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Title: 사임당, 빛의 일기 / Saimdang, Light’s Diary
Previously known as: Saimdang, the Herstory
Also known as: Saimdang, Memoir of Colors
Chinese Title: 師任堂,光的日記
Genre: Historical, Romance, Fantasy
Episodes: 28 (30-2)
Broadcast network: SBS
Broadcast period: 2017-Jan-26 to 2017-May-04
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 22:00


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.


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)
Noh Hyung Wook as Won Soo (young)
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
Lee Sung Wook as leader of wandering people
Heo Sung Tae as Wang Jung Chul

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


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: Creative Leaders Group8 Inc., Emperor Entertainment Korea Ltd.
Director: Yoon Sang Ho
Screenwriter: Park Eun Ryung


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).


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


– 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

    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 7.8 8.7 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 8.1 (17th) 9.7 (8th) 9.0 (9th) 9.3 (7th)
2017-03-30 20 8.2 (17th) 9.4 (9th) 9.3 (9th) 9.3 (8th)
2017-04-05 21 8.6 (16th) 10.0 (7th) 9.4 (9th) 8.8 (10th)
2017-04-06 22 8.7 (15th) 9.3 (11th) 9.6 (9th) 9.3 (8th)
2017-04-12 23 7.4 (19th) 8.4 (12th) 8.5 (11th) 8.4 (10th)
2017-04-13 x Postponed      
2017-04-19 24 6.0 6.2 6.1 (20th) 5.9
2017-04-20 25 7.2 (18th) 7.9 (18th) 8.3 (12th) 8.8 (11th)
2017-04-26 26 6.4 6.9 (18th) 7.8 (11th) 7.7 (11th)
2017-04-27 27 7.4 (16th) 7.8 (15th) 8.4 (10th) 8.5 (9th)
2017-05-04 28 6.8 (18th) 7.5 (12th) 8.2 (9th) 8.8 (7th)

Sources: TNmS Media Korea & AGB Nielsen Korea

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


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

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Official Site

Official Trailer
Early Trailer
Trailer I
Trailer II
Trailer III
Trailer IV

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294 Responses to “Saimdang, Light’s Diary”

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  1. 201
    umi Says:

    love love love

  2. 202
    Dada Says:

    very interested drama, good..Lee Young Ae is my favorit actress in Korea.

  3. 203
    Venus Says:

    The best korean drama 2017 !

  4. 204
    Cheet Says:

    Lee Gyeom’s letter to Saimdang was graced with love and admiration. The letter indeed reminded us of their time together before their fates sent them spiralling on different paths. Saimdang read Gyeom’s words, her heart soothed and her worries washed away by her tears. Love this drama.

  5. 205
    paku Says:

    Episode 21: Divided families
    Hwieumdang and her men kill all of Princess Jeongsun’s soldiers and attendants. Staging a fake rescue, she gains the princess’s trust. Later, the grateful King pardons Min Chi-hyung despite the objections of Lee Gyeom and the ministers.

    Crown Prince Lee Ho (now the Regent) spends more time with Lee Gyeom, going through the markets incognito and observing how people actually live. He learns about firearms and what they can do to strengthen Joseon’s army. He also consults Lee Gyeom about improving Joseon’s battle-tested turtle ship.

    But Noble Lady Nam turns the King’s heart against Lee Gyeom. Later, the King slaps and orders the Crown Prince to stay away from Lee Gyeom.

    Lee Gyeom tells all of Biikdang’s staff that he is giving away to Biikdang all of his assets as a member of the Royal family. The staff begin wondering if he’s planning to leave Biikdang for good.

    Princess Jeongsun asks Hwieumdang to be her tutor in painting. Together, they visit Saimdang’s studio, and without permission, the princess takes several of Saimdang’s paintings.

    Saimdang’s children agree to work together to ease some of her burdens and heartaches. Over lunch, Saimdang tells them to patiently wait for their father to come back. Later, she tells Mae-chang that the problem is between husband and wife, and should not affect her and her siblings.

    Saimdang sees Lee Won-su being scolded by his superiors in the Office of Translations. Later, she visits the concubine and gives her a letter.

    In Willow Village’s school, Saimdang paints her “Watermelon and mice” in front of the students. She teaches them that even the lowly rat has a reason to exist in nature’s scheme of things.

    Despite having been pardoned, Min Chi-hyung is ostracized by the ministers and even by the lower officials. In desperation, he agrees to sell to the Japanese raiders the plans for Joseon’s improved and more powerful turtle ship.

    At night in the market, Min Chi-hyung chances upon and threatens Saimdang and her daughter. But Lee Gyeom arrives and threatens him back.

    Hwieumdang plans to set Min Chi-hyung free by using Princess Jeongsun.

    The King tells the ministers that he is appointing Crown Prince Lee Ho as the Regent. Meanwhile, the Crown Prince spends more and more time with Lee Gyeom.

    Lee Gyeom meets all of the Biikdang staff for an important announcement on Biikdang’s future.

    Saimdang struggles to keep her family together as her children have found out that their father has taken a concubine.

    The leaders of the Japanese raiders secretly visit Hwieumdang and ask her to sell to them one of Joseon’s military secrets.

  6. 206
    paku Says:

    Episode 22: The King’s portrait painter

    The Crown Prince appoints Lee Gyeom as head of the Office of Art, and Mae-chang (Saimdang’s daughter) takes the qualifying exams for new artists.

    Saimdang finds Ji-gyoon (Hwieumdang’s eldest son) listening in to Hyun-ryong and the other students of Willow Village’s school.

    Min Chi-hyung becomes more violent than ever.

    Hwieumdang begins planning how to steal the plans for Joseon’s improved and more powerful turtle ship.

    While waiting for his food at the tavern, Lee Won-su happens to read Saimdang’s letter to his concubine.

    The Crown Prince’s reforms at the Office of Art create dissension among the artists, make the ministers suspicious, and stir up protests by the scholars.

    Mae-chang disguises herself as a boy and places first in the qualifying exams for new artists. But the officials find out that she’s a girl and kick her out. When she meets Lee Gyeom and the Crown Prince, she tells them that it’s unfair that she can’t be an artist simply because she’s a girl.

    Saimdang finds the bitter Mae-chang alone at the plum blossom trees and tries to comfort her.

    Mae-chang: “I was thinking about the world I’m living in. You’ve never told me not to do some things because I’m a girl. But the world is different. No matter how good a painter I am, I can’t become an artist at the Office of Art just because I’m a girl.

    “I want to become the most famous artist in Joseon. I want to follow in your footsteps and become the best artist, who’s as good as Ahn Kyun. I was better than all others who took the exams. So why do I have to give up my dream just because I’m a girl? How come only men can have dreams? It’s so unfair!”

    Saimdang: “I thought that too when I was your age. Living as a woman in Joseon will often feel suffocating and unfair. But wouldn’t the world become a better place someday?”

    Mae-chang: “But what if the night never ends and the world never becomes a better place?”

    Saimdang: “Of course, the night may be long. But someday, when you get married and have a child, and when that child has a daughter and her grandchild has a daughter, the sun will rise. We can shine light through their night little by little.”

    Mae-chang: “What about me? What can I do? You’re a genius painter, but you’re living like this, always upset because of my father? Are you really happy?”

    Unable to answer Mae-chang’s last question, Saimdang simply embraces her.

    Ji-gyoon accepts Saimdang’s offer for him to have lunch with her and her children, and he’s surprised by the love and camaraderie among them. Later, at home, he witnesses his father choking his mother.

    Lee Won-su cries as he reads Saimdang’s letter to his concubine, which details all the special care that he needs. He begins to realize that all his concubine wants is money.

    Using her responsibilities as the painting tutor of Princess Jeongsun, Hwieumdang moves around the Office of Art, thinking of how she can steal the plans for Joseon’s turtle ship.

    Saimdang wins the open competition to become the King’s portrait painter. As she shares tea with Lee Gyeom who brought the Royal order to her, Lee Gyeom notices the butterfly painted near the peony on the red canvas.

    But immediately after Saimdang wins the competition, the artists, scholars, and ministers begin protesting that it’s against the law for a woman to be appointed to a government office. But the Crown Prince brushes aside the objections and backs up Lee Gyeom and Saimdang.

    At the portrait painting session, the King orders everyone to leave except for Saimdang.

    King Jungjong: “You must be Shin Myung Hwa’s daughter. I remember your upright father and his audacious daughter.”

    Saimdang: “Yes, your majesty.”

    King Jungjong: “I do remember you. You were quite a bold girl. I’m sure your boldness has brought you all the way here. How does my face look compared to back then? Tell me.”

    Saimdang: “You have many worries written on your face, and your mind doesn’t seem to be at ease, either.”

    King Jungjong: “Not at ease? How do you plan on painting me? Will you draw me as the worrisome and troubled King as you see me? Or will you draw my confident and majestic look of the past? Tell me.”

    Saimdang: “The job of a portrait painter is not only to draw your face but your heart as well. Thus, I will paint not only your face but your spirit as life-like as possible.”

    King Jungjong: “You’ll draw even my spirit as life-like as possible? Could that be possible if there’s grudge left inside of the painter’s heart?”

    Saimdang: “If my father is alive today, I am certain that he will be proud of me. He will encourage me to do well. So I plan to give my all to paint the King’s portrait, the face of Joseon.”

    King Jungjong: ”If you draw even a wrinkle or a hair on my face incorrectly, you might face punishment. Do you understand that?”

    Saimdang: “I’ll do my best.”

    Saimdang begins working throughout the night on the portrait. When she neglects to eat, Lee Gyeom brings some food for her. But at that same time, a repentant Lee Won-su is on his way to the Office of Art, also bringing food for Saimdang.

  7. 207
    Hannah Says:

    I get sad everytime I watch the scenes between Saimdang and Lee Gyeom. Sigh

  8. 208
    Saimdang, Light’s Diary, o drama histórico da SBS Says:

    […] Fonte: KoreanDrama […]

  9. 209
    Olla Says:

    I have watched so many Korean dramas over the years but none have captivated me in every aspect as “Samidang, Light’s diary”. It is superb in every way, the acting, the plot, the history and OMG the art. I was never an art’s fan but this drama really made fall in love with art, that’s how good it is. I also can feel every emotion of the actors, their love, happiness, sorrow, frustration, anger. It touches on what is important, what is ethical, what is right and what is wrong. I was skeptical to start watching it in the beginning and actually started with episode 6, as I have made it a point not to watch a drama with more than 20 episodes, but the plot is great and not slow paced, it keeps me at the edge of my seat.

    I totally recommend!!!!

  10. 210
    britney Says:

    undertaker kdrama 2017.!!!

  11. 211
    Tira Says:

    This is really great drama especially captivated with Lee Gyum and Saimdang love that they have to sacrifice by the stupid king.

    The King is so ridiculous because he is doing lousy job as a King. That is why I dont like historical drama because it is ridiculous lifestyle and the way human are being treated.

    YES, the paintings are wonderful in this drama. Great Artists.

    The old king need to die ASAP in order for the young King to be successful in his kingdom. The young King is a better king and dream for the future.

    Hopefully fate brought Saimdang and Lee Gyum together and live happily in present life.


  12. 212
    CoolBeans Says:

    The decline in the ratings accurately reflects the down turn in the drama that started out with a fresh take on history of a rare female, then, descended into multiple losing fights in both the current scenes and the historical ones. Fast forward over the current timeline, since the historical scenes are the only ones worth watching…as of now. Disappointing.

  13. 213
    fatin Says:

    Really love to watch this two lovers…my god!!!never expect i will cry watching them living seperatedly..i really wanna visit korea…if theres a star to rating them,i’ll give 10 out of 10…

  14. 214
    paku Says:

    Episode 23: The paranoid King

    Lee Gyeom brings food for Saimdang and teases her that as head of the Office of Art, he’s ordering her to eat.

    Saimdang continues her painting session with King Jungjong.

    King: “They say that a bird chooses the right tree to build a nest. Confucian scholars across the nation have been outraged because of you and have been flooding the palace with appeals.

    Saimdang: “I’m not interested in politics, so I don’t know what’s going on outside.”

    Surprised by Saimdang’s answer, the King describes her calmness as “stillness that sits amidst a blizzard.” The King then asks, “Aren’t you afraid?”

    Saimdang answers, “The whirlwind doesn’t blow all morning and a rain shower doesn’t fall throughout the day.”

    Noting that Saimdang has just quoted from the “Tao Te Ching” (a book that only scholars read), the King laughs and says that it’s no wonder Lee Gyeom fell in love with her.

    Saimdang: “I just believe that it’s all fate.”

    King: “Fate?”

    Saimdang: “Once I accepted it as fate, I wasn’t afraid of anything and felt like I could do anything. I’m going to paint your portrait no matter what!”

    King: “Where’s that bravery coming from?”

    Saimdang: “It isn’t bravery; it’s maternal instinct. I wanted to give hope to my daughter who wants to be a member of the Office of Art.”

    King: “Then tell me, from a mother’s perspective, since a king should take care of his people like their mother: what would you like fix the most in Joseon right now?”

    Saimdang: “I’d like Joseon to be a country where people can have dreams. A dream that life will get better. A dream that things can get better if you work hard.

    “The reason we’re not afraid of the dark at night is because we believe that the dawn will break and the sun will come up if we just wait. A life where you can’t have dreams just because you’re a woman or a concubine’s child or because you’re not from the noble class is like living your life walking along a dark road with a bag over your head. Please create a country where people can have dreams!”

    After having a nightmare of angry people attacking him, the King decides to go around the capital in disguise. But he becomes more uneasy when he hears the lower-ranking officials praising the Crown Prince’s reforms and Lee Gyeom as his main pillar . His paranoia increases when he hears people at the Yangyoo Paper Production Office praising Saimdang for bringing them hope that the King could not.

    In a meeting with the Japanese that nearly turns bloody, Min Chi-hyung again promises to deliver to them the blueprint for Joseon’s turtle ship. Later, he pressures Hwieumdang to bribe officials at the Office of Art or do whatever it takes to get the blueprint. When Hwieumdang objects to his plan to kill Lee Gyeom, Min Chi-hyung asks her if she’s still in love with Lee Gyeom.

    The top ministers return to the meetings as the King dismisses the Crown Prince from all his responsibilities. He then orders Lee Gyeom to be the co-painter of the Royal Portrait. When Lee Gyeom hesitates, the King shouts at him, saying that it’s a Royal order. The King also says, “The two of you even discussed marriage at one time. So I’m sure you will work very well together. Work together to create a masterpiece that will make history.”

    Later, while watching Saimdang and Lee Gyeom work together, the King asks, “The two who know each other very well are working together in the same place. How does it feel? Does it feel nice?”

    Fearing the moral implications of what the King said, Saimdang says no, while Lee Gyeom says that their early romance is now just an old memory they can laugh about and that he has no ulterior motive.

    The King then answers with a veiled warning, “Whether you have an ulterior motive or not, the time you have painting my portrait may be the last time you two can be together.”

    When the King mentions that people at Yangyoo treat Saimdang with great respect and that she’s like a king in that place, Lee Gyeon defends her by saying that the King may have jumped to a conclusion. The King explodes in anger and ends the painting session.

    Later, Saimdang tells Lee Gyeom that she doesn’t know what road these things will lead, but she will give her best so that she won’t be embarrassed as an artist. When Lee Gyeom mentions that he thought they would be painting together at a much better place that this place, Saimdang says, “But I’m happy here. I’m thankful we could be together like this.”

    Hwieumdang is finally able to steal the blueprint for the turtle ship. As she’s about to leave the Office of Art, she overhears from some of the artists that Saimdang and Lee Gyeom are painting together. She sees them working together, and for a brief moment, she imagines herself working with Lee Gyeom. She wonders, “They look so beautiful together. What have I been doing with my life?” She then walks away, crying.

    The King plans with the ministers how to destroy Saimdang and Lee Gyeom during the public unveiling of the Royal Portrait. He wants to use the Confucian scholars to turn public sentiment against them both: “Before their admirers and the Yangyoo people, I will destroy them both at once so that they can never think of disrespecting me.”

    Saimdang and Lee Gyeom are placed under guard and not allowed to leave the Palace.

    The scene outside the Palace gate becomes tumultuous with poor folks fighting over the free rice from the King, Confucian scholars protesting and calling for Saimdang’s arrest, and the Biikdang staff and Yangyoo people gathering to see the Royal Portrait. As the portrait is paraded outside the Palace gate, the Confucian scholars begin shouting against the painting’s artistic quality. But the scholars are stunned into silence when people begin praising the painting as being alive and radiant. The people begin singing and dancing and later on bowing down and praising the King.

    Saimdang returns home triumphantly to Yangyoo. During the dancing and eating, she sees Hwieumdang dragging her son Ji-gyoon away. When Hwieumdang asks Ji-gyoon why he’s there, he says, “Our family doesn’t have a pleasant meal together. Are we even a family?”

    After Ji-gyoon walks away, Hwieumdang begins crying. Saimdang takes her hand and says, “Our children are much more mature than us. Let’s forget about everything else, and let’s just live for our children!”

    The King orders Min Chi-hyung to kill Saimdang and Lee Gyeom. Conniving with the Japanese, Min Chi-hyung takes Saimdang hostage and uses her as bait to lure Lee Gyeom. But as Lee Gyeom fights them off, Hwieumdang goes to where Saimdang is being held and kills the Japanese guarding her.

    The confusian scholars continue protesting Saimdang’s appointment
    as the Royal Portrait Painter, while the top ministers step up the pressure against the Crown Prince.

    The King dismisses the Crown Prince from all his duties and orders Lee Gyeom to paint his portrait together with Saimdang.

    The Japanese pressure Min Chi-hyung about the blueprint for Joseon’s turtle ship. When Hwieumdang reasons out that security has been tightened at the Office of Art since Lee Gyeom took over, Min Chi-hyung says that he must then kill Lee Gyeom.

    Deciding that that “there can only be one sun under the Joseon sky,” the King plans to destroy Saimdang and Lee Gyeom during the public viewing of the Royal Portrait.

  15. 215
    Sinopsis Saimdang Light's Diary Says:

    Really love to watch this two lovers..

  16. 216
    Drama Saimdang Light's Diary Says:

    Lee Young Ae is my favorit actress in Korea…

  17. 217
    Park jun sung Says:

    So far this drama is not bad. And quite good i think. Except the modern scene i mean. So sad this drama cut to 28 episode from 30. And you know, this drama has more interesting story n good scenery, better than another drama with good rating, like whisper, or defendant, or mystery queen (sorry, my honest thought).

  18. 218
    CoolBeans Says:

    MY HOPES HAVE RUN OUT. I WISH THIS DRAMA HAD STABILIZED AND NOT GONE DOWNHILL IN QUALITY ABOUT 10 EPISODES AGO! The modern day scenes are boring. The historical scenes are repetitive and mediocre at best. Great actors are wasted in this and that’s a shame. Blame the writer and the script that is uselessly repeated ad nauseum in the comments which reminds me once again why I dislike it!

  19. 219
    CoolBeans Says:

    I understand and agree the drama should be shorter. A 16 episode drama would have only included the good parts and had much better ratings. And 28 episodes are still too long if they have no better product to show.

  20. 220
    park jun sung Says:

    Episode 24 was really good. Saimdang n Lee gyeom express their love each other. Grrrrf the thing annoyed me is why Saimdang should leave him alone. Gahhh, its better if they back as lovers again. I really want there is a kiss scene between adult saimdang n lee gyeom. It would be perfect

  21. 221
    Zeeze Says:

    I might be the only one enjoy modern scene more than joseon scene. The scenery and confilct are better than joseon scene.
    But overall, the story was too slow and predictable. all the protagonists was made unrealistically powerfull. For 28-episodes long drama, viewers needs more climax and anty-climax in the midle of the story in order too keep up with this drama. But what i can see here is just conflict all the way, i can barely see the progress. It just getting better after 25th episode.

  22. 222
    Saimdang Says:

    The fading picture was a weak plot element. The instructions Ji Yoon gave Saimdang to effect an outcome that had already happened — Gyeom ends up in Italy anyway — was not necessary. The writer might have had Ji Yoon say comforting words to Saimdang instead and avoid the time paradox nonsense altogether.

  23. 223
    paku Says:

    Episode 24: The sun and the moon in Keumkangsan

    As she and Min Chi-hyung are sure to be branded as traitors for collaborating with the Japanese. Hwieumdang begs Saimdang to take care of her children.

    Before Min Chi-hyung dies, he tells Lee Gyeom that the King ordered him to kill him and Saimdang.

    Saimdang takes Ji-gyoon and his brother to safety. Later, she gathers the drifters and gives them lands that she bought for them.

    Lee Gyeom confronts King Jungjong.

    King: “Did you come here to kill me, or did you come here to die?”

    Lee Gyeom: “I didn’t come here expecting to survive. Why did you do that? Why did you want to kill me and Saimdang?”

    King: “Did you not really know?”

    Lee Gyeom: “You said I was like your one and only brother and an important friend. You said there’s no one in the Palace you can talk to.

    King: “Well. We did have those times.”

    Lee Gyeom: “Then why? Why?”

    King: “Because you have triggered the King’s fury.”

    Lee Gyeom: “I wasn’t trying to take the throne or try to get the soldiers to revolt. How could you want to try to kill a defenseless woman?”

    King: “I warned you not to get involved in politics. This was brought about by your rash ideals!”

    Lee Gyeom: “Rash ideals? Why have you stopped listening? Can you not hear the court or the cries of your people?”

    King: “Don’t you know that my late brother withstood the humiliation and fear over and over again in order to protect his throne? For 40 whole years! Do you know why? The King can also be brought down by his subjects and be killed. I’ve witnessed it my own eyes.

    Lee Gyeom: “Dethronement … How long are you going to hide in the shadows of dethronement?”

    King (drawing his sword): “How dare you! This is all your fault! I was just trying to protect Joseon’s foundations, the King’’s dignity.

    Lee Gyeom grabs the King’s sword with his bare hand and turns it against the King. But the King’s guards and the Crown Prince arrive. The Crown Prince begs on his knees for the King to spare Lee Gyeom’s life.

    Later, the ministers pressure the King to arrest Lee Gyeom for treason. Soldiers shut down Biikdang and drag all the staff out into the street. They also ransack Yangyoo Paper Production Office and seize its assets. But the drifters have already left earlier.

    Saimdang finds out that Lee Gyeom is being hunted down for treason and that nobody knows where he is.

    As Saimdang goes home, she sees her angry and dejected children out in the courtyard. Lee Won-su has brought his concubine to their home; he and his concubine have found Ahn Kyun’s “Mount Geumgang” painting and laid it out on the bedroom floor.

    Saimdang takes the painting and, outside the house, breaks down crying in front of her children. When the children start screaming in hate and anger at him, Lee Won-su couldn’t care less.

    Mae-chang urges Saimdang to leave and go to Keumkangsan just as she had always wanted in her younger years. Sun, on the other hand, promises to take care of his siblings while she’s gone.

    At the hideout of the bandits. Lee Gyeom finds out from his nephew that Saimdang has gone up to Keumkangsan.

    Saimdang reaches Keumkangsan and starts to paint the mountain, as she had always wanted to do. Just as she has almost finished the painting, she sees Lee Gyeom there.

    Lee Gyeom pleads with Saimdang to spend three days with him so that they can paint the mountain together, just as he had promised more than 20 years ago.

    While Lee Gyeom is carving his half of the Biikjo seal, it starts to rain. He and Saimdang use the painting to cover themselves. Later, after the rain stops, Saimdang notices the early moon.

    Saimdang: “The moon is about to wake up from its nap.”

    Lee Gyeom: “The moon’s nap … What an interesting expression!

    Saimdang: “The sun resents the moon that sleeps all day and wakes up later at night. The sun doesn’t know how hard it is for the moon to keep the darkness away alone at night. The sun doesn’t know that the moon is keeping its side.”

    Rather than running away with Lee Gyeom, Saimdang decides to go back to her children. She writes a farewell note for Lee Gyeom. She also burns Ahn Kyun’s “Mount Geumgang” painting, but before the painting is completely burned up, Lee Gyeom arrives and takes what’s left of the painting out of the fire.

    In her letter, Saimdang tells Lee Gyeom:

    “I thought about leaving everything behind and going away with you. But if I do that, my children will be condemned to live in shame for the rest of their lives. I don’t think I can abandon my children and live my life without them, missing them everyday.

    “I choose to live as a mother and will not regret it. I wonder if we’ll be able to be together in our next lives. I love you with all my heart!”

    On their painting of Keumkangsan, Saimdang has drawn the early moon and a house with a man and a woman in it.

  24. 224
    paku Says:

    Episode 25: Ji-yoon and RADE

    Ji-yoon breaks the barrier between her and her son Eun-soo by admitting that she made mistakes by not telling his father that she loved him and missed him before he died. Later, Ji-yoon also reconciles with her mother-in-law.

    Ji-yoon gets a postcard from the mysterious photographer; the postcard features the “Man in Korean Costume” painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640 ), and written on it are the words “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” She begins researching that painting and another painting titled “The Miracles of St. Francis Xavier.” She finds out that the model for the painting had come to Italy after a long overseas voyage.

    Ji-yoon wonders why RADE gave her the postcard. She also begins having visions of Saimdang, Lee Gyeom, and events in their lives.

    Eun-soo meets the mysterious photographer, who helps him finish his painting. Later, Ji-yoon finds out that Eun-soo’s painting has been posted in RADE’s website.

    Prof. Min becomes the president of Hankuk University. When he continues to be pressured by RADE, he retaliates by accusing Ji-yoon and Han Sang-hyun of having plagiarized their theses. He also gets Hye-jung fired from her job.

    The president of the Antique Arts Association accepts a 100 million won bribe from President Min, and he tells Han Sang-hyun and Hye-jung that Saimdang’s diary is a forgery.

    Ji-yoon decides to go back to Seoul and continue fighting for the real “Mount Geumgang” painting. She confronts President Min and tells him that he cannot take her honor even though he may take all her degrees.

    Ji-yoon finds out that RADE is not an individual but a worldwide group investigating art forgeries. The Korean member of RADE tells her that they have been investigating the “Mount Geumgang” painting.

  25. 225
    paku Says:

    Episode 26: Ji-yoon and Saimdang

    Ji-yoon finds out what RADE is all about and how it’s investigating the “Mount Geumgang” painting. She also asks why her son’s painting was published in the RADE website.

    Prof. Min’s assistant (the one with glasses) steals the genuine “Mount Geumgang” painting and gives it back to Ji-yoon. She then informs the Korean guy from RADE about the painting, and they plan their next moves against Prof. Min.

    Joseon times …

    Saimdang comes home to her children, and the King finds out about it. Later, the Crown Prince reaches out to Saimdang.

    The drifters can’t decide whether to go back home to their respective villages or to go back to Yangyoo Paper Production Office for Saimdang.

    Lee Gyeom goes back to Biikdang, carrying with him the painting that he did with Saimdang. Later, he meets his great aunt and his nephew. He decides to surrender in order to protect Saimdang.

    Ji-yoon and the Korean guy from RADE plan to entrap Prof. Min using the “Mount Geumgang” painting as bait. Han Sang-hyun promptly puts up a CCTV camera in their room at the club.

    Ji-yoon stares at the painting of the Joseon beauty and begins having visions.

    Joseon times …

    As soon as Saimdang comes back home, the King orders her house arrest on the pretext that she engaged in illegal activities at the Yangyoo Paper Production Office.

    After writing a letter for Saimdang, Lee Gyeom buries their painting near a tree in inside Biikdang. In his letter, he tells Saimdang: “Life is like a flower that blooms only once. The heaven and earth are like one big tree. It will fall off the tree once it blooms. There’s no reason to be sad or scared. It was your choice to choose life. And accepting death is my choice. Coming into this world is to have life. And returning to where we came from is death. There’s no reason to cry over fallen leaves. This is my choice to protect you.”

    Lee Gyeom and his great aunt reconcile after decades of misunderstandings. She embraces Lee Gyeom tearfully and says that she will take upon herself the punishment (exile or even death) in his place.

    Meeting his nephew later, Lee Gyeom tells him to protect Saimdang. He then surrenders to the authorities.

    The Crown Prince visits Saimdang and tells her all that have happened between Lee Gyeom and the King.

    When Saimdang’s house arrest is lifted, Lee Won-su runs with his concubine, without caring for what happens next to Saimdang and her children.

    Inside the prison, Lee Gyeom and the King can hear Saimdang’s pleas to be allowed to see Lee Gyeom. Lee Gyeom confesses to everything and pleads with the King not to harm Saimdang. The King replies that he will not do anything to Saimdang but that she will live her whole life in pain knowing that she has caused Lee Gyeom’s death.

    The King refuses to allow Saimdang to see Le Gyeom; he also tells her that Lee Gyeom will be exiled to Jeju and later executed by poisoning.

    Dejected, Saimdang goes back to Yangyoo Paper Production Office where she finds that all of the drifters have come back. She begins writing a diary narrating everything that have happened between her and Lee Gyeom for the last 20 years or more.

    Modern times …

    After Hye-jung reminds her of the John Donne poem hidden inside Saimdang’s diary, Ji-yoon copies the poem on a piece of paper. She’s shocked to see that her own handwriting and the handwriting on the diary’s John Donne poem are exactly the same.

    Goons sent by Prof. Min attack the club and beat up Han Sang-hyun as they search for the “Mount Geumgang” painting. Ji-yoon grabs the painting and rushes out of the room. The goons chase her up to the rooftop where she falls from off the roof and on to the ground below.

    In a vision, Ji-yoon sees Saimdang. Seeing the postcard with the “Man in Korean Costume” painting by Rubens, Saimdang exclaims that it’s Lee Gyeom. Piecing the puzzle together, Ji-yoon assures Saimdang that Lee Gyeom is alive in Italy but that she must rescue him from the exile and death by poisoning that the King has ordered.

  26. 226
    Noya Says:

    I realise it is the drama norm for the lovers to kiss and embrace, but I really liked that Saimdang and Gyeom didn’t in almost all their scenes together. It speaks to Saimdang’s dignity as a married woman and a mother and to their love as something deep, beyond the carnal.

    The poems, love letters and soliloquies were all beautiful expressions of their love. Very good drama indeed.

  27. 227
    sarahazani Says:

    i just don’t understand why this drama rank is lower than any. i love the story, love the character, and every massage on it. so sad that youth people may not interested in historical fiction drama.

  28. 228
    Nathalia Says:

    One more episode and I can’t wait. I dream of some kind of happy ending, at least in the past or the present. Till recently I thought maybe they could be happy in the present if not in the past. But with the husband back alive and those last images in the preview I really don’t know what’s gonna happen. I get frustrated because it seems quite impossible but I keep on hoping for some miracle 🙂

    Anyway I’ve loved this drama ! I’ve enjoyed each minute of it. The actors are so good ! And I don’t think it was too long or too slow, I loved this delicate and progressive discovery of each character and event. I usually get impatient quite rapidly and get bored easily. But not this time. I can’t explain why but I loved it, loved them and got addicted. I’m sure 2 more episodes would have been great. Too bad that the low ratings made them shorten the original version.

    Good job anyway. Congrats to all !

  29. 229
    Renna Says:

    It so heartbreaking… i cant stop craying in the last ep 27. Love the chemistry.. love with dignity

  30. 230
    SimplyluvK Says:

    Why I like this drama: the quotes are so beautiful, so inspiring. I feel that I’m sitting through an amazing Literary lesson.
    For e.g. Saimdang answers, “The whirlwind doesn’t blow all morning and a rain shower doesn’t fall throughout the day.”
    Such wisdom & depth to share to kfans.

  31. 231

    Magnificent, Brilliant, Intelligent, Wonderful, Beautiful; Best Korean Drama in 2017. Highly recommended.

  32. 232
    selvie Says:

    love between Saimdang & Lee Gyeom is so beautiful.. Story in Joseon era is more interesting than modern era.. Love it, OST is good too.. recomended!!

  33. 233
    Hannah Says:

    This drama is too beautiful and well-written. I don’t know how many times I cried watching this drama after ep 20 onwards. I hope the actors, actresses and production crews are not discouraged by the ratings as this drama is superb. It gives me all the emotional. I can feel the longings and love between Lee Gyeom and Saimdang even though they’re not meant to be together.

    Now I’m just gonna wait how this drama is going to be wrapped up. Can’t wait for the finale.

  34. 234
    venus Says:

    One of the best kdrama this 2017. Highly recommended !

  35. 235
    paku Says:

    Episode 27: Saving Lee Gyeom

    Ji-yoon tells Saimdang that she if rescues Lee Gyeom, he will live on in Italy and become a famous painter.

    Saimdang: “I’m only a woman. How can I rescue Lee Gyeom?”

    Ji-yoon: “You can do it. You are a greater woman than you realize. You need to believe in yourself. If you can get Lee Gyeom to Italy, he will be remembered for hundreds of years as a mysterious artist from the East.”

    Saimdang: “It sounds so impossible. He’s in prison right now. Can I really save him?”

    Ji-yoon gives Saimdang the dianthus bracelet and tells her: “You must gather all of your strength. You prayed desperately for help to save Lee Gyeom. That prayer helped us to meet like this. You must remember. Believe in yourself. You can do it.”

    Ji-yoon’s husband turns up alive and reunites with his family. A mystery man (probably the Korean guy from RADE) pays for all of Ji-yoon’s hospital bills.

    Joseon times …

    Saimdang gives the last remaining copy of the King’s poem to the Crown Prince. Later, in front of the King’s bodyguard, the Crown Prince burns up the poem.

    The bandits and the drifters catch up with the soldiers transporting Lee Gyeom. To everyone’s surprise, the King’s bodyguard releases Lee Gyeom. Later, the bodyguard kills himself.

    The other soldiers report that Lee Gyeom’s cart fell of the cliff, and that the King’s bodyguard died with Lee Gyeom.

    When Lee Gyeom sees Saimdang at the river, he tries again to get Saimdang to run away with him. But Saimdang shakes her head and says: “You must go. Please get out to the bigger world and live freely out there.”

    Lee Gyeom then takes the Biikjo seal that he carved at Keumkangsan and places it around Saimdang’s neck. He says: “I planned to make this seal for you earlier. But it took me 20 years.” As Saimdang looks and touches the seal, she replies: “Finally, the seals are complete.”

    Lee Gyeom: “Because I met you, I have been very happy.”

    Saimdang: “From now on, you must be even happier.”

    In the boat, Lee Gyeom opens the bag that Saimdang gave him and sees clothes, a seed pouch, and a letter. In her letter, Saimdang says: “Thinking back, I never made you any clothes. While praying for your safety, I made something for you. No matter where you are, I will feel everything you are feeling. I will see everything you are seeing. Being physically separated will not mean we are truly separated. I’m certain of this. Forever …”

    After a long, arduous journey over sea and land, Lee Gyeom reaches Italy where he lives a peaceful and productive life.

    Lee Gyeom becomes part of a manor where he continues to paint. He remembers Saimdang:

    “I wake up in this foreign land. I have dreamed of you again. Even though you are not here, my lifeis bearable. No matter where I am, you said you would always be there for me.

    “These beautiful sights that lie before me, I believe you’re seeing them too. There are beautiful flowers blooming here that remind me of you. There are gentle breezes that remind me of your touch. When I stay still and listen to that breeze, I think I can hear your voice. I’ve realized it once arrived here. By my side and inside my heart, you’re the only one there. You’re the reason I walk the earth, and you are my dream.

    As Lee Gyeom carves out in marble a house based on what Saimdang drew on their Keumkangsan painting, he remembers all their happy days and conversations: “Our time passed by like a sweet dream. I still haven’t woken up. Since I must remain here at Siesta Di Luna, our dream will be remembered forever.”

    Back in Joseon, Saimdang and the drifters have rebuilt Yangyoo Paper Production Office and have become prosperous again. Some of Biikdang’s staff help out in educating and training the drifters and their families.

    At home remembering Lee Gyeom, Saimdang collapses, clutching her heart.

  36. 236
    Ua Manea Says:

    And so it ends with Saimdang and Lee Gyom. This drama is very beautiful in every way.

  37. 237
    Hannah Says:

    I think the only thing that I don’t like about the final episode is too many flashbacks. But otherwise, I think it’s a good ending. I know some people are frustrated as the reincarnation of Saimdang and Lee Gyeom didn’t end up together as well in the modern era, but I think it’s understandable and more logical to end that way. Saimdang and Lee Gyeom did end up together when they die together.

    It’s also self-explainable that modern Lee Gyeom is the leader of RADE and he helped Seo Ji Yoon, which is something that Lee Gyeom did in the past, helping Saimdang in lots of ways.

    Anyway, it’s a beautiful drama and the art is just magnificent! Highly recommended.

  38. 238
    peyutnduy Says:

    A beautiful sad but eternal love story of two gorgeous figures. It is beautifully depicted. Beautiful cinematography and arts.
    Wish SSH & LYA had no care of the low ratings in their country.
    It is really an underrated drama of the years 😣😢

  39. 239
    paku Says:

    Episode 28 (Finale): A gift of fate

    Director Sun confesses before members of the media that the “Mount Geumgang” painting displayed in her gallery is fake. Her husband and Prof. Min are later arrested by the police.

    Ji-yoon regains consciousness and finds out that her husband is alive.

    The genuine “Mount Geumgang” painting and Saimdang’s diary are turned over to the Cultural Center, but Ji-yoon decides to keep private the “Portrait of the Joseon Beauty”.

    In Joseon time …

    Saimdang suffers from chest pains but hides them from her family.

    Hyun-ryong and Ji-gyoon both pass the state exams.

    Hwieumdang, now working at an isolated tavern, is reunited with her children.

    Saimdang entrusts her children to Lee Won-su.

    At the beach, Saimdang and Mae-chang have a final heart-to-heart talk. Saimdang gives her the flower bracelet that Ji-yoon gave her. Saimdang tells Mae-chang that the bracelet is a gift of fate: “There are many connections of fates in the world. Some we are aware of, and some we aren’t. This is my gift for you to express my gratitude that you were fated to be my daughter.

    Woo gives Saimdang the “China pink flower” that’s her favorite; she then asks her children, especially Hyun-ryong, to reconcile with their father.

    In Italy, as Lee Gyeom mourns for Saimdang, he imagines that they’re together and happily wandering around Siesta Di Luna. He imagines Saimdang telling him: “This place is beautiful under the languid sun, and the breeze scatters the fragrance of grass. All my prayers unto the breeze will touch your heart with my longing for you. Please live freely in the bigger world. Please be happy.”

    Modern times …

    Ji-yoon and her family visit Saimdang’s shrine; she has now become part of RADE investigating art forgeries.

    The painting that Saimdang and Lee Gyeom painted together in Keumkangsan is found at a construction site.

    As Ji-yoon walks around the halls and premises of Siesta Di Luna, she witnesses the spirits of Saimdang and Lee Gyeom finally coming together.

  40. 240
    Rex Says:

    The cast was absolutely perfect. It was engaging, beautiful to watch, wise, and an altogether enjoyable drama.

  41. 241
    Tiara Says:

    Sooooo good. Lee young ae still veryyyy good since Jewel in The Palace. Love the movie, casts, and everything about this movie. Daebak.

  42. 242
    jen Says:

    THE BEST KDRAMA 2017 .

  43. 243
    daisy vega Says:

    I think SAIMDANG, LIGHT’S DIARY was excellent. In my opinion, it was NOT too long. I think the cast was stellar and the storyline is fantastic. It was good to see Lee Young Ae again. Great job everyone! I’m looking folrward to your next drama already.

  44. 244
    Risyacha Says:

    I love this drama. Sad that they are shortened the drama to 28 episode rather than originally plammed 30 episode. I bet it is because the drama didn’t do good with the ratings. But still this is a good drama and i really like it. Sad that not many people like this drama.

  45. 245
    rian Says:

    The ratings of this drama is not bad its not very low , compare to some dramas that very poor ratings (i dont want to mention what are those dramas.)
    And the story of this drama is very excellent compare to some dramas that BORING to watch.

    Saimdang Light’s Diary is the best in 2017.

  46. 246
    Joyce Says:

    Amazing story and cinematography. This is highly recommended to watch.

    Forget about the rating, just watch and you’ll see how great this drama. Compare to other historical that you ever watched. You’ll be hooked and love every scene and the story line. All the cast and crew, the writers are excellent, LYA and SSH are both deliver well their characters. I wish them all the best of luck and hope to see them in another dramas.


  47. 247
    sheli Says:

    Yup, I agree
    And some dramas are high ratings but the story is boring like TLOTBS.

    Saimdang Light’s Diary is the best korean drama this 2017.
    LYA and SSH are best actress / best actor.
    Best story, Excellent,Good job,Super winner.

  48. 248
    K-drama lover Says:

    This is a beautifully played and inspiring drama.

    The undeserved low ratings in Korea may be because too many young Koreans are not in very good mood these days. They prefer cheerful, escapist, non-sense (and excellent) dramas like “Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon” with the love between Min-Min and Bong-Bong. Or the enchanting “Love in the Moonlight”, which is a sort of endearing Korean Romeo and Juliet story that ends well.

    Saimdang’s story is about a great artist and a great mother condemned by fate to live a unfulfilled parallel emotional life with her true, and deep love. Actually condemned by an unsecure, weak and murderous king. Lee Young-Ae and Song Seung-Heon tell that story in an excellent and most convincing way throughout the drama. The modern story introducing Saimdang also works and ends well.

    Does anyone know the true name of “Siesta di Luna” this awesome castle on top of its steep hill surrounded by Chianti vineyards in the golden Italian sunlight?

  49. 249
    saimdang Says:

    I watch this drama because of song seung heon ( I like him pretty much), but I realized this drama for lee young ae ( I didn’t know he) and SSH supporting her. I was looked back her dramas and found ” a jewel in palace” similar to this drama and she got award too. Anyway, it was fun to watch she came back from 14 years later, she is still beautiful at her age.Congratulation LYA! I am looking forward to watch SSH dramas as well.

  50. 250
    Jen Says:

    Honestly, I bit disappointed because why rating is so important, until they decided to cut it off until Episode 28 instead to finish until Episode 30. I hope they realized how precious and beautiful the story about this greatest artist, wonderful woman and admirable mother like Saimdang. Saimdang and Lee Gyeom, their sacrifices for each other amazed me. It’s true love. They never get a chance to be together in their life but I’m pretty sure that their soul are happy together. OST Everlasting Love made me cry.. I am not really familiar with Lee Young-Ae and Song Seong Heun but I would say they are pretty good actor and actress. I truly see them as the character of Saimdang and Lee Gyeom.

    Congratulation to the success of Saimdang, Light’s Diary all the cast especially to Lee Young-Ae and Song Seong-Heun, the writer etc. May other don’t appreciate the story but to me, this story will remain to my heart. Very unforgettable historical KDrama. Respected historical figure.

    I love Saimdang… Looking forward for a new project of Lee Young-Ae and Song Seong-Heun

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