K-Drama and Fortune – Park Sae-Ro-Yi

Park Sae-Ro-Yi is the leading protagonist played by Park Seo-Joon in the webtoon-adapted drama Itaewon Class that is currently running on Netflix.

Like myself, the character of Park Sae-Ro-Yi quickly capture the hearts of many viewers. The story speaks the life of the protagonist from his teenage years to adulthood. Park Sae-Ro-Yi remained composed in facing his jail time as a consequence of a rash action. He focus his energy in how to and what was needed to be done to turn his situation around after spending time in prison. This reminds me of the Strength card in Tarot. One common interpretation on the Strength card is fortitude. This fits the various situations that Park Sae-Ro-Yi often found himself. The journey from starting DanBam to the founding of Itaewon Class, Park Sae-Ro-Yi continue to face difficulties posed by his adversary. Only this time, he reacted with more wit than the usual-expected short tantrums we can observe in protagonists in other K-dramas.

Park Sae-Ro-Yi shared with Jo Yi-Seo why he had named his cafe DanBam, an out of fashion name from Jo Yi-Seo’s perespective. Park Sae-Ro-Yi explained that it was because he had trouble sleeping at night and always felt a tinge of bitterness. He hoped that patrons will find his pub a mean to lighten their bitterness. I did some google and DanBam should mean ‘half sweet’ in Korean. Park Sae-Ro-Yi’s trouble in sleeping reminds me of the 9 of Swords in Tarot. The image from the Rider-Waite (influenced) Tarot, always came across to me of a person suffering insomnia or having recurring nightmare. We are unsure now, as at episode 14, has he found peace at night with his growing business.

Park Sae-Ro-Yi has always been overwhelmed with responsibilities. This is like the 10 of Wands in Tarot. From facing the music of the assault, to taking responsibilities for the underage drinking (because the leniency done by his staff) and the other ups-and-downs that DanBam has been facing. He was always quick to step up and say ‘I am the boss, I made the call’ to comfort those who had given counsel to Park Sae-Ro-Yi in various situations but failed.

Park Sae-Ro-Yi’s love life? Well, it seems to be that it was a 4 of Cups in Tarot when he loved Oh Soo-A. Oh Soo-A was Park Sae-Ro-Yi’s first love for over a decade. I am not sure was Park Sae-Ro-Yi considered as faithful, loyal or committed with his love towards Oh Soo-A although nothing romantic ever blossomed. Or was it simply some sort of stubbornness or preference of just having things to stay the way they are, not wanting to ruffle some feathers? But as at episode 14, his realization that it was Jo Yi-Seo who occupied his mind, is a change from 4 to 8 of Cups in Tarot. The time for him to depart an old

Park Sae-Ro-Yi started his vision to beat the antagonist in this drama right when he had stepped in his prison. But he knew that he started with zilch hence working very slowly and steadily starting by using his father’s compensation fund. This reminds me of the 8 of Pentacles in Tarot which is about working steadily and continuing in the pursuit of one’s goal.

With the last 2 episodes showing these two evenings and getting knocked by a truck, will Park Sae-Ro-Yi gets the ending the fans have hope for…?