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Chinese embrace `Gangnam Style,` Japanese kept in the dark

Chinese embrace `Gangnam Style,` Japanese kept in the dark

Posted October. 06, 2012 05:19,   


Rapper Psy`s global smash "Gangnam Style" has belatedly swept across China. The song, however, received a frosty response from Japan due to a bilateral diplomatic conflict with Korea.

When the song went viral across the globe, Chinese netizens remained lukewarm on the hit. Things began to change over the Golden Week Holidays (Oct. 1-8), however, and Chinese finally began responding with explosive enthusiasm.

More Chinese came to know “Gangnam Style” after major state-run media such as China Central TV, People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency recently reported on the hit.

As of Friday, a "Gangnam Style" parody titled “The Chinese version of `Gangnam Style` by a girl” and posted on the Chinese video-sharing website Yuku (優酷) received about nine million views in 16 days. In the video, the girl sings the song in Chinese and many periodic scenes of Psy’s music video appear, including the horse-riding dance, luxury cars, a man wearing glasses and girls in miniskirts. Instead of the original lyric “Oppan Gangnam style,” the girl sings, “Oppan China style.”

“Gangnam Style by Stephen Chow” recorded 2.3 million views in 12 days. The video features scenes from a movie starring Hong Kong actor and director Stephen Chow Sing Chi, who is famous for comedies.

The Beijing Evening News also reported Thursday that the hottest video on the Internet over Golden Week was Psy`s "Gangnam Style."

In Japan, however, people have shown little interest in the Korean hit. Most Japanese have no idea what "Gangnam Style" is because Japanese media have rarely mentioned the phenomenon, and no Japanese version of the song has been made.

The leading daily Mainichi Shimbun on Friday featured Psy’s song in the article, “Close to #1 in the U.S.,” but gave just a brief mention about his concert at Seoul Plaza the previous day that was broadcast worldwide and the song’s position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Over the past month, Japanese media rarely reported about "Gangnam Style" fever. As a result, Japanese are familiar with Korean actors such as Bae Yong-jun, aka Yonsama, and Jang Geun-seok but hardly know Psy.

YouTube said people in more countries than the number of United Nations member states have accessed the "Gangnam Style" video. From July 15, when the music video was uploaded on the site, to Sept. 28, the video was accessed people in 222 countries, more than the 193 member countries of the U.N.

mungchii@donga.com lovesong@donga.com