Korean Drama Winter Sonata in Japan Review

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The author Yoshitaka Mori writes a research paper with a topic “Winter Sonata and Cultural Practices of Active Fans in Japan: Considering Middle-Age Women as Cultural Agents”. In this research paper, the writer was based on interview research, by interviewing individual fans, the writer was focusing on how Winter Sonata was being watched and talked in Japan. Before, because of the colonial memories had been kept alive in Korea; Japanese politicians repeated blunders over issues that arise from the memories of the period, which makes the Japanese had a stereotypical image of Koreans, based on their childhood experience in Japan. However, after the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the image of Korea has dramatically changed in Japan, it created a new image representation of Korea, more developed and urbanized one than was previously supposed in Japan (Mori.Y, 2008). Through watching the drama, the Japanese re-organized and re-constructed their impression of Korea’s past.

According to the author, Winter Sonata is unique in the history of Japanese culture’s relationship with Korea in three senses:

  1.  It played a curricula role in reconsidering the cultural relationship between Korea and Japan,
  2. It made middle-aged women roughly between 30 and 70 years old, visible as its audience,
  3. It created more social and cultural practices in its fans’ everyday life. (Mori .Y, 2008)

Because of the success of Winter Sonata which gave a good opportunity to discover the importance of middle-aged women as active cultural agents.

Also, the author concluded three characteristic features after the interview – repetitive ways of watching, the intertextuality of Winter Sonata, and active fans as performers (Mori. Y, 2008). For repetitive watching, she found out that not only housewives, full-time workers also watch it repetitively, even though the drama was showed in dubbed voices. For the intertextuality of Winter Sonata, the interviewers pointed out that they constantly discover something new while watching the drama; Winter Sonata made them understand the background of Korean culture.

Thus, it encouraged them to learn more about Korean culture while enjoying the drama. Therefore, the writer argues that fans of Winter Sonata associated the story of Winter Sonata with other Korean stories, culture, history and even their personal experiences and memories while reading and watching other media. Lastly, for fans as a performer, the interviewers pointed out that the Japanese mainstream media depicts the stereotype of the Winter Sonata fan as a rich. However, it is wrong, they are not rich, but they used all their money on buying the products of Winter Sonata. As a result, the author concluded that the fans are performers, but not consumers.

In this though paper, I would like to analyze how Korean dramas help Korea develop tourism. According to Han, H. J., & Lee, J. S. (2008), the success of Hallyu in a broader sense can be tying it in with fashion, movie, and television industries, which can be attributed to the Korea government’s effort to promote tourism. Through the Korea drama which promotes Korean destinations and culture through various forms of entertainment, famous actors and actress. Also, according to Maala, J. (2017), the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) released the result of a survey it conducted among 3200 tourists who went to South Korea from Asia district and United State from the end of 2016 to early 2017.

Based on the survey, 55.6 percent of tourists went to South Korea after watching Korean dramas and films. The survey results show that Korean dramas and films have influenced foreign travelers to choose South Korea as their tourism destination. It also showed that more than half of the tourists decided to visit South Korea after watching Korean drama or Korean wave content. Therefore, providing detailed information on filming locations for recently-shot on dramas and movies where the main development of new tour programs. Due to the success of Winter Sonata, the filming place Nami Island had more than 111,400 foreign tourists visited the island in 2003. Because of the growth of Winter Sonata and Yonsama, the figure increased to almost 267,000 in 2004 and 270,000 in 2005.

As a result, it clearly shows that the drama and the actor and actress affect greatly contributed to inducing the flow of tourism to the targeted destinations. The drama Winter Sonata has yielded in Japan was how it helped the relationship between Korea and Japan; it wiped out negative images of Korea from the minds of many Japanese and served to create renewed momentum for the two countries to maintain friendlier relations (Han, H. J., & Lee, J. S. 2008). This improvement helps the number of Japanese tourists in Korea.

In conclusion, Winter Sonata is the first drama that being a success in Japan and Worldwide. This drama helps Korea wiped out negative images from the minds of many Japanese, which encourage Japanese to in touch with Korean culture. Through watching the drama, the Japanese re-organized and re-constructed their impression of Korea’s past. Lastly, the success of Korea drama or Korean wave, it influenced tourism in South Korea. The spread of Korean drama, more tourists choose to travel to South Korea not only visiting the filming location but also learning Korean culture.

Cite this paper

Korean Drama Winter Sonata in Japan Review. (2021, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/korean-drama-winter-sonata-in-japan/



Where was Winter Sonata filmed?
Winter Sonata was filmed primarily in South Korea, with locations including Nami Island, Chuncheon, and Gangwon Province.
Why is Winter Sonata so popular?
Winter Sonata is popular because it is a classic love story. The story is about two people who fall in love and then are separated by a tragic event.
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