Temporary Palace @ Suwon and Korean Movie: The Fatal Encounter (역린)

I am always amazed that South Korea has modern and traditional buildings right next to each other. I think it is great to change old buildings with new ones, but by preserving the countries landmarks, it helps not only the native people but also people who are visiting to understand the country history.

In the past, I have watched many Korean dramas. So it was really exciting to put myself in the setting and it was fascinating that I could walk on the same ground as kings and officials did.

When I went to the Temporary Palace in Suwon, it was not as grand and fancy as I thought it would be. Despite the appearance, I had a great time learning about South Korean history. The palace was used during the Joseon Period during the twenty second King Jeongja reign. The day after visiting the palace, I saw the movie, The Fatal Encounter, which helped me understand the situation a little bit better. During King Jeongja’s reign, his grandfather ordered people to kill King Jeongja’s father, the crown prince. In South Korea, a crown prince is the one who is definite to be crowned next. After watching all these monarchy dramas, it was no surprise to me that something like this could happen. I saw the box, not the exact box, which was used to kill King Jeongja’s father. When I first saw the box I had a feeling it could be used as a torture device. And I was right. They put King Jeongja’s father inside the box and nailed it so he would not be able to escape. He was left in the box under the heat for 10 days, till his death. The movie was more graphic than I thought it would be. King Jeongja’s father had his fingernails chipped and covered in blood, possibly from the attempts to escape. Including feces on his clothes. Since the death of his father happened, King Jeongja felt deep regret for not being able to be filial, a characteristic that is popular in eastern cultures because of Confucianism, to his parents. Thus when he was on the battlefield he personally protected his mother to make up for not being to protect his father when he was younger. There is actually a picture of the format of the battlefield. The tour guide told the group that she told her son about King Jeongja’s action and her son did not feel the same way King Jeongja felt. I believe that King Jeongja’s traumatic experience was the basis to be protective of his parents. His personality shows that he has power, influence, and a great leader because King Jeongja was fairly high in neurotic, there was seven attempts to kill him but King Jeongja remained calm. In addition he was high in conscientious, because he was hard working and sincere. He read books daily, exercised, and cared for his people. King Jeongja was probably in the low average area of the spectrum for agreeable because he did not simply agree to the officials’ comments when they went against him for wanting to change the meetings to make them more effective to tackle real situations. Overall, King Jeongja left a good impression on me because he is a resilient person for being able to put up with so many opposing factors and he is a person I admire.

Currently a junior who is double majoring in communications and digital media management and programming. After studying abroad before, she discovered that it is vital to keep in touch with the world around her and beyond.

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