Actually, both TV and radio are 24/7 ads. The so-called "programming" is always made with consideration towards sponsors and the rest of TV is made to fit around advertising time.
You never know if anything is real.
Over these last few years, there has been a "Korean Boom" in Japan. Is it real or fake?
I remember many years ago, I was a regular on a TV program for kids, and they had a Yo-Yo company come on the show and tell us that there was a "Yo-yo boom happening in Japan."
I thought that was absolute poppy-cock. I had two daughters in elementary school and asked them about this so-called Yo-yo boom. They didn't know anything about it.
It figured. This boom was manufactured by the toy company sponsor who made Yo-yo's and wanted the TV station to help them sell product. The toy company bought advertising on the TV station, they got together to figure out how to sell more product, and, Boom! Er, I mean, Whammo! A Yo-yo "boom" was born.
Yes, it was a boom. A manufactured boom, but a boom nonetheless. These types of booms are repeated over and over on the mass media. That's why you can't believe anything you see/hear.
People are lead by the nose by the mass media and people, for the most part, are not educated enough to know that they are being brainwashed.
Now, in Japan, we have a Korean Pop star boom.
As Metropolis magazine reports:
"..the past couple of years have seen Korean pop culture make inroads into demographics that Yon-sama could never reach. Although TV dramas still enjoy a strong following here, it’s now pop music that’s leading the charge, and winning over hordes of younger female fans in the process."
I used to think this was totally BS, but now, have softened my thinking. I know that the media helped create and report this boom. I know that they - as the media is wont to do - sensationalized it.
Of course, if this wasn't a big business proposition between Korean and Japanese companies and cooperation, then this boom would have would never happened in Japan. If this wasn't big business with massive amounts of money changing hands, then this boom would have never happened.
But just because this came about through massive spending and promotion, does that mean it is bad? In this case, I don't think so.
My opinion on this Korean boom became more sympathetic when I took my 16-year-old daughter to a beautiful shrine in Narita (see photos here). Near the shrine, there was a small booth that sold merchandise that featured famous pop stars and singing idols. My daughter yelled, "Stop Daddy! I want to look!" when she saw a photo of her favorite new stars. They are a group named "Big Bang."
The mere fact that there was a booth near a Japanese shrine out in the country selling these types of goods, shows me their mass audience appeal.
I'd never heard of Big Bang. My daughter loved them. She started telling me all about them. I figured they were the newest Japanese boy group, but no! They were a new Korean boy group! I was so surprised that my daughter was such a big fan of Korean pop stars. I inquired and she told me that all her friends at school loved this group.
I asked her if they sang in Japanese or Korean and she said, "Japanese!" I also asked her if their pronunciation was funny and she replied, "A little bit. But that is what makes them so cute!"
Wow! OK. If my 16-year-old daughter - who goes to regular Japanese public school - and likes this Korean pop group - and all her Japanese friends do too, then there is something special there - even if it is a mass media manufactured boom.
I had always skeptically thought that this Korean boom was a big-business manufactured boom. Now, I am convinced it is. But, in this case, for once, I am not skeptical. For once, I give my total and complete blessing and think this is a good thing.
Why? Japan and Korea has had enough trouble through their long histories and there are many older Japanese who hate Koreans and vice versa. There's probably no way to make these people friends.
But music is a special thing. Music brings people together. Young people don't remember the wars. Young people like music.
Imperial Japanese troops in 1900..
Replace the above with...
(Korean Girl Pop "Kara" in front of Japanese fans)
If we can use music to make the young Japanese and the young Koreans to become friendly to each other, to create harmony, understanding and to eliminate hate, then I'm all for it....
It's OK that someone makes a ton of money doing this. It is the best way. The free market is showing us a better way and if someone can foster peace and better understanding amongst people, while making a good living doing it, then I'm all for it.
Heck, I wish I managed a Korean pop group.
It is a great thing that the free market can bring peace and understanding and people together... 100's of years of hate, war and death show us what the government's efforts have brought us over the years.
Cheers for the Korean pop boom in Japan. Cheers for the free market.
I wonder if it's too late for a Frank Sinatra-type crooner (me) in Korea?