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Dong Yi - Korean Historical Drama 2010

Updated on October 12, 2014

Dong Yi

Dong Yi, MBC 49th Anniversary Special Project Drama is the greatest historical Korean drama of 2010. Directed by Mr. Lee Byung Hoon; the same director who directed Dae Jang Geum which is classified as one the greatest Korean historical drama of all time and Yi San

Main cast members are Han Hyo Joo who won the Best Actress playing Dong Yi & Brilliant Legacy and Ji Jin Hee from The Man who Can't Get Married.

Creative Common Picture by Wikipedia

Title: Dong Yi

Also known as: Dawn

Genre: Historical

Episodes: 60

Broadcast year: 2010

Dong Yi Trailer


This historical drama is set during the reign of King Sukjong who is the 19th King of the Joseon dynasty - year 1683-1724. It focuses about the life of Choi Dong Yi who later on become Royal Noble Consort Choi Sukbin and gives birth to a son called Geum who later on become 21st King of Joseon, King Yeongjo.

The story began when little Choi Dong Yi lost her father (Choi Hyo Won) and brother (Choi Dong Ju) to a wrongful death. Her father was the Chief of Sword Fraternity organisation which comprised of lowborns trying their hardest to protect the lowborn and seek justice for all the wrongdoings of the noblemen.

Fraternity Sword Organization

Unfortunately, they were being framed because of the murder conspiracy by Oh Tae Suk, the leader of the Southerners. Dong Yi found the man (Jang Ik-Hun) who was murdered and found a key evidence. She managed to deliver the key evidence of the murder to Suh Yong Gi. But Oh Tae Suk then put all the blame to the Sword Fraternity. Dong Yi tried to let Suh Yong Gi knew that her father was in fact framed and she found out that a Court Lady knew something about the signs she found out from Jang Ik-Hun and she decides to enter the palace as a slave in the Bureau of Music to find this Court Lady.

Dong Yi as a slave at the Bureau of Music

As a diligent, smart, brave, curious, sometimes stubborn but always try her best to help others, Dong Yi met with King Sukjong when he was outside the palace to investigate the plot set by the King's mother to kick out His concubine, Lady Jang. Dong Yi didn't realize he was the King and helped him in several occasions solving the problems faced by the palace.

King Sukjong and Dong Yi's first meeting

She then joins the Office of Investigation as Lady Investigator and she has King's favour much to Queen Jang's dismay. She uses her power to set up lots of traps for Dong Yi and she was almost killed three times. Fortunately, her luck always with her, she always survives.

Jang Ok Jung pleas to the King to save her

The King who realizes that he falls in love with Dong Yi decides to take Dong Yi as His concubine to protect her and Dong Yi becomes Lady Choi. During her reign in the Inner Court as Lady Choi & later on as Consort Sook and with help from her long-time friend, Cha Chun Soo, she is able to reveal all the plots and conspiracy set up by Jang Ok Jung and her brother Jang Hee Jae, brings back the deposed Queen to her throne and set justice to so many people.

Beautiful moment between Dong Yi and her son

Due to her involvement with Sword Fraternity, Dong Yi is sent to live outside the palace for several years with her son, Geum. The King vows for never seeing her again. He never sees his son for the first six years of his life. Dong Yi raises her son well by strict-discipline and educate him into a strong man who has a kind heart.

Dong Yi and her son are summonsed back into the palace when the King found out that someone is trying to kill her and her son by setting up fire at their house. And the King realized that his son is very smart and his characteristics are so much like her mother whom he misses very much when Dong Yi lives outside the palace.

King Sukjong asks Dong Yi to be His Queen

When the current Queen sadly passed away, Dong Yi was asked to be Queen by the King. She declines stating that she does not want to be a Queen, that it is enough for her to receive His Majesty's heart and decides to dedicate the rest of her lives helping innocent lowborn from injustice.

Synopsis written by deyani. Please do not re-post without any link back to deyani-Dong Yi page

Dong Yi 1
Dong Yi 1
This 7 discs box set contains Dong Yi Episodes 1 - 20. Make sure you allow plenty of time watching it, because once one episode is finished, you cannot stop. You'll be longing to watch the next episodes. :-)
Dong Yi 2
Dong Yi 2
The continuation of Dong Yi Episode 21 - 40


Kim Yoo Jung as Little Dong Yi

A smart, curious girl, she had to endure hardship when she lost her father and brother at only 11 years old. She believes that the Sword Fraternity is being framed by the government, and she enters the palace as a slave in the Bureau of Music to find the Court Lady who has a butterfly keychain who she believes holds the key to her father's and brother's injustice murder.

Han Hyo Joo as Dong Yi

Due to her diligence solving problems and issues in the palace, she is appointed as a Lady Investigator of the Office of the Investigation. She continues her journey of solving her family's death by searching the palace for the Court Lady who holds that butterfly keychain. Throughout her journey, she finds that the current Queen has been set up by Jang family and is deposed. With the help of her friends, she solves the case one-by-one and brings the Queen back to her throne. The King favours her and falls in love. Dong Yi later becomes Consort Sook and gives birth to the 21st King of Joseon.

Ji Jin Hee as King Sukjong

King Sukjong is the 19th King of Joseon Dynasty. He is a brilliant King, a wise politician and during his reign he has to deal with the clash between the Southern faction and Western faction. With the help of Dong Yi, he is able to prove that all the claims made by the Western faction are indeed lies and he stripes all the ministers from the western faction all their titles and builds a new stable & strong government. A true gentlemen and soft at heart, King Sukjong favours Dong Yi and the Queen.

Bae Soo Bin as Cha Chun Soo

As a member of Sword Fraternity and close friend of Choi's family, Chun Soo promised the Chief to take care of his only daughter, Dong Yi. He enters the palace as a police chief purposely to protect Dong Yi and with Chief Su, Dong Yi and together with the rest of the Royal Guards, Office of Investigations & Police officers, he solves the crimes of Jang's family. He loves Dong Yi but decides that it's better to let her go and asks her to give her heart to the King instead.

Lee So Yeon as Jang Hee Bin

King's mother opposes to her because she was born from a lowborn family. However, she found King Sukjong's favour and enters the palace as his concubine. The Western faction follows her and her brother's plan; she's the mastermind of all the treason and crimes which happens in the palace. She is very ambitious and believes that her power as a Queen will help her to get all her wants. She manipulates the King and hides the Crown Prince's illness from him in order to protect her position as a Queen. She tries to kill Dong Yi several times because she is jealous of her.

Kim Yoo Suk as Jang Hee Jae

Together with her sister, Jang Hee Bin, he masterminds all the crimes. He is cagey and blames other people for his mistakes. All his followers are scared of him and prefer to do everything he asks rather than being killed by him.

Traditional Korean Instruments

Lee Byung Hoon always emphasizes an aspect of Korean culture in all of his historical movies. In Dae Jang Geum he focuses on Korean traditional food and culture. In Yi San, he emphasizes on art. And for Dong Yi, he brings out the best Korean instrument and music.

These are three parts of court music that are played in the palace:

1. A-ak which is often called "elegant music" brought to Korea in 1116 through a large gift of musical instrument from the Song Dynasty (China) Emperor Huizong. It is a traditional music which is performed at the Royal Court ceremonies in the ancient Korean state. Ah-ak uses two different surviving methods and currently, is the music for religious ceremony of Confucian shrine.

2. Hyang-ak, are traditional folk dances of Korea performed in front of audiences. Hyang ak includes a sort of oboe called a piri and various kinds of stringed instruments It includes the genuine ancient music before Dang-ak came in and the music from the western side of China before the Dang Dynasty. However, today's folk music is not included. The most music except Ah-ak and Dang-ak from Palace and the intellectual class are included in Hyang-ak.

3. Dang-ak, is a a genre of traditional Korean court music. The name means "Tang music," and the style was first adapted from Tang music during the Unified Silla period in the late first millennium. It was continued through the Goryeo (935-1394) and Joseon (1394-1910) dynasties, when along with hyangak and aak it made up the three approved genres of court music.

Walk in a Dreamy Road by Jang Na Ra - Dong Yi Official Soundtrack

Play this video while you are reading this page and you'll be surely touched by the beautiful melody played by Haegeum instrument and beautiful voice by Jang Na Ra. This video is made by Dramatomy.

Cheonaejia (haneul kkeute ireuneun baram)

Walk In A Dreamy Road

by Jang Na Ra

Jeo haneurwi nunmullo geurin

The green sky above,

Baramui soksagim

The wind whispering of tears

Goun geu bit ttaraga

Fall asleep

geu soge jamdeunda

in a long winding road

Geurium da gajin geugoseun

Yearning for a place

aryeonhan gieok sok geu goseun

that looked vaguely in memory

Deulkkoccheoreom sarajyeo beorineun

Like the wildflowers that disappear

Haneul kkot geuriumdeul

And the longing for the sky that lay


Noeura noeura

You, you

haneureul naeryeora

(you) are the sky

kkumgil gadeuk bureuneun sori

that filled with flowing dream

Noeura noeura

You, you

byeolbitto ullyeo narara

(you) are the star that raise and fly


Geurium danneunda.

Yearning to walk in closed dreamy road

Kkumgireul geotneunda.

Yearning to walk in closed dreamy road

Musical Instruments in Dong Yi

Below are some of the instruments used in Dong Yi Movie:

Choi Dong Yi plays Haegeum


Haegeum is a traditional Korean string instrument, resembling a 2 stringed fiddle. It has a rodlike neck, a hollow wooden soundbox, and two silk strings, and is held vertically on the knee of the performer and played with a bow. The instrument is played in performances of court music and folk music. The haegeum is one of the most indispensable of instruments in almost any ensemble. The haegeum is related to similar Chinese instruments in the huqin family of instruments, such as the erhu. Of these, it is most closely related to the ancient xiqin, as well as the erxian used in nanguan and Cantonese music. Choi Dong Joo is Haegeum musician. Choi Dong Yi is also plays this instrument.

A musician plays Daegeum


Daegeum is a large transverse Korean bamboo flute, dated back to 7th century Shilla dynasty. It is one of the Samjuk (three transverse bamboo flutes), which consists of daegeum (large one), joongeum (medium one), and sogeum (small one). Of the three, joongeum is not currently played any more.

Daegeum has one blowing hole, six finger holes, and an extra hole covered with a thin membrane called 'cheong' (located between the blowing hole and finger holes). Cheong is a white resonant membrane cut from a reed's inner film. There are also one or two more additional holes, called 'chilseong-gong', which lies in the end of the instrument. Chilseong-gong is used only to adjust pitches. There are two different types of daegeum: Jeong-ak daegeum (for classical/court music) and sanjo daegeum (for folk music).

A musician plays Ajaeng


Ajaeng is a large Korean bowed zither having seven strings. Its body is about 160 cm (62 inches) long and 25 cm (10 inches) wide and is made of paulownia wood. The ajaeng's strings, made of twisted silk, are supported by separate movable bridges. The bow with which it is played, some 65 cm (25 inches) long, is fashioned from a peeled forsythia branch that has been hardened with pine resin. The instrument, which is placed in a transverse position on the floor, is supported on its bowed end by a stand. The player sits on the floor behind it and moves.

L Shaped Stone Chimes


Pyeongyeong is a stone chimes. There is an insident about this stone chimes in episode 5-7. The Pyeongyeong is constructed of two rows with eight L-shaped stones in each row. Imported from China as a court instrument.


Teukgyeong is a single stone chime. The teukgyeong is a single L-shaped stone and is used exclusively in court ceremonial music.

source: statemaster/Music-of-Korea & Culture Art and Experience Center

Other Great Historical Korean Drama

Check out my review about Dae Jang Geum here

Dae Jang Geum

Dae Jang Geum DVD with English Subtitle

What's your favourite Korean Drama?

Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    7 years ago

    DONG YI is the best of all..................thou i really enjoy watching korean historical dramas.....they are the best of all.....kudos to you all............

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    dongyi is the best!!!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    dong yi is my favorite is very interesting.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    i am proud to say that i've watched a couple of episodes of this and i must admit it is rather captivating! intense storyline! cheers

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    I have watched this and like SquidAngel says, it is VERY addictive and you do want to watch more. I have watched 3 K dramas so far but this is the best by far ( I have not yet watched Dae Jang Geum)

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    i think i am interested in to watch more

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    wow,, drama korea ya.. yang bikin he is beautiful adh ada belum ? :hammer

  • deyanis profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Oz

    @vinafarah: Ayo ikutan bikin juga. :-)

  • deyanis profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Oz

    @poptastic: Wow, thank you so much SquidAngel =) Your blessing really made my day

  • poptastic profile image

    Cynthia Arre 

    9 years ago from Quezon City

    I've never seen this historical K-drama before but I will make sure to watch it. Thanks for the introduction, you presented it very well. ~Blessed~

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Pemerannya cantik2 :P

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    sis lensa-nya rapih bgt deh, enak dilihatnya :)

    saya jadi pengen bikin lensa ttg drama asia juga hehe..:)


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