The Various Findings in “Chicago Typewriter”: The historical background and real people who inspire the characters

 

No matter which era you live in, life is an agony. There’s no such thing as perfect world. Every era has its own problems and things you’d want to resist. We resist, struggle, fight, and win. That’s how we shape the world we live in. Thanks to the youth you guys sacrificed, we can live in a world like this now. Pass this message along to the youth of the time: You fought hard. And I thank them for creating this world for us. (Han Se Joo – Chicago Typewriters Episode 9)

 

Doesn’t Han Se Joo’s speech sound like one of Yoo Ah In’s writings/statements in his SNS? I would buy it if they said he was the one who wrote these particular lines. I’m sure this is yet another reason why he picked Chicago Typewriter for his final project before enlistment 🙂

As the story goes towards the end and each character tries to recall their past life, Chicago Typewriter‘s 1930s scenes take center in most part of the episodes. The 1930s classic story of the struggle of young independence fighters is done perfectly. There’s a hinge of sorrow and joy, there’s a hint of hope and desperation. And there’s Carpe Diem– seize the day. The scenes make a lot of viewers curious and digging more into the history of Korean independence as well. So, this time we are trying to compile the drama’s historical background (humbly apologize if the article is far from perfect since this is my first time writing a history).

First, here are some introduction notes:

Japanese occupation in Korea

“Chicago Typewriter” took the 1930s period when Joseon was fighting Japan for the liberation, in particular, in year 1933. Korea under Japanese rule began with the end of the Joseon dynastic monarchy in 1910 and ended at the conclusion of World War II in 1945. Japanese rule of Korea was the outcome of a process that began with the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, whereby a complex coalition of Meiji government, military, and business officials sought to integrate Korea both politically and economically into the Empire of Japan. A major stepping-stone towards Japanese occupation of Korea was the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905, in which the then-Empire of Korea was declared a protectorate of Japan. The annexation of Korea by Japan was set up in the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, which was never actually signed by the Korean regent, Gojong.

 

Literature in Japanese rule

Before they joined the independence movement, Seo Hwi Young (Yoo Ah In) and Shin Yool (Go Kyung Pyo) were originally writers. Hwi Young quited medical school to pursue writing, but he was blacklisted during the Japanese occupation because his writings brought up the social and political themes.

Under Japanese rule, different intellectual influences from traditional Buddhist, Confucianist, and shamanistic beliefs flooded the country. Western-style painting was introduced, and literary trends, even among writers who emphasized themes of social protest and national independence, tended to follow Japanese and European models, particularly those developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The works of Russian, German, French, British, American, Chinese, and Japanese authors were read by the more educated Koreans, and Korean writers increasingly adopted Western ideas and literary forms. Social and political themes were prominent. “Tears of Blood”, the first of the ‘new novels’, published by Yi In Jik in serial form in a magazine in 1906, stressed the need for social reform and cultural enlightenment, following Western and Japanese models. Yi Kwang Soo’s “The Heartless”, published in 1917, stressed the need for mass education, Western science, and the repudiation of the old family and social system. Chae Man Sik’s “Ready Made Life”, published in 1934, protested the injustices of colonial society.

In the 1920s and 1930s, socialist ideas began to influence the development of literature. In 1925 left-wing artists, rejecting the romanticism of many contemporary writers, established the Korean Proletarian Artists Federation, which continued until it was suppressed by Japanese authorities in 1935. One of the best representatives of this group was Yi Ki Yong, whose 1936 novel “Home” tells of the misery of villagers under Japanese rule and the efforts of the protagonist, a student, to organize them. Poets during the colonial period included Yi Sang Hwa, Kim So Wol, and Han Yong Un, and YI WON ROK. Further information about Yi Won Rok is posted below.

 

Korean Independence Movement and Resistance Groups

After the end of World War I, Wilson’s Declaration of the Principle of Self Determination was declared. It was the beginning of Korean independence movement. Wilson’s Declaration of the Principle of Self Determination states that people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference. This principle can be traced to the Atlantic Charter, signed on 14 August 1941, by Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, and Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who pledged The Eight Principal points of the Charter.

Korean independence movement is a military and diplomatic campaign to achieve the independence of Korea from Japan. After the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, upon Emperor Gojong’s death, anti-Japanese rallies or local resistance took place nationwide, and culminated in the March 1st Movement of 1919, which was crushed and sent Korean leaders to flee into China.

The March 1st Movement, also known as “Sam-il (3•1) Movement”, was one of the earliest public displays of Korean resistance during the ruling of Korea by Japan. The name refers to an event that occurred on March 1, 1919, hence the movement’s name, literally meaning “Three-One Movement” or “March First Movement” in Korean. It is also sometimes referred to as the Manse Demonstrations. These grievances were highly influenced by Wilson’s Declaration of the Principle of Self Determination. At 2pm on March 1, 1919, 33 activists who formed the core of the Samil Movement convened at Taehwagwan Restaurant in Seoul and read the Korean Declaration of Independence. The frequently cited The Bloody History of the Korean Independence Movement, it was reported 7,509 people killed, 15,849 wounded, and 46,303 arrested. From March 1 to April 11, Japanese officials reported 553 people killed with over 12,000 arrested, 8 policemen and military killed, and 158 wounded.

Koreans in Manchuria formed resistance groups known as Dongnipgun (Korean Liberation Army), which traveled across the Korean-Chinese border, using guerrilla warfare tactics against Japanese forces. One of the guerrilla groups was led by the future leader of communist North Korea, Kim Il Sung, in Japanese controlled Manchuria. In China, Korean independence activists built ties with the Chinese Nationalist Government which supported their Korean government in exile (KPG). At the same time, the Korean Liberation Army, which operated under the Chinese National Military Council and then the KPG, led attacks against Japan.

Shin Yool mentioned their group’s name in episode 9 as the “Joseon Youth Alliance.” But judging from their activities, it could be a mix of two independence groups; Korean Heroic Corps and All Joseon Youth Alliance. 

 

1) Korean Heroic Corps

Korean Heroic Corps was a part of Korean independence movement. Its activists believed in revolutionary uprising as well as egalitarianism. After the March 1st Movement was crushed in 1919, many independence activists moved their bases to foreign countries. However, members of the Heroic Corps thought that those organizations were too moderate and would not contribute to independence in Korea, and instead took a more radical approach by opposing compromising solutions such as culturalism. The Heroic Corps wished for a violent revolution. The Corps struggled for independence by assassinating high-ranking Japanese officials and committing acts of terrorism against government offices. The Heroic Corps moved their base to Beijing, China and brought members to Shanghai where they had about 70 members in 1924. Chiang Kai Shek, President of the Republic of China, supported the Heroic Corps.

Leading the Heroic Corps was a 22-year-old KIM WON BONG. The organization was based on 10 articles of resolution, which listed 7 types of individuals who must be killed and 5 governmental structures that must be destroyed. Their aims were to defeat the Japanese invaders, gain independence for Korea, abolish class distinctions, and establish equal rights.

Nym Wales (Helen Foster Snow), who wrote the book “Arirang”, the wife of Edgar Snow, called the members of this group “amazingly wonderful friends”, “The members of the crew were always dressed in nice sportswear and groomed their heads. In any case, I was dressed very cleanly enough to make up.”

[Note: Helen Foster Snow (September 21, 1907 – January 11, 1997) was an American journalist who reported from China in the 1930s under the name Nym Wales on the developing Chinese Civil War, the Korean independence movement and the Second Sino-Japanese War. She’s the wife of a famous American journalist Edgar Snow.]

Interestingly, although the Corps used violent revolution as their means to achieve the goal, one of the members was a famous poet YI WON ROK. Yi Won Rok (pen name Yi Yuksa) was a Korean poet, independence activist, and the member of Heroic Corps. As one of Korea’s most famous poets, he and his works symbolize the spirit of the Korean anti-Japanese resistance of the 1930s and 1940s. When members of the Heroic Corps bombed the Daegu branch of the Choseon Bank, Yi was among the arrested and spent 18 months in prison.

2) Joseon Youth Alliance

Joseon Youth Alliance was established by Choi Chang Ik in 1924. He contributed to the founding of the Korea Communist Youth Alliance in 1923. (Later in 1933, he joined Kim Won Bong‘s Korean National Revolutionary Party’s military Organizations. But he complained that they were funded by Chiang Kai Shek’s Kuomintang’s money. Because of this, he fought with Kim Won Bong and left the party). Besides studying classical works and Marxist, the main purpose of the Joseon Youth Alliance was to unite against the Japanese occupation. In September 1925, a movement emerged to combine the various youth associations found in many areas, to link them to the All Joseon Youth Alliance. In episode 9 of the drama, one of the members asked Shin Yool, “When will we get to meet the leader in person? Our organization was formed a year ago. Shouldn’t he at least show us his face as our comrade?”. This indicates that the Joseon Youth Alliance in Chicago Typewriter’s version was not established in 1924 or 1925, but 1932. The drama is using its own time frame to make the story works.

 

More historical background in Chicago Typewriter (mostly from episode 9 and 10):

The Hongkou Park bombing incident

In episode 9, Han Se Joo asked Yoo Jin Oh how Soo Hyun came to learn how to shoot. Yoo Jin Oh replied, “The success of Yun Bong Gil bombing operation in Shanghai last year, has solidified the position of the provisional government. Sadly, the plan to assassinate the Japanese minister has failed”. Yun Bong Gil was the member of Korean Patriotic Corps, a secret organization that aimed to assassinate prominent Japanese figures of the Empire of Japan. Shin Yool was referring to the Hongkou Park bombing incident. 

On April 29, 1932, the Japanese military held a celebration of the birthday of Emperor Hirohito in Hongkou Park (now it’s called Lu Xun Park). Among the attendees were General Yoshinori Shirakawa, commander in chief of the Shanghai Expeditionary Army; Kawabata Sadaji, government chancellor of Japanese residents in Shanghai; Kenkichi Ueda, commander of the 9th Division of the Imperial Japanese Army; Vice Admiral Kichisaburō Nomura of the Imperial Japanese Navy; and Mamoru Shigemitsu, diplomat. 

Yoon Bong Gil, a Korean independence activist opposed to Japanese rule over Korea, entered the park carrying two bombs hidden in a lunchbox and a water bottle. After the Japanese national anthem had finished playing, Yoon threw the water bottle bomb at the dais where the Japanese officials were gathered, and detonated it. Shirakawa and Kawabata were killed in the explosion. Nomura, who later served as ambassador to the United States at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was blinded in his right eye. Mamoru lost a leg; in 1945, as Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, he signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender that marked the end of World War II, walking on the deck of the USS Missouri with an artificial leg and cane. Yoon Bong Gil was arrested at the scene, taken to Japan, and executed. In 2003, a two-story memorial hall dedicated to Yoon Bong Gil was opened in the park with the support of the Chinese and South Korean governments.

The scene in episode 9 gives a clue that Hwi Young recruited Soo Hyun as the sharpshooter in 1933, one year after the incident. However, the song “Wind” by Park Dan Ma, that Soo Hyun sang in the Carpe Diem club was just released in 1938 (watch the original song video here). So, once again the drama doesn’t write the history in the right timeline order, but it does take actual major events in its time frame.

 

Donga Ilbo Newspaper

The newspaper appears in episode 9. Hwi Young wrote third-rate series which actually contained secret codes/orders for his secret group. The series was published in the newspaper called The Dong-A Ilbo (동아일보, literally “East Asia Daily”) on April 12, 1933. [Note: Donga Ilbo was established in Korea in 1920 with daily circulation of more than 1.2 million opinion leaders as its main readers ever since].

The most meticulous thing this drama made was: it really provided the April 12, 1933 issue. But the drama changed the first headline in the newspaper into Hwi Young’s third-rate novel. The contents of the transmitted orders under the novel’s disguise in the newspaper are as follow:

Mission date: April 19, 10 pm
The target: Min Hwan Sik in Namdaemun [Min Hwan Sik could be the name of a bank/banker in Namdaemun, or an officer working for Japanese government in Namdaemun]
Sniper team: Ryu Soo Hyun, Jang Ki Bong
Goods delivery team: Yang Hyung Sik, Choi Mong Gyu  [the “goods” could mean the money to purchase and smuggle explosives from China to Korea]

Xaviera_Phang from weibo notice that there’s also an article with title “the Japanese minister assassination attempt failed”. The news refers to the failed attempt of Japanese minister assassination because of a “Han traitor” named YEM SEK JIN or YEOM SEK JIN. (Note: Yem Sek Jin appears in the film “Assassination”, 2015).

By 1933, there were over 30 Korean independence factions operating in Korea, China, and Manchuria. Yem had become a captain in one of these factions, but his colleagues were unaware that he was secretly reporting to the Japanese, since back in 1911 he was tortured by the Japanese into submission. Yem met with some Korean politicians in Hangzhou, including Kim Won Bong, and was asked to gather three delinquent resistance members so they could enter Seoul and assassinate General Kawaguchi Mamoru. After bringing them to Shanghai, however, Yeom sold this information to the Japanese. For his services to Japan, Yem was made head of the secret police.

As we can see in episode 10 too, Shin Yool/past Yoo Jin Oh said to Baek Tae Min, “I see, you still live like a rat, Heo Young Min”, which indicates that Tae Min was a traitor in his past life. His character might be inspired by Yeom Sek Jin.

After returning to the Carpe Diem, Hwi Young asked Yool if Soo Hyun succeeded her first mission, and Yool replied that the delivery completed. It means Soo Hyun successfully carried her first mission, despite nearly getting caught by the Japanese soldiers. If the weapons/explosives smuggling eventually failed, it could be sabotaged by either Madam Sophia or Hye Young Min.

 

Ryu Soo Hyun vs Jeon Seol

In episode 10, Ryu Soo Hyun (Im Soo Jung) asked the boys to go to Changgyeong Palace. The palace was built in the mid-15th century by King Sejong for his father, Taejong. During the Japanese colonial period, the Japanese built a zoo, botanical garden, and museum on the site. Here we see that both past Ryu Soo Hyun and present Jeon Seol love animals. Maybe, that’s why Soo Hyun reincarnated as Seol the veterinarian.

 

Who is Seo Hwi Young?

There are possibilities that Writer Jin Su Wan took historical people as her inspirations in creating Seo Hwi Young character. Judging from his background and activities, Hwi Young might be a representative of three Korean independence fighters. He could be the mixed of Yi Won Rok, Kim Won Bong and Yoon Se Joo. It’s hardly a coincidence that the writer picked “Han Se Joo” as the present lead character’s name. Once again, remember that the drama deliberately picks the time frame, so we can’t rely on the actual years as the reference for some scenes. All in all, the 1930s characters in “Chicago Typewriter” are fiction but they have the same traits as these actual historical characters did. So, here’s what we gathered:

YI WON ROK

As we have mentioned above, Yi Won Rok was the member of Korean Heroic Corps. In 1929 Yi began to work as a journalist, and in 1930 he published his first poem “Horse,” in the Choseon Ilbo. From 1931 to 1933 he studied in China, but continued to maintain contacts with the Korean resistance. In 1935 he began to concentrate on his writing, publishing both poems and critical essays. When members of the Heroic Corps bombed the Daegu branch of the Choseon Bank, Yi was among the arrested and spent 18 months in prison. Accounts have Yi arrested a total of 17 times.

 

YOON SE JOO and KIM WON BONG

Kim Won Bong could be the most prominent and controversial independence fighter. Kim Won Bong character appeared in the movie “Assassination” (암살, 2015) played by actor Jo Seung Woo, and in “The Age of Shadow” (밀정) played by Gong Yoo. Interestingly, when we searched for Kim Won Bong in Naver, the name Yoon Se Joo appeared in the related query. Foreign sources hardly mentioned them both together, but as a matter of fact, Kim Won Bong and Yoon Se Joo were inseparable childhood friends and comrades. They grew up together, fought together, but eventually they took different paths. Kim Won Bong and Yoon Se Joo established Korean Heroic Corps, along with Kim’s first wife PARK CHA JEONG.

After leaving the group, Yoon Se Joo participated in the establishment of the Korean army. He led the Chosun Militia to arrive at the mountain base, and participated in the Sino-Japanese war. He died in May 1942 after fiercely defeated a group of 400,000 Japanese troops. In contrast, Kim Won Bong was arrested in South Korea for his left-wing political activities after the Korea independence in 1950. Then he moved to North Korea, became the member of Kim Il Sung Liberal Democratic Party, and ended up being executed by the dictator in 1958. Details as followed:

Both Yoon Se Joo (1901-1942) and Kim Won Bong (1898-1958) were born in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province. On April 29, 1911, when Kim was 14 and Yoon 11 years old, they threw away the imperial flags into the school’s toilet in the Japanese emperor’s birthday anniversary. Because of this incident, they both were transferred to the private middle school of Donghwa Middle School in Miryang. In the Miryang Donghwa Middle School there was a famous principal named Chun Hong Pyo who encouraged his students to stand up for nationalism and patriotism.

Greatly influenced by Chun Hong Pyo, they organized a secret society called ‘Yanbian’ within the school. They exercised their physical strength by climbing up and down the hill, taking a cold bath in the middle of the winter, and running around in the sand with a ball, which became the cornerstone of their physical strength in their independence movements in China. Then, they organized the protest rally with a banquet event, which was forbidden at the time. Because of this action, Donghwa Middle School was shut down.

In February 1919, Kim Won Bong entered the Shinheung Military Academy in China and underwent military education for six months, after which he dropped out of the academy. At that time, Wilson’s Declaration of the Principle of Self Determination was declared.

While Kim was studying in China, on March 1st, 1919, Yoon Se Joo participated in the March 1st Movement in Seoul. He went to his hometown and rallied his comrades to spread the movement. When he read the Declaration of Independence at the hometown market where thousands of people gathered, the comrades cried out for independence unanimously. The Japanese imperial police released an order to arrest him right away. He escaped to Manchuria and to a new school in Yuhan County, Liaoning Province.

On November 9, 1919, together with 13 other people, Kim Won Bong and Yoon Se Joo formed a Korean nationalist underground organization known as the Korean Heroic Corps in Jilin, China. Among the Heroic Corps aims were the assassinations of Japanese officials and their collaborators, coupled with attacks on Japanese bases. At that time, Korean independence activists in China tried to send diplomatic representatives to the Paris Peace Conference, but Kim Won Bong’s idea was different. He sent people to the Paris Peace Conference, not to appeal to the reality of Joseon, but to assassinate the Japanese representative, but he failed. Kim Won Bong then enrolled Shinheung independent school in Jilin, China in 1920 for three months to learn how to make bombs and firearms. There, he felt the limit of armed struggle and solidified in his mind the line of independence movement called ‘bombing’.

After graduated, Kim served as a member of the Gyeonggi Provincial Police Department and cooperated with the Japanese military in order to secretly import manufactured explosive from Shanghai, China. The corps smuggled explosive from Shanghai to KYUNGSUNG in March 1923 to assassinate Japanese officials. The members were involved in the bombing of Jongno, Dongdaemun and Miryang Police headquarters in 1920-1923.

After the assassination of Miryang police chief and Chosun governor’s office bombing failed, six Corps members including Yoon Se Joo, were arrested on June 16, 1920, along with 50 comrades while smuggling explosives to Miryang. (Some sources said they failed because there was a traitor among them). Yoon was 19 year-old at that time. He spent 5 years and 4 months in prison and was sent home in 1927. He worked at Gyeongnam Steel Co., Ltd. for several years, but he returned to the Corps in 1932.

Kim Won Bong sent another member, Park Jae Hyuk, to Miryang in September 1920 to kill Busan Police Chief Hashimoto. He sent another member, Kim Ik Sang, to throw a bomb at the Chosun government office. Kim Ik Sang was arrested for assassinating Japanese army chief Tanaka Kaiichi in Shanghai the following year.

In 1933 Kim Won Bong and Yoon Se Joo established the Korean National Revolutionary Party, and the Joseon Communist Reconstruction Party. Yoon Se Joo became the Chosun Ilbo newspaper editor. Chosun Ilbo was the KNR newspaper which campaigned the anti-Japan colonialism. He began feeling unfavorably towards the independence movement group when it didn’t seem to be effective for Korea’s liberation. When the Chinese People’s Party government, which had actively cooperated with Korean independence movement, involved into the civil war with the Chinese army in 1938, Yoon Se Joo decided to leave the Corps. This is where his life and Kim Won Bong’s took different turns.

In November 1933, Yoon Se Joo was elected as the executive committee and central executive committee member for Korean Armory and Unity Federation. Besides helping the establishment of the Korean army, Yoon Se Joo directly led the Chosun Militia and participated in the Second Sino-Japanese war in 1941. [Note: The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from July 7, 1937 to September 9, 1945]

In April of 1941, Yoon crossed the Yellow River and headed toward the north. After arriving at Taejungan anti-Japanese base, he led the Chosun Medical School which was then renamed Chosun Militia and engaged in anti-Japanese armed activities along with Chongqing 8th Army. He was respected as the most trusted leader of all the members. In February 1942, the Japanese army attacked the mountain with 400,000 troops. The size of the Military Forces of Korea was only 3000~4000 troops at that time. The Japanese army, with 20,000 divisions and 400,000 people, completely surrounded the mountain, and mobilized fighters and tanks to engage in full-scale military operations.

On 29 May, the United Nations ordered the Chosun Militia to secure an escape route and supported the entire army to escape. In order to secure an escape route between the two mountain peaks occupied by the Japanese army, Chosun Militia under Han Se Joo’s command decided to attack Japanese troop and led the government crew to escape. They secured the escape route within 5 hours of the operation. Han Se Joo collapsed in this battle. Three days later, the comrades found him seriously wounded in the cave. He died on June 3 at the age of 41. In 1982, he was posthumously awarded the Order of Merit for National Foundation.

Meanwhile, after Korean Independence, Kim Won Bong returned to Korea on December 2, 1945, and served as the deputy commander of the Korean Liberation Army of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Unfortunately, after the liberation, there was no place for Kim Won Bong to stand. He was regarded as the military chief by the prime minister, but the U.S military denied the organization. He left the provisional government and became the chairman of the democratic national frontline, changing his position as an outsider. In the process, he was arrested on March 22, 1947, on the grounds that he was behind the labors’ general strike. He was tortured for 3 days by a detective named Noh Duksul, who was notorious in Japan. Feeling hurt and disappointed, he eventually left South Korea in 1948 with his family to the North. He became the National Censorship member when the North Korean regime Kim Il Sung was established. However, in May 1952, he was dismissed from the National Censorship and later on June 25, he was sent to a labor camp. He died in 1958. His cause of death is still mysterious. Although there is a suicide theory, execution by Kim Il Sung seemed to be most likely.

Kim Won Bong married twice, and his first wife was Park Cha Jung.

 

Who is Ryu Soo Hyun?

Ryu Soo Hyun’s character could be inspired or taken from Kim Won Bong’s first wife’s profile: PARK CHA JEONG.

In Chicago Typewriter episode 9, there was a scene where the weapon smuggling was failed. Ryu Sang Jun chose to commit suicide than getting arrested by the Japanese soldiers. He left her daughter Ryu Soo Hyun. Park Cha Jeong (May 7, 1909 – May 27, 1944) was a Korean independence activist and the first wife of Kim Won Bong. Her assumed names were Yim Cheol Ae and Yim Cheol San. Her father himself committed suicide fighting Japan, and her family were independence activists.

In 1930, Park went to the China and worked in Beijing to rebuild the Communist Party of Korea. She married Kim Won Bong in 1931. In 1939 she was injured in Jiangxi and was killed at Chongqing in 1944. She was buried in Miryang, where Kim Won Bong was born. In 1995, she was posthumously awarded the Order of Merit for National Foundation.

What about Yoo Jin Oh’s past character Shin Yool? We haven’t found actual reference yet to this character. While Hwi Young working behind the veil, Shin Yool becomes his representative. If he’s a ghost in the present to Han Se Joo, then he is a shadow to Seo Hwi Young in the past. Could he be a symbolic character or just a perfect comrade? Maybe we’ll find the answer later.

 

Source: Naver Knowledge Encyclopedia Yoon Se-ju [Yoon Seung-Ju], Chosun, Wiki, Country studies, DC, Xaviera Pang weibo

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Comments
18 Responses to “The Various Findings in “Chicago Typewriter”: The historical background and real people who inspire the characters”
  1. Finally an article about this ❤ thank Yoo~

    that scene when Se-joo 'could you take picture of us?'

    And they are in front of that general government building that used back then by Japanese Colonial masters, and now gone, cause the nation, the streets, in freedom, liberated… :’)

    struck me to the core.

    • Furbabe says:

      YOO are welcome~^^ That’s probably my most favorite scene in this drama ❤ And the way Yoo Ah In/Han Se Joo voices out his thought in front of the Gwanghwamun Gate is so on point 🙂

  2. omo, the article so greaaaat! I’m thankful 🙂

    maybe there was a lil’ error–> in episode 9, Yoon (Han?) Se Joo asked Yoo Jin Oh

    aaaaah I love this show.

  3. yosics says:

    Wow, thanks so much for writing such lengthy and detailed history!! It gives us so many insights to understand the background of CT. This writer is a genius, and so do you 👏👏

    And somehow I have a feeling that the writer created Han Se Joo character based on Yoo Ah In and they discuss it together. Because there’s so much parallels between HSJ and YAI, such as his views, quotes, until his childhood trauma. I love how HSJ is just Yoo Ah In in real life, aside from his trash mouth and hot temper. Teehee!

    • Furbabe says:

      Hi yosics~ Thank you for your compliment 🙂

      Yess, I’m sure the writer picked Yoo Ah In to play Han Se Joo because of their similarities in terms of views and principles, and in some traits too 😀 While for Hwi Young character, she must have thought about a real character that fits the 1930s era who has Se Joo’s traits as well ^^

  4. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for providing us with the super comprehensive and meticulous historical background of CT, Furbabe. Very precious information. It helps me enjoy the drama more ❤

  5. That’s an amazing analysis! I have to say that Chicago Typewriter is the best plotted one of the currently airing dramas, the attention to detail and all but there are anachronisms which leave certain blemish. For instance, the whole 1933 idea is undermined by the fact that they decided to feature Pak Dan Ma’s song ‘Wind’ which wasn’t released until 1938.

    • Furbabe says:

      Yes, as I wrote above, not only “Wind” song, the Joseon Youth Alliance establishment date and the newspaper issue date are different from the actual/real historical date. But I think the writer did it in purpose. As I said, I presumed the drama is using its own time frame to make the story work or to make the writer’s interpretation on the history work 🙂

  6. Hi! Enjoyed the analysis like always. Just one thing, I believe the newspaper was published on 12th April, reading from right to left.

  7. TheMeaninglessArt says:

    Thank you so much for this information. It is so interesting reading about Korea during the Japanese occupation and by reading your article I get more into the drama too…

  8. Diane says:

    Thank-you so much for your work. I searched forever for the “Wind” song, and could not find it. I wish they would release the total song as it was sung by Lim Soo-Jung. They don’t seem to think people like trot, and I love it!

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  1. […] Although the modern storyline was a bit flawed, the 1930s part was delivered beautifully and so compelling. The details of the historical background is mind blowing as well (read here). […]

  2. […] Japanese colonial regime’s watch, writers didn’t have the freedom to write anything they wish. Hwi Young quit medical school to pursue writing, but he was blacklisted because his writings brought… Hwi Young was best friend with Shin Yool, who decided to just quit writing and ran a club called […]



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