WINTER SONATA (Korean Drama): The Pioneer of Korean Wave!


After I watched FUYU NO SAKURA, which is widely known as Japanese Version of Winter Sonata, I  miss the acting of Bae Yong Jun, Choi Ji Woo and the actor that commited suicide not long ago, Park Yong Ha, in this melodrama from South Korea, Winter Sonata or Winter Ballad or Winter Love Song.

Watch him as Sang Hyuk in this drama makes me cry even more,

too bad we can’t see his stunning acting for good!! 

So then I rewatch the drama again recently…

The story begins when Jun-Sang, the son of an eminent musician, moves to Chuncheon, a rural city in South Korea. As an extraordinarily talented student, Jun-Sang is welcomed by his fellow students as well as teachers, but remains a quiet, introverted young man. As a result of his belief that his father is dead, as well as conflict with his mother, Jun-Sang believes that no one truly loves him.

One day on the ride to school, Jun-Sang’s classmate Yu-Jin interrupts him on the bus. Jun-Sang soon falls in love with Yu-Jin, who opens herself to him with an innocent heart. Their love, however, is cut short after Jun-Sang is involved in a serious auto-accident and, due to brain damage, is unable to recall his past life.

Jun-Sang’s mother, desiring Jun-Sang’s love and respect, has Jun-Sang brainwashed by a psychologist, so that Jun-Sang will not remember his painful childhood, as an illegitimate child. As a result, Jun-Sang’s memories prior to the accident are erased. Jun-Sang’s mother decides to move to the United States with Jun-Sang, where he can start a new life under the identity of Yi Min-Hyeong. His friends and teachers are told that Jun-Sang is dead.

Ten years later, Min-Hyeong is an award-winning architect in the United States. He does not remember anything about his life in Korea. He is completely different, an open-minded person who cares about other people, including his mother. He returns to Korea and Yu-Jin sees him on the street, prompting her to put off her engagement to childhood friend Sang-Hyeok. Little does she know that Min-Hyeong is dating her friend and sometime rival Che-Rin. The story’s plot intensifies when Yu-Jin begins work at the firm where Min-Hyeong is employed, and tries to find out if he is her lost lover Jun-Sang. (wikipedia/Winter Sonata)

This 2002 KBS drama series featured the saddest 2 episodes in the beginning and the happiest heartbreakin ending that made the viewers tremble in tears. Korean Drama absolutely takes the concept of THE SADDER THE BETTER in almost all of the Korean Romance Series. The script, the plot, the acting, the setting, the cinematography are flawless makin it my one of MUST WATCH Romance Dramas.

These dramas typically involve conflicts such as single and marital relationships, money bargaining, relationships between in-laws (usually between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law), and often complicated love triangles while the female hero usually falls in love with the main character who may treat her badly since the beginning, instead of the one who always cares for her. These dramas last anywhere from 16 episodes to over 100 (most often not exceeding 200). (wikipedia/Korean Drama)

It is played and replayed in TV channels throughout the world include Indonesia, not only the main roles that played the characters gain popularity but also the setting, the fashion, and even the necklaces.

The Government of South Korea of course took advantage from this popularity to increase the tourism field. The sculpture of Jun Sang (Bae Yong Jun) and Yoo Jin (Choi Ji Woo) is stand romantically in  Chuncheon, where the shooting took place, they even sell tours of Korean Drama Series!! indeed many people from all over the world come everyday to visit those places, try to fulfill their romantic side.

An anime adaptation of Winter Sonata then aired in 2009 on Japan’s SKY PerfecTV! consisting of 26 episodes. The program featured 23 members of the original Korean cast voicing the characters and was broadcast with Japanese subtitles.

Endless Love, Winter Sonata and Stairway to Heaven considered and claimed to be THE PIONEER OF KOREAN WAVE fever which until now the world seems to have.

Feel the romantic side of Winter Sonata by listening to the OST “My Memory” performed by Ryu:

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