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SOUTHKOREA-JAPAN/KPOP
RTX6TUUQ
April 30, 2019
Yuuka Hasumi put high school in Japan on hold and flew to South Korea to try her chances at becoming...
Seoul, South Korea
The Wider Image: K-Pop stardom lures Japanese youth to Korea despite diplomatic chill
Yuuka Hasumi put high school in Japan on hold and flew to South Korea to try her chances at becoming a K-pop star, even if that means long hours of vocal and dance training, no privacy, no boyfriend, and even no phone. Hasumi, 17, joined Acopia School in Seoul, a prep school offering young Japanese a shot at K-pop stardom, teaching them the dance moves, the songs and also the language. She is one of an estimated one million other K-pop star wannabes, from South Korea and abroad, hoping to get a shot at super competitive auditions by major talent agencies that will take on just a select few as "trainees". Hasumi is one of 500 or so young Japanese who join Acopia each year, paying up to $3,000 a month for training and board. The school also fixes auditions for its candidates with talent management companies that have been the driving force behind the "Korean-wave" pop culture that exploded onto the world stage in the past decade with acts such as global chart topping boy band BTS. The influx of Japanese talent that is reshaping the K-pop industry comes at a time of increasingly bitter political acrimony between the two countries that has damaged diplomatic ties. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji SEARCH "SOUTHKOREA KPOP" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: SOUTHKOREA-JAPAN/KPOP
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