Joan MacDonald wrote in kdramastars.com: Many k-drama writers are women and if you want to see a drama that's about women writing dramas, check out "The King of Dramas" by Jang Hang-jun and Lee Ji-hyo. It's not an easy industry to break into but the writers metioned below have succeeded in becoming recognizable names. [Source: Joan MacDonald, kdramastars.com, February 28, 2014]

girlfriday of dramabeans.com wrote:: There is something really gratifying about following your favorite writers and seeing them constantly trying to one-up themselves. As much as we love our favorite actors and actresses, ultimately as fans of dramas, it’s the writers who make or break a show. javabeans wrote:: Yes, as we know from watching great actors work with crappily written material—it just doesn’t work. But as long as there’s a great story and great characters, I’ll follow you there. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

javabeans: I suppose the only criteria we had for” our list for favorite writers “other than liking the dramas these people wrote, was that we skewed toward writers with a strong overall history of writing great dramas. Rather than, say, just those who wrote our favorite shows, or those with spotty histories. girlfriday: Yes, because otherwise this would just a list of our top dramas. And there are some writers, like the Hong sisters, that I loved for years and years… and then didn’t so much.

The life of South Korean screenwriters can be rough. Some write dramas and don’t get paid. Laws rarely help. It’s not easy for artists to get support through the Artist Welfare Act, which came into effect in 2011 after the death of Choi Go-eun. Choi, an award-winning screenwriter, was found dead in her apartment that year, with an unsent note to her neighbor asking for some rice and kimchi. She had died of hunger, while suffering from pancreatitis and hyperthyreosis.

Famous Korean Drama Screenwriters

Yoon Ji Ryun is a favorite writer. Joan MacDonald of kdramastars.com wrote: “When Gu Hye Sun recently signed on to star in the upcoming drama "Angel Eyes," she made her decision based on the writer. She remembered working with Yoon Ji Ryun in "Boys Over Flowers" and how much fun it was. It's not the first time an actor has chosen a drama based on the writer. Great writing is a must and some k-drama writers are proven hit makers. [Source: Joan MacDonald, kdramastars.com, February 28, 2014]

“Writer Park Ji Eun has really had an opportunity to demonstrate her talent in the last few years. Her most recent creation "You Who Came From The Stars" was wildly popular. And she is also responsible for the dramas "You Who Rolled In Unexpectedly," "Queen of Reversals" and "Queen of Housewives."

Tae Hong of dramafever.com wrote: A master of tearjerkers, Lee Kyung Hee has been at the helm of a handful of memorable projects since the late 1990s. Not only was she the writer of Rain's first drama, “Sang Doo, Let's Go To School!,” she was behind the perennial favorite “I'm Sorry, I Love You,” the heartbreaking “Thank You,” and “Nice Guy.” [Source: Tae Hong, dramafever.com, September 12, 2013]

Choi Wan Kyu wrote several famous Korean dramas. Hong wrote: As perhaps the most diverse screenwriter on the list, everything from large productions and ratings hits such as “All In,” “Jumong,” “Gourmet,” “IRIS” and “Midas” have flourished through Choi's pen. MacDonald said: Choi Wan Kyu is another very versatile writer, having written dramas in a variety of genres, including the spy thriller "Iris," the historical drama "Jumong," the fantasy "101st Operation Proposal" and the melodrama "Midas."

Kim Young Hyun was the writer behind the beloved drama “Jewel in the Palace”. She began teaming up with & Park Sang Yeon in 2007 to write the highly unusual serial killer thriller “H.I.T.” The duo reunited for the epic “Queen Seon Duk” and again for the hugely popular “Tree With Deep Roots.”

Hwang Eun Kyung was the creative genius behind the "City Hunter" script, which helped propel Lee Min Ho even further into stardom. She also wrote the drama "Haeundae Lovers.” Hong said: Hwang's talent for well-constructed plots also made hits of the beautifully paced political drama “Daemul” and the medical drama “New Heart.” [Source: Tae Hong, dramafever.com, September 12, 2013]

javabeans of dramabeans.com wrote: Kim Eun-hee has always shown a proclivity for mixing procedural elements with thrills, from her early dramas onward; she co-wrote cable’s comedic mystery series Harvest Villa and forensic-crime drama Sign with her husband, Jang Hang-joon, and then worked solo as she took on cybercrime-themed Ghost and (sorta)-real-time presidential-abduction thriller Three Days. She showed a knack for creating strong premises that were sustained by a steady stream of suspense—and then last year, everything came together in the perfect storm with the massive hit that was Signal. For me, that’s what turned her from a writer I considered strong in a certain niche to a writer capable of greatness, period, because Signal was a masterpiece of tight mystery, crime procedural, complex character development (those eerie, awesomely drawn criminals!), and stirring emotional throughlines that tied the whole show together with deep feeling. I’ve rarely wanted so badly to enter my television screen to rescue characters in peril—and at the same time, feared that idea, because the dangers felt so real and present. I don’t know if she’ll find a way to top Signal with future projects, and truth be told, that’s a mighty high bar to meet, even for someone who set it in place—but that doesn’t keep me from eagerly awaiting what that next project might be. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

Hong Sisters

Tae Hong of dramafever.com wrote: The sisters Hong are rom-com goddesses who rarely fail to deliver the goods. From their debut project “Delightful Choon Hyang” to “The Master's Sun,” the screenwriting duo strike the perfect balance between frivolity, necessary gravitas and heart in their work. Their beloved hits include “My Girl,” “Fantasy Couple,” “You're Beautiful,” “My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox” and “Greatest Love”. [Source: Tae Hong, dramafever.com, September 12, 2013]

Joan MacDonald of kdramastars.com wrote: “The Hong Sisters are known for their comic genius. Sisters Jung Eun and Mi Ran not only wrote the comedy "The Master's Sun," but they also conjured up the idea of pairing Gong Hyo Jin with So Ji Sub. They are the talent behind "You're Beautiful," "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho" and "Greatest Love." [Source: Joan MacDonald, kdramastars.com, February 28, 2014]

girlfriday: “There are some writers, like the Hong sisters, that I loved for years and years… and then didn’t so much. javabeans: That was a sad trajectory, because any other writer who had seven or eight solid hits in a row and a couple of duds would have still been considered great writers. It’s just that their weakest dramas came at the end, and all together, and made us worry that maybe they’re not so good anymore. girlfriday: Or got tired. Which still makes me sad, but we can’t ignore the recent shows. javabeans of dramabeans.com wrote: Of course, there are examples of the reverse, too, where a writer we might not have thought much of over several dramas starts turning it up with great work. Those are happier trajectories.

Kim Eun Sook

Tae Hong of dramafever.com wrote: Snappy, witty and romantic are what Kim Eun Sook does best. Her dramas, smartly written and compulsively watchable, range from the sticky, melodramatic Lovers trilogy (“Lovers in Paris,” “Lovers in Prague,” “Lovers”) to the realistic “On Air” and to the majestic rom-com fests that were “City Hall,” “Secret Garden” and “A Gentleman's Dignity”. “Heirs”, which aired in 2013 was very popular. [Source: Tae Hong, dramafever.com, September 12, 2013]

Joan MacDonald of kdramastars.com wrote: Kim Eun Sook, who wrote "The Heirs" does not always write dramas set in high schools but when she does, they are likely to succeed. Before that her last drama hit was "Gentleman's Dignity which focused on 40-something men. She's also the writer behind the body-swapping k-drama classic "Secret Garden." She may be the one writer with more hits than the Hong Sisters but it's a close race and the odds are always changing. [Source: Joan MacDonald, kdramastars.com, February 28, 2014]

girlfriday of dramabeans.com wrote: Kim Eun-sook is one of dramaland’s biggest hitmakers today, whose shows often become pop-culture sensations where catchphrases and memorable scenes get parroted and parodied endlessly; her classic romances like the Lovers series and On Air made her a household name, and I still see Secret Garden parodies on TV to this day. I think that phenomenon speaks to her specific appeal as a writer, more than just high ratings (though obviously, her dramas are mega-monster hits), because she writes dramas that are quotable and recognizably hers. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

Kim Eun-sook is a wordsmith through and through—she crafts very particular speech patterns, enjoys poetic cadence, and turns a phrase like nobody’s business. Her writing is highly stylized (her characters don’t speak like normal people in the real world), but it’s a style I enjoy, full of wit and clever reversals. I can’t always say the same of her characterizations, which skew very heavily in favor of men over women, leading to dramas where the heroes are often glorified and heroines haven’t evolved much past Cinderella. But she has noticeably honed her skills with each new project, and I found her recent shows (The Lonely Shining Goblin, Descended From the Sun) most appealing; though their whopping commercial success probably speaks for itself. She knows how to consistently tap into what people like, which is no small feat. And though she may at times be a polarizing writer, it’s pretty certain that love or hate her shows, we’ll all be talking about them.

Dramas: The Lonely Shining Goblin, Descended From the Sun, Secret Garden, A Gentleman’s Dignity, Heirs, City Hall, On Air, A Millionaire’s First Love, Lovers, Lovers in Prague, Lovers in Paris

No Hee Kyung

Tae Hong of dramafever.com wrote: No, a prolific writer who last wrote the hit “That Winter, the Wind Blows,” has a knack for romantic settings and dialogue, as seen in dramas such as “The World That They Live In,” “More Beautiful Than A Flower” and “Padam Padam.” [Source: Tae Hong, dramafever.com, September 12, 2013]

Joan MacDonald of kdramastars.com wrote: If it's a sad and poignant drama you are after, you may want to watch something written by No Hee Kyung. "That Winter The Wind Blows" was not the first time that Song Hye Kyo starred in a drama written by No Hee Kyung. The writer also penned "Worlds Within," which she starred in with Hyun Bin. "Padam Padam" is another heartbreaking No Hee Kyung drama with no shortage of scenes to weep over. [Source: Joan MacDonald, kdramastars.com, February 28, 2014]

HeadsNo2 of dramabeans.com wrote: Noh Hee-kyung has built her two-decade-long career on shows with deeply complex relationships and realistic characters that are never as simple as they seem at the start. She excels at getting to the heart of what makes people tick and highlighting the human connection between her characters, and her earlier dramas were characterized by a low-key, relatable appeal (More Beautiful Than a Flower, Goodbye Solo). In more recent years, she’s also tapped into a flair for showmanship with more dramatic, sometimes surrealistic stories, such as the fantastical, heart-wrenching tale of a man given a second chance at life in Padam Padam or the stylized high drama of a blind woman falling for the con man passing himself off as her brother in That Winter, the Wind Blows. It was It’s Okay, It’s Love that put all those elements together—intricate relationships, complex characters, fantasy, romance, and a heightened sense of reality—and gave her her biggest hit to date… until she penned Dear My Friends, a story of a group of friends learning about life and love through the years that found heartbreaking emotion in the everyday, and conveyed depth of feeling in the smallest gestures of love. It’s that ability for bringing us into her characters’ emotions that makes Noh Hee-kyung dramas so resonant and gripping—not because her plots are so dramatic, but because she finds the drama in ordinary life. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

Dramas: Dear My Friends, It’s Okay, It’s Love, That Winter, The Wind Blows, The World They Live In, Padam Padam: The Sound of His and Her Heartbeats, Goodbye Solo, More Beautiful Than a Flower

Lee Woo-jung

girlfriday of dramabeans.com wrote: Lee Woo-jung has taken more of my tears than any other writer in dramaland; some were tears of paaaaaaaiiin, and some were tears of joy, but mostly they were tears of empathy for the way she portrays growing pains and familial love. That’s probably her greatest strength as a writer, and why her Answer Me series has become such a sensation. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

The franchise began with no expectations, since as a variety writer from PD Na Young-seok’s crew on 1 Night 2 Days, she had no drama credits to her name. But with Answer Me 1997 she wrote a loving reflection on youth tinged with the nostalgia of simpler times, and she hit upon something that really spoke to viewers—shared memories of the pop-culture of that time, and the universal pangs of being young and lost. Though subsequent installments Answer Me 1994 and Answer Me 1988 borrow the same formula (a big reason why the first is unbeatable to me), they do stand on their own, and each season has her signature humor, sentiment, and heart. Love triangles may be what people discuss most about her dramas, but what I appreciate is the way she writes moms and dads, brothers and sisters, and friends who treat each other like family. Her characters hide their emotions on the surface the way real people do, but their quiet acts of love speak volumes and move me like no other.

Dramas: Answer Me 1997, Answer Me 1994, Answer Me 1988, Grandpas Over Flowers, 1 Night 2 Days

Song Jae-jung

javabeans of dramabeans.com wrote: One common criticism about K-dramas is the frequent recycling of storylines and tropes, and the general reluctance to be too risky, too adventurous, or too different. I love ‘em anyway, because to me a drama’s value isn’t only in its originality factor—I can love shows even when the outward conceit sounds completely familiar—but I certainly wouldn’t mind a more adventurous narrative spirit, either. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

That’s where writer Song Jae-jung really shines, in her willingness to take her stories to newer territories, in innovative directions; she isn’t reinventing the wheel, but she’s tinkering with the spokes, fiddling with the structure, and generally open to trying new things. Queen In-hyun’s Man was a breath of fresh air as a time-travel romance that presented the problem of how a man from the past could be with a woman from the present when his vehicle between times was an ever-deteriorating talisman. Nine played with time in an entirely different way, with one person going back to purposely change a history that was resistant to being changed. And in W–Two Worlds, she ambitiously created a whole new world and mythos where two-dimensional cartoon characters could become sentient and travel to the real world—only to have their manhwa worlds evolving in response. Song’s complex worldbuilding wasn’t necessarily airtight, but her willingness to continually expand her world’s boundaries and take our characters on hairpin turns struck me as fearless in a way that dramaland very much needs. I didn’t walk away with all of my questions answered, but I was so impressed with Song’s dexterity in throwing in new twists and complicating her rules that I’m still very much looking forward to all the stories she has yet to tell.

Dramas: Nine, W—Two Worlds, Queen In-hyun’s Man, Three Musketeers, Coffee House, High Kick Through the Roof

Park Yeon-seon

HeadsNo2 of dramabeans.com wrote: Park Yeon-seon has built her career around mastering the ensemble show, displaying a distinctly unique ability to bring a disparate group of personalities together in a way that’s resonant and unforgettable. It’s her ability to find tiny human moments and built characters and relationships around them that give her dramas such a rich, slice-of-life feel, which we saw in her early dramas Alone in Love and Mixed-up Investigative Agency. Her characters come to life as fleshed-out, living and breathing individuals; we see them as real people, either people like us or people we know, which all but guarantees our investment in their journeys. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

Moreover, Park has shown range in style and genre, whether it’s the nuanced relationship study that was Alone in Love, the rollicking treasure hunt of Mixed-up Investigative Agency, the haunting psychological thriller that was White Christmas, or the heartwarming ode to growing up of Age of Youth. Her dramas don’t tend to be ratings bonanzas, but her work inspires mania followings—the kind that keeps fans talking years after the broadcast has come and gone.

Dramas: Age of Youth, Wild Romance, White Christmas, Mixed-up Investigative Agency, Alone in Love

Jung Yoon-jung

girlfriday of dramabeans.com wrote: Jung Yoon-jung’s credits are an interesting mix, since she doesn’t stick to any one genre. She started out in historical dramas, with two seasons of the mystery sageuk Chosun Police, followed by the quirky supernatural sageuk Arang and the Magistrate, which is still one of the best examples of supernatural world-building that I’ve seen in K-dramas, full of gods and ghosts and a whole social order to the afterlife. While the youth music-centered drama Monstar was a departure from those projects, I remember being impressed at the way she weaved the music into the narrative, making the musical numbers feel like extensions of dialogue and the way characters expressed their true feelings, like a real musical. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

Those dramas were modest successes, but then she adapted Misaeng, and took a beloved manhwa and turned it into a critically acclaimed hit that spoke to a generation. Obviously we can’t discount the power of the original work by Yoon Tae-ho, but we’ve also seen enough adaptations of popular webtoons go south to know that there are a lot of ways to do it badly. With Misaeng, she took a slice-of-life story about ordinary workers and turned it into a well-paced drama with narratively satisfying beats of human connection that still give me goosebumps to think about. What she captured wasn’t just the grind of the salaryman’s life; it was the drama of life’s little triumphs in big, emotionally compelling ways, telling us that all of our struggles mattered, and making so many of us feel like this was our story.

Dramas: Misaeng, Monstar, Arang and the Magistrate, Chosun Police, Chosun Police 2

Park Kyung-soo

HeadsNo2 of dramabeans.com wrote: Park Kyung-soo is a writer who knows how to get to the deepest parts of a character’s psyche and burrow there for the entirety of a show, giving us some of the most multifaceted and deeply layered characters in dramaland. He creates masterfully complex stories centered around social issues, and manages to get to the heart of those issues in an addictively dramatic way. It was his first series as solo scriptwriter, The Chaser, that burst Park onto the scene as a writer to watch, drawing word of mouth and creating riveting drama out of a father’s desperate fight against the rich and powerful to avenge his beloved daughter’s death. He again proved his ability to create ratings hits out of intense, socially relevant conflicts with Empire of Gold, where he explored the topics of corruption and the class/wealth divide—issues he once again explored in Punch, which he built around a main character whom we shouldn’t like, but couldn’t help but feel for anyway.

The hallmark of his work is his ability to create tension through words and dialogue: We’re frequently trapped in a room with his characters speaking in long turns, but it’s a testament to his skill that watching his characters verbally spar can be just as exciting, if not more so, than a well-choreographed action scene. His dramas have a distinct, cerebral appeal—but don’t let that scare you away. The stories are relevant and accessible, even if they don’t always show the rosy side of life.

Dramas: Punch, Empire of Gold, The Chaser, Legend

Song Ji-nah

javabeans of dramabeans.com wrote: Of the writers on this list, I find Song Ji-nah’s credits list perhaps the most intriguing in its diversity; you can hardly peg her as one kind of writer or another. Her early career was marked with not one but two legitimate masterpieces: 1991-92’s Eyes of Dawn, and then 1995’s seminal Sandglass. Perhaps it seems odd to follow historical epics with a lighter campus drama, but she did so with 1999’s KAIST. Then, 2007’s grand-scale Legend took her into fantasy sageuk territory, while 2009’s sharp, smart Story of a Man gave us capers and bromance. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

What’s Up took her back to college, while time-traveling Faith was more sageuk, and then Healer gave us action and romance. I find it difficult to describe what kind of writer Song is without listing all the various shows she’s produced, and the only thread of commonality I can find is that her writing, for me, tends to hit that sweet spot of smart (but not overly cerebral), fun (but not too fluffy), fast-paced (but not too slick), and sometimes even important (but not self-important). I don’t always know what to expect in terms of what kind of story, genre, tone, or even millenium she’ll write about, but I do have a very high amount of faith that I’ll be entertained, moved, and satisfied.

Dramas: Healer, Faith, Sandglass, Legend, Story of a Man, What’s Up, Eyes of Dawn, KAIST

Park Hye-ryun

Park Hye Run only has a few dramas to her credit but they include "Dream High" and the 2014 big hit "I Hear Your Voice." If you've seen those, you may want to check out her earlier dramas, including "Kimchi Cheese Smile." Fans are looking forward to her next writing project. [Source: Joan MacDonald, kdramastars.com, February 28, 2014]

girlfriday of dramabeans.com wrote: Park Hye-ryun writes vibrant characters and emotionally uplifting dramas that always make me care a great deal. Her characters just speak to me and I love her earnest, idealistic sensibility, which makes for some fantastic coming-of-age stories like the music-themed Dream High and Page Turner, and also extends to her supernatural rom-coms I Hear Your Voice and Pinocchio, where adults are searching for their place in the world. She writes sassy, lovable heroines with funny flaws and quick comebacks, loving family relationships, and even her villains have some humanity. [Source: dramabeans.com, February 3, 2017]

Her dramas feel balanced while juggling comedy, drama, romance, and suspense (I Hear Your Voice is probably the best example of this, with a serial killer driving the plot at an addictive pace AND serving as motivation for romantic hijinks). And they hit those unabashed, heartfelt emotional climaxes the way you want (remember when Kim Soo-hyun started to lose his hearing in Dream High and Suzy saved him mid-song?). Her universe is more of an idealistic hope than a picture of the real world, but it’s one where good people do the right thing, justice wins out, and dreams come true—and more importantly, you find yourself fist-pumping along with every small victory, and believing that this is how things could be. Or at least how they should be.

Dramas: I Hear Your Voice, Pinocchio, Page Turner, Dream High, Get Karl Oh Soo-jung, Nonstop 5, Nonstop 3

South Korean TV Writers Urged to Show More Happy Women with Babies to Help Boost Birthrate

In November 2006, the Planned Population Federation of Korea held a two-day seminar for writers of TV soaps and dramas and urged them to create more situations that show happy mothers with their children with the aim of encouraging couples to have more children. "For many years we have been pondering what influences people the most, and we concluded it was TV dramas and other news and documentary programs," said Shin Sun-chol of the family planning group. "We are just asking the writers to be more considerate because some programs now depict career women as being very egoistical, thinking only of themselves." [Source: Bruce Wallace, Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2006]

Bruce Wallace wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “The idea of leaning on TV writers for social engineering followed the release of a government study of 50 South Korean dramas that shows a television landscape in which single life is portrayed as cool, children as a burden, and love as something that does not always have to lead to marriage and a family. And that's important in a country where the audience of potential mothers — women in their 20s and 30s — is known to be heavily influenced by TV dramas. Not only do the shows generate big audiences, but their subject matter is spun off to heavily trafficked Internet chat rooms where plot lines are discussed with great intensity.

"Koreans are very emotional, and they don't watch TV dramas as drama — they think it is something close to their own lives," said Go Bong-hwan, a female TV writer. "They tend to see the TV character's problem as their problem, to the point that some Korean husbands worry that their wife might have an extramarital affair just because her favorite character in a drama is having an affair."

“There are strong signals that South Korean women are far less likely than men to see marriage as desirable. An October poll for the Health and Welfare Ministry found that 71 percent of unmarried men considered marriage "necessary," whereas the same percentage of unmarried women preferred a good job to marriage. Earlier government surveys showed a dramatic drop since the late 1990s in the number of women with a positive attitude toward having children. More than a third of married women now say having children is not a priority, up from 9 percent in 1998.

“So the government has set out to improve the public image of marriage and family. Prime-time dramas have a track record of altering attitudes, Shin said, noting that when the government was trying to reduce South Korea's high birthrate in the 1960s, the Planned Population Federation petitioned TV writers to show households with fewer children.

The government still must persuade today's writers to get on board. Go, who is married with children, said she feels an urge to write about husbands who help out more around the home. "But that's about it," she said. "It's very easy to write about happy families, but what excites us is to write about characters who need more love. It's more challenging to write about families with problems." The 10 male and 22 female writers who heard the government's appeal were a mixed group: about half of them married with families and half of them single, with the women expressing how difficult it is to have a family and a television career. And they had some practical objections to the government's appeal to put more children on prime time. "Some of the writers said it was too much work because they'd have to give each kid a line," Shin said. "But they said they'd try."

New Woman Image in Korean Dramas

The Asahi Shimbun reported: “Behind the South Korean drama boom is the empathy of working women. All such works are centered on ambitious heroines who are strong enough to protect the men they love while living in their own style. Another characteristic of those series is that devious aspects of female characters as well as their good personalities are faithfully depicted. The heroines get the better of masculine men who do not want young females to participate in business operations. They also actively communicate with other women in local communities to obtain important information though doing so appears to be an exhausting task. [Source: Asahi Shimbun, July 5, 2020]

“The male protagonists respect the heroines’ autonomy and try to protect them so that their free-wheeling lifestyles will not be hampered. Yone Yamashita, a professor of South Korean culture and women’s studies at Bunkyo University, offered an explanation. “One trend of recent South Korean drama series is that the ways of women living in a down-to-earth manner are presented via the stories,” said Yamashita. “Their creators make the titles with that in mind.” This is in contrast to the way of melodramatic “Winter Sonata,” which captured the hearts of those middle-aged or older in the past.

“In the latest boom, many of people posting their drama reviews on social networking sites are those in their 20s to 40s. Of these, working women who feel “exhilarated at the sight of decisive heroines,” in particular, positively view South Korean works. Those titles were marketed as an award was introduced in 1999 in South Korea to honor creations that contribute to gender equality. Working mothers, single-parent's families, gender inequality in households and other social issues, along with love affairs, are portrayed in many such stories. “The dramas show a society a step ahead of the reality, and characters appear in them who break down walls that women frequently face,” said Yamashita. “Viewers can easily relate to problems that overlap their own, so the programs are supported by a wide range of viewers even in Japan.”

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons.

Text Sources: South Korean government websites, Korea Tourism Organization, Cultural Heritage Administration, Republic of Korea, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Library of Congress, CIA World Factbook, World Bank, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, “Culture and Customs of Korea” by Donald N. Clark, Chunghee Sarah Soh in “Countries and Their Cultures”, “Columbia Encyclopedia”, Korea Times, Korea Herald, The Hankyoreh, JoongAng Daily, Radio Free Asia, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, AFP, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in July 2021

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