Drama obsession of the month: Jade Palace Lock Heart (宫-锁心玉)

I love the clothes, I love the cast, I love the drama, and… surprisingly, I love the hair! These actors commit to the role too: no bald pate wigs for them. Nope, they’ve shaved their heads for the roles.


A young woman finds herself mysteriously cast back in time to the era of Emperor Kang Xi and ends up a maid in the palace. Two of the Emperor’s sons (he has so many that they’re referred to by their birth order) fight for her affections.


“Jade Palace Lock Heart” is a 39-episode drama from mainland China. It also goes by the title “Gong.” Check it out!


4th Prince


8th Prince

Update! This drama is now available on Dramafever – look for “Palace”

I heard the nightingales sing at Nijojo


The beautiful palace and grounds of Nij??j?? (Nijo Castle) in Kyoto were a delightful introduction to Kyoto. School kids on field trips, tourists, and photographers made the most of a pleasantly warm and almost sunny day.


The highlight of the tour had to be the famous nightingale floors in Ninomaru Castle. Having read a fictional series, the Tales of the Otori, by Lian Hearn, describing the effect of the flooring (I recommend “Across the Nightingale Floor”), it was intriguing to hear them chirp first hand (foot?) and try (and fail) to move soundlessly down the halls in my stocking feet. No matter where I placed my steps, the floors sang out and were I an invading ninja, I’d be a goner. Unfortunately, this will be an experience that may only be described or witnessed in person as no cameras (or shoes) are allowed in the castle.


The palace grounds were also beautiful in that manicured and artfully arranged way of Japanese formal gardens. This site is indeed worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage status.

Felt like I wandered into a sageuk!

This strapping lad was one of the palace guards at Deoksugung. Didn’t move an eye muscle when I slid his picture on the iPhone surreptiously in his range of view so he could see how cool he looked. (Sure, I was tempting him, but he never cracked!) he could get a job at Buckingham Palace.


Sent from my iPhone