Essay: Confucian Culture and the ‘Korean Wave’
’Hallyu’ Korean Wave
Hallyu or the Korean wave is Chinese word, which was developed by their media in reference to the spreading of the Korean pop culture, which has risen rapidly through the media. Since the year 1997, Korean pop culture started to spread to the other Asian countries and especially China, but the word Hallyu was first used in the year 2001. The term refers to Korean movies, television dramas, internet games, movies, popular music and fashion.
There is a common background associated with the Confucian culture behind the spread of Korean popular culture called “Hallyu” (the Korean Wave) in many countries of East Asia. Though the wave started in the 1997, the press in China first recognized it in 2001 after it had become common to almost every Chinese. After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the Korean government decided to start exporting its pop culture as a way of earning foreign exchange. The government of that time was supportive and it invested money in the business to make sure that it succeeded.
In this paper, the Hallyu culture is viewed from two different perspectives, Hallyu substantialism and Hallyu faddism. I, based on the theories of cultural proximity, explored the possibility for the Confucian culture to have served as a catalyst for the dissemination of Hallyu culture in East Asia and discussed other facets of Hallyu culture that could not be explained by Confucianism-based cultural proximity. When cultural products are classified according to their types, some have nothing to do with Confucian culture, and none of East Asian countries can be characterized as a Confucian country or Confucian society. Therefore, it is not easy to clarify the relationship between Hallyu and Confucian culture.
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