The Korean pop culture boom called ‘hallyu’ has now become an established genre in Japan thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the Korean drama ‘Winter Sonata,’ especially among middle aged Japanese women.
Japanese entertainment portal Oricon Style recently polled 750 women in their 30s to 50s on their favorite Korean actor and actress. The number one actor chosen was Lee Byeong-heon, which most women described as “cute.” Others said they like his “bright smile” and at times “melancholy look.” Their favorite actress was Choi Ji-woo, citing her “beautiful looks and fun personality” and “child like humor as well as class and sexiness.”
The next favorites were Kwon Sang-woo and Lee Young-ae. As for favorite Korean dramas, KBS’s ‘Winter Sonata’ ranked first followed by MBC’s ‘Dae Jang Geum/Jewel In the Palace’ and SBS’s ‘Celestial Stairs.’