K-Pop girl group KARA were asked at a recent press conference what they thought about Takeshima/Dokdo.
Naturally, not being politicians, it is unfair to call on them in this way… but journalists are cruel and cannot resist stirring up a hornet’s nest.
KARA are on of several K-Pop bands who are active in Japan and have fans are both sides of the ocean. A wrong word on these thorny issues can alienate people forever.
Korean actors and music artists who work in Japan have been submitted to this trial recently, compared to “fumi-e” — where in the Tokugawa period, Shogunate authorities would test the faith of suspected Christian renegades by making them step on a picture of Christ or the Virgin Mary.
Many Korean celebrities have chosen the less of two evils, probably knowing how little thought mainstream Japanese seem to give to nationalism, and have given comments that the rocky outcrop is Korean territory.
KARA were holding a press conference in Seoul last Monday when the dreaded question was thrown at them. Apparently all five members’ faces changed immediately. The lead singer, Gyuri Park, chose her words carefully, saying how they were held in affection in Japan and it was their first time to come back to Korea and work in a while.
This skillful circumnavigation of the question, though, was greeted with derision by certain sections of the Korean press and internet. The girls were swiftly denounced as pro-Japanese traitors, whose only interest is making money in Japan and protecting their interests there.
All this fury and fuss over a few rocks in the sea…
KARA are just about to release a new album in Korea and are planning to do promotional work in their home country for a while.
No strange to controversy, KARA have previously had trouble with their management, with a changing line-up, and even with accusations from the government that they are just too sexy! Now they have the wrath of ultra-nationalists to deal with too! Hang in there, girls!
As much as we love Korea, K-Pop, Korean food and Korean girls, the continuing furore over the island of jagged rocks that is Takeshima/Dokdo has been causing some upsetting silliness over on the peninsular.
Now an internet has put up a sign in Korean and (bizarrely) English stating its refusal to allow Japanese would-be netizens from entering the premises.
Both Korean and Japanese online observers have been quick to point out that if the sign is not in Japanese, people will not understand it — or just won’t think to read it.
The sign displayed proudly at the internet cafe in Korea also says that Japanese patrons may enter if they “scream 3 times that Dokdo is Korean territory”.
To be fair, Japan has its own share of infamous “No foreigners allowed” signs — but these usually apply to white people (in particular, Russians) and black people, and are mostly confined to public baths in Hokkaido, where there have been problems with rowdy, non-Japanese speaking aliens.
There are also inumerable establishments where foreigners are not welcome, including Yakuza-friendly bars, many sex shops (though the myth that foreigners cannot visit fuzoku is, in our experience, just that, a myth), and the occasional club.
And to make matters worse, now Chinese protestors are getting angry again about Senkaku / Diaoyutai islands.
All this makes our lusting after hot Chinese and Korean girls very guilt-inducing!
We also found images of these signs from the Lake Hills Jeju Country Club a few years ago saying that Japanese are not welcome, though we are not sure if they are doctored or accurate.
Korean actress Oh In Hye and her amazing breasts became instantly famous when she stepped out, and they almost slipped out of an extremely revealing, bra-less orange dress that left almost nothing to the imagination during the 2011 BIFF (Busan International Film Festival).
Now Oh In Hye (b. 1987) has starred in Red Vacance Black Wedding, an erotic drama where Oh In Hye plays a femme fatale having an affair with an older man. There are two very graphic sex scenes that are awe-inspiring to watch.
Oh In Hye said, “I was really worried and I felt a lot of pressure shooting a nude bed scene in my first movie. However, I felt that I could trust Producer Park Chul Soo, and decided that the movie wasn’t about the nude scene — but rather, the nude scene was for the movie.”
It has long been an internal debate here — Korean versus Japanese girls — but one thing’s for sure. While most Japanese films and actresses avoid nudity (most but not all), over the water there are definitely no such qualms. Bae Doona, Hye-jeong Kang, Jun-Do Yeon and many others have done extremely sexy scenes.
Our favorite Korean sexy ladies, the indubitable and undefeatable Girls’ Generation (aka Shojo Jidai or SNSD) are going to perform tonight on the CBS talkshow, “The Late Show with David Letterman”. It’s apparently the first Korean music act to appear on mainstream American television!
Their five-minute set will feature “The Boys” (in English!), the title song of their third full length album. AKB48, eat your hearts out! The gals with the long legs are in charge and all your moe antics count for nothing against pure, unrestrained female sexiness!
Japanese pop stars better start pulling their act together otherwise the leaders of K-Pop are gonna rule the world. It’s significant, if you examine the stats for their YouTube videos, that viewers are coming from all over the world, and much more widely than say, rivals, AKB48, whose fan base is still almost irrevocably Japanese.
Much as I like to support my country, I’d have to say the Koreans have the upper hand in this fight.
*Update* Here’s a video of their performance! Almost a million views in less than 24 hours!
We really, really tried to resist the temptation to post something facile and silly about the recent demise of Kim Jong-il.
As you can see, after much inner wrangling… we failed spectacularly!
Having been married several times and fathered numerous kids, it’s no secret that Jong-il had an eye for the ladies…
No prizes for guessing the next leader.
But did you know Kim Jong-il had a second job as a DJ?
[See more of this great series here.]
Funny how so many in his country lacked food and yet their leader always seemed so well-fed.
Who says the North Koreans also can’t do manga?
Economic conditions can have unexpected results.
Any nighttime wanderer up Shibuya’s Dogenzaka, passing the eateries, convenience stores and family restaurants, may have been approached by woman — not usually the youngest — asking if they want a “massage”. Of course, this actually means a handjob or blow job, or maybe even full service. They hang around in small groups; sometimes a sleazy pimp is nearby.
The fact that they are even asking white foreigners shows that the recession is taking its toll. And I’ve always loved that the police station is in full sight and no one does a thing. These ladies, after all, are no working solo but have the protection of an, ahem, larger organization.
Of course, you can tell from their faces and accents that these ladies are Chinese or Korean. Most Japanese prostitutes — even call girls and full-service ladies — don’t hang around on street corners, since strictly speaking the full deal is illegal (hence why and soaplands sex parlors can be in such plain sight, as they officially do not offer penetration). You are taking a risk by being out in the open and anyway, it’s surely not pleasant anyway to screw salarymen all day, let alone advertising that you do it.
The Koreans are now said to be outnumbering the Chinese, since the strong yen is attracting woman hoping to make a fortune in the land of the rising currency.
Brokers in the peninsular bring the woman over on tourist visas, valid for ninety days. Korean police (the Japanese ones apparently aren’t interested!) recently investigated one broker who is said to have brought in over ten thousand women.
The brothels and fuzoku around Ugusuidani, an area in northeast Tokyo famed for its gazillion love hotels and sex parlors, apparently employs the most Koreans. The broker rents a small building — presumably in connection with the yakuza — and there his “staff” share accommodation.
After undergoing “tests” with Japanese men and building up a “profile”, they then work the streets or in a fuzoku. The woman typically take a forty percent cut of the cost of a session. Seems like they might make a sweet profit but remember, they have to pay back the broker’s costs: air far, board, phone rental, photography, maybe even plastic surgery. They are often in debt by several thousands of dollars. Lured by ads telling them they can earn up twenty thousand dollars a month, in fact it’s far, far less. They are in short, the unsung, unnoticed laborers supporting the Japanese recession.
Across the water in the Korean peninsular, it seems that even in the world’s most secretive state eros is playing her part in the revolution.
In some North Korean cities there are bars for leading labor and public safety body officials. However, these aren’t just any boring drinkery. The female staff strip for the chiefs and recently there are even female university students who are willing to sell themselves so that they have the money to afford mobile phones.
According to informed sources north of the border, last year in Pyongyang, a man took marijuana and then had group sex with girls. In North Pyongan province , close to the Chinese border, there are annually around 100 cases of prostitution. And those are just the ones the authorities know about!
There are stories of people being arrested for re-creating foreign porn movies and filming themselves. In March the North Korean police arrested perpetrators making and selling porn featuring girls in their twenties and thirties.
The porn apparently sells for ten times the monthly salary of an average worker. To combat the rise of pornography the government reformed the laws in 20009 so that importing, holding or distributing it can be punishable by between five and ten years’ forced labor. But the penalties are not having much effect.
I tell you what, I can’t wait to get my hands on some North Korean porn! Apparently there is one sold in Japan called “The Degradation of the Republic”.
Judging by the people’s republic’s traffic wardens (see above), I reckon those girls would be right goers!
All right, I know, this isn’t “Tokyo” kink but it sure is interesting! Fingers crossed that this kind of company policy makes its way here soon.
IBM in Korea has made a point in its recruitment policy of clarifying that gays, lesbians and bisexuals are very welcome to apply to work for the company. This might not sound like much but Korea has almost no gays in the public eye.
Actually, neither does Japan really, and we could well use a decent, respectable celebrity to come out. Of course, there are plenty of drag queens on TV but no one states the obvious — that these people are likely a sexual minority.
Famously celebrity Korean Hong Suk-chon came out as gay in 2000 but his career immediately evaporated. He faced ostracism from his fellow actors and even abuse on the street. Here in Japan I don’t think we would ever have that problem but people just don’t really know about gays. It’s kind of sweet ignorance rather than prejudice.
Hopefully this new policy means that there will be some sexy suited lesbian ladies manning the desks of the IBM Seoul office next time I visit the land of kimchi.
The battle of the Asian girl groups has reached a new level. The relatively newly formed SDN48, who are considered to be the bit older and sexier counterpart to AKB48, have recently armed themselves against sexy K-Pop group KARA.
According to Zakzak in Japan, SDN48 has employed a Korean song writer and added “Korean-esque” lyrics to their songs to battle the threat that is the K-Pop boom in Japan at the moment. Lyrics aside, the sexiness levels of both SDN48 and KARA is quite high, but as far as the Japanese public is concerned, KARA and their sexy hip dance is winning. Can SDN48 move out to the front of the girl group war with their gibberish song “Gagaga”? Will KARA continue to dominate with their young round behinds? Do any of us care so long as there are loads of barely legal sexy Asian girls dancing around in costumes that we could only dream about?
We have been quite happy with the current flow of sexy South Korean girl groups that have been appearing here in Japan as of late, but the South Korean government seems to think they are going over board in the sexiness category.
Korea has long stuck by the Confucian ideal of showing no cleavage and no mid drifts in the media. Since the K-Pop boom has come to Japan, these principals are coming into question. Some of the big offenders, by Korean standards, are Girls Generation who have become famous for their legendary sexy legs, Brown Eyed Girl which, has a higher average age than most K-Pop groups in Japan, has become famous for their playful ass shaking, and they young group KARA who did some racy ass shaking of their own in the music video “Mister”.
Here’s the version of KARA’s “Mister” that has recently appeared on Japanese television in Japanese.
According to Cyzo the Korean parliament has been questioning the sexiness of these groups as of late due to their popularity in Japan. Some would argue that since they are not in Korea the rules do not apply, but the Korean government is saying that is not the case. Whether in Korea or Japan they, the image they are projecting is not one the Korean parliament condones.
Laws have been changed in the last few years, prohibiting under aged women from being seen as sexy symbols. The age was changed from 12 to 15. Many Koreans don’t think that is enough, and that the age should be higher. The restrictions, as far as show business is concerned, include sexy costumes, lyrics and dancing. Seeing as Japan as long been known for allowing much younger women to be seen as sex symbols, some in Korea believe that the K-Pop groups are being coerced into changing their image for the Japanese public. One of the main cases in point is a member of KARA who is still underage according to Korean law. A source was stated as saying that if it is found that the girls were coerced to change, it could even become a matter of child abuse punishable by law.
Having standards in show business is all well and good, but why did these questions come up once the sexy ladies from Korea appeared in Japan. If you take a look at any videos from before the K-Pop boom in Japan, they are doing the exact same thing. Girls Generation still show off their long sexy legs and KARA does the exact same ass shaking tantalizing they are doing in Japan. So I guess the question is whether or not the Koreans are just trying to pin the bad influence of sex on Japan or if they are just embarrassed at the image the girls are creating over seas. A case of something that’s ok to do at home, but embarrassing to do the neighbor’s house. For the record, I have no problem with them doing it over at my house.
Presented by Tokyo Kinky