Japanese Cyber Idol Makes It Big In South Korea

May 7, 1999

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, 1999 MAY 6 (NB) -- By Martyn Williams, Newsbytes. Mark this one in the history books: the first Japanese singer to release a CD in South Korea exists only on a computer. Cyber-idol Diki is currently popular among Korean teens as she attempts to bridge the gap between Korean and Japanese cultures.

Since releasing her first CD on March 26, Diki has been growing in popularity with young people in Korea and picking up radio and TV airplay for her debut single "Albatross."

Her Web site, at http://www.diki.co.kr, has also become a popular cyber hangout for kids, who can listen to her songs, watch her video clips, find out about her likes and dislikes and chat with others.

If Diki looks familiar, it's because it's not the first time she has hit the charts. In 1996 she made history in Japan, under the name Kyoko Date "DK-96", when she made here CD debut with "Love Communication." For her Korean debut, she assumed the name Diki, added the tag "DK-99," and acquired a few extra features from a local digital artist.

She wasn't reinvented through. Still the daughter of a sushi- restaurant owner, Diki turns 20 this year.

Her debut in Korea was made possible by a relaxation of government rules that had previously banned Japanese culture, such as music and movies. The ban had been in place since Japan's occupation of Korea ended with the end of the Second World War.

Diki: Between

More than just a cyber-stunt, Diki carries a message to Korean teens. Her album title "Between" is said to represent the jump between both the real and cyber worlds and also the Korean and Japanese cultures. The Web site includes photos from Japan, information about the music Japanese youth are currently listening to, Japanese pop culture and snippets of news on Korean culture in Japan.

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(19990506/WIRES ASIA, ONLINE/DIKI/PHOTO)
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