<$BlogRSDURL$>
Reading

Hannu Salama: Kosti Herhiläisen perunkirjoitus
Flickr photographs
www.flickr.com
More of my Flickr photos
∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
∙ Ph.D. dissertation Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality available online (E-Thesis publications a the University of Helsinki). For printed copies, please contact me by e-mail.
Contact ∙ Personal
cellularmailmy del.icio.us bookmarks
my photographs at Flickr
Anthropology at U. of Helsinki
Finnish Anthropological Society
Powered by Blogger

Anthropology, Korean studies and that

Savage Minds
Keywords
Golublog
photoethnography
antropologi.info
Solongseeyoutomorrow
Constructing Amusement
Otherwise
Frog in a Well

Often visited

The Marmot's Hole Gusts Of Popular FeelingSanchon Hunjang Mark RussellLanguage hatMuninngyuhang.netSedisKemppinenJokisipiläPanun palsta
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com


Google this blog
Download Hangul Viewer 2002
Download Hangul Office Viewer 2007

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Noraebang, healthy entertainment for people - in 1991


Noraebang entertainment in Sillim 2-dong in 2001. (c)AL
A work on leisure in Korea (Kim Mun-gyeom: Yôgaûi Sahoehak, "Sociology of Leisure") mentioned that karaoke or noraebang arrived in Busan in 1991. That is conceivable, as Busan is close to Japan and has been the first to receive Japanese influence and convey Japanese phenomena to Korea. So I had to go to KINDS see how the appearance of noraebang has been recorded in the Korean media. How interesting that noraebang was first mentioned in the national press in November 1991 as a part of government policies to encourage healthy-minded entertainment establishments that conform to the national sentiments (kungmin chôngsô) and social realities (sahoe hyônsil) instead of extravagant and irrational spending and leisure.

But searching further, already on February 3, 1992 Hankuk Ilbo tells that Japanese-style (waesaek) noraebangs, which first appeared in Busan in early 1991 number in hundreds and are spreading to Seoul. The article also conveys worries of excessive copying of Japanese things and, contary to the wishes of the authorities , harmful influences on the youth. And several of the articles in the list of search results are actually about government measures to control the new type of business and entertainment, added with reports of addiction and excessive following of Japanese culture. For example the president of the student association of Hanyang University, also the head of Chôndaehyôp (predecessor of Hanchongnyon), was being considered governmental honors for campaigning against Japanese-style entertaintment facilities... (Hankuk Ilbo, April 14, 1992).

Funny to think that noraebang, which has been so much part of the Korean entertainment and leisure scene to make it traditional Korean people's art, became common only two years before I first went to Korea. Yi Kyu-t'ae, the highly influencial culture columnist in Chosun Ilbo who passed in February this year, saw already back then (Chosun, April 14, 1992) that the rapidly increased popularity of noraebangs was not unrelated to more traditional Korean ways of singing.

Hankyoreh21 makes a visit to the library of the deceased Yi Kyu-t'ae, which holds some 12-13000 volumes according to the estimate of his son.

Update.
Weekly Donga did some work back in 1999 (scroll down) to find out who brought karaoke to Korea. It was Mr Hyôn Ch'ung-dan, who kept a game room (oraksil) in front of the Donga University in Busan. He used to visit Japan often in search of new electronic leisure gadgets, and in early 1991 he brought a song accompaniment machine to Korea. He put Korean songs by himself in it, and installed the machine in his game room in April 1991. It was a glass box for 2-3 persons. Mr Hyôn was already busy at that time developing "multivision" effects, and with the release of the "Assa Panjugi" (앗싸 반주기), developed with Yeongpung Electronics, which showed lyrics in a monitor, the road for the popularity of noraebang was opened. It took one year for the noraebang boom to reach Seoul from Busan via Masan and Daegu.

Update 2, June 16, 2006

G. M. Jeonuchi in the comments:
I have heard (so this could be a 유언비어) that danranjujeom (단란주점) was also originally established as another "healthy" (건전한) means of entertainment, literally meaning a place where people can go and 단란하게 놀아 in a family-like atmosphere. But we all know what "단란주점" means today.
You are not spreading 유언비어 - see the following article in which the word 단란주점 appears for the first time in the national newspapers in KINDS search:
술마시는 노래방」 생긴다/단란­유흥주점 구분키로
[조선일보]1992-06-17 22면 774자 사회 뉴스
◎보사부/술안파는 휴게실은 심야영업 허용술도 마시고 노래도 부를 수 있는 「술마시는 노래방」이 새로운 형태의 주점으로 신설된다.
보사부는 16일 퇴폐유흥업소가 번창하고 건전한 휴식 및 놀이공간이 부족한 현실을 감안,주류 판매업종의 구분을 「단란주점」과 「유흥주점」으로 단순화 시키기로 했다고 밝혔다.
「단란주점」은 술과 안주를 팔면서 손님이 원할경우 직접 노래를 부를 수 있도록 하는 업종으로 영국 등 유럽에서 볼수있는 「퍼브(Pub)」 주점 형태를 말한다.
우리나라 음주문화가 술마신뒤 가무음곡을 즐기는 형태인데도 불구,룸살롱 등 엄청난 과소비를 조장하는 변칙 유흥업소만 늘고있는 현실에서 건전 위락장소를 만들어가기 위해 「단란주점」업종을 신설키로 했다고 보사부는 밝혔다.
보사부는 나아가 현재 대중음식점으로 영업허가를 얻어 「카페」나 「가라오케」 등의 이름으로 술을 파는 변태업종을 모두 「단란주점」으로 흡수하고,종업원을 두는 등 퇴폐행위를 할경우 강력히 단속해 나갈 방침이다.
단란주점은 식품위생법의 적용을 받는 반면,최근 급속도로 번져가는 「노래방」 혹은 「노래 연습장」은 내무부의 풍속영업 규제에 관한 법률에따라 술과 음식을 팔지않고 단순히 노래만 부를 수 있는 장소이기 때문에 구별된다고 보사부는 설명했다.
보사부는 또 음식물취급 업종을 「휴게실 영업」 「다방 영업」 「음식점 영업」으로 구분,술을 팔지 않는 「휴게실 영업」에 대해서는 심야영업도 허용할 방침이다.
보사부는 이같은 외식산업 건전화 방안을 오는 18일 공청회를 거쳐 곧 시행에 들어갈 예정이다.<김영철기자>

Categories at del.icio.us/hunjang:

Comments to note "Noraebang, healthy entertainment for people - in 1991" (Comments to posts older than 14 days are moderated)

<Anonymous Roald> said on 15.6.06 : 

Very interesting stuff, Antti! I do recall seeing some kind of noraebangs in 1988, though. I will also look into this further; really enjoyed this piece. Thanks very much!

Roald

<Blogger G. M. Ballack> said on 16.6.06 : 

noraebang was first mentioned [...] as a part of government policies to encourage healthy-minded entertainment establishments that conform to the national sentiments (kungmin chôngsô) and social realities (sahoe hyônsil) instead of extravagant and irrational spending and leisure.

I have heard (so this could be a 유언비어) that danranjujeom (단란주점) was also originally established as another "healthy" (건전한) means of entertainment, literally meaning a place where people can go and 단란하게 놀아 in a family-like atmosphere. But we all know what "단란주점" means today.

Similarly, many 노래방's have also mutated into 퇴폐업소's nowadays. Even in Korea Town's in the U.S., there are 노래방's, and there are "여자 나오는" 노래방's.

I have also noticed that solo singing is more promoted in Korean cultures than western cultures. People standing up and singing solo is a common occurrence in Korea, but in the latter, I have observed people singing together in groups even if placed in a 노래방-like environment where there are only one or two microphones. I am curious if there are any studies that explore differences in preference for 독창 and 합창.

<Blogger hardyandtiny> said on 20.7.06 : 

That's a great photograph. That one guy is bombed out of his mind!


Write a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link