Research Professor, Institute of Korean Studies (IKS), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
The jimusho are responsible for performer creation, management, and overall production. Despite their small size and limited access to capital, they exert strong control over the entertainment market, even compared with other firms in the industry. This jimusho power often stems from less-than-transparent characteristics of their business—from secretive organization into larger keiretsu structures as well as strong control over their performers and associated copyrights. Their organizational power allows jimusho to direct performers’ careers completely, and, in pursuit of profit, they maximize entertainers’ incomes through a wide variety of activities, most deeply focused on product sponsorship.
—W. David Marx