Male Celebrities Just Latest Twist in Asia-Wide Craze
By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post Foreign Service
Tokyo - Thin and gorgeous in a slinky black dress, Mikimoto pearls and a low-slung diamond Tiffany pendant, 26-year-old Kazumi Yoshimura already has looks, cash and accessories. There's only one more thing this single Japanese woman says she needs to find eternal bliss -- a Korean man.
She may just have to take a number and get in line. In recent years, the wild success of male celebrities from South Korea -- sensitive men but totally ripped -- has redefined what Asian women want, from Bangkok to Beijing, from Taipei to Tokyo. Gone are the martial arts movie heroes and the stereotypical macho men of mainstream Asian television. Today, South Korea's trend-setting screen stars and singers dictate everything from what hair gels people use in Vietnam to what jeans are bought in China.
Yet for thousands of smitten Japanese women like Yoshimura, collecting the odd poster or DVD is no longer enough. They've set their sights far higher -- settling for nothing less than a real Seoulmate…