After gaining praises and high ratings, now "The King: Eternal Monarch" drama is in controversy for using Japanese architecture in its title card. Netizens have expressed their anger against the use of Japanese architecture while showing the Korean empire and tradition.
The SBS fantasy drama of two parallel worlds is receiving much love not only from South Korea but also fans from other countries. However, Korean netizens put forth an issue with the series and they are not happy about it.
Was Japanese architecture used to show Korean empire?
Accordingly, the complaint is that, when the part of the Korean empire was being shown in the first two episodes, especially the title card video showed the Palace and buildings that were similar to Japanese temples. One of the buildings that was mentioned by online trolls stated that it looked just like the building in the Japanese temple complex Tōdai-ji. Another building that got mentioned seemingly looked like a five-story pagoda in Japan's temple of Kōfuku-ji.
Reacting to the online comments and queries Hwa & Dam Pictures's statement put out through The King: Eternal Monarch page said that "The design of wooden pagoda was based on Baekje five-story wooden pagoda that is on display the Baekje History Reproduction Complex. We hoped not to cause any misunderstandings with the design of our fictional wooden building as we had used historical records to recreate the building design."
Speaking about the two-storey wooden Pagoda mentioned in the comments, the production house said, "But in the case of the two-story wooden pagoda, the base for the design was Korean Buddhist temples and Chinese royal palaces. But after verification, we found that some features of this wooden Pagoda was inspired by a Japanese temple."
Apologizing for the same, it stated, "It was clearly our mistake, no matter the reason for it, for us to have not paid close attention to every detail in the process of designing the fictional world of the Korean Empire, and we sincerely apologize." With the apology, the production house also promised that these mistakes will be rectified from episode 3 that will be aired on April 24.
The 'Seal' controversy
Reacting to the controversy which claimed that the seal of the Korean empire shown in the drama resembles the seal of the Japanese empire, the production house explained the process of designing the fictional seal for the drama. It said that in order to represent a constitutional monarchy in which the National Assembly or Executive Branch is centred around the imperial family, we created the Korean Empire's imperial seal with a 'double plum flower' design in which a flower is enfolded by another flower. It's completely unrelated to the Imperial Seal of Japan.
The Hwa & Dam Pictures promised to correct the mistakes from the third episode itself and also stated that in the reruns and video-on-demand services corrected episodes will be aired from the first episode onwards with the changes made to the title card too.
"We once again apologize, and we will try our best to make a high-quality drama," it stated. The King: Eternal Monarch stars Lee Min Ho as the King of the Korean Empire (Emperor Lee Gon) and Kim Go Eun as a detective Jung Tae Eul in the parallel world (modern-day Korea). All main characters play dual roles depicting two different lives in two worlds.
It is the story of love, politics, history and bridge between two worlds that exist simultaneously. The drama aired its first episode on April 17 that opened to a massive of 11.4 percent nationwide and 12.9 percent in Seoul according to AGB Neilsen and second episode got 11.6 percent nationwide and 12.9 percent in Seoul.