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A Review From “Hymn Of The Death” K Drama 2018

 The Hymn of Death

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The Hymn of Death is based on the true story of two artistically inclined young Koreans who lived in Japan and Korea during the colonial period of the 1920s, when Japan ruled over Korea.

Lee Jong Suk who plays Kim Woo Jin is a writer and director of stage plays who is still in college, at that time Woo Jin was 25 years old and majored in English literature at Waseda University when Korea was under Japanese occupation in the 1920s. His father, Kim Sung Gyu disapproved of Kim Woo Jin pursuing his interests and talents, he wanted to see his son take over the family’s real estate and rice farming business after college, but in the end he allowed him to temporarily follow his dream of majoring in English literature instead of business.

In the initial scene, it highlights a group of fellow students and Kim Woo Jin preparing a drama, the drama they are performing is aimed at raising funds for their association, but also to honor and preserve the arts of Joseon (a region in Korea). It was suggested that they add some musical interludes to the performance. Enter a 25-year-old vocal student from Ueno Music School named Yun Sim Deok who is invited to audition by singing for a special role. Everyone was mesmerized by her beautiful singing, and as director Kim Woo Jin appreciated all the cast and pianists of the play but he excluded Sim Deok. He didn’t praise her after her performance and Sim Deok became upset at Woo Jin. Feeling like he’s bothering her, Sim Deok finally wants to see Kim Woo Jin for his silent treatment of her. They meet over a meal, and Kim Woo Jin explains until Sim Deok is relieved that he was silent because there was nothing to comment on and his performance was perfect. From here, Sim Deok often thinks of Woo Jin and starts looking for his whereabouts when Woo Jin doesn’t come to practice. Sim Deok boldly goes to see him after he hears that Woo Jin fell ill, and expresses his concern. Woo Jin tells her that he’s not really sick, that every year on the anniversary of his mother’s death, he likes to seclude himself for a few days from the world to remember her. He also finally admits that he thought Sim Deok’s singing voice back then was very beautiful. They become closer after this, and now Sim Deok senses that he is starting to fall in love.

Long story short, they practiced together, ate together, met often and laughed together until their feelings for each other deepened. However, Kim Woo Jin suddenly seems to become cold for no reason and leaves Sim Deok confused. Kim Woo Jin invites the drama troupe to his father’s house and it is here that Sim Deok is told that Woo Jin’s father is one of the richest landowners in Korea which makes him very surprised that his preconceived notions were wrong. At the same time he is suddenly shocked and hurt to be told that Kim Woo Jin is married, Kim Woo Jin’s relationship with his wife is an arranged marriage that seems to be devoid of love. Deeply shocked and saddened Sim Deok disappears, leaving behind a hat she bought and wore only because Woo Jin told her it was pretty back then. Woo Jin knowing this is very sad and keeps the hat as a memory because he can’t do anything about it. They met again after this, before parting only to say goodbye as Woo Jin went back to his father’s house to continue the family business and stopped writing.

For years he kept this hat in his office drawer in memory of Sim Deok. After 5 years of separation, Sim Deok became known as a famous singer and signed a recording contract with a Japanese company. Woo Jin became very successful running his father’s business. However, neither Woo Jin nor Sim Deok ever forgot each other. It is the late 1920s and both are Koreans, people who were looked down upon in those days. Kim Woo Jin returns to Korea to be with his family, where his father forbids him to write and after finishing his education, Sim Deok also returns and is pressured by the Japanese colonial government to sing for them, much to his younger siblings’ dismay.

But even though 5 years later each of them lived separately, their love never died. Woo Jin always remembers Sim Deok through very touching writings. While Sim Deok always feels Woo Jin’s presence by her side every time she sings. Their longing reaches its peak when Sim Deok performs as a soloist in a large theater that used to be her dream as a singer. A dream that she had expressed to Woo Jin. At that time she hoped that Woo Jin would be present to see her sing, and it happened. It was this meeting that finally made their relationship rebuild. Even stronger than before.

After years of following his father’s wishes to lead the company/business, Woo Jin finally gave up. Woo Jin started writing again and this made his father, who disliked Woo Jin’s writing activities, take action by burning all of Woo Jin’s books and written works. The arguments continued between them. Until finally Woo Jin really left home. Even when his wife came to his residence in Tokyo, persuading Woo Jin to come home to see his depressed father, Woo Jin did not respond to anything.


On the other hand, Sim Deok, who lives with family and financial demands, is married off by her parents to a rich man’s son to support her family and sister to stay alive and continue her sister’s education. Sim Deok also experiences mental pressure from a joint Korean-Japanese government official. The man who looked down on Sim Deok requested that Sim Deok sing for the government at every event held. The reason is to entertain the guests and as proof that Sim Deok loves his country. The pay was very small and Sim Deok objected. But the official threatens, if he refuses the request then his family will be in danger. Both Sim Deok and Woo Jin now feel depressed and lekah to live their lives.

In the last scene, Woo Jin tells a book written by Takeo Arishima. A book that tells the story of a love that doesn’t come to fruition and ends in a decision to commit suicide. Woo Jin also said that the two lovers who ended their lives wanted to rest from all the pain but they wanted to be together. Sim Deok also said that she wanted to take a break from all the pressure and was tired, but she felt unable to leave Woo Jin. They finally decided to stay together. Day after day they go through until one day Woo Jin accompanies Sim Deok to Osaka to record. In this final scene, presents some beautiful and touching moments such as when they sit side by side on the train, togetherness in the room where Woo Jin continues to create written works and others and finally in this drama Hymn of Death shows when they are traveling back on a ship and they take off their shoes, dance on the ship, hug, until finally they declare that they want to rest (end their lives together) and they jump into the sea together to end their lives.

A Review From “Hymn Of The Death” K Drama 2018

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