Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love: Novel Translation Snippets and Brain Map

So, um, don’t shoot the messenger, okay? For those of you unaware of the source material for Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, it’s adapted from a recent chick lit Korean novel of the same name. Much like The Moon Embraces the Sun (and Sungkyunkwan Scandal) was similarly adapted from same-name novels, there appears to be a little niche publishing arena for fantasy/fusion sageuk novels. The producers of JOJ said in a statement very early on during the production phase of the drama that it would be the K-drama version of Bu Bu Jing Xin. I’ve read BBJX the novel (and translated the same author’s two other works Da Mo Yao and Yun Zhong Ge) and watched the drama, and I can safely say that I am totally getting BBJX vibes from JOJ. It’s not the story, which is a completely different narrative journey and context (even taking away the time-travel element in BBJX), but the mood and tension in both are very similar. An extraordinary woman falls in love with the ruler of a nation, and their love may be as epic and romantic as can be, but it exists within a world that doesn’t allow it to survive. For those of you who have watched BBJX, the boxes and boxes of tissues used up during the watch is a testament to how moving the love story was. I know the same thing is coming for JOJ.

MoonSun was such a popular drama that the novel excerpts started popping up on DC Gall and Baidu shortly after it aired. JOJ has such low ratings and domestic interest I haven’t see the novel posted anywhere. Until now, when randomly two snippets showed up on DC. One is is sweet scene between Ok Jung and Lee Soon, and the other is……….the final two sentences of the novel. The former is adorable, and the latter gives away the novel ending. I’ve translated both so read at your peril. I have to say the word on the street is that so far the drama is deviating a lot from the novel, changing characterizations and events around but keeping the general outline intact. That means the drama ending could be different than the novel ending. Could be, but I doubt it. As much as JOJ is a re-imaging of the life of Jang Ok Jung and her love with King Sukjong, at the end of the day there is still their fates hanging in the balance and some veneer of history accuracy to pay homage to. It could end like DMY (those of you who read it knows that what happened to historical Huo Qu Bing was a big what-if hanging over the entire novel but the ending was clever and satisfying), but I’m not going to jump that far ahead. We have 8 more weeks ahead of us, let’s savor it while we can. The fans at JOJ DC Gall have created a brain map for Lee Soon that is hilarious and worth a read, so check out these goodies below.

Lee Soon’s brain:

Biggest part is hearts for Ok Jung. Other hilarity includes:

1. How to get that child to appear before me?
2. Every day all I can think about is getting measured.
3. What is the route to the laundry department?
4. I called her before me, why didn’t she come? Bad girl, bad girl!
5. Having to take another wife.
6. Dowager Queen Mom’s haranguing.
7. The grass growing on Queen In Kyung’s grave.
8. Head of the Palace Guard Lee Soon.
9. Prince Boksun is so scary!
10. I am King.
11. I want to talk about my inner most thoughts with you.

A little sweetness between the OTP:

Lee Soon loved this side of Ok Jung, even if he was a bit abrupt with her, she would allow him. Sometimes her reaction was one he couldn’t expect, but she was more alluring than any woman as she blushed. Lee Soon said he wanted to breakfast at Ok Jung’s residence. While having breakfast, his hand held Ok Jung’s hand and never once let go. Ok Jung saw how embarrassed it made others present and she couldn’t lift her head up.

Last paragraph of the book:

From that moment on, there was no one in this world that could reassure the lonely shoulder of Lee Soon or wipe away the tears from his face. Because the only woman who ever loved him, Jang Ok Jung was no longer in this world.


Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love: Novel Translation Snippets and Brain Map — 30 Comments

    • I wouldn’t believe it so easily.. so far the story has deviated from history in certain aspects… I’d like to believe there’d be a satisfying ending to every show i watch, be it sad or happy. Usually if i expect the worse it kind of ruins the drama-watching experience T_T.
      Also, I wonder if there’d be more viewers for JOJ if Ok Jang just got a teeny bit more evil. Maybe that’s what they wanna see.

  1. I could not bring myself to watch the last few eps of BBJX coz I read the ending beforehand. Now that I know the possible ending of JOJ, I truly wish for this drama to have happy ending. Thanks Ms Koala for sharing , tiny little bits of news about JOJ get me all excited. I hope the book sweet scene is in the drama. Btw, do you speak and write Chinese too, Ms Koala?

  2. Oh Koala.. you’re spoiling us
    Having watched DongYi before, I know what would happen to Ok Jung. Maybe i’m the only one, but part of me is anticipating for the bitter ending. It makes the journey all the sweeter and more precious.

  3. O.O JOJ and BBJX wow never realised the producers would make that connection but that makes alot of sense.
    Boxes of tissue… I do miss that absolutely heartbreaking despair BBJX brought, it’s so rare. So I guess I’m both afraid yet looking forward to it in JOJ, if it does take that path, which likely it will, I hope it goes all out. :S

    • I was a wreck after BBJX, I literally went out and box cases of Gatorade at Costco and needed to rehydrate myself for days on end. Maybe even weeks. I would hear the music from BBJX and just burst into tears. Maybe happened in the middle of lunches, meetings, going to the toilet, whenever.

      I hope JOJ goes all out to. Don’t half-ass it. If Lee Soon wants to be the most in-control King in Joseon history, he’s going to have to sacrifice the woman he loves and a whole lot more. Because that is how shit rolls back then. No rainbows, unicorns, and definitely no happily ever afters. Just ask Prince Boksun.

      • Omg mrs koala i’v been reading your blog for a year now ! And I’ve never seen you so emotionally and mentally attached to a drama like this one ! I started watching this drama
        Because you write at least 2 or 3 posts abt it every week ! I loved it through your thoughts and explaining of things I never would have seen in a given perspective ! Thank you so much ! I am Arabian and I want to tell you that here we are newly encountered with Korean drama and ever since we only discuss your blog and other ones that’s our way to get the real thing specially when it comes to Korean history !
        As for JOJ I went online and read part of it and it ripped my heart apart knowing how many tears are going to be shed ! But you can’t know wonderful unless you’ve known the pain and that’s the sweetness in it !
        Thanks !

      • omg that’s wat happened to me too! BBJX is THE BEST DRAMA and Tearjerking drama ever. i started crying nonstop at the last few episodes and all the way til the end. and after that i could stop myself from crying for like an hour! and then when i think about the drama, ending, listening to the song, all the emotions and feelings came out again.
        JOJ is really great and drawing my every attention. I do feel the vibe of BBJX in here and i cant wait till more of the plot kicks in. now they are accepting each other feelings but i really have a bad feeling about the ending and how their love is at odd with the whole world.

  4. Ah the ending

    What I wonder is, what the writers will do to jang ok jung’s char development… Will she develop from a good girl who have no ambition to a become a queen become an ambitious woman to rise up her family’s rank in society, so she is become apart of her fateful that awaits her ? Or just more a puppet to achieve people’s ambition around her whom all power hungry just like her roles just now?

  5. You gave us love history gave us stones. Really, I’m looking forward to see how long and deeo will writers go, will they stop in one point of her life or go all the way to her, can I say, evil side.
    This is test, real test for me. Will love for OTP last till end?
    Thanks MrsK, brain ”tree” is hilarious.

  6. Thanks Ms Koala for this. I agree show should go all the way. If our hearts are going to be broken, it doesn’t matter whether it will break into half or into shreds, so might as well rip it out through and through so that we can remember this show for ages.
    Brain map is really hilarious and so fitting with this man-child king.

  7. *cries* I knew from the start the journey will be heavy but having read the last paragraph just made me cry (T_T)
    PS: Funny king’s brain map! Thanks for taking the time to find and share the precious goodies with us, Ms. K

  8. question: who have the most sexiest lips? yoo ah in or lee min ho?? hahaha. recently i saw this photo when yoo ah in pouting.. and just realized that he also thick kissable lips and the scenes from Fashion King, although the story is a failure (especially the ending) but YAI scenes are worth watching..
    *sorry miss koala, out of topic*

  9. You always suck me in.
    And I tear my heart into pieces in the process.
    I swear real life doesn’t make me as upset as BBJX and some of the dramas you’ve recommended.

  10. I know I was in the minority but DMY ending was too sad and bitter for me. Meng Jiu had worked so hard to start walking then the writer just takes it away. He lost the girl, he lost his legs and his life was considerably shortened so that the lead couple can be happy and he can be miserable for the rest of his life. I’m still bitter and angry at the writer for this! So unfair!!!

  11. It means, for the his ambitious, success – or at least a large part of it – exists in following his dreams and seeing them to fruition, but realized she has to give something in return, that to sacrifice her life… I think her great love turned out to be blessings. To her “Death is not the greatest loss in life…;… The strongest people are not those who always win, somehow along the course of life, that she learns about, and realizes there should never be regrets, only a lifelong appreciation of the choices she has made.
    This is my thought of the last episode. T,,T
    Thank you Ms K^^ 🙂 love his brain map. 🙂

  12. *whimpers*

    Part of me wishes there would be a Princess’s Man/Queen Inhyun’s Man-like ending, where Ok Jung would be pronounced dead (after a poisoning fake-out), and then taken away by either Chi Soo or Dongpyung to live in the countryside. Sigh. Darn my idealistic, wishful thinking. I realize that there is no happily ever after for the OTP either way, but her death would just give things too much finality for my taste. I love the show anyways, and since apparently I have masochistic tendencies, I’ll tough it out to the bitter end. Plus, I guess I always knew she wouldn’t make it, I just didn’t want to admit it…

    Anyways, on a brighter note, I found more excerpts off soompi. Yay! If anyone can read Korean, please translate for the rest of us, haha.
    In case anyone’s wondering, I found it on the first page of soompi’s JOJLIL thread.

  13. Yay! I hope there’s more of these chicklit novel snippets that you translate in the future. I was hoping you’d do some translations, since I remember you doing some for other shows. I am so obsessed with JOJ that when I found out it was based on an actual story I had to google it, but of course no trace of it online.
    One thing i’m looking forward to : ok jang will give birth to future crown prince/king before the end of this show, right?!
    Right now we’re still pretty early on in the show, and I’m totally fine with it being all rainbows and loves with their romance for now… But i hope that one day in the future, Ok Jang will just break from all the people mistreating her and using her as a pawn that she becomes her own person.. Maybe not full blown femme fatale like so yong in cruel palace, but enough that I could root for her during her quest to become queen even more. Right now, it’d be too easy if she automatically became queen through dowager and lee soon. Even though there are people comparing JOJ to cruel palace and saying that ok jang needs to be more “badass” like so yong, i’ve got to say both shows already established themselves as different. JOJ is not as dark, or as amazing as cruel palace. Cruel palace takes risks, and i wonder if it’s because it’s not on the big 3 stations, but anywho, as of now, i’m watching JOJ not to be impressed by the plot but moreso for the love and hardships of ok jang and her journey with lee soon. Honestly, the rain kiss was one of the most romantic love confessions i’ve seen in k-dramas.. and i’ve watched alot. I remember the last time I saw such romance was in Queen In Hyuns Man.

  14. Oh my god.
    I don’t think I have a heart anymore.
    Because that last paragraph just about killed it.

    My tear ducts are going to dry out by the end of JOJ. I can see this happening with certainty now.

  15. Hi…

    Thanks for the novel translation.
    At least i know what will be ahead and i can prepare my heart to watch this.
    Could you please reveal more translation on the novel?
    thank you

  16. lol the brain map of Lee Soon is freakin adorbs! “Every day all I can think about is getting measured.” Bwahahahahah, you hottie manchild king!

  17. Seriously ? I mean seriously ? At least this drama would be more sweet or having such a happy ending . Remember that movie or drama ain’t have such a same line as book . Make it different and make it happy ending instead

  18. Already from episode 9 you can see that JOJ is becoming palace savvy- using her craftiness to get ahead. The slow development to power hungry evil- is not far off the cuff. I remember in Dong Yi the king and joj had a marvelous loving relationship- but plain life in the palace just got in the way of all the love. Is it possible from early buds of romance to become a sour patch relationship. They are not safe in a bubble- environment will push, prod, and develop their relationship to the times. Circumstances are a bee with an itch.

  19. Thanks for translating this snippet. I was wondering if the whole novel was translated and if yes, where can I find it? Or if it’s possible will you be able to translate the rest of the novel? I’m really interested in reading it!

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