of the Seoul Collection fashion show are planning a joint Korean-Japan fashion show to coincide with the World Cup, with ten designers from each country to be invited.

K-pop on top
Another window on Seoul can be found in Korean popular music's increasingly high profile in Japan, perhaps not a surprising development considering the closeness of K-pop and J-pop, and the links between fashion and music.
Korean acts like hip hop duo Drunken Tiger and dance group H.O.T. are gaining visibility in Japan, while leading J-pop label Avex Trax recently inked a deal with leading Korean record company SM Entertainment to sell the latest sounds from South Korea.
For a closer look, turn to cable music channel Space Shower's “Korean Wave” program, which features a weekly Korean Top 20 countdown on Thursday nights from 9:30-10pm. The program is produced by Korean music channel, which also started trial broadcasting of its own in Japan in June. The director of “Korean Wave,” Hwang Joon-Ho, explains the appeal of K-pop: “Idoru (idol) music is big in Korea, and its similarity to Japanese bands like SMAP and the Kinki Kids makes it accessible to Japanese.”
Space Shower's Taniyuki Osawa adds that even before Korea relaxed its laws restricting Japanese cultural imports in 1998, there was mutual interest at the grassroots level. “Young Japanese and Korean artists have been collaborating for some time now,” he says. “Famous Japanese visual-kei band Glay, for example, has invited Korean bands to join them onstage. Japanese artists are actively approaching Korean musicians.” The logical conclusion to this is Y2K, a rock group consisting of 18-year-old Yuichi Matsuo of Japan, his 15-year-old brother Koji, and 20-year-old Ko Jieh-Gun of South Korea, who are enjoying considerable popularity in both countries. Korean bands, meanwhile, are also now a regular feature at the leading Fuji Rock Festival.

Celluloid revolution
Many trace the roots of the Korea boom to Shuri, the film tracing the struggles of North and South Korean agents that was a big hit in 2000. The movie launched a wave of Korean films that will see more than ten feature flicks shown in Japan through next year.
The liberalization of Japanese culture in Korea also enabled the launching of co-productions, one of which was last year's Peppermint Candy, a joint production of South Korea's East Film and Japan's public broadcaster, NHK. “With the ending of the law preventing broadcast of Japanese media, we had the freedom to show such a film in South Korea,” says NHK producer Makoto Ueda. “Up until now we had co-productions, but as a result of the Japan connection we weren't able to show them. Being able to show them in both countries was one reason for us to begin this co-production.”
Peppermint Candy recalls the May 1980 Kwanju Incident, in which Korean police violently quelled a student demonstration, and, Ueda says, it was well received in Japan despite its intense theme. “We were worried about how it would be received, as it has a rather serious subject matter, but Japanese audiences liked it and were very interested in it. People who saw it said it was very moving.”
Ueda believes that the current Korea boom provides a welcome opportunity for Japanese to get to understand Korea and vice versa. “I don't know if it will continue,” he concludes. “But I do hope that it will, and that it will progress even in the midst of this recession.”

Seoul food
Others point to the increasingly high quality of Korean goods as a factor behind the boom, a phenomenon that reaches its apex at some of the Korean haute cuisine restaurants that have recently sprung up around Tokyo. One of these is Li Nam Ha, the flagship eatery in Daikanyama named for the “Grand Chef” of the Chanto chain of 31 restaurants.
Commenting on the recent interest in authentic Korean dining, Li notes that until very recently Korean food in Japan meant the inevitable yakiniku. “Korean food has not been viewed as a gourmet cuisine,” he says. “That is the present reality. So we are trying to educate people about truly excellent Korean food.” He says Korean cuisine is healthy and includes a lot of vegetables, and so sits well with the current trend towards vegetarian and natural food.
Fashionable Aoyama eatery Jap Cho Ok perfectly represents this trend, offering the finest and freshest ingredients prepared to reflect the best in traditional and contemporary Korean dining. Designed to evoke a Buddhist temple, the highlight of the menu is a 15-course vegetarian set that includes such exotic flavors as fried ginseng and steaming hot vegetable bibimpap (sizzling stone pot rice).
With all the hype surrounding the World Cup, and the Japanese government's current eagerness to put the textbook issue and other problems behind it, a bit of skepticism is in order regarding any so-called “Korea boom.” And, in the country's current fascination with Korea, one detects a certain sense of reflexive nostalgia for a more innocent, bygone Japan. This came to an apex in the outpouring of emotion unleashed when Korean student Lee Su-Hyon gave his life trying to save a drunken Japanese man at Tokyo's Shin-Okubo station last January, but also finds expression in the '70s retro clothing worn by SMAP's Kusanagi in his role as Chonan Kan. Yet even if the current vogue for things Korean passes, few can argue that opportunities for cultural interaction are on the rise.
Some observe, however, that all this unprecedented cultural interaction may have an unintended consequence. “When it comes to history, [older] Japanese feel reserve towards Koreans,” says Professor Kim. “But the young don't feel this.” As they come into contact with Koreans who are decidedly more nationalistic than they are, he says, "The Japanese may come to dislike Koreans and develop a nationalistic streak themselves."

Japan's Empire of Cool

Japan's Empire of Cool
Country's Culture Becomes Its Biggest Export

By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, December 27, 2003; Page A01

TOKYO -- In the supercharged air of Shibuya, Tokyo's fiercely hip teen quarter, music videos by Japanese pop stars topping the charts throughout Asia boom from towering, outdoor liquid-crystal display screens. The streets below are clogged with hordes of young women wearing the Japanese schoolgirl look -- streetwalker's makeup, sexy stockings and plaid miniskirts -- styled by international fashion magazines as the height of child-delinquent chic.

Under a galaxy of neon, cubicle-sized stores sell trendy trinkets, including phone mascots -- cute characters first dangled off cell phones here years ago, now common in Seoul and Hong Kong and seen in Sydney, New York and Paris.

Customers browse shelves packed with comic books, or manga, at Mandarake, a national chain and the world's largest seller of manga and anime. "If it's Japanese, the world wants it," says the chain's president. "Japan is hot." (Kenei Sato For The Washington Post)

_____News From Japan_____

• Koizumi, Hu Meet to Address Tensions (The Washington Post, Apr 24, 2005)
• Koizumi, Hu to Meet At Weekend Summit (The Washington Post, Apr 23, 2005)
• Japan Honors War Dead and Opens Neighbors' Wounds (The Washington Post, Apr 23, 2005)
• More News from Japan

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In the cacophony of cool, foreigners mingle with streams of Japanese descending by a cave-like hole into the entrance of Mandarake, the world's largest Japanese manga -- comics -- and anime department store. They buy original celluloids, or cels, from Japanese animation, most at about $30 each, along with comic books, action figures, posters and CDs. Hundreds of online orders come in daily to operators speaking Japanese, English, Spanish, French and Korean.

Company President Masuzo Furukawa, whose office is entered through an anime-like tube with round, orange electronic doors, is direct about the reason: "If it's Japanese, the world wants it. Japan is hot."

Even as this country of 127 million has lost its status as a global economic superpower and the national confidence has been sapped by a 13-year economic slump, Japan is reinventing itself -- this time as the coolest nation on Earth.

Analysts are marveling at the breadth of a recent explosion in cultural exports, and many argue that the international embrace of Japan's pop culture, film, food, style and arts is second only to that of the United States. Business leaders and government officials are now referring to Japan's "gross national cool" as a new engine for economic growth and societal buoyancy.

Revenue from royalties and sales of music, video games, anime, art, films and fashion soared to $12.5 billion in 2002, up 300 percent from 1992. During the same period, Japanese exports overall increased by only 15 percent. Its cultural exports are now worth three and a half times the value of all the televisions this nation exported in 2002, according to a report by the research arm of the trade conglomerate Marubeni.

"Japan is finding a new place in the world, and new benefits, through the worldwide obsession with its culture -- especially pop culture," said Tsutomu Sugiura, director of the Marubeni Research Institute. "The global embrace of things Japanese has given us a new kind of influence, different than what Japan once had, but influence nonetheless."

Sushi in Sao Paulo

A new crop of internationally famous architects have led Japan's emergence as a force in international design.

Shigeru Ban recently won the competition for the new Pompidou Center in Metz, France, and Tadao Ando, winner of both the Pritzker Prize and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, designed the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth. Ando is currently working on the spectacular and huge Francois Pinault Foundation for Contemporary Art on an island in the Seine in suburban Paris.

Takashi Murakami, whose "superflat" art movement has earned him the reputation as a new Andy Warhol, inaugurated a whimsical, high-profile, anime-like sculpture at Rockefeller Center this fall. His playful works on canvas, scooped up mainly by foreign buyers, have fetched prices near $600,000 at New York art auctions. Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs collaborated with Murakami to create a series of Vuitton handbags that was one of its top sellers last year.

Rei Kawakubo, who established Comme des Garcons, and the houses of Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto have for years been at the top of international fashion. But they now hold court alongside younger Japanese designers such as Jun Takahashi of the Undercover label, dubbed by several leading fashion editors as the hottest breakout designer in years. Junya Watanabe, a Kawakubo protege, has also made a big stir in fashion circles.

Japan's culture of kawaii, or cute, epitomized by playful designs in ice cream colors such as cherry-blossom pink and tea green, is increasingly as recognizable around the world as Americana. France's Pierre Herme, the Paris dessert chef and retailer, picked kawaii as the theme for his fall/winter 2003 designs, with fantasy pastries in the soft, silky hues of kimonos and anime.

Sushi, once an urban trend, has become as globally ubiquitous as the Big Mac. Brazil's Veja Magazine reported this month that there are now more sushi restaurants than Brazilian barbeques in Sao Paulo, South America's largest city, where residents consume an estimated 278 sushi rolls per minute. And in Paris, on the Rue de la Gaite, the entire street has filled with sushi restaurants over just the past two years, said Patrice Jorland, cultural attaché at the French Embassy in Tokyo. "This is Paris, yes, Paris," he said.

Even traditional Japanese culture, which long ago influenced the French Impressionists and furniture design in Europe, is reaching farther afield. A school of ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, recently opened in South Africa, and ikebana conventions have been held in Zimbabwe and Taiwan. The next one is scheduled for Vienna next year. The drumming group Kodo has won international acclaim, playing New York's Carnegie Hall as well as the Acropolis in Athens.

And a tea-ceremony school recently opened in Nova Scotia. "We had one nurse come in and say she wanted to learn the way of tea and wear a kimono just because she had read all the books coming out on geisha life," said John McGee, a 30-year master of Japanese tea who left Kyoto in the 1990s to found the school near Halifax. "It has gotten completely out of control."

Beyond Hello Kitty

Inside the anime department store, Andy, a 42-year-old from London, was buying dozens of original anime cels -- paintings on transparent plastic sheets used to create an animation -- for his own collection and resale at home. One cel frame depicted a doe-eyed young man who looked like a character from "G-Force," a Japanese cartoon popular in the United States during the 1980s. "Forget it; this character is much newer," he said, unwilling to give his last name for fear such resales may not be entirely legal. "If that were really 'G-Force,' it would be vintage. We're talking eight times the price, more, back in London."

Lighter-fare manga and anime franchises such as Pokemon, translated into more than 30 languages and available in 65 countries, are still hugely popular and contributing to the global fascination with Japan's youth culture. But around the world, Japan is not just about Hello Kitty anymore. Shonen Jump, a leading Japanese comic, was launched in the United States last year and has reached a monthly circulation of 540,000. Video games with Japanese themes, such as Tenchu and The Way of the Samurai, rank among the hottest sellers worldwide.

"There are millions of kids around the world listening to the Japanese language, sometimes without even realizing it, when they play a video game," said Noriyuki Asakura, a former "J-pop" star who composes musical scores for Sony PlayStation video games. "Our audience has never been greater."

The mania has also touched Hollywood. Spoken partly in Japanese and with a long anime sequence, Quentin Tarantino's hit "Kill Bill" incorporates Japan's ancient traditions and Tokyo's modern pop culture in an homage to Japanese coolness. Tom Cruise joined a host of celebrated Japanese actors in the new epic "The Last Samurai." And the costumes and atmosphere of the recently concluded "Matrix" series were rooted primarily in Japanese manga.

In Japanese film, Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" won the Oscar this year for best animated feature, while Takeshi Kitano's "Zatoichi" walked away with the coveted best director's award at this year's Venice Film Festival.

Japan's emergence today as a cultural superpower is, observers say, the product of various factors. In the United States, Japanese anime and manga, the key source of Japan's newfound popularity, were embraced during the 1970s and 1980s by a fertile subculture of technology-minded Americans, some of whom went on to spark the dot-com explosion.

"The geeks who read manga as kids went on to become the millionaires of the 1990s," said Washington-based journalist Douglas McGray, who wrote an article in Foreign Policy magazine on Japan's gross national cool and is credited with coining the term. "They spread their interest in things Japanese."

A record 3 million people around the world are now studying the Japanese language, compared with only 127,000 in 1997, according to the Japan Foundation and Tokyo's Marubeni Research Institute.

David Janes, program officer for the New York-based U.S.-Japan Foundation, attributes the huge increase in Japanese-language students to the spread of Japan's pop culture. He said he visited a high school in Iowa with 80 kids in a Japanese program and "what really amazed me is that when we asked why they were studying the language, the majority of them didn't hesitate. They said manga and anime."

Cultural Kaleidoscope

Japan's role in the world has changed dramatically over the decades, from expansionist military empire in the first half of the 20th century to global economic superpower in the 1980s. Although its economy is still the second-largest in the world, the bursting of Japan's economic bubble in 1990 and its limping economy of the past decade have dimmed the American perception of Japan as a global financial competitor.

Meanwhile, outside the United States, Japan is being viewed as a more neutral, alternative source of entertainment at a time when anti-Americanism is running high.

In Asia, where resentment of Japanese invasions before and during World War II still runs deep and Japanese cultural imports in many countries were banned, Japan's pop icons have easily overtaken their U.S. counterparts.

A ban in South Korea only increased the cache of Japan's pop culture among many young South Koreans, and created a huge black market in Seoul for Japanese magazines, comics, music and films. As the two nations have moved toward closer ties in recent years, those restrictions have gradually loosened, with the ban scheduled to be completely lifted in 2004.

Across East Asia, J-pop -- a cuter, softer and Japanized version of American pop -- rules supreme. Groups such as Kinki Kids and Glay, both Japanese boy bands, have topped the charts in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. Despite the still-frosty relations between Japan and China, Glay played to one of their largest crowds ever in October 2002 in Beijing, luring a sold-out audience of 35,000.

"Japan led the funk and punk culture of the young generation," said Karl Hwang, a Seoul-based Korean entertainment-industry analyst. "For Korean kids, coming out of the military era, Japanese culture was full of those things that Koreans were deprived of. The Japanese successfully transformed Western culture into their own. And for Koreans and other Asians, the similarity in appearance helped us accept Japanized Western culture rather than directly copying Western culture. Take blue jeans for example. Japanese made blue jeans are much more comfortable in size, fit and design for Koreans than U.S.-made jeans."

Critics say that Japan is merely a cultural prism, absorbing influences from abroad and reflecting them back, albeit altered to Japanese taste. But many say that it is precisely the attraction.

"Japanese culture absorbs things, but then puts a different interpretation to it," said Naoki Takizawa, a top designer for the fashion house of Issey Miyake. "Some people may say that we don't correctly understand the history of what has come from overseas. But we attach a different creativeness to things . . . our own sense of beauty. If you take a look at Shibuya, you see an energetic performance going on there, all the girls who want to be like dolls, like characters [in anime]. . . . Japan is a creative culture and the world is beginning to understand that."

Special correspondent Akiko Yamamoto contributed to this report.