“7 year invasion 1592”: Docudrama you may never met before


KBS 한중합작 팩츄얼 드라마 <임진왜란 1592 (7 year invasion 1592)> / CCTV 中韓合拍纪录片 <万历朝鮮戰爭>
(Japan) Toyotomi Hideyoshi Regime
(Korea) Chosen Dynasty
(China) Ming Dynasty

East Asia International war, Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598)
If you are interested in medival East asian history, you must know about this invasion.

Daejeon ─ Not like other drama which described the war among three asian state, <7 year invasion 1592> had shown neutralized aspect of each countries. How it could be possible? The answer is Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) and China Central Television (CCTV) made docudrama series together.

This drama originally planned when Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, visited Sogang University. “Whenever we faced the trouble, we had dealt with it together. According to history, Ming dynasty helped Chosen whilst 7 year war. With Ming troops, Chosen can get the chance to have their hero, General Yi.” He insisted.

Budget takes 15 million dollars for 5 chapter only. Yes, it is low cost, but quality was high effective and enough to satisfy all audience. Although some of graphics recited from former war drama (불멸의 이순신, 징비록) and movies (명량), <7 year invasion 1592> could be your interest.

Chapter 1 & 2, He (and his army) was there

Chapter 3. Rise of Predator, Hideyoshi Toyotomi

Chapter 4. Pyeongyang – International Battle

Chapter 5. Noryang – The end of darkness


Usually, Moreover, they describe Ming dynasty negatively. Japanese invasions of Korea had mentioned about Admiral Lee (Yi, Sunsin). Lee was hero, Korean naval commander, famed for his victories against the Japanese navy. But this series focused on efforts of all soldiers and naval assistants, and Ming’s aid to Chosen.

During this period, Japan civil war for a century had been continued and just wrapped up. China had been suffered by rebellion and barbarian tribes. Korea Peninsula were seperated by their opinion against political parties. Each series claim about condition and circumstance among three countries. What happened in Korea, Japan and China before and after the invasion.

Indeed, the story about 7 year invasion made by dramas and movies repeatedly. If you are Korean, you might think you don’t even have to look at it. Don’t miss this. Actor and actress performed great. Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Japanese leader, was performed by Korean actor Eungsoo Kim. Even though he played as character of public enemy, his gimmick and performance was praised. Especially, scripts wrote by documentary writers . Film director was not executive director for drama, but documentary director. This is the reason why <7 year invasion 1592> is well-made film.

My fellow Canadian. I can’t say this is perfect alternative textbook, but I can assure that you will be agreed with me when you see this series. There are fascinating stories. I recommend you to learn about East Asia International war by this documentary film if you want. It is quite short, however, it is easy to understand historical principle and structure of Asia in 16th century for beginner.



Ryu, Sungyoung

                     Researcher ( http://www.tipa.or.kr )
@ Technology & Information Promotion Agency


7 replies »

  1. That is sad. Thanks for looking anyway. We are trying to track down 1996 First Love, and that is also hard. I think Korea needs a classics archive for their outstanding dramas. and make sure the English subs are there too. So many people are constantly discovering how good it is, and want to go back in time to see the old ones.

    • Simply, K-drama which had quite successful ratings in domestic market or performed by famous actors and actresses (aimed at Chinese or Japanese market) is only available for Eng sub. 7 years invasion is neither cases. Moreover, Before 1997 가을연가, we’re contents importer, not exporter. That’s why you can’t get that drama series ‘First Love 1996’..

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