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A hit movie boosts sales of books on Adm. Yi Sun-shin

Posted August. 06, 2014 04:19,   


A box office hit “Roaring Currents” is spurring the sales of books on a 16-century admiral.

Kyobo Book Center, Korea’s largest bookstore, said the number of books sold on Admiral Yi Sun-shin reached 1,705, up by 54 percent from a year ago (1,102 books). Given that the movie was first released on July 30 and is setting a new record every day, a surge in demand for Admiral Yi has just started.

Bookstores have as many as 150 sorts of books related to the admiral such as “But There Was Yi Sun-shin,” “Yi Sun-shin’s Empire,” “A War Diary,” “Doing One’s Best with Sincerity,” and “Yi Sun-shin’s Leadership.” According to Kyobo Book Center, Kim Hoon’s “Song of the Sword” was sold most with about 700 copies sold between July 1 and Aug. 5. “We sold some 100 copies per day early last month but more than 700 copies on Aug. 4, which shows a surge in sales,” said editor-in-chief Yeom Hyeon-sook of Munhakdongne, the bestseller’s publisher. “Like the movie ‘Roaring Currents,’ people seem to like ‘Song of the Sword’ because it describes Admiral Yi’s agony in depth.”

The second bestseller is “I, Yi Sun-shin, Am Ready Now,” which is about Admiral Yi’s leadership and sold more than 500 copies. Author Kim Jong-dae, a former chief justice at the Constitutional Court, tied Admiral Yi’s leadership with what he felt for some 30 years serving as a judge in the book.

The third most selling book is “But There Was Yi Sun-Shin” authored by Kim Tae-hoon who compared war history of all ages and countries with Admiral Yi’s maritime war. The book seems to have captured those who were captivated by epic naval combat scenes in the latter part of the movie. In addition, “Doing One’s Best with Sincerity (authored by Park Jong-pyeong)” and “Yi Sun-shin’s Leadership (authored by Roh Seung-deok)” were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. The former describes why Admiral Yi’s value is still valid today and the latter analyzes Yi’s character based on the five virtues of Confucianism.