Dae Jang Geum

Our latest K-drama obsession is Dae Jang Geum. It’s a 54-episode (approximately 60 minutes each) series about a woman who rises to be physician to the king in the 1500s. In a society that is so male dominated, it seems amazing that a woman could hold such a trusted position especially so long ago.

And while much of the series is fictionalized, it’s based on a woman physician who appears in The Annals of the Choson Dynasty.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the series follows Jang Geum from the time she’s just a child through her later years in the palace. The series has love, fighting, scheming, and lots of Korean food (which always makes me so hungry), since she spends time as kitchen lady cooking for the royal family. But what I love most is Jang Geum’s attitude of never giving up, even when all of the odds seem stacked against her.

We still have one volume left to finish this series. But we’ve enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share the recommendation with you. In fact, I’m so interested in the story now that more posts this week will be dedicated to Dae Jang Geum.

The series has been such a phenomenon, especially in some of the other Asian countries, that the Korean tourism Web site has a page about it. The page includes information about the series and some of the filming locations. If you’re interested, you can find that page here.

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