Japanese hallyu fans who often travel to Korea after falling in love with Korean dramas or K-pop music are usually referred to as “tourist audiences.” More recently, K-pop tourist audiences come not only from Japan but also from Southeast Asia, China, Europe, and the Americas, expanding the nationality boundary of the concept. Although such tourist audiences are still predominantly female, the number of male K-pop tourist audience members is also growing slowly. In this study, we address the question of learning behavior among tourist audiences from different countries in the K-pop mecca of Seoul. Based on the notion of forward and retrospective learning, in-depth interviews with Japanese and Indonesian female K-pop fans who have encountered fans from other countries were conducted in order to delineate differing patterns of learning behavior. We find that forward learners from Indonesia actively engage in meeting Korean, Chinese, and Japanese fans, whereas retrospective learners from Japan are very reluctant to meet Chinese or Indonesian fans, although they were somewhat interested in meeting their North American or Western counterparts.
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