KARA: Talent Agencies
Hyun Gyung Kim – 2020
This online published article shows how Japanese talent agency and Korean talent agency collaborate to shape transnational idol system by the case of KARA, which used to be one of the most popular Korean girl idols in Japan. The Japanese jimusho system shares much in common with the talent agencies known as kihaeksa in South Korea regarding the scope of the functions. Jimusho and kihaeksa enable aspiring and rookie entertainers to become stars. Their work includes scouting for talent, arranging for auditions, providing training, pitching entertainers to industry leaders, and negotiating contracts. This article explores how talent agencies of both countries are extracting profits from the labour of artists in the global circulation of popular culture.