Cross-Cultural Engagement and Media Integration in Japan and East Asia

In East Asia a progressive multilateral process of cultural re-engagement and media integration is occurring. Japan has achieved the right and acceptance to trade media content in East Asia and beyond, particularly in the domain of popular culture for anime, manga and television drama (TV drama). Japan’s media trade in Korea, and particularly in mainland China, has in the past been inhibited by respective government controls and regulations. These controls have progressively been relaxed and benefits have multilaterally accrued to creators of content. An outstanding example of this is South Korea’s Korean Wave, which is directly attributable to the progressive dismantling of media controls in South Korea preventing Japanese content entering South Korea. This study examines the macro Japanese broadcasting content overseas exports from 2001 to 2014. Japanese content has been regionalised and disseminated beyond Japan, for example, with content adaptation, localised remaking and co-productions. This study further analyses the remaking of Japanese media products in South Korea and Taiwan, exploring three examples including the ground-breaking Japanese and Korean co-production of the TV drama Friends by Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) and Munhwa Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC Korea), which was broadcast simultaneously in South Korea and Japan, the remake of the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango and remade into the TV drama format Meteor Garden in Taiwan with subsequent extensive regional adaptation, remaking and format changes, and the remake of the manga Jin into the TV dramas Jin in Japan and Dr. Jin in Korea. The study confirms the value attributable to the relaxation of controls inhibiting or preventing the flow of media content and in turn contributing to cultural re-engagement.

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