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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Aranggak Pavilion, Miryang, Southern Gyeongsang: The Legend of Six-Sensed Miryang Magistrate and a Vengeful Ghost


Located in 324-1 Jungangno, Naeil-dong 39-beonji, Miryang, Southern Gyeongsang Province, Aranggak Pavilion (Hanja: 阿娘閣) sits in a bamboo forest near to Miryang River (Miryang-gang/밀양강). It is said to have been built to appease the spirit of a young woman named Arang, who met an unfortunate death. 

Arang is a figure in the folklore of the Miryang area of Korea. According to the legend, she was the daughter of a magistrate (busa) of Miryang during the Joseon Dynasty. Her wicked nanny conspired to have the servant Baekga seize her at night and rape her; however, she resisted and Baekga stabbed her to death. Her father, thinking she had eloped with a stranger, resigned his position in shame.

After her death, she becomes a ghost and appears to every district magistrate (highest-ranking officer in a region) to appeal for the investigation of her unfair death, but each district magistrate dies of a heart attack. Whenever a new magistrate was appointed, Arang's corpse would appear; soon no-one would take the position

Then, a new district magistrate by the name Lee Sang-sa is dispatched to the area. Unlike his predecessors, Lee listens to the story of the ghost and finds Baekga who had killed her and punishes him. He had Baekga seized and executed later. Thereafter, her spirit ceased to trouble the town. He found Arang’s body and holded a religious ceremony on her behalf. Aranggak was also built in her memory. 

Every year, an event called Arangje (The Arang Festival) is held on April 16 by the lunar calendar in Aranggak Pavilion. Young maidens dressed in white hanbok perform a religious ceremony to soothe the sorrow of Arang. There is also a saying that the spirit of Arang will preserve the love of those couples who visit the pavilion together.


K-Drama: Arang and the Magistrate
Arang and the Magistrate (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 아랑사또전/阿娘使道傳/Arangsattojeon; also known as Tale of Arang) is a 2012 South Korean historical television drama, starring Lee Joon-gi, Shin Min-ah and Yeon Woo-jin. The period horror-romance is based on the folklore of Arang, who died unjustly and returns as a ghost in order to reveal the circumstances surrounding her death. It aired on MBC from August 15 to October 18, 2012 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 21:55 for 20 episodes.

A nobleman named Kim Eun-oh (Lee Joon-gi) comes to town searching for his mother after hearing a rumor that she is staying at the village of Miryang. He has the special ability to hear, see and even touch spirits, but pretends he doesn't because he gets annoyed when spirits come up to him asking for a favor.

Arang (Shin Min-ah) lost all her memories when she became a ghost and is unable to rest in peace until she finds out how she ended up dead. However, after appearing to three magistrates, none of them survive the fright of seeing her. When she finds out that Eun-oh is able to see her, she begs for his help.

At first, Eun-oh rejects her request. However he changes his mind after seeing that Arang is somehow in possession of the hairpin that he gave his mother at their last meeting. He believes that if he helps her, Arang will regain her memories and give him information about his mother. He exasperatedly (then affectionately) nicknames her “Amnesia” and as the town's newly installed magistrate, he teams up with her to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death, which may involve the mysterious nobleman Joo-wal.

Arang and Eun-oh's actions, meanwhile, are being tracked by the Jade Emperor and Yeom-ra, who fear that there is far more going on than an amnesiac ghost and a supernaturally talented magistrate.

The drama was Lee Joon-gi's comeback acting project after being discharged from military service in February 2012.This also marked the first historical drama for Shin Min-ah and return to television since My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox in 2010.

The series was filmed at MBC Dramia in Gyeonggi Province. The first behind-the-scene photos were released on June 22, 2012 showing scenes shot on location in Namyangju on May 23. This was followed by more teaser photos released on July 11, 2012, showing action scenes and an intimate scene of the two leads, Lee and Shin laying down together.

Ahead of the series' premiere, MBC aired the special episode How to Enjoy Arang and the Magistrate 100 Times More on August 8, 2012. It included never-before-seen clips, special behind-the-scenes stories, and detailed the characters and their relationships. It was the first drama special produced by MBC in five years since The Legend in 2007.

The drama's rights was sold to Japan for a record-breaking ₩200 million per episode, which amounts to ₩4 billion for the 20-episode series, the highest per episode for MBC, surpassing the previous record set by Moon Embracing the Sun.