[KS] Korea-mania in China

cra10 at columbia.edu cra10 at columbia.edu
Wed Oct 3 09:51:36 EDT 2001

Dear all,

I recently returned from Beijing and was struck by the rampant craze 
there for all things (South) Korean. The Chinese term, "Da Han liu," 
is freely translated as "Korea-mania" in, for example, the nightly 
South Korean pop music hour on the music video channel "V". "Hanguo 
(Hanguk)," as opposed to "Chaoxian (Choson)," restaurants are 
ubiquitous and seem quite popular. And so on. Something 
similar is apparently happening in Vietnam, whose young 
people have also recently gone crazy over South Korean pop 
culture. In the case of China, this obviously is related to the 
burgeoning economic and political relations between the ROK and the 
PRC, the political incorrectness of showing too much affection for 
Japanese and Taiwanese pop culture (and thus Korea wins by default), 
and other issues. But I wonder if anyone has looked seriously into 
this and has attempted to explain why the craze has taken off so 
dramatically at this point in time. This seems to me a fascinating 
phenomenon of intra-Asian cultural relations, and probably the first 
instance of such a major export of Korean culture into the continent 
in modern history. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.


Charles K. Armstrong
Assistant Professor of History
Columbia University

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