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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