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Structure, Audience and Soft Power in East Asian Pop Culture$
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Beng Huat Chua

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139033

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139033.001.0001

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East Asian Pop Culture

East Asian Pop Culture

Mapping the Contours

(p.9) 1 East Asian Pop Culture
Structure, Audience and Soft Power in East Asian Pop Culture

Chua Beng Huat

Hong Kong University Press

Since the 1990s, there has been dense traffic of pop culture routinely crossing the national and cultural boundaries of East Asian countries of Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The unequal traffic is predominantly from Japan and Korea into ethnic-Chinese dominant locations, which has a historically long and well established production, distribution and exhibition network; Japan and Korea are primarily production-exporting nations, while China and Singapore as primarily importing-consumption ones, with Taiwan emerging as the production centre in Mandarin pop music and Hong Kong remaining as the primary production location of Chinese languages cinemas. Japanese and Korean pop culture are translated, dubbed or subtitled into a Chinese language in one of the ethnic-Chinese importing locations and then re-exported and circulated within the entire Chinese ‘diaspora’. The structures and processes that engender this transnational flow are the foundational to the emergence of an East Asian regional media cultural economy that increasingly see co-production of films and television dramas.

Keywords:   East Asian media cultural economy, transnational cultural traffic, Japanese trendy dramas, Korean Wave, Cantopop, Mandopop, pan-East Asian cinema

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