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NOVEL

Nayoung’s Journey

(A provocative story of a young Korean woman coming of age in America
with her broken dream.)


Following is the visual trail of Nayoung’s Journey from old world Korea to new world New York (realistic or imagined). The images are from the collection of photos taken by the author in Seoul and New York, including the images from a Korean landscape painting (Thatch-roofed House) and a lithograph (Femme en Chapeau by Sellier), both of which are also from Therese Young Kim’s collection.


   “Kisaeng” is a word transliterated from Korean, meaning “entertaining girl or girls,” who were professionally trained to sing, dance or play ancient instruments in old world Korea. Some wrote classic Korean poetry called, “Sijo,” and recited them to the haunting melody of kayagum sound. Despite their high artistry and elegance, however, they belonged to a lower-class  in social strata, who served as entertainers in banquets and ceremonial dinners for aristocrats and high officials. Hwang, Jini (1506-1560) is known to be one of the most legendary Kisaeng girls and an acclaimed poet of her time. She was featured in the Korean movie titled by her name.


   In the changing ethos of time, however, especially following the tragic Korean War and her rapid growth as an industrialized nation, the classic sight of Kisaeng girls in Korea has long been eclipsed by modern social mores of the country. Nonetheless, it may not be a mere coincidence if one finds the footprints of their beauty and haunting legacy still alive in various forms of the Korean traditional performing arts today.

   Following are the three images of Kisaeng girls in classic Hanbok (traditional Korean dress), courtesy of Hyunam Publishing Co. in Seoul, Korea. In the far left stands a Kisaeng girl in her outdoor mode in her hat (called Jonmo), made of bamboo and oiled paper that were worn by lower class women. In the middle in all white is a dancing girl, and in the right she is wearing her formal Hanbok dress.

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The above images were selected from the book:
“Korean Costumes during the Chosun Dynasty”
Written and Illustrated by Kwon,Oh-Chang
Hyunam Publishing Co.

Written and compiled by Therese Young Kim

Author of Nayoung’s Journey
© Copyright 2015-2017




Hello and Thank You!

Dear my website visitors:

In this lovely dawn of 2018, let me send you my warmest wishes and gratitude to you for being my valued visitors.  Sincere thanks to the Earthlink website maintenance specialists and artists for their valued services as well.

Also, let me extend my profound thanks to Messrs. Michael Organ of Tuck Magazine and Changming Yuan of Poetry Pacific for publishing my poems or stories in 2017, especially Tuck Magazine for the recent publication of the story, A Forgotten Story of War, which is an excerpt of my novel, Nayoung’s Journey, and two more poems.

I must note how brilliant it was for Tuck Magazine to attach a certain image to the above story, an image of an unknown Korean girl staring out with her baby brother strapped around her back, with an American combat tank positioned as a backdrop.  When I first looked at the photo, something about the girl brought me to tears from the way she was staring out in her profound innocence.  In that silent stare, she seems to be pleading me to unravel her silence kept for centuries in The Land of Morning Calm.  What privilege it must be if I can even attempt to fulfill her wish.  However, let me lay it aside for warmer days to come.

As I sit here with my old computer, I feel grateful for having journeyed this far with 7½ lives (a bit less than an old cat), much of which have been spent in my cluttered city life.  To look for a modicum of calm and peace, I rambled around the parks, strolled in the sunny side of sidewalks, or drifted into humble cafés at quiet hours.  In return, together with some poetic pictures, they gave me a lovely basketful of poems and stories, a fraction of which have been published in a few literary magazines and in my website.

I am happy to say that after years of toiling I’ve completed a novel, Nayoung’s Journey, for which I’m now seeking a home with a literary agent or a small press.  It is a provocative story about a young Korean woman coming of age in America with her broken dream.  In this page there is an array of photo journalistic images I introduce as a kind of a visual preamble, hoping that Nayoung the protagonist will see her story published one day.  If you, my kind visitors, happen to have any recommendation or advice on this matter, you are more than welcome to drop a few words in the email box below.

If I may, let me close this message with the following wishes:

Just as the world has come closer to our fingertips, may the possibilities for a peaceful and gentler world be ever closer to us all!

I thank you and wish you the very best New Year in excellent health and peace!

Most cordially, Therese

January 2018 © Therese Young Kim


Dear Readers, your questions or comments posted here will be kindly honored.

Thank you.

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