Celebration of Scholarship, Creativity & Achievement

Gillianne Lux

Cool Japan and the Hallyu Wave: The Effect of Popular Culture Exports on National Image and Soft Power

Project Description

Japan used its export of pop culture in the post-war era not only to boost its economy but also as a means to improve its national image and project its soft power. Japanese pop culture exports emphasized a positive, non-threatening image of national culture. Though Japan’s pop culture export boom has been enormously successful, it has not been able to completely overcome its problematic past and erase historical tensions with Korea and other Asian nations. The pop culture boom has redefined Japan’s national image but not entirely. Contradictions between Japan’s curated image and actual reality, especially in the case of indigenous and ethnic minorities, also pose a challenge to Japan’s efforts to create a positive national image based on peaceful coexistence. Korea’s Hallyu Wave has been garnering more popularity and attention. The Hallyu Wave has innovative products and methods to spread South Korean pop-culture, it is use to create better relations with countries worldwide. It is similar to Japan’s Pop-Culture Boom because the Hallyu Wave aims to promote the most positive national and international image of South Korea.

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International Relations and East Asian Studies

Faculty Advisor

Rebecca Evans and Matthew Mizenko