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If I can travel back in time in ancient Korea…

I’m watching two Korean TV dramas right now with time travel and history interwoven in the story.

rooftop prince

Photo from wiki.d-addicts.com

One is “Rooftop Prince”, starring Micky Yoochun as Yong Tae Yong/ Prince Lee Gak and Han Ji Min as Pak Ha/ Bu Yong. This is basically about how Prince Lee Gak finds himself mysteriously transported from the Joseon era to modern times as he investigates the death of his wife, the Crown Princess. He lands straight to the rooftop house of Pak Ha, who is the reincarnation of the Crown Princess’ younger sister, Bu Yong. As they get to know each other more, they discover things about the past which is affecting the present. There are still four episodes left until this drama ends, so I’m in suspense as I believe all other “Rooftop Prince” fans are!

queen in hyun's man

Photo from wiki.d-addicts.com

The other drama I’m watching is “Queen In Hyun’s Man”, starring Ji Hyun Woo as Joseon era scholar Kim Bong Do and Yoo In Na as up-and-coming Hallyu actress Choi Hee Jin. Here, Kim Bong Do finds himself able to travel 300 years into the future, in modern Korea, thanks to the talisman given to him as protection by a gisaeng. He meets Choi Hee Jin, an actress who plays the character of Queen In Hyun, with whom Kim Bong Do keeps secret feelings for. Kim Bong Do travels to and from the past and the future in order to learn how to deal with problems in Joseon…and to see Choi Hee Jin, too. Hihihi.

jiphyeonjeon

Jiphyeonjeon photo from linguistics.ucla.edu

I’m loving the time travel element of these TV dramas. And if I can travel back in time in ancient Korea, I wish to be transported back to jiphyeonjeon during King Sejong’s reign.

jiphyeonjeon

Jiphyeonjeon photo from hangeulmuseum.org

Also known as the Academy of Worthies, I imagine this royal research institute as a geek’s wonderland since it was built to “encourage scholastic boom” (Digital Hanguel Museum). The scholars of this institute were in charge of leading studies on ancient organization, the arrangement of culture and institutions, and the discussion of Chinese ethics and history.

tree with deep roots

Tree With Deep Roots photo from en.korea.com

I first heard of this place in the Korean TV drama “Tree With Deep Roots”, and it seemed like the coolest place on earth. The scholars were given missions which looked life-changing, especially with their work on the Korean alphabet. If I can travel back in time, I would like to be right smack in the middle of this kind of geeky frenzy, where change is coming, and with kindhearted intellectuals leading it.

How about you? If you can travel back in time in ancient Korea, where would you like to be?

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