Goo Dong Mae (Actor Yoo Yeon Seok)
He was born as a Baekjeong‘s son.
Baekjeong people were not even regarded as human. The daughters and wives of Baekjeong were boastfully raped, and while Baekjeong’s men hold the knives, they could not wield them on anybody. It was humiliating everyday.
When their paths crossed, others would get startled, steered away and even spit on him. Even forceful beating would feel less hurtful. His being was worth less than cows and pigs. That was Dong Mae.
As he couldn’t live as cows and pigs, he got out of the village following a group of singing beggars. The hardship period was long and the beatings from the hyungs were brutal.
The violence used by the people of Cheonmin class towards other Cheonmin people were more vicious than the tyranny by the Yangban class. A better world for a Baekjeong son like Dong Mae was nowhere to be found on the ground of Joseon.
So Dong Mae abandoned Joseon on his own. No, actually, from the very beginning, Joseon never had Dong Mae.
As he crossed over to Japan, Dong Mae has caught the eyes of Kokuryukai‘s top leader. Dong Mae has held knives since he was ten. His swords were aimed only at the fatal spots, neat and swift.
Dong Mae’s country was not Joseon nor Japan, but the Kokuryukai. He moves for the sake of Kokuryukai’s benefits and prosperity.
Dong Mae was like a beast who captured beasts. He tore and devoured everything in front of him that blocked his way.
The Kokuryukai bestowed a new name for Dong Mae, something that a father would do for his children. So from that day on, in Dong Mae’s heart, Kokuryukai was his father.
Kokuryukai intended to expand their influence in Joseon and made Dong Mae stood in the vanguard to lead.
There was only one reason for Dong Mae to return to Joseon. The eyes of the only woman who stared at him.
There was no contempt, disdain and not even fear in her eyes. The woman is no other than the aegisshi (noble young lady) of Joseon’s aristocrat family, Ae Shin.
As he behaved as a person should, he became desperate for the name Go Ae Shin only
He shouldn’t feel like this, but he wouldn’t care even if everyone in the world became his enemy
He was really displeased with the American guy who would often hang around Ae Shin. He was struck with the feeling as if he was being cut in. But he never had her, though.
Loving only Ae Shin, crazy in love, being crazy because of love – Dong Mae is such a man.
(T/N: Read this post for more background info on the traditional Korean social hierarchy back then and the discrimination faced by the outcast group, ‘Baekjeong’, the caste which Dong Mae belonged to)