Essay: Post-Confucian Hallyu
Cultural proximity, which is based on Confucian culture, does not explain Hallyu phenomenon in Asia as a whole. It seems that sometimes Hallyu has nothing to do with Confucian culture. For example, it was pop music groups such as H.O.T. who shook the minds of Chinese adolescents before Korean TV dramas won popularity in China, but their messages are far away from Confucian tradition or values. They just spread the Korean version of western popular songs. Accordingly, it is difficult to find out clear grounds for how big contribution Confucian culture has made to the advance of Hallyu items to China.
“It is true that Chinese feel sympathy for the familyish environment or the respect for the elderly appearing in Korean dramas, but it results from general Oriental emotion that it is human attachment, not from the re-discovery of Confucian culture. Large-family environment appearing in Korean dramas is just the nostalgia for their past days to old Chinese” (Han 130). In addition, most of the Korean dramas winning popularity in China are not the dramas that seem to reproduce Confucian cultural values, but the trendy dramas that seem quite far away from Confucian cultural tradition.
The findings of a study suggest that in the distribution of video materials among culturally proximate countries, they are more likely to feature cultural products where no cultural preference is revealed. “Rather than heavy legitimate dramas focused on history or traditional family relationships, the dramas featuring a contemporary and sensational love story give relatively less burden in exporting them abroad and actually lead to more export opportunities” (Park, J 41).