Gu Family Book

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Gu Family Book
Gu Family Book-poster.jpg
Promotional poster for Gu Family Book
Also known as
  • Kang Chi, the Beginning
  • Gu Family's Secret
  • The Writings of Nine Houses
  • Book of the House of Gu
  • The Fox Family Book
  • The Love Story of Kang Chi
Written byKang Eun-kyung
Directed by
  • Shin Woo-chul
  • Kim Jung-hyun
Composer(s)Park Se-jun
Country of originSouth Korea
Original language(s)Korean
No. of episodes24
Executive producer(s)Lee Chang-seop
Producer(s)Park Tae-young
  • Hae Jae-young
  • Kim Seon-gi
Editor(s)Lee Taek-joo
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Samhwa Networks
Original networkMunhwa Broadcasting Corporation
Picture formatHDTV
Original releaseApril 8 (2013-04-08) –
June 25, 2013 (2013-06-25)
Preceded byThe King's Doctor
Followed byGoddess of Fire
External links
Production website
Korean name
구가의 서
Revised RomanizationGuga-ui Seo
McCune–ReischauerKukaŭi Sŏ

Gu Family Book (Korean구가의 서; RRGuga-ui Seo; also known as Kang Chi, the Beginning) is a 2013 South Korean television series starring Lee Seung-gi and Bae Suzy.[1][2][3][4] The fusion martial arts action historical drama is about a half man-half monster who is searching for a centuries-old book that according to gumiho legend, contains the secret to becoming human.[5][6][7]

Filmed at MBC Dramia in Gyeonggi Province,[8] the series aired on MBC from April 8 to June 25, 2013, on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 24 episodes.[9][10][11]


After their nobleman father is unfairly accused of being a traitor and killed, Yoon Seo-hwa (Lee Yeon-hee), her younger brother Jung-yoon (Lee David) and their maid Dam (Kim Bo-mi) are sent to a gisaeng house. Seo-hwa's first "patron" will be Jo Gwan-woong (Lee Sung-jae), the man who betrayed and killed her father. Before Jo Gwan-woong arrives, Dam swaps clothes with Seo-hwa so that she can run away, chased by Gwan-woong's men. Gu Wol-ryung (Choi Jin-hyuk), a mystical forest protector and gumiho, finds Seo-hwa unconscious and, as he had fallen in love with her, protects her. When Seo-hwa wakes up, she too falls in love with him and marries him after he tells her that both Dam and Jung-yoon were able to run away and are safe. In actuality, Jung-yoon has been hanged, whereas Dam has committed suicide. Wol-ryung, unable to tell her the truth, lied to her and did not tell her that he is a gumiho.

Wol-ryung decides to become human in order to be with Seo-hwa. To do so, he must live 100 days without showing his true form to a human, without taking a life, and must help anyone that needs aid. But if he fails, he'll lose any chance of ever becoming human, and will become a demon for the next thousand years. Wol-ryung successfully lives most of these days following these rules, but one day, Gwan-woong's men find Seo-hwa alone in the forest. Wol-ryung rushes to help her and reveals his true form, massacring the soldiers. Seo-hwa, horrified, leaves him, and he is later killed by the righteous soldier Dam Pyeong-joon (Jo Sung-ha), who had been told that the gumiho was murdering innocents. Seo-hwa soon discovers that she is pregnant with Wol-ryung's child and gives birth to a son. Realizing that the baby isn't a monster and regretting her betrayal to Wol-ryung, Seo-hwa entrusts the baby in the care of a monk, So-jung (Kim Hee-won). She then confronts Gwan-woong, but is killed.

The infant is adopted by nobleman Park Mu-sol (Um Hyo-sup) and grows up as Choi Kang-chi (Lee Seung-gi), ostensibly the son of Lord Park's servant Choi (Kim Dong-kyun), but raised as part of the Park family. Though Mu-sol's wife Lady Yoon (Kim Hee-jung) never warmed up to him, Lord Park loves Kang-chi like his own son, and he is close to the siblings Tae-seo (Yoo Yeon-seok) and Chung-jo (Lee Yu-bi), whom he loves even though she is betrothed to another. Kang-chi is notorious in the village as a troublemaker, but he is good-hearted and loyal, and beloved by the servants at the Hundred Year Inn, which the Park family runs. However, Jo Gwan-woong returns to the village. He believes the wealthy Lord Park has hidden treasure inside the inn and, in his scheme to take over it, Lord Park is killed defending Kang-chi. Gwan-woong throws Tae-seo and his mother in jail, and Chung-jo is sold as a gisaeng and convinced to use her beauty and wiles to someday gain power and revenge. After Kang-chi promises Lady Yoon that he will take care of the Park siblings, she makes a futile attempt to stab Gwan-woong and is killed. Meanwhile, Gwan-woong becomes intrigued by Kang-chi and his seemingly super-human strength.

In the meantime, Dam Yeo-wool (Bae Suzy) and Gon (Sung Joon) had been dispatched to the village by her father, now martial arts master Dam Pyeong-joon, to investigate a series of murders they suspect Gwan-woong is responsible for. Yeo-wool witnesses the events that befall the Park family, and instinctively helps Kang-chi when he is hunted by Gwan-woong's soldiers. During a fight, a soldier slices off Kang-chi's beaded bracelet, which was used to contain his powers. Kang-chi transforms into a half-human-half-beast and easily defeats his enemies. So-jung later tells Kang-chi the truth about his origins, including the mystical and elusive Gu Family Book, which holds the secret to becoming fully human.

Kang-chi is taken under the wing of Yi Sun-sin (Yoo Dong-geun), a naval commander. Yi Sun-sin, Master Dam, and the late Lord Park were part of a secret group protecting the Joseon nation against foreign invasion. Yi places Kang-chi in the martial arts school run by Master Dam, and there he is trained physically and mentally and learns to control his transformations. After discovering that under the man clothes there's a girl, Kang-chi gradually falls in love with Yeo-wool, and vice versa. But several obstacles remain in their way: the continuing villainy of Gwan-woong; the knowledge that it was Yeo-wool's father who killed Kang-chi's father; the reappearance of Wol-ryung who has turned into a soul-sucking demon with no memories who can only be killed by his son; and Sojung's warning that Yeo-wool is fated to die if she stays by the side of the man she meets beneath the blossoming peach tree under a crescent moon, which is none other than Kang-chi himself.



A half-man, half-gumiho who longs to become fully human. He originally had a one-sided love for Chung-jo, but soon slowly fell in love with Yeo-Wool.
A martial arts instructor at her father's school, she is particularly skilled with a bow and arrow. When she was younger, Kang-chi saved her from being attacked by a dog and she never forgot about him. She then falls in love with him when they meet again. She also accepts Kang-chi for who he is inside even though he is a divine creature that many people are afraid of.
He has a one-sided love for Yeo-wool, for whom he serves as bodyguard. He also has a bickering relationship with Kang-chi.
Kang-chi's first love. She is promised off to someone in marriage in order to sustain the family-owned-inn's longevity, hence the reason she originally first began spurning Kang-chi's open display of emotions towards her. After the family tragedy, she is forced to become a gisaeng. She makes a pact with Kang-chi that he should come and take her away from her current place once he has proven Lord Park's innocence.
A cool-headed, responsible scholar who helps his father Mu-sol run their inn. He comes under a hypnotism that makes him think Kang-chi murdered his father, testing the bonds of their friendship and brotherhood.


Kang-chi's father. He is the guardian spirit of Mt. Jiri, and falls in love with a human.
Kang-chi's mother. She is the daughter of a nobleman who becomes a gisaeng after her father is framed for treason and killed.
She returns years later disguised as Japanese lady Ja Hong-myung, and secretly plans her revenge against Jo Gwan-woong.
A villainous nobleman. He lusted after Seo-hwa, then framed and killed her father, destroying many lives. He is now the mastermind behind a string of murders and a traitorous plan against Joseon, and hunts down Kang-chi.
A just and righteous nobleman, Lord Park is beloved by his countrymen, and is the father of Tae-seo and Chung-jo. When he finds the orphaned baby Kang-chi inside a basket floating in a river, he takes him in and becomes his surrogate father.
A former soldier, and now a martial arts master. Yeo-wool's father.
  • Jung Hye-young as Chun Soo-ryun – The head gisaeng.
  • Yoo Dong-geun as Yi Sun-sin – A patriotic naval commander with secret plans for building turtle ships that could aid in fighting against invading Japanese warships.
  • Kim Hee-won as So-jung – A Buddhist monk who was Wol-ryung's friend, and now watches over Kang-chi.
  • Lee Do-kyung as Teacher Gong-dal – A wise old teacher at Master Dam's martial arts school.
  • Jo Jae-yoon as Ma Bong-chul – A local gangster whose life is spared by Kang-chi, and becomes loyal to him.
  • Kim Dong-kyun as Choi – Lord Park's servant and Kang-chi's adoptive father.
  • Jin Kyung as Yeo-joo – Yeo-wool's teacher in domestic skills, who has a crush on Gon.
  • Kim Ki-bang as Eok-man – Kang-chi's friend.
  • Kim Sung-hoon as Wol-dae – Jo Gwan-woong's chief minion.
  • Son Ga-young as Wol-sun – A gisaeng who becomes jealous of Chung-jo, bullying and sabotaging her.
  • Kim Hee-jung as Lady Yoon – Mu-sol's wife who resents Kang-chi.
  • David Lee McInnis as Kageshima
  • Song Young-kyu as Pil-mok – Seo-hwa's assistant.
  • Park Joo-hyung as Han Noh
  • Nam Hyun-joo as chief maid at the gibang
  • Lee David as Yoon Jung-yoon – Seo-hwa's younger brother (ep 1)
  • Kim Bo-mi as Dam – Seo-hwa's maid (ep 1)

Original soundtrack[edit]

Gu Family Book:
Original Sound Track
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
GenrePop, K-pop, soundtrack, R&B, teen pop
LabelSamhwa Networks, LOEN Entertainment
Part 1:
1."My Eden"Yisabel3:41
2."My Eden (Inst.)"Yisabel3:41
Part 2:
1."사랑이 아프다" (Love Hurts)Lee Sang-gon4:35
2."사랑이 아프다 (Inst.)" (Love Hurts)Lee Sang-gon4:35
Part 3:
1."사랑이 불어온다" (Love Is Blowing)Lee Ji-young4:26
2."사랑이 불어온다 (Inst.)" (Love Is Blowing)Lee Ji-young4:26
Part 4:
1."봄비" (Spring Rain)Baek Ji-young3:41
Part 5:
1."나를 잊지 말아요" (Don't Forget Me)Suzy3:40
Part 6:
1."잘 있나요" (Best Wishes to You)The One3:51
1."마지막 그 한마디" (The Last Word)Lee Seung-gi4:48
Part 7:
1."너 하나야" (Only You)4Men4:50
Part 8:
1."나의 사랑비가 되어줄래" (Will You Be My Love Rain?)Shin Jae3:36
Bonus Track:
1."잘 있나요 (acoustic ver)" (Best Wishes To You (acoustic ver))Choi Jin-hyuk3:35


Ep. Broadcast date Average audience share
TNmS[33] AGB Nielsen[34]
Nationwide Seoul Nationwide Seoul
1 April 8, 2013 11.5% 13.1% 11.2% 12.2%
2 April 9, 2013 12.4% 13.4% 12.2% 13.4%
3 April 15, 2013 13.6% 15.2% 13.6% 15.5%
4 April 16, 2013 14.1% 15.7% 15.1% 17.1%
5 April 22, 2013 13.3% 15.4% 14.4% 17.0%
6 April 23, 2013 14.2% 16.5% 15.8% 18.3%
7 April 29, 2013 14.0% 16.2% 16.3% 19.3%
8 April 30, 2013 14.2% 16.2% 16.4% 19.0%
9 May 6, 2013 13.8% 15.5% 15.4% 18.0%
10 May 7, 2013 14.3% 16.2% 14.4% 16.9%
11 May 13, 2013 14.1% 16.3% 14.5% 16.9%
12 May 14, 2013 15.1% 18.2% 15.9% 18.7%
13 May 20, 2013 15.9% 17.2% 14.8% 17.2%
14 May 21, 2013 14.4% 16.9% 15.9% 18.0%
15 May 27, 2013 15.3% 18.3% 16.4% 19.3%
16 May 28, 2013 16.6% 20.1% 18.2% 21.7%
17 June 3, 2013 15.8% 18.2% 17.5% 21.0%
18 June 4, 2013 16.0% 18.9% 18.8% 22.4%
19 June 10, 2013 17.3% 21.0% 18.3% 21.5%
20 June 11, 2013 18.2% 21.7% 19.1% 22.3%
21 June 17, 2013 18.5% 21.8% 18.6% 21.8%
22 June 18, 2013 15.3% 17.5% 16.3% 18.9%
23 June 24, 2013 17.7% 20.2% 17.8% 21.1%
24 June 25, 2013 18.7% 22.1% 19.5% 22.9%
Average 15.1% 17.5% 16.1% 18.7%

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2013 7th Mnet 20's Choice Awards 20's Drama Star - Male Lee Seung-gi Nominated
20's Drama Star - Female Suzy Won
20's Booming Star - Female Lee Yu-bi Nominated
8th Seoul International Drama Awards Outstanding Korean Drama Gu Family Book Nominated
Outstanding Korean Actress Suzy Won
Outstanding Korean Drama OST Spring Rain - Baek Ji-young Nominated
Don't Forget Me - Suzy Nominated
6th Korea Drama Awards Best Production Director Shin Woo-chul Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor Lee Seung-gi Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress Suzy Nominated
Best Couple Award Lee Seung-gi and Suzy Nominated
Best Original Soundtrack Only You - 4Men Won
5th MelOn Music Awards Nominated
15th Mnet Asian Music Awards Don't Forget Me - Suzy Nominated
2nd APAN Star Awards Excellence Award, Actor Lee Seung-gi Nominated
Acting Award, Actor Lee Sung-jae Nominated
Best New Actor Choi Jin-hyuk Won
Best New Actress Lee Yu-bi Won
Best Action Gu Family Book Won
MBC Drama Awards Drama of the Year Gu Family Book Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Lee Seung-gi Won
Top Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Suzy Won
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Lee Yeon-hee Nominated
Best New Actor Choi Jin-hyuk Nominated
Best New Actress Lee Yu-bi Nominated
Popularity Award Lee Seung-gi Won
Suzy Nominated
Best Couple Award Lee Seung-gi and Suzy Won
2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards Best New Actor (TV) Choi Jin-hyuk Nominated
Most Popular Actor (TV) Lee Seung-gi Nominated
Choi Jin-hyuk Nominated
Most Popular Actress (TV) Suzy Nominated
2nd Asia Rainbow TV Awards Outstanding Costume Drama Gu Family Book Won
Outstanding Leading Actor Lee Seung-gi Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor Choi Jin-hyuk Won
Best Supporting Actress Lee Yu-bi Nominated
Outstanding Director Shin Woo-chul Won
Best Scriptwriter Kang Eun-kyung Nominated
Best Theme Song Only You - 4Men Nominated
16th Seoul International Youth Film Festival Best Young Actor Sung Joon Nominated
Best Young Actress Suzy Nominated

International broadcast[edit]

Channel Country Debut date Finale date No. of Episodes Broadcast date & time
Indosiar Indonesia Indonesia August 12, 2013 September 12, 2013
Monday-Friday, 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Viva Israel Israel 2013 2013
KNTV Japan Japan September 28, 2013 December 15, 2013 Saturday and Sunday, 8:45pm – 9:00pm
Now 101 Hong Kong Hong Kong November 1, 2013 December 17, 2013 9:30pm – 10:30pm
GTV Taiwan Taiwan January 6, 2014 February 24, 2014 Monday, 10:00pm – 11:00pm
ELTA TV March 4, 2014 April 4, 2014 Monday to Friday, 9:00pm – 10:00pm
TV9 Mongolia Mongolia April 28, 2014 2014
Monday-Friday, 11:30pm – 1:00pm
workpointTV Thailand Thailand April 21, 2014 2014
Wednesday-Friday, 09:15pm – 10:40pm
Xing Kong China China June 22, 2014 July 10, 2014 Sunday, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
D Dramas VTVCab 7 Vietnam Vietnam December 26, 2014 Monday-Sunday, 10:00pm – 11:00pm
ABS-CBN Philippines Philippines August 19, 2013 November 15, 2013
Monday-Friday, 5:15pm – 5:45pm


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External links[edit]