Korea Stylee covers everything Korean. A first printing of 50,000 issues went up on the book store racks on Sept. 12, though it already had 5,000 subscribers who found it on the Internet.
Wani Books, the magazine’s Japanese publisher, felt the time was right for Korea Style to get more exposure.
“Coming from Korea as it does, it has both an immediacy and depth of knowledge that magazines published in Japan about Korea lack,” says Yoshimoto Miri of Wani Books. “It’s very strong on such things as natural cosmetics, things like makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and has a lot of ads from Korean manufacturers that Japanese readers probably have never seen.”
Plans are to distribute it nationally through Wani Books’ distribution channels. Japan is in the middle of a Korea boom with interest in its neighbor growing by leaps and bounds. Korean dramas are on most TV channels, Korean language classes are packed and Korean actors can be seen pushing everything from instant noodles to eyeglasses in Japanese TV commercials.
But there is also a down side to Japan’s Korea boom too. Japan has had its first anti-Korean flash demonstrations organized on the Internet through the 2Channel chat board. Recently several thousand people took part in a demonstration against a prevalence of Korean shows on TV in Tokyo’s Odaiba district in front of the Fuji TV headquarters.
Some Japanese, and perhaps many more Koreans, continue to have ambivalent feelings toward each other, but the launching of Korean Style shows how much the Japanese are finding in Korea, a neighbor they feel comfortable with and respect.