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Dedicated to the Woodalchi

The Korean title of the drama “Faith” is 신의. Pronounced shin-eui,  it is a Sino-Korean word that can be expressed both in Korean script (Hangul) and and Chinese characters (Hanja). One of my favorite things to do is to study the Hanja of Korean words because it reveals the depth and width of the meaning that the word is suppose to convey. One of my least favorite things to do is to translate Korean words because- perhaps because I am not an English dictionary, nor am I a professional translator- I can’t find the correct English word that fully conveys that depth and width.

Shin-eui is such a word. The Hanja- 信義- is made of two characters, one that means faith and the other, loyalty (in context of being next to “faith”). The widely-circulated translation of shin-eui  is “Faith,” which I think works fine but loses the relationship facet of the Korean word. The Korean word isn’t just about an individual but how two people relate to each other. There is always two or more people that is conveyed in the word shin-eui. So shin-eui is not something that one person has but a relationship between two people.

For a drama centered around a king, his warriors, and his citizens, shin-eui is a perfect title. We have seen shin-eui being built between Gongmin and Young continuously during the drama and how exciting has that journey been? Young was initially bound to Gongmin out of duty and his status as a warrior. Gongmin was bound to Young because he did not have anyone else to rely on in Goryeo. But as they began to learn about where each other came from and prove their character and worthiness, Young and Gongmin became more than a king and warrior. They are now friends and brothers.

Unlike with Gongmin and Young, we never saw the shin-eui develop between Young and his Woodalchi. It was already there, strong and unbreakable. We don’t know how it became that way. In the beginning, when Young entered the Woodalchi quarters as the youngest daejang ever, the other Woodalchi were skeptical and wary of the young man from the famed and legendary Jeogwoldae.

Somewhere along the way, Young earned the love and respect of his Woodalchi men and by the time we entered their world, the Woodalchi circle and follow Young around like a litter of puppies. They may act like puppies but their spirit is undeniably made up of warrior material. Their shin-eui is instinctive, natural, and fierce. They will follow through with their duty to the death not because they have to but because they want to. They will die for their daejang, their king, their country, and each other.

So here is a post in pictures to celebrate the Woodalchi and what they stand for. They have been sometimes frustratingly slow and incompetent but I think at this point, we can just celebrate their spirit and their shin-eui.

We have a composer in our midst who has generously shared a song she wrote for the fallen Woodalchi. Goodness gracious…my heart!

“Fallen Soldiers” by Sunshine (Click on title to open new window for music)

71 Comments Post a comment
  1. maitaitini #

    Thank you Jooni for posting this. I totally agree with you on everything u wrote about Young and his Woodalchi. I love their love, faith and loyalty for/in each other.
    Thank you Sunshine for the beautiful song. It was so fitting for all the fallen Woodalchi. I think if the PD use ur song it would’ve been more sad on the scene where they fight and died for their king, queen and country. I know for sure I would’ve cry more.

    October 15, 2012
    • Sunshine #

      Awww, thanks, maitaitini! joooni, truly gave them a fitting tribute.

      October 15, 2012
  2. Thanks for it information. It is interesting.

    October 17, 2012
  3. minozlove #

    Sunshine, wow what an amazing music, and Joonni thank you for this explanation. I have been so fortunate to come upon Faith , and all of you here, for my bday my mother is making me a necklace with this sign, and now that I know the meaning of it, I will cherish it ever more… WendyM, thank you so much for pointing to this post for me, I know you did some searching and I so appreciate you taking the time. Oh, this just touched me so deeply. Wow. What are we without Faith?

    January 13, 2013
    • WendyM #

      Minozlove, you are welcome. I am sure the necklace would be beautiful.

      January 14, 2013
      • minozlove #

        WendyM many many thanks, I am so looking forward to it, and this narrative is just so beautiful, I am grateful you took the time to find it for me, I know how busy you must be 🙂

        January 14, 2013
  4. Jay-ar Adriosula #

    i just watched the full movie in DVD here in the Philippines, I wonder if the movie is real true to life or just a fiction, but I love the way they act it, I want to be a warrior and kill all the people commented here… joke ^^ City Hunter-> Faith-> next please!!!

    February 26, 2013
  5. Hi!

    I just watched this dorama the other day, and I’d like to thank you for the explanation. It makes things even clearer.

    June 13, 2013
  6. Sanna #

    I’m going absolutely crazy. In the original drama there is a short and sad choral song played as a tribute to the 24 Woodalchi soldiers that died. You can hear it if you watch Episode 18 Part 3. It was apparently too short to be included in the official OST. If somebody has this mp3 or can somehow edit and record directly from the drama, I’d LOVE to have it!! I’d give $$ even.

    June 19, 2013
  7. Awesome! Its really awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea on the topioc of
    from this post.

    September 13, 2013
  8. justin althea #

    indeed. what a superb description it really fits them between the woodalchi and their daejang. tnx to all the woodalchi though some of them sacrificed their lives. to their great Daejang Choi Young salute!!!

    February 21, 2015
  9. manuela pondoc #


    I can’t seem to find teh song…please help…

    July 3, 2016

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  1. “Dedicado a los Woodalchi”. Dedicado a Joo Suk. | ¡BOMBA SOJU! …y el líder.

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