Manila Korean Times

71: Into the Fire-A Review


Bombs exploding everywhere,soldiers rushing to every direction fighting the soldiers from the north. Oh Jung-Beom was asked to bring the loads of bullets to the tower. Real chaos. This is how the movie started.

71: Into the fire is a 2010 movie written by Lee Man-Hee and directed by Lee Jae-han.

The Main character Oh Jung-Beom was asked to lead a group of newly recruited student soldiers. He was ordered to protect the school while the more experienced and well-trained soldiers went to fight in Nakdong river together with their American allies.

The movie is based on a true story of a group of newly recruited student soldiers, all under-trained and under-gunned during the Korean War who were mostly killed on August 11, 1950, during the Battle of P’ohang-dong. They defended P;ohang-dong girls’ middle school (a strategic point in protecting the Nakdong River) for 11 hours, from an attack by the North Korean Forces. (more…)

April 18, 2014 |

Korean Drama Review: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho


For 500 years, the legendary nine-tailed fox is said to be trapped inside a painting. One stormy night, Cha Dae Woong hears a mysterious voice telling him to go near a painting of an eight-tailed fox. The voice commands him to draw another tail on the fox. The hesitant young man’s fingers shakes as he draws the ninth tail, and when he does – dogs started barking, the storm was furious as the place gets even darker. Dae Woong runs away from the painting, and accidentally falls from a cliff that almost ended his life. When he wakes up, a beautiful lady stands in front of him, probably hungry enough to eat his liver.

When your lover wants your liver, you have no choice but to make sure she is never hungry. Dae Woong accidentally freed the legendary Gumiho, the creature also happens to save Dae Woong’s life by giving him her most precious fox bead. In order to live, he accept her bead with one condition, Dae Woong must help her become a human. (more…)

April 14, 2014 |

The Korean Neo-Confucianism of Yi Toegye and Yi Yulgok (Part 6)


The Rise of Neo-Confucianism in the Koryo Period

On the whole, there is not enough evidence to argue that Confucianism was important to everyone in the Three Kingdom and Unified Silla periods, It played a subordinate role to the traditional ideas and institutions maintained by noble families and hereditary aristocrats, as well as by the buddhist tradition. Not until the rise of Neo-Confucianism in the late thirteenth century did the Confucian tradition begin to exert a profound impact on Korean thought, religion, socio-political systems, and ways of life.

Confucian Academies
and State Examinations

In the Koryo dynasty (918-1392), there was a serious blow to high officials of aristocratic origin. Ko=ing Kwangjong (949-975), following the model of Tang China, appointed many Confucian scholars who had passed the state examination (kwago) to official government positions. (more…)

April 2, 2014 |

Discover Healthy Korean Food 7: Dr. Sook-Ja Yoon’s “Japchae”


Japchae is a dish mixed of potato starch noodles with various stir-fried vegetables. Japchae is served without fail on holidays and traditional ceremonial days. The name “japchae” (sundried vegetables) came about because it is mixed with various vegetables.

◎ Ingredients & Quantity
* 50 g beef (top round), 10 g (2 sheets) brown oak mushrooms, 3 g Jew’s ear mushrooms

* Seasoning sauce 1 : 9 g (½ tbsp) soy sauce, 2 g (½ tsp) sugar, 2.3 g (½ tsp) minced green onion, 1.4 g (¼ tsp) minced garlic, 1 g (½ tsp) sesame salt, 2 g (½ tsp) sesame oil, 0.1 g ground black pepper 70 g (⅓ ea) cucumber, 0.5 g (⅛ tsp) salt, 30 g Carrot, 0.5 g (⅛ tsp) salt 30 g skinned bellflower roots, 2 g (½ tsp) salt, 150 g (1 head) onion 30 g mung bean sprouts, 400 g (2 cups) water, 1 g (¼ tsp) salt (more…)

March 31, 2014 |

Drama Review: Jeon Woo Chi


Point Of View:
Well, we’ve seen many Korean Fantasy Dramas like Body Switching, Time Travelling, and Mystical Beings like 9 tailed fox and witches and so on. But JeonWooChi is a one kind fantasy drama which you wouldn’t seen. The characters have their own magical powers like witch and wizards, like in the Harry Potter sequel.

Jeon Woo Chi (Cha Tae Hyun) is a Taoist wizard who once studied under Hong Gil Dong. In order to rid the country of corruption and get his love Hong Moo Yeon (Uee) back, Jeon Woo Chi must fight against two other power wizards, Ma Sook (Kim Gab Soo) and Kang Rim (Lee Hee Joon).

Certainly the drama is a pack of talented actors, but Cha Tae Hyun takes the lead. It’s no surprise that Cha Tae Hyun is perfectly suited to play the wiseass-cracking Jeon Woo Chi. Jeon Woo Chi’s mischievous nature is what brings you in but his determination to fight for what he thinks is right is what makes you stay. Out of all the supporting character, I like Bong Gu (Sung Dong Il) Jeon Woochi’s Sidekick the best. (more…)

March 27, 2014 |

Movie Review: A Werewolf Boy


Kim Suni, an elderly woman in her sixties living in the US, receives a phone call about the sale of her old family home back in South Korea. Returning to her homeland, she’s met by granddaughter Eun-joo, and they drive to the house in the country and stay the night. Suni recalls how 47 years ago when she was a teenage girl in 1965, she moved from Seoul along with her widowed mother and sister Sun-ja to a remote valley to undergo a period of convalescence after suffering problems with her lungs. The Kims lived in genteel poverty at the mercy of their arrogant and foppish landlord, Ji-tae, son of the business partner of Suni’s late father. Because of her delicate health, the beautiful yet introverted Suni lives an isolated life in the country home, without any friends her age.

One night, Suni glimpses a shadow in the outhouse; the next day, she discovers a feral boy of about 19 crouching in their yard. The boy’s body temperature is 46 degrees Celsius, his blood type unidentifiable, and he can neither read nor speak. Even though he behaves like a wild beast, Suni’s kindhearted mother adopts him and names him Chul-soo, assuming he’s one of more than 60,000 children orphaned in the Korean War. (more…)

March 26, 2014 |

The Korean Neo-Confucianism of Yi Toegye and Yi Yulgok (Part 5)


Historical Background:
Korean Neo-Confucianism

Confucianism was the most common intellectual, moral and cultural heritage of East Asia. Korea had a long and rich tradition of Confucianism since the early period. Particularly in the Choson dynasty, it affected Korean philosophy, religion, social and political systems, and ways of life. For many centuries in Korea, it has been a code of family and social ethics and an intellectual discourse, as well as a political ideology. It also maintained some religious dimension in terms of its spiritual teaching and practice and its ritualistic tradition. And yet, it differs from other religious or philosophical traditions because it tends to integrate most aspects of human life and culture, including learning, moral and spiritual self-cultivation, family regulation, social harmony, political order, and cultural identity.

In the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C.C-668 C.E.), Confucianism. Taoism, and Buddhism were all officially accepted by the ruling class and later spread to the commoners. In fact, each of three kingdoms supported Confucianism not only as an important part of Chinese learning, but also as an institutional means of maintaining its aristocratic power and its socio-political order. (more…)

March 25, 2014 |