Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin

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Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-in
Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin.jpg
Promotional poster
Also known as The Immortal Lee Soon-shin
Genre Period drama
Drama
War
Based on The Immortal Yi Sun-sin
by Kim Takhwan
Written by Yoon Sun-joo
Directed by Lee Sung-joo
Kim Jung-gyu
Starring Kim Myung-min
Choi Jae-sung
Lee Jae-ryong
Choi Cheol-ho
Country of origin South Korea
No. of episodes 104
Production
Producer(s) Jung Young-chul
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time Saturdays and Sundays at 21:45 (KST)
Release
Original network Korean Broadcasting System
Original release September 4, 2004 (2004-09-04) – August 28, 2005 (2005-08-28)
Chronology
Preceded by Age of Warriors
Followed by Genghis Khan
External links
Website www.kbs.co.kr/drama/leesoonshin/
Korean name
Hangul 불멸의 이순신
Hanja 不滅의 李舜臣
Revised Romanization Bulmyeolui I Sun-sin
McCune–Reischauer Pulmyŏlŭi I Sun-sin

Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-sin (Hangul불멸의 이순신; RRBulmyeolui I Sun-sin; lit. "The Immortal Yi Sun-sin") is a South Korean television series based on the life of Yi Sun-sin, starring Kim Myung-min in the title role. It aired on KBS1 from September 4, 2004 to August 28, 2005 on Saturdays and Sundays at 21:45 for 104 episodes.

The series filmed on location at the actual battle sites. It made extensive use of rendered images and a reconstruction of a turtle ship. Due to the preparation needed, the show took many months to produce.

Plot[edit]

It is late 1598, shortly before the Battle of Noryang, the final confrontation of the Imjin War. The remnants of the Japanese invasion force are desperate to go home, but are also driven by personal motivation to beat their greatest adversary, Admiral Yi Sun-sin, once and for all. Self-serving Ming generals and Joseon officials also fear Yi's growing popularity and its impact on their personal base of power. These incidentally combining ambitions fan King Seonjo's paranoia and make him eventually fear that Yi might come after his throne, and after a series of what he calls acts of high treason, he decides to have Yi arrested.

Yi, on the other hand, is determined to teach the Japanese a lesson for the atrocities they committed on the Korean people, and despite orders to remain quiet while the Japanese are to pull out without anymore bloodshed, he rallies his naval force and prepares for the upcoming engagement. The battle commences and the Japanese are dealt a crippling blow, but Yi is fatally wounded by an arquebuse bullet. As he lies dying, the plot backtracks on the important events of Yi's life, from his boyhood to his military career, his efforts before and during the Japanese invasion, his disgrace at the hands of his king, and his reinstatement, back to the battle of Noryang, where he succumbs to his wound just as victory is declared.

Cast[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Choi Dong-joon as Yi Eok-gi
  • Choi Yoo-jung as Bang Yeon-hwa
  • Kim Gyu-ri as Park Mi-jin/Park Cho-hee
  • Park Dong-bin as Han Ho
  • Jeon Ye-seo as Chung-hyang
  • Lee Han-wi as Chun Moo-jik
  • Ahn Yeon-hong as Hong-yi
  • Lee Han-gal as Nal-bal, Yi Sun-Sin's bodyguard
  • Jung Ae-ri as Yi Sun-sin's mother
  • Ahn Hong-jin as Yi Wan, Yi Sun-Sin's nephew
  • Son Jong-beom as So Ŭn-woo
  • Lee In (credited as Lee Joon) as Prince Gwanghae
  • Gi Ju-bong as Yoon Hwan-shi, a young officer promoted by Yi to the post of naval engineer
  • Kim Joon-mo as Yi San-hae
  • Jung Dong-hwan as Yun Doo-su
  • Lee Won-bal as Yun Geun-su
  • Im Hyuk-joo as Jeong Tak
  • Hwang Joon-wook as Yi Deok-hyung
  • Park Chan-hwan as Kwon Joon
  • Ahn Sŭng-hun as Jung Woon
  • Jung Jin-gak as Shin Ho
  • Jeon Hyun as young Yi Sun-sin
  • Park Chul-min as Kim Wan
  • Kim Myung-gook as Song Hee-rib
  • Lee Sang-in as Na Dae-yong, inventor of the Geobukseon
  • Kim Hong-pyo as Joo Soo-chang
  • Park Hye-sook as Neob Chool-nye
  • Lee Jae-pyo as Woo Chi-juk
  • Choi Joon-young as Lee Woon-ryong
  • Yoo Tae-woong as Lee Young-nam
  • Lee Il-jae as Yi Il
  • Lee Hyo-jung as Toyotomi Hideyoshi
  • Lee Jung-yong as Katō Kiyomasa
  • Jung Sŭng-ho as Konishi Yukinaga
  • Kim Myung-soo as Wakisaka Yasuharu
  • Hwang Joon-won as Yoshidoshi Soo
  • Choi Dang-seok as Sa Hwa-dong
  • Jung Wook as Sen no Rikyū
  • Kim Jong-kyeol as Shotai
  • Lee Kyung-young as Genso
  • Kim Ha-kyun as Jinrin
  • Song Geum-sik as Hwang Se-deuk

Artistic license in the series[edit]

The drama has been the focus of some attention due to historical inaccuracies, explained away with artistic license, though it concerns some that it may be promoting itself as based on fact.[1]

When Admiral Yi is portrayed as a boy, he is shown to be a weak, shy, and lonely boy though common belief is that he had leadership and creativity at an early age. Nevertheless, he is portrayed to display those qualities as a growing man, unable to avert his eyes from social injustice.

Instead of vilifying Won Gyun, a Korean admiral who contributed to the jailing of Admiral Yi for jealous reasons, Won Gyun is portrayed as a strong and smart, but very hot-tempered man who befriends and leads Yi throughout his early life. This deviates from the common belief that Won Gyun had always conspired against Yi. In the show, his jealousy and rivalry is portrayed in his later years as a veteran commander when he begins to show his arrogance as one of Joseon's strongest warriors, refusing to follow along with what he deems to be Yi's cowardly tactics and treachery to the king. His betrayal to Yi is explained through the show's ongoing politics and his inability to distinguish military merits from protection of the people. There is much debate about this positive portrayal of Won Gyun as recent research suggests that he may have been excessively vilified during the Park Chung-hee administration.[2] Reception and reviews have since been positive with much praise for the show's emphasis for humanity and their portrayal of Won Gyun.

Awards and nominations[edit]

International broadcast[edit]

The series also aired in the United States and China in 2005 via KBS World.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Japan Journalist Takes Issue With Yi Sun-shin Drama". The Chosun Ilbo. 5 August 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  2. ^ Won Gyun#Legacy
  3. ^ "Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin Gains Popularity in China". KBS Global. 19 April 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  4. ^ "Immortal Admiral Yi Sun-shin gains popularity in the U.S.". KBS Global. 1 September 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 

External links[edit]