Originators of Korean Wave Still Loved in Japan

Sept 12, 2006

Four Korean actors who are considered the originators of the Korean Wave, or Korean pop culture craze, have been found to still be the favorites among Japanese fans.

In its internet edition on Monday, the Japanese entertainment magazine Oricon Style announced the results of its survey of Japanese people between their teens and 40s that asked, "Who is your favorite Korean actor and actress?" The announcement came in the wake of the news that the recent Korean movie "The Host" is drawing global attention.

Bae Yong-joon, who stole the hearts of Japanese women with his role in "Winter Sonata," was chosen as the most popular Korean male star. He was praised for his sincere and caring attitude toward his fans and his "killer" smile. Following Bae were Jang Dong-kun, whose tough image was cited as his charm, Lee Byung-hun and Won Bin.

The magazine said that it has been three years since the Korean Wave hit the island country, but the four Korean stars have been enjoying unchanging popularity.

Choi Ji-woo, known as Jiwoo hime ("princess"), was cited as the most loved Korean actress for her beautiful appearance and sophisticated style. Yoon Son-ha, who is working in Japan, took second place due to unwavering support from her male fans, followed by Lee Young-ae.

Meanwhile, Oricon Style posed the same question to Koreans, who chose Jang Dong-kun and Son Ye-jin as their favorite actor and actress, respectively.

Source: KBS Global