daejangero.jpgThe Imjin War. Thirty-five years of colonization. Yasukuni Shrine. Dokdo.

Now this.

The Kyunghyang Shinmun‘s Sports Khan reports that a Japanese adult channel/video company has hired no-name Korean actors to do an erotic version of the popular Korean drama “Dae Jang Geum.”

Jam City, the company in question, plans to release the video series “The Garden of Sensual Court Lady Jang Geum” on DVD on March 24 (mark your calendar!). Like the drama, which catapult Korean actress Lee Young-ae to stardom throughout East Asia, the four-part DVD series is set in 16th century Joseon Korea and tells the success story of a heroine possessing both beauty and superior cooking skills.

Unlike the original, however, this version features on-screen sex as graphic as allowed in Japan. In Part 1, “The Forbidden Dish,” the heroine uses—no, I don’t make this up—Korean foods and specialties as sex toys. In Part 2, “The Medical Art of Pleasure,” we are treated to scenes of, ahem, inappropriate relations between a doctor and a court lady.

Even the title of the DVD series is similar to that of the NHK title of the original—”The Vow of the Palace Court Lady Jang Geum.”

The videos star no-name Korean actors hired by Japanese and Korean production companies. The Japanese side, however, has been using a picture of “Dae Jang Geum” star Lee Young-ae in press reports that make it seem like the Korean beauty really appears in the video (“Korean Wave star Lee Young-ae takes erotica to a higher level in this parody version.”). Ono Masashi, the president of the Jam City, said he hopes to spark a “Korean Wave boom” in the Japanese adult video market with his “Dae Jang” work. He also said he was considering another video featuring—you may wish to sit down for this—Korean and Japanese actors working together.

The humanity.

“Dae Jang Geum” producer MBC, fresh off getting dissed by the North Koreans, appears prepared to issue a legal challenge. An MBC official said he was startled to learn that a video such as this was made in a foreign country without Korea’s knowledge (moronic statement, as a Korean production company was apparently involved in the hiring). He complained it went beyong the bounds of parody to use the “Dae Jang Geum” for an adult video and constituted a copyright violation. Claiming the marketing of such a video in Japan was done to scar the image of “Dae Jang Geum,” a leading player in the Korean Wave, he said MBC would strongly respond after discussions with copyright and legal specialists in Japan.