Winter Sonata

Winter Sonata

Promotional poster
Also known as Winter Love Story
Winter Love Song
Winter Ballad
Endless Love: Winter Sonata
Genre Romance
Written by Kim Eun-hee
Yoon Eun-kyung
Oh Soo-yeon
Directed by Yoon Seok-ho
Starring Bae Yong-joon
Choi Ji-woo
Opening theme From the Beginning to End by Ryu
Ending theme From the Beginning to End by Ryu
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 20
Producer(s) Lee Hyung-min
Location(s) Seoul, Namiseom
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 60 minutes
Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 (KST)
Original network KBS2
Picture format SDTV (480i 4:3)
PAL (576i 4:3)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Datasat Digital 5.1
Sony Digital 5.1
Original release January 14 (2002-01-14) – March 19, 2002 (2002-03-19)
Preceded by Mina
Followed by Sunshine Hunting
Related shows Autumn in My Heart
Summer Scent
Spring Waltz
External links
Winter Sonata
Hangul 겨울연가
Hanja 겨울
Revised Romanization Gyeoul yeonga
McCune–Reischauer Kyŏul yŏn'ga

Winter Sonata (Hangul: 겨울연가; RR: Gyeoul Yeonga; also known as Winter Love Story, Winter Love Song or Winter Ballad) is a South Korean television drama series that aired on KBS2 in 2002. The second part of the season-themed Endless Love series directed by Yoon Seok-ho, it stars Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo. Filming primarily took place on the resort island of Namiseom and Seoul.

It is widely considered to be the Korean drama that launched the Korean Wave throughout Asia and worldwide.[1] It has also been adapted into an anime series and a stage musical.


The story begins when Joon-sang, the son of an eminent musician, moves to Chuncheon, a rural city in South Korea. As an extraordinarily talented student, Joon-sang is welcomed by his fellow students as well as his teachers, but remains a quiet, introverted teenager. As he intends to find out about his biological father, whom his mother claims has died, his search to find out more about his father is what made him want to move to the province. Having an identity crisis in adolescence because of the father he has never met, and blaming his mother for this, Joon-sang believes that no one truly loves him.

On his way to school one day, Joon-sang's classmate Yoo-jin, while sitting next to him on the bus, falls asleep on his shoulder. Joon-sang soon falls in love with Yoo-jin, who opens her innocent heart to him. Their love, however, is cut short after Joon-sang is seriously injured in a car accident and, due to brain damage, suffers from amnesia, unable to remember anything prior to his accident.

Joon-sang's mother, yearning for Joon-sang's love and respect, has Joon-sang brainwashed by a psychologist, so that Joon-sang will not remember his painful childhood as an illegitimate child. As a result, Joon-sang's memories prior to the accident are erased. Joon-sang's mother decides to move to the United States with Joon-sang, where he can start a new life under the identity of Lee Min-hyeong. His friends and teachers are told that Joon-sang is dead.

Ten years later, Min-hyeong is an award-winning architect in the United States. He does not remember anything about his life in Korea. He is completely different, an open-minded person who cares about other people, including his mother. He returns to Korea and Yoo-jin sees him on the street, prompting her to put off her engagement to her childhood friend Sang-hyeok. Little does she know that Min-hyeong is dating her friend and past rival Chae-rin. The story's plot thickens when Yoo-jin's interior design firm is awarded a project by Min-hyeong's architectural firm, and has to work with Min-hyeong. Yoo-jin sometimes wonders if he is her supposedly dead first love Joon-sang.



Winter Sonata park at Namiseom

Winter Sonata is credited with causing the second wave of the Korean Wave and extending it to Japan and the Philippines.[2] It improved the image of South Korea among the Japanese and set fashion trends throughout East Asia.[2] The series was a commercial success; 330,000 DVDs and 1,200,000 copies of Winter Sonata novelizations were sold.[1] The series yielded more than US$27 billion when taking into account the profit it contributed to tourism.[2] The number of visitors to the island of Namiseom (where the series was shot) grew from 250,000 to over 650,000 after the series was aired.[3] A statue of the main characters can also be found on the island at the spot where they first kissed.[3][4]

The series shot actor Bae Yong-joon into stardom in Asia, and he became especially popular among middle-aged Japanese women.[1] When he first visited Japan in 2004, more than 3,000 women guarded by 350 policemen gathered at the airport to welcome him.[1] Junichiro Koizumi, the Japanese prime minister at the time, was quoted saying that Bae was more popular in Japan than himself.[1]

The series was also aired in the Philippines in 2003 via GMA Network's primetime block under the title Endless Love II: Winter Sonata and one of the highest rated shows at that time, it also brought the Korean Wave to the Philippines, just like in Japan Bae Yong-joon also became popular among Middle-aged women.

The series was a success in a number of other Asian and American countries as well.[5]


Date Episode Nationwide
2002-01-14 1 16.3%
2002-01-15 2 16.6%
2002-01-21 3 19.2%
2002-01-22 4 21.5%
2002-01-28 5 21.2%
2002-01-29 6 24.1%
2002-02-04 7 27.2%
2002-02-05 8 26.3%
2002-02-11 9 17.8%
2002-02-12 10 16.7%
2002-02-18 11 26.4%
2002-02-19 12 27.0%
2002-02-25 13 27.6%
2002-02-26 14 28.8%
2002-03-04 15 26.4%
2002-03-05 16 26.4%
2002-03-11 17 23.3%
2002-03-12 18 22.4%
2002-03-18 19 23.7%
2002-03-19 20 24.5%
Average 23.1%


  1. 처음부터 지금까지 Cheoeumbuteo Jigeumkkaji (From the Beginning Until Now) - performed by Ryu (류)
  2. "My Memory" - performed by Ryu
  3. 처음 Cheoeum (First Time)
  4. 그대만이 Geudaeman'i (Only You) - performed by Ryu
  5. 처음부터 지금까지 Cheoeumbuteo Jigeumkkaji (From the Beginning Until Now) - instrumental version
  6. "My Memory" - piano and violin version
  7. 보낼 수 없는 사랑 Ponael Su Eobsneun Sarang (The Love I Cannot Send) - performed by Seon (선)
  8. 시작 Shijak (The Beginning)
  9. 그대만이 Geudaeman'i (Only You) - piano and violin version
  10. "My Memory" - piano version
  11. 잊지마 Itjima (Don't Forget) - performed by Ryu
  12. 기억속으로 Gieoksog'euro (Inside the Memories)
  13. 연인 Yeon'in (Lover) - performed by Ryu
  14. 제비꽃 Jebikkoch (Violet) - performed by Ryu
  15. 그대만이 Geudaeman'i (Only You) - piano version
  16. 처음 Cheoeum (First Time) - piano version
  17. 제비꽃 Jebikkoch (Violet) - instrumental
  18. "Love Hurts" - Yiruma (Ep 1)
  19. "When The Love Falls" - Yiruma (Ep 2)

In addition, "Moment" performed by Ryu and available on his album Ryu 2 is included on some bootleg versions of the Winter Sonata soundtrack.

Reairings and international broadcast

The drama first aired in Japan on NHK in 2004; it was dubbed in Japanese and edited into 60-minute episodes. The final episode (which aired on August 23, 2004) recorded ratings of 20.6% in Kanto, 22.5% in Nagoya, and 23.8% in the Kansai regions. The series as a whole had an average viewership in the 14% to 15% range. Due to overwhelming demand from viewers to watch the series in its original format, it was re-aired on NHK's satellite channel BS2 unedited (in its original Korean audio, with Japanese subtitles), beginning December 20, 2004.[6]

It was the first Korean drama that ushered in the Korean Wave in Malaysia, when it aired in 2002 on TV3 dubbed in Mandarin with Malay subtitles. PMP Entertainment later released the drama in VCD and DVD format under the Bahasa title, Kisah Cinta Musim Salji (meaning "Winter Love Story"). A Malay cover version of the theme song was released with the title "Sonata Musim Salju" (meaning "Winter's Sonata").

The drama aired in Nepal on Kantipur Television Network in the mid-2000s dubbed in Nepali. The drama triggered the Korean Wave in the country and its lead star Bae Yong-joon became very popular amongst women in the country.[7]

In 2006, pan-Asian American network AZN Television bought the rights to air Winter Sonata in a 24-hour marathon with other Korean dramas.[8]


An anime adaptation of Winter Sonata premiered on Japan's SKY PerfecTV! on October 17, 2009, consisting of 26 episodes subtitled in Japanese. Directed by Ahn Jae-hoon and written by Kim Hyeong-wan, the program featured 23 members of the original Korean cast voicing the characters, including Bae and Choi who reprised their roles. The role of "Sang-hyeok", originally played by Park Yong-ha, was voiced by singer Kang Yo-hwan and "Chae-rin" was dubbed by newcomer Lee Se-na in place of Park Sol-mi.[9][10][11][12] During October 2011, Animax Asia aired the anime in Korean audio and English subtitles across South and Southeast Asia.

Voice cast

Korean version

Japanese version

Episode list

Episode Date Title
0 "Prologue"
1 2009-10-17 "Black and White Photo"
2 2009-10-24 "Kingdom of Shadows"
3 2009-10-31 "First Time"
4 2009-11-07 "The Promise That Couldn't Be Kept"
5 2009-11-14 "Was Seeing You Just A Dream?"
6 2009-11-21 "The Woman Who Can't Forget Her First Love"
7 2009-11-28 "The Man Who Can't Remember Her"
8 2009-12-05 "Lie"
9 2009-12-12 "Me, Inside the Forgotten Time"
10 2009-12-19 "Me, Inside the Forgotten Time Part 2"
11 2009-12-26 "When First Love Call On Me Again"
12 2010-01-09 "A Love That's Waited Ten Years"
13 2010-01-16 "An Empty Name"
14 2010-01-23 "Polaris"
15 2010-01-30 "The Last Fragment of Memory"
16 2010-02-13 "The Last Fragment of Memory Part 2"
17 2010-02-20 "Our First and Our Last Ocean"
18 2010-02-27 "Everything Disappears as Winter Fades Away"
19 2010-03-06 "As Tears Go By"
20 2010-03-13 "The Impossible House"
21 2010-03-20 "The Traveler's Heart, Renewed"
22 2010-03-27 "First Love"
23 2010-04-10 "First Love Part 2"
24 2010-04-17 "A Winter of Shadow Pale"
25 2010-04-24 "From the Beginning Until Now"
26 2010-05-01 "Hidden Track - Eternal Love"


Version 1

  1. 最初から今まで Saisho kara Imamade (From the Beginning until now) - Instrumental 2009
  2. サラハムニダ:初めて2 Saraghamunida:Hajimete 2 (Sarahamnida:First Time 2)
  3. たった一歩だけでも Tatta Ippo dake demo (Only One Step Alone)
  4. いつでもただ君だけを Itsudemo Tada Kimi dake o (Forever for Her) - performed by Lee Se-Jun (Ending)
  5. 聞きなれない声 Kiki Narenai koe (Not used to hearing voice)
  6. 凍りついた視線 Kori Tsuita Shisen (Frozen eye)
  7. To My Dearest
  8. サラハムニダ:初めて2 (New Age Ver.) Saraghamunida:Hajimete 2 (New Age Ver.) (Sarahamnida:First Time 2 New Age Ver.)
  9. 逢いたい Aitai (I miss you) - performed by Yoo Hae-joon
  10. Mystery Episodes
  11. 氷の湖 kori no mizumi (Ice lake)
  12. RUN
  13. ソナタ(恋歌) Sonata - performed by Kang Yo-hwan
  14. 最初から今まで Saisho kara Imamade (From the Beginning until now) - performed by Ryu (Opening)

Version 2

  1. 雪の森 Yuki no Mori (Snow Wood)
  2. サラハムニダ:初めて2 (Humming Ver.) Saraghamunida:Hajimete 2 (Humming Ver.) (Sarahamnida:First Time 2 Humming Ver.)
  3. 届かない想い Todo Kanai Omoi (Feelings Do Not Receive) - performed by Kang Yo-hwan
  4. 真冬の散歩道 Mafuyu no Sanpo michi (Winter Walking Road)
  5. 記憶と願い Kioku to Negai (Memory and Wish)
  6. 踊らないオルゴール Odoranai Orugoru (Music Box Do not Dance)
  7. サラハムニダ:初めて2 (Clarinet Ver.) Saraghamunida:Hajimete 2 (Clarinet Ver.) (Sarahamnida:First Time 2 Clarinet Ver.)
  8. Polaris
  9. 思い出づくり Omoide Zukuri (Making Memory)
  10. Invisible Love
  11. サラハムニダ:初めて2 (Classic Ver.) Saraghamunida:Hajimete 2 (Classic Ver.) (Sarahamnida:First Time 2 Classic Ver.)
  12. ソナタ(恋歌)(Strings Inst Ver.) Sonata (Strings Inst Ver.)
  13. 君と永遠に kimi to eien ni (With you forever) - performed by Shin Min-chul (T-Max)
  14. Believe You - performed by Yoonji

Documentary cast (episode 26)

Musical theatre

Winter Sonata marked its 10th year milestone with a staging of a new musical adaptation that ran from September 27, 2011 to March 18, 2012.[13][14] Yoon Seok-ho was the producer and art director, with stage direction by Yoo Hee-sung (Mozart!, Pimagol Love Song) and musical score by Oh Eun-hee (Dae Jang Geum, Singin' in the Rain). The leading role of Yoo-jin was portrayed by musical actress Choi Soo-jin.[15]

The Winter Sonata musical first premiered in 2006 in several cities in Japan, including Sapporo, Tokyo and Osaka, and popular crossover tenor Im Tae-kyung drew crowds.[16] It also completed a run in Busan and Seoul, from late 2010 to early 2011, with stage direction by Im Do-wan (Woyzeck) and musical score by Lee Ji-soo.[17]






  1. Overture
  2. Endless Song - performed by Park Hong-joo
  3. My great Proposal - performed by Lee Pil-sung
  4. I will be always waiting for you - performed by Lee Pil-sung
  5. I'm your girl - performed by Jiny
  6. Confusion - performed by Lee Sang-hyeon
  7. Light of the life - performed by Shin Bok-ja
  8. Is this love - performed by Im Tae-kyung
  9. Can't Love Another Day + I won't alone - performed by Lee Sang-hyeon
  10. For your memory - performed by Im Tae-kyung
  11. Now I Remember - performed by Im Tae-kyung
  12. Eternal Love - performed by Lee Sang-hyung
  13. Missing you - performed by Lee Pil-sung
  14. Remember - performed by Lee Sang-hyeon
  15. My Memory - performed by Im Tae-kyung


A Japanese comic has also been published of this story, using photos of the series as covers.

1ISBN 4776713292Published: 2004/7/8
2ISBN 4776713306Published: 2004/7/8
3ISBN 4776713314Published: 2004/8/20
4ISBN 4776714167Published: 2004/10/20
5ISBN 4776714493Published: 2004/12/20
6ISBN 4776715554Published: 2005/3/1
7ISBN 4776715848Published: 2005/4/28
8ISBN 4776716550Published: 2005/6/30

In episode 5 of Da Capo II's first season (aired October 29, 2007), two main characters go to a movie called Fuyu no Anata (冬のアナタ), which is clearly Fuyu no Sonata (both share the same font and characters). One of the Fuyu no Anata posters visible in the Da Capo anime episode looks exactly like the first Fuyu no Sonata manga cover.

An Indonesian remake was titled Moy I Love You.

In the Family Guy episode Candy, Quahog Marshmallow, Peter, Cleveland and Joe become obsessed with a Korean drama called Winter Summer, a parody of Winter Sonata.[18]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Lee, Claire (30 December 2011). "Remembering Winter Sonata, the start of hallyu". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  2. 1 2 3 Lee, Diana (31 January 2005). "Winter Sonata Fever". UNIORB. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  3. 1 2 Park, Min-young (10 January 2012). "K-drama fever impacts other industries". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  4. "Nami Island immersed in another Winter Sonata". Gyeonggi-do English Blog. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  5. Mukasa, Edwina (15 December 2011). "Bored by Cowell pop? Try K-pop". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  6. "Japanese Satellite Channel to Air Winter Sonata No-Cut". KBS Global. 3 November 2004. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  9. Lee, Hyo-won (30 May 2008). "Bae, Choi to Voice Winter Sonata Cartoon". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  10. Choi, Ji-eun (29 September 2009). "A reunion in 7 years: Yonsama and Jiwoohime". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  11. ""Yonsama" greeted by fans and white handkerchiefs". 10Asia. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  12. Kim, Lynn (2 February 2010). "Bae Yong-joon, Choi Ji-woo reunite for Winter Sonata anime". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  13. Hong, Lucia (2 September 2011). "Winter Sonata celebrates 10 year anniversary with new musical adaptation". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  14. "Choi Ji Woo: 'I Miss Park Yong Ha'". KBS Global. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  15. Park, Hyun-min (9 October 2011). "Girls' Generation Watch Winter Sonata Musical". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  16. Lee, Yong-sung (13 February 2006). "Television drama producer finds stage just as rewarding". The Korea Herald via Hancinema. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  17. Hong, Lucia (16 June 2010). "Winter Sonata musical to open in Korea in December". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  18. Nguyen, Nhu. "Family Guy parodies K-dramas and K-pop in latest episode". DramaFever. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
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