Sea of Blood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Rivers of Blood speech.
Sea of Blood
Lyrics Attributed to Kim Il-sung
Basis The mass killings of Koreans during the Japanese occupation.
Productions July 1971 to present [1]
Sea of Blood
Revised Romanization Pibada
McCune–Reischauer P‘ibada

Sea of Blood (Chosŏn'gŭl: 피바다) is the title of a North Korean opera credited to Kim Il-sung. It was first produced as an opera by Sea of Blood Theatrical Troupe ("Pibada Guekdan") in 1971.[2] It was then later adapted into a novel by the Choseon Novelist Association of the 4.15 Culture Creation Group (Chosŏn'gŭl: 조선작가 동맹 4·15문학창작단) in 1973.[3]

The plot of Sea of Blood is set in the 1930s, during the Japanese occupation of Korea, and follows the life of protagonist Sun-Nyo and her family as they suffer numerous tragedies at the hands of the Japanese before eventually gaining the willpower and means to join the communist revolution and fight against their oppressors. The story is meant to exemplify the values of the Juche ideology, with self-reliance and solidarity being the central themes. The novel is notable for its highly detailed descriptions and lengthy narrations of each character's point of view as well as its graphic depiction of violence. It is also mandatory reading in North Korea’s literature curriculum.[4]

Along with The Flower Girl (Chosŏn'gŭl: 꽃파는 처녀), Tell O’the Forest! (Chosŏn'gŭl: 밀림아 이야기하라), A True Daughter of the Party (Chosŏn'gŭl: 당의 참된 딸), The Song of Mount Kumgang (Chosŏn'gŭl: 금강산의 노래), Sea of Blood is considered one of the "Five Great Revolutionary Operas" (Korean revolutionary opera) (Chosŏn'gŭl: 5대 혁명가극; hancha: 혁명가극]]), which are the five most critically acclaimed operas within North Korea with revolutionary themes. The opera is considered as a masterpiece in North Korea since it expresses the unique aspects of the Juche regime's revolutionary ideology. It is also regarded as an exemplary revolutionary piece because of its unique use of visual and auditory effect and unprecedented theme, which was unlike other existing operas.[5]

The opera is known for being North Korea's longest-running production, having being staged over 1,500 times, and is presented three to four times a week at Pyongyang's main theater.[6] The North Korean Opera Troupe, which was established in 1946, was renamed "Sea of Blood Opera Troupe" shortly after the opera's release in 1971.[7]

Sea of Blood was also produced as a three-hour black-and-white film, rumored to have been directed partly by Kim Jong-il, the son of Kim Il-sung, in the early 1970s, which was produced by Korea Films.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Karl Malakunas. "It ain't Hollywood, but North Korean cinema only has room for one star". Retrieved 2006-04-30. 
  2. ^ KCNA. "Revolutionary opera "Sea of Blood" 30 years old". Retrieved 2006-04-30. 
  3. ^ Naver Encyclopedia. "Pibada". Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  4. ^ Naver Encyclopedia. "Pibada". Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  5. ^ Naver Encyclopedia. "Pibada". Retrieved 2014-04-10. 
  6. ^ John Gorenfeld. "Dear Playwright". Archived from the original on 2006-10-29. Retrieved 2006-04-30. 
  7. ^ "Phibada Opera Troupe". Korean Central News Agency. 19 June 2002. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 

External links[edit]