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[From Kwanghwamoon] Japanese TV drama, Korean novel compared

[From Kwanghwamoon] Japanese TV drama, Korean novel compared

Posted December. 08, 2000 16:01,   


Japan's TV drama ¡°Beautiful Life¡± and Korean novel ¡°Bony Fish¡± fall in different genres, but they are very popular in each other's country. The two deal with the same topic of death, but are different in their angle.

Kyoko, the heroine of ¡°Beautiful Life¡± is a young lady in her 20s. She has paralysis in the lower half of her body, living a limited life. She has a considerate lover beside her, but she cannot overcome the wall of death. As she gets closer to the day for expected death, she showed even more resolute attitude.

Shortly before her death, she says with a peaceful face that everything looks new and precious, including the spring breeze, warm sunshine and the green leaves. They are something that she can't see any longer if she dies. She says that she didn't live long but that her life was special.

The word ¡°special¡± relieves her fury that she has to die at a young age. She tried to love her life, short or long, and love herself.

In the novel ¡°Bony Fish,¡± a father in his 30s has a son who is suffering from leukemia. He is trying his best to provide his son all possible treatment, as he is dying with cancer like a male bony fish that loses its life after hatching.

After a divorce, the young father spends his money and health to take care of his son. To raise money for his son's surgery, he even sells his eyes. His son, after a bone marrow transplant at the sacrifice of his father, recovers from his illness and leaves for France, where his mother lives.

The novel ends with his remarks to his friend: "As long as I leave him in the world, I am not really dying." He existed only for his son, and he didn't exist in a sense.

The ¡°Beautiful Life¡± view of life is focused on self, whereas the hero of ¡°Bony Fish¡± placed the highest value on family and family ties.

An important point is about human dignity and happiness. If a man's sacrifice to family is pressed by social atmosphere, like an ideology, it would be violence by many. The theory of the real world calls for fierce competition and a market mechanism. The clear difference between the two works lets us rethink what would be a beautiful life in an era of changes.