Viral ‘Gangnam Style’ Korean Music Video Confused as Japanese

Many think 'Gangnam Style' is Japanese

Over the past few weeks, the music video for South Korean rapper PSY‘s latest release, ‘Gangnam Style‘ has garnered attention from across the world for its humourous take on a Gangnam love story. The first version of the video (see below) went viral since its release having now attracted over 40 million hits with foreign netizens praising the video for its fresh approach to pop. A second version featuring 4minute‘s Hyuna as PSY’s love interest was released less than a week ago and has received over 11 million views to date. koreaBANG has included a translation of the lyrics below.


Oppa does it Gangnam style
Gangnam style

In the day, she’s a girl who’s warm and tender
A classy girl, who takes time to have a coffee
Then when night comes, her heart grows hotter
The kind of girl who has it all

‘Cos I’m a guy
The kind of guy who’s as warm as you in the day
A guy who shots his coffee before it cools
Then when night comes, I’m a guy whose heart explodes
That kind of guy

Beautiful, lovely,
That’s what you are, hey, you really are, hey
Beautiful, lovely,
That’s what you are, hey, you really are, hey
Wanna go wherever we go?

Oppa does it Gangnam style
Gangnam style
Oppa does it Gangnam style
Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady
Eh eh eh eh eh eh

She looks innocent, but this girl knows how to play
The kind of girl, who lets her hair down when she wants to
She covers up, but she’s still sexier than those who flaunt it
That kind of girl who’s sensual

‘Cos I’m a guy,
Who might seem calm but knows how to play
The kind of guy, who when the time comes goes crazy
A guy whose ideas bulge, more than his muscles
That kind of guy.

Beautiful, lovely,
That’s what you are, hey, you really are, hey
Beautiful, lovely,
That’s what you are, hey, you really are, hey
Wanna go wherever we go?


There’s always someone better
baby baby
And I know a thing or two
You know what I’m saying

Oppa does it Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady
Oppa does it Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady
Oppa does it Gangnam style

But amidst all this, a controversy has emerged in which PSY’s unmistakeable style has been taken as an example of Japanese pop rather than Korean pop, leading Korean netizens to accuse Japanese netizens of ‘cyber aggression’ and ‘anti-Korean sentiment.’ In short, it seems that the video’s international success has become yet another outlet for the recent, ongoing tensions between Japan and Korea over the Dokdo/Takeshima issue.

From the Korea Herald Business:

PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ is a Japanese song?…Surprising ‘international controversy’.

‘Japan is a country that makes amazing pop’, ‘A really cool Japanese song’, ‘This is exactly why I love Japanese music’.

It has received attention on CNN, in the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times, and has even been praised on French TV. It is the song that has been parodied as ‘Gundam Style’, and been parodied by every place in the whole of Korea all making their own ‘XX Style’. PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’, which even firmly held its influence during the 2012 London Olympics, has surprisingly fanned the flames of an international debate.

In the mere four weeks since it was uploaded, it has exceeded 26,670,000 clicks according to the number of hits on YouTube. This is the number of views of the music video of ‘Gangnam Style’, a song from PSY’s album ‘6甲’. This time PSY, who has clearly become a representative of the ‘Ssanti’ culture, has suddenly been crowned as the front runner of a fierce’B-class sentiment’. The overseas reaction to the music video has indeed been warm. The video, which has been hailed by leading foreign media outlets as ‘a music video you have to see’ has been revived as ‘Gangnam Style’ parodies by foreigners, and furthermore even videos of foreigners laughing uncontrollably as they enjoy the music in real-time have become a talking point. The fact that ‘Foreign reactions to PSY’ has been ranking on internet portal sites for several days is an unprecedented response.

PSY's Gangnam Style has taken the world by storm

One step removed from K-pop culture, which often involves idol groups, PSY, armed with an implicit toxicity and sense of freshness, and taking his cues from ‘American Pie’ style sexuality, is moving away from being part of what is what is a niche market.

If we are talking about foreign fans, who have been conditioned by a form of K-pop which is as cute and delicate as a doll, then there might be some discord between the two, but PSY’s music video has had a tremendous response from many foreigners. Even the comments on the music video are considerable; those on the video that was made public exceed 114 500 comments.

Amongst these there are comments that stand out. Indeed, there is the reaction that ‘Gangnam Style’ is being recognised as a Japanese song.

There are a considerable number of these. First, a netizen writing under the ID fred**** says: ‘Japan makes great pop’, while a netizen writing under the name of Tom**** left a comment in English saying, ‘Funky Japanese music’. Having no idea about PSY’s nationality, they unconditionally think that this is J-pop. There was even a netizen whose reaction was ‘This is precisely the reason why I love Japanese pop. It’s really unique and unconventional(lazer****)’and who compliments Japanese culture.

PSY's Gangnam Style music video has recently been remade with pop sensation Hyuna

For those overseas netizens who perceive ‘Gangnam Style’ as Japanese music, there are other netizens who clearly state that, ‘It’s not a Japanese song, it’s a Korean song,’ but this situation has incited a suprising controversy.

One netizen, cost*****, says,’This Japanese music video is amazing. I like Japan and Japanese singers. There are no excellent singers like this one in Korea, they’re just jealous. This is a Japanese song. And that’s the end of it,’ ridiculing the response that insists it is a Korean song. Among them, kaky**** responded sarcastically, saying ‘I’ve lived in Seoul my whole life and I can guarantee that this is a Japanese song; they don’t have the money to make a song like this in Korea’

To this same situation, another netizen, itach**** observed the situation, saying ‘Seems like you don’t want to accept the fact itself that Korea could make such amazing music’ while another netizen reacted that it was odd, saying’Oppa is clearly speaking Korean, since when has that been Japanese?(xche***)’

PSY's 'Gangnam Style' music video has taken the world by storm

The comments, captured through an online community site (Instiz), show that Korean netizens are saying things like ‘Japanese people who are hiding their nationality are leaving malicious comments as part of anti-Korean sentiments on YouTube,’ and ‘This is cyber-agression from Japan’ and while it might bring speculation with regards to the’international controversy’, they were also taken aback: ‘Foreigners still think that if Asians are not Chinese then they must be Japanese. This is changing with the spread of K-pop, but it is an absurd state of affairs.’

On the other hand, PSY, who is being glorified through ‘Gangnam Style’ as having his’second golden age,’ will invade the archipelago [Japan] at the end of September with this song. Initially, the song was to be changed and released as ‘Roppongi Style’, but now he’s decided that the Japanese version will use the unique atmosphere that ‘Gangnam Style’ has, as well as the place name.

Comments showing many people confuse the song as Japanese

Comments showing many people confuse the song as Japanese

Comments from Daum:


So Dokdo is yours, ‘Gangnam Style’ is also yours, Korea is dying of jealousy. But when is Japan going to sink?


I’m speechless…ke ke ke


Fucking Japs, sons of bitches, aren’t you going to sink to the bottom of the sea…Fuckers


Japanese kids are strategically leaving comments like ‘This is a Japanese song’…So that European/North American kids just recognise it as a Japanese song without thinking….What’s more, they report K-pop videos, which are really popular, as being a violation of copyright until they get taken down. If it’s someone who’s only just participating in fandom, then we all know how annoying the Japanese are organising on YouTube…I’ve even seen a screen capture where they plan things really well on far-right websites and attack. Filthy Japs.


There is a lot of K-pop out there, right? ^^ K-pop fans will make it clear for you~ What does Japan have recently?ke ke It’s so ‘6甲’ [PSY’s new album] ke ke


K-pop fans on YouTube are explaining it and the far-right wing fucking Japs are struggling with the little man power they have.


They’re persisting about Dokdo too…but no matter how much they persist, both Dokdo and PSY belong to Korea.


Fucking Japs are so pathetic.


Just what I’d expect of the Japs…Virtuoso composers…


The monkeys'[derogatory term for Japanese] bullshit hasn’t finished yet shudder


Ah, I don’t have any anti-Japanese sentiment toward Japan, but recently even in Gaksital [Korean drama about Japanese Colonial Era] you see Japanese scum, so if they also make ‘Gangnam Style’ theirs, I’ll go mental.


Are you right in the head?? Can’t you tell the difference between Korean and Japanese?? Can you tell the difference between Russian and French?? Like, what the hell is this situation? ke ke ke


Have a good look at the [netizen] IDs. They’ve been made to look like netizen IDs from our country, but they’re just made similar to the IDs from our country in the way that the fucking Japs’d pronounce it ke ke ke Foreigner people must all know that this is a Korean song. Even foreigners know that the Japanese freaks are all dog-shit ke ke ke I’m glad the Jap bastards are pretending to decieve people. I like that they’ve completely taken the bait.


The fact that jealousy is often mentioned is something that has happened in every generation. Particularly when we were rising as a new power, it was all the more so. It’s because they feel a sense of crisis that they’re like that, so we don’t have to pay any attention.


Fucking Japs have an explosion of inferiority complexes…the whole place is certifiably mental ke ke ke


The people who say that it’s a Japanese song are just freaks. Nothing more and nothing less ke ke ke ke ke ke


Shut up [in Japanese] fucking Japs


PSY is Korea’s PSY…The thing that’s for sure is that PSY is a Korean, he’s even been to the Korean army twice…. ke ke ke


Fucking Japs can’t even pronounce ‘Gangnam’


Like foreigners don’t know that it’s a Korean song. The comments that differ and say it’s a Japanese song are all written by Japanese people. That’s all it is. Simply by uploading something related to Korea, they really persistently put comments that are belittling or mocking. All those things that mock or ridicule Koreans that are on YouTube, and even the videos, are for the most part uploaded by the Japanese and Taiwanese and the number of them beggars belief ,,,


[In a Japanese accent] Fucking Japs aren’t even people. They’re monkeys.

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