Broadcast: September 15, 2003 ~ March 30, 2004
Starring lead actress Lee Young-ae ("JSA", "One Fine Spring Day"), MBC's blockbuster TV series "Dae Jang Geum" has achieved exceptional TV viewership of 50% in South Korea.
Based on the true story of "Jang Geum", the first female personal doctor of the emperor in the 16th century's Korea, this historical drama features delicate recipes of royal cuisine, details of the traditional wisdom of herbalism and Korean medicine. Audience will also be thrilled by the well-written plot of this drama that describes a female like Jang Geum who succeeded in being the best chef of the imperial court and the king's personal doctor in an era when the belief of male chauvinism ruled.
Seo Jang-Geum (Lee Young-Ae) She is a beautiful and intelligent girl with a positive attitude. She's haunted by many series of trouble and difficulties yet she overcomes them with the iron-strong will. One day a rebellion breaks out and this brings her separation from her father and even her mother's death. She enters the royal palace at the age of ten and she puts her heart and soul, finally becoming the best royal cook of her times. One day she falls into a conspiracy and is kicked out from the palace thus become a maidservant. But she doesn't stop here. She studies medicines and re-enters the palace, ultimately becoming the supreme royal physician and also becoming the first woman physician in history to serve the king.
Min Jung-Ho (Ji Jin-Hee) While he was working at a city hall, he encounters Jang-Geum during a dangerous mission and was wounded. She save him and accidentally left her precious knife behind. He's an outstanding scholar who combines both learning and the martial arts. He is a learned man with both good looks and high intelligence. Admiring Jang-Geum's wisdom and passion for learning, he helps her in many ways and falls in love with her. But his love for Jang-Geum puts him in serious troubles where he even risks his own life.
Choi Geum-Young (Hong Ri-Na) She enters the royal palace earlier than Jang-Geum and becomes her long-time rival. She is an arrogant girl burning with ambitions. Despite the disparity in social standing, ever since she was little, she has loved Jung-Ho but her love is never returned. She competes with Jang-Geum to become the best royal cook.
King Joong-Jong(Im Ho) He is the 11th king of Chosun Dynasty. He is a very gentle man but extremely irresolute and indecisive. He tries to reform the political system and meets Jang-Geum. He cherishes her warm-hearted nature and many talents. He later loves Jang-Geum not as his physician but as a woman.
MBC drama Dae Jang Geum, a.k.a. Jewel in the Palace, rewrote Korean television history when it aired in 2003. During its original run, it achieved ratings of 54% ratings, the highest viewer rating in Korean television history. Starring Lee Young Ae (Joint Security Area and One Fine Spring Day) and Ji Jin Hee (Love Letter), Dae Jang Geum is an epic television event full of stunning plot twists and clever political intrigue.
A historical drama based on a true story, Dae Jang Geum tells the tale of Jang Geum, the first woman to become the King's personal physician. In a time when women held little influence in society, young apprentice cook Jang Geum strives to learn the secrets of Korean cooking and medicine in order to cure the King of his various ailments. Palace politics and rivalries impede Jang Geum, as her fellow ladies compete to earn the King's favor and secure the top female positions in the Royal Kitchen. But Jang Geum is far from ordinary. With her remarkable determination and wisdom, she takes on even greater odds, challenging numerous foes and society itself to achieve a position never before held by a woman in Korean history!
About 500 years ago during the time of Chosun Dynasty, Korea boasted a rigidly hierarchical and male dominated social structure.
Set in this period, "Jewel in the Palace" is based on a true story about a legendary girl(Jang-Geum) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times.
Despite her poor condition as a low class girl in the male dominated society, Jang-Geum overcame a series of social discrimination and landed herself as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then ultimately the physician in charge of the king.
She was even given by the king the title"The Great Jang-Geum". The story of her checkered life on her success and breakdown as well as her love story beautifully unfold. "Jewel in the Palace" is sure to touch your heart.
Jang-geum (played by Lee Young-ae) is the daughter of Seo Cheon-su (played by ParkChan-hwan), a former judicial officer-turned butcher (the lowest social class) who lives in hiding after being expelled from the royal palace, and Madame Park (played by Kim Hye-seon), a former court lady working in the royal kitchen who narrowly escaped death following a murderous conspiracy planned by Court Lady Choi.
As a young child, Jang-geum loses both parents and enters the royal palace in the kitchen. In the royal kitchen, she spends a harsh childhood in continuous competition with Choi Geum-yeong (played by Hong Li-na). Under the protection and tutelage of Court Lady Han, Jang-geum makes every effort to become the best cook in the palace. Her endeavors enable her to become a recognized cook; but Lady Choi and her faction, jealous of the success of Lady Han and Jang-geum, plot a conspiracy, which leads to the death of Lady Han and Jang-geum's expulsion from the royal palace. Jang-geum is relegated to the position of maidservant for the local government office on Jeju-do Island.
While in exile, Jang-geum learns medicine. Through native intelligence and patient efforts, she earns her reputation as a woman doctor on the island. After a time, she returns to the palace, where she is recognized by the king and becomes the royal physician and also the first female physician in history to serve the king. The king falls in love with her, but she cannot return his love, as she is already in love with Min Jung-Ho, who has stood by her side during the most difficult times. * The concluding part omitted.