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'Daejanggeum Week' Draws Diehard Fans Updated: 2007-05-31 12:00:00 KST

'Daejanggeum Week' Draws Diehard Fans
Now it's no Universal Studios but it is drawing the crowds!
It's the set of a television drama that won over fans in Asia with the story of a woman who rises in the ranks through dedication and hard work.
The drama was Daejanggum also known as ''Jewel in the Palace''.
Our Lee Jeewon went along on the tour.

Daejanggeum or Jewel in the Palace is a Korean TV drama series broadcast in 2003.
Based loosely on a historical figure, the drama depicts the life of the first female royal doctor of the Joseon Dynasty.
The series took Korea by storm, and it continues to power the Korean Wave of pop culture in many Asian countries.
Now, Korean broadcaster MBC has turned the original studio set on the outskirts of Seoul into the Daejanggeum Theme Park.

''In the theme park, visitors get to rub shoulders with their favorite stars, albeit virtually. During Daejanggeum Week, however, fans of the historical soap drama opera can meet the actors in person.''

The Korea Tourism Organization, a state-run body, created the special program now taking place at the park to cater to Japanese fans of the drama.
Around 300 visitors have come, and are expected to visit each day until Thursday.

''I became a fan of Kyun Miri through the soaps. After finding out that she'll be here, I took a few days off from school to come to Korea.''

The highlight of Daejanggeum Week is a two-hour meeting with the show's cast, a different star for every day.
While both actor and tourist seem to be having a good time, a bit of tweaking here and there might not hurt.

''Since there are more visitors, the calmness of the place has disappeared. On the other hand, the fact that it's open to a lot of people means that it's well-loved. So that balances the untidiness seen in recent years.''

Daejanggeum has served to nourish interest in Korean-made TV productions.
Though there are spin-offs such as a musical by the same name, and a kids' animation called Janggeum's Dream, the theme park is the only place so far to see it all in the flesh.

Lee Jeewon, Arirang News.
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