Hwang Jini: Korea’s Sixteenth Century Muse

Hwang Jini

Article by James Wiener Hwang Jini: Introducing Korea’s Sixteenth Century Muse Through Poetry A revered icon and national muse for nearly five hundred years, the infamous Korean courtesan, Hwang Jini (c. 1500-1560s), has been the subject of novels, widely acclaimed television dramas, an opera, and even several period-piece films. While renowned for her beauty, prodigal intellect, and exquisite dances across the centuries, only a few fragments from the past allow us to reconstruct the talent and the brilliance of this fêted polymath. Modern Koreans continue to be attracted to the elusive but compelling Hwang Jini because of the individuality and romantic intricacy of her poetry. Hwang Jini, a KBS TV series (2006) starring Ha Ji-won, Wang Bit Na, Yoo Tae-Jun, and Jan Geun-suk. Korean folklore suggests that Hwang Jini was born the daughter of an aristocratic man and a blind kisaeng, Hyeon Hak-Geum, in the city of Songdo. Educated by the celebrated Confucian scholar So … [Read more...]