The Other Side of Lost in Translation


How Japanese see Koreans #2

In early '70s, there was a sudden outbreak of..,
well, outbreak of the popularity of Chinese singers in JapanLand.
First, a very sexy & soulful Tiwanese singer called Ou Yang Fei Fei,
then, a cute young idol singer from Hong Kong called Agnes Chan.
As both of them became very popular,
subsequently Japanese record companies and agencies sent
lots of scoutmen to Taiwan and Hong Kong
to hail new cuties and beauties.

It was not only singers, in '70s there was a young Chinese-Japanese actress called Bunjak Hung was also popular.

Then, in '79, this song by Judy Ongg became a phenomenal hit.
She was born in Taiwan, moved to Japan when she was two,
and already a child star during '60s.

In mid '80 Teresa Teng became a super star,
not only in Japan but also all over Asia,
though she originally came to Japan in '73 from Taiwan,
and had a few hits during '70.
Then she was deported in '79 as she used a fake passport
and could not get in Japan till '84.
But after that, just hit after hit after hit.

Japanese considered these Chienes entertainers as exotic beauties.
And the interesting thing was that
no Korean entertainer could acomplish a success like these
as a Korean till a recent time.
Since late '70s
a few Korean Enka(traditional style Japanese popular ballds) singers
had achieved some sucess in Japan.
However, still at that time, I could hardly imagine
the day would come that Japanse young kids idolize
young Korean pop stars like they do now.

Though even in '70s, there were some successful
Korean-Japanese entertainters.
But they had to use Japanese names and hide their identities
like Jewish entertainters do in U.S.
Interestingly enough Japanese had prejudices
toward both Chinese and Koreans,
then how come only Chinese were accepted but Koreans were not?
Well, Chinese were Novelties for Japanese
as not many of them lived in Japan.
On the other hand, Korean-Japanese could be threats for Japanese
as a significant number of them were living in Japan.
The same logic can work in U.S. as well.
"One Black family in a White neighborhood is a novelty
but two of them are the begining of a Ghetto."

Yes, in a way, Chinese entertainers were accepted as they are.
However, think about it, they were all females
because womens were/are less threatening for the majority.

Here is a very popular Korean-Japanese singer, Akiko Wada.
She has been singing since early '70s
and considered a Japanese Soul singer
though she did not reveal her identity till a recent time.

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