Ever wonder why the producer of Korean drama Deep Rooted Tree chose the name of “Deep Rooted Tree” or “Tree with Deep Roots” for the TV series? The title Deep Rooted Tree (뿌리깊은 나무) is actually derived a verse in Yongbieocheonga (Hangul: 용비어천가 Hanja: 龍飛御天歌), which literally meant The Song of the Dragon Flying to Heaven.

Yongbieocheonga is the first work that was been scripted in Korean Hangul alphabets based on Hunminjeongeum (Hangul: 훈민정음 Hanja: 訓民正音) created by King Sejong the Great. The work was produced in the form of 125 chapters of poem songs under instruction of King Sejong the Great during April of his 27th year of reign (1445), and completed in year 29th of King Sejong’s reign (1447) in 10 volumes.

Yongbiecheonga is a book that describes ancestral heritage and records of the royal family of Joseon dynasty, and include also Chinese poetry Chinese and explanatory comments. The content of the book is following every chapter is a verse of 2 to 4 lines except the first chapter with 3 lines and 125th chapter with 9 lines. Chapter 3 to 109 basically praises the outstanding achievement by China’s emperors in the first section, and second section records the deeds of Joseon dynasty’s ancestors.

The work is one of the popular ancient text in Korean history. The first line of second chapter (first chapter if according to ancient book itself) of the book in Hangul is staring with “뿌리 깊은 나무는” (in ancient text it’s 불휘 기픈 남ㄱ.ㄴ – the last word is no longer in used in modern Hangul) which is literally meant “a tree with deep roots.” There is where the Deep Rooted Tree drama gets its drama title.

Yongbieocheonga

The complete two lines verse in the second chapter of volume 1 of Yongbieocheonga are:

Hanja:

根深之木, 風亦不扤, 有灼其華, 有蕡其實
源遠之水, 旱亦不竭, 流斯爲川, 于海必達

Hangul:

뿌리가 깊은 나무는 아무리 센 바람에도 움직이지 아니하므로, 꽃이 좋고 열매도 많으니.
샘이 깊은 물은 가물음에도 끊이지 않고 솟아나므로, 내가 되어서 바다에 이르니

Ancient Text:

불휘 기픈 남ᄀᆞᆫ ᄇᆞᄅᆞ매 아니 뮐ᄊᆡ 곶 됴코 여름 하ᄂᆞ니
ᄉᆡ미 기픈 므른 ᄀᆞᄆᆞ래 아니 그츨ᄊᆡ 내히 이러 바ᄅᆞ래 가ᄂᆞ니

Translation:

A tree which roots are deep, does not shake in the winde, flowers blossom abundantly, and bears fruits.
Water which fountainhead is far away, does not dry when in drought, flows to become a stream, and surely reaches the sea.