The first wave of “hanryu” (Korean boom) in Japan started with the popular TV drama Winter Sonata broadcasted in 2003. The second boom came in 2009 along with Korean popular music K-POP. The popularity of Korean culture looked to have lost much of its momentum thereafter. Last November, however, the influential Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported the arrival of a third Korean boom in Japan, saying it was triggered by the popularity of “K-beauty” cosmetics. Riding on the latest boom are Korean foods, notably “cheese dakgalbi”, stir-fried spicy chicken served with melted cheese, which ranked top in a buzzwords contest sponsored in 2017 by a Tokyo-based marketing agency. With a focus on this cuisine, Hakumon Herald tried to look at the current Korean boom. (Editor)
Another “hanryu” (Korean boom) is spreading throughout Japan. The influential Chosun Ilbo reported last September, “The third Korean boom is going on in Japan.” The first boom was triggered in 2003 by the explosive popularity of TV drama Winter Sonata, followed by the second one in 2010-2011 which was kicked off by a rage of Korean pop music dubbed as “K-POP”.
Asked what Korea’s representative pickle is, almost everyone will mention kimchi. Available also at supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan, it may well be called a standard family dish. According to the news website “sirabee” run by HAKUHODO Inc., 60.9% of 45,000 Japanese males and females aged between 20s and 60s replied they like kimchi, indicating that many Japanese people are familiar with the food. The popularity of kimchi is not necessarily limited to Japan. As a matter of fact, kimjang, the traditional process of preparation and preservation of kimchi that takes place across Korea in late autumn, was registered as intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO in 2013. Kimchi is now a Korean dish well known all over the world just like Japan’s sushi.
Why is cheese dakgalbi so popular?
The Korean dish wins Buzzwords Contest
Have you ever heard of a dish called “cheese dakgalbi”? This is a Korean cuisine which has recently landed on Japan and gained popularity among women customers in particular. The word ranked top in the “things” category of JK and JC Buzzwords Contest 2017, announced by AMF (headquartered in Minato Ward, Tokyo) which provides marketing support for female junior and senior high school students. (JK and JC respectively mean female senior and junior high school students in Japanese.) This reporter tried to look into why cheese dakgalbi has become so popular in Japan.
My favorite Korean and Japanese dishes
Interviewing Korean students studying in Japan
Korean food is winning popularity in Japan in the current third hanryu (Korean boom). So, Hakumon Herald interviewed four Korean male students who study at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo and asked about their favorite Korean and Japanese dishes. They are Kim Hyeok Jun (aged 25 years old, Postgraduate Program at the Faculty of Economics), Choi Seong Rim (25, a third grader at the Faculty of Law), Jeong Yeon Jae (25, a fourth grader at the Faculty of Economics) and Hwang Soo Young (25, a third grader at the Faculty of Economics).