K-pop in Japan: Which Girl Group Had the Highest First-Week Sales This Year?

Girls' Generation II Girls & Peace

Posted by on 12/05/2012 at 5:05 AM News

The Popdust Files: 2ne1, 4minute, after school, girls' generation, hyuna, K-pop, kara, rainbow, secret, t-ara, wonder girls

The official first-week numbers are in for Girls’ Generation’s new Japanese album, Girls & Peace, and they’re pretty impressive. The disc shifted a total of 116,963 copies, debuting at No. 3 on the Oricon Weekly Albums chart — just behind legendary J-rock act, Mr. Children, and iconic J-pop songstress, Matsutoya Yumi. Although the Divine Nine were unable to secure the top spot, they’re lucky enough to have the highest first-week sales out of any Korean girl group that released a Japanese album this year.

With the Korean market being so small and the Japanese one being the second largest in the entire world, finding success in Japan is an essential step for any K-pop artist trying to take their career to the next level. To help you figure out where your fave fits on the J-popularity scale, we’ve rounded up and ranked the first-week sales of all the Korean girl groups that dropped full-length Japanese albums this year.

1. Girls’ Generation – Girls & Peace – 116,963

2. KARA – Girls Forever – 73,224

3. T-ara – Jewelry Box – 57,102

4. 2NE1 – Collection -  22,224

5. After School – Playgirlz – 16,286

6. Rainbow – Over the Rainbow – 13,009

7. SECRET – Welcome to Secret Time – 9,437

8. Wonder Girls – Wonder Best – 3,772

9. 4minute – Best of 4minute – 3,759

Although the bulk of most Japanese album sales are made within the first week (especially where the less popular artists are concerned), it should be noted that T-ara’s Jewelry Box has since been certified Gold for sales of 100,000, and that KARA’s Girls Forever will likely follow within the next week or two.

Judging from these sales numbers, it’s easy to see that Girls’ Generation, KARA, and to a lesser extent, T-ara, rule the roost as far as Korean girl groups in Japan go.

Funnily enough, 4minute were actually the first out of those listed above to target Japan, yet they’ve remained one of the least successful crossover acts in the country since the day they debuted. At this point, you have to wonder why they still even bother — especially with a potential American debut on the table for HyunA.

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