Over 15,000 K-POP (Korean Pop) fans waited in line, filed in and filled the stadium where the Seoul Tokyo Music Festival 2010 was held last Sunday in Tokyo, Japan. The sellout crowd was there to see famous Korean singers/performers including:
-Big Bang -2NE1 -F.T. Island -CNBLUE
-KARA -Brown Eyed Girls -U-Kiss
-4 Minute -Rainbow -Teen-Top
A majority of readers from Japan and Korea may already know many of these groups, and some or all of their songs by heart, but for readers in the U.S. who are hearing these names for the first time, think Dr. Dre and Snoop in the 90’s, and you get an idea of what their level of popularity is shaping up to be out East.
This “Seoul Boom”, however, is no coincidence, as currently Korean pop stars are hopping on the earliest flights they can get in order to bring themselves, and their PR companies, over to Tokyo in hopes of making it big in this new market. Japanese individuals, especially in Tokyo these days from what I see and hear during the daily grind and of course the nightly “unwind”, are favoring more and more Korean food, not only for the taste but for the health benefits foods such as “kimchi” have to offer, and with edible culture often comes the wise man’s brain food, music. Young teens and college students alike can be seen at Tower Records after school and on weekends looking to pick up the new singles dropping daily by groups such as those mentioned above, and even this writer has more than a few of the groups’ hit songs on his iPod at the moment.
This type of soft culture revolution, and the inter-mixing of cultural areas that anyone can find enjoyment in often do wonders for the political relations of countries involved as well. What starts with food, fashion and music transitions into an interest in linguistic acquisition between the two countries, followed by study abroad awareness and educational programs designed for students wishing to deepen their knowledge of other cultures.
It will be interesting to see what hits the shelves next, as the musical revolution continues here in the concrete jungle of the East, Neo-Tokyo.
Time to update my iPod playlist for the fourth time this month…L, signing off.