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Book releases for Tango and Goodbye, Hill


Gu Hye-sun’s “Tango”; Cha In-pyo

More book news.

First, we have the new cover art (above) and a bit more description about the book being published by Gu Hye-sun (Boys Before Flowers), titled Tango.

Gu’s book is based on memories of her own bittersweet first love, though the fictionalized story first rose in her mind upon hearing Ryuichi Sakamoto‘s song “Tango.” (I posted that song in the previous post; below is a second version.)

It’s explained that the tango motif is linked to the story because in the dance, if the feet do not step together in time, they only hurt each other. The book will come with approximately 40 of Gu Hye-sun’s own illustrations.

But the more interesting book news, in my opinion, is that of veteran Hallyu actor Cha In-pyo (Crossing, Hanbando, Star In My Heart). Because while this is his debut novel, don’t write this off as a vanity project or mere ego-fluffery — his book deals with the issue of comfort women, which is a topic I find deeply compelling (the sexual slavery of hundreds of thousands of women, mostly Korean but also including Chinese, Filipina, Vietnamese, and those of other Southeast Asian nationalities, by the Japanese military in its imperial expansion years leading up to and during WWII).

SONG OF THE DAY

Ryuichi Sakamoto – “Tango.” I mentioned there was another version of this song in the last post and someone asked for it. This is the Japanese-language version of the same song. [ Download ] Incidentally, there’s also a slower Portuguese version: [ Download ] (Personally I like the Spanish one best.)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Cha In-pyo’s book is titled Goodbye, Hill [잘가요, 언덕], and takes place in the 1930s.

Cha’s involvement in the project started in 1997, when he heard the story of “Grandmother Hoon,” who had been dragged off to be a comfort woman in Cambodia during the war. She continued living in that country until she visited her native Korea in 1997, and Cha’s interest was piqued upon hearing the news reports. For the past decade, he has been working on the idea, researching, writing, and editing his manuscript.

The description for Cha’s Goodbye, Hill:

“This book is set in the 1930s, in a Tiger Village at the foot of Baekdusan [Mount Baekdu]. One youthful hunter, Yong-yi, comes to the village to capture a tiger to exact revenge for injuring his mother, and encounters Soon-yi, the daughter of the village chief. Along with Japanese officer Kazuo, these three draw a story of forgiveness and reconciliation.”

Cha explains, “I wrote this book because I wanted to tell the story of our grandmothers and grandfathers who endured hardship in the time when our country was at its weakest.”

The issue of comfort women is something I have a strong academic interest in. The historic bad blood between the Koreans and Japanese is famous, but the matter isn’t a nationalistic one so much as it is a travesty of basic human rights, that these women’s sufferings have been swept under the table for more than a half-century without reparation or public apology. It’s also a hotbed for controversy (there are those who deny it happened, which is seen by others as akin to Holocaust denials).

It’s a hard topic to write about, and I hope Cha In-pyo does it justice, but in any case it’s clear he’s put a lot of care into it. You’ve also got to respect the man for taking it on with the stated themes of “forgiveness and peace.”

Cha In-pyo’s Goodbye, Hill will be published on March 25. Gu Hye-sun’s Tango releases April 1.

Via E Daily, Newsis

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ahhh I can't wait for the books to be released!

.... sadly I'm not completely fluent in Korean so I must wait for trans TT__TT

oh, and I GHS's drawing is great as usual ^o^

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Wow! this sounds like a great book :)
I'm sorry if I sound ignorant but what is a comfort woman?

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@2

Comfort women were the women made into sex slaves during WWII

I hope goodbye hill gets translated in english

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Sarah, did you study the history of comfort women in university? If you end up getting your hands on Cha In Pyo's book, let us know what you think of it. :)

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Thanks so much for the uploading the Japanese version! I can't wait to start listening to it over and over! haha

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Goo Hyesun's book cover illustration almost looks like the illustration she did for gummy's album. Something tells me the rest of her illustrations wouldn't wow me much.
BTW, isn't she only 20 something like 25?
She's had that much love experience at that age to write a book about it??
i dunno it just seems like she's milking the cow with the drama popularity. i don't so quick to judge but she's just so...mediocre in everything yet tries so hard to want ppl to believe she excels at everything.

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belleza, I did, although it was more in the context of Japanese imperialism and post-war culture, and most of my comfort-women study came after that on my own. I do plan to get a copy of the book if I can.

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thanks for this!!

have been enjoying Ryuichi Sakamoto's compositions eversince i stumbled across his compelling performance of the famous Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (and Rain ) many moons ago.

agree.
the Spanish flavour has more evocative zing, comparatively.

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does cha in pyo's book being published 3/25 means that's when it'll be available? like in the states, or at first only in korea? i always thought this book (from the korean pov) should be written, i hope this book does the topic justice.

cha in pyo seems to really care about more than just being an entertainer, he was in la a few weeks ago to encourage people to help underprivileged kids too. admirable.

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Wow, I'm really interested in the book that Cha In-Pyo wrote! Do you know if it will be translated into English? My korean is most definitely not good enough for me to be able to read it... O__o

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Isn't the term 'comfort women' specifically for the period of the Japanese enslavement during WWII? Or does it also cover the period where k-women were shipped off to China? Or are there two seperate terms? Either way - the sexual enslavement of these women is horrible and I can't believe that it still exists in the world. No matter how horrible we find the history, how can we still allow the white slave market to exist? I just don't know how we can eliminate the demand for such things.

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It is sad that people usually only knows about the Holocaust victims during WWII. A lot of horors did happen in Asia too but no ones talks about it.
Hope this book will be successful and translated. Javabeans, will you consider doing a review after you read it?

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Comfort women refers to women (regardless of nationality) forced into military brothels. But the term is most associated with sexual slavery by WWII Japanese soldiers. Probably bc of the widespread nature of their abuse and huge number of victims. During WWII, their victims came from Japanese-occupied territories all over East Asia and SE Asia.
Horrible tragedies for all those captured women.
It was a heinous crime.
Even more heinous are those who continue to deny it ever happened or downplay the crime.

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Canada (its parliament) passed Motion 291 last in November 2007 -
http://www.torontoalpha.org/Comfort_Women/index.php

And during the campaigning of this, four brave and surviving grannies were invited to Canada to speak of their painful experience as 4 of the many military sexual slavery during WWII to the parliament. I was shocked there was a Dutch granny - I didn't know these evil deeds were also coerced upon non-Asian women. Some Canadian history teachers were also brought into China to talk to some of these very few remaining survivors. We all know there are fewer and fewer of these grannies now, because they are very old now. If we don't do something soon, they may not see the day that their justice be made to them. I was very touched when I saw the faces of these four grannies when they witnessed the passing of this motion in Canadian parliament. They all cried, and thank those who supported this motion. This was like one of the biggest gifts we could ever give them - a recognization of their painful suffering and a new effort in fighting the denial.

I wish more people read Cha's book. New generations need to understand, be educated about the real history so bad things don't recur. I salute you, Cha In Pyo, for following your heart to spend time writing such a book. I hope your celeb influence will draw more people to this matter.

Thank you Javabeans for posting this.

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I didn't know Cha In Pyo was publishing a book! He's so thoughtful.

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wow, thanks for the info javabeans.
like you and many others, i'll be on the look out for Cha In-pyo's book as well. screw my bad korean, i'll make it through the book some how.
and i have a question (sorry if this sounds ignorant) why haven't there been any reparations made towards these women? i know the government may deny it ever happened, but why deny it in the first place, especially when there's evidence that states otherwise? is it a matter of national pride or something?

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Gulp. The song Tango (this version here in this post) is an acquired taste. One i am not accustomed to yet. =)

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Oh, maybe that's one of the reason why he visited the Philippines. He's such a good person, coz while he was here, he also did some charitable works together with his lovely wife. I think i read it from your blog too from way back.

I hope the book will be published in English too so that i can read it.

Thanks for the info.

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I think the book is really a good topic. I was always been interested in injustice and humanity since i started highschool. Im reading a book right now written personally by someone who experience holocaust and luckily came out alive. The story is really sad that would make one weep.
I just hope cha in pyo's book will not create tension among other nation especially japanese since and book is mostly about world war 2.
Good luck and i hope there's going to be an english version copy because im no korean.

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if you manage to get your hands on Goodbye Hill and read it, please let us know how it is and what you think. I can't read korean and 10 years worth of research on the topic was put into it. I also hope that Cha In-pyo does it justice. And it's good that there is focus on the subject. I wish reparations and recognition for these survivors to be made by Japan while they're still alive and able to testify that this did indeed happened.

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Totally beautiful music.....thank you ever so much!!

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Cha in pyo' s novel sounds really interesting. The war had passed over half of century but maybe the pain is still smouldering inside many people. Hoping the book will bring nearer view for us about criminal actions, about fierce things that anywars should make for human.
I think it will not aim to dig a hug gap between people or nations, but helping us to live better and more useful for ourself and everybody around us.

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Hi! Will Tango have an English version? :)

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I'm really interested with Cha In Pyo's book. I admire the man more for his active role in social welfare than his acting. I read an old Filipino book (it was in English) about life during the Japanese colonization and I knew how hard it is for women at that time.... especially when their own husband/boyfriend/family member look at them in disdain and shame when they were helplessly molested. :( That book really made a big impact on me and I hope In Pyo's book will give have the same impact on Koreans. Too bad this isn't going to be translated~

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thanks for posting the songs. you are right the Spanish version is probably the best. i wonder did GHS say which version inspired her?

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It's refreshing to see someone write a book about the topic, especially a man!

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Interesting!

Anyone have any idea when any of these books will get trans in to English?

thanks Sarah!

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"Some of you hardcore F4 fanatics might feel a little relieved that Hye Sun was spending her off time working on her novel instead of hanging out and flirting with your precious F4." -

i like this comment from allkpop (30th April)... Hye Sun, lift your head, you are great, if not better than the Flower Boys! Aja Aja Fighting!

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