The term ‘Hallyu’ is now a part of everyday Korean vernacular, but its international influence is exceeding what anyone had ever expected. Glimpses of the Hallyu wave can now be seen regularly on the streets of Tokyo, Japan.
For starters, Jang Geun Suk‘s recent concert at the Tokyo Dome drew 45,000 fans, causing much commotion on the streets. His fans eagerly bought devil-horn headbands to showcase their fandom, and promotional posters for the concert were well-scattered on the streets of Ginza as well as Tokyo.
Not only that, billboards promoting2PM-2AM‘s joint concert were visibly seen from the major streets of Akasaka, Ginza, Roppongi Hills, and more, informing fans of the boys’ January show. One fan remarked, “I personally like INFINITE. The more that boy bands like 2PM and 2AM gain popularity, the younger K-pop fans seem to get.”
Hallyu is proving to have a significant impact on the Japanese lifestyle, to the point where an organization understandably protested Korean TV in front of the FujiTV building.
But the Hallyu-effect is proving to change not just entertainment in Japan, but the way the Japanese think about Korea.
A tour guide who has been living in Japan for over 15 years remarked, “Even just 10 years ago, the Japanese resented and belittled anything from Korea. But ever since actor Bae Yong Joon catalyzed a Hallyu boom [with dramas like 'Winter Sonata'], the wave has been sweeping Japan since.”