Author: Shin Jae-hyo; Cho Ryong Chul, Trans.
About: The legendary story of the daughter of a kisaeng, Korean singer/entertainer, and Li Mong Ryong, the son of a local lord. Chun Hyang is the most beloved tale of love in Korea, the subject of that nation's first-ever talking film (remade more than a dozen times to date.) The pair's separation, her subsequent torture by a corrupt minister, and their eventual reuniting, were first remembered in pansori, a Korean version of Peking Opera, before the tale was written down by Shin Jae-hyo centuries later.
“Miss, Ra Yong Soe and his master are coming.”
“But, what a dandy!”
“How handsome he is! His clothes suit him.”
“His dress flatters him, that's all.”
“No, he cuts a fine figure. And he is a talented poet and a
“How do you know?”
“His manservant told me.”
Chun Hyang, standing in the shade of a tree, regarded the young man
for a moment. The jingling of the small bells grew louder. Distracted,
she urged Hyang Dan to leave the grove quickly and cross Ojak Bridge.
But the young lord arrived first. Having reached the bridge he leapt to
the ground and stood gazing at the clear water of the river. His valet
“This is Ojak Bridge. And this is the Ryo Stream, a tributary of the
Choksong. It is also known as the Milky Way. In olden times fairies
would come down to bathe in it.”
“The Milky Way and Ojak Bridge: They sound beautiful.”
“And such scenery!” added his valet with a joyful laugh.
His young master also laughed. He was about to turn towards the
Kwanghan Pavilion when he saw Chun Hyang standing hesitantly under a
tree. Her look, serene and deep, enchanted the young man.