Damo (Korean: 다모/조선 여형사 다모, Hanja: 茶母/朝鮮 女刑事 茶母) is a MBC TV drama series and has been a major part of the Korean Wave both in Asia and throughout the United States. It starred Ha Ji-won, Lee Seo Jin, and Kim Min-joon. Set in Joseon Dynasty Korea, it tells the story of a young slave woman relegated to the low-status job of a policewoman who can investigate the women of the upper class. While investigating a money counterfeiting scheme she finds herself drawn romantically to the leader of a rebel group. The series, with editing techniques similar to CSI, is often favorably compared to as an ancient version of 007 or Alias.
Episode 1 In ancient Korea, rather than numbering political offices or government divisions with "first," "second," and "third," it was common to use, middle, right, and left. The use of "Left Police Bureau" and "Right Police Bureau" is not indicative of their domains over the city, but merely a numbering system in much the same way Americans have precincts and district numbers.
Episode 2 With regards to the character named "Mah Chuk Ji," Chuk Ji is NOT his true first name. His true first name is never mentioned in the Damo series. "Chuk Ji" literally means, "compress space;" more akin to a nickname like "Quick-foot Mah."
Episode 3 As explained previously, the word "damo" has a dual meaning. One is the literal meaning of tea servant. The other is the implicit understanding that "damos" in the Police Bureau were female police detectives. The drama presupposes that all people during the 17th century were aware of this dual meaning.
What is a "Damo?" Damo literally means "tea servant." These female servants were trained in the way of brewing and pouring tea. However, according to ancient Korean records, "Damos" were often used as undercover police detectives. While serving the royal class, they were given authority to investigate and solve important cases.
Jang Chae Ohk (Ha Ji Won)is the undercover "Damo." Chae Ohk learned sword fighting when she was a little girl. She is virtually unbeatable and a great asset to the law enforcement establishment. She has learned much from nature having been raised in the mountains. Straightforward and honest, she cannot stand other people's lies and dirty deeds. Despite her bravery and resolve, she finds herself falling for Sung Baek. Tragically, she must try to arrest and punish Sung Baek, not fall in love with him.
Hwang Bo Yoon (Lee Seo Jin)is a police commander. His mother was the mistress to an honorable man. Hardworking and diligent, he is lonely and does not easily show his feelings. He is very loyal to the government and adores his country people like his own family. His rivals become jealous of him as he is quickly promoted up through the ranks. He loves Chae Ohk with all his heart.
Jang Sung Baek (Kim Min Joon)is the leader of a rebel gang. Jang Sung Baek is famous for his swordsmanship. Adopted by lepers, he leaves home at age 15 and trains himself to use a sword. He leads a group to protest against a social class system that is unfair and unjust. He has a hard time seeing other peoples' points of view. He must choose between love and duty to his cause.
Long time ago in Korea, during the time of Cho-Sun Dynasty, there was a group of women called 'Da-Mo'. 'Da-Mo' is the name of the job meaning the police woman. 'Da-Mo' was regarded as the low class but they had the privilege to investigate lady's private room and interview the ladies of the high society where no man could approach. Da-Mo's who are working in the Palace were even exposed to the undergoing political intrigue.
But Da-Mo, being the low class and women, they were treated no better than the humble servants in the society. They were not free from the suffocating society full of prejudice on class and sex. This drama depicts one life of Da-Mo named Chae-Ok. She possesses the advanced idea for living which could not be accepted by the convention of the society and this is where the touching story of this drama 'The Legendary Police Woman' comes.
This Special Drama Series produced for HD TV, has been under production for 1 full year before the first air. Military Art and vast scenes of Sword Fighting will be a pleasure for eyes and the tragic love story will touch the heart of the viewers.
Chae-Ok (Acted by Ha Ji-Won)
A 23 year-old Da-Mo. Because she has been trained with sword since she was little, she is undefeatable when it comes to the using of the sword. Having been raised in the mountain she has learned much from the nature. She is straight and honest which makes her unbearable with the lies of other people. Although courageous and manly, she can not hide her soft heart and female side when she is in front of Sung-Baek. But Sung-Baek is the one she has to arrest, not to fall in love with. And this is the root of the tragic love.
Hwang-Bo (acted by Lee Seo-Jin)
A police man. His mother was the second wife to an honorable man and this has been his scar since he was small. He is sharp at his work but has lonely eyes and always thoughtful. He adores his people like his own brother but would not show his feeling outside. He is quick for promotion and this makes his rivals jealous. Consequently he becomes the target for an intrigue and ends up in a prison. He is in love with Chae-Ok. But they are from two different class, and his heart aches to see Chae-Ok's eyes are yearning while her sword is pointed at Sung-Baek.
Chang, Sung-Baek (acted by Kim Min-Joon)
30 years old and he is a famous for using his sword. He was adopted by a couple of lepers. He leaves the leper's town at age 15 and trains himself with sword until he becomes 23. He then gathers people to protest against the society where the prejudice on the class is asking for too much sacrifice of the people. He takes care of his people but he also has a cruel side of him that would never forgive anyone who does not share his thought. He feels himself falling for Chae-Ok but he also knows that loving her will ruin his big dream to destroy the corrupted world and to set up the new justice to the world.