Yukie Hirata. East Asian Pop Culture: Analysing the Korean Wave. Editor: Chua Beng Huat & Koichi Iwabuchi. Hong Kong University Press, 2008.
Korean pop culture has been spreading since the end of the 1990s, and the big boom of the Korean drama, Winter Sonata, brought a cultural and social phenomenon called the Korean Wave, or Hanryu, to Japan in 2004. As of 2005, Korean pop culture seems to have definitely taken root in Japan, and it is diversifying and changing. Examination of the Korean Wave indicates that media goods as well as people are moving across borders. The number of Japanese who traveled to Korea in 2004 recorded a growth of 35.5 percent compared to the previous year; people who are traveling to Korea, or “moving people,” are in the spotlight along with media products. The number of Japanese tourists who travel to the shooting locations of Winter Sonata have rapidly increased, particularly since the end of 2003, and most are women. Transnational drama consumption is causing women to move transnationally to visit these locations. Such transnational cultural traffic indicates changes in gender dynamics and inter-Asian cultural flows, relative to the imbalanced flows of mainly male travelers from Japan to the rest of Asia just a few years ago. It is emblematic of cultural traffic in Asia that is becoming more complex and diverse.
This chapter examines the effects of the Korean Wave, particularly in the field of tourism. First, it discusses gender politics and the postcolonial situation of Korea as a historical tourist destination for the Japanese. Second, it deals with the question of why women in particular are now traveling to Korea, facilitating and intensifying the Korean Wave. Thirdly, the change in Japanese tourists’ view of Korea following the change in gender dynamics and the boom in Korean popular culture since the 1990s will be discussed. The research is based on fieldwork and interviews with Japanese women who visited or planed to visit Chunchon, Seoul, Nami Island and Yonpyon, which were shooting locations for Winter Sonata. Moreover, this chapter focuses on the transnational consumption of dramas by Japanese women and what occurs in the process of a viewer turning into a tourist. Finally, this work discusses conditions concerning Hanryu tourism and its place in the history of Korean tourism from the perspective of gender.
Nostalgia, Gender, and Tourist Gaze
Saying tourism is the satisfaction of curiosity without considering socio-historical context risks guest-centered or tourist-centered thinking. When sociologists like Rojek (1985) and Wang (2000) argue generically for “the satisfaction of curiosity” in tourism or leisure theory, they do not take into account the tourist’s socio-economic status, such as ethnicity, class, or gender. In postcolonial situations, such as between Japan and Korea, subjects who are moving are often romanticized as steeped in “imperialist nostalgia” (Rosald 1989). In addition, such moving subjects were mostly men or masculinized, intentionally or otherwise. Women travelers were long ignored or their travels equated with consumption. However, many works by feminist scholars argue that women’s travels and their gaze, including their contact with others, differ from those of men because of women’s position in a male-dominated patriarchal society (Kim 2003; Ghose 1998). The ‘tourist gaze’ is thus closely related to the subject’s identity and position in time and space, including gender.
However, the tourist’s gaze includes complex contradictions that cannot be simplistically grasped as a dichotomy, i.e. by whether the gaze is male or female. For instance, Laura Mulvey (1975) discussed the relationship between gaze and media using psychoanalysis as a political weapon in her classic study titled “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema”, exposing the gaze in Hollywood movies as the male gaze. Her argument was criticized because it denied the subjectivity of women viewers and ignored their complex positions. Subsequently, Mulvey modified her argument, taking into consideration the possibility of an active female gaze. Bobo (1988) studied black female groups as viewers of The Color Purple and revealed how they were empowered through the text and in turn restructured the text. Mulvey’s modification and Bobo’s argument show that the subjectivity of media viewers is not just structured psychoanalytically but that there are moments in which it is actively constructed through various readings. Such feminist arguments have been raised in the field of media studies. What about in the field of tourism sociology?
In John Urry’s (1990) Tourist Gaze, an important text in tourism study, who specifically is gazing and his/her relationship with what is glimpsed were not discussed in detail. The identity of the one who is gazing was not problematized or, one might say, was unconsciously assumed as male. Indeed, in both existing literature and in itineraries, subjects who were moving had been presumed to be male, white, and heterosexual; static women emphasized against dynamic men (Leed 1991). In contrast, Ghose’s (1998) study of the gaze of English women who traveled to India in the 19th century find that their ‘gaze’ was very complex, ambivalent and fraught with contradictions, rather than a specific female gaze. She further argues that the ‘gaze’ of English women in India at the time was no different from that of men. Such arguments provide many useful suggestions when discussing the Japanese history of Korean tourism. In the historical context of Korea and Japan, what does ‘tourism’ to Korea by Japanese tourists mean and what kind of social impacts (including conflicts and frictions) does it cause? Moreover, what kinds of gazes do Japanese women construct?
Why Do Japanese Women Travel to Korea?
Winter Sonata, a Korean romance melodrama, starring Bae Yung Jun and Choi Ji Woo, was aired in Korea in 2002. In Japan, it was aired four times from 2003 to 2004. It dramatically changed the image of Korea in Japan. Viewers started to travel to the locations in Korea where the drama was shot. Most were women. Japanese women audience came into the media spotlight because of all the related activities that resulted from watching the drama.
Until 2003, Korea had been ‘male space’ for Japanese tourists. The first Japanese package tour took place in 1906. It was a colonial tour that belied the story of Japan territorial expansion in Manchuria and the Korean peninsula. One of the purposes of this imperialistic tour was to observe how Japanese superiority and empire would reveal themselves as the best of Asia. Therefore, the participants of the tour most likely tried to be rulers rather than tourists (Ariyama 2002). An ‘imperial gaze’ remained in Japan after the 1945 defeat in the Second World War. Within a gender dynamic, it emerged in the form of sex tourism by Japanese men, throughout Asia. Kisaeng tours of Korea were very popular among Japanese male tourists in the 1970s to 1980s. Kisaeng tours were characterized by an “international division of labour” (Mies 1986) that regards Japanese women as consumers or as a means of reproduction, and Korean women as commodities or workers. This was a period that displayed gendered imperialistic desires.
To the Japanese, Korea at the time was, according to Natsuo Sekikawa, “not a foreign country. That doesn’t mean Korea was our colony. Korea was just … an ambiguous place that is colored brown or khaki. It had no specific form. No one could envision the specific demeanor of Koreans. Although they are sensitive to the name Dae-Jun Kim, they have no idea about typical Koreans. Korea was a place where baser men went secretly in groups” (Sekikawa 1987, quoted in Chong 1995). So Korea was a men’s space haunted by guilt. Most Japanese women maintained an indifferent attitude towards this situation. However, they were not spared from such social and historical contexts. For example, one interviewee (40s) mentioned this image of Korea before seeing Winter Sonata:
My husband went to Korea numerous times on company trips and had Kisaeng parties. Because of that, my image of Korea was really negative. I knew nothing about Korea, but I didn’t have a positive image.
In this historical context, Korea was perceived negatively, particularly by Japanese women who now are in their 40s. Their experiences were very different from women in their 20s and 30s who, comparatively free from such historical context, gradually made inroads to Korean tourist destinations, encountered Korean pop culture, and came to know Koreans while studying abroad in the 1990s. An interviewee (30s), who consumed Korean pop culture since her college days in the beginning of the 1990s, vividly expresses this point:
People who are shocked by Winter Sonata now have previously had no interest in Korea or Asia at all. So I can understand that most of them are our mothers. They are greatly touched by the drama because they have different feelings [about Korea] than our generation. I remember being surprised like them when I was attracted to Korean pop culture. … So I don’t feel that Winter Sonata is very special. I think that Korean pop culture has finally become popular [in Japan].
This statement is targeted at women of comparatively older age groups, implying that the latter having become viewers of Winter Sonata, it seems logical that they would become tourists to Korea, as past ignorance and prejudice toward Korea are changed into a kind of ‘desire’ by dramas like Winter Sonata. However, the generalization or dichotomy that young generations have consumed Korean pop cultures and older generations did not have the opportunity to do the same should not be taken categorically. For example, one interviewee in her 50s said:
I didn’t start liking Korea with Winter Sonata but had liked it before. It is so interesting for me to travel to Korea. I have been to Korea with my daughter three times. So I watch Winter Sonata as one part of Korean culture.
Feminization of Korean Tourism and the Image of “Women’s Consumption”
Indeed, after the 1945 defeat, Japanese women started to make actual inroads in tourism to Korea but only did so in earnest around 1988, during the Seoul Olympics, an event that drew tourists generally. The proportion of women, which had not exceeded 10% prior to 1988, increased to 22% of all Japanese tourists arrivals in Korea in 1989. The number of Japanese women tourists continued to increase gradually in the 1990s. There are several reasons for this increase. First, it was partly directly connected to changes in social moods, i.e. the regional economic boom in Asia of the 1990s, which in turn engendered a boom in tourism in Asia. Second, Japanese women had gained upward social mobility through greater employment participation and economic power. Third, the approval for Japanese tourists to enter Korea without a visa in 1994 spurred tourism.
That the main target of Korean tourism shifted from Japanese men to women cannot be overlooked. To prepare for the Olympics, the Korean government strived for greater urbanization and modernization. As part of this effort, the Korean government tried to sweep away the image of Kisaeng tours, the dark side of modernization. By that time, Japanese women were beginning to be noticeable in Korean tourism. Posters and guidebooks published by Korean National Tourism Organization (KNTO) often depicted Japanese women shopping and in beauty salons in Korea. These images of Japanese women contributed to the removal of the negative image of Korea associated with Kisaeng tours. However, such representations obscured the realities of Japanese women tourists, of their ambivalent and complex attitudes and positions, and also obscured their gaze that was in a sense newly formed.
In my research on Japanese women in their 20s and 30s who live in urban areas and who traveled to Korea from 1994 to 2002, most toured Korea as a way to further their interests in Korea and things Korean, including visiting Korean friends they met abroad (Hirata 2003). Seen in their ‘gaze’ are the state of everyday life and temporal coevalness in which they recognize Korea as a contemporary. Such a new ‘gaze,’ noticeable among women, overcame the male-dominated imperialistic historical context, reflected new tendencies created by global consumer culture in the 1990s. This nascent trend of Japanese women traveling to Korea ballooned after the screening of Winter Sonata in 2003 and 2004.
The rise of Japanese women tourism was not only the result of the achievement of economic power or a sharp decrease in domestic work through mechanization. There were other reasons, including the difference and gendered inequalities between men and women in work and leisure. According to Baudrillard (1998), as leisure is constrained by time spent working, it is therefore not autonomous but defined by the absence of time spent working. A questionnaire survey in 2002, for instance, revealed that women could take more annual paid holidays than men because of men’s higher position in the bureaucracy. On the other hand, women who have economic power and are able to readily take holidays become a good target for tourism promotion; the lower social status of working women apparently motivates them to go abroad. The same can be said about women who have part-time jobs or who are full-time housewives. Significantly, Felski points out, the culture of consumerism, of which tourism is a part, “may undermine rather than simply consolidate certain forms of male authority.” Women’s desires and the culture of consumerism “reaches into and disrupts the sanctity of the private sphere, encouraging women to indulge in their own desires in defiance of their husbands and of traditional forms of moral and religious authority” (1995:74).
Touring the Shooting Locations for Winter Sonata and Japanese Women
Japanese Women ‘Reading’ Winter Sonata: Fiction or Reality?
This section looks at the reception of drama by Japanese women based on interviews. Almost all of the interviewees mentioned ‘closeness’ and ‘diversity’ as the attraction of the drama. Korean dramas, as Dong-Hoo Lee points out, were influenced by Japanese dramas, consciously or unconsciously; often with stories embodying global culture of consumerism. But of course at the same time it includes a local Korean context. Then how do Japanese audiences interpret the ‘closeness’ and ‘diversity’ mentioned? In other words, how do audiences receive and gaze at media texts in a transnational context?
First, Japanese women audience acknowledges that cultural differences between themselves and Koreans are reflected in a perception and acceptance of a ‘sense of oddness’: “All of the characters are very kind to each other, and I was also touched after watching the drama. Japanese drama represents too much ‘reality’ but Korean drama is really beautiful” (interviewee in her 30s). Foreignness of the Koreans was preserved.
Older interviewees often mentioned ‘family relationships’ in the drama as an attraction of Korean drama, in contrast to Japanese dramas targeting younger generation. In fact, parents of the main characters play important roles in Winter Sonata. A woman in her 50s who has two children said:
I really envy the family relationships in Winter Sonata because children take care of their parents … I was in awe of the family relationships in Korean dramas. It’s a really wonderful culture. Besides, there are no such dramas in Japan. I don’t know if there were in the past.
‘Family relationships’ represented by the Korean drama were seen as those which had been lost in Japan. Seeing Korean as Japan’s past evokes ‘nostalgia’ among the interviewees. This reflects a level of cultural intimacy that Japanese women derived from transnational consumption of Korean dramatic texts; Korean ‘other’ is uncannily consumed as the ‘same’ as the Japanese us (Iwabuchi 2001).
Interviewees who are over 40 years old, who longed for and were nostalgic for what Japan had lost, also longed for the specific ‘class’ that Bae Yong Jun, the main male character in Winter Sonata, represents. These women audience see him both as a person as well as the role in the drama. A fan in her 30s visited Korea to meet her Korean friend and stayed at the Plaza Hotel, one of Winter Sonata ‘s shooting locations. She expresses her attraction to Bae:
There is no man like him in Japan. Have you ever met a man like him? He is like a prince. But he might not be. We might be able to meet him somewhere. I feel very close to him.
The heterosexual attraction felt by the audience of the romantic story discloses simultaneously, a sense of intimacy and a sense of distance: “there is no one like him in Japan” yet “we might meet him somewhere [in Japan?]”. Such ambiguous feelings toward the dramatic text lead the audience gaze beyond the drama to ‘Korea’.
A woman in her 70s who had fled Korea in 1945 had intentionally kept her distance from Korea. She came to encounter Korean pop culture through Winter Sonata. Subsequently, she participated in small meetings once a month to study Korean culture, after being invited by a Korean woman living in Japan. In 2004, she visited Seoul and traveled to the place where she had lived in her childhood. Like this woman, many Japanese women noted that their prejudiced gaze towards Korea disappeared or softened once they encountered Korea’s cultural context beyond dramatic texts. Before moving on to examine such travels to Korea, it should be noted that the younger audience do not necessarily share the same attractions to the centrality of family in Korean dramas. For a woman in her 20s:
The family relationships are too deep. To be blunt, such relationships would be impossible in Japan. Of course I don’t want to be in such a deep family relationship. But it’s kind of attractive in that it is possible in Korea but not in Japan. Because it’s a foreign drama, the deep relationships are good and the fact that they aren’t possible [here] is a master stroke, eclipsing today’s Japanese dramas, which have no sense of “ooh, what’s going to happen”, no surprise, and no depth.
This type of audience in their 20s felt that such intense family relationships were ‘not possible’ in Japan, and more significantly they do not want it anyway. They seemed to be attracted to Korean drama by the ‘surprise’ that such relationships appeared to be possible in Korea.
The Discovery and Reproduction of “Images”
Reflecting the popularity of the drama, Winter Sonata tours were a great hit from the end of 2003 to 2005. KNTO organized a Hanryu marketing promoting team in 2003 and sought to profit by packaging and extending Hanryu from a media cultural phenomenon into the tourism, fashion, and shopping. The main targets were Japan and Chinese-speaking countries. In addition, there were women who traveled to the Hanryu locations by themselves. What do Japanese women gaze upon in their trips to Korea? And how are their gazes related to the shooting locations of Korean dramas?
Are there such beautiful men and women in Korea? Are there such fashionable places in Korea? Are there such beautiful scenes in Korea? Before watching the drama and visiting Korea, my image of Korea was “anti-Japanese sentiment, inferior goods, poverty, and filth”, but I didn’t know anything about Korea.
This is from a woman in her 50s who started her own website after participating in a Winter Sonata tour from Japan. In the website, she listed information about Winter Sonata shooting locations, as well as information about Korean traditional culture and customs. Her comments were indicative of the sea change in attitude towards Korea among the Japanese middle-age women audience of the drama.
There were three ways to tour shooting locations, and the audience/tourist gaze can be influenced by the method the tourist selected. One was to travel by oneself without a tour guide and scheduled plans, which is for tourists mainly in their 20s and 30s. Another was to participate in local tours, which is for tourists in their 20s to 70s. There were many local tours to Chunchon and Yonpyong, the two primary shooting locations, organized by city tour companies in Seoul. And lastly are the full package tours like ‘Loving Winter Sonata Tours’ organized from Japan; this is mainly for tourists over 40. My analysis will focus on local tours and individual tours to one location, Chunchon. The town held the symbolic position as the very beginning of Hanryu and had come to be called the ‘Mecca of Hanryu.’ Its image has been reproduced repetitively on the Internet by tourists who wrote about their experiences and magazines and newspapers constantly link it with Korean TV drama.
Local tours to Chunchon from Seoul were the most popular tours because there were one-day trips. There were still many tourists doing the day-trip in October 2005, though the peak had passed. Local tours to Chunchon and Nami Island start from Plaza Hotel to Nami Island, where Yu Jin and Chung Sang, the female and male lead characters respectively in the drama, dated. It then moved to Chunchon: Chunchon Station, where lead characters met their friends in their high school days; Chunchon High School which they attended; Chunchon Myongdong Street where Yu Jin waited for Chung Sang; the edge of Gonji River where they met for the first time; Chung Sang’s house; and Yu Jin’s house. Regardless of the tourist’s choice to travel individually or in a group, the route was the ‘standard’ tour, with little or no variation.
A woman traveling by herself before tours started in 2003 wrote her feelings of the trip:
I went to the shooting locations in Chunchon and Seoul. I was very satisfied with my trip. My plan was just to travel to Winter Sonata’s shooting locations and to feel the attractions of the drama. But I had the valuable experience of interacting with Koreans. I never felt ‘anti-Japanese sentiment’ from Koreans, but I met very kind ajossi and ajunma [Korean men and women], and also junior high school students who were interested in Japanese pop culture. I talked with a student on the train from Chunchon to Seoul. People I met were really attractive. (Yatabe 2003:154–155)
Another woman (40s) who had watched Winter Sonata and participated in a local tour to Chunchon in April 2004 said:
I am crazy for Bae Yong Jun. I participated in the local tour with my family. A full-package Winter Sonata tour [from Japan] does not include the shooting locations of other dramas like ‘Hotelier’ that Bae Yong Jun acted in. So I chose the local tour [that included the latter locations]. I didn’t know anything about Korea. Korean food is spicy. To know about a culture that I was unfamiliar with is interesting to me.
I had visited Seoul before but I didn’t know anything about Chunchon. If I hadn’t watched Winter Sonata I would have never known about or visited rural cities in Korea. I really wanted to visit because the scenes were really impressive in the drama. I didn’t know that there were such beautiful places in the country of Korea.
The first of these two women was a college graduate who had quit work after marrying and had one son. She started to learn how to use the Internet because of Winter Sonata. She also liked Shin Sunhoon (Korean famous singer) and went to his concert in October 2004, and since then she has become a fan of Korean pop music. The second woman, in her 30s, had visited Seoul before but did not feel drawn to it. However, she became interested in Korea again after watching Winter Sonata, and visited Korea with a friend.
Another fan in her 20s said:
Korea has conscription, doesn’t it? I think Korean men are attractive and have good bodies because of conscription. Bae Yong Jun is also goodlooking and attractive. I have read that conscription is really long.
The woman’s statement disclosed a mixed image of Korean men derived from the drama and the reality she saw while traveling. Indeed, all Korean men are conscripted into military service for 2 years. Her statement suggests that she sees reality through the drama, while showing no concern or even awareness of a divided Korea in a state of military standoff.
A woman who visited Chunchon in September 2005, which was relatively late in terms of the popularity of the tours, said:
I visited Chunchon for the first time, and felt nostalgic in comparison to Seoul. I wanted to go Chunchon once because Chunchon is so popular in Japan. A few years ago, I heard that Koreans called themselves a developing country and had the impression that it was inferior to Japan. But now such an image has completely disappeared. I feel affinity for Korea. I think this is because of Winter Sonata as well as what I can see in the faces of Koreans. I do not feel such affinity for England even though I lived in England for a year. (in her 30s, interviewed in 2005)
This woman who had visited Korea five times before had been interested in Korean pop culture since the mid-1990s. Her statement shows the changes in her attitude towards Korea and the changes in Korea.
Interviews in 2005 differed from those in 2004; those in 2005 used Korean words like ‘ajunma’ or ‘momchan’ naturally in their conversation. An interviewee in her 50s from a group of women studying the Korean language said:
Now time has passed Winter Sonata by, and Korean pop culture is becoming popular. In our group, E is still crazy for Bae Yong Jun, and we keep meeting with a Korean wife from the neighborhood to study Korean and Korean culture once a month. (interviewed in 2005)
This woman closed her website in the summer of 2005 but remains interested in Korea. I met her and her group in Seoul on March 2005; she was traveling on a local package tour so she could enjoy her free time even though she participated in a full package tour from Japan in 2004.
The changes in attitude and awareness of these women audience, of course, deserve analytic attention. The Japanese women audience-turned-tourists gaze upon Korea ‘symbolically’ while visiting the scenes they had seen on television. Such audiences do not remain within the framework of the drama; rather, the boundaries of the drama, everyday life, and tourism are blurred. Moving transnationally because of Winter Sonata had caused changes not only in their gaze of Korea but also in their everyday lives. This is apparent from their attitudes of comparing their everyday lives with Korean culture (i.e. family relationships), and their concerns about Korea beyond the drama. They had read the dramatic text differently from its original context and reconstruct its meaning. Also noteworthy is that the ‘space’ they use to exchange information about Korean culture and learning Korean is a ‘women’s space’ resulting from Winter Sonata and tours to Korea. Such were the dynamic processes by which Japanese audiences/tourists localized Winter Sonata, and other Korean drama. There is a double process at work: If audiences of Korean drama discover and rethink ‘Korea’, then as tourists they rediscover Korea.
The famous Japanese director, Kitano Takeshi, whose remarks about Korea were sometimes discussed by Korean netizens, suggested that Japanese women who traveled to Korea had certain similarities to Japanese men who traveled there to hold Kisaeng parties in the 1970s and the 1980s. His remarks showed a lack of consideration of the changed social and historical contexts of Korea and Japan, and the relations between the two nations. Moreover, unlike Japanese men’s sex tours, the drama/tourism cultural phenomenon did not consist only of a heterosexual desire for pure love on behalf of women, even if it is part of Hanryu. Neither was the relationship between a specific drama actor and his fans, as many Japanese female audience/tourists to Korea are not fans of particular Korean stars. Unlike the singular interest of Japanese male tourists, Japanese women who travel to shooting locations have a complex and varied gaze with respect to ‘the drama’ and ‘other aspects’ of Korea.
Incidents Surrounding Japanese Women as Viewers/Tourists
Tours to Korea were significant not only at the level of individuals but had also caused many social and political events, positive or negative, in which Japanese audience/tourists are sometimes unintentionally involved in postcolonial situations between Korea and Japan. There is no end to such cases; only one instance will be mentioned here.
In March 2005, the Council of Shimane Prefecture in Japan enacted a bill that designates 22 February as ‘Takeshima Day’; this was a symbolic gesture to lay claims on a set of islets, the Tokto Islets in the East Sea, that are under the control of South Korea. The Prefecture’s gesture raised anti-Japanese public opinion in Korea, leading the city of Chunchon, the ‘Mecca of Hanryu,’ to announce to its sister cities in Japan that formal exchanges were halted for an indefinite period. The staff of KNTO said with a distraught expression that “Japanese women who don’t know Korea well have no choice but to ask ‘why?’ But Chunchon’s response is necessary considering the historical facts about Korea and Japan.” However, the city simultaneously announced that political and private exchanges should be kept separate and Japanese tourists are very welcome; furthermore, public opinion suggested that “Hanryu tourism should be continued” for economic reasons in Korea. In the following month, about 2000 Japanese tourists visited Chunchon as part of tours to shooting locations for a Bae Yong Jun movie called April Snow, and the city and Gangwon Province extended a warm welcome to them. In this instance, the transnational space of Korean television drama confronted and was able to transcend or subvert the continuing uneasiness in international relations between Japan and its ex-colony, Korea.
Urry (1990) argues that the tourist gaze is based on a system of social behaviors and social symbols and that it “naturally includes the fantasy and expectation of new experiences”. However, fantasy and expectation of new experiences were not sufficient to explain the changes in the gaze of female Japanese tourists. Their tours of the shooting locations embraced a fiction concerning Winter Sonata, as they experienced directly the physical reality that is Korea. Given the history of colonization which had left a negative perception of Korea among the Japanese, the reality they see in Korea had severe consequences on the audience/tourist’s everyday life and on their approach to political and cultural problems between Korea and Japan, which transcended the space of tourism.
In the history of Japanese tourism to Korea, tours to shooting locations in Winter Sonata meant the diversification of Japanese tourists to Korea, following the feminization of tourism in the 1990s. The gaze of the Japanese women tourists can be characterized by as a process of encounter which included criticisms of Japanese attitudes of discrimination, prejudice, and ignorance with regard to Korea. In this sense, it included an approach to a shadow of Japanese modernity, regardless of whether it consciously included a large measure of colonial discourse. In a broader sense, it created a chance to reconsider the relationships between tourism and gender in a postcolonial situation.