Archive for Joseon dynasty

my country

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2019 by xi'an

Watching a new Korean drama TV series, called My country: The New Age, which relates to the early years of the Joseon dynasty and the power shifts between the first King, Yi Seung-Gye, later of King Taejo, a former general taking over by assassinating the previous ruler (and making him the last of his dynasty!), and his sons, but involving heavily three young characters growing through these years and making them instrumental to solving these power fights. First, Seo Hwi, the son of the greatest warrior of the (previous) era who was wrongly dishonored, himself a fabulous warrior, who witnessed his father’s suicide and was left alone to protect his sick sister Seo Yeon. Continuously persecuted by Naem Jeon, an eminence grise behind Yi Seung-Gye and definitely the arch-evil character of the series, with Hwi aiming at taking revenge on him, although he comes several times with opportunities to kill him and does not. (The number of violent deaths in the series is staggering!) Second, Han Hui-Jae a rebellious young woman raised in a gisaeng (geisha equivalent) residence by the owner of the place, after the political murder of her mother under Hui-Jae’s eyes. Rising to prominence in the structure which is used to gather information and gain influence through the clients of the place. And in love with Hwi. Third, Nam Seon-Ho, illegitimate son of Naem Jeon, whom he hates for causing the suicide of his low-born mother and who raises him after the death of his legitimate son (it however requires most of the show for Seon-Ho to turn completely against his father). Close friend of Hwi, but also his competitor in the military exams, which he unfairly wins by his father weighting in, and equally in love with Hae. Protector of Yeon when his brother Hwi gets sent to a disciplinary military unit for rebelling against the exam result. With the two never truly and actively fighting one another, as the old friendship keeps Seon-Ho saving Hwi and counter-acting his father’s nefarious moves, even though Seon-Ho pretends to aim only at gaining power. A complex  if classical triangle, with a theatrical (in the sense of formal and unrealistic) organisation of the plot. The most interesting character in the whole show may be Yi Bang-Won, the fifth son of the new king Yi Seung-Gye, who supported him acceding the throne and who strongly resents not being his nominated successor. (Maybe because he has a deeper presence, thank to historical sources. He would eventually become King Taejong.) Very similar in many ways to the Scholar who walks the night, except without a fantastic part. Almost indistinguishable music as well. But still an interesting experience, esp. when watching it in Seoul (which was Hanseong at that time.)

Gyeongbokgung palace [jatp]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on November 10, 2019 by xi'an

밤을 걷는 선비

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , on May 5, 2019 by xi'an