Am I in Japan?

February 24, 2010

Lunar New Year break is student’s only savior in the midst of February. I hated how it was scheduled this time; some days overlapped with weekends. Urgh. Regardless, we had almost a week off. I guess that suffices my greed, because it was enough time for me to go to Yokohama, and Tokyo. Usually, when I travel, I try to look for differences, culture, and general population’s attitudes. To be frank, those are some exciting factors to look at when you are traveling! But, for this time, I was rather surprised. One, I talked to this girl, and she said she likes Big Bang. Two, there are Korean celebrity pictures everywhere. Three, they sell Korean products.

When I travel, I look for foreign friends, and it’s just me who tries to make friends. My mother is an expert at talking to people in a friendly voice. I think our family members are innately friendly to people. So, to make use of my gifted skill, I talked to a girl, who looked just about my age. Although we did not have the same mother language, she knew how to speak English, just a little bit. Amongst my tsunami-like questions, there was one question that I received an interesting respond.

“Who’s your favorite celebrity?”

Notice how I did not specify the nationality of her favorite celebrity.


This can be easily translated into “BigBang.”

Although the background music is the Korean version, the video itself consists of BigBang’s performance in Japan.

I was surprised, because an ordinary Japanese girl liked a Korean celebrity. This is a type of answer I would get from Korean teenaged girls. With a bit of bewilderment, I had to leave her. Then, I came across an advertisement with Korean celebrity on it. They probably don’t know how to speak Japanese, yet they are working for a Japanese company (or some other organizations). I took a step further, and ask my self: WHY would they want a Korean celebrity as their models? The answer was simple. Attractive Korean celebrities already occupied Japanese celebrity market, and hence, they favored to use Korean over Japanese. I have seldom heard of Korean wave (한류열풍), and that it is sweeping Japan, but it was simply amazing to experience it.

My family moved on to a different place, as we never like to stay at one place. This time we went to China Town. It was awesome to see “China” in Japan. A bit of ironical situation, but it was enjoyable. When we got through my shopping, we saw a huge market that resembled E-mart. Simply out of curiosity, we went in, and there I saw a Korean product. Rather than surprise, I knew precisely why it was there. Korean wave is sweeping Japan, and I think it is not limited to Japan. It will soon sweep the world; just wait until you see it, and gasp.

These are some pictures that I took from Japan trip. Some are self-centered, for I love taking pictures. It leaves reminiscences. Sometimes, it is more enjoyable to look back in to past; future is also unpredictable, but past is always there for me. It’s like my old friend.


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