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2008年12月17日 (水)

韓流ざんまい:ウォン安で売れる日用品=堀山明子

(Mainichi Japan) December 16, 2008

Bargain-hunting Japanese tourists flock to South Korea

韓流ざんまい:ウォン安で売れる日用品=堀山明子

Due to the depreciation of the won against the yen as a result of the current financial crisis, not only has the number of Japanese tourists in South Korea increased by 20 to 30 percent compared to last year, they particularly seem to be hitting the shopping hot spots. When I took a peek at the duty free store on the ninth and 10th floors of the Lotte Department Store in central Seoul, I could've sworn it was a year-end sale in Japan. Japanese tourists packed the place, speaking Japanese as if it were the official language.

 金融危機による円高ウォン安の影響で日本人観光客が前年比で2、3割増え、特に買い物スポットが人気だ。ソウル中心部のロッテ百貨店9、10階にある免税店をのぞいたら、ここは日本の年末バーゲン会場かと思うぐらい、ブランド商品を買いに来る日本人観光客であふれ、日本語が「公用語」になっていた。

So far, this sounds pretty similar to the situation during the financial crisis of late 1997. But what surprised me this time was the fact that I found Japanese people on the eighth floor -- not the duty free section or the traditional crafts section, but the household goods section -- selecting slippers.

 ここまでは97年末の金融危機の時も似たような現象があった。驚いたのは、免税でも伝統工芸品売り場でもない8階リビングフロアで日本人がスリッパを物色していたことだ。

"You can get slippers in Japan, too, can't you?!" I exclaimed, unable to restrain myself. But a 52-year-old housewife from Osaka insisted, "This shade of blue just doesn't exist in Japan." Indeed, it's not the kind of flashy blue often found in traditional Korean gifts, but still, a bright blue. Perhaps everyday products that gently assert their Korean-ness are more easily adapted to life in Japan than crafts that cry out stereotypical Korean-ness.

 「スリッパぐらい日本にもあるでしょう?」。思わず横から突っ込みを入れると、大阪市の主婦(52)は「このブルーは日本にないねん」と力説した。確かに、韓国土産品によくある派手な原色ではないが、明るい青。「いかにも韓国」の工芸品より、「ちょっと韓国」の日用品のほうが使いやすいかもしれない。なかなかの審美眼だ。

With cosmetics, too, it's not only the brand names that have huge followings. Shops that carry Korean herbal remedies, BB cream (a moisturizing foundation with the same ingredients found in creams used for dermatological treatment), and other products in the 1,000 yen range are highly popular.

 化粧品でも高いブランド品ばかりでなく、韓国的な漢方化粧品やBBクリーム(皮膚科の治療クリームが応用された保湿成分のあるファンデーション)を中心に、1000円前後の商品を売るショップの人気が高い。

The Myeong-dong branch of The Face Shop, a South Korean natural cosmetics company, saw 2.5 times more Japanese customers and 2.7 times higher sales in October compared to last year. In the past, the company had had a reputation as an inexpensive brand geared toward young people, but the number of Japanese shoppers in their 40s and older spiked after the popular Japanese hair and makeup artist Ikko introduced the company's anti-aging formula on television. The Face Shop sold over 3,000 packs of the product a day after the show aired, and ran out soon afterwards. Who would've known that the Japanese phenomenon of everything and anything someone says "is good for you" on television immediately selling out, would hit South Korea? The purchasing power of the Japanese is something to be reckoned with.

 自然派化粧品メーカー「ザフェイスショップ」明洞店は10月、日本人観光客が前年比で2・5倍増え、売り上げは2・7倍伸びた。若者向けの低価格ショップのイメージが強かったが、ヘアメーキャップアーティスト、IKKOさんがアンチエージング商品を日本のテレビ番組で勧めてからは40代以上の日本人観光客が急増。お勧め商品は放送直後に1日3000個以上売れ、すぐ品切れに。テレビで「健康にいい」と紹介された野菜がスーパーで売り切れになる突風現象がソウルまで上陸するとは。日本人の購買力は恐ろしい。

A 54-year-old housewife from Okayama Prefecture says that she travels to South Korea at least three times a year because it's much more economical than going to Tokyo. Buying about 40 cosmetic items worth a total of 50,000 yen, she says, "I usually get these products for myself, but because the yen is so strong against the won, I figured this time I'd buy enough to give to friends."

 「地方から東京に出るよりソウルのほうが経済的だから」と年3回は韓国に来る岡山市の主婦(54)は、同店で漢方化粧品など約40個、5万円相当をご購入。「いつも愛用しているけど、今回はウォン安だからお友達に配ろうと思って」

The Japanese tourists who visited South Korea during the won slump 10 years ago enjoyed a different culture. Japanese people who are now more familiar with Korean culture seem to be going there not for a new and stimulating experience, but to brush up on their taste in things Korean. Even if the won regains strength, I see no signs of this "pilgrimage" trend dwindling. (By Akiko Horiyama, Seoul Bureau)

 10年前のウォン安時の日本人観光客は、韓国で「異文化体験」の刺激を楽しんだ。日常生活に韓国文化が深く入り込んだ現在は、自分が好きな「韓国的なもの」をバージョンアップするために、本場で感覚を磨きに来ている感じだ。ウォン高に戻っても、この巡礼儀式は滅びないだろう。(ソウル支局)


毎日新聞 20081215日 東京夕刊

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