The word “K-pop” will be listed in the Oxford English Dictionary.
On August 10, Washington news radio broadcast WTOP announced that the word K-pop will be listed in the Oxford English Dictionary.
K-pop means Korean pop music and it has created a sensation not only in Asia but also in the Americas and Europe.
Billboard created a K-pop chart and releases rankings every week. SISTAR drew a lot of attention by being the first K-pop group to rank first on the Billboard K-pop chart for four weeks in a row.
Popular K-pop groups, including JYJ and B2ST, promote K-pop by touring the world, the popularity of K-pop will last for years to come.
KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) and the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) have decided to join forces for the creation of two K-pop projects.
A representative of KBS stated on August 3rd KST, “The president of KBS, Kim In Kyu, met with the current director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, and soon-to-be director, George Entwistle. He received an offer to hold a K-pop concert co-hosted by KBS and BBC, to which he suggested the co-production of a high-quality K-pop documentary.”
Kim In Kyu, Thompson, and Entwistle have all agreed to co-create the K-pop concert and documentary, and are currently making plans to make the projects a reality.
Stay tuned for updates!
Source + Image: Newsen via Nate
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By Kwon Mee-yoo
Ichikawa Rie came from Japan to see the musical “Elisabeth.” She is a fan of JYJ’s Jun-su, who is starring in the show. “I was thrilled to see him performing the role of Tod, or Death, live,” Ichikawa said.
Rows of wreaths stand at the lobby of Blue Square Music Hall, a new theater in Hannam-dong, Seoul, where the musical is being staged. They are from fans of the actors and the language on the ribbons varies from Korean and Japanese to Chinese and Taiwanese, showing the diversity of support. The recipients are not only K-pop star Jun-su and television actor Song Chang-eui, but musical actors Ryu Jung-han and Park Eun-tae.
Ichikawa first visited Korea to see Jun-su in “Mozart” in 2010 and soon fell in love with Korean musicals. “There are many musicals in Japan too but I feel something special about Korean actors. They sing really well and convey their emotions in the songs,” she said. “I have seen other Korean musicals and hope to see more of them.”
The Korean musical industry is busy attracting foreigners to local theaters, while making forays into overseas markets at the same time.
-From K-pop to K-musical
The Korean musical industry has been steadily building up for years, growing bigger as big shows cast K-pop singers.
According to Interpark, the nation’s largest online ticket seller, the size of the market was around 250 billion won in 2011. It has grown for the past decade.
Interpark Ticket Global, an English reservation service, opened in August 2009 and tickets sold jumped over 167 percent in 2011, compared to the previous year.
“We can estimate the number of foreigners buying tickets by combining those sold at the global site and those who have an alien registration number,” Kim Sun-kyung of Interpark said. “Currently, the most popular shows among foreigners are ‘Elisabeth’ and ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ both starring K-pop singers such as Jun-su and Key of SHINee.”
“Hallyu,” or the Korean wave, for musicals began around 2009 when Ahn Jae-wook was cast in “Jack the Ripper.” His appearance drew fans from overseas, signaling the possibility of a Korean wave in plays and musicals. M Musical Company, the producer of “Jack the Ripper,” said more than 10 percent of the audiences were foreigners, mostly Chinese or Japanese.
Musicals based on hit movies and television dramas have been staged overseas, bringing existing fans of Korean pop culture to theaters. “Two hundred-Pound Beauty,” another movie-turned-musical starring KARA’s Park Gyu-ri, sold tickets worth some 400 million yen during its run in Kyoto last October, thanks to the popularity of the girl band in Japan.
Some productions target hallyu fans from the beginning. PMC Production, famed for the success of the non-verbal performance “Nanta,” staged the musical “Romance of Their Own,” based on the 2004 movie of same name, in 2011.
It is a jukebox musical featuring various K-pop hits from 2PM’s “Heartbeat” to KARA’s “Mister.”
“About 35 percent of the audience were foreigners from Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan and even from the United States and France,” Shin Ji-youn of PMC said. “They first come to see their favorite singers such as Ryeowook of Super Junior, but later they watch the show again with a different cast. We plan to take the show overseas but the details have yet to be decided.”
Musical critic Cho Yong-shin said considering overseas markets from the planning stage has become a trend for shows in Korea.
“Previously, theatrical works were produced only for the home market, but the domestic market is saturated. Instead of accepting such limitations, producers are now making inroads into international markets,” Cho said.
He said there are so many musicals created in Korea and some of them are suitable for overseas. According to Interpark, 2,140 musicals were staged in Korea last year alone, a 14 percent jump from 1,880 in 2010.
“K-pop is now on the forefront of hallyu and more producers are eager to cast K-pop stars in their shows. Jukebox musicals featuring K-pop are also being experimented with. These can be seen as an aspect of the diversity,” the critic said.
-Aiming at Asian market
Neighboring countries, China and Japan, are prime targets for Korean musicals heading abroad.
CJ E&M, a giant investor and producer in the musical industry, made a successful entrance into China by establishing joint venture United Asia Live Entertainment with China Arts and Entertainment Group and Shanghai Media Group.
It co-produced a Chinese version of “Mamma Mia!” in six cities from Shanghai to Beijing and Guangzhou last year. The six-month tour drew 250,000 people and recorded 20 billion won in sales. CJ E&M mediated between the original creators from the United Kingdom and the local Chinese production based on its rich experience in staging licensed musicals.
“Mamma Mia!” will tour 10 more cities in Greater China including Hong Kong and Macau and “Cats” is in preparation for its Chinese opening in September. Since China is an enormous, emerging market, CJ E&M ultimately seeks to introduce homegrown musicals.
“I think Korea has the most developed system in the musical industry among Asian countries and we should take pride in it,” said Kim Byeong-seok, senior vice president of CJ E&M Performing Arts Business Unit. “The successful joint production of Mamma Mia! in China could be a good example of an exchange in the cultural industry celebrating the 20th anniversary of Korea-China diplomatic relations.”
CJ E&M takes a different approach to Japan. The firm took part in staging “200-Pound Beauty” there with original Korean production company Shownote and the Shochiku Company in Japan.
“It created a synergy of good content with K-pop singers such as Gyu-ri of KARA. We see more possibilities for musicals with the existing popularity of hallyu, especially K-pop there,” Kim said.
CJ also said two more musicals are sounding out possibilities in Japan this year — “Street Life,” a DJ DOC jukebox musical, and “Lovers of Paris,” based on the 2004 drama.
“We could create a ’one Asia market’ covering China, Japan and Korea, and Korea will lead the musical industry,” Kim said.
Small productions are also making their way abroad. “Laundry,“ a homegrown musical that enjoyed success in the Korean theater district Daehangno drawing some 280,000 people since its premiere in 2005, was performed in Japan in February. Japanese production company Pure Marry bought the license for the show and Japanese actors performed the roles. Chu Min-joo, playwright and director of the musical, went to Japan to head the show.
Lee Ji-ho, producer of “Laundry,” said a Japanese promoter saw the musical in Korea and contacted him about the license. “I think we concluded a favorable contract,” he said. “February performances were more like presentations introducing the show to Japan and we signed for additional nights in Tokyo in May. We see the show touring more Japanese cities later.”
“Laundry” portrays the everyday life of ordinary Seoulites. “I worried that Laundry might only draw sympathy from Korean audiences, but it resonated with those from different cultures as well. This is a meaningful step for a Korean musical,” Lee said.
Source: The Korea Times
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The power of K-Pop hallyu wave has replicated itself from groups such as Girls’ Generation, KARA, TVXQ, Super Junior, Wonder Girls, SHINee, f(x), Big Bang, 2NE1, 2PM, JYJ and more is quite impressive.
As previously reported on KpopStarz the country’s image is closely related to K-Pop. For instance Korea as a country becomes more widespread as number views on YouTube video is more than 2.3 billion total from 235 countries.
In the past it was difficult to image Korean culture to enter and become center stage of entertainment field around the world. Even last year people were still skeptical of K-Pop fans who have gathered in Paris and London.
It’s not a complicated to come up with the reason why K-Pop has come to be so successful. It was the perfect preparation executed by the label companies that were very systematic in casting, training, producing and global promotion. As only few out of many make it to endure the hardship of being a trainee not only that the advent of social media couldn’t have been better with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
However what made the impossible, possible was the hard work, tears and sweat of the trainees who endured to become the stars they have longed to be. No one can imagine the hardship they faced as a young teenager to be trained for more than 7 years in different fields such as dance, singing, acting, languages and others.
Regardless of the field, there’s no difference in other fields to become successful even in golf. Seri Park was a hero of Korea 10 years ago as she was the first Korean to win the WPGA golf championship which no one thought it was possible. She shared that she climbed the stairs 20 flights going up and down every day, practiced in the cemetery to become braver. Kyoung Joo Choi who won the PGA 8 times shared, “If you set a goal to hit the ball 1000 times a day and hit 999 then you lose.”
Now days the buzz has been around Jeremy Lin. Before his popularity and fame, none of the basketball team wanted him to join their teams, he failed to be picked up in the draft.
Kobe Bryant, one of the best players in NBA who didn’t know the existence of Lin before the game shared after their match, “Players don’t come out of nowhere, if you track back his past, he probably possessed the skill but no one noticed it from the beginning. He didn’t give up and continued on. It’s a great testament to perseverance and hard work. I am sure he had to put a great amount of work to have the belief he has for himself. And now he has the opportunity to show it.”
It may be true that Jeremy Lin came in the spotlight because he was too good or because of his race, but many say that it’s because no one had expected him to do well. And now he is being loved and giving courage to many others.
The way to achieve an impossible goal is to do your best to the point of death. Looking at the great stars before us, we learn that impossible can be possible and anything can happen. Let’s go on with hope remembering the saying of Barak Obama, “Yes we can.”
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Koike Koh, the CEO of Japan’s Oricon Charts, made an important comment regarding the influx of Korean artists into Japan. He stated, “The metabolism of Korean artists and music seems too fast for Japanese market. Japanese fans might get tired of them since way too many of them are rushing to enter the market. This might negatively effect Hallyu, the Korean wave.”
Oricon Charts is considered the ultimate measure of success in Japan for many Korean artists. Oricon started compiling daily, weekly, and monthly charts based on sales records of approximately 26,000 music record stores all over Japan. Oricon charts’ influence and credibility measure up to that of the U.S.’s Billboard Charts. Oricon Charts is well known to Koreans as many K-pop artists like BoA, Jang Geun Suk, Kara, and Girls’ Generation have been ranked high on them.
Koike Koh visited Korea to partake in Gaon Charts K-Pop Awards. When asked about the future of K-pop in Japan, he pointed out that K-pop might have some roadblocks ahead. He commented, “For now, the feminine looks and images of Girls’ Generation and Kara are attracting many fans, but this is a very limited side of K-pop. Korean artists need to be more diversified to continue their success in Japan. Japanese fans expect something new that these artists have never shown before, not even in Korea. Recently, many Korean artists are staying in Japan only for a short period of time, remaining within the metropolitan areas. While this is working for now, this may pose as a roadblock in the future of K-pop in gaining more wide ranged popularity within Japan.”
Koh added, “For Korean artists to continue their success, the roles of leading Hallyu figures like TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, and Kara are very important. They have had huge success in Japan. But once their popularity and impact start to diminish, so will K-pop in general. Then people will see Hallyu as a temporary phenomenon.”
However, Koh was not entirely pessimistic about K-Pop. He highly valued the strategic preparation of K-pop and Korean artists and their strong fan base. He pointed out, “When you look at the Korean artists who’s made it to the top of Oricon charts, they have great musical talent and very unique visual concepts that have been strategically prepared for. Most of their songs were ranked highly on Oricon charts almost instantly after their releases. Also, many fans were previously aware of these artists through the Internet before they made their official Japanese debuts. Therefore, these artists gain a very solid fan base upon their debut.”
Koh also talked about the recent anti-Hallyu movement, which led to the cancellation of Kim Tae Hee’s Tokyo CF promotion. He dismissed this anti-Hallyu movement as a phenomenon restricted to a very small population. He said, “In my opinion, Kim Tae Hee and her agency overreacted in this case. The anti-Hallyu movement is not a major thing at all. Most Japanese people view Korean artists and entertainment very favorably. They enjoy K-Pop and K-Drama very much. Korean artists should not pay much attention to the distorted and disturbing opinions of the few.”
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It became an online issue among Korean netizens when Japanese actor Matsuko Deluxe said during a TV show that K-POP is just bad US imitation. He also “kindly” invited K-POP artists to leave the country if they do not like Japan.
According to a Japanase online news, this event happened when the actor appeared on a TV show, “Nakayoshi Televi,” on January 5. During the show different guests from Asian countries, like Korea, China and Japan, had to show their national pride.
During the discussion, Matsuko Deluxe said, “I cannot accept this. In my opinion, K-POP is only a bad imitation of U.S. music.” A Korean-Japanese writer, who was also a guest on the show answered, “Lately, K-Pop has landed even in the U.S. music market. K-Pop is getting highly ranked even on the Billboard charts. However, J-Pop was not able to reach the same level.”
Matsuko Deluxe got angrier and with a louder voice commented, “Japan is embracing different cultures from all over the world including K-Pop. Where do you find such a kindhearted country!? If you do not like our country, just leave!”
Matsuko Deluxe is famous for wearing female outfits and for his spiteful remarks. This news did not appear in newspapers or TV but it was the most read news on Yahoo Japan on January 7. It finally spread online and reached the Korean netizens, who reacted in obvious contempt over his thoughtless remarks.
Announcer: First, Matsuko would like to call out the hugely popular Kpop genre.
Ryu (KPOP expert/author): Metaphorically, Japan’s entertainment industry is amateur baseball level. Korea’s entertainment industry is professional baseball level.
Matsuko: Wait! I really can’t agree with that at all.
Host: Oh, why?
M: Well, in the end, when I look at Kpop, I only see them copying American music. You keep on saying that they are taking influences from all over the world earlier, but what is this “world” that you’re referring to? Wait, I’m still talking! It’s okay if they’re saying that they’re selling on the fact that it’s Asian faces copying American music therefore they’re being international.
R: But Kpop has landed in America!
M: They’ve only landed!
R: The proof is that fact that there’s a Kpop chart on the Billboard Chart. Even if we take America out of the equation, Jpop can’t even achieve that.
M: But we’ve never aimed for such achievements!
M: Are praises from America everything to you??
R: It’s not everything! But…
M: Is it a proof of success if there’s a Kpop chart on the Billboard Charts?
R: That’s definitely a plus
Hyeon-Gi(?): But what about Japan being totally into Lady Gaga? What about that then?
M: So what? We also accept the music from your country!
H: Then isn’t that everything?
M: It’s all good!!! Why are you complaining about this country? We’re a country that accept cultures from all over the world! Why are you complaining??? Tell me, is there any other country in the world that is as broad-minded as Japan! Get out! If you don’t like Japan that much, get out! We accept you guys over here!!!
Trans by: zomboid@livejournal
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Freak weather and upheavals in Korea’s political landscape punctuated a year of uncertainties that ended with the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il just before Christmas. But Koreans also took pride in their burgeoning exports, not only of electronics and cars that are increasingly prized around the world but also of the pop music generated by leading talent factories, which cheered up listeners worldwide in gloomy times.
◆ Kim Jong-il Dies
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died on a cold December day, according to the state media suffering a heart attack on his armored train while on his way to one of his on-the-spot guidance tours. Where that account is true or not, the fact remains that his undeniably dead body lies in state in Pyongyang, and his son Kim Jong-un (29) has been officially declared the new leader. North Korea’s regional neighbors are anxiously watching to see if he can establish his hold on power and wondering what it will mean for peace on the region and the fate of 24 million North Koreans.
◆ Software Tycoon Blows Korean Politics Wide Open
When software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo said he was considering running for Seoul mayor in the Oct. 26 by-elections, he triggered a seismic shift in the political landscape as a solid majority expressed their support before he had even declared his candidacy. That revealed a widespread disaffection with the political establishment and a yearning for a fresh approach. Ahn ceded his mayoral bid to lawyer-turned-civic-activist Park Won-soon, whose victory many attribute to Ahn’s support. Ahn is now being touted as a possible presidential contender.
Both ruling and opposition lawmakers admitted they were stymied by voter distrust. The results of the general and presidential elections next year are expected to lead to the biggest changes in Korean politics since the introduction of direct elections for president back in 1987.
◆ Korea Ratifies FTAs with EU and U.S.
The ruling Grand National Party railroaded through the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement at the National Assembly on Nov. 22 despite strong protests from opposition parties, four years and five months after it was signed by both sides. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed the FTA in late October. As a result, Korea became the first Asian country to forge FTA deals with both the EU and U.S., while paving the way for tariff-free trade with countries that account for 60 percent of the world’s GDP. The FTA with Washington will go into effect early next year, but opposition parties are still calling for it to be renegotiated.
◆ Korea Becomes World’s No. 7 Exporter
Korea’s annual trade volume surpassed US$1 trillion on Dec. 5. Exports totaled $515.6 billion, while imports amounted to $486 billion. Korea became the ninth country in the world to achieve that feat. Korea’s exports totaled just $19 million back in 1948, half the level of Kenya and Cameroon and ranked 100th in the world. But in six decades on, Korea became the world’s seventh-largest exporter.
◆ Pyeongchang Finally Wins Bid to Host Winter Olympics
Millions of Koreans sat in front of their TV sets at midnight on July 7 when International Olympic Committee Chairman Jacques Rogge declared Pyeongchang the winner to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pyeongchang had tasted defeat twice before in its bids for the 2010 and 2014 games, when it lost to Vancouver and Sochi. But this time, Pyeongchang comfortably beat Munich and Annecy, garnering 63 out of 95 votes.
Korea becomes the fifth country in the world to host both the summer and winter Olympics, the football World Cup, the World Championships in Athletics and the Formula 1 race. The others are France, Italy, Germany and Japan.
◆ World Falls in Love with K-Pop
K-pop was the top Korean entertainment product to sweep the world this year. Manufactured bands are continuing the Korean Wave triggered by the popularity of soap operas such as “Winter Sonata” and “Jewel in the Palace,” and drew legions of fans not only in Japan, China and other parts of Asia, but also in Europe, the Middle East, the U.S. and Latin America.
Girls’ Generation, Kara, 2PM, SHINee, 2NE1, Big Bang, Super Junior, TVXQ and JYJ held concert tours around the world and swept through their album chart rankings. Fans in the U.S., Europe and Latin America even took to the streets demanding K-pop concerts in their countries.
◆ Record Rainfall in Seoul
Korea was drenched with record precipitation in July with many regions experiencing between 100 to 200 mm of rainfall that lasted for days, triggering mudslides and other damage. It was the largest amount of rain in Korea in a century. Heavy rains on July 27 in particular submerged many parts of Seoul and triggered a mudslide on a mountain in an affluent southern suburb of the capital. The downpours left 71 people dead across the country.
Source: The Cholsunilbo
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With the news of Kim Jong Il‘s death, South Koreans have been voicing their anxiety and speculations of what the future may hold. Naturally, concern for soldiers on active duty have been raised, especially from the numerous fandoms that have their favorite celebrities in the army.
Celebrities currently serving active military duty include Rain, Hyun Bin, Jung Tae Woo, Im Joo Hwan, Wheesung, T-Max‘s Kim Joon, Lee Jun Ki, Lee Dong Gun, Kim Ji Suk, Park Hyo Shin, Kim Heechul, Hwanhee, and Untouchable. With all active soldiers put on red alert, it’s likely that these celebrity soldiers will also put on alert as well.
A source from The National Defense Public Relations Department stated, “With the news of Kim Jong Il’s death, the public relations department (in which the celebrity soldiers serve) have cancelled some of their events… However, [the celebrity soldiers] are carrying out the duties they have been assigned.”
The celebrities serving in the public relations department are Lee Jun Ki, Park Hyo Shin, and Lee Dong Gun.
Hip-hop duo Untouchable, who are currently serving in the military band, are scheduled for 100 days of vacation. However with the sudden news of the North Korean dictator’s death, it is not yet clear whether the two will be able to take their vacation.
Untouchable’s agency stated, “The two members of Untouchable are supposed to come out for their first break at the end of this year, but in case [they aren’t able to], we are a little worried for them. We just hope that they will perform their duties with good health.”
Currently, there are no celebrity soldiers who are serving on the front line. Although Hyun Bin was originally stationed as a combat soldier, he’s been serving in the public relations department since November.
Rain, who is currently serving as an assistant instructor, is also carrying out his normal duties and has not seen much change so far. Wheesung has also been appointed as an assistant instructor and is currently undergoing additional training.
T-Max’ Kim Joon and Paran‘s Lion, who entered service in September, are currently serving as a conscripted police officer and a member of the Air Force band, respectively.
Source + Photo: Star News via Nate
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Radio Free Asia (RFA), a non-profit organization that operates a radio station and internet news source, recently published a story about North Korean celebrities being forgotten due to the Hallyu Wave. Apparently, South Korean movies and dramas are spreading like wildfire inside the isolated country and are devouring low-quality North Korean films.
According to an insider in North Korea, “I don’t know anything about new North Korean songs or movies that have been released. There are only 3-4 [North Korean] films that are produced each year, but since there are so many South Korean movies laying around, no one pays attention to our [North Korean] films.”
Not only are North Korean films low in quality due to insufficient budgets, they lack creativity and are considered boring because they all material that only praise Kim Il Sung‘s family. Thus, it was reported that citizens and young people completely ignore films and entertainment produced by their country.
North Korean celebrities are suffering significantly due to the Hallyu Wave, mainly because South Korean celebrities are gaining much popularity, while they are becoming forgotten. Multiple insiders state, “People related to the North Korean entertainment business ignore the demands of the people and solely focus on Kim Jong Il‘s propaganda. People can expect to see the end of North Korea’s entertainment industry“.
North Korean youths who defected from the country were able to name several South Korean films including ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ and ‘Scent of a Man‘, while they were unable to recall any names of actors/actresses from a particular North Korean film.
It’s not just North Korean movies and dramas going down the drain — the music industry is declining as well. An insider explained, “All songs, including new ones, involve chants and praises for Kim Jong Il or the Worker’s Party. No one wants to listen to them.”
South Korean netizens were quite amused by the news and commented, “Aren’t all North Korean songs practically hymns that praise that dictator pig?“, “There are celebrities in North Korea? That kind of occupation exists? Wow“, and “I can feel the end of North Korea nearing..“.
Check out this clip to get a taste of North Korean music.
Original Source + Photos: Chosun via Nate
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hanteo & YesAsia
Q: From when do YesAsia sales count towards Hanteo?
A: Korea Version music orders fulfilled (i.e. shipped out) on or after October 26, 2011 are reflected on Hanteo chart.
Q: Do the albums I bought before count?
A: No, albums sold before Oct 26, 2011 are not (and cannot be) reported to Hanteo.
If you ordered/preordered an album before Oct 26 but it’s not yet shipped out, or was not shipped till Oct 26 or later, then it does count. We report sales when the order is fulfilled (shipped out).
Q: Finally! Why did it take so long?
A: Hanteo previously only included domestic shops in their chart. As YesAsia is a Hong Kong-based site that sells internationally, we were unable to join the chart. Because we knew many customers cared about Hanteo chart, we continued to talk to Hanteo about the matter, and recently reached an agreement.
Original Source: Yesasia Official Twitter
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