As South Korean rapper Psy is storming charts all over the world, Japan remains largely indifferent to his music, fueling suspicious remarks in the singer’s home country.
Psy and his “horse-riding” dance did not impress Japanese, even if Korean K-pop music is usually a big hit in Japan. South Korean fans are now speculating that the territorial dispute over a group of islands between the two countries is the reason behind the cold reaction of the Japanese to Psy’s worldwide success.
The “Gangnam Style” hit is currently number one in the UK and number two on the U.S. Billboard ranking. In Japan, however, it has only made it to the top 30 of the iTunes chart.
And this is not all. Various Japanese music blogs have even suggested that the Korean singer got his huge success on YouTube – over 530 million views and counting – thanks to users in his country who are using automated page refreshing applications, known as “bots”.
Some even called the dance as “F5 style”, referring to the keyboard used to refresh web pages.
A Korean non-profit body whose task is to aggressively promote Korean popular culture across the world, the Korean Wave Research Institute, reacted this week to Japan’s ironies, denouncing the “conspiracy theories” of YouTube views manipulations. It added that the Japanese argument was “outrageous” and that Japan’s skepticism “should be viewed as a primary school kid’s jealousy and envy”.