(189 Comments)

Title: 사임당, 빛의 일기 / Saimdang, Light’s Diary
Previously known as: Saimdang, the Herstory
Chinese Title: 師任堂,光的日記
Genre: Historical, Romance, Fantasy
Episodes: 30 (To Be Confirmed)
Broadcast network: SBS
Broadcast period: 2017-Jan-26 to 2017-May-04
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 22:00

Synopsis

This is a 100% pre-produced drama. Filming began on 2015-August-10 and finished on 2016-June-4.

A reinterpretation of Saimdang from the Joseon times. She was a genius artist and passionate lover. Lee Young Ae takes on two roles; Seo Ji Yoon, a college professor who specializes in Korea Art History and Shin Saimdang.

Meanwhile, Lee Gyum (Song Seung Hun) is a man who had a fateful first encounter with Saimdang in his youth and has carried her in his heart for whole life.

Cast

Main Cast (Past)

Lee Young Ae as Shin Saimdang
Park Hye Soo as Shin Saimdang (young)
Song Seung Hun as Lee Gyum
Yang Se Jong as Lee Gyum (young)

Main Cast (Present)

Lee Young Ae as Seo Ji Yoon

Supporting Cast (Past)

Oh Yoon Ah as Whieumdang Choi
Yoon Ye Joo as Whieumdang Choi (young)
Choi Chul Ho as Min Chi Hyung (Whieumdang Choi’s husband)
Choi Jong Hwan as King Joongjong
Yoon Suk Hwa as Queen Dangyeong
Yoon Da Hoon as Lee Won Soo (Saimdang’s husband)
Jung Joon Won as Lee Hyun Rong (Saimdang’s son)
Choi Il Hwa as Shin Myung Hwa
Jang Seo Kyung as Hyang Yi
Lee Joo Yeon as Princess
Lee Kyung Jin as Saimdang’s mother
Jung Ah In as Whieumdang Choi’s helper
Park Jung Hak as Escort warrior

Supporting Cast (Present)

Yang Se Jong as Han Sang Hyun
Choi Jong Hwan as Min Jung Hak (Professor)
Kim Hae Sook as Kim Jung Hee (Seo Ji Yoon’s mother-in-law)
Lee Hae Young as Jung Min Seok (Seo Ji Yoon’s husband)
Lee Tae Woo as Jung Eun Soo (Seo Ji Yoon’s son)
Park Joon Myun as as Ko Hye Jung (Seo Ji Yoon’s friend)
Kim Young Joon as Teacher assistant Nam
Kim Mi Kyung as Director Seon
Song Min Hyung as CEO Heo
Anda as Anna

Others

Hong Suk Chun
Sul Jung Hwan
Song Joon Hee
Kwak Ji Hye
Kim Min Hee
Goo Hye Ryung
Jo Seung Yun
Kim Jung Hak
Ban Hyo Jung
Shin Soo Yun

Production Credits

Production Company: Group8
Director: Yoon Sang Ho
Screenwriter: Park Eun Ryung

Note

Lee Young Ae makes a TV comeback through this drama after 14 years since 2003 MBC drama “Dae Jang Geum“.

Kam Woo Sung was offered the lead male role, but declined.

Shin Saimdang who born on 1504-October-29 is an artist, calligraphist, poet and she appears on the current South Korean 50,000 won bill (highest value).

50000

– She was the mother of the Korean Confucian scholar Yi I who appears on the current South Korean 5,000 won bill.

5000

– The series was originally scheduled to air at 10:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning in 2016-Oct-08, but on 2016-Sep-27, SBS announced that the broadcast of series would be delayed and has finally confirmed a time slot for this drama. It will be broadcasted after “The Legend of the Blue Sea“. (Source)

Episode Ratings

Date Ep TNmS TNmS AGB AGB
    Nationwide Seoul Nationwide Seoul
2017-01-26 1 13.9 (4th) 16.0 (3rd) 16.3 (4th) 16.6 (3rd)
2017-01-26 2 11.8 (7th) 13.4 (5th) 15.6 (5th) 16.6 (3rd)
2017-02-01 3 10.6 (10th) 12.2 (5th) 13.0 (4th) 13.5 (4th)
2017-02-02 4 10.2 (11th) 11.5 (6th) 12.3 (5th) 12.6 (5th)
2017-02-08 5 8.6 (15th) 9.9 (6th) 10.7 (6th) 11.0 (5th)
2017-02-09 6 8.7 (13th) 10.3 (7th) 12.0 (7th) 12.5 (5th)
2017-02-15 7 7.0 (17th) 8.7 (12th) 9.7 (9th) 10.2 (5th)
2017-02-16 8 7.8 (16th) 9.0 (14th) 10.3 (9th) 10.9 (6th)
2017-02-22 9 7.6 (16th) 8.6 (9th) 9.8 (8th) 10.4 (5th)
2017-02-23 10 8.3 (13th) 9.9 (7th) 10.1 (10th) 10.7 (6th)
2017-03-01 11 7.7 (16th) 9.1 (8th) 9.6 (9th) 9.7 (8th)
2017-03-02 12 8.4 (17th) 9.4 (8th) 10.3 (8th) 10.3 (6th)
2017-03-08 13 - - 10.3 (8th) 10.3 (6th)
2017-03-09 14 8.4 (12th) 9.1 (8th) 10.5 (8th) 10.7 (7th)
2017-03-15 15 8.4 (13th) 9.0 (8th) 10.4 (7th) 10.8 (5th)
2017-03-16 16 9.3 (11th) 10.5 (6th) 10.2 (9th) 10.2 (7th)
2017-03-22 17 8.3 (16th) 9.0 (10th) 9.4 (8th) 9.1 (6th)
2017-03-23 18 9.0 (10th) 10.4 (5th) 10.0 (7th) 9.9 (7th)
2017-03-29 19        
2017-03-30 20        
2017-04-05 21        
2017-04-06 22        
2017-04-12 23        
2017-04-13 24        
2017-04-19 25        
2017-04-20 26        
2017-04-26 27        
2017-04-27 28        
2017-05-03 29        
2017-05-04 30        

Sources: TNmS Media Korea & AGB Nielsen Korea

*** Different between TNmS Media Korea & AGB Nielson – Here

Poster

Saimdang, Light's Diary Poster1 Saimdang, Light's Diary Poster2 saimdang-lights-diary-poster3 saimdang-lights-diary-poster4

Related Photo

Official Site

Trailer:-
Official Trailer
Early Trailer
Trailer I
Trailer II
Trailer III
Trailer IV

Watch Online in Viki.com

Watch Online in Dramafever.com

189 Responses to “Saimdang, Light’s Diary”

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  1. 151
    Henry Says:

    I like to see those adorable children of Saimdang here plus Song Seung Hun.

  2. 152
    tata Says:

    the best ! no matter what happens to ratings ! but this drama is the best that i’ve ever seen so far this year.!

  3. 153
    Paku Says:

    Episode7

    Using her left hand to write so that she can’t be identified, Saimdang warns Lee Gyeom about Min Chi-hyung. Not knowing who sent the letter, Lee Gyeom thinks that one of Min Chi-hyung’s allies sent the letter to scare him off.

    Min Chi-hyung sees a striking resemblance between the painting of flowers that Lee Gyeom gave and the ribbon of the girl who witnessed the temple massacre.

    Hwieumdang remembers how she, as Seok Soon, became Min Chi-hyung’s servant. She remembers presenting herself to bear Min Chi-hyung’s children. When he scoffed at her saying she’s just a servant, she replied with a poem: “People loved the red peony, and their gardens were filled with them. Who knew that a beautiful flower bloomed even from desolate grounds?”

    At present …
    After meeting Hye-jung, Ji-yoon tells Han Sang-hyun not to stick close to her to prevent gossip in their neighborhood. Prof. Min’s assistants see them going into the same apartment complex and think that they’re having an affair.

    Hye-jung finds a poem hidden between the pages of Saimdang’s diary. The poem, which was not written in ancient Korean, says: “Our two souls, therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet a breach, but an expansion like gold to airy thinness beat.” Ji-yoon says that the poem was written by John Donne, a 16th century English poet.

    Prof. Min arrives and warns Ji-yoon, Hye-jung, and Han Sang-hyun that he’s watching out for them. Han Sang-hyun later offers a room at the club where they can continue studying Saimdang’s diary.

    Back to Joseon …

    Jungbu School’s Head Teacher becomes impressed with Hyun-ryong’s intelligence; he’s also surprised to know who Hyun-ryong’s grandfather was.

    Hwieumdang sees Hyung-ryong in the school and scolds him for loitering there. Later, she warns the Head Teacher to keep the school’s tradition in accepting new students.

    At Biidang, Lee Gyeom finds Woo adorable, not knowing that he is Saimdang’s son.

    Saimdang’s children are caught stealing dried persimmons at the market. Finding out about it, Saimdang whips them repeatedly. Sun, the eldest child, shouts that they did it because they were hungry. He and the other children begin blaming their father.

    Saimdang takes her family to a barren place in the mountain. She tells her children that’s the place their father bought in a scam. She inspires her children to look beyond the barren conditions of the place and imagine how better it can be if they work together. Later, they spend a happy time playing at the river.

    Going back home, they meet Jungbu School’s Head Teacher. He tells Saimdang that he knew her father and how proud he was of her. He then tells Saimdang and her husband that the school has a place open for Hyun-ryong.

    But when Hyun-ryong’s brother and sister tell him that they barely have enough to eat for tomorrow, he decides not to attend Jungbu School.

    That evening, while Saimdang tends to her children’s wounds from the whipping, she finds Hyun-ryong’s notebook. In it, he has written a poem: “Autumn deepens at the gazebo in the woods, but the poet finds no solace in its beauty. River faraway is the color of the sky it touches; red leaves under frost are burning red.”

  4. 154
    Paku Says:

    Episode 8

    Saimdang’s husband goes to a mountain temple to prepare for the civil service exams.

    At the school, Hwieumdang recognizes Saimdang as Lee Gyeom arrives. She turns to avoid Saimdang, and Saimdang walks past Lee Gyeom without acknowledging him. Later, Hwieumdang goes to see where Saimdang lives.

    Hwieumdang then asks the mothers to protest Hyun-ryong’s admission into the school. But on Lee Gyeom’s suggestion, the mothers agree to a contests between Hyun-ryong and the other student.

    Min Chi-hyung learns that Lee Gyeom and Saimdang nearly got married years ago and that Lee Gyeom showed up in Hanyang just when Saimdang and her family have relocated there.

    Lee Gyeom asks his friend (the leader of a bandit group) to find out what he can about Min Chi-hyung’s illegal activities.

    Lee Gyeom tells the Head Teacher that he will anonymously sponsor Hyun-ryong and other intelligent but poor students.

    At present …

    Ji-yoon’s husband tells her to file for divorce. Her mother-in-law finds out about it and becomes angry at Ji-yoon’s ingratitude.

    Back to Joseon …

    Hyun-ryong finds his grandfather’s letter containing a copy of the King’s poem and gives it to Saimdang. Saimdang orders him never to talk about the letter. Remembering that the poem started all the sad turns in her life, she tries to burn the letter but could not.

    Jang Tae-ryong, the other student applying for the vacant slot, turns out to be good at eating and nothing else. Despite a crash course with tutors arranged by a frustrated Hwieumdang, he still cannot understand or memorize what he’s being taught. But Hwieumdang later on gets a copy of the contest question and prepares Jang Tae-ryong for it.

    Lee Gyeom finds out from a nervous Jang Tae-ryong that the contest question has been leaked. He arranges another contest where both Hyun-ryong and Jang Tae-ryong fail. (The two have become instant friends who do not want to deprive each other the opportunity to enter the school.) On Lee Gyeom’s suggestion, both of them are admitted.

    Hwieumdang tells the other mothers that Saimdang could have influenced Lee Gyeom. The mothers go to Saimdang’s house and demand that she formally greet them. They also tell her that Hyun-ryong was admitted to the school only because Lee Gyeom intervened.

    An angry Saimdang goes to the school to see the Head Teacher and Lee Gyeom.

  5. 155
    Paku Says:

    Episode 9: “Complacent clouds” (The painting and poetry contest)

    Offended by what the mothers told her, Saimdang tells Lee Gyeom not to intervene in her life.

    While tending to a fire in her kitchen and remembering Lee Gyeom’s words, Saimdang realizes that she can make and sell paper as her family’s source of income.

    Lee Gyeom and Hwieumdang find out separately that Saimdang is putting up a small business of making and selling paper. Through his friend (the bandit group’s leader), Lee Gyeom also finds out more about Hwieumdang.

    Hwieumdang vows that Saimdang will spend the rest of her life as a “worthless woman doing manual labor.” She then visits Lee Gyeom in Jungbu School and proposes that Biikdang host a painting and poetry contest among the students and their mothers.

    Recap

    Lee Gyeom justifies himself to Saimdang, saying the he didn’t know that Hyun-ryong was her son and that she should not let their sad past get in the way of Hyun-ryong’s education. Nevertheless, Saimdang tells him that to prevent misunderstandings, he should stay out of her family’s life. (Later, Lee Gyeom thinks that Saimdang might possibly still have feelings for him.)

    Saimdang finds plenty of mulberry trees in the land that her husband was scammed into buying. To help her, she contacts an ornery, always drunk former artisan at the Office of Paper Production. But because of the broken down sheds and with only kitchen knives for tools, the artisan turns her down. He agrees only when Saimdang promises a 50-50 split in whatever they will be able to sell later on.

    Hwieumdang thinks at first that Saimdang will use the paper for her paintings. When she finds out Saimdang’s real purpose, she orders all the paper merchants in Hanyang not to buy from or sell paper for Saimdang.

    Lee Gyeom finds out that Hwieumdang has a mysterious past, with no relatives to speak of, and that Min Chi-hyung has another wife.

    When Hwieumndang catches a female servant trying to flirt with Min Chi-hyung, she orders the servant to be whipped and sent away.

    In Jungbu School, Lee Gyeom teaches his students not just to memorize things but to express what they have in their hearts. He’s moved when Hyun-ryong begins describing Saimdang as a great person: “My mother taught me that I have to make the most out of even difficult situations. She made the most out of the difficult things; my mother is a strong but soft-hearted person.”

    The deposed Queen gratefully sends dried persimmons for Saimdang and her children. Later, Saimdang and her children visit the Queen. When Mae-chang (Saimdang’s daughter) says that she wants to visit again, the Queen tells Saimdang that it will do her no good being seen with a deposed queen. Saimdang touches the Queen’s heart by saying that being kind to neighbors is a virtue.

    Looking at the paper that she has made, Saimdang begins tracing lines and shapes on it. (Like Lee Gyeom, she has been traumatized by what happened 20 years ago and has not painted anything since then.)

    Hwieumdang tells herself that she is the best painter in Joseon and vows that Saimdang must never be able to compete with her again.

    On the day of the contest, the mothers are all dressed up, hoping to impress Lee Gyeom. But Saimdang comes in her work clothes that offends the mothers. When Hwieumdang describes her silk dress as being in “Yeonji” color, Saimdang wonders who she is.

    Not wanting Saimdang to continue being embarrassed by what she’s wearing, Lee Gyeom orders his nephew to buy aprons from the market. When the mothers complain that the aprons are like rags, he tells them that with the aprons, they don’t have to worry about spilling paint on their silk clothes.

    Hwieumdang proposes that the contest theme be “Unpyeong” (“complacent clouds”). Saimdang and Lee Gyeom become agitated, remembering Unpyeong Temple from 20 years ago. As Saimdang agonizes, Hwieumdang watches her and thinks, “Are you suffering? What a pathetic sight. You’ll never be able to paint again. Because of your painting, nearly 100 people died. This is how you pay for your sin.”

    When Saimdang overhears that Hwieumdang is the wife of Min Chi-hyung (the man who ordered the temple massacre), she panics and runs out of the contest hall. Hyun-ryongs follows her and, having been bullied in school, he cries that Saimdang cannot leave just like that. When Saimdang says that she simply cannot paint, Hyun-ryong storms off, saying that he’ll finish everything himself.

    In his poem, Hyun-ryong writes, “In the chaotic world, a poet wanders around like complacent clouds. I’d like to stir up the clouds and let the sweet rains fall on the dry land.”

    Later, Lee Gyeom sees the scar on Hwieumdang’s hand and remembers the lowborn girl Seok Soon from 20 years ago. At that same time, Saimdang is on the mountain; remembering the “Yeonji” color, she realizes that Hwieumdang and Seok Soon are one and the same person.

  6. 156
    Paku Says:

    Episode 10: Unpyeongsa (Unpyeong Temple)

    Saimdang and Lee Gyeom realize that Hwieumdang is none other than the lowborn girl Seok Soon whom they met 20 years ago.

    Lee Gyeom starts investigating what happened at Unpyeong Temple that has scarred Saimdang’s life.

    The King becomes anxious when the government ministers complain that newly-appointed government officials are flocking to Biikdang and meeting with Lee Gyeom.

    Saimdang gets an order for 5,000 sheets of colored paper that she must deliver within five days. If she can’t deliver them, she must pay a penalty of 10 times the down payment. Unknown to Saimdang, the paper that she has at the workplace has been stolen by her paper artisan.

    Recap

    Lee Gyeom warns Hwieumdang: “I don’t know your reason behind it, but if you’re trying to hurt someone, I hope that you don’t only look after your scar while putting daggers in someone else’s heart.

    But Hwieumdang doesn’t back down and retorts: “If I want to hurt someone, don’t you think that person deserves it? An eye for an eye is only human nature.”

    The Prime Minister’s insane son kills a woman, and Min Chi-hyung has to clean up the mess.

    Hyun-ryong refuses to go home with Saimdang and tells her that he is no longer her son. Saimdang is assured by Lee Gyeom that he will bring Hyun-ryong home later on. As Saimdang begins to leave, Lee Gyeom tells her that Hyun-ryong is as stubborn as she was during her younger years.

    Lee Gyeom tells Hyun-ryong that he regrets not having known his own mother. Hyun-ryong replies: “I’m frustrated. I’m studying for my mother and my family. I’m going to study very, very hard. I’m going to win first place in the civil service exam and become a government employee. I will buy a huge house where all my family members will have their own rooms. And I will also buy silk dresses so that my mother won’t have wear shabby clothes. How come my mother doesn’t understand how I feel?’

    Lee Gyeom advises Hyun-ryong to tell her mother everything that’s in his heart.

    Lee Gyeom brings Hyun-ryong home, and when he mentions that Hyun-ryong is a very intelligent boy, Saimdang says: “That’s why I’m careful with him. I don’t want him to become arrogant.” When Lee Gyeom repeats his offer to sponsor Hyun-ryong’s studies, Saimdang rejects the offer and walks away.

    Saimdang freezes when Lee Gyeom mentions Unpyeong Temple. He asks: “Just what happened there? Why did you storm out trembling at the mention of the temple? Does the reason you stopped painting for 20 years have to do with the temple? The Saimdang I knew would have never given up painting. What happened to the daring girl who climbed over walls just to see the ‘Mount Geumgang’ painting?’

    Later, Lee Gyeom goes to where Unpyeong Temple used to be. He meets an old man who tells him about the massacre and that Min Chi-hyung could have been involved.

    The store manager at Jangwon Paper Store refuses to buy Saimdang’s paper because of their low quality. When Hwieumdang finds out that Saimdang is selling her paper, she sets up a plan to sink Saimdang deeply into debt. She orders the store manager to buy from Saimdang 5,000 sheets of colored paper that must be delivered within five days. If Saimdang is not able to deliver the paper, she must pay a penalty of ten times the down payment.

    The paper artisan has stolen the paper that Saimdang has at the workplace. With only her servant to help her, Saimdang tries to produce the paper within the deadline. That night, Lee Gyeom and his nephew sneak into the workplace and try to produce as much paper pulp as they can.

    When a boy steals their food, Saimdang, her servant, and her sons stumble upon a group of starving and sick drifters. Saimdang remembers the people she saw at Unpyeong Temple 20 years ago. Moved by their plight, she tells the drifters that if they help her make the paper, she will split the profits with them.

    The store manager turns against Hwieumdang and reveals to Lee Gyeom the bribes that Min Chi-hyung has given to government officials. But later on, the store manager is killed by Min Chi-hyung.

    Saimdang is shocked when the new store manager refuses to buy the 5,000 sheets of paper. She decides to sell the paper herself on the street. But Hwieumdang orders soldiers to break up the sale. As a soldier pushes Saimdang aside, she falls into Lee Gyeom’s arms.

  7. 157
    Virgo Says:

    Can’t wait to next episodes.

  8. 158
    OMG Says:

    Best drama of 2017 so far ♥

  9. 159
    OMG Says:

    Lee Young Ae is the best actress in korea. this drama is super the best this year……… thank you for make come back drama of LYA.

  10. 160
    rian Says:

    Successful excellent kdrama.

  11. 161
    Aya Says:

    i wish this drama is everyday so that i watch it everyday. because it is interesting drama this year.

  12. 162
    eugene Says:

    the best kdrama!!!

  13. 163
    MyOnce Says:

    I’m really happy for this drama. It helped me discover Song Seung Heon and of course, it’s lovely to see Lee Young-Ae again. Such a beautiful well-meaning drama and I’ll always support you guys.

  14. 164
    lala Says:

    put your hands up !!!

  15. 165
    venus Says:

    go go go fighting…………………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. 166
    jiezel Says:

    I love this drama, good story and good chemistry between the roles. Even the children are all adorable. I always look forward to watch every episode even when there is no subs… that’s how I like it that I can’t wait.

  17. 167
    SPG Says:

    super love it!

  18. 168
    Noya Says:

    I like how the story plays out sensibly without feeling like the writer is unashamedly going for the tear ducts.

  19. 169
    Gill Says:

    Can anyone please explain to me the real reason for the Wyungpeongsa tragedy? Is it because of the painting she drew or just mass killing by that bad guy who wants to monopolize the paper-making industry? I still don’t understand why Saimdang has to marry someone else. I knew the king wanted Saimdang to do that but why didn’t the king like Saimdang?

    I am so confused! Can someone explain to me please?

  20. 170
    Maecy Says:

    Korean drama never disappoint in storyline, good job!

  21. 171
    Mi Poong Says:

    @Gill I think it was a mass killing to monopolise paper production by silencing everyone privy to the paper production process as well as the witnesses to the murders. And a separate issue related to the poem; a royal order to halt the spread of the King’s poem due to a perceived political fallout.

  22. 172
    cocolet Says:

    They not just telling story, but telling history as well. I love this kind of drama. Lee Young Ae, such a beautiful woman. Her kindness, inspire us how to be an independent woman.. I respect her a lot.

  23. 173
    isaiah Says:

    Hi gill, I will answer your question. Woonpyeongsa tragedy has happened because of that bad guy want monopolize, and saimdang became a witness who saw the corrupt action. The king would kill whoever knew the poem because he was afraid that his enemy (many ministers) used it to overthrow his throne. If lee gyeom married saimdang, his enemy would know that lee gyeom became witness too about woonpyeongsa tragedy. the reason why that poem is horrible is not been told yet.

  24. 174
    neslie Says:

    This drama is very exciting Love the plot and everything I am very much looking forward for the new episode

    Fighting !!!!

  25. 175
    poorhorse Says:

    Please somebody from production team or whoever, please confirm that no horses were harmed during the filming. Really want to see BTS from that scene where lee gyeom falling from his horse to make sure that the horse was fine in reall life.

  26. 176
    paku Says:

    Episode 11: Secrets revealed

    Lee Gyeom confronts the soldiers who stopped Saimdang from selling her paper and scattered them on the street.

    After meeting with the Ming ambassador, Min Chi-hyung confronts Hwieumdang about the way she has been running the paper store.

    While at the mountain praying, Saiumdang is approached first by the leader of the drifters and later on, by an old man (the grandfather of the boy who stole Saimdang and her children’s food days ago).

    Lee Gyeom asks his nephew to find out what happened to the paper store manager who told them about Min Chi-hyung’s illegal activities.

    Hwieumdang remembers all the things she had to do to gain Min Chi-hyung’s favor; that night, she decides to go to Biikdang.

    The ministers complain to the King that Lee Gyeom is engaging in politics. They demand that the King dismiss Lee Gyeom, his staff at Biikdang, and his friend (the Head Teacher of Jungbu School).

    Policemen arrive at Saimdang’s paper mill and arrest all of the drifters.

    Episode 11 recap:

    The soldiers stop attacking Lee Gyeom when they recognize from his fan that he is a member of the Royal Family. As Saimdang is hurriedly led away by her husband, policemen start arriving. The soldiers back down, and the drifters run off with their cartload of paper.

    Lee Gyeom takes the colored paper scattered on the street and asks the artists at Biikdang to use them for their painting and poetry. Inspired by the paper’s unique colors, the artists create dozens upon dozens of art works.

    Min Chi-hyung terrifies Hwieumdang by showing her the cut-off finger of the paper store manager who betrayed them to Lee Gyeom.

    Saimdang pleads for mercy with the drifters and their leader for having failed to sell the paper they worked on. Just then, the bald-headed man who’s always hanging around Biikdang comes with several men, and they buy all of Saimdang’s paper.

    Later at the mountain, Saimdang tells the leader of the drifters that she is praying for the men and women who were massacred at Unpyeong Temple. She says that she was shocked by the two strikingly different worlds at the temple between the government officials who were partying and the drifters who were starving. She wanted to do something, but because of her painting and poetry, nearly a hundred people died.

    When the leader asks if she has been praying for forgiveness for the last 20 years, Saimdang replies: “I will be paying for what I did forever. When I met all of you, that was when I knew. The heavens had sent me precious people so that I could repay that debt.”

    Unknown to them, an old man is listening to their conversation. That old man later confesses to Saimdang that he’s the one who sold to Min Chi-hyung the secret to making the famous Goryeo paper. He also counsels Saimdang not to blame herself because the massacre was planned by Min Chi-hyung to eliminate everyone who knew how to make Goryeo paper.

    Saimdang is stunned by the old man’s revelation. She stands up and screams her heart out, realizing that evil men and her misunderstanding of the events at Unpyeong Temple have turned her life upside down.

    Lee Gyeom finds out that the paper store manager has been missing for the past several days. He remembers what the manager said about Min Chi-hyung taking care of the mess that the Prime Minister’s son creates.

    Hwieumdang remembers how Min Chi-hyung ordered her to poison his father-in-law and how she got her false identity. That night, putting on a disguise, she goes to Biikdang and amazes everyone with her masterful playing of the gayageum.

    The King scolds Lee Gyeom for not being discreet in investigating the corrupt activities of the ministers. When Lee Gyeom says that the Head Teacher of Jungbu School is the King’s loyal subject, the King becomes angry and tells him that the Head Teacher is lucky not to have been killed along with the other members of Sir Jo Gwang-jo’s group.

    The drifters are thrown into jail. But Saimdang gets them released by putting up her house and land as collateral to pay for their unpaid taxes of 900 sacks of grains and 200 rolls of cotton. She promises the Police Chief that she and the drifters will pay the balance within 30 days. She also promises that if the drifters cause any problem or run away, she can be arrested in their place.

    When the drifters start arguing among themselves, the old man gives Saimdang the secret to making Goryeo paper.

    Lee Gyeom learns from his friend (the Head Teacher) how the King’s poem caused the death of Saimdang’s father. Riding his horse day and night, Lee Gyeom races to Saimdang’s ancestral house in Gangneum. When Saimdang’s mother refuses to meet him, he kneels on the ground and pleads to talk with her.

  27. 177
    paku Says:

    Episode 12: Parallel paths

    Lee Gyeom begs on his knees for Saimdang’s mother to talk to him, but she refuses. Upon learning that Saimdang’s father sent a letter to his great aunt before he died, Lee Gyeom goes to see her. But his great aunt refuses to tell him what’s in the letter.

    The old man says that the expensive Goryeo paper that Saimdang and the drifters bought from Min Chi-hyung’s store is inferior in quality. He tells Saimdang that he needs to touch a sample of genuine Goryeo paper so that he can reconstruct how the paper was made in Unpyeong Temple.

    Hwieumdang hires someone to create trouble in Saimdang’s paper mill.

    The King senses that the top ministers are beginning to fight each other over promotions; he needs Lee Gyeom to drive the ministers farther apart. But Lee Gyeom is missing, and no one knows where he went. The ministers begin to sow intrigues, suggesting that Lee Gyeom has abandoned the King and has gone back to his wild, carefree days.

    When Lee Gyeom tells his great aunt about the King’s poem, she warns him that he’s putting Saimdang and himself in danger again. She tells Lee Gyeom: “You cannot make the King your enemy. That’s the only way you can protect the woman you love!”

    On his way back to Hanyang, Lee Gyeom falls off his horse.

    The King visits Biikdang incognito, but no one can tell him where Lee Gyeom is. Worried, the King orders his bodyguard to look for Lee Gyeom.

    Saimdang remembers that her father’s letter is written on Goryeo paper from Unpyeong Temple. The old man confirms that it’s indeed genuine Goryeo paper, but their attempts to reconstruct how the paper was made in Unpyeong Temple fails again and again.

    Hwieumdang hires Saimdang’s former paper artisan to create trouble in her paper mill.

    Lee Gyeom goes back to Sujinbang and surprises Saimdang by embracing her. He tells Saimdang: “I’m sorry; for so long, how did you endure everything for me? I’m alive because of your sacrifice. Now, it’s my turn to live for you. I’ll become the most powerful man in Joseon so that you can paint all you want without any worries.”

    Saimdang pushes Lee Gyeom away as the drifters start coming back to the paper mill. Unknown to them, Min Chi-hyung has been watching them from a distance. Later, Lee Gyeom sees the Police Chief talking with Min Chi-hyung.

    Lee Gyeom meets the King’s bodyguard and tells him: “What hurts me most is that it’s the King who made my life hell.” But the bodyguard replies: “The King has been living in hell his entire life. He feared being killed by King Yeonsan; as Crown Prince, he feared the ministers; as King, he lost his precious Queen when she was dethroned.”

    Echoing what Lee Gyeom’s great aunt told him, the King’s bodyguard counsels Lee Gyeom: “Don’t make the King your enemy. If you can’t love the King, at least pretend to love him. That’s how you can protect Saimdang.”

    Later, Lee Gyeom sends his falcon with a message for his close friend, Lord Seo, who is Joseon’s ambassador to Ming.

    Lee Won Su, Saimdang’s husband, messes up again, this time with the face powder that he bought for Saimdang; the powder creates rashes all over Maek-chang’s and Woo’s faces. When he goes to confront the tavern owner who sold the face powder to him, he gets ensnared in another scam.

    Lee Gyeom challenges Min Chi-hyung to a sword fight. He could have killed Min Chi-hyung, but their swords get broken into half. Walking away, he passes by a stunned Hwieumdang and tells her: “You disgust me!”

    Min Chi-hyung and Hwieumdang plan their revenge against Lee Gyeom by using Saimdang’s sketch book and ribbon. Hwieumdang says: “Betrayal is more bitter the closer you are to the person. Lee Gyeom is the only Royal Family member whom the King wants at his side. The card we hold is the most powerful.” When Min Chi-hyung replies that the fruit is not yet ripe, Hwieumdang says, “When the fruit is ripe, I’ll pick it for you.”

    Alone later on, Hwieumdang thinks about Lee Gyeom’s words to her and vows: “Disgust? I’ll show you what disgusting envy looks like.”

    Saimdang and Hyang are on their way back to the paper mill when Hyang sees rows of lights along their path. Saimdang smiles seeing the lights; when Hyang sees Lee Gyeom at the other end of the path, two men quickly grab her, leaving Saimdang and Lee Gyeom by themselves.

    Lee Gyeom tells Saimdang: “Keep smiling. You look the best when you smile that way. Do you like the lights?”

    Lee Gyeom continues: “Everything that happened 20 years ago - the reason you had to leave me and marry another man, what the drifters mean to you, and why you must make paper with them - I know everything now. I understand you.”

    Saimdang replies: “You just have to live your life, and I’ll live on with my own life. Please don’t worry about me anymore. You just go on with your life.”

    Lee Gyeom answers back: “How can I when I now know about everything? How can you think that’s possible? If I were you and you were me, if we are in each other’s place, could you just live on?”

    Lee Gyeom continues pleading with Saimdang: “You can continue to live your life. For the drifters and for your family. If that’s the path you must walk on, then go ahead. But for me, I’ll always be standing right where you can see me.”

    When Saimdang protests that it cannot be and that he’s being reckless, Lee Gyeom says: “I don’t care if you’re another man’s wife, or if you’ll never look at me. Even if our paths are parallel and we’ll never be able to meet, I’ll walk along with you for the rest of my life!’

  28. 178
    Berty Says:

    This drama based on a major Korean historical figure was intended for an international audience. Its quality is very high in every way: directing, plot and strong screen writing, acting, music, photography. I am enjoying every moment as the story twists and turns.

    The acting is so good across the board! In particular, the performance of Lee YoungAe as Saimdang is impressive and often moves me deeply. I am learning a lot about life and the values of a different Korean era. Yet, some of these values are still alive today.

    The gap between the interests of international audiences and those of local Korean viewers seems to be the reason behind the current ratings of Saimdang compared to those of shallow – sometimes plain silly – dramas aimed at local Korean teens.

  29. 179
    Pam Says:

    Great drama
    Agree ưith Berty

  30. 180
    paku Says:

    Episode 13: The confrontation and the hunt

    The academic rivalry between Saimdang’s son (Hyun-ryong) and Hwieumdang’s son (Ji-gyoon) results in an incident that forces Saimdang to attend the Mothers’s Club meeting the next day. At the meeting, Hwieumdang and the Prime Minister’s wife ask the other mothers to expel Hyun-ryong because his family has “damaged the school’s dignity.”

    On Lee Gyeom’s suggestion, the King asks the ministers to go with them on a hunting trip. At the hunt, Lee Gyeom breaks off from the other hunters; Min Chi-hyung follows him and tips his arrow with poison.

    Hyun-ryong beats Ji-gyoon by getting the first place in an essay-writing assignment. At lunchtime, Hyun-ryong’s classmates taunt him by asking why he’s only eating rice during lunchtime when everyone else is eating lots of food prepared by their servants. Later, Ji-gyoon tears up Hyun-ryong’s essay, and a fight ensues between them. When Hwieumdang sees Ji-gyoon with a bloody nose, she slaps Hyun-ryong twice and threatens the Head Teacher.

    That night, the deposed Queen sees Hyun-ryong crying by her fence. The next day, the Queen asks her attendant to fetch Saimdang from the paper mill. The Queen tells Saimdang that she’s required to attend a meeting at Jungbu School. As she gives Saimdang a jacket and dress made of expensive Chinese silk, she says, “Think about your discouraged son and how he feels.”

    When Saimdang arrives at the meeting, she impresses the other mothers with the way she looks and the expensive silk dress she’s wearing. But Hwieumdang and the Prime Minister’s wife begin at once to bully her by saying that Hyun-ryong must be expelled from school because his family has “damaged the school’s dignity.”

    Hwieumdang says that while the mothers all have husbands who are court officials, Saimdang’s husband has failed the civil service exams for the last 20 years. Saimdang defends her husband saying, “Being a good father doesn’t only mean being rich and famous; a father who loves his children and always makes them smile, this is the kind and sweet father that my husband is.” But Hwieumdang retorts, “That’s just a nice way of saying that your husband is a jobless bum!”

    Saimdang then quotes examples from history and literature of men who were not court officials but who “sympathized with the weak and set a good example, or wrote great poems that are still influencing people beyond their times.” But Hwieumdang says, “Your husband is the biggest loser of all for having failed the exams for the last 20 years!”

    Hwieumdang then says that Saimdang herself has damaged the school’s dignity by engaging in manual labor and working with drifters. Saimdang replies that she’s making paper that’s a necessity for students. She asks if the mothers would like to go back to the days when students had to read books written on bamboo strips.

    Hwieumdang says that Saimdang has been wearing peasant’s clothes. She also mentions that Saimdang’s silk skirt is a royal color and asks if her neighbor, the deposed Queen. gave her the clothes. The other mothers are shocked at the mention of the deposed Queen whom they say is a traitor’s daughter.

    Saimdang says that her clothes do not define who she really is. (When she mentions the “yeonji” color, Hwieumdang realizes that Saimdang already knows that she was the lowborn Seok Soon.) Saimdang defends herself by saying, “ A gourd’s flowers may look simple, but a gourd can feed a whole family. A lotus flower may look fancy, but its fruit is no better than dates or chestnuts.”

    The Prime Minister’s wife and some of the mothers are offended by what Saimdang said; they ask, “Are you saying that we look fancy, but like a lotus fruit, we don’t have substance?”

    On Hwieumdang’s signal, the Prime Minister’s wife then says that Saimdang’s father was jailed during the Gi-myo incident. The other mothers begin saying that someone with a traitor in his family is not fit to be a student in Jungbu School. Saimdang defends her father by saying that he was found innocent of the charge against him. She then quotes from the Classic of Filial Piety: “Even if my father was guilty, a child hiding her father’s crime and not reporting it honestly, that’s compassion. How can you accuse a child for his father’s crime?’

    (When Saimdang mentions her father’s name, Tae-ryong’s mother recognizes that Saimdang was her classmate 20 years ago.)

    Hwieumdang and the Prime Minister’s wife call for a majority vote on Hyun-ryong’s expulsion. But the vote is tied 7-7. Hwieumdang then calls for a tea break. When Saimdang overhears from a mother that Hwieumdang slapped Hyun-ryong twice, she seethes in anger.

    The Prime Minister’s wife whispers to the servant to spill tea on Saimdang’s silk dress. But Tae-ryong’s mother hears the instruction and trips up the servant. The tea is spilled on the silk skirt of the young mother sitting next to Saimdang. The young mother becomes hysterical and cries out that she only borrowed her silk clothes from her neighbor. The Prime Minister’s wife, Hwieumdang, and the other mothers are aghast by that sudden confession and say that the young mother has been deceiving them about being rich.

    Saimdang realizes that she was the real target and pities the young mother; she orders the servant to get some ink and a brush. After some hesitation, Saimdang begins painting grapevines and grapes on the silk skirt. The mothers are stunned at Saimdang’s masterful and graceful strokes, with some remarking that she’s better than Hwieumdang. After Saimdang finishes the painting, she says that “there is no border between ugliness and beauty.” She and Tae-ryong’s mother tell the young mother that she can sell the silk skirt for a very high price.

    Saimdang then tells the mothers that she is voluntarily withdrawing Hyun-ryong from the school. The Head Teacher pleads with her to reconsider, but Saimdang stands firm.

    Hwieumdang wants to have the last word, and as Saimdang is about to leave, she says, “You’re not quitting, I’m throwing you out.” Saimdang recalls that Hwieumdang saved her in Unpyeongsa and thanks her for it. But she also tells Hwieumdang, “I don’t know how you became a nobleman’s wife, but you have lost your kind heart. You may look like a splendid butterfly on the outside, but on the inside you’re still a larva.”

    Later, Saimdang tells Hyung-ryong about her decision. He pleads that he won’t ever fight with Ji-gyoon again and that he wants to continue studying at Jungbu School. But Saimdang tells him that she heard him at school that day and says that he has become vain and arrogant. She says, “You’re born with tremendous talent that other people don’t have. If you fail to use your gift for the right cause and use it instead to to ignore or humiliate other people, it means you don’t deserve such a gift. Your character is more important than your talent.”

    That night as they’re about to sleep, Saimdang tells Hyun-ryong, “I love everyone, you, your brothers, and your sister, equally and incredibly. But I pity you the most because with your talent and ambitions, I can’t do much for you. That’s why I will work much harder in order to give you the wings you deserve. I’ll work hard and go beyond my limit. Will you accept your mother’s heart?” Hyun -ryong says yes and replies, “I so sincerely want to give you the life that you deserve; I want to make you proud of me!”

    At the hunt, Lee Gyeom presents the King with his painting of a falcon. (Before the hunt, he has given the King a fan with his delicate painting using cinnabar, with a dragon design on the handle and a jade ornament.) With a veiled criticism of the ministers, he explains to the King the meaning of the falcon as a talisman against evil. The King tries but hesitates in writing a poem on the painting.

    When Lee Gyeom separates himself from the other hunters to track down a pheasant, Min Chi-hyung aims his poison-tipped arrow at him. The arrow flies past Lee Gyeom’s face and hits a wild boar behind him. Later, Lee Gyeom shocks the ministers when he asks Min Chi-hyung pointblank, “Were you aiming at the wild boar or at me?”

    The King and the ministers are forced to return to the Palace because a Ming ambassador is coming with a personal message from the Emperor. The message complains about the inferior quality of the Goryeo paper that Joseon has been sending to Ming. The King becomes frightened that there’s a hidden motive in the Emperor’s message; he immediately orders his bodyguard and the bHead Eunuch to find anyone who can make the highest-quality Goryeo paper.

    Min Chi-hyung begins preparing more bribes to be given to the Ming ambassador. Meanwhile, Lord So (Joseon ambassador to Ming and Lee Gyeom’s close friend) warns Lee Gyeom that Min Chi-hyung is a dangerous enemy.

    Lee Gyeom finds out from his nephew that all of Hanyang is talking about and praising Saimdang’s painting on a silk skirt. Despite his plea with the store owner that he will pay triple the selling price for the painting, the store owner refuses.

    Hwieumdang has bought the painting and in rage, burns it up. She vows, ”Saimdang and Lee Gyeom, I will destroy all of you arrogant aristocrats!”

    (Note: The dialogues quoted above are from the Dramacool website’s video of this episode, with some editing.)

  31. 181
    paku Says:

    Episode 14: The portraits of a Joseon beauty and the goddess

    Hwieumdang goes to Biikdang again at night and in disguise; she mesmerizes everyone with her dance.

    Saimdang and two of the drifters come across the bulletin that announces a Joseon-wide search for anyone who can supply the government with the highest-quality Goryeo paper.

    Min Chi-hyung goes to the Ming ambassador’s residence with his cartload of bribes. Later, the ambassador demands that Joseon must deliver within four days the Goryeo paper that the Emperor wants.

    Lee Won-su falls asleep again at the temple during his study time, and the Head Monk disciplines him.

    Man-deuk, the paper artisan, steals a sample of Saimdang’s Goryeo paper and gives it to Hwieumdang.

    Min Chi-hyung orders his men to arrest and lock up Saimdang, while policemen arrive at the paper mill and surround the drifters.

    At present …

    Prof. Min forces his way into Ji-yoon’s house and threatens her.

    Hwieumdang disguises herself as the “Black Peony” and tries to get more information from Lord So about the Ming ambassador. But Lord So refuses her offer to help entertain the ambassador. Later, Lee Gyeom recognizes from Lord So’s description that “Black Peony” is none other than Hwieumdang.

    Saimdang brings 3,000 sheets of high-quality paper to the Police Chief, but he refuses to extend the deadline for paying the overdue taxes of the drifters.

    Mandeuk steals a sample of Saimdang’s paper and gives it to Hwieumdang. She becomes alarmed after finding out that the quality of the paper is better than the paper she supplies to the Paper Production Office.

    The bulletin posted at the market announces that people who want to be the government’s supplier must submit their sample of Goryeo paper by the end of the month and that the winner will be given a store and appointed as the government’s exclusive supplier. Saimdang tells the drifters with her that this is their biggest opportunity to make their lives better.

    Min Chi-hyung fails to bribe one of the lesser officials at the Ming ambassador’s residence. When Lee Gyeom and Lord So see him there, Lord So tells him to stay away from the ambassador.

    Lee Gyeom convinces the ambassador to give Joseon 15 days within which to deliver the Goryeo paper that the Emperor wants. Later, the King grants Lee Gyeom the power and authority over the Paper Production Office. Casting aside the ministers’s objections, the King also orders Lee Gyeom to arrest and interrogate anyone involved in the paper scandal.

    On Lee Gyeom’s orders, policemen to raid the Paper Production Office, seizing documents and arresting its officials. Jangwon paper Store is also raided, but Hwieumdang has already hidden its ledgers and other documents.

    Enraged by Lee Gyeom’s actions, Min Chi-hyung orders his men to snatch Saimdang. But his men fail because Lee Gyeom has ordered police officers and their men to guard Saimdang’s paper mill.

    On her way back to the paper mill, Saimdang meets Lee Gyeom. He gives her a bunch of flowers which she reluctantly accepts. Lee Gyeom says, “I saw your painting on the silk skirt, and it made me very happy.” When Saimdang replies that she just picked up the brush to help a lady in need and that it doesn’t mean anything beyond that, Lee Gyeom says, “Then I’ll just make ladies in need keep appearing before you.”

    Lee Gyeom continues, “When I saw from your painting that your talent has not faded and has actually become better, it made my heart flutter.” Saimdang replies, “Painting is a luxury for me now, and these flowers make me feel uncomfortable. I won’t accept any more gifts from you from now on.”

    But Saimdang’s mood brightens when Lee Gyeom gives her a sample of a 200-year old paper with the texture and quality that the Ming royalty value highly. Lee Gyeom says, “Use this to make Unpyeongsa Goryeo paper, and on that paper, do your art.”

    That night, Lee Gyeom meets Hyun-ryong in Biikdang. Hyun-ryong tells him that his mother has withdrawn him from Jungbu School. He also says that he resents and at the same time, pities his father who has failed the state exams for the last 20 years.

    After meeting Saimdang’s husband at the temple, Lee Gyeom uses his influence to get him appointed to a 7th rank position at the Office of Translations. Going home, Lee Won-su proudly informs Saimdang and their children that he has been appointed as a government official. Later, he wants to have some conjugal time with Saimdang, but he falls asleep waiting for her. When he wakes up, Saimdang is gone. Along with his neatly sewn and pressed uniform, he finds a letter from Saimdang.

    Saimdang thinks that the secret to making Goryeo paper is hidden in the painting of the Buddhist goddess that she saw 20 years ago. She and old man Pal Bong leave the paper mill and begin trekking back to Unpyeong Temple.

    By threatening the paper artisan, Hwieumdang finds out that Saimdang is on her way to Unpyeong Temple to find the secret of making the genuine Goryeo paper. She and her men ride on horses and race towards Unpyeong Temple.

    Trudging through the deep snow, Saimdang remembers the recent events between her and Lee Gyeom.

    Present time …

    Ji-yoon informs the owner of Seon Gallery that the gallery’s “Mount Geumgang” painting is fake. Meanwhile, Prof. Min finds out that RADE is investigating the painting’s authenticity.

    Warned by the gallery owner that he can be fired at any time, Prof. Min forces his way into Ji-yoon’s house and then threatens her. Later, he orders his assistants to break into and search Ji-yoon’s house.

    Ji-yoon finds something odd at the back of the “Portrait of a Joseon Beauty” and calls Hye-jung and Han Sang-hyun for an urgent meeting at the club. Despite being followed by Prof. Min’s assistants, Ji-yoon, Han Sang-hyun, and Je-hyung work at the club and begin peeling off the paper at the back of the portrait. To their shock, they find, hidden behind the portrait, the genuine “Mount Geumgang” painting.

  32. 182
    Mizpah Mizpah Says:

    I am happy to see the lengthy notes on each episode have stopped. The English subs are out hours after episode is uploaded on most sites. I could not understand the need to add Cliff Notes to this section that buries all the other comments.

  33. 183
    OMG Says:

    best drama 2017.

  34. 184
    paku Says:

    Episode 15: Choices and revelations at the cliff

    Saimdang and old man Pal Bong reach Unpyeongsa and start looking for the painting of the Buddhist goddess. But soon after, Hwieumdang and her men arrive and start chasing them.

    Min Chi-hyung visits Noble Lady Nam at a temple; she was the favored concubine of King Seonjong and a trusted adviser of King Jungjong.

    Lee Gyeom orders the arrest of Min Chi-hyung.

    Hwieumdang and her men corner Saimdang at a cliff.

    Episode 15 recap:

    Min Chi-hyung tries to convince Noble Lady Nam to return to Hanyang and help stabilize King Jungjong’s reign. She refuses at first, thinking that he has ulterior motives. But when she finds out that Lee Gyeom is the grandson of her family’s mortal enemy, she agrees. On their way back to Hanyang, however, Lee Gyeom blocks their way and orders Min Chi-hyung arrested for bribing the previous Ming ambassador.

    When the Prime Minister hesitates in helping him, Min Chi-hyung vows to retaliate.

    Lee Gyeom finds out that Saimdang has gone to Unpyeongsa and that Hwieumdang and her men have gone there too. He races after them.

    Saimdang and old man Pal Bong fail to find the painting of the Buddhist goddess. Chased by Hwieumdang’s men, they’re helped by an old man.

    Because of the darkness, Hwieumdang and her men stop searching for Saimdang. On their way and at the inn, Hwieumdang is overwhelmed by memories of herself as the lowborn Seok Soon.

    The old man later gives Saimdang the painting of the Buddhist goddess; it was entrusted to him by Unpyeongsa’s Head Monk on the night before the massacre. On the back of the painting is a poem:

    “The glow of fireflies in the night air, The autumn forest forest is rich, Man is as worthy as gold, But he will return to white soil tomorrow.”

    The next day, Hwieumdang and her men kill the old man when he covers up for Saimdang. On the mountain, Pal Bong sees the men and shouts at Saimdang to run. Saimdang screams as she sees Pal Bong stabbed repeatedly. In the distance, Lee Gyeom hears Saimdang’s screams and rushes to her.

    Cornered at a cliff, Saimdang refuses to hand over the painting to Hwieumdang. When Hwieumdang’s men close in to kill her, Lee Gyeom arrives and engages the men in a sword fight.

    Lee Gyeom kills all the men, but Hwieumdang threatens Saimdang with a knife. She mocks Le Gyeom by saying, “Go ahead and keep attacking like an angry tiger! Are you afraid I might do something to this woman? What’s so important about this woman?”

    When Lee Gyeom says that he will spare her if he lets Saimdang go, Hwieumdang retorts, “Or what? You will have two dead women right in front of you. What’s so great about her? Why does it have to be her, not me? Why? Why?”

    Disregarding Lee Gyeom’s pleas to stop, Hwieumdang tells him, “You shouldn’t have been kind to me in the first place. You even gave me a brush, saying it’s great that I am studying hard despite poverty.”

    Hwieumdang continues, “You left me alone in the mountain when I was hurt. You went away taking Saimdang alone. Is it that lowborn people like me can be just left to die? Is that it?”

    Hwieumdang then reveals, “I threw you two in the pit of hell, with my own hand. I wanted to ruin your lives. It was me who left her sketchbook and ribbon for them to find.”

    Hwieumdang and Saimdang fall off the cliff, but they manage to hold on to some branches. Lee Gyeom reaches out to help Saimdang. As the branch that Hwieumdang is holding on to begins to break, Saimdang reaches out to help her. Lee Gyeom manages to pull both of them back to safety.

    Before leaving the seemingly-chastened Hwieumdang, Saimdang tells her, “Now I don’t owe you anything anymore.”

    As Lee Gyeom and Saimdang travel back to Hanyang, he begins to have flashes in his mind of future events.

    Present time …

    Han Sang-hyun wants to immediately calla press conference and announce that they have found the genuine “Mount Geumgang” painting. But Ji-yoon and Hye-jung remind him that they still have a lot of work to do.

    Prof. Min and his assistants mange to get inside the club. But Ji-yoon, Han Sang-hyun, and Hye-jung lock themselves inside the room. As Prof. Min walks away from the door, they realize that they have to take the painting out of the club. Han Sang-hyun and Ji-yoon then dress in costumes so as to blend in with the crowd in the club. Han Sang-hyun dresses up as a pirate, while Ji-yoon wears a “Lady Vengeance” dress.

    As Prof. Min confronts Ji-yoon, she begins remembering all the sacrifices and menial task she had to do for him. She takes off her glasses and thinks, “Prof. Min, you’re finished!”

    Note: The dialogues quoted above are from the subtitles in the Dramacool website video.

  35. 185
    paku Says:

    Episode 16: Danger and intimacy in the forest

    Prof. Min confronts Ji-yoon and Han Sang-hyun about what they’re doing in the club and why they need taffy oil. His assistants, meanwhile, continue looking for Hye-jung.

    Back to Joseon …

    With support from the Left and Right Ministers, the Prime Minister urges the King to hold Min Chi-hyung responsible for creating the crisis with Ming. More paranoid than ever, the King agrees and orders Min Chi-hyung’s execution.

    Later, while visiting his mother’s royal tomb, the King meets Noble Lady Nam.

    Saimdang and Lee Gyeom travel slowly back to Hanyang. On the other hand, an emotionally-broken Hwieumdang meets someone on the road.

    With Saimdang gone for a long time and the house in disarray, Lee Won-su and his children panic and begin thinking that Saimdang has abandoned them. Lee Won-su tries to organize a search and rescue squad.

    Episode 16 recap:

    Hye-jung escapes from the club by dressing up as the Singing Nun and by using the guitar case of Han Sang-hyun’s girlfriend to hide the painting.

    Later, Ji-yoon goes to the subway terminal; she leaves in the locker some money and a note for her husband saying that she won’t divorce him.

    Back to Joseon …

    Saimdang tells Lee Gyeom to ride the horse with her so that they can get back to Hanyang as early as possible. Meanwhie, an emotionally-broken Hwieumdang meets on the street his seriously-injured assistant.

    The King changes his mind about executing Min Chi-hyung after Noble Lady Name advises him to balance his government with both loyal and disloyal officials.

    Upon his release, Min Chi-hyung visits Noble Lady Nam, who tells him that in order to survive, he must become invaluable to the King by producing the Goryeo paper that the Emperor demands.

    But Min Chi-hyung instead gathers his men and begins searching for Lee Gyeom in the mountains near Hanyang.

    The King is warned by his bodyguard that Lee Gyeom’s life is in danger and that he must send the Palace soldiers to rescue Lee Gyeom. But the King says that the more dire situation is that the Emperor’s deadline ends in just seven days, and the Paper Production Office still hasn’t produced the required paper.

    Min Chi-hyung and his men corner Lee Gyeom and Saimdang in the forest. In the ensuing fight, Min Chi-hyung slashes Lee Gyeom’s right arm. As Saimdang tries to protect Lee Gyeom, they fall into a ravine and are able to escape.

    Lee Won-su panics and goes to the police headquarters asking for help in finding Saimdang. The policemen at first mock him, saying that his wife has truly abandoned him. But later on, they recognize him as the man who treated them to drinks and food at the tavern. They organize a search squad and begin searching the “cheating forest.”

    In their hiding place, as Saimdang tends to his wound, Lee Gyeom tells her, “I have this dream once in while, how we used to run around in the fields, make colors, and draw paintings. I dreamed of the time 20 years ago. It’s as if they happened just yesterday. I can endure through the rest of my life by holding on to that memory. That audacious girl who jumped over the wall just to peek at the “Mount Geumgang” painting, if only I could see you paint again, that’s all I want.”

    As Lee Gyeom loses consciousness, Saimdang touches his face and says, “You’ll live through this because you have always been strong!”

    At the Palace, the King regrets his decision not to help Lee Gyeom; he immediately orders Lord So and the Palace soldiers to rescue Lee Gyeom.

    At the forest, Min Chi-hyung orders his men to kill Lee Won-su and the policemen. But Lord So and the Palace soldiers arrive.

    Lee Gyeom regains consciousness and tells Saimdang, “I don’t think that’s it’s all bad to have been injured like this. What other time could I be deeply cared for by you?” As he reaches out to touch Saimdang’s face, she turns to avoid his touch.

    They hear Lee Won-su and the policemen calling for her, and Lee Gyeom tells Saimdang to go on ahead and meet her husband. As she turns to leave, Lee Gyeom remembers the day Saimdang got married, seeing her leave for Hanyang, and meeting her again.

    Note: Dialogues quoted above are from the subtitles in the Dramacool website video, with some editing.

  36. 186
    MinJung Says:

    Did anyone notice at the end of episode 12, the trailer for episode 13, in the modern time of Seo ji Hyun (lee young ae) there was a man in a historical place that is taking picture and he is shadowed but in the looks, it looks like Song Seung Hun (Lee Gyeom in the series) so possibly there is a reincarnation or present character of SSH in the series?? I don’t know but his young version has appeared in the present time (Yang Se-Jong) so I’m not sure if I’ve seen it correctly….did anyone who watch it also see it like me at the end of ep 12 that there is a present time of Lee Gyeom??

  37. 187
    sharon Says:

    This is a fine production. Don’t know why the ratings are as low as they are in Korea, but I consider it well written, good cast, filming, music etc. all around a good film/series. WELL DONE.. I’m from the U.S. and we do not have quality entertainment in movies and or tv. My family and I have taken to watching Korean media, because over all, for the most part, what is made public is good and “clean”. I offer a big thumbs up for Saimdang, Lights Diary.

  38. 188
    Mi Poong Says:

    @MinJung I saw that as well. It doesn’t compute that the young Gyeom and the adult Gyeom of the past are in the present, separate individuals. Then again, so far, reincarnation is not established in this drama, merely implied, albeit feebly.

  39. 189
    Kunlun Says:

    Lee Young Ae’s Saimdang has the qualities of the pious woman; the embodiment of womanhood — grace, patience, compassion, loving, equanimous, charitable, respectful, nurturing and beautiful that a man is rendered powerless before her.

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