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Soft Power of Korean Popular Culture in Japan: K-Pop Avid Fandom in Tokyo


  • Dinara Kozhakhmetova

Summary, in English

Korean Wave is a new phenomenon which signifies the spread of Korean popular culture in East Asia with Japan as a centre. The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of Japanese youths who consumes K-Pop on the subject of their feelings towards South Korea and Korean society in the theoretical framework of soft power. With the findings of the one and a half month fieldwork in Tokyo, this study aims to answer the question if the consumption of Korean popular culture by Japanese youths affects their perception about South Korea and Korean society, the way it affects it and what are the main factors producing affection. With the cautious remark of little scope of generalizing, the findings conclude that the constant consumption of Korean popular cultural products (mostly pop-music) indeed affects the perception of Japanese youths regarding South Korea in a positive way, urging the consumers to travel to South Korea, learn the language and build social networks with the Koreans. However, this spread of Korean popular culture has been generated with strong policies of the Korean government and it is worth noting that this strong involvement might lead to the Korean wave’s demise.

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Social Sciences


  • Korean Wave
  • soft power
  • Japanese youths
  • audio-visual production
  • anti-K-pop backlash


  • Karl Gustafsson (PhD)