We hope you're enjoying the satirical drama HISTORY OF A SALARYMAN (from your posts on Facebook and Twitter, it sounds like you are!) But do you know the history behind HISTORY? More than a parody of modern office politics, HISTORY bases its characters on actual historical figures from ancient China. Let's take a look!
Character name: Yoo Bang
Historical Counterpart: Liu Bang/Emperor Gaozu
Yoo Bang (Lee Bum Soo) is a graduate of a third-tier university with no money or connections, but he fights against corrupted, powerful people with his strong will and sense of justice. Liu Bang became the first emperor of the Han Dynasty (later he became known as Emperor Gaozu). This may foretell great things for this likable, comic character.
Character name: Hang Woo
Historical Counterpart: Xiang Yu
Hang Woo (Jung Gyu Woon) has top academic credentials and is skilled at his job, but he's also a cold and arrogant guy. Xiang Yu was also known for his skill on the battlefield as one of China's best warriors.
Character name: Yeo Chi
Historical Counterpart: Lu Zhi
Yeo Chi (Jung Ryeo Won) is the reckless, irreverent granddaughter of the president of Chunha Group. Once she sets her mind to do something, get out of her way! Lu Zhi was the wife of Emperor Gaozu/Liu Bang. Known as Empress Dowager Lü, she has been described by historians as power-mad, ruthless and cruel.
Character name: Woo Hee
Historical Counterpart: Yu Miaoyi
Woo Hee (Hong Soo Hyun) has it all--outwardly known as a top chemist in her field, in her personal life she's a wild girl who loves to lead men on. Yu Miaoyi was also known as Yu the Beautiful, adored by Xiang Yu so much that he made her his only wife (!)
Character name: Jang Ryang
Historical Counterpart: Zhang Liang
Jang Ryang (Kim Il Woo) is a selfish character who uses his uncanny intelligence to do whatever it takes for him to succeed. He's an unexpected incarnation of Zhang Liang, who was the strategist for Emperor Gaozu/Liu Bang, but retains his knack for strategy.
Character name: Beom Jeung
Historical Counterpart: Fan Zeng
Beom Jeung (Lee Gi Yeong) has a split personality. On one hand, he's a schemer and master of manipulation. On the other hand, he falls apart at the sight of a beautiful woman. Fan Zeng, also adept at politics and warfare, helped his nephew Xiang Yu conquer his enemies. When Xiang Yu dismissed him, he began losing his battles against Liu Bang.
Character name: Han Shin
Historical Counterpart: Han Xin
Han Shin (Yang Hyung Wook) is a goofy bumbler who can't seem to do anything right. Han Xin was a famous Chinese general who switched his allegiance from Xiang Yu to Liu Bang when he didn't get the recognition he thought he deserved.
Character name: So Ha
Historical Counterpart: Xiao He
So Ha (Yoo Hyung Gwan) gets by on his personal connections at work, even though he's not very good at, you know, actually working. Xiao He is known as a good statesman and skilled politician, who was very close to Liu Bang. Perhaps HISTORY will re-imagine this character in an unexpected way.
We hope that these historical sketches of the real men and women behind HISTORY OF A SALARYMAN enhances your viewing experience, and maybe even inspires you to dig deeper into the history behind the drama. Each week we'll be adding more episodes of HISTORY OF A SALARYMAN, our latest simulcast--you can watch, and check for new episodes right here. Happy viewing!