Dae Jang Geum

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Dae Jang Geum
Dae Jang Geum endtitle.png
End title of Dae Jang Geum in episode 32
Also known as Jewel in the Palace
Genre Historical fiction
Written by Kim Young-hyun
Directed by Lee Byung-hoon
Opening theme "Changryong"
Ending theme "Onara"
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 54
Executive producer(s) Jo Joong-hyun
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 60 minutes
Original network Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Picture format 480i SDTV
Original release September 15, 2003 (2003-09-15) – March 23, 2004 (2004-03-23)
External links

Dae Jang Geum (Hangul대장금; Hanja大長今; RRDae Jang-geum; MRTae Chang-gǔm; literally "The Great Jang-geum"), also known as Jewel in the Palace, is a 2003 Korean television series directed by Lee Byung-hoon. It first aired from September 15, 2003 to March 23, 2004 on MBC, where it was the top program with an average viewership rating of 46.3% and a peak of 57.8% (making it the 10th highest rated Korean drama of all time). Produced for US$15 million, it was later exported to 91 countries and has earned US$103.4 million worldwide, becoming known as one of the primary proponents of the Korean Wave by heightening the popularity of Korean pop culture abroad.[1][2][3]

Starring Lee Young-ae in the title role, it tells the tale of an orphaned kitchen cook who went on to become the king's first female physician. In a time when women held little influence in society, young apprentice cook Jang-geum strives to learn the secrets of Korean cooking and medicine in order to cure the King of his various ailments. It is based on the true story of Jang-geum, the first female royal physician of the Joseon Dynasty. The main themes are her perseverance and the portrayal of traditional Korean culture, including Korean royal court cuisine and traditional medicine.[4]


The story is set in Korea during the reigns of King Seongjong (1457–1494), King Yeonsan (1494–1506) and King Jungjong (1506–1544).

Executions - Episode 1[edit]

At the outset, King Seongjong has ordered the execution by poisoning of his wife Deposed Queen Lady Yun, the mother of the first-born son, the young crown prince (the future Prince Yeonsan). After carrying out the execution, one of the royal guards, Seo Cheon-soo, is haunted by it. On his way home, he suffers an accident and is rescued by a mysterious hermit with a cryptic message—that his life will revolve around three women: the first he has already met; another he will save, but will die because of him; and the third will kill him, but will go on to save many lives. It doesn't become clear until later in the story that the three women are the poisoned Deposed Queen Lady Yun, Park Myeong-yi (Seo's eventual wife and the mother of Jang-geum) and Jang-geum (the main character and Seo's only daughter). Haunted by the curse of the executed deposed queen and his prophesied fate at the hands of the third woman, he abandons his post and also becomes a hermit, refusing to take a wife.

Park Myeong-yi - Episodes 1 - 2[edit]

After many years, the former king dies and the Crown Prince ascends the throne as the 10th king of Joseon. Park Myeong-yi is a palace girl (or gungnyeo) and apprentice cook of the royal kitchen (soorangan). She witnesses a fellow apprentice, a girl from the powerful Choi clan named Choi Seong-geum, slip poison into the Great Royal Dowager Queen's food. Unaware that the senior kitchen officers are part of a conspiracy against the said Queen, Myeong-yi informs the fragrance kitchen officer Kim sanggong (choi-go sanggung).[5] The officers, fearful that Myeong-yi might reveal their conspiracy, attempt to murder her. Myeong-yi's best friend, Han Baek-young, witnesses the crime and manages to secretly save her (by hurriedly diluting the poison with an antidote). She leaves the unconscious Myeong-yi a letter explaining what had happened. As Seo Cheon-soo wanders through the forest in his self-imposed hermitage, he stumbles upon the half-conscious Myeong-yi. He rescues her and the two fall in love and marry. They end up living peacefully in a remote village as lower caste commoners (Seo Cheon-soo posing as a butcher and village weapon smith) and raise a clever daughter named Seo Jang-geum.


Jang Geum soon enters the palace after both her parents die. She is committed to be able to enter the middle kitchen (where her mother used to cook) to uncover her mothers letter written for Jang Geum. During this time, she meets Lady Han who then uncovers Jang Geum as Myeong-yi's daughter. They form a mother-daughter bond. The Right Minister Oh Gyeom-ho (the Choi clan's ally within the Royal Cabinet) frame Lady Han and Jang-geum as traitors in league with Jo Gwang-jo, the famous Joseon reformer. In an effort to save Jang-geum, Lady Han declares that she alone is guilty of treason. Nonetheless, both are judged guilty and sent to Jeju Island to work as government slaves. On the way to Jeju, Lady Han dies from her injuries. Lady Choi replaces her as the choi-go sanggung, while Jang-geum vows revenge.

In exile at Jeju[edit]

Min Jeong-ho follows Jang-geum to Jeju Island. He offers to help Jang-geum escape, but she refuses since doing so would mean never being able to return to the palace to not only clear Lady Han's name, but obtain justice for her mother's death. Min Jeong-ho declares he will wait for her and help her out throughout her stay in Jeju.

On Jeju Island, Jang-geum meets a woman named Jang-deok, whom she first mistakes for a fellow slave. She soon discovers that Jang-deok is a famous female doctor. Jang-deok's blunt and forthright manner at first offend her, but as time goes by, she begins to see that the female doctor is dedicated and caring. As the days go by, Jang-geum realizes that her only way back to the palace is to become a female physician (uinyeo). She begs Jang-deok to teach her medicine. Jang-geum's friend, Jeong Woon-baek, an eccentric royal physician, disapproves of her decision to pursue medicine in order to take revenge on the Choi clan. In spite of this, Jang-geum perseveres and earns herself a post as a female doctor-in-training at the palace.[6]

Upon returning to the palace, Jang-geum encounters Choi Geum-young, who, during Jang-geum's absence has been promoted to choi-go sanggung. The ruthlessly ambitious Lady Choi has ousted the former head officer of the palace (jae-jo sanggung; one of their former allies),[7] and now occupies that position herself. Min Jeong-ho is a lieutenant and a member of the King's Royal Cabinet. Jang-geum's childhood best friend, Lee Yeon-saeng, also a gungnyeo, has caught the king's eye, and is now his concubine (sook-ui[8]). Jang-geum endures many trials at the palace, from being forced to wash the feet of Geum-young, to a backstabbing uinyeo named Park Yeol-yi. In spite of this, Jang-geum manages to accomplish great feats, such as halting an epidemic and saving the king's life when the king's own physicians fail.

With Jang-geum's status rising, several events ensue that lead to an investigation of the Choi clan, resulting in the prosecution of Lady Choi, her elder brother and several high-ranking officials, including the Chief State Councillor. Everyone tries to escape, but only Lady Choi manages to evade the guards. Jang-geum finds her and asks if she is willing to sacrifice her niece, Geum-young, to the authorities while she herself escapes. Having abandoned her ethics and conscience for the sake of the Choi clan a long time ago, Lady Choi is unable to respond. Torn between self-preservation and guilt, Lady Choi wanders the countryside hallucinating. She ends up falling off a cliff off Mount Dongin and dies (but not before speaking and paying respects in front of the memorial grave of her former friend Park Myeong-yi, Jang-geum's mother). Choi Geum-young loses her position as choi-go sanggung and is exiled along with the other officials.

Through her dedication, perseverance and medical skills, Jang-geum saves the royal family from re-occurring, seemingly never-ending ill fortune. After giving birth to a stillborn child, Queen Consort Munjeong remains ill. Jang-geum correctly identifies a second stillborn fetus in the Queen Consort's womb and saves her life. She convinces the Dowager Queen Mother to undergo medical treatment at the risk of being beheaded. She also cures Grand Prince Gyeongwon, only son of Queen Consort Munjeong, of smallpox, which earns the permanent gratitude of the Queen Consort.

Court physician[edit]

For her achievements King Jungjong makes Jang-geum a 6th rank official[9] and appoints her to be his personal physician, the first woman to hold such a position. The court is in uproar and the state councillors unanimously oppose the appointment on the grounds that it violates the country's constitution. When the Dowager Queen Mother humiliates herself to express her disapproval, the king revokes his decision. She urges the king to take Jang-geum as one of his concubines. Although the king is in love with Jang-geum, he refrains from making her one of his concubines against her will. Jang-geum contains a small pox epidemic, and the king finally decrees her his personal physician. She is granted the honorific Dae (meaning "The Great"), as well as the position of a 3rd rank official.

Jang-geum fears that accepting this position will endanger her friends and family. However, with Min Jeong-ho's support, she accepts. The ministers and scholars of the court bitterly accept the decree, but demand that the king punish Min Jeong-ho for supporting Jang-geum's appointment. Seeing an opportunity to separate the lovers, the king agrees and Jeong-ho is sentenced to exile.

Escape, and fugitives from the law[edit]

Eventually, the king's previous medical condition re-emerges. Jang-geum attempts to heal him using all the medical equipment and knowledge available at the time. The other doctors offer advice but nothing works; the king is dying. Jang-geum resorts to her last option—an experimental technique using newly "discovered" anesthesia and surgery.[10] However, the king's body is considered sacred and the court unanimously opposes this new procedure, and the king decides not to allow the operation. Knowing Jang-geum's life will be in danger after his death, the repentant king grants her escape to be with Min Jeong-ho. Jang-geum and Jeong-ho live as fugitives.

Eight years later, Jang-geum's daughter, Min So-Hoon, is spotted by her adoptive father, who, following her and seeing Jang Geum, alerts Jang-geum's friends in the palace. By this time King Jungjong has been dead, along with his appointed Crown Prince (who became King Injong, who ruled for less than a year plagued by a life of ill health. The second-in-line to succeed the throne is Grand Prince Gyeongwon, the only child and son of Queen Munjeong, who is now both the Great Royal Dowager Queen and the Regent, wielding enormous power.[11] When she learns that Jang-geum is still in the country, she invites her and Jeong-ho to return to the palace and be reinstated to their previous positions. Jang-geum and Jeong-ho joyfully return, but decide for the sake of their family to live outside the palace. Jang-geum leaves the palace not before seeing her friends, Lee Suk-Won, Queen Consort, and a few others from afar.

As they return to their previous routine, Jang-geum comes across a pregnant woman, and successfully uses her surgical skills to deliver the woman's baby via Caesarean section, thus becoming the first physician in Korea to undertake such a surgical procedure. While Jang-geum celebrates her success, Jeong-ho laments the repressive social climate of Korea, and its inability to accommodate a woman with ambitions.


Main characters[edit]

An intelligent, beautiful, and introverted woman whose outgoing nature and enthusiasm allow her stand out from the crowd. Ever since her parents died during a political massacre, she has suffered many hardships and obstacles, especially in the palace, but she overcomes them with strong determination and perseverance.

Being strong-willed, Jang-geum strives to reach her goal regardless of the obstacles she is facing. It is with her extraordinary medical skills and knowledge, as well as her integrity and high ethics to only use her knowledge to heal and cure, that she becomes the first female physician to the king, and named Dae ("the Great") Jang-geum, becoming a third-ranked official, something unheard of at the time during the Joseon era.

An educated, very intelligent and good-looking man, he is an outstanding scholar who combines both learning and the martial arts. Jeong-ho is a judge of the Hang Sung Boo, the ministry governing the affairs of the capital Hansung. Unaware of who he is, Jang-geum saves him upon being shot at. They then meet again when she goes to him to borrow books. They become romantically involved as he moves to Nae Geum Wee (the Royal Military Guard) as Jong Sa Gwan, a senior officer.

Ambitious and arrogant, Choi Geum-young starts her life in the palace as the niece of the influential Lady Choi, becomes Jang-geum's lifelong rival. Although she is with the Choi clan, she yearns to find her own way - never really accepting the Chois' way of doing things but unable to find her own independent identity. Her intelligence and talent often put her head-to-head with Jang-geum and she competes with her in order to become better than her. Eventually Lady Choi's influence and her unreciprocated attraction to Min Jeong-ho prompt her to keep mostly to the Choi clan's ways.

The 11th king of the Joseon Dynasty, he is very gentle but extremely irresolute and indecisive. He is a kind man who, after his first wife was forced to be commit suicide by cabinet ministers for political reasons, has shut down his heart. The king deeply mourns over his beloved wife, powerless to protect her. He is constantly aware that he is only a puppet to the appointed ministers and angry that he is helpless to do anything about it. The king gets to know Jang-geum in the midst of his aggressive efforts toward pushing for political reform and grows fond of her warm personality and outstanding talents. He finds an understanding companion in her and later, for the first time in a decade, becomes attracted to her.

As one of the sanggungs working in the royal kitchen (soorakgan), she possesses a talent in culinary art and is able to identify the source of the ingredients in a dish. Best friend to Jang-geum's mother, she often misses and regrets not being able to save her friend. She is a rigorous, steadfast person who is not to be swayed from her purpose. Although obdurate in nature, she is actually very kind-hearted. Jang-geum's presence allows her to open up and she treats her as both a strict teacher and a kind mother figure.

Choi Pan-sul's younger sister and Geum-young's aunt. With her family hierarchy and bloodline, she is expected to be the successor of the soorakgan's highest sanggung rank. She learned and was being taught about the delicacy of food from a young age. Arrogant and too proud, she has a fierce need to get what she wants and will stop at nothing until she gets what she wants. Sharp-minded and quick to act, she is always a step ahead of plotting against Jang-geum and Han Sanggung ("Lady Han"). She hasn't been nice to Jang-Geum, Jang-Geum's mother and Lady Han.

Supporting characters[edit]

Early life
Time as a palace chef
  • Park Eun-hye as Lee Yeun-Seng
  • Lee Ip-sae as Yoon Young-roh
  • Kim So-yi as Min Mee-geum
  • Yeo Woon-kay as Jung Mal-geum
  • Park Jung-soo as Park Yong-shin
  • Choi Ja-hye as Chang-Yee
  • Jo Gyeong-hwan as Oh Gyeom-ho
  • Lee Hee-do as Choi Pan-sul - Lady Choi's brother
  • Na Seong-gyun as Yoon Mak-gae - Young-roh's uncle
  • Choi Seong-geum's aunt was the choi-go sanggung during Park Myeong-yi, Choi Seong-geum, and Han Baek-young's time as palace maids. She was the executor of Myeong-yi's secret "death sentence" administered to all palace maids committing moral errors.
Time as a Jungjong's royal queen consorts
Time as a medical woman
  • Jeon In-taek as Doctor Jeong Yoon-soo
  • Maeng Sang-hoon as Professor (and Doctor) Jeong Woon-baek
  • Kim Yeo-jin as Jang-deok - a known physician from Jeju
  • Han Ji-min as Shin-bi
  • Lee Se-eun as Park Yeol-yi (Her "adoptive" mother was the previous choi-go sanggung Lady Park Yong-shin)
  • Professor and Physician Shin - one of the trainer of Jang-Geum and Shin-Bi when they enter the palace to became a physician. He became Queen Dowager's Physician but Queen Dowager doesn't trust him at first as her physician. He is also became King's Physician, when Jang-Geum found the cause and cure of King's illness.
  • Professor Lee - is also Jang-Geum and Shin-Bi's trainer when they enter the palace to became a physician lady. He calls physician trainees to become dancers when there is a special event. He is also Queen Dowager Jasun's relative.

Series notes[edit]

Dae Jang Geum is a fictionalized drama of a historical figure by the name of Jang-geum. It is unclear whether a person by that name existed.

The script originally included a kissing scene between Seo Jang-geum and Min Jung-ho, but Lee Young-ae, who plays Jang-geum, felt it wasn't necessary and that the drama did not need such scenes in order to generate viewer ratings. Hence the scene was removed.

Lady Han (Yang Mi-kyung) was supposed to die in episode 18 but due to fan protests, the director delayed her death.

Park Eun-hye was originally cast to play the role of Seo Jang-geum, but later when it was confirmed that Lee Young-ae would be acting in the drama as well, Park was recast in the role of Lee Yeon-saeng.


Theme song[edit]

The theme song, Onara (Korean: 오나라) is in Old Korean. This produced arguments about the lyrics and how they should be interpreted. As a result, different interpretations surfaced. Eventually the songwriter, Im Se-hyeon, revealed the lyrics.[12]

The song is in the pansori style, a particular type of Korean music that emerged during the Joseon Dynasty and was very popular in the 19th century. It utilizes the vocals of one singer, a sorikkun, and one drummer, a gosu, to tell a themed story. The refrain ("He-iya di-iya he-iya naranino") is called chu-imsae and, in traditional pansori, it is supplied by the drummer to give rhythm to the song in addition to the beat. Chuimsae consists of meaningless vowel sounds or short words of encouragement. Chuimsae is analogous to scat singing in jazz nonsense syllables such as "La, la, la," or "Shoop, shoop ba doop" in English-language popular songs.

Since the song is in archaic Korean, the meaning of the song can be ambiguous. But one explanation is that the song depicts a girl who longs for a man that she cannot be with. So she accepts the way it is and moves on with her life.

Korean version[edit]

The end of each episode of Dae Jang Geum features "Onara" sung by three Korean children, Kim Ji-hyeon (Hangul김지현; Hanja金智賢), Baek Bo-hyeon (Hangul백보현; Hanja白寶賢), Kim Seul-gi (Hangul김슬기; Hanja金슬기), who were elementary students learning Korean classic music at the time. The Dae Jang Geum soundtrack album also features a slower version of the song sung by E Ahn (Hangul이안; Hanja李安; his real name is Lee Dong-hee (Hangul이동희; Hanja李冬熙)), a Korean traditional music singer who graduated from the Korean classical music department at Seoul National University.

Foreign versions[edit]

"Onara" has several other versions that were used with Dae Jang Geum's release outside of Korea. "Hope" (希望 Hèimohng) was the version sung by Kelly Chen in Cantonese for the Hong Kong release. "Baby" (娃娃 Wáwá) was sung by Angela Chang in Mandarin Chinese for the Taiwan release. "Calling" (呼唤 Hūhuàn) sung by Tang Can, and "Hope" (希望 Xīwàng) sung by five winners of the Super Girl singing contest were among those used for the China release.

For the Philippine release, Faith Cuneta sang an entirely different song (in contrast with her earlier work for the Philippine broadcast of "Winter Sonata"), titled "Pangarap na Bituin" (a remake of the original sung by the singer's aunt Sharon Cuneta as the theme song for her 1984 film "Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala").

In Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese version was sung by Anjalin Gunathilaka and written by Athula Ransirilal; it was titled "Gaha kola mal gal gesee bala sitinawa" (The trees and flowers are looking at her). A Tamil version was also released with the title "Maramilay pukkal urindu parkinrana." Local musical instruments such as the raban were used in the recording, and both songs were very popular among children.

Original soundtrack[edit]

  1. 고원 (高原)
  2. 창룡 (蒼龍)[13]
  3. 하망연 (何茫然) Hamangyeon - feat. Safina
  4. 오나라 II
  5. 0815 (空八一五)
  6. 연밥
  7. 덕구
  8. Hamangyeon feat. Safina
  9. APNA
  10. 다솜
  11. 비 (悲)
  12. 단가 (短歌)
  13. 연도 (烟濤)
  14. 오나라 I
  15. The Legend Becomes History
  16. 자야오가 (子夜吳歌) Techno Ver.
  17. 하망연 (何茫然) Hamangyeon-Instrumental


2003 MBC Drama Awards[14]
2004 Baeksang Arts Awards

Commercial success[edit]

Dae Jang Geum has experienced extensive success throughout Asia, in places such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, further continuing the Korean Wave cultural fever that has gripped Asia since the early 2000s.[15][16] It has been shown in Australia, the United States, Ghana, Sweden, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Peru, Colombia, Egypt, Romania, Canada, Israel, Hungary, New Zealand and Pakistan.[citation needed]


The drama was shown on GTV in Taiwan on May 2004 where it was dubbed into Mandarin and known as Da Changjin (大長今 Dà Chángjīn). It was the number one program in Taiwan, where the theme song was sung by Angela Chang.

In New Zealand it aired in Korean with English subtitles twice a week from October 2009 on Triangle TV and Stratos Television.

In September 2005, it was shown on Hong Kong's TVB with the same name 大長今, where it became the top-rated drama in Hong Kong history until the season finale of Moonlight Resonance, a popular Hong Kong-based drama. The theme song was sung by Kelly Chen. It won Best Foreign Program at the TVB Anniversary Awards (2005).

Also in September 2005, Dae Jang Geum aired for the first time in mainland China on Hunan TV where it was known as Da Changjin (大長今 Dà Chángjīn). The theme song of the drama has been performed in many variations by Chinese artists, including versions by CETV, Hunan TV, and a version sung by five winners of the Super Girl singing contest, a popular TV show. Chinese president Hu Jintao once told the leader of the ruling Uri Party that it was a shame his busy schedule kept him from watching every episode.[17][18][19][20]

In Japan, it appeared beginning in October 2005 on the country's biggest TV station, NHK, under the title of The Vow of Palace Court Lady Jang Geum. (宮廷女官チャングムの誓い Kyūtei Nyokan Changumu no Chikai).[21] It was also aired by TBS in 2009.

Dae Jang Geum was shown in Thailand (as แดจังกึม จอมนางแห่งวังหลวง) in October 2005 on Channel 3.

It aired in Cambodia in the middle of 2005 on Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Television channel and received critical acclaim from several newspapers and magazines. The series performed outstandingly due to its air time during the national school vacation period. Cast member Hong Ri-na visited Cambodia during the first airing. Dae Jang Geum was renamed Chavit Neang Jang Kim (Khmer: ជីវីតនាងចំាងគឹម) and means The Life of Jang Geum Lady.

In Indonesia, Dae Jang Geum was shown in December 2005 by Indosiar.

In Malaysia, the drama series first appeared in November 2004 until February 2005 on 8TV, however it was dubbed in Mandarin taken from the Taiwan "Da Changjin" with the programme title Jewel in the Palace. After several years, it was re-shown in late 2011 on TV Alhijrah in the original Korean with Malay subtitles.

In Singapore, Dae Jang Geum first premiered on July 8, 2005 on VV Drama Ch 855, a Mandarin cable television channel which belongs to Starhub, aired as Jewel in the Palace. It was aired on weekdays at 7 p.m. A one-minute filler produced by Hong Kong’s TVB was aired before the start of every episode. The fillers, hosted by TVB artiste Bowie Lam, give viewers brief information on the content featured in each episode. The drama was also aired on Singapore's free-to-air TV MediaCorp Channel U on weekdays at 10 p.m., beginning from March 14, 2006. The drama was a huge success that it was shown again on Channel U from September 9, 2006 onwards, weekends at 7.30 p.m., barely three months after the original broadcast ended. Dae Jang Geum became the first foreign drama in MediaCorp's history to have a repeat telecast during prime time. Also, to mark VV Drama's 20th anniversary, this drama will also be rerun from July 23, 2012 at 6.00 p.m.

In the Philippines Dae Jang Geum was shown by GMA Network under the title Jewel in the Palace and was the highest rated Koreannovela from November 2005 to March 2006, beaten only by My Lovely Sam Soon, which also aired on GMA. During April, the show bounced back to the lead spot when the latter show ended. Due to its massive popularity, the show was re-run at the third quarter of 2006 and enjoyed high ratings. Beginning May 26, 2014, Jewel in the Palace will be again aired on weekday afternoons, also on GMA, to let "the new generation know Jang-Geum." Faith Cuneta sang a Tagalog version of the theme song titled "Pangarap na Bituin" for the Philippine release.[22]

Shown in Brunei in April 2007 on RTB2 under the title Jewel in the Palace.

In India, Dae Jang Geum was aired on DD National from September 2007 after it was dubbed in Hindi with the title "घर का चिराग" (Ghar ka Chiraag) that means "Lamp of the Home." It gained much popularity in India.

In Bangladesh, Dae Jang Geum is being shown by state-owned Bangladesh Television under the title Jewel in the Palace since 2012 on every Saturday morning.

In Sri Lanka, it aired in October 2012 on the Rupavahini Channel dubbed in Sinhala under the title Sujatha Diyani (සුජාත දියණී), meaning "The Pure, Valuable Daughter". It was very popular, watched by 90 percent of Sri Lankan viewers, and the name Jang-geum was known as "Changumi." In November 2012, it aired on the state channel, Jathika Rupavahini. In August 2013, it was dubbed in Tamil "சுஜாத தியனி" by SLRC. In September 2013, it aired on the Channel Nethra TV, from 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The song "Onara" was translated to both Sinhala and Tamil languages, with the Sinhalese version sung by Anjalin Gunathilaka and a children's choir. In 2013, a Sujatha Diyani book adaptation was written by Sri Lankan writer Niranjala Hemamali Vedikkara and published in two parts by Sadeepa Publications. Another book, Changumi was published by Vidarshana; it is a translation of episode summaries posted by Shazoor Mirza on the internet.

In Pakistan, Dae Jang Geum is aired from January 2015 every Monday to Saturday . It is dubbed in Urdu.

Middle East and Africa[edit]

In Iran Dae Jang Geum appeared on Channel 2 under the title Jewel in the Palace in 2006 and 2007. It reminded viewers of Oshin, a popular Japanese drama that had aired 20 years ago.[23] Based on a survey conducted by IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting), this series is ranked as the most popular drama of IRIB from March to April 2007 with 57 percent viewership and 92 percent satisfaction.[24]

Dae Jang Geum has also aired in Jordan and Egypt.

The Arabic Dub which has also started airing on Dubai TV on October 14, 2007 carries the title Jawharatu Alqasr (جوهرة القصر). It is the Arabic translation for Jewel in the Palace.

Turkish television also started airing Dae Jang Geum on TRT 1 on January 14, 2008. The Turkish title is Saraydaki Mücevher.

In Tanzania Independent Television (ITV) aired Dae Jang Geum as Jewel in the Palace

In Nigeria the African Independent Television channel aired Dae Jang Geum as Jewel in the Palace on Sundays 9am.

The Israeli cable TV daytime-drama channel Viva started airing Dae Jang Geum (in Korean with subtitles) as The Diamond in the Crown (היהלום שבכתר) in October 2008. It was rebroadcast from July 10, 2010, two episodes every weekend, and ended January 15, 2011.

Dae Jang Geum was also aired in Zimbabwe, under the title Jewel in the Korean Palace. The station also had a promo wherein viewers have to answer three questions from the drama. It was said that almost one-fourth of the population joined the "Jewel in the Korean Palace Quiz."


Beginning in June 2005, the variously titled program was shown in the United States on AZN Television and on ethnic Korean stations such as KBFD in Hawaii, WOCH-CA in Chicago, and KTSF in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In July 2005 it was shown on Canada’s Cantonese-language Fairchild TV and in September 2005 on Australia’s Cantonese-language TVB Jade.

In Peru Dae Jang Geum aired every weekday at 5:30 p.m. with a special 3 hour edition on Sunday from November 2008 to February 2009 by TV Perú, the country's public broadcasting station. It aired under the title Una Joya en el Palacio and was the first Korean drama to be shown in Latin America.

In Colombia the cable Canal Capital was shown the series in Spanish Una Joya en el Palacio at 4:30 p.m. in 2010.

In Mexico the cable TV channel TVMEX ran the series in Spanish under the name Una Joya en el Palacio from Monday to Friday at 5:30 p.m.

In Venezuela this drama was transmitted by the television channel La Tele.

In Costa Rica the drama was shown by Canal 13 (Costa Rica) as Una Joya en el Palacio.

In Puerto Rico the drama is currently being aired by WIPR-TV as Una Joya en el Palacio. Starting on September 2010, from Monday to Friday at 5:00 p.m.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the drama is shown by CCN TV6 as Jewel in the Palace with English subtitles. The series began airing in July 2011 on Sundays at 5:55 p.m.

In Barbados the drama is shown by CBC TV8 as Jewel in the Palace with English subtitles.


Romanian National Television TVR1 aired the drama under the name Giuvaierul Palatului, or Jewel in the Palace. It was shown Monday to Friday from 5:10 p.m. to 6:10 p.m. with Romanian subtitles. The series ended on October 12, 2009.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina the drama began airing on January 2010 under the name Dragulj u Carskoj Palati in Korean with Serbian subtitles.[citation needed]

In Hungary it was dubbed into Hungarian and began showing on October 3, 2008 on m1 (TV channel) with the name of A palota ékköve.[25] It aired again on the same channel during the summer of 2009. Due to popular demand m1 TV decided to re-run the show in autumn of 2009.

Dae Jang Geum was dubbed into Russian and shown on Russia's DVTRK in March 2007.

As of 2010 an online campaign is urging the BBC in the United Kingdom to show Dae Jang Geum.[26]

In Greece Dae Jang Geum or ΤΟ ΚΟΣΜΗΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΠΑΛΑΤΙΟΥ (To Kosmima tou Palatiou) aired on December 2013 from the Municipal Television of Thessaloniki and is still on the air. The drama has good ratings and a growing audience.

International broadcast[edit]

Following its initial broadcast in South Korea, Dae Jang Geum was syndicated in over 60 countries around the world, under the titles Jewel in the Palace and The Great Jang-Geum

Country Network(s)/Station(s) Series premiere Title
 South Korea MBC September 2003 대장금 (Dae Jang Geum)
 Mongolia UBS March 2004 Dae Jang Geum
 Australia TVB Jade September 2005 The Great Jang-Geum
 Bangladesh BTV 2012 Jewel in the Palace
 Bosnia and Herzegovina TVR1 January 2010 Dragulj u Carskoj Palati (The Jewel in the Imperial Palace)
 Brunei RTB2 April 2007 Jewel in the Palace
 Barbados CBC TV 8 January 2012 Jewel in the Palace
 Cambodia TV5 June 2005 ជីវីតនាងចំាងគឹម (The Life of Jang Geum Lady)
 Canada Fairchild TV July 2005 The Great Jang-Geum
 China Hunan TV September 2005 大長今 (Great Jang Geum)
 Colombia Canal Capital March 2010 Una Joya en el Palacio (The Jewel in the Palace)
 Costa Rica Canal 13 October 2009 Una Joya en el Palacio (The Jewel in the Palace)
 Ecuador Ecuador TV June 2009 Una Joya en el Palacio (The Jewel in the Palace)
 Egypt ERTU June 2006 جوهرة القصر (Jewel in the Palace)
 Ghana TV3 February 2006 Jewel in the Palace
 Ghana TV Africa October 2009 Jewel in the Palace
 Greece TV 100 December 2013 Το Κόσμημα του Παλατιού
 Grenada GNN January 2012 Jewel in the Palace
 Hong Kong TVB September 2005 大長今 (Great Jang Geum)
 Hungary m1 October 2008 A palota ékköve (The Jewel in the Palace)
 India DD National September 2007 घर का चिराग (The Lamp of the House)
 Indonesia Indosiar December 2005 Dae Jang Geum
 Iran Channel 2 November 2006 جواهری در قصر (Jewel in the Palace)
 Israel Viva October 2008 היהלום שבכתר (The Diamond in the Crown)
 Japan NHK October 2005 宮廷女官チャングムの誓い (The Vow of Palace Court Lady Jang Geum)
 Jordan MEM June 2006 جوهرة القصر (Jewel in the Palace)
 Kenya NTV October 2009 Jewel in the Palace
 Malaysia 8TV December 2005 Jewel in the Palace
 Mexico Canal 34 October 2009 Una Joya en el Palacio (The Jewel in the Palace)
 New Zealand Triangle TV October 2009 The Great Jang-Geum
 Nigeria AIT August 2008 Jewel in the Palace
 Peru TV Perú November 2008 Una Joya en el Palacio (The Jewel in the Palace)
 Philippines GMA November 2005
May 2014
Jewel in the Palace
 Philippines TeleAsia 2013 Jewel in the Palace
 Puerto Rico WIPR-TV September 2010 Una Joya en el Palacio (The Jewel in the Palace)
 Republic of China (Taiwan) GTV May 2004 大長今 (Great Jang Geum)
 Romania TVR1 April 2009 Giuvaierul Palatului (Jewel in the Palace)
 Russia DTV March 2007 Жемчужина дворца (The Jewel in the Palace)
 Saudi Arabia Dubai TV October 2007 جوهرة القصر (Jewel in the Palace)
 Singapore VV Drama July 2005 Jewel in the Palace
 Spain TVE November 2010 Una Joya en el Palacio (The Jewel in the Palace)
 Saint Lucia GNN January 2012 Jewel in the Palace
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines GNN January 2012 Jewel in the Palace
 Sri Lanka Rupavahini October 2012 සුජාත දියණි (Sujatha Diyani)
 Sri Lanka Nethra TV August 2013 சுஜாத தியனி (Sujatha Diyani)
 Tanzania Independent Television (ITV) August 2008 Jewel in the Palace
 Thailand Channel 3 October 2005 แดจังกึม จอมนางแห่งวังหลวง (Great Jang Geum)
 Trinidad and Tobago CCN TV6 July 2011 Jewel in the Palace
 Turkey TRT 1 January 2008 Saraydaki Mücevher (Jewel in the Palace)
 United Arab Emirates Dubai TV October 2007 جوهرة القصر (Jewel in the Palace)
 United States AZN June 2005 The Great Jang-Geum
 Uzbekistan Uzbekistan channel November 2005 Saroy Javohiri (Jewel in the Palace)
 Vietnam VTV1 September 2005 Nàng Dae Jang Geum (Miss Dae Jang Geum)
 Zambia AIT August 2008 Jewel in the Palace
 Zimbabwe AIT August 2008 Jewel in the Korean Palace
 Afghanistan Tolo TV August 2007 جواهر در قصر (Jewel in the Palace)
 Cameroon CRTV (Jewel In The Palace)
 Pakistan PTV January 2015 (Nageen)
 France France 2 November 2016 (Jewel In The Palace)

Cultural impact[edit]

A part of the Korean Wave of South Korean popular culture in East Asia, Dae Jang Geum's immense popularity has had significant cultural impact.


The Korea Tourism Organization promotes Dae Jang Geum-oriented tourism in East Asia and the United States and the main outdoor sets built by MBC for the shooting of the drama were purchased by the South Korean government. The Dae Jang Geum Theme Park was opened in Yangju, Gyeonggi Province in 2004 at the site of these sets where much of the filming occurred.[15]

Korean cuisine[edit]

Dae Jang Geum rekindled public interest in traditional Korean cuisine, both locally and abroad.[27][28][29][30]

References in other shows[edit]

In an episode of King of the Hill, Kahn and Minh were watching Dae Jang Geum (which is dubbed in Laotian).

In episode 1 of Princess Hours, Chae-gyeong's family is watching episode 30 of Dae Jang Geum (Yeon-saeng being scolded for playing with the King's puppy).

In episode 32 of Love Truly, Yeo Bong-soon's mother (played by Geum Bo-ra) is watching Dae Jang Geum. Geum Bo-ra played Jang-geum's adoptive mother Na Joo-daek in Dae Jang-geum.

In episode 9 of Who Are You, there is a large Dae Jang Geum poster on the side of a building.

In episode 2 of Silence, a Taiwanese drama starring Park Eun-hye, Dae Jang Geum is mentioned as a famous Korean drama.

In episode 8 of Playful Kiss, Dae Jang Geum is mentioned despite the bad cooking skills of the main character.

In the final episode of the 2007 series, Yi San, a character played by Lee Ip-sae and her colleague has a moment of deja vu in the royal kitchen and came to believe that they worked there in their previous life. The same series takes place two centuries later in the Joseon Dynasty after Dae Jang Geum. Coincidentally, Lee Ip-sae also starred in Dae Jang Geum and the other series is also produced by the same company and director.

Musical theatre[edit]

In 2007, Dae Jang Geum was made into a stage musical titled "The Great Janggeum," staged at the Seoul Arts Center from May 26 to June 16. Following the same storyline, it condensed 54 episodes of the original TV drama into a two-and-a-half-hour-long musical which combined Western orchestral music with traditional Korean group dances. An eye-catching 400 different traditional Korean costumes enhanced the beauty and scale of the stage, coupled with beautifully detailed stage settings. Producer Han Jin-sup said the musical used music to substitute for visual effects, "rhythm and melodies that replace the enjoyment of watching beautiful sets of Korean food and also have lots of Korean colors and styles to amaze audiences". For example, when girls in the royal kitchen made dumplings to win the cooking competition, "plate dances" expressed the enthusiasm of the girls and the variety of dumplings. A total of 40 songs for the musical were arranged and written by Cho Sung-woo, a famous film composer. This was the first time that Cho had written vocal and background music for a musical, saying, "This is a great opportunity and an honor for musicians like me to have a chance to write songs for musical productions. I tried to make songs that have both the Korean and Western melodies." Asked about how to deliver a storyline that requires some knowledge of Korean history to foreign audiences, co-chairman of PMC Production Song Seung-hwan cited the familiarity of most Asian viewers with the drama's plot and said the musical will highlight "love," as a universal theme in the musical.[31][32][33]

The musical was again staged at Sungjeon Hall in Gyeonghui Palace on September 5–30, 2008. Hosted by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture and the Seoul City government, it was the foundation's idea to put the ancient palaces to added use beyond mere preservation and protection for viewing. Gyeonghui Palace was one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897); about ten kings of the era stayed at the palace from King Injo to King Cheoljong. In the latter Joseon period, the palace served as a secondary palace ― a place where the king moves in times of emergency, as it was situated on the west side of Seoul. The palace was built incorporating the slanted geography of the surrounding mountain and boasts traditional beauty along with architecture rich with historical significance. The upgraded version of the musical highlighted the musical elements to better portray each character based on the more historical facts, reinterpreting the work through a new theme rather than the episodes. Keeping the colors, patterns, touches of the structures intact, the production used the natural backgrounds, traditional atmosphere and the outdoor characteristics.[34] Audiences were surprised by the unconventional modern setting. While the story revolved around an historic palace from the Joseon Dynasty, the musical incorporated hip hop, fast tempos and a dynamic staging. The actors even broke into rap, creating an imaginative, gutsy and intense show.[35]


The animated rendition of Dae Jang Geum, called Jang Geum's Dream is much the same story but focuses on Jang-geum in her younger years.[36]


In September 2012, MBC announced its plans to produce a sequel, Dae Jang Geum 2.[37][38][39] In his opening speech at a cultural contents forum in Seoul in October 2013, MBC president Kim Jong-guk reaffirmed the project, saying, "We'll push for the production in the first half of 2015 after a year of pre-production."[1][40][41][42]

In March 2014, writer Kim Young-hyun confirmed that the series would be aired in October 2014, and that lead actress Lee Young-ae who had previously turned down offers of a sequel since her semi-retirement from acting in 2006, is "positively considering" reprising her role.[43] In Kim's synopsis, Jang-geum will reportedly lose her husband and her daughter will be kidnapped and taken to China, leaving Jang-geum to try to find her. The first half of the series will be about her journey to China, where the original series has a big following, and filming will take place there. But Jang-geum will return home without success, and resume her life by looking for a young successor to take under her tutelage. Jang-geum will choose to train the daughter of Geum-young, Jang-geum's rival from the first series.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Daejanggeum II to be produced". The Korea Times. January 8, 2014. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Yang, Sung-hee (March 22, 2014). "Lee Young-ae could return to iconic series". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  3. ^ Hua, Vanessa (August 31, 2005). "Japanese soaps cleaning up". Asia Times. 
  4. ^ "10 Years On, Lee Young-ae Looks Back at Jewel in the Palace". The Chosun Ilbo. September 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ The choi-go sanggung is a lady-in-waiting and officer of the 5th senior rank; the highest position held by a woman working in the palace.
  6. ^ In dynastic Korea, women were considered inferior to men in virtually all aspects of life, including occupation. Female doctors (uinyeo) were treated as prostitutes during Prince Yeonsan's rule and generally considered the lowest class of women in the palace.
  7. ^ The jae-jo sanggung is the highest position held by a woman of the 5th senior rank, and is in charge of all the women working in the palace.
  8. ^ Sook-ui is the lowest rank for a King's concubine; belonging to the 8th junior rank
  9. ^ Korea had a nine-rank system of government.
  10. ^ Surgery was actually introduced in Korea by a Presbyterian missionary from the United States in 1884. See article [1].
  11. ^ She is to rule in her son's name for another 12 years, before her own death.
  12. ^ Lyrics
  13. ^ This is the opening theme, and plays during scenes of practicing medicine and the return to the palace.
  14. ^ Kim, Tae-geun (December 29, 2003). "TV Dramas' Actresses Line up for Award Ceremony Takeover". The Chosun Ilbo. 
  15. ^ a b "Overseas Press to Participate in the Hallyu Promotion Event" at the Korea Tourism Organization website. October 10, 2005.
  16. ^ Kositchotethana, Boonsong (January 11, 2006). "A lesson from South Korea". Bangkok Post. Archived from the original on September 14, 2006. 
  17. ^ "Chinese Mainland in Thrall to Daejanggeum". The Chosun Ilbo. September 30, 2005. 
  18. ^ Coonan, Clifford (April 13, 2007). "Reality TV pits networks against government". Variety. 
  19. ^ "Planting new high in bilateral ties". China Daily. August 27, 2008. 
  20. ^ "China leaders' top secretly-screened foreign film picks". China Times. October 15, 2013. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Korean Hit TV Drama Daejanggeum Sweeps Japan". The Chosun Ilbo. October 31, 2005. 
  22. ^ Salanga, Elias Isabelo (January 16, 2008). "Top Asianovelas since the year 2002". Philippine Entertainment Portal. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. 
  23. ^ http://www.aftab.ir/articles/art_culture/TV/c5c1181723876_television_p1.php
  24. ^ بر اساس آخرین نتایج بررسی تحقیقات صدا و سیما، «جواهری در قصر» با 57 درصد مخاطب و 92 درصد رضایت درصدر پرمخاطب ترین سریال های پخش شده در اردیبهشت ماه قرار دارد. روزنامه جام جم، 31 خرداد 1386، صفحه 3
  25. ^ "Korean Drama to Debut in Europe". The Chosun Ilbo. January 14, 2008. 
  26. ^ http://showdjgonbbc.blogspot.com/
  27. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (March 20, 2008). "Vive La Korean Food! Hallyu Revitalizes Culinary Tradition". The Korea Times. 
  28. ^ Michot, Alexandra (November 3, 2007). "Slow food à Séoul" [Slow food in Seoul]. Madame Figaro (in French). 
  29. ^ "French Discover Korean Cuisine". The Chosun Ilbo. November 5, 2007. 
  30. ^ "Lecture: Korean Royal Cuisine in Korean Drama, Jewel in the palace". Korean Cultural Service NY. May 27, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Daejanggeum Musical to Debut on Stage This Year". The Chosun Ilbo. February 6, 2007. 
  32. ^ Cho, Chung-un (February 7, 2007). "Musical Great Janggeum unveiled". The Korea Herald. 
  33. ^ Lee, Woo-young (May 31, 2007). "MUSICAL REVIEW: Great Janggeum offers a feast with unfilled dishes". The Korea Herald. 
  34. ^ Chung, Ah-young (August 21, 2008). "Royal Palaces Open Wide". The Korea Times. 
  35. ^ Choi, Min-woo (December 20, 2008). "High notes and discord in the musical world". Korea Joongang Daily. 
  36. ^ "Daejanggeum Week Draws Diehard Fans". The Chosun Ilbo. May 31, 2007. 
  37. ^ "MBC to make sequel to popular TV drama Daejanggeum". The Korea Times. September 17, 2012. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. 
  38. ^ "MBC to make sequel to popular TV drama Daejanggeum". The Korea Herald. September 17, 2012. 
  39. ^ Sunwoo, Carla (September 19, 2012). "MBC plans Dae Jang Geum sequel". Korea JoongAng Daily. 
  40. ^ "MBC president plans to produce sequel to Daejanggeum in 2015". The Korea Herald. October 18, 2013. 
  41. ^ Kim, Peter (October 18, 2013). "Sequel to Jewel in the Palace set for 2015". The Korea Observer. 
  42. ^ Chung, Ah-young (January 10, 2014). "Epic dramas to rule small screen in 2014". The Korea Times. 
  43. ^ "Jewel in the Palace Sequel in the Works". The Chosun Ilbo. March 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]