Just Bananas About: Week of 8/1/14

Wow, what a great Wednesday-Thursday drama week. Makes me almost forget the disappointments of Monday-Tuesday. But back to the Wednesday-Thursday dramas, we were treated to a bunch of confessions, kissing and hugging. Not all of these situations had the same result except that it brought forward movement to the love stories. However this week, I wanted to look at Joseon Gunman because finally the cat has been let out of the bag because that elephant in the room was getting damn impatient.

It was a bit ridiculous that everyone recognized Hanjo (Lee Jun Ki) as Park Yoon Kang and yet he kept denying. However, there is some plausibility in the fact that until he owns up to it, you can’t really charge him with anything. But still, can I just say, ‘Amen, sister’ to Jung Soo In’s servant, Jan Yi? She’s the viewer in this drama, saying everything that we’re thinking from ‘He looks exactly like Young Master Park Yoon Kang,’ ‘What’s up with his weird hair?’ to ‘Even his voice sounds exactly like him.’ Ha! Love her!

Although now, all important parties know who Hanjo really is, I did even like Choi Hye Won (Jun Hye Bin) is able to reel her father back in because she likes Hanjo.

While Choi Won Shin (Yoo Oh Sung) doesn’t outright go after Park Yoon Kang, we had an interesting cat and mouse scene of ‘I know who you are,’ ‘I know you know who I am’ mind play going on between two.

However, the topping on the cake is when Jung Soo In (Nam Sang Mi) visits Yoon Kang’s sister, Park Yun Ha (Kim Hyun Soo), at the temple but Yoon Kang is already there.

To keep her safe, he’s denied his identity for this long and tries to push her away again until his heart aches too much to let her go. Eeeee. Siiiigh. So that’s where the drama left us off this week.

The other story is that I really wanted to talk about history portion and specifically, the guns that are depicted in the drama. I’m not a gun person at all but I am a history buff so my first question was what period did these guns come from. 1865 was the end of the American Civil War in which soldiers were still using muskets. 15 years is not that long for what appear to be really fancy guns that I’ve witnessed on the show. Mathematically, it didn’t seem logical but it was really my curiosity that piqued my interest in finding the answers. Finally, it’s the Soompi article then subsequently the original Star News article which featured an interview with the Drama’s Firearm Specialist combined with some of my own internet research that lead to some answers below.

However for the gun/military fanatics or the history buffs like me, I found the article interesting.  It’s important to note that the drama takes place roughly around 1880’s. I say roughly because it takes place during King Gojong’s reign in his adult years and the drama also references Reformist Kim Ok Gyun’s journey to Japan. The drama seems to have taken liberties with the historic timeline so I’m going to go with sometime in the 1880’s since the First Sino-Japanese War doesn’t appear to have occurred yet.

Park Yoon Kang mainly shoots a .357 Rossi Lever-Action Rifle from Brazil which was also used 125cm in length and approximately 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg). The Rossi Firearms company was founded in 1889 in Brazil so this rifle would have had to been invented after that. Plus, it seems like this particular model was copied after the 1892 Wincester rifle. This lever-action rifle was used a lot in Spaghetti Westerns of the 1950’s and 60’s.

Next, his handgun is a German .38spl ROHM RG69 ME and 30cm long and approximately 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg). Röhm Gesellschaft is a German company that was founded in 1950. Both this revolver and the Lever-Action Rifle above were used in the movie, The Good, the Bad and the Weird.

Jung Soo In’s cute 32ACP Davis INDUSTRIES D-32 PISTOL Revolver is 500mm longs and has the approximate weight similar to a water bottle. It’s probably the most modern gun seen in the drama. Probably modeled after the guns you see in the Bond movies of the 60’s, Davis Industries was founded in the U.S. in 1982.

Choi Won Shin’s rifle is a 7.7mm Japanese Type 99 Rifle that’s 112cm long and approximately 8.2 lbs (3.7 kg). This rifle was used by Japanese soldiers in 1939.

Finally, Choi Won Shin’s men use the 7.62mm German Mauser Rifle that’s 125 cm long and approximately 8.8 lbs (4 kg) from 1908.

Many gun fanatics have pointed out that the guns are historically inaccurate but I don’t think it detracts from the storytelling at all. In fact, you can’t have Lee Jun Ki doing some fancy gun twirling and other showstopping stunts with the guns from that era so I’m completely okay with the drama taking this out of context because that’s not what’s at the heart of this story. However, it’s an interesting bit of history and for more facts about the timeline of the development of firearms, check out this PBS post:


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