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[drama 2009] The Return Of Iljimae 돌아온 일지매

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[MBC] Jung Il Woo, Yoon Jin Seo, Kim Min Jong, Jung Hye Young

돌아온 일지매 The Return of Iljimae/Moon River

official website: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/drama/iljimae/

airs: Wednesday and Thursdays @ 9:55pm

# of episodes: 24

previews: http://www.imbc.com/broad/tv/drama/iljimae...view/index.html


He was born out of wedlock and his father was a high-ranking Champan official while his mother was a lowly servant. To protect the honor of his father’s family, he was abandoned as a baby and tucked underneath an apricot tree. He was given the name Iljimae (A branch of Apricot Tree). Iljimae was adopted by a family who lived in the Qing Kingdom. After tracing his roots back to Korea, his father rejects him once more. With a heavy heart, he returns to his country and unleashes his anger upon the ruling class to fight their injustice and tyranny for the sake of the commoners. Wherever he appears to uphold justice, he leaves behind a single branch of an apricot tree... Wol-hee is the one woman in Iljimae’s life who reconnects him to the world as he lives an isolated existence and hides his face behind a mask to be a hero to the people.



Iljimae, a hero who appears when the world needs justice. / actor Jung Il-woo

Although he is a handsome man with delicate features, he also has a strong sense of justice and chivalry. His first love dies tragically and after living an aimless life due to his broken heart, he meets Wol-hee, who is very similar to his first love. He became a legendary hero in the kingdom but his destiny is one of loneliness and heartbreak, making him a lonely and melancholy hero.

Wol-hee, the woman whom Iljimae loves for his entire life. / actress Yoon Jin-seo

Iljimae loves her for his entire life and she loves him back unconditionally. She was ahead of her times and displayed a strong, charismatic personality and a burning defiance against evil people. She took control of her destiny but in Iljimae’s presence, she would turn into a shy woman.

Koo Ja-myung, Underneath his charismatic demeanor he has a sad past / actor Kim Min-jong

He is a state investigator who is a sharp thinker. He rises through the ranks in the government as he distinguishes himself as a capable investigator. He falls in love with Baek-mae, Iljimae’s mother, at first sight and continues to love her for his entire life. He tries to commit suicide when he becomes ridden with guilt for helping Iljimae escape from prison, compromising his principles because Iljimae is the son of Baek-mae.

Iljimae’s mother, a tragic figure who lives with a sad fate. Baek-mae / actress Jung Hae-young

She was sexually violated by her master, a noble, and after she became pregnant, her baby was taken away from her before she could even give him a warm motherly hug. Then she was banished from the noble’s household and for most of her life, she yearned to be reunited with her son Iljimae. She throws away the jewelry that her master gave her to buy her silence and becomes a court lady in the palace. Though she is from the servant class, she learned how to read and write by watching the privileged children learn the alphabet. She writes poetry. She has inner beauty as well as beautiful looks.

That is why Koo Ja-myung became attracted to her and pledged his undying love to her. Though she sets strict limits on what she will tolerate in a relationship or friendship, she has a warm heart but keeps that side of her under wraps most of the time.

Kim Ja-jeom, a man who conspires to overthrow the government. / actor Park Geun-hyung

Secretly working for the Qing Dynasty, he steals state secrets and hands them to his Chinese handlers. His dark ambitions for power and wealth make him a dangerous foe. His plans are thwarted by Iljimae time after time and he vows to vanquish his younger but formidable adversary.

source: http://content.mbc.co.kr/english/drama/09/1728011_31154.html

character descriptions from official site translated by Happy_Day


“My purpose in life is to destroy those who don’t deserve to live in this world. I will break the neck of anyone who tries to stop me!”

Born out of wedlock between his nobleman father and servant mother, Iljimae is thrown out into the frosty night, under a single plum blossom. For the sake of his father's success, he is born into such dark loneliness. However, it is not his fate to die so easily. He is taken in and cared for by a beggar called GulChi and brought up under the guidance of Buddhist master YulGong. His looks are as delicate and fine as a girl’s, and he has the spirit and disposition of a heroic man with a strong sense of justice. He carries tremendous pain throughout his entire life from being abandoned by his father as well as a lost relationship with his mother. And the terrible separation from his first love DalYi at her execution; DalYi who disappeared from his life into thin air, for a crime she did not commit. From a lifetime of pain and separation, Iljimae naturally keeps a distance from people and avoids getting deeply involved with anyone. He is like the wind, always whisking away from those countless women besotted by him before he is held down.

For a long time, he is taught under the influence of father figure YulGong. Brimming with anger and revenge, he returns to the people as hero Iljilmae. In the far future, Ilijimae even stops Joseun from being sold into the hands of another, becoming a legendary hero to the entire kingdom. But his lifetime of pain and the lonely destiny he was born into separates him from the world as a lonely man.


“Come back the way you are.

Just as you are.

Don’t get hurt and don’t get caught…”

The woman destined to receive Iljimae’s greatest love for their entire lives.

When Iljimae returns to Joseun from China in order to find his real parents, he meets this bright woman WolHee who looks identical to his first love DalYi, the one person who poured all her warmth and love into his bleak existence. So when Iljimae meets WolHee, she captures his heart at once because of the resemblance. She is Iljimae’s destined lover who helps him tremendously in his purpose. Although she cannot receive a verbal promise of love from Iljimae, with her sweet, pure appearance and unfailingly bright personality, she becomes the only light and balm in his weary life. She becomes his refuge, a place to find peace. To the man who must hide behind a black mask and live with the burden of being a hero to the people, she becomes the eyes, ears, and mouth connecting him to the world. She is the woman of Iljimae's lifetime.


“The plum blossom blooms in the snow and shivers in the cold

And burned in my youth, Mother cries in separation from you”

BaekMae, the mother of Iljimae.. the one reason she is able to endure her tragic destiny.

As a servant in a noble household, BaekMae is raped by the family's son and gives birth to Iljimae. The baby is taken away from her before she can give him a motherly hug. Then, she is thrown out into the streets, and later becomes a court lady. As a woman with stunning looks and kind, pure eyes, she captures the heart of another man at once, government investigator GooJaMyung. However, because of the terrible harm done to her in the past, she despises and fears all men. She knows of GooJaMyung’s sincere feelings toward her, but she cannot accept him for a long, long time.

Throughout her entire life, BaekMae yearns for her son Iljimae; and this woman who lives such a tragic life eventually cuts off her relationship with GooJaMyung, hiding away in isolation. She puts all her energy and love into growing ginseng, caring for them like they are her children. In this way, she is able to calm a little part of her pain and sorrow.


“I saw you once twenty years ago

And during those twenty years

There was not a moment when I did not think of you.”

Behind his cold appearance hides his purity and sincere love, government investigator GooJaMyung.

Reknowned for his sharp mind, unfailing perception, and smart judgment, GooJaMyung rises quickly in the government to a top position. In a twist of fate, he meets BaekMae in his youth, and he gets to know everything about her and her tragic past. From then on, he looks at no one else but this woman BaekMae. He always looks after her and worries about her son Iljimae, and he tries to help them both in any way he can.

In an effort to calm the people, GooJaMyung runs into Iljimae and later helps him in a moment of crisis.

To him, Iljimae is BaekMae's son before he is a thief. Because of Iljimae, GooJaMyung is constantly in a dilemma between state law and his own affections. GooJaMyung is the figure of an exceptional man possessing strong morals and principles as well as great skill; and because of this, he is often thrown into danger.

correlation chart from official site translated by atel



tid bits/highlights/summaries from hjkomo:

EP01 EP02 EP03 EP04 EP05 EP06 EP07 EP08 EP09 EP10 EP11 part 1 EP11 part 2 EP12

EP13 EP14 EP15 EP16 part 1 EP16 part 2 EP17 EP18 EP19 EP20 part 1 EP20 part 2 EP21 EP22 EP23 EP24

summaries by javabeans:

EPS 01-02 EP03 EP04 EP05 EP06 EP07 EP08 EP09 EP10 EP11 EP12

EP13 EP14 EP15 EP16 EP17 EP18 EP19

Episode caps: (weekly caps by Luv, semi-fly, Jill4675 & others)

(click on the "next" page(s) for more for that particular episode)

EP01 EP02 EP03 EP04 EP05 EP06 EP07 EP08 EP09 EP10 EP11 EP12

EP13 EP14 EP15 EP16 EP17 EP18 EP19 EP20 EP21 EP22 EP23 EP24





HQ raw: http://aja-aja.com/regular/return-of-iljimae *members only*

HQ raw from thunderbolt: http://thundie.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/th...download-links/






Torrents: (provided by seafog & cute girl)

EP01 EP02 EP03 EP04 EP05-tivir EP05 EP06 EP07 EP07-mkv EP08 EP08-mkv EP09 EP10 EP11 EP12

EP13 EP14-mkv EP15 EP16 EP17 EP18 EP19 EP20 EP21-Han EP22 EP23 EP23-mkv EP24 EP24-mkv

Chinese subbed: (uploaded by cococrust)

EP01 part 1 part 2 EP02 part 1 part 2 EP03 part 1 part 2 EP04 part 1 part 2 EP05 part 1 part 2

EP06 EP07 EP08 EP09 EP10 EP11 EP12 EP13 EP14 EP15 EP16 EP17 EP18 EP19 EP20 EP21 EP22 EP23 EP24


Raw (youku links):

EP01 EP02 EP03 EP04 EP05 EP06 EP07 EP08 EP09 EP10 EP11 EP12

EP13 EP14 EP15 EP16 EP17 EP18 EP19 EP20 EP21 EP22 EP23 EP24

Chinese subbed (youku links):

EP01 EP02 EP03 EP04 EP05 EP06 EP07 EP08 EP09 EP10 EP11 EP12

EP13 EP14 EP15 EP16 EP17 EP18 EP19 EP20 EP21 EP22 EP23 EP24


Sketch Vods (requires mbc id+pw)

Sketch Pics

20081222 Etn News - on set interviews etn link

20090101 Etn News - photo shoot etn link

20090108 Etn News - press conference etn link

20090116 Section TV Ent. News - press conference ss mu

20090122 Showbiz Extra - on set interviews ss

20090130 Section TV Ent. News - press conference ss

20090201 Happy Time ss

20090205 Showbiz Extra - press conference ss mu

20090208 Happy Time NGs ss

20090215 Happy Time - filming locations ss - drama blooper ss - NGs ss

20090216 Good Day ss

20090222 Happy Time - filming locations ss - NGs ss mu

20090301 Happy Time - drama blooper ss - NGs ss mu

20090308 Happy Time NGs ss mu

20090322 Happy Time NGs ss mu

20090405 Happy Time NGs ss mu

20090412 Happy Time NGs ss mu



wma (with translated titles) @ aja-aja

320 kbps mp3: ss

OST (Score Edition)

192 kbps mp3: ss

korean lyrics here

Music Videos

[MV]Bae Hae Seon - 그리움


[MV]H2O - 나는일지매 (Rock ver.)


[MV]MBO - 남자이니까


source: daum

[MV]Yoon Jin Seo - 내가 꿈꾸는 그 곳

ss or soribada link

source: soribada


Iljimae vs. Iljimae: Fight of 'Ki'

A unique Korean cartoonist who inspired a generation of artists

Drama 'Iljimae' has tough act to follow

Jeong Il-woo in "Iljimae"

Casting roll call: Iljimae, Triple

The secret of being number 1 casting star

Ko’s cartoons still a big draw

Trading one regret for the other

The Return of Iljimae

Jung Il-woo makes a surprising(ly hot?) Iljimae

Jung Il Woo and Yoon Jin Suh lead the MBC drama "Iljimae Returns

Return of Iljimae unveils promo poster

Jung takes a beating for Iljimae

The Return of Iljimae Is Back On Track

Production Forces Overworked Jung Il Woo To Rest

Yoon Jin Suh Kisses Jung Il Woo in Cave

Return of Iljimae meets the press

Return Of Iljimae Sold To Japan

Young Star Jung Il-Woo Returns With "Iljimae"

Four 22 Year-old Star Actors Up and Coming

Sandara Park talks about her first TV role in Korea

"Jung Il Woo, The New Chosun Hero"

Interview with Jung Il-woo

"BOF Kim Joon's Popularity! T-Max Sings For The Return Of Iljimae OST"

Sandara Park ninjas her way to TV

Jung Il Woo is prettier than pretty

Mr… Err… Miss Jung Il Woo

Interview with Jung Il Woo

Jung Il Woo Elle interview

Please familiarize yourself with the forum rules and remember to credit properly when taking anything out of soompi :)

original threadstarter: s@nbi

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Wow, then there will definitely be a lot of comparison between the two actors when both series comes out. Hopefully both versions are superb.

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Guest xosandy

Oh wow! Another Iljimae? I'm not too familiar with the story but I definitely foresee a lot of comparisons between the two ..as if there isn't enough competition already.

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Guest julie2840

there was a Hong Kong TVB series on this storyline before....

Lee Seung Ki or Lee Jun Ki??

I will support Lee Seung Ki!! i saw him in person on Music Tank Concert last year ... He is Cute...:D

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i sorta wrote about this in the other Iljimae thread, it's kinda crazy what MBC, SBS is doing within the same year. :wacko: ah, just hope the two Iljimae shows don't air at the same time; at least have one air before or after the other one.

so far, from what i understand, MBC Iljimae will follow the Korean comic book version, and the SBS version is a looser interpretation of the Iljimae story. meh... but like someone wrote, to air both shows in the same year, you're bound to get comparisons.

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Guest cookieremix

oh wow and SBS version and an MBC version too?

that's got to get confusing xD

but still, can't wait to see both of them

junki and seungi are both worth watching anyways <33

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If it's Lee Seung Gi..then yaaaay!

But I'm still not sure if it's a good idea for both SBS and MBC to air Iljimae at around the same time. It'll be too confusing...lol.

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Guest plumangel3

Lee Seung Gi is such a hottie and so cute too <333

i can't wait to see him act in Iljimae :D :D

but wow i was confused too. i wonder why they'd show two versions around the same time? >.<

i'm a fan of both LSG and Junki so it's all good :)

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Guest WitchGoddess

It would be interesting if they aired it during the same season on the same day and time. I wonder which one people would watch.

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Guest plumangel3

It would be interesting if they aired it during the same season on the same day and time. I wonder which one people would watch.

LOL that would be interesting but i wouldn't want them to actually do that. ^^;

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Guest lOveKorea

Another Iljimae thread :vicx: i really cant wait when both SBS and MBC will make the things clearer. hopefully plots and scripts will be distinctive for both.

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Woah..that's a coincidence that both the leads have similar names..hehehe..

I'm more looking forward to Lee Seung Ki's version..he's soooo adorable..

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