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 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.
Hwangbo 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.