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[Drama 2003] Love Letter 러브레터

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LOVE LETTER MAKES ME FALL IN LOVE WITH JO HYUN JAE

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I haven’t done this for a long time — watching a drama from start to finish throughout the night. Even though my eyes are hurting and my head is aching, I still feel my heart is bursting with love and I am profoundly moved. I can’t tell whether it’s a dream or reality: what appears in my mind’s eye is a pair of eyes — so full of love, so clear, so pure, so beautifully sad — that deeply attracts me.

“Love Letter” is about a HE who has been abandoned by his mother and a SHE whose parents are dead. Fate has brought them together. Similar age and similar experiences in life draw these two delicate souls and kindred spirits together. They are not lovers but they are closer than lovers. They are like brother and sister but they are not siblings. The rope of fate binds them tightly together. But they do not break down the last defence, so the unspoken love is buried deep in their hearts. Actually they know that they have been in love with one another for a long, long time.

Influenced by his unfortunate childhood experiences, he has determined to be a priest (who is as warm as the sun) from very young. That is why he cannot accept her. When she finds out his resolve to be a priest, she cannot love him anymore, however much she loves him. Even though they love each other, they can only hide their feelings in their hearts.

But love is innocent, even in the face of God. Finally their love find the light under the warmth of the sun. But who would have thought that DEATH has already silently arrived? Fate sometimes likes to play with poor human beings in this fashion.

The whole drama is filled with forlorn desolation and the characters are tragically beautiful. Jo Hyun-Jae’s lead character is the focus and bright spot of the drama. I have not seen an actor with such clear eyes and such an air of nobility for a long time. Jo Hyun-Jae brings me a pleasant surprise. “Love Letter” makes me fall in love with him!

Credits:

Written by 崇雨尊 and originally published in Chinese on BAIDU Jo Hyun Jae Bar on 6/27/09

English translation by wulijohyunjae

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ANDREA'S RETREAT

In Episode 7 of “Love Letter”, Andrea leaves Korea for Italy where he spends the next few years in a seminary training as a priest and as a doctor. The setting used for this Italian retreat is actually in Seoul — St. XXXXXX Village. WuliJHJ visited this place when they went to South Korea in August 2009. Following is their account of their visit to the place. (If you are going to post the pictures somewhere else please credit wulijohyunjae or their website http://jo-hyun-jae.com)

It is a beautiful and peaceful place, and I would like to share more pictures with you. One part of it is called Aaron’s Retreat, but to me it is Andrea’s Retreat. I took loads of pictures, everywhere where our JHJ might have left his footprints. Suddenly I discovered on a little hill somewhere a plaque: “Father Andrea’s house”! There is a date under his name: (1821 -1846). I don’t know whether that means Father Andrea lived there during these 25 years or whether he only lived such a short life. In any case, what a coincidence!

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Father Andrea's house

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credit: photos and article by wulijohyunjae at http://jo-hyun-jae.com

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CHURCHES IN "LOVE LETTER"

This is an article posted on wulijohyunjae (English website dedicated to Jo Hyun Jae) in August 31, 2009.

I’m a Catholic and I love churches. Everywhere I go on my travels, I make a point of visiting churches (Christian and Orthodox)….and temples…..and mosques. All these places of worship are sacred and awe-inspiring. I always say a prayer for my family and friends, and for Jo Hyun-Jae.

Before I watched Jo Hyun-Jae’s “Love Letter”, I had no idea catholicism is so widely practised in Korea. According to Wikipedia, there are over 5.1 million Catholics in South Korea – over 10% of the population. South Korea (and by extension the Catholic Church in all Korea, north and south) has the fourth largest number of saints in the Roman Catholic Church (since 1984) by nation. There are 15 dioceses including three archdioceses of Seoul, Taegu and Gwangju.

I haven’t been able to find out how many Catholic churches there are in Korea, but during my recent visit to Seoul I came upon five, two within walking distance from my hotel in Myeong Dong. Three of these are used as settings in “Love Letter” and the other two used as a backdrop in certain scenes.

Junglin-dong Yakhyun Catholic Church

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This is the church that is the setting for the very first scene of “Love Letter” when Andrea is ordained as a priest (also in the last episode when the ordination is finally complete.) This very elegant church, built with bricks, is just 32m. long, 12m. wide and has a 22m. high bell tower. It has no complicated ornamentation but it evokes a feeling of solemnity, and has become the model for Korean church construction. Some information on Junglin-dong Yakhyun Catholic Church: Designation: Historic site no. 252. Period: Joseon Dynasty 1892. This is the first western-style cathedral to be built in Korea. “Yakhyun” is the name of the hill between Malli-dong and Seoul Railroad Station. Long ago the area was covered with fields of medicinal herbs, “yakhyun” meaning “full of medicinal herb fields”, hence the name of the church.

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Pungsuwon Catholic Church

Copied from an inscription on the grounds: Kang-won-do Tangible Cultural Property No.69

This is the first gothic-styled Catholic church built in Kang-won-do Province. It stands on the site of the fourth oldest Catholic church in Korea, started in 1888, the 27th year of the reign of King Kojong (r.1863-1907), by a French priest, Father Louis Le Merre (Korean name: Yi Ryu-sa) in a room of a thatch-roofed cottage. Catholics took refuge in this area in the wake of the government oppressions of 1801, 1866 and 1871, the latter two being repercussions of the French and American attacks of these years.

The church was designed by Father Le Merre’s successor, Father Chong Kye-ha (Augustin, 1863-1943), and built in 1906-7 with the technical advice of Chinese artisans and the labour of the whole congregation.

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Pungsuwon Catholic Church is used extensively in “Love Letter” and appears in many episodes from beginning to end. It is Andrea’s uncle, Father Peter’s parish church. In the drama there appears to be an orphanage attached. The grounds are beautiful and the interior of the church is simple but serene. This is the place where Andrea grows up and where he and Eun-Ha discover one another. And this is also the refuge that Eun-Ha returns to when she discovers her illness.

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Small Church

There is a small church that is used in Episodes 3 and 4 (when Andrea and Eun-Ha return from university) and again in Episode 12. I do not know its name or designation, just that it is 20 minutes’ car ride from Pungsuwon Catholic Church. It is not as grand as the other two, but there is a rustic quality about it that is very endearing. And of course it has that famous bench on which JHJ sat.

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(Yes, that’s the bench! I had to sit on it, and the other one too. Imagine the pastoral scene without the cars [and me!] and you can feel its peacefulness and serenity.)

Credit: article and all photos by wulijohyunjae at http://jo-hyun-jae.com

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This is one drama that made me cry like a baby ! Of course I haven't seen Stairways to Heaven etc. so I cannot compare but for some reason this drama just got me crying from the time Andrew left for Rome until the ending ! I didn't like Jin Hee because I find that he is a little selfish and evil to have kept the letter. Also, he claims to love the girl and see what happens in the end?..what a loser ! ...Ha, I felt better now after all these years..lol ! I told my friends that if they ever felt like watching a good Kdrama and crying, this is the one to watch !

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Photos of "Love Letter" locations taken by JHJ's Japanese fans:

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credit: photos as labelled

This is one drama that made me cry like a baby ! Of course I haven't seen Stairways to Heaven etc. so I cannot compare but for some reason this drama just got me crying from the time Andrew left for Rome until the ending ! I didn't like Jin Hee because I find that he is a little selfish and evil to have kept the letter. Also, he claims to love the girl and see what happens in the end?..what a loser ! ...Ha, I felt better now after all these years..lol ! I told my friends that if they ever felt like watching a good Kdrama and crying, this is the one to watch !

Agree with your sentiments, Trixie. JHJ as Andrew is a very pitiful young man. But thankfully, because of JHJ's heartfelt performance of the young priest, Andrew didn't become pathetic. JHJ as Andrew is luminous! Can't imagine any other actor, Korean or otherwise, who can take on the Andrew role without making the character pathetic.

Thank you for recommending this drama to your friends.

Until now, even after I've watched this drama a few times already, I still end up crying at the things Jin Hee, his father and his stepmom (Andrew's mom) did to make life miserable for JHJ, ehem, I mean Andrew....

To Love Letter fans, the drama is available for download at www.silentregrets.com. But ep 1 is missing. Don't know when they will fix the link to the first ep.

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Just dropped by in here, still one of my most loved drama. Hopefully more people will be able to watched it. It's definitely one of the most touching and pure type of love drama. Good for a cry if you are facing a bad day. Even till now, I still listen the OST, because it's just so heart-wrenching.

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i watched the whole thing again today....

just wanna ask your opinion about the ending..what do you guys think?

did they end up together?

because for me i think they did...with Andrew saying "Let's love again, OK" and Eun Ha calling him WOO-JIN....

how about you guys?

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i watched the whole thing again today....

just wanna ask your opinion about the ending..what do you guys think?

did they end up together?

because for me i think they did...with Andrew saying "Let's love again, OK" and Eun Ha calling him WOO-JIN....

how about you guys?

I'm still confused about the ending too. I keep hoping he meant leaving his priesthood for Eun Ha by saying "Let's love again." I'm not sure if it really meant THAT but I kept comforting myself by saying he really gave up his priesthood fo her. I can't help but cry especially when he faced the senior priests and begged him to take him in, and when he was in the operating room. Jo Hyun Jae is the greatest actor ever. I can't wait for his comeback.

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i watched the whole thing again today....

just wanna ask your opinion about the ending..what do you guys think?

did they end up together?

because for me i think they did...with Andrew saying "Let's love again, OK" and Eun Ha calling him WOO-JIN....

how about you guys?

IMO, when Andrea/Andrew said "Let's love again" he meant the all-encompassing type of love. Not just romantic love but the kind of love that God has for all beings.

Remember in the drama, because of all the hurt and pain Andrea suffered from the abandonment first by his mom and then by Eun-ha, he has forgotten to love. That's why he became emotionally sick - can't feel compassion for another human being (woman committed suicide because of him didn't have any effect on him at all), can't hold a child. So when he said "let's love again", he is in effect saying that his emotional sickness has been cured so he can love his fellow human beings again.

He and Eun-ha thought that the romantic love they have for each other is a sin against God because that love will take Andrea away from serving God. But Andrea finally realized that loving Eun-ha is also glorifying God. Loving someone doesn't have to be exclusive. When Andrea found out that Eun ha is sick, he challenged God - "Cure her, I will become a priest." As if love is a bargaining chip that one can use to get what one wants in life.

But in the end Andrea realized that love is not like that. He surrendered to the will of GOd. He said - "Not my will, but your will be done." He finally realized that the love he feels for Eun ha is not a sin, but just another kind of loving that he has to learn to know what it truly means to love.

I don't think Andrea will leave the priesthood. He will continue being a priest but he will also continue to love Eun ha, but their love will not have physical satisfaction (if that's what you're wishing for them). Their love will be purely transcendental.

The last scene is actually full of symbolisms. The voice over of the young Andrea reading the ending of the fairy tale:

"God, if you want to save us, let a new rope fall from the sky. But if you rather not save us, let a rotten rope fall from the sky instead. Then, God sent a new rope from the sky. And the 2 children climbed up through the new rope and went up to Heaven.

(Andrea is wheeling Eunha to the sea shores, surrounded by rocks and green vegetation, looking at the open Sea and the blue Sky.)

Then the brother became the Sun and the sister the Moon. And they lived happily ever after, shining their lights into the world..." (credit prisci4ureviews)

The ending of the fairy tale hints that the 2 will forever be part of each other's life (like night and day, moon and sun in the sky) but will forever be divided (physically) by the forces that move their life (hence the open sea). But no matter the forces that separates them, they will always find each other through their love for other people and each other (hence the water meeting the shore).

But hey, we are great romantics. We would like to think that Andrea and Eun-ha will finally have the chance to love each other romantically. And we can be excused for believing that because we all want happy endings here on earth. :)

I'm still confused about the ending too. I keep hoping he meant leaving his priesthood for Eun Ha by saying "Let's love again." I'm not sure if it really meant THAT but I kept comforting myself by saying he really gave up his priesthood fo her. I can't help but cry especially when he faced the senior priests and begged him to take him in, and when he was in the operating room. Jo Hyun Jae is the greatest actor ever. I can't wait for his comeback.

I AGREE, JO HYUN JAE IS THE GREATEST ACTOR EVER!!!

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Does anyone know who sings on the OST of Love Letter?  My daughters think it is Brian and Hwanhee of Fly to the Sky but it is officially credited to "Tri-Be".

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Does anyone know who sings on the OST of Love Letter?  My daughters think it is Brian and Hwanhee of Fly to the Sky but it is officially credited to "Tri-Be".

Hi, thunnus64! OST is by Tri-be.

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The Japanese are at it again — they specialise in discovering the locations of scenes from Jo Hyun Jae’s dramas, in the case, “Love Letter”. Take note of the date — June 19, 2010 (the day of JHJ’s discharge.) They must have gone on their journey of discovery as soon as they’d seen JHJ out.

Left: scene from “Love Letter”. Right: the real place (with name at bottom).

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credit:http://nifty.com; Coffee of www.johyunjae.hk; and wuliJHJ. Thanks!

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I remember Love Letter! I watched it about 4 years ago and was crying so much at the hospital scene before and after Eun-Ha's surgery and when Andrea had the Holy Water, I seriously thought Eun-Ha would die. This has got to be one of my favourite dramas of all time.  Everything was portrayed very well and the actors were great.

Thank you prissymom for the pics! They're gorgeous, I want to go and visit!

About the ending, I don't think Andrea will leave the priesthood too. He means they will love the world and each other together through God. The love that they share now is not just between the two of them but with God and the world as well. I believe that was a great ending because romantic love is not the only (and may not be the) strongest love there is.

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MBC show Happytime "Masterpiece Theatre" Jo Hyun Jae Loveletter Highlights Vod

Please indicate the source switch posts

upload by mandalaywith@ ING http://www.johyunjae.cn/bbs

Today Morning MBC show Happytime " Masterpiece Theatre" in Jo Hyun Jae Drama Loveletter 30m Highlights come.

Youtube

Loveletter Highlights 1

Loveletter Highlights 2

youku link full version

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjI5MzIxODky.html

Tudou link full version

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/b5VrkhJcbyY/

MBC Happytime Loveletter Highlights caps

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Thank you so much for uploading the drama :) Does anybody have the soundtrack of "Love Letter" 2003? It would be nice to hear also just the music.

Wish you all the best for 2011 :D

MBC show Happytime "Masterpiece Theatre" Jo Hyun Jae Loveletter Highlights Vod

Please indicate the source switch posts

upload by mandalaywith@ ING http://www.johyunjae.cn/bbs

Today Morning MBC show Happytime " Masterpiece Theatre" in Jo Hyun Jae Drama Loveletter 30m Highlights come.

Youtube

Loveletter Highlights 1

Loveletter Highlights 2

youku link full version

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMjI5MzIxODky.html

Tudou link full version

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/b5VrkhJcbyY/

MBC Happytime Loveletter Highlights caps

*quoted image*

*quoted image*

*quoted image*

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i just clicked on the link at prissymom's banner back at 49 days thread.

and it brought a whole lot of memories. this is the very first kdrama i watched, where i first caught sight of our lovely and innocent Andrea. I googled him and found that the actor who played him is well, our prince JHJ. in my quest for more info about him, and more pictures of course, i stumbled upon soompi.com - that explains my ID. :D

no other drama can replace love letter in my heart. it's like in my drama hall of fame. i even bought the whole cd set of this!! (note: dvd wasn't much of a thing back then, 2003 or 04?)

anyway, i recently read Paulo Coehlo's By the River Piedra and it's so similar to Love Letter. just a thought. :lol:

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Nothing is interesting to watch so I'm re-watching my most favorite drama again and it's still moved me after so many years have passed. It has most beautiful-sweet-moving-love lines I've seen in kdrama (not at all cheesy). This is all about acting and not just pretty faces. Soo Ae and Jo Hyun Jae are so sweet and the cutest when they were at school episodes. I always wonder will they have the same chemistry if they were to pair up again after 8 years?

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i just clicked on the link at prissymom's banner back at 49 days thread.

and it brought a whole lot of memories. this is the very first kdrama i watched, where i first caught sight of our lovely and innocent Andrea. I googled him and found that the actor who played him is well, our prince JHJ. in my quest for more info about him, and more pictures of course, i stumbled upon soompi.com - that explains my ID. :D

no other drama can replace love letter in my heart. it's like in my drama hall of fame. i even bought the whole cd set of this!! (note: dvd wasn't much of a thing back then, 2003 or 04?)

anyway, i recently read Paulo Coehlo's By the River Piedra and it's so similar to Love Letter. just a thought. :lol:

hyunjae_veyveh, i love Paolo Coelho and I have read many of his books, but for some reason I would always skip By the River Piedra whenever I would buy one of his novels. But because of your comment, I will surely buy it next time I visit the bookstore.

and like you, I first discovered JHJ and k-dramas and soompi because of Love Letter :) . I will always have a soft spot for it in my heart.

hi, TRAN! Love Letter is my #1 kdrama! Normally I don't like dramas that make me cry, but there is just something about Love Letter that tugs at my heart. It must be the combination of JHJ and Soo Ae. They just look so innocently sweet together. I hope they get the chance to work together again so we can find out if they still have chemistry.

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