Emperor of the Sea
|Emperor of the Sea|
Title card of the series
|Also known as||'Sea God or Hae-sin'|
by Choi In-ho
|Written by||Jung Jin-ok |
|Directed by||Kang Il-soo |
|Starring||Choi Soo-jong |
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of episodes||51|
|Production company(s)||Kim Jong-hak Production|
|Original network||Korean Broadcasting System|
|Original release||November 24, 2004 –|
May 25, 2005
|Emperor of the Sea|
Emperor of the Sea (Hangul: 해신; Hanja: 海神; RR: Hae-sin; literally "Sea God") is a South Korean television drama series starring Choi Soo-jong, Chae Shi-ra, Song Il-gook، Soo Ae and Chae Jung-an It aired on KBS2 from November 24, 2004 to May 25, 2005 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 51 episodes. The period drama is based on Choi In-ho's 2003 novel Hae-sin, which depicts the life of Jang Bogo, who rises from a lowly slave to a powerful maritime figure who dominated the East Asia seas and international trade during the Unified Silla Dynasty.
The series was received extremely well, holding the number one spot in the ratings for majority of the weeks it aired. It was also exported to eight countries earning approximately US$1.8 million in profits.
Jang Bogo (Choi Soo-jong) rises from a lowly slave to the military commander of the sea during the Unified Silla Dynasty. Along the way, he battles pirates, and engages in a heated rivalry with Madam Jami (Chae Shi-ra), a Silla noble who squares off against Jang Bogo for trade rights in the South Sea. Yeom Jang (Song Il-gook), Jang Bogo's charismatic comrade, supports Jang in his ascension to become the "Emperor of the Sea." But Yeom Jang competes with Jang Bogo for the love of Lady Jung-hwa (Soo Ae).
- Jang Bogo is an historical figure who virtually dominated the seas of the East Asia (hence name "Sea God" or "Emperor of the Sea") and international trade from Tang China and Japan to the North China sea during the time of Unified Silla Dynasty.
- Gungbok starts from lowest social class as a slave on the docks of Cheonghae. Gungbok lost his mother to pirates when he was young. His father was a slave carpenter in Police Office of Cheonghae. Working hard in the rough dock, Gungbok soon masters the sea and has the knack of building ships. Faced with challenges, he becomes calmer and bolder. Both Gungbok and his mate Nyeon learn martial arts from certain Choi Moo-chang. Such abilities helped him to rise from a gladiator to a security guard, military head of Muryongun and then ambassador of Cheonghae. As a part of this, he eliminated the pirates by installing Cheonghaejin on Wando, which is a geographically important sea route. With his clever battle strategies, he is able to defeat the army led by Madam Jami and install the true ruler of Korea. However, even after repeated requests by the king, he refuses the high positions. After the king is assassinated by the cunning Kim Yang, he prepares the army to lead a final assault and remove the corrupt ministers appointed by Kim Yang.
- At the end, Consul Jang Bogo is fatally stabbed in his office with a concealed knife by Yeom Jang. Jang Bogo accepts his death without any resistance, and his body is found at midnight by Nyeon, Choi Moo-chang and Jung-hwa. Even after his death, his army fights to the last man as a mark of respect.
- Chae Shi-ra as Madam Jami
- A Silla noble and businesswoman. She first plays a role in Lady Jung-hwa's destiny. But as the story progresses, her grudges towards Jang Bogo leads to her downfall, and her life ends in tragedy.
- Raised by pirates, young Yeom Moon brandished short knives with remarkable skill and accuracy. Later in the story, he is captured by Jang Bogo, and receives the harshest punishment of branding as a pirate, and his forehead bears the burn mark. He is eventually released from prison by Kim Yang. For this, he trains Kim Yang's men in martial arts and leads the assault against Madam Jami's men, when they temporarily reconcile with Jang Bogo. He is later appointed the head of the king's bodyguards. With war looming against Jang Bogo, he visits Cheonghae to defuse the situation. He promises Kim Yang that if the need arises, he will assassinate him, provided Kim spares Jang Bogo's wife (daughter of Jang Bogo's trade master) and their new born child, Jung-hwa and the people of Silla. During their meeting, he tries his best to deviate Jang from his attack, but Jang has made up his mind to put an end to the ineffective and corrupt ministers in the king's council. In the end, he betrays Jang Bogo and kills him. He receives a jolt after the assassination, when Kim Yang launches an attack on Silla. Imprisoned by Kim Yang, he escapes from custody and helps Jung-hwa escape the massacre with Jang Bogo's child. He is killed by a shower of arrows fired by Kim Yang's army.
- Love interest of Jang Bogo and Yeom Jang for most of the series. The mere mention of her name is enough for Jang Bogo to abandon careful consideration (which is his modus operandi) and act in a frenzied manner, without regards for the consequences.
- Kim Heung-soo as Jung Nyeon
- Ahn Jae-hong as young Jung Nyeon
- Park Yeong-gyu as Seol-pyeong
- Chae Jung-an as Lady Chae-ryeong
- Kim Ah-joong as Baek Ha-jin
- Lee Won-jong as Choi Moo-chang
- Kim Kap-soo as Lee Do-hyeong
- Jo Dal-hwan as Lee Soon-jong
- Heo In-beom as young Soon-jong
- Jung Sung-hwan as Chang-kyeom (Jung-hwa's brother)
- Lee Hee-do as Mak Bong (Soon-jong's father)
- Kang Sung-pil as Jong Dal
- Jung Ho-keun as Dae Chi
- Park Jung-hak as Neung Chang
- Go Do-young as Da Bok
- Lee Eun-hye as young Da Bok
- Kil Yong-woo as King Shinmu
- Seo Do-young as Moo Jin (Jung-hwa's bodyguard)
- Choi Sang-gil as Cheon Tae
- Kim Hyo-won as Yoo Ja-seong
- Lee Jae-yong as Master Jo Sang-gil
- Kim Hyung-bum as Tae-bong (Jami's security officer)
- Do Ki-suk as Jang Seong-pil
- Bae Soo-bin as Kim Yang
- Go Myung-hwan as Pan Sool (one of Master Yi's men)
- Yeo Ho-min as Baek Kyung (Yeom Jang's subordinate)
- Park In-hwan as Bogo's father
- Seo Jin-wook
- Bae Seul-ki
- Lee Ji-eun
- Seo Bum-yul
- Jo Seung-yeon
- Im Byung-gi
- Song Ji-eun
- Seo Bum-shik
- Baek So-mi
- Kim Sung-hoon
- Shim Eun-kyung
Awards and nominations
- 2005 KBS Drama Awards
- Top Excellence Award, Actor: Choi Soo-jong
- Excellence Award, Actress: Soo Ae
- Excellence Award, Actor: Song Il-gook
- Popularity Award, Actor: Song Il-gook
- Best Couple Award: Song Il-gook and Soo Ae
- 2006 1st Seoul International Drama Awards
- Runner-up, Best Series Drama
- Best Cinematographer: Kim Seung-hwan
- List of Korea-related topics
- List of Korean television shows
- Contemporary culture of South Korea
- History of Korea
- Unified Silla
- "KOREAN TV DRAMA REVIEWS: 해신 (海神, Emperor of the Sea)". Twitch Film. 22 February 2006. Archived from the original on December 31, 2006. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
- "Historical Dramas Still Hot". The Chosun Ilbo. 6 January 2004. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "'Emperor of the Sea' Records Ratings of 25% for Several". KBS Global. 24 December 2004. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- ""Emperor of the Sea" Records 30% Viewer Ratings". KBS Global. 13 January 2005. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "'Emperor of the Sea' Tops Viewer Ratings". KBS Global. 26 January 2005. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "Choi Su-jong Promotes 'Emperor of the Sea' in Taiwan". KBS Global. 7 July 2005. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "Filming Set of 'Emperor of the Sea' in Wando Rides High in Popularity". KBS Global. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "Cheongsando Island". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "'Emperor of the Sea' Drawing Attention of International TV Market". The Chosun Ilbo. 15 April 2005. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
- "'Emperor of the Sea' nominated to the final round of the Emmy Awards". KoreaContent.org via Hancinema. 4 August 2005. Retrieved 2013-02-23.