12:04 pm - 06/25/2012

K-Pop 'boom' faltering in Japan, 70% of housewives dislike Hallyu

Recently, a shadow has been cast over K-Pop in Japan and it has become obvious to the public, but new groups keep popping up one after the other in Japan. These include A-JAX, who only debuted this year in Korea, MYNAME, who are attached to a Yoshimoto management & promotion, etc. as well as Wonder Girls, who are debuting in July and have been exaggerated as "the last major K-Pop star!," have sprung up like bamboo shoots after the rain (T/N: this is a Japanese saying that expresses similar things popping up in succession). But to this extent is K-Pop really that popular anymore in Japan? Is K-Pop still selling in Japan? We take a look at the Oricon charts to try to understand.

First of all, when one says "K-Pop girl groups," KARA and Shojojidai immediately come to mind. They have been a leading force in the Korean boom. Looking at the charts, the spark that caught KARA's careers on fire in Japan, the single "Mister," hit #5 as did "Jumping" and "Jet Coaster Love" snagged the top spot. Their next singles failed to hit #1, but they all ranked within the top 3. Their albums, "Girls Talk" and "Super Girl" both hit #2 and #1 respectively. "Super Girl" raked in 200 million yen (2.48 million USD).

Shojojidai have also seen major success with their singles, "Genie" (#4), "Gee" (#2), "MR. TAXI/Run Devil Run" (#2) and their albums, "GIRLS' GENERATION" and "The Boys" both hit #2. Though it hasn't hit #1, "GIRLS' GENERATION" went on to ship a million copies and make 290 million yen (3.6 million USD). The two acts have proven to be impossible to match and they have been incredibly popular. Therefore "the K-Pop boom cannot be a lie," might be said. However, a Korean entertainment journalist has something to point out.

"Certainly, KARA and Shojojidai's sales power is amazing. And Tohoshinki also sells. But that's it. Other groups cannot hit it big. For example, Brown Eyed Girls and their single 'SIGN' which ranked at #24 and their album 'Sound-G' hitting #54. 4Minute's highest charting single, 'WHY,' tried with all its might but only managed to get to #17. And Secret and After School, who debuted spectacularly, aren't able to crack the top 10 with their albums and singles. We simply cannot call this a boom. However, we in the magazine industry have to sell our magazines. So we insist with our exaggerations about how it's a huge boom."

And then there are the groups who have reached #1. For example T-ara, who debuted in Japan with "Bo Peep Bo Peep" and hit #1 weekly. However, their second single, "yayaya" only reached #7, not seeing the same support their debut received and their popularity has been on a downward curve. 2NE1's album, "NOLZA" also reached #1 in Japan, but only sold 48,000 copies. These certainly are underwhelming numbers for a so-called "boom."

"In terms of the charts, with proper organizations to get your CD sold, hitting #1 with your initial try is not hard for them. It seems that that strategy is the pride of K-Pop. The proof of that system of chart acquisition can be seen in the fact that these groups don't chart for very long, and in the end the overall sales are less than satisfactory."

A think tank related to Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank have addressed the subject at their general research institute with a study of the public entitled, "Consumption of Korean Wave." When one looks at the results of the research, the emptiness in the "K-Pop Boom" movement becomes evident. 70% of all homemakers who responded to the survey said that they, "Do not like the Korean Wave."

Netizens who saw the study said, "K-Pop has yet to permeate Japanese society, and in short, it's nothing more than a boom fabricated by the media. This has become abundantly clear."

The think tank reported, "The rearing of K-Pop's head has commenced with the push of Korean food and cosmetics, as well as other Korean products. Newspapers now publish information about Korean dramas in anticipation of a huge response, but it always ends up below expectations."

Certainly besides the particular cases of Shojojidai and KARA, it seems clear that there is little substance to the claims that K-Pop really is booming.

Source - Cyzo
Translation - qummydino

this is devastating for such established groups.. omg.. but just wait til B1A4 aka the male KARA hits Japan!
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thebluemonk 25th-Jun-2012 07:36 am (UTC)
Stick a fork in it, K-Pop is done.

tearing down all my posters now.
sonicphotonic 25th-Jun-2012 07:37 am (UTC)
I thought kpop wasn't aimed at Japanese housewives, though?
bishieaddict 25th-Jun-2012 10:32 am (UTC)
Mte. It's aimed for teenagers. They should have asked them. Lol
minwhore 25th-Jun-2012 07:44 am (UTC)
honestly how are netizens just realizing this...?
bmo 25th-Jun-2012 07:46 am (UTC)
theres been like a million articles on this. this is probably not a popular article but if it is i guess ppl like talking about it???
bmo 25th-Jun-2012 07:45 am (UTC)
w/e! i rly think nana has what it takes to become a huge model in japan and hopefully itll help the group too~ idc about the other groups :c
zoetheslacker 25th-Jun-2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
i'll give it to her for being hot and having that nippon feel, but the Japanese model market i believe is far more diversified and "exotic" than what she could offer.

tbh, i could never point her out from the throngs of female idols other than by "is she the one who look japanese?"

askbask 25th-Jun-2012 07:50 am (UTC)
A select few groups/artists make it big. SNSD, Kara, TVXQ, earlier BoA. Others fall in line with mid or low-tier local artists and sell some, but not much, and won't be part of the mainstream's conciousness. They still have the potential of earning money in their Japanese ventures, however, and won't necessarily have ambitions of being top dogs anyway. I don't see why a) they have to be hyped up as 'taking over' Japanese charts when they don't and b) have to be doomed as failures for expanding their markets beyond Korea, even if they don't become superstars and top the Oricon. Some nuance, please. Promoting your music in other countries isn't a big deal.

Edited at 2012-06-25 07:50 am (UTC)
annhh 25th-Jun-2012 10:11 am (UTC)

crying out loud
la_geni 25th-Jun-2012 07:50 am (UTC)
Bom's face, though.
kane_0306 25th-Jun-2012 07:55 am (UTC)
i've seen many articles about how most of japanese ppl dislike hallyu. but i'm still wondering why KARA, SJJD, and TVXQ have big sales. then some ppl said because their korean fandom helping the sales, esp SJJD. is it true? /shrugs
erbalurbal 25th-Jun-2012 08:32 am (UTC)
compare their japanese sales to their korean sales and you will have your answer
hisjulliet 25th-Jun-2012 07:59 am (UTC)
it was gonna happen eventually
blkjck 25th-Jun-2012 07:59 am (UTC)
aww thats too bad
best of luck to b1a4
benihime99 25th-Jun-2012 08:24 am (UTC)

How are people only realizing this now?
xxmannequin 25th-Jun-2012 08:49 am (UTC)
I wish that agencies, as every agency that is trying out the Japanese market, would be much more careful with their approach. (But yeah, that's never gonna happen) I mean, I can definitely understand if Japanese people are stuffed with kpop because the new groups just keep popping out bringing nothing new but recycled stuff (not to mention any harsh words), and believe me I know when something similar to Kpop is trying to break in another country, you just can't hide from it lol. It's everywhere, and especially as the journalist said they constantly need to write in Kpop's favor, which just causes the hate.
lee_chikin 25th-Jun-2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
ashiva 25th-Jun-2012 09:13 am (UTC)
Whatever, Big Bang won't probably ever sell 200,000 copies any of their album/single in Japan, but they'll be still raking in the money through concerts. You don't need to be on very top to make some nice cash in Japan.

Also Japanese housewives aren't anymore the target segment for kpop and Korean dramas, but instead teen and 20-something single girls are the ones targeted.

Edited at 2012-06-25 09:16 am (UTC)
decimatedreams 26th-Jun-2012 03:00 am (UTC)
housewives are very much the target for korean dramas. most kdramas come on during afternoon/daytime slots... aka housewife time
dilettantka 25th-Jun-2012 10:07 am (UTC)
Something that was excessively hyped due to the conflation of promotion with news has now been revealed to have been excessively hyped... fascinating! Meanwhile, artists who aren't "relevant" will continue to make a decent income playing small lives and selling a small number of CDs in Japan. The articles gloating over the downfall of K-Pop are almost as silly as the ones who make it into something it's not (a momentarily trendy niche market).
chimpansee 25th-Jun-2012 10:09 am (UTC)
Aren't Japanese housewives the target of kdramas as well?
bishieaddict 25th-Jun-2012 10:34 am (UTC)
Kpop is exaggerated but I don't think it will stop groups from trying the overseas market.
my_faux_pas 25th-Jun-2012 12:58 pm (UTC)
Japan will forever love Tohoshinki and probably acknowledge other kpop groups. All other kpop groups try, but they'll probably fail miserably.

And though JYJ haven't been promoting in Japan, look at them slaying those Japanese fans by letting them fly to Korea for a fanmeet. I mean really.
(forgive me, it's probably my bias talking, but let's face it, it is true)
asnindie 25th-Jun-2012 01:06 pm (UTC)
Don't want to start wank but Kara and Soshi shipped over a million albums, nothing to scoff at.
falling_empress 25th-Jun-2012 01:03 pm (UTC)
The only thing I'm getting from this article is that Japan hates Koreans and don't want them "infiltrating" their country.
lee_chikin 25th-Jun-2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
Uh? I only gathered that the Japanese market is saturated with too many new korean acts all at once.
asnindie 25th-Jun-2012 01:04 pm (UTC)
Well hallo there Captain Obvious.

I don't get what the problem with promoting is, I have an issue with fans thinking their bias should hit it big from the get go but that's not how it works. You carry on working to gain success. Dumbass article.
mjspice 25th-Jun-2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
ideservestars 26th-Jun-2012 12:38 am (UTC)
you need to learn your fandom
aleexnews 25th-Jun-2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
4flop has always flopped in Japan so no surprise there. ik kpop groups are just trying to make a quick buck in Japan and that for some groups getting 50k sales is already an accomplishment so they can keep doing it as long as it's bringing in money but if they keep on trying and sales are not even on the same level of the label paid for the promotion then they're losing and not gaining anything and should just stop imo. either way I can't wait till this jpn invasion is over, so sick of all the groups leaving for Japan and BB releasing better shit for Japan than for Korea, though they have a stable fanbase by now and sell well so I don't see YG stopping them anytime soon. he should stop trying with 2ne1 tho, not gonna happen.
iamtheliquorr 25th-Jun-2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
iawtc tbh
kyuhyunss 25th-Jun-2012 05:04 pm (UTC)
Poor Bommie and Dara! :(

That photo made me sad imo.
tokadah 25th-Jun-2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
anyone that follows F.cuz can explain to me what Yejun is tweeting showing Drawing Heart being #1... is it some chart or what is it?
ideservestars 26th-Jun-2012 12:36 am (UTC)
hello please tell me something i didn't know. like it didn't take someone who wasn't in denial to realize that kpop can only make it in sk
kanaala 26th-Jun-2012 03:26 am (UTC)
give it one more year.. after that most groups will disappear from the Japanese market... (except for the obvious KARA, SNSD and such)
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