Betsy Speicher

Dae Jang Geum (2003-2005)

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A longer version of this review can be found on my blog, Edelweiss.

Dae Jang Geum, also known as Jewel in the Palace, is a television series from Korea, where it was the highest rated tv show ever. It tells the story of Jang Geum, an orphaned girl who rises from the lowest classes of Korean society to become a Royal Physician, and personal physician to the King, the only woman ever to hold that position. Jang Geum was an actual historical person, although very little is known about her beyond the fact that she did become the personal physician of the King.

The struggles Jang Geum faces along the way are enough to crush the spirit of a normal man or woman. But Jang Geum is an extraordinary woman. No opponent can overcome her indomitable spirit, no obstacle or setback can impede her progress for long. She sets her sights on the goals she wants to achieve, and she moves toward them with determination, intelligence, and passion, without ever compromising her integrity or honor. She is a true Heroine of Romantic art.

The series starts out with several episodes showing Jang Geum as a young girl, around 8 years old. From her first appearance on the screen, she conquers the viewer’s heart completely. Never have I seen such an adorable little girl. Her smile outshines the sun. But then she wins the viewer’s mind as well, when she displays her passionate intellectual curiosity, her stubborn determination, her courage and integrity.

With episode six, the story moves ahead in time. Jang Geum is a young woman of 20 or so. Under the tutelage of Lady Han, Jang Geum has become one of the most promising kitchen ladies (cooks) of the palace. Her only rival is Keum Young, whose family has produced the last five Head Kitchen Ladies of the palace. One of Jang Geum’s goals is to become the Head Kitchen Lady. But Keum Young’s aunt, Lady Choi, will stop at nothing to keep that office in her family’s possession.

Although the series is not without flaws, its virtues more than compensate. Like the heroes of Victor Hugo’s Romantic novels, the heroes of Dae Jang Geum remain loyal to their values to the end, no matter the struggles they must endure to achieve them. In contemplating the lives of Jang Geum and Min Jeong Ho (Jang Geum's love interest), we see life being lived as it could be, and ought to be. Their values may not be the same as ours, just as the values of Lantenac and Cimourdain (two of the central characters of Hugo's novel, Ninety-three) are not ours. But, as Ayn Rand wrote, referring to those characters: “What greatness men are capable of, when they fight for their values!”

There is a website, aznVtv - The Best in Asian TV, at which you can watch all 54 episodes of Dae Jang Geum. You may need to download the Winamp player, which is free on the website. Here is the url: http://aznv.tv/en/

For a brief sample of the show, you can view many clips on YouTube. Here is the segment that introduces the young Jang Geum, about two and a half minutes into the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0mD9zLrwUo...feature=related

If you decide to give the series a try, be aware that the first episode starts a little slowly, and it takes some time to figure out who all the characters are. The first episode focusses on Jang Geum's mother and father, to set the context of the story. Jang Geum herself doesn't show up until the second episode.

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Kitty Hawk, I just now watched the YouTube segment. It looks very promising. Thanks.

You're welcome. Someone recommended it on another forum, and it sounded so promising, and I am so desperate for Romantic drama, that I purchased the first volume of the DVDs the next day, in spite of the high price. The little girl who plays the young Jang Geum won me over so completely that I was hoping the entire series focussed on her as the little girl. But the adult Jang Geum is just as admirable, in other ways. The adult Jang Geum is potrayed by a lovely Korean actress named Lee Young Ae, and her performance is simply beautiful to see. The writing of the story, the acting, the directing, everything about this series is first class.

The YouTube videos do suffer from rather poor subtitle translations. For instance, they refer to Jang Geum's father as an "army," when they meant "an officer in the army." The site with the full episodes has better translations, as do the actual DVDs.

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Thanks Kitty!!

What a beautiful piece of work this series is. It's not really a series, nor a miniseries, it's more of a maxi-series. It is so beautifully plotted, the directorial values so clean and clear, the acting generally excellent.

It is a different time and a very different culture, but it's the mind of Jang Geum that moved me. There aren't many shows that make the kind of thinking, research, experimentation seem so believable.

I agree completely with your review, even though I'm still awaiting the 2nd DVD set. Just beautiful, hearbreaking, and inspiring.

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Thanks Kitty!!

What a beautiful piece of work this series is. It's not really a series, nor a miniseries, it's more of a maxi-series. It is so beautifully plotted, the directorial values so clean and clear, the acting generally excellent.

It is a different time and a very different culture, but it's the mind of Jang Geum that moved me. There aren't many shows that make the kind of thinking, research, experimentation seem so believable.

I agree completely with your review, even though I'm still awaiting the 2nd DVD set. Just beautiful, hearbreaking, and inspiring.

Hey, I finally got someone to watch it! It's not easy, when you have to commit to watching 54 hours worth of programming, not to mention the financial commitment. You're right about it being a sort of maxiseries. Evidently many Korean television shows are like that - they are regular stories, with a beginning, middle, and end. They know ahead of time it will last a certain number of episodes, in this case, 54, and then the series ends. Not like our tv series at all, which mostly have no planned end in sight.

The sets, the physical settings, are all beautifully artistic. It reminds me of Ayn Rand's description of Fritz Lang movies. Every scene could be framed and would look like a work of art. There are strong value conflicts everywhere you turn.

I'm sure you will enjoy the rest of it as much as the first third that you have seen. And it's not just Jang Geum who is a wonderful, romantic character. Min Jeong Ho, Lady Han, Lady Jung, and others to come are also heroic people. And the two main antagonists, Lady Choi and Keum Young, are really tragic characters who could have gone either way, and the story brilliantly shows how and where they went wrong.

You have many hours of beautiful entertainment ahead of you.

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Ah! I haven't even mentioned the soundtrack yet, but it is absolutely gorgeous. There are sort of leitmotif music themes for recurring situations, such as the cooking scenes, the romance scenes between Jang Geum and Sir Min, etc. Very beautiful music.

I was just watching episode 16, in which Lady Han temporarily sent Jang Geum out of the palace for punishment. Several of the other young court ladies then try to take Jang Geum's place as Lady Han's assistant, only to find that Lady Han's methods are too difficult for them to handle. Lady Han then thinks back over the early days of training the young girl Jang Geum. The first assignment she gave her was to bring her a bowl of water. Jang Geum would bring the water, only to have Lady Han tell her to bring it again and again, until she could figure out exactly what she wanted. Jang Geum finally asked the right question, and Lady Han hinted at the correct answer. At that point, Jang Geum exclaimed: "Ah!" and her eyes open wide with that "light bulb going on" look on her face. It was just like she as saying "Eureka! I have it!" A look of discovery, inelligence and happiness all at the same time. Just one of the innumerable beautiful scenes from this story.

It's hard to convey the beauty of this show to those who haven't seen it. People just do not know what they are missing.

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Here is the scene mentioned in the previous post. Little Jang Geum appears, in flashback, about 2:20 into this clip:

Dae Jang Geum

It starts with a gathering of the court ladies who failed to take her place, then Lady Han goes off on her own to reminisce about her beloved Jang Geum.

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...

...There are strong value conflicts everywhere you turn.

I'm sure you will enjoy the rest of it as much as the first third that you have seen. And it's not just Jang Geum who is a wonderful, romantic character. Min Jeong Ho, Lady Han, Lady Jung, and others to come are also heroic people. And the two main antagonists, Lady Choi and Keum Young, are really tragic characters who could have gone either way, and the story brilliantly shows how and where they went wrong.

You have many hours of beautiful entertainment ahead of you.

Yes, I do; thanks again!

You are right about the other characters. Lady Han (as wonderfully played by Mi-kyeong Yang) exudes benevolence. The relationship between her and Jang Geum is totally believable and engrossing. There are an awful lot of Mom roles on television, but this one, a surrogate one at that, is the most beautiful I've ever seen. Lady Jung (Woon gye-yo) is a phenomenal role, perfectly played. As the "puppet" that cuts her own strings, she had the kind of integrity and intellect that lifts what could have been a cat fight to a much higher level. And Keum Young was the tragedy. Lady Choi buys into the family evil quite first-handedly. Keum fights it, feebly; her sense of life and integrity originally good, but she falls into the trap Lady Han identifies that Jang Geum almost fell into, of being so focused on solving the problem in front of her, she forgets to consider the context, whether what she's doing is right or wrong. It was a Dr. Stadler (AS) moment: Lady Han rejecting Jang Geum's brilliance in the service of a bad idea vs. Keum Young's accepting her lot in the family dynasty at the cost of her soul. And, of course, KY lost Her Man to JG, so she's understandably po'd.

There are many moments that are surprising like that, for their clarity. There's also plenty of silly superstition and hide-bound tradition, but I think, on the whole, Jang Geum deserves her 'Dae' (Great) title for her dedication to reality and objectivity, her constant observation of nature and integration of ideas for wider or different application. And she's got a great smile :)

Thanks again. I'm a Jang Geum fan for life :)

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Lady Han rejecting Jang Geum's brilliance in the service of a bad idea
I read this over and it sounds like this was a final judgement of Jang Geum, when it was a single error of thinking that Lady Han nips in the bud. Jang Geum's moral clarity throughout is unflinching, except for this moment, when the desire to "win one for the gipper" leads her to spend her time unwisely, taking easy shortcuts to catch up, thinking she can put one over on the judge, and suffering a setback as a result.

This episode is remarkable for its grasp of essentials; that what Lady Han is concerned about is not the competition, but the moral character of Jang Geum. In every turn in the story, this is how love is conveyed: By a concern for the long-term well-being of the other, rather than the short-term success. On the Choi side, it is short-term thinking personified and there is no real love between the characters, only the comraderie of thieves.

And it's one more example of a key leitmotif of the drama: Every adversity, every fall from grace, every expulsion, is a potential disaster for Jang Geum. It is her powerful curiosity and enthusiasm, her thirst for knowledge, her work ethic, her independence and first-handedness, her creativity and willingness to give a new idea a try, and her unflinching honesty, that turns disaster into another triumph every time.

If Objectivists are looking for life-affirming drama, this one's up there with the best.

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This episode is remarkable for its grasp of essentials; that what Lady Han is concerned about is not the competition, but the moral character of Jang Geum. In every turn in the story, this is how love is conveyed: By a concern for the long-term well-being of the other, rather than the short-term success. On the Choi side, it is short-term thinking personified and there is no real love between the characters, only the comraderie of thieves.

And it's one more example of a key leitmotif of the drama: Every adversity, every fall from grace, every expulsion, is a potential disaster for Jang Geum. It is her powerful curiosity and enthusiasm, her thirst for knowledge, her work ethic, her independence and first-handedness, her creativity and willingness to give a new idea a try, and her unflinching honesty, that turns disaster into another triumph every time.

If Objectivists are looking for life-affirming drama, this one's up there with the best.

Exactly right about Lady Han's only concern being to teach Jang Geum to think and act in a principled manner, rather than fall into pragmatism. Min Jeong Ho supports Jang Geum in the same way, and it is his knowledge that Keum Young is not principled that steers him away from her. He doesn't hate Keum Young, so much as he is disappointed that someone with such great potential gave up on herself.

In addition to the two clear cut good and bad sides of the conflict, there is also a humorous middle of the road character in Lady Min, and her acolyte, Chang Ye. She makes no bones about her intention to live a "long and quiet life" by not taking sides - at least until it is certain which side is going to win. In the end, Lady Min is actually a good but timid character, who does support Lady Han and Jang Geum.

The writer is especially good at writing poignant scenes that bring tears to your eyes. Unfortunately, Jang Geum has more all-but-unbearable blows in store for her in future episodes. The writer obviously believes, with Ayn Rand, that the harder the path the hero must tread, the better the story.

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I wanted to add some pictures from the show as an additional inducement to watch the series. The costumes are gorgeous, and the pictures often tell a story by themselves.

Here is the adorable young Jang Geum-ah (as the name is always spoken), as pretty as a peach:

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Here is little Jang Geum-ah the survivalist, right after she lost both of her parents, and was left to her own devices:

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Here is Lady Han, the court lady who became Jang Geum-ah's teacher at the palace, and her mother in all but name, comforting Jang Geum-ah:

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Here is Jang Geum-ah smiling happily:

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Here is Jang Geum-ah in a quiet, romantic interlude with Sir Min Jeong Ho:

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Here is Jang Geum-ah with Keum Young-ah, who will soon betray her friendship:

photo15_s.jpg

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Another pretty smile from Jang Geum-ah:

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The King:

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The Queen:

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Lady Choi, arch enemy of Lady Han and of Jang Geum-ah, she is Keum Young-ah's aunt:

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Jang Geum-ah filling in for Lady Han in a food competition against Lady Choi:

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Jang Geum-ah and Sir Min Jeong Ho:

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Jang Geum-ah with Yeun Seng-ah, her best friend among the court ladies of her generation:

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Jang Geum-ah later in the story, when she becomes a physician lady:

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Yeun Seng-ah later in the story, when she has become of higher rank:

photo73_s.jpg

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You know a story is Romantic when . . . it is criticized for having a protagonist who is "too perfect":

My other criticism is [the] all too near perfect nature of Jang Geum. Yes, she does have few flaws, mainly her lack of patience and being too curious [??? That's a flaw?] . But she is just way too smart, way too kind, way too courageous, and way too beautiful.

That from an Amazon reviewer of the series, who is otherwise lavish in his praise of Dae Jang Geum.

Amazon Review

Just the kind of thing you always hear about Howard Roark, Francisco D'Anconia, etc. They are too perfect, no one is like that in real life.

But for another excellent review by an Objectivist, look here: Galileo Blogs Review.

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You know a story is Romantic when . . . it is criticized for having a protagonist who is "too perfect":
My other criticism is [the] all too near perfect nature of Jang Geum. Yes, she does have few flaws, mainly her lack of patience and being too curious [??? That's a flaw?] . But she is just way too smart, way too kind, way too courageous, and way too beautiful.

Yep. This is the kind of qualitative statement that betrays the one who makes it. It sounds like he is uncomfortable observing someone of these qualities because the excuses such a person makes for his own ideas and behavior would be shown to be a sham were such a person as Jang Geum to exist.

I don't know if the actual Jang Geum was as depicted, but I find the heroine of the TV series to be completely believable, inspiring, courageous, and beautiful and all those things mentioned that she is 'way too.' There is nothing in her thinking or behavior on the show that rings the slightest false note.

I'm not yet done with the series, although I spent a good part of this past weekend living through the second and 1/2 the third boxed set. They do a terrific job of setting up dramatic cliff-hangers that I frankly can't survive without watching a little bit of the following episode to make sure that she made it OK. B) The most recent one, I thought, "OK, I know what she's up against, who the players are, and who's doing what: What would I do? What will she do?" I made mental note of my solution. Then I watched the following episode: She handled it all brilliantly and in a way that made perfect sense, ran none of the risks I'd have her taking, and showed a welcome increase in maturity, insight, elegance, and sophistication. What a woman!

This show is a fine and inspiring work of art.

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I'm not yet done with the series, although I spent a good part of this past weekend living through the second and 1/2 the third boxed set. They do a terrific job of setting up dramatic cliff-hangers that I frankly can't survive without watching a little bit of the following episode to make sure that she made it OK. B)

Boy, does that sound famliar. B) I tried to ration it out slowly, but I just couldn't. The only way I've found to make it last, is to watch it all over again!

The most recent one, I thought, "OK, I know what she's up against, who the players are, and who's doing what: What would I do? What will she do?" I made mental note of my solution. Then I watched the following episode: She handled it all brilliantly and in a way that made perfect sense, ran none of the risks I'd have her taking, and showed a welcome increase in maturity, insight, elegance, and sophistication. What a woman!

This show is a fine and inspiring work of art.

The writer's fertile imagination came up with dozens of interesting characters. I didn't think it was possible for there to be a more senselessly evil character than Yong Ro - until Yul Yee came along. She out-Heroded Herod, as they say. And more great and noble characters joined the story as well: the physician from the herb garden; the physician professor who put his neck on the line to graduate Jang Geum and her friend when the headmaster had failed them; and Jang Duk, the physician lady, who is nothing less than a proto-Jang Geum-ah. A huge story brimming with larger than life characters.

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I just powered through to the end, at the cost of 2/3 of a workday off (and I'm a contractor, ouch!). I don't have words, yet, to describe just what a powerful piece of work this is.

For those that want Romantic drama, great characters, great people doing great things against seemingly crushing obstacles, I just don't know of a better one. This show takes its time in every scene to present us with people who think deeply, who live and learn with passion, and, over and over, it extols Jang Geum's reality-based approach to solving problems over the rote methods that surrounded her and that she had to surmount to advance medicine in her time.

It was the 1500's so, as a former biologist, I found the methods and treatments sometimes fascinating, sometimes dubious, sometimes downright silly, but the key triumphs of Jang Geum were based on a passionate quest for facts, for the truth, and she spared nothing to reach her goal.

And, yeah, Jang Duk was also impressive, an entertaining, uncompromising character and gorgeous, as well.

And... and... nope... not gonna spoil the ending. post-47-1213746089.gif Beautiful.

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I didn't think it was possible for there to be a more senselessly evil character than Yong Ro - until Yul Yee came along. She out-Heroded Herod, as they say.
An interesting contrast. I think that may have come down to acting chops. The girl playing Young Ro was a very cute little evil thing, her eye-rolling and smirking more suitable for the stage than film. Nevertheless, it played as an ambitious, willing young rogue-lette somewhat out of her league in all but spying on "the enemy." Her lies worked because no one was looking for them. Yeul Lee was a very convincing, very subtle actress of a more modern "method" tradition, who opted (or was directed) to play her lies as completely straight out as her honest moments. There was no difference between the delivery of an outrageous falsehood and a true statement, so it really came off as scary. This was a sociopath. Even the arch-villain Lady Choi couldn't supress a tiny "tell," a little smirk of triumph, when one of her fabrications came off as planned. Yeul Lee was in a way scarier, by contrast. That made it even more powerful when she was caught in a lie. She never wavered until she was completely stuck on the flypaper, as it were. But, then, at that point in the story, the protagonist(s) were more aware of how things were and the Choi's needed more subtlety to succeed.

I'd really love to go further, but this is one show I really don't want to spoil a moment for anyone. Too good.

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An interesting contrast. I think that may have come down to acting chops. The girl playing Young Ro was a very cute little evil thing, her eye-rolling and smirking more suitable for the stage than film. Nevertheless, it played as an ambitious, willing young rogue-lette somewhat out of her league in all but spying on "the enemy." Her lies worked because no one was looking for them. Yeul Lee was a very convincing, very subtle actress of a more modern "method" tradition, who opted (or was directed) to play her lies as completely straight out as her honest moments. There was no difference between the delivery of an outrageous falsehood and a true statement, so it really came off as scary. This was a sociopath. Even the arch-villain Lady Choi couldn't supress a tiny "tell," a little smirk of triumph, when one of her fabrications came off as planned. Yeul Lee was in a way scarier, by contrast. That made it even more powerful when she was caught in a lie. She never wavered until she was completely stuck on the flypaper, as it were. But, then, at that point in the story, the protagonist(s) were more aware of how things were and the Choi's needed more subtlety to succeed.

I'd really love to go further, but this is one show I really don't want to spoil a moment for anyone. Too good.

Excellent points. I saw Yong Ro's evil as a sort of childishness, where she looked for someone strong to protect her - the Chois - then did everything in her power to please them, right or wrong. And her wrongdoing was mostly physical in nature: stealing, vandalizing, bullying. Whereas Yul Ye's evil was mostly non-physical and aimed at morally discrediting Jang Geum. She literally tried to turn the moralilty of the situation upside down, with herself as the innocent, virtuous victim, and Jang Geum as the evil, bullying criminal. And that was simply infuriatingly evil, because she was so good at doing it.

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I liked the poetic justice of Yong Ro's fate. She had earlier taunted Yeun Seng, when Lady Han, Lady Jung, and Jang Geum were all out of the palace, by saying she was like a "kite without a string." Exactly how Yong Ro ended up being. And when Lady Min and Chang Ye began feeling sorry for Yong Ro, Yeun Seng snapped them back to reality by reminding them of all the evil she had done, including her part in attacking Lady Jung.

Yul Ye, on the other hand, got off way too easy, as did Keum Young.

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Spoilers

...Yul Ye, on the other hand, got off way too easy, as did Keum Young.
Yeah. Keum Young, though, was basically destroyed. I think that was the point in her case: The hate and crushed love she knew she didn't deserve were bound to fester in her heart. Maybe she became a bitter old woman cooking in a tavern or as a servant to a wealthy family. Lady Park's one last act from beyond the grave, as I think they were intending, was that red ribbon that Lady Choi reached for that guaranteed she wouldn't be there to intercede on Keum Yong's behalf. But KY's One Decent Act, opposing her aunt and saving Sir Min, I think, was what makes KY's banishment, rather than death, at least arguably just.

Yes. Yul Ye got off cheap and is likely to have been able to live comfortably, faking a license and practicing medicine, or defrauding people. But I would hope that, in that society, far from the court and her powerful protectors, she'd have a much harder time of it. It was a feudal society, so anyone with money and power would be associated with the court in some way and would eventually know that she was forbidden to practice medicine. Or she got married and made some poor guy miserable. :wacko:

I think part of what was remarkable about the series is how well it depicted that treacherous court society and why Jang Geum's ultimate decision was the right one. Even after all enemies had been dispatched, with the admiration and support of a queen and the royal physicians, it was no less difficult and no less deadly for her to remain.

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A few more pictures of the characters of Dae Jang Geum.

Yong Ro, on the right, with her signature sneer:

Dae_Jang_Geum_100006.jpg

A friend of Jang Geum, and fellow physician lady. I can't remember her name. A very lovely woman:

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Jang Geum with two of the physicians who were her mentors and allies:

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Jang Duk, who first began Jang Geum's training as a physician, and was herself a maverick against the rules holding back women in Korea at the time:

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The Choi clan all together: Lady Choi, Keum Young, and Choi Pan Sul, the merchant. Pan Sul had the most maniacal laugh, which erupted from him at the most bizarre moments:

photo19_s.jpg

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I must add one more picture. This one is an off camera shot of the little girls who play, from left to right: Yeun Seng, Jang Geum, Keum Young, Yong Ro, and I believe Chang Ye. It's nice to see them all happy and friendly with one another in real life. Especially Yeun Seng, on the left, who spends almost all of her time on camera sad or crying. I only remember her smiling twice in the story: once when Jang Geum arranged for her to go home to visit her sick mother; and once when she was listening to Lady Jung singing.

sophiaelementary8ex.jpg

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A friend of Jang Geum, and fellow physician lady. I can't remember her name. A very lovely woman:

200806070040.jpg

Shin-Bi, I think. The later-in-the-story equivalent of Yeun-Seng; an honest, steadfast friend to Jang Geum. Her skills aren't the equal of Jang Geum's, but her sensitivity and insight earn the respect of both Jang Geum and their physician instructor.

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I mentioned the soundtrack of Dae Jang Geum before. It is available from Amazon here. There are several outstanding pieces of music on it, ranging from the rousing opening theme of the show, to more quiet incidental piano music. There are two versions, one in Korean, and one in English, of what is the theme song of the love between Jang Geum and Min Jeong Ho, called Hamangyeon. The English one is greatly superior, lyrically. It perfectly expresses their situation, in which they are waiting for the day when they can be together, and knowing it might never happen:

Hamangyeon

Icy shades of blue

I’ve been true to you

Shaped my world on “soon”

Prayed to ghostly moons

Deep and dark it preys

Bleak and stark, in grays

Love’s a shark at bay

Till your heart’s betrayed

Oh, the curse of men and war

My hero’s cry is empty, forlorn

But in the silence I concede

My heart can’t flee

This hopeless dream must be or vanish

Foolish love

Once you promised distant shores

And o’er the waves you’d lift me once more

Now my pain brings no reward

Your fate’s bound and sworn

From afar I wish you near

And with each breath, I tremble with fear

For in spite of how I bleed

My heart can’t flee

This hopeless dream must be or vanish

Foolish love

My heart can’t flee

This foolish love.

You can listen to it on YouTube,

. It plays over many scenes between Jang Geum and Min Jeong Ho. Tacked on at the end of the video clip is a translation of the Korean version of the song, which is entirely different from the English version. It's much more vague, and inferior.

Another of my favorites is the children's song, called Onara:

o-nara, o-nara, a-ju o-na

(would he come would he come, if I told him to come?)

ga-nara, ga-nara, a-ju ga-na

(would he go, would he go, if I told him to go?)

na-na-ni, na-ryo-do, mot-no-na-ni

(even if I wait a thousand years we could never keep comany)

a-ni-ri, a-ni-ri, a-ni-no-nae

(no, no we could never be)

ae-ya, dee-ya, ae-ya, na-na-nee-yo

[which evidently is meaningless sounds like "la, la, la"]

oh-ji-do, mot-ha-na, na-do-ga-ma

[(You might as well) take me out of here, since he won't come]

ae-ya, dee-ya, ae-ya, na-na-nee-yo

oh-ji-do, mot-ha-na, na-do-ga-ma

I got this translation from a discussion forum on Korean television shows. This song, according to what I've read, is supposed to be the young palace girls' lament about their life waiting for the King to notice them. They can never marry, since they are the King's women. Nevertheless, the song sounds positively joyful, as the little girls sing it.

You can hear this song on YouTube also,

.

Any song you listen to on this soundtrack will immediately call to mind many of the beautiful scenes of the story. For example, there is a piano piece that immediately brings to mind the scene in which Myeong, Jang Geum's mother to be, is following Cheon Soo, Jang Geum's father to be, carrying her little bundle of belongings in her arms, hoping he will stop. It's just a beautiful scene, and beautiful mood music.

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