Document Type

Social Sciences



Submission Date

July 2017


On April 3, 2004, five thousand Japanese citizens arrived at Haneda, Tokyo Airport to meet famous Korean actor Bae Yong Joon: the male love interest in the Korean drama Winter Sonata (Lee 12). Commonly referred to as Yon-sama (roughly translated to “Prince Yon”), Bae Yong Joon quickly amassed a fanbase of love-struck, middle-aged Japanese women who fell in love with his character. Never before had the relationship between Japan and South Korea been as amicable as it had when Bae made his debut. Not even the 2002 jointly hosted World Cup had succeeded in easing tensions between the two neighboring countries.


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