Complete List of Top Korean Historical Dramas That You Need to Watch!

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8. Saimdang: Memoirs of Colors

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Saimdang, Memoir of Colors (Hangeul: 사임당) or, in literally translation, Saimdang, Light’s Diary is a South Korean drama starring Lee Young-ae in the title role as Shin Saimdang, a famous Joseon-era artist and calligrapher who lived in the early 16th century. It aired on SBS starting on January 26, 2017.

Episodes: 28 episodes

Cast: Lee Young-ae as Shin Saimdang / Seo Ji-Yoon; Park Hye-su as teen Shin Saimdang; Song Seung-heon as Lee Gyum; Yang Se-jong as young Lee Gyum

Synopsis:




This drama is about Lee Young-ae. As a lecturer in the art history department at a Korean university, she discovers the long-lost diary of the historical figure Shin Saimdang, and resolves the secret behind the mystery of an ancient painting, along with looking into the extraordinary life led by Shin Saimdang (also played by Lee), a renowned poet-artist in the Joseon era.

This series marked Lee Young-ae’s television comeback after 14 years of her hit Asian drama, Dae Jang Geum (2003).

9. The Sword With No Name

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The Sword with No Name (Hangeul: 불꽃처럼 나비처럼) or, literally,  “Like Fireworks, Like Butterflies”, is a 2009 South Korean movie based on a fictionalized account of Empress Myeongseong. This movie was released on September 24, 2009, and ran for 124 minutes. It was produced by Sidus Pictures.

Cast:

  • Cho Seung-woo as Mu-myeong (literally “Nameless”)
  • Soo Ae as Min Ja-young, later Empress Myeongseong
  • Chun Ho-jin as Daewongun, Gojong’s father
  • Choi Jae-woong as Noe-jeon
  • Kim Young-min as Emperor Gojong
  • Park Min-hee as Mi Woo-ra
  • Go Soo-hee as So-hee
  • Song Hee-yeon as Dae-doo
  • Lee Yong-nyeo as Court lady Choi
  • Yoon Young-bae as Min Young-ik
  • Bong Man-dae as Lee Saeng-won/Ji Kyeong-chool
  • Lee Joo-sil as Ja-young’s mother
  • Kim So-hee as Mu-myeong’s mother
  • Lee Joon-myeong as young Mu-myeong
  • Yeo Moo-young as Prime Minister
  • Sophie Broustal as Isabel

Synopsis:

Mu Myeong (Cho Seung-Woo) is a Joseon dynasty headhunter who falls in love with Lady Ja Yeong (Soo-Ae), who will become the future Empress Myseongseong. To make a long story short, Mu Yeong marries King Gojong to enter the royal palace. Her feelings for Ja Yeong are still there and she made him her personal body guard so that they could still be close. This drama tells about her efforts to modernize the dynasty by breaking it off from its hermit-kingdom past while avoiding being colonized by Russia and Japan. 

10. Jang Ok-jeong: Living in Love

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Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love (Hangeul: 장옥정, 사랑에 살다) is a 2013 South Korean historical television series, starring Kim Tae-hee, Yoo Ah-in, Hong Soo-hyun and Jae Hee. Based on the 2008 novel by Choi Jung-mi, it is a reinterpretation of the life of Jang Hui-bin, a woman involved in fashion design and cosmetics-making in the Joseon Dynasty. It aired on SBS from April 8 to June 25, 2013.

Episodes: 24 episodes

Cast:

  • Kim Tae-hee as Jang Ok-jung, later the concubine, Jang Hui-bin
    • Kang Min-ah as young Jang Ok-jung
  • Yoo Ah-in as Lee Soon, later King Sukjong
    • Chae Sang-woo as young Lee Soon
  • Hong Soo-hyun as Queen Inhyeon
  • Jae Hee as Hyun Chi-soo
    • Baek Seung-hwan as young Hyun Chi-soo
  • Lee Sang-yeob as Lee Hoon, later Prince Dongpyeong
    • Kwak Dong-yeon as young Lee Hoon
  • Han Seung-yeon as Choi Sui Chee Musuri, later Choi Suk-bin

Synopsis:

This historical drama is about the rough life of Jang Ok-Jung (Kim Tae-Hee), who is also known as Lady Jang Hui-Bin. She is one of the most famous royal concubines in the Joseon Dynasty. She began her career as a a fashion designer for court ladies.

11. Bridal Mask

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Bridal Mask (Hangeul: 각시탈) is a 2012 KBS2 period drama based on the popular Korean manhwa by Huh Young-man. Set in Seoul, Korea, during the 1930s Japanese colonial era, the story follows a man named Lee Kang-to, a Korean police officer commissioned by the Japanese Police to betray his country and aid the Japanese. This historical drama was aired by KBS2 from May 30 – September 6, 2012.

Episodes: 28 episodes

Cast: Joo Won as Lee Kang-to/Sato Hiroshi/Lee Young (childhood name); Jin Se-yeon as Oh Mok-dan/Esther/Boon-yi (childhood name); Park Ki-woong as Kimura Shunji; Han Chae-ah as Ueno Rie/Lara/Chae Hong-joo; Shin Hyun-joon as Lee Kang-san/Lee In (childhood name)

Synopsis:

Two brothers, Lee Kang-to and Lee Kang-san, live in Seoul in the 1930s, under Imperial Japanese rule. Lee Kang-to, the younger brother, worked with the Japanese police to capture “Bridal Mask,” a mysterious freedom fighter who fights for Korean independence while wearing a Korean Bridal Mask. Later, Lee Kang-to’s life is turned upside down, Lee Kang-To wears a gaksital mask and fights the brutality during the Japanese colonial era in South Korea.

12. The King’s Doctor

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The King’s Doctor (Hangeul: 마의) or literally, Horse Doctor, is a 2012 television series depicting Baek Gwang-hyeon (1625–1697), Joseon Dynasty veterinarian, and starring Cho Seung-woo and Lee Yo-won. It aired on MBC from October 1, 2012, to March 25, 2013. The historical drama commemorated the 51st anniversary of MBC.

Episodes: 50 episodes

Cast:

  • Cho Seung-woo as Baek Kwang-hyun
    • Ahn Do-gyu as young Kwang-hyun
  • Lee Yo-won as Kang Ji-nyeong
    • Roh Jeong-eui as young Ji-nyeong/Young-dal
  • Son Chang-min as Lee Myung-hwan
  • Yoo Sun as Jang In-joo
  • Lee Sang-woo as Lee Sung-ha
    • Nam Da-reum as young Lee Sung-ha
  • Lee Soon-jae as Ko Joo-man
  • Han Sang-jin as King Hyeonjong
  • Kim So-eun as Princess Sukhwi
  • Jo Bo-ah as Seo Eun-seo

Synopsis:

The King’s Doctor is a story about a veterinarian in the Joseon Period and his difficulties in becoming a royal physician. This drama is fascinating since it is about the life of a Joseon-era, low-class veterinarian specializing in the treatment of horses, who then rises to become the royal physician in charge of the King’s health.

That’s Complete List of Top Korean Historical Dramas That You Need to Watch. I hope you get more information about your idol and Korean entertainment. There are a lot of more information about it in Byeol Korea. So, don’t miss it! If you have some questions or want to add additional information please put the comment below.