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[Drama 2017] Saimdang, Light's Diary 사임당, 빛의 일기

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Chapter 25 is packed with so much details that I could hardly contain my excitement in anticipation of what is to come. One particular revelation came as a massive surprise, and if what I suspect is true, we have finally learnt the true origins of the fake Mt. Geumgang painting, including the reason for its frustrated brush strokes. Here, Saimdang's confrontation with YWS accords us far better insight into YWS' thoughts, tying back to his hopes for his marriage, and the shattering of those dreams with the scene he chanced upon on the road that day. Likewise, we see Saimdang explain what her paintings mean, not just as a hobby, but a part of her life itself, and we finally see YWS' devastating realisation that he had destroyed all that was good in his marriage with his own hands. 

There is finally mention of Gyeom's travels to Malacca and his friendship with the blue-eyed Portuguese there! 

We learn too of Saimdang's only known landscape painting 《梨谷山水屏》"Pear Valley Landscape folding screen", which is housed in the National Museum of Korea, the only one Gyeom failed to restore to her. Despite my efforts, I could not find any picture of it, and thus could not verify the authenticity of the statement. @gerrytan8063 Do you know if this is true?

One more thing... try as I might, I could not find a proper translation for 凉床. @gerrytan8063 Do you have any idea what it is referred to in English? In addition, from the history lessons of my youth, I thought there was a Romanised name for the name Ming gave to the Sultanate of Malacca - 满刺加, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Was I imagining things, or is there really another name apart from the Pinyin version Manchijia?

 

Novel Vol 2: Part 5 Fallen
Chapter 25

 

1. Hwieumdang who had depleted all they had in her attempts to secure help for MCH's release, fell in cohorts with a group of bandits, robbing travelers on the roads. These bandits hid out at the foot of the mountains, robbing merchants transporting goods, and the rich who were sightseeing, then selling off their ill-gotten wares to the Japanese pirates at the coast. She did not feel repulsed, merely gritted her teeth without consideration for anything else in order to restore her identity and status, so that she might be able to reclaim her children who had to endure the treatment of the relatives they have been entrusted to, back into her own embrace.

 

2. A few days prior, while trading dried sea cucumber and ginseng etc with the Japanese at the shores of Dangjin, Hwieumdang heard from the fishermen that Princess Jeongsun had snuck out on a sightseeing tour. Realising the the princess was Jungjong's most beloved child, Hwieumdang set her plan in motion to have her band of bandits waylay the princess' entourage, then pretend to save the princess, thus winning Jungjong's gratitude. 

 

3. When Jungjong declared the release of MCH from exile following the return of the princess, all the ministers protested against this decision, particularly Gyeom and PM Yoon who was especially delighted by MCH's exile.
"Where were all of you when the princess' fate remained unknown? The decree has been given. No one may protest it anymore!" Jungjong declared immovably.
At Jungjong's stern words, all the ministers bowed in acceptance. Now the rabid dog would once more be released back into the arena. It was said that when cutting down a large tree, the roots also need to be removed. At the time, they failed to do this, which now resulted in utmost regret.

 

4. Without realising it, the lush greenery of the trees in summer, was now covered with brilliant red maple leaves. Saimdang sat atop a hillock as she drew, this was a time that belonged to her and her alone. Her ears registered the chirping sounds of insects, the wind beating against the leaves, the hungry cries of baby birds, the flapping of wings and they spread out and took flight - all of which helped her to set aside her worries and bury her head in her art. She forgot her husband who was in another woman's embrace, and her own abiding love and yearning for Gyeom. She once copied An Gyeon's Mt. Geumgang painting in her youth and with the impression still indelibly etched in her memories, the mountains, forests and seas that she could never personally see, emerged on paper. Almost in a dreamlike trance, she painted a world she could never set foot in due to her being a female, each brush stroke seeped in desolation. Everything from the towering forests, to the dainty birds and butterflies, even the insignificant mice and insects, seemed to take on an equally important role in her painting.

 

5. Through the branches which blocked out the sky, the sunlight shimmered gradually as it set. Saimdang put down her brush and stretched her back. It was time for her to return to her role as a mother to her children, and the representative of Yangryu Paper Mill.
Intending to mount the painting on to a scroll, Saimdang first brought it to Yangryu Paper Mill, where she set up a small studio that she could call her own more a year ago. Without realising it, the studio ended up filled with her paintings, and she was running out of space for them. Any art dealer who saw her works would eagerly beg her to sell them but none of her works ever hit the market, and they were only ever seen by the guests at Yangryu Paper Mill, the drifters and children.
Saimdang stared in shock when she pushed the door open, and she turned, exited then went back in again, thinking she had walked into the wrong place. The studio was totally empty, as if all the loneliness, desolation, happiness and pain had disappeared along with the passages of time.
"The master came earlier and took all the paintings away. He said that he was bringing them home." The leader of the drifters offered up the explanation even before Saimdang asked. At his words, Saimdang paled and sat heavily on to the ground.
"You did ask him to move them, right?" The leader pressed, sensing that something was wrong.
"Yes, I asked him to do so." Saimdang swallowed and nodded her head.
"In that case, please get some rest." Noting her face that was as white as a sheet, he stared worriedly at her for some time before leaving.
Alone in the empty studio, Saimdang looked around her, on the verge of collapse. If he wanted money, she would have given it to him without a second word; if he wanted rice grains, she would have emptied out the granary and given it to him. That he would actually remove her paintings shocked her to the core, leaving her devastated.

 

6. From Yangryu Paper Mill, Saimdang headed for the tavern in search of her husband. As soon as she entered the lane, she heard the laughter of her husband and the tavern mistress, laughter that pierced her heart. Her face flushed bright red and she began to tremble uncontrollably. After standing at the entrance of the tavern for a long while, she finally plucked up the courage to push the door open and walk into the courtyard. Her husband and the woman who were enjoying their dinner on the pyeong sang 凉床 were shocked, their spoons clattering to the ground. With a resigned air, YWS pushed the woman behind him, indicating for her to go into the house. Throwing Saimdang a furious glare, the woman picked up the soban (small portable dining table) and departed. An oppressive silence remained between Saimdang and her husband.
"What... have you done with the paintings?" Saimdang choked out the words.
"I sold them," YWS answered while avoiding his wife's gaze, his voice peppered with unjustified arrogance. Forcibly controlling her rising fury, Saimdang gazed at her husband.
"What are your plans for the future?"
"How would I know what would happen in the future?"
"Have you thought of... breaking up with her?"
"I haven't, of course I never considered it! No, I definitely will not leave her. We are made for each other!" Petulance flashed in YWS' eyes.
"Why do you like her?"
"Everything about her is great. She is always supportive of me, so I like her in every way!" As YWS' eyes flashed, Saimdang quietly stared at her husband in sorrow. The man in front of her was like a stranger, his narrow forehead filled with guile, no anger in his flashing eyes.
"I feel unbearably inferior just standing in front of you, to the extent of feeling that even my breath had to be graceful... at all times, I feel suffocated and lonely, completely at a loss!"
"Is that so?"
"Yes! However, I feel different when I'm with her. I can fart or burp freely whenever I want. I can go to sleep without taking a bath and it would be fine; I need not worry about the blasted studies, she does not nag me to study everyday! In any case, I feel so comfortable with her. You are nothing like a wife, instead you're more of a teacher. I do not need a teacher who berates me. What I want is a woman whom I can hold in my arms at any time." YWS' words were like rocks, hurled violently at her heart.
"Tell me, have you ever loved me as a man?"
"I respect you, and hold you in high esteem, the father of my children."
"Esteem? I do not need that. What I want is burning passion. You never loved me passionately as a man!"
"..."
Tears welled in his eyes as he poured out all that was in his heart in grief and sorrow. From the start, there was no connection in their union. He had always known that his wife's heart belonged to another man. However, he still loved her, considered her the most precious wife, worthy of respect, thinking that if he treated her well, she would one day give her heart to him. Yet, it was but an illusion that would never come true. This he finally understood on that day, three years ago.
"Think about it. You were the beautiful and talented second daughter of Lord Shin. Being able to marry you, Saimdang, was equivalent to obtaining the blessings and happiness of the whole world! Yet all through these years, my life had been filled with unending suffocation and darkness. From now on, I am going to lead the life I want." The words blurted out of YWS' mouth in an unstoppable torrent, his fury mounting as he spoke, basically longing to give her a slap in the face to assuage his anger.
The thought of her never even showing a hint of jealousy despite his infidelity infuriated him more than he could stand. Although faced with such an ugly situation, Saimdang's emotions did not seem shaken, which angered YWS so much that he slammed his hand on the table and stood up. Just at that moment, Saimdang pulled his sleeve.
"I am so sorry..." Tears flowed from her eyes like a stream of beads. At the sight of his weeping wife, it was as if YWS had been delivered a blow to the head and he could only stand there, stunned.
"I have made life hard for you, never caring for the home like other wives, causing you such loneliness."
"..."
"Please go ahead and lead the life you want. However, I would never agree to a gibyeol (Josen era divorce where the husband drives the wife out of the house). I will not try to appeal to you on the grounds of our relationship as husband and wife, but please do not hurt the children. You have always been a good, kind father to them. The children are at a sensitive age, so please be especially circumspect in your actions in front of them. I have already told them that you have to travel to a distant place on official duties. Please come home every now and again, to fill up the gap that the children have from missing their father." Saimdang wiped her tears as she spoke.
"One more thing. The paintings you took away today... those were my blood and toil of the past twenty years, the embodiment of all my regrets. I will say no more. Please [agree to what I asked]."
Having said her piece, Saimdang turned and left the tavern, with YWS staring stricken at his wife's departing figure. In a flash, he finally realised that he could never undo the grave mistake he committed, and collapsed heavily to the ground. The woman who had been eavesdropping in the kitchen came flying out and held him in support. At last, like a child with his face buried in his mother's embrace, he wept bitterly while she wiped away his tears with her coarse palms. 

 

7. The next day, Saimdang's paintings were a hot topic all over town. Art dealers, artists and art collectors flocked to the art gallery like the marketplace. It did not seem possible that the plants and insects, flowers and birds, landscapes had actually originated from the same person, with the varying styles. Everyone who saw the paintings clamoured to buy them, and the price went up in leaps and bounds.
"Sell them all to me! I would pay whatever the price." Gyeom declared boldly.
The moment he heard that Saimdang's works had appeared in the market place, he rushed over and bought all the paintings, even buying back those which were already sold at several times the price it was originally sold, with no time to find out if Yangryu Paper Mill had met with difficulties, or whether some misfortune had befallen Saimdang. An artist's works were like the children which were etched in their hearts, the product of their agony, the traces of time gone by. No matter what, he could not accept the thought of her works in the hands of those who would treat it as a post-dinner topic.

 

8. Whether by a stroke of fortune or not, Saimdang was away when Gyeom brought her paintings back to Yangryu Paper Mill. The leader immediately recognised Gyeom at a glance and without a word, Gyeom handed over the armful of paintings and a letter to be given to Saimdang, then left.

I do not know whether you would ask me why I brought the paintings back, nor do I know if you would be upset with my actions... Your angry face is the most frightening thing in the world for me. I just wanted to return them to where they belong, so please do not feel burdened. Apart from a landscape painting which had been sold to a faraway place and could not be found, the rest of the paintings have been returned to their rightful owner. (Her only known landscape painting 《二曲山水屏》"Two Melodies Landscape folding screen", is currently being kept in the National Museum of Korea). If you still feel apologetic over this, please consider it a gesture of goodwill from a concerned good friend!  The season of blooming flowers is upon us. May all the flowers in your paintings never die. I leave with you a painting of a peony.

Saimdang's tears began to fall as she read the letter, her chest welled up with heated emotions. Why was she crying? She should be exhilarated now that the paintings had been recovered, yet why did her heart feel such anguish, like it had been ripped apart? Her eyes still filled with tears, she continued reading.

感恩懷舊   Reminiscing the past with gratitude
其心則同   The heart remains the same
物得所歸   The restoration of the items
妙以天機   Is the wonderful design of Heaven

Thinking back on past grace and memories, our hearts have always been as one.
The paintings being amazingly returned to its rightful place, is the will of Heaven.

Saimdang traced a trembling finger on the Biikdang stamp at the end of the letter. The times of their youth when they had loved and understood each other completely, flashed by like the turning pages of a small drawing book. In the open country, at the mountain, by the seaside, running hand in hand, drawing so many pictures, sitting side by side adding the poem to the Mt Geumgang painting, the flushed, exhilarating moment their lips touched, sending shivers down to their fingertips. His vow to enable her to live her life as an artist, his tear-stained face always the first to turn away, then staring at her retreating back in devastation; protecting her with no regard to himself when they were pursued by MCH and Hwieumdang, even comforting her before he himself passed out... each time she recollected all this, her heart tightened painfully in agony.
How much effort he must have gone through to help restore her paintings that were all over the marketplace. Hugging Gyeom's painting and letter, Saimdang burst into tears. Crying because she had no way to repay his feelings, filled with sorrow because she could never reveal what was truly in her heart.

 

9. The explosive sound gave the rows of merchants and maids such a shock that they fell back a step. Gyeom laughed in amusement as he wiped the frame of the smoking gun. This was the Ming Matchlock gun 魯密銃 (a firearm invented by Ming), a parting gift from a close blue-eyed friend during his travels to 满刺加 Manchijia (current day Malacca, situated at the southwest of Malaysia).
"Its firepower is amazing. The target was so far away, but it was shattered in pieces."
The Crown Prince cheered and clapped his hands, but Jungjong who was watching them from behind, looked displeased. Whether it was due to his dislike of the firearm, or their evident closeness, one could not tell.
"If we could modify the firearm and supply it to the soldiers, it would be very helpful to strengthen our military power."
The Crown Prince's anxiety over the increasing activities of Japanese pirates on the west coast was unabated. If the Joseon soldiers could be equipped with firearms, the pirates would no longer pose a threat to those who lived on the coast.
"You're right. Many countries in the west already have armed their soldiers with these weapons." Gyeom broke into a kind smile.
"Uncle, may I try shooting it this time?"
"Of course! Let me help you fill the gunpowder." Gyeom hooked the 火繩 fuse (?) on the gun then refilled the weapon with gunpowder.
"What are they doing now?" Jungjong glared derisively at them as he asked the Chief Security Attache.
"They are preparing to fire it."
"Tell them to throw that thing away! If they took such a long time to fire it, they would have died five times over by the enemy's hands. It is intolerable seeing so much fuss being made over such a useless object!"
Jungjong stood up in anger and was just about to head for the Main Hall when he heard a terrific explosion behind him. Stopping in his tracks, he turned to see the shattered pieces of the target. When the Crown Prince set down the firearm, he was disappointed to see that Jungjong had left, and was unable to quell his concern for his father's health.

 

10. The Crown Prince speaks of his desire to give Jungjong a portrait of him in his prime immediately after the scene with the firearm. This is different from the drama which took place after he watched with concern as the royal physician attended to his ailing father.

 

11. After dragging MCH out of PM Yoon's residence, the servants threw salt at his head repeatedly before closing the doors behind them. Glaring at the doors that closed in his face, MCH got up unsteadily and trembled.
"How dare they..."
A dog's mouth would never bring forth tusks, neither would a dog grow the tail of a panther. Perhaps a person's character could change with the changing of his birth horoscope, but MCH was still MCH, and his release did not result in deferential treatment.
"Just you wait. Would I, MCH, just sit by idly? I would definitely destroy those who brought me to this state!" His entire body trembled like a rabid dog. Just as he turned, he came face to face with Hwieumdang.
Hwieumdang had been on her way back from the palace when she saw someone being thrown out on the street and pelted with salt. When she looked closer, she was shocked to realise that it was her husband, and she was rooted to the ground, wide-eyed and lost for words. MCH suddenly rushed to her side of the road and delivered a stinging slap across her face.
"You too would dare despise me? Do you know who I am!"
Caught unawares, Hwieumdang collapsed to the ground, to which MCH spat and strode off. 

 

12. After the incident outside PM Yoon's residence, MCH came across Saimdang and Mae Chang at Soojinbang, and made up his mind to harass them.
"It's been a long time, Lady Shin!" The oily voice was like a snake's, causing Saimdang to tremble uncontrollably.
"What do you want?" Saimdang turned Mae Chang to face her and held her tightly in her embrace before yelling at MCH while the man gave the young girl an obscene look.
"Weren't you around her age at the time? The young girl who caused Woonpyeongsa to burn to the ground."
"Leave us alone!" Saimdang screamed.
"Why are you screaming? You should greet me nicely. After all, this is not Woonpyeongsa." MCH revealed a devilish smile then suddenly reached out and grabbed Saimdang's wrist.
"Let go! Let go of my mother!" Mae Chang began to yell, kicking MCH as she did so.
"Let me go!" Saimdang tried to free herself with all her might, but to no avail. The man must really be insane and seemed to have lost all sense of reason. Mae Chang yelled at the top of her voice, yet no one came to help them, instead everyone gave the three of them a wide berth. MCH yanked Saimdang towards him and stared at her with bloodshot eyes. Frantic, Mae Chang bit down hard into MCH's hand.
"Ah! Ah! You witch!" Before MCH could strike the girl, Gyeom suddenly rushed towards them and kicked him in the spine. As MCH fell, he dragged Saimdang down with him.
"Ahh!"
Unable to find her footing, Saimdang stumbled towards MCH. At the sight of this, the already furious Gyeom immediately reached out and pulled her back up, then turned around to punch MCH in the face.
"You are worse than an animal! How dare you!"
"Prince Euisung, it has been a long time! You are still... following this woman around!" MCH laughed uproariously, seemingly unable to feel any pain.
"You rascal! Do you wish to be exiled once more? Or do you intend to have a taste of sayak (poison)! If that is your wish, I would gladly fulfil it!"
As Gyeom grabbed hold of MCH's collar, the latter no longer took it lying down. He threw a punch at Gyeom's stomach, then the two men struggled on the ground, fighting as they did so. Trembling uncontrollably, Saimdang covered Mae Chang's eyes and ears.
"My lord!"
Suddenly Hwieumdang's voice cut across the distance. With furious eyes, she glared at Saimdang before pulling Gyeom and MCH apart. Seeing even a woman being dragged into the mess, Gyeom had no choice but to let go of MCH's collar. Hwieumdang supported MCH up from the ground, gasping as she did so, then dragged him away.

 

13. Without realising it, the sun had started setting gradually in the west. Saimdang led her daughter by the hand and slowly walked on while Gyeom followed one or two steps behind. He had been on the way back to Biikdang from court when he heard a woman's screams, and had rushed over straight away, only to realise it was Saimdang and her daughter. Infuriated that they were being harassed by MCH, he immediately stepped up to deal with the matter.
At last Saimdang and Mae Chang stopped and turned. Confused, Gyeom lifted his head and looked around. They had reached the entrance of Saimdang's home. Hesitating momentarily, he finally approached.
"Are you alright?" It would have been too sad to just turn around and leave, so he finally expressed the worry in his heart.
"Yes... are you fine too, my lord?" Saimdang looked at Gyeom with clear, bright eyes.
"That man MCH... you should be more careful during this time."
"Yes... please take good care of yourself too."
"I doubt I would be getting into fights with anyone in the near future, so please do not worry."
"I'll be fine. I will travel together with those from the paper mill, so you need not worry too much."
"In that case, I will first..." Gyeom began, intending to leave once he finished his words.
"By the way..." Saimdang lowered her voice and gently pulled his sleeve.
"Today... I am truly grateful to you." Saimdang bowed her head in thanks before finally entering the house with Mae Chang.
He continued to stand outside the low walls long after. If anyone really wanted to, they could easily have scaled over them, but to Gyeom, these were the highest city walls in the world.
"Thank you... she said 'thank you' to me... ha ha."
Gyeom laughed weakly before turning away. Once more, she had erected an unsurmountable wall between them with a word of thanks. What could be more devastating than the sight of her retreating back! He could only laugh bitterly since he could not weep, laughing out loud due to overwhelming grief; that MCH who had committed such heinous crimes would actually be pardoned while his wife Hwieumdang traveled in and out of the palace freely - he could not help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. In the face of such a world, such a life, even the laughable state of his love, what else did he have to look forward to in his remaining years?

 

 

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@liddi

First & Foremost...thank you...great reading

"(Her only known landscape painting 《梨谷山水屏》"Pear Valley Landscape folding screen", is currently being kept in the National Museum of Korea)"

It seems that it is a typo error. Here the romanisation 梨谷山水屏 (li gu shan sui ping) while  二曲山水屛 (er qu shan sui ping)

I only found this landscape painting from Saimdang known as "이곡산수병(二曲山水屛). The poem is written by Maeng Ho Yeon (맹호연,孟浩然 - 詩)

37001461645_0da1e14ebe_z.jpg

As for " 凉床"...Most common Korean houses have this low wooden platform, look like a size of a bed known as Pyeong Sang (평상) where they eat meals on Summer months when the house is too hot to have meals

37002089505_44e8af9931_n.jpg

or a nicer version of Pyeong Sang cum bed (평상침대)

36193590653_6ce7815b1c_n.jpg

 

"I thought there was a Romanised name for Ming gave to the Sultanate of Malacca - 满刺加, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Was I imagining things, or is there really another name apart from the Pinyin version Manchijia?"

https://baike.baidu.com/item/满剌加/5926531?fromtitle=满刺加&fromid=2491243

"This was the 魯密銃 (a firearm invented by Ming)"

This is Ming Dynasty Matchlock gun

http://greatmingmilitary.blogspot.com/2014/11/matchlock-of-ming-dynasty.html

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@gerrytan8063 Thank you so much for clearing up the air for everything that left me stumped, enabling me to make the post more comprehensive - you are truly a life saver! To think that 梨谷山水屛 was a mistranslation of 二曲山水屛! It is extremely gratifying that there is such a painting after all... and I was only misled by the deafening lack of search combinations for Shin Saimdang and Pear Valley :D Tried looking up the exhibitions in the National Museum of Korea webpage in hopes of finding the formal translation of its name to replace my awkward one, but could not find it - perhaps it is featured among their permanent exhibits? I am curious about one thing though... Shin Saimdang's 二曲山水屛 featured the poetry of Maeng Ho Yeon. Was this a common practice, seeing that Shin Saimdang herself was well-versed in both painting and calligraphy?

I have updated my post with pyeong sang... so there is no one word that represented this particular platform in the English language. No matter... I am just glad that I now know the name with which it is called. Likewise with 魯密銃 - thank you! I was amused when I read Jungjong's grouse about the length of time taken to reload a gun, since I thought exactly the same way each time I watched reenactments of wars using firearms during similar eras :tongue: 

I still have no idea what the Romanised name of 满刺加 is... if there is one, and the Baidu article does not shed light on it either. Perhaps I was mistaken and my old Sejarah books merely referred to it as Melaka as named by Parameswara. Either way it's fine. At least we now have confirmation that the 色目人 Gyeom referred to are the Portuguese in Malacca :) 

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@liddi

"Shin Saimdang's 二曲山水屛 featured the poetry of Maeng Ho Yeon. Was this a common practice, seeing that Shin Saimdang herself was well-versed in both painting and calligraphy?"

Shin Saimdang quote the poem verses from Maeng Ho Yeon in her landscape painting. The calligraphy on the painting is hers. I suppose it will be common to quote famous verses from famous poem

As for 满刺加, it is the referral name for the Ming Chinese for Malacca Sultanate (满刺加国). The Ming Envoy might written the name 满刺加 for Malacca from auditory reference or perhaps from his own dialect hence the name. Malacca was name after the "Pokok Melaka" (or commonly known as the Indian Gooseberry, Phyllanthus emblica)

Some reading

https://www.jstor.org/stable/41493322?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-Ming-Dynasty-transcribe-Malacca-as-满剌加-not-with-initial-马-or-麻

 

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@gerrytan8063 Ah thank you for clarifying the confusion as to why Shin Saimdang would seem to need someone else to add a poem to her own painting. Rather, her quoting a famous poem makes perfect sense. Was 二曲山水屛 an early work of hers? Was it supposed to be stylistically similar to An Gyeon's whom she was known to emulate as a child? There is breathtaking beauty in its very simplicity, and it is a shame that this is the only landscape work of hers that survived, or at least is known.

Very interesting reading as to why Ming used 滿 instead of 馬 to vocalise Malacca. Thank you! As such, I think I need hunt no further for any other romanised version of 满刺加. By the looks of it, it is just an alternate transcript of the name it had been known with all along.

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@liddi

"Very interesting reading as to why Ming used 滿 instead of 馬 to vocalise Malacca. Thank you! As such, I think I need hunt no further for any other romanised version of 满刺加. By the looks of it, it is just an alternate transcript of the name it had been known with all along."

Well we have the case scenario story, the Ming envoy comes to Malacca then asked a passerby "what is the name of this country" The passerby in a strong Musi dialect (Palembang Malay) might have gave him that transcribe. For example, they tend to end their word with "O" like Mata (eye) is Mato, Apa (what) is Apo while words like telur (egg) is teluk, besar (big) is besak then when the Ming Envoy transcribe into his diary, he will use his own dialect to conjure the word in Chinese character

Most of Shin Saimdang painting are not dated, only that she painted them during her lifetime

36207400853_53967a5d1f.jpg

Maeng Ho Yeon or Meng Hao Ran poem (맹호연,孟浩然, Tang Dynasty Poet 689-740) 詩 is "宿建德江" (A Night-mooring on the Jiande River)

The verses 移舟泊煙渚,日暮客愁新;. 野曠天低樹,江清月近人.

English translation

"I steer my boat towards an isle in the misty river to moor,
As daylight draws to a close, there grows a traveller's gloom.
The wilderness is expansive and over trees the nightfall looms,
The river is clear bringing within reach a reflection of the moon."

36180087084_961a0ee1d2.jpg

The 2nd landscape painting of hers, (calligraphy on the left of the landscape painting) the verses is from the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai (李白, the poet have written so many). I still can't match the verses & will do so when time permits

It seems that this landscape paintings were in Yi Wu (Saimdang youngest son) keepsake

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@gerrytan8063 Come to think of it, none of Shin Saimdang's works that I can see have a stamp on it. From what I know, women in the Joseon royal family who use the Royal seal have their own stamps in accordance with their rank. What of the yangban? How were Shin Saimdang's works identified without her stamp to serve as a signature?

Thank you for sharing the actual 孟浩然 poem that Shin Saimdang transcribed on to her painting, which is so evocative and the perfect complements of each other.

I look forward to your identification of 李白's poem when you find the time to do so.

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@liddi

"I look forward to your identification of 李白's poem when you find the time to do so."

36180087084_961a0ee1d2.jpg

Li Bai (李白 701-762) poem 送張舍人之江東. (Seeing off Zhang Han for Jiangdong -Yangtze).  Li Bai admires Zhang Han (張翰) & dedicate & praised him in 3 of his poem 

The verses on the calligraphy

天清一鴈遠,海闊孤帆遲。
白日行欲暮,滄波杳難期。
吳洲如見月,千里幸相思。

https://baike.baidu.com/item/送张舍人之江东

I don't have the time to find the English translation

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@gerrytan8063 Thank you for identifying the poem!

The following is my clumsy attempt to translate the full poem (Shin Saimdang only uses the 2nd to 4th lines in her painting)... since I am having trouble finding a formal translation (it doesn't appear in 唐诗三百首 300 Tang Poems):

送张舍人之江东
Sending Zhang Han to Jiangdong

by 李白 Li Bai
 

张翰江东去,正值秋风时。
Zhang Han travels to Jiangdong, Just as the autumn wind is blowing
天清一雁远,海阔孤帆迟。
A goose flies far away in the clear sky, The lonely boat sails slowly in the wide sea
白日行欲暮,沧波杳难期。
As the day approaches twilight, the turbulent sea makes reunion difficult
吴洲如见月,千里幸相思。
If you see the moon in Wu province, send thoughts of longing across the thousand miles

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@liddi

Just look at Saimdang calligraphy on Li Bai poem she only wrote this verses

"天清一鴈遠,海闊孤帆遲。
白日行欲暮,滄波杳難期"

She wrote in 7 character 3 liners 

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@gerrytan8063 @liddi

In the Dramacool website’s English subs, one of the ministers describes the fan that Lee Gyeom gave to the King as being made of “cinnabar.” Is this a correct translation from the Korean dialogues or Chinese subs?

I’m asking because in the September 1 broadcast, GMA7 translated “cinnabar” as “perlas” (Filipino word for “pearl”).

@liddi

I posted on Twitter links to your English translations of the “Saimdang” novel. You started with Chapter 3, right?

Do you have any plan to place all your translations into one PDF for easy reading?

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@gerrytan8063 Thank you for pointing out that it was only the 2nd and 3rd line that was added to the painting. Is it common practice to write the poem in 3 lines, rather than how it was originally broken up? 

@plainenglish The fan that Gyeom gave Jungjong was decorated with mother-of-pearl and red lacquerware (硃砂 cinnabar was added to give the red colour). iflix C-subs translate it as 珍珠母扇 (mother-of-pearl fan) to which 硃砂 cinnabar was also added. @gerrytan8063 explains the process in more detail here:

Thank you for the twitter exposure to my clumsy translations of the novel. I actually started with the prologue, followed by an amalgamation of Chapters 1-3, which was more a summary of what was different from the drama. I only gradually went into more detail in later chapters as I could not bring myself to not try and translate as best as I could the beauty of the descriptions she wrote. 

I might put the translations into one document at a later date... perhaps after finishing the novel and revisiting Chapters 1-3 again. We shall see. The progress is slow... at my current rate of roughly a chapter a week, it will probably be 1.5 months from now before it is completed.

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Note on the September 7 GMA7 broadcast:

GMA7 has translated "drifters" as "maralitang palaboy" in previous episodes where "maralita" in English is "poor" and "palaboy" is "drifter" (or "drifters"). GMA7's translation is accurate and quite poetic. But in the September 1 broadcast, Lee Gyeom used for "drifters" the Filipino word "lagalag" (which is also an accurate translation but with a more negative connotation).

1 hour ago, liddi said:

The fan that Gyeom gave Jungjong was decorated with mother-of-pearl and red lacquerware (硃砂 cinnabar was added to give the red colour). iflix C-subs translate it as 珍珠母扇 (mother-of-pearl fan) to which 硃砂 cinnabar was also added.

I re-watched that scene, and I got the GMA7 translation wrong.

GMA7 in the September 1 broadcast translates cinnabar as "hiyas na mas mahalaga kesa ginto." "Hiyas" in English is "gem" or "precious stone" while "ginto" is "gold." But cinnabar as gem wasn't used for the fan, right? It was cinnabar's dye (?) or pigment (?) that was used, right? GMA7's translation doesn't make this clear.

GMA7 did use "perlas" for "mother-of-pearl."

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@liddi

"Thank you for pointing out that it was only the 2nd and 3rd line that was added to the painting. Is it common practice to write the poem in 3 lines, rather than how it was originally broken up? "

Both of landscape paintings with Meng Hao Ran & Li Bai poem was just 20 characters written in 7 character 3 liners due to spacing. To have writing in the original 5 characters in 4 lines would have require space

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@plainenglish Yes, cinnabar was used as a pigment for the lacquer.

The following is the text from the C-translated novel regarding the fan, starting with its description from the narrative:

那是一把上了朱漆的螺鈿扇,用的是混合了比黃金還要寶貴的鏡面朱砂(一種使用紅色色澤的礦石所製成的朱砂,傳説擁有特殊的能量,常用於符咒上) 
It was a mother-of-pearl fan coated with red lacquer that was mixed with cinnabar, which was more precious than gold (a kind of red pigment derived from cinnabar ore. Legend has it that it held special powers, and was often used on amulets)

followed by Gyeom's explanation of the details:

"扇綠用的是有龍紋樣的螺鈿,中心則嵌有玉製的龍牌,這是以朝鮮為中心,是所有百姓的根源,也是陛下的象徵。"
"The green colour of the fan comes from mother-of-pearl with the pattern of a dragon, while its centre is embedded with a jade dragon pendant, representing the heart of Joseon, the root of all the people, and the symbol of Your Majesty."

@gerrytan8063 I guess my real question was whether writing it in 3 lines of 7 characters detracted from reading it in its original form. My understanding of the classics is extremely shallow, so I might have problems with it, since I usually take the lines as a break from one statement to the next. Still... I am definitely in no position to judge and certainly would not presume to second guess the literary talents who have written it in this way :)

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@liddi

"I guess my real question was whether writing it in 3 lines of 7 characters detracted from reading it in its original form. My understanding of the classics is extremely shallow, so I might have problems with it, since I usually take the lines as a break from one statement to the next. Still... I am definitely in no position to judge and certainly would not presume to second guess the literary talents who have written it in this way"

Technically when reading verses from poem, you tend to know where the punctuation marks is by just reading the prose or stanza; whether the poems was originally written in 3 - 8 characters a line

Some reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Chinese_poetry_forms

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@plainenglish @liddi

34459818431_824efc3e01.jpg

33930584426_1c99a4984b.jpg

The fan that Yi Gyeom gave with Pungaksan painting to Jungjong the rib/frame is made from Ju Chil Na Seon Jeon (주칠나전선 ,朱漆螺鈿, red lacquerware) is Mother of Pearl lacquerware which is a style & technique of lacquer & woodwork that uses inlay of shell or ivory as decoration. The shells usually mother of pearl or abalone while the lacquer had added Gyeong Min Ju Sa (경민주사, 鏡面朱沙, Cinnabar) which gives it the red colour, the best love red pigment since antiquity. It seems to be more precious than gold. 

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@liddi

Just did some back reading 

The novel transcribe Saimdang landscape painting as "梨谷山水屏" (li gu shan sui ping) was actually trying to transcribe the Korean (hangeul) of "이곡산수병( Yi Guk San Su Byeong 二曲山水屛). 

 

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@gerrytan8063 I see... so the C-translation of the name of her landscape painting was probably based on auditory reference.

It is good that they ended up with 梨谷 Pear Valley, which still sounded more plausible than what Google translate regurgitated:

이곡산수병
一個分裂的小屋  A divided small house

or the equally mind-boggling:

이  此      This
곡  歌曲   song
산  山      mountain
수  數      count
병  病      illness

:blink: :tongue: 

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@liddi

If Mr. Google Translate is proficient, then there will not be people begging for other people to translate, especially in this Soompi forum threads e.g. dialogues, previews, text preview, news articles

All the language schools can "closed shop" (關門大吉)

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