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Sinopsis "Tamra, The Island"

Title                          : 탐나는도다/ Tamnaneun Doda
Also known as           : Tamna, The Island/ Tempted Again/ Shipwrecked
Genre                       : Romance, Comedy-drama, Period
Episodes                   : 20
Directed by               : Yoon Sang-ho, Hong Jong-chan
Broadcast Network     : MBC

The Main Character   : 
§  Seo Woo as Jang Beo-jin 
§  Im Joo-hwan as Park Gyu 
§  Pierre Deporte as William Spencer 
§  Lee Seung-min as Seo-rin 
§  Lees sun-ho as Yan Kawamura

It is a historical drama set in the 17th century during the European colonial expansion into the Far East. William J. Spencer (Pierre Deporte) is a young British aristocrat in the year 1640 with a fascination for East Asian art, languages, and culture. He counts as his closest friend the young somewhat mercenary Japanese merchantman Yan. In the opening scene, William is in the midst of being swindled by a shady merchant into believing that a plain porcelain chamber pot is a mystical artifact (which plays a later role in the plot as William’s “treasure.”) William sails off to Nagasaki in order to open the “aquatic silk road” between Japan and England – but mostly to escape his creepy and overbearing mother and an arranged marriage. Yan is promised a handsome reward if he can drag her son back in time for the wedding and hightails it after his "friend."

Meanwhile, halfway around the world, the Joseon Empire is operating under a foreign policy that strictly prohibits trade with Westerners, garnering the nickname “the hermit kingdom.” Just south of the Korean mainland lies the island of Jeju, which at this point in history is known as Tamra (sometimes Tamna). The people who live on the island derive their livelihoods by diving for abalone, cultivating a large area of persimmon orchards, and basic subsistence farming; much of what they produce is tithed to the King through a corrupt local government.

Park Gyu (Im Joo-hwan), the other side of the love triangle, arrives from Hanyang (the historical name for Seoul) on a secret mission from the King to uncover corruption, embezzlement, and whatever else he may find on Tamra. However, his cover story leads to a tangle of complications for the poor man – used to being doted on as an aristocratic scholar and high government official, he is sent to Tamra on the pretense of having been at the center of a sexual harassment scandal for which he has been permanently banished to the island. (He’s also not used to manual labor, and the local family that takes him in has a very practical “No work, no food” policy that creates a great number of comedic moments as well).

Our heroine is Jang Beo-jin (Seo Woo), an abalone diver; her mother is the leader of all the village divers (haenyo lit. "sea women"). Unfortunately for Beo-jin, she didn’t inherit her mother’s gifts or prowess for diving. She is the lowest of the apprentice divers after eight years and she is constantly being berated by her mother and all the other divers; she manages to mess up every chance she is given.

Her first meeting with Park Gyu comes when she is sent on a fairly innocuous errand to deliver some abalone to the village elders for a religious ceremony but ends up knocking down the altar and Park Gyu, and losing the medallion that entitles her family to a lower tithe to the King (she adamantly believes it to be in Park Gyu's possession, leading to another hilarious set of antics as she tries to get it back from the upright and uptight noble).

Park Gyu is sent to live with Beo-jin’s family (in a storage shed, no less) on the same day that William is shipwrecked off the coast; Beo-jin hides him (and later Yan as well) in a cave outside the village.

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