Korean Wave

Hallyu is the Korean Wave.

Steadily since the 2000s South Korea have been steadily exporting music, movies, TV and culture to Asia and in similar effect, the west.

This wave has made significant ripples among the Asian cultures especially. Japanese audiences were “driven into a frenzy in 2004″(Ryoo, 2009)  by Korean produced TV drama “Winter Sonata”winter-sonata

The Japanese prime minister at the time has been quoted as saying, Bae Yong-Joon (Actor Pictured above) was more popular than he was. The TV show inspired haircuts and new clothes in Japan as well as Vietnam, Taiwan, and Uzbekistan.

Ryoo comments that Korea had be predominately protecting them selves from cultural dominance from Japan and China. Now Korea is the biggest exporter of Pop culture in Asia.

Just look back at Gangnam Style.

And don’t forget just how popular it still is.




PSY took Gangnam Style all across the world to the west. To memory this is the first Kpop song I ever heard.


In the 2013 Youtube Music Awards, Girl’s Generation won Video of the Year. This was among competition such as One Direction, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus.


Film is another part of the Korean Wave that is doing well. Movies like The Admiral: Roaring Currents are taking pieces common to western cinema and using them with Original Korean stories.

The film is the largest in the South Korean box office with more than 17 million admissions and grossing over $100 million US.

The Korean Wave is growing in all directions, exporting music movies and culture. The Asia pacific countries like Japan, Taiwan and China are the most heavily impacted so far, but it is clear that the K-Wave will be making more of an impact in the west as time goes on.




Ryoo, W. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave.Asian Journal of Communication,  139-142.