Friday, December 01, 2006

A Most Special Love (Book) English Translation

In 2001, LYA published her autobiography “A Most Special Love” 《最特別的愛》 and donated all the income from the sale of the book to charity. A Hong Kong fan, Alice, translated some of content from a Chinese book. I only corrected the obvious spelling and grammatical errors in order to keep the originality of the translation. The official fansite is

P.18-20 Beginning


I grew up in the district of Oksu; however Oksu is now covering by modern apartment buildings and high-rise buildings as the result of city development. I can only reminisce my childhood district by the underground railway and bus stations' name, it looks very different. The scene belonged to my childhood was gone. This feeling is like the feeling between people and their home town, Oksu is the home of my feeling.

* Oksu is a district name of Seoul, on the north shore of Han River.

My apartment was located on the slope, behind it, there were little mountains and trees, these places provided me a natural playground.

After school, we rushed home to dump our schoolbags then ran to gather over there.
We played with insects after climbing on the trees. There was a big project for us; we were looking for the unknown caves. Oh! We were excited by these unknown and mystic caves.

My brother told me there were caves on the mountain.
I answered,"Cave?" My brother said, "Yup, a cave."
I was wondering what the cave is like.

My best childhood buddy told me,” Yes, just like the stomach of a whale, a humid and dark place. Pinocchio was fallen into whale's stomach, it's like a cave."
It sounded mystic yet amazing for me.

End up, we could find the cave but it's not dark and mystic. My buddies were so happy but I was very disappointed, it's far from my imagination.

In my reminiscence, a group of kids in the same neighborhood discovered and played until evening, this simple pleasure is very treasurable.

P.21 -23 A Starving Girl who stole a piece of cake (after a whole day exploration)

After these exciting kid's games, I felt so hungry. One day, we were like the wicked fellows to glance each other, and then we stole a few pieces of cakes from a grocery store nearby in a very quick motion. In fact, the owner of the store heard our noise, however we ran far away with ultimate speed like an Olympic game runner.

The stolen cake seemed especially delicious, I made sure there was not any cake flour left on my lips and cheek before going home, we pretended there was nothing happen. Then I had a good sleep after the whole day exploration.

However, I heard some noise. Oh! My God, the owner of the grocery store was chatting with my mom. I thought, "Oh no!"

She was a friend of my mom; she stopped by my place to chat with my mom occasionally. I knew what I had been doing, neither was I the one to initiate to steal, nor I was the only one to have eaten the cake, but the guilty feeling was there. How could she know I did it? She might be able to recognize me, so I was pretending to sleep.

“Strange. I was watching TV inside the store. I heard some noise so I went out to see, these kids ran like crazy, they looked like the kids of our neighborhood, but I am not sure who they are. How do you think about that?" The owner told my mom.

My mom," Shouldn't be the kids in our neighborhood, in this neighborhood, the kids would not be thieves. Maybe you are wrong, they are naughty but they would not steal things...."

After this incident, I felt very uncomfortable and have felt very guilty. I have thought about paying back the money and saying sorry to her. However, the owner of the grocery store moved, I was very disappointed; this guilty feeling became my company for years.

After being a high school student, I admitted to my mom that I did steal the cake. It's too late but I felt more comfortable to have admitted to my mom. My mom was surprised by me, she got nothing to say.

P.24 Another Confession

One day, we saw the smoke behind the garbage truck, so we chased the smoke to see where it came from. Wow...I saw a kid who had a small white stick between fingers; he blew out the white smoke. We found it interesting, we were amazed by this small white burning stick, and the kid sucked the white stick and blew out white smoke. I couldn't remember who initiated to try this little white stick but we all wanted to at least try once. After a while, everyone blew out the white smoke from their mouths. I thought this was cigarette.

I really miss my Oksu Childhood, a group of kids who were playing all kinds of forbidden games; the memory of childhood seems remote.

P.25 A Game Better than toys and dolls

My parents have had two sons, in fact I'm an unexpected one in my family. I am the youngest daughter at home; soon I became a spoiled one in my family.

However, I found a game which is much more interesting than playing with the dolls, it's boxing. I imitated the renown Korean boxing star to fight with my brothers. Of course, my two elder brothers became my boxing coach. You know what? I soon became the boxing queen in my community. How could I win? I used my fingers and my forehead to fight. I fought with my buddies all the time; we would never give each other easy time. As a result, my arms, knees, legs and face were filled with scars; I have thought these were the glory in my childhood.

As I mentioned before, I am an unexpected kid at home and caught the whole family's attention. My parents have various expectations upon my birth, so there was an episode on giving me a name. I used my father's given name "Young Ae" at school; I used my mother's given name (I need to check with the Korean book to fill it in) at home. However I didn't like either one, so I decided to name myself upon a Korean flower name Na Ri, so I called myself Lee Na Ri. I was very glad to have a name like this.

P.217-218 My Ten Years’ Dream: To visit Europe


I must leave my routine life and start my backpacker’s travel after the shooting of . I was longing to visit Europe during college period; however my parents would worry about me, so I kept on delaying my travel plan. When I started to shoot , the transit city was London, so I decided to start my European visit from England.

After the shooting job was done, I was feeling exhausted, the hot desert sands seemed to stay on my body. I believe, only a relax and free trip could relieve me from the weary in my body and soul. This trip could also fulfill my ten years’ travel dream.

The first destiny is England; my company was my stylist (not Miss Ma). We flew from Morocco to England in early October.

We would like to experience the romantic and academic atmosphere, so we went straight ahead towards Cambridge. As Oxford University, Cambridge is one of the most renown colleges in the world.

Cambridge consists of 35 colleges; the campus itself is big like a town. The Cam River flows behind the colleges, we could see the antique buildings around town, the red maple leaves over there is the embellishment of the European natural charisma.

Walking there all the time would be tiring, so we rented the bikes to sight see this academic town. We were slowing down our pedals on the shore of Cam River, we were experiencing Europe. In the evening, we found a B&B, B&B means a motel with bed and breakfast. We were very tired after a whole day travel.

The next morning, we had traditional English breakfast, muffins, toasts and coffee.
We found an old building, this is Trinity College. (I’m afraid the Chinese version has made mistake, it wrote Duke University. From what I know, Duke University is in the US instead of England)

P.251-253 No More Foreigners


We finished up our short Italy trip. We had to rush for the flight so we left Rome (the capital of history and arts) in a great hurry, and we had to fly back to England. This trip fulfilled the backpacker's travel dream in my college period. The unforgettable scenic spots often flashed back in my mind. Up till now, I would keep contact with my company of this trip, she's my stylist. In fact, we often had quarrels during the trip, we shared some sweet memory in this European trip!

We started the trip from Morocco, the route was England, Holland, Italy, France and Germany, and I became much healthier after the trip. My legs became more energetic, I could eat all kinds of food and I've got healthy tanning during the trip. Not only that, I felt like I could cope with any challenge, and I started to believe I could live in anywhere of the world.

I have been building up close friendship with my stylist after many quarrels in the trip. I have won so much back in this precious trip and I hope I will never lose it.

Friends, set your feet for backpacker's travel in our global village!

When I was young, I thought there's only one country in the world, Korea. For the United States or Japan, I used to think those countries were existed on the other planets. It sounds like a joke but the world is so big, many kinds of living style did amaze me.

I would like to suggest the young fellows as well as those who think travel is simply an ornament in life to go on backpacker's travel trip. Even though you may not have a lot of money but it doesn't matter, go to a few countries to feel the difference in culture, then you would understand how lucky we are; other than that, you could taste different kinds of food and try different kinds of language; moreover, you can experience the different value systems and mentality. In this big and colorful world, we are so little.

I know what did I want, and I felt comfortable to melt into the culture and living style there. I did worry about that, but I knew I was worrying too much.

Oh! I could even hear the Salute D'amore by Elgar, it's the violin street performance I heard in Cologne Plaza, and I could still recall it after years. To another extend, my short trip also brought the warmth to the people there. After the trip, I discover we should bring our love to all men without the barrier of national borders.

No matter where we go, there is only one globe and one world, there is no more foreigners, and nobody should feel foreign in the world. I deeply think even we look different and we still can use our heart, our eyes to communicate, we still can bring our love to others.


"It's clean, it's attractive" The Korean wine advertisement slogan
After I accepted the offer of an alcohol advertisement, the media had keen discussion about that, and I had got many interview invitations. I feel proud of my middle class upbringing and have not hesitated to receive the offer of an advertisement because many working class Koreans love Soju (Korean traditional wine). Even it's an advertisement of wine but the image matched my previous CF of make-up (as an oxygen lady), the advertisement was well received by the consumers. According to the marketing survey of the advertisement company, the consumers were not surprised by my wine advertisement.

The slogan of the advertisement ------- "It's clean, it's attractive"
It continued my purity image in the previous CF and dramas, the oxygen lady image also helped the consumers to accept the clean and pure image of the wine. To a certain extent, the purity image helps building up a new perspective of drinking for Koreans.

The poster of the advertisement did not have any drinking photo of mine but a clean face without any make-up. We could not shoot a CF because the wine consisted with more than 17% alcohol, so the CF would not be able to show in TV according the law.

I have fair skin so I worried to look imperfect without make-up, but the photographer (I only had the Chinese name) did a very good job.

After writing about this wine advertisement, I must share how I feel about wine. Chinese said wine is good for health but I think the Tao theory about wine is also correct, alcoholic would destroy health and family.


When I was a new actress, I had thought about avoiding the gathering of drinking. However the crew of the TV or movie invited me, I would not insist to avoid, and I would join them to drink. As a woman, I would not say I love to drink but rather I love the atmosphere of drinking. Anyhow, drinking a little bit is ok, never drink too much!

I like cocktail. The mixing of cocktail is an interesting thing, and the alcohol percentage is low, so I like it and I would not get drunk easily. I also like the (Soju Korea traditional wine) party, sipping the clear wine, my throat could feel the real taste of it.

If I go out with my close friends, I don't mind to drink thick wine. I enjoy pouring wine for others while they pour wine for me.

For beer, even just a sip, I feel very full and the calorie of beer is high, I feel like I would get fat right away, so I do not really enjoy beer much. For Western wine, the wine smells really good but it seems too heavy for my taste.

When I drank with a group of people, they were often surprised by my way of drinking. I drank without hesitation. They would have all kinds of surprising facial gesture. I guess it's because my image in the serial dramas and CF misled them. I could sure the traditional Korean wine sharing atmosphere with friends in an old wine pub or the food hawker's stands is the best among all kinds of wine. If I drink the oyster soup afterwards, I feel very good.

P.131 The Eternal Light

When I was a college students, I majored in German Literature because I was interested in German philosophy (especially the existentialism); it's the reason I picked the German Literature. Life and death seem two different worlds in our lives but life and death can make lives complete.

A few years ago, my friend had a fatal accident; I could not quite perceive this idea of life. Before the death of my friend, I had vague idea of death. When I could not sleep well, when I was lying on the bed alone, I felt a horror like the midnight clock clicking sound. The death seemed to come towards me. We all have to cope with death, however before the death of my friend, death seemed something unperceivable.

I was very angry because my friend died in a young age.

Some people was living an easy going life and died peacefully while some people struggled throughout all their lives and even had fatal accidents. Is it fair? Is God really in charge?

P.111-113 Two Favorite Books


What time was it? The old memory seems a fading color newspaper. When I was a new actress, I thought I could only do very little because I was an inexperienced actress just like a green bird. At that time, I had no manager, I had to bring all the clothes to places for shooting and also I had to call taxi by myself. I would like to find a helper, but I could not find anyone to help, these days were.......

One day, I took taxi home, I was looking outside from the cab, I turned my head and saw my own face in the mirror, and I was surprised by my grey, fatigued face. Why? Why did I get involved in this profession? Everybody was sleeping but I kept on going places. I tried to find my own way to protect myself and I tried my best to endure the frustration and hurt from my job. My tears could not help falling down.

I started to develop a reading habit during my free time. My curiosity strives me to read more.

1. Monk 법정's "Possess Nothing"(The book's name)
It's a book like green tea, even after a while, the fragrance is still there. It's a classic in my book list.

After working for a while, the interpersonal relationship had been a hectic issue for me. The book "Possess Nothing" helped me a great deal in the elimination of the desire; the book always reminds me what the most essential thing in life is.

After reading this book, I found I have already possessed a lot, maybe even too much. For example, I am suitable to be an actress as well as a CF model, this is obviously the grace of my parents, they enabled me to grow up without much obstacles; I was lucky to have many performing opportunities, so far I have not had much frustration in my life. I should live a thanks giving life. The simplicity spirit of this book always reminds me I should satisfy with what I have, sometimes I also feel shame due to the kind concern from many individuals for which I could never pay back. One more point I perceived from this book, lucky or not, it's not so much matter on having more or less materials. I have already experienced the tragedy of being rich may be more terrible than the tragedy of being poor.

I feel deeply inside, the tragedy of rich people can be more terrible than the tragedy of poor people. As I traveled to places like Africa and India, the difference in value systems, the living style of them is very different. Even they don't possess a lot, they can live a thanks giving life. they can be very lucky and happy. I met some authentic Africans; I could tell they are happy by their body movement and facial gesture. Human being is a greedy creature, if one can take away the obsessive desire and obstinacy, the world would become a larger and open world.

Comparing with the people in my age, I am surely a lucky one to have a healthy family and a safe apartment, and my income is comparatively higher than many people. Being a public figure, sometimes it brings me inconvenience, but often it's also a luck to be recognized by many people. In the cafe, some strangers (for me) treat me nicely, their hospitality always impress me.

However, I started to be indifferent for all the hospitality from other people, I take it for granted. Like my fans, they keep on writing letters, sending gifts to me. After reading this book, I feel ashamed of myself.

Everybody has an experience to be obstinacy to push ourselves to a dead corner. I am neither a philosopher nor Buddhist, but in front of the obstinacy, we always have a choice to step our feet back to have a space to look at things with an easy going attitude. We don't have to push ourselves to a dead corner. Right now, even I may lose something but I would not feel horrible about that and let go, I guess sooner or later, it would come back; or it may be useful for others if it does not come back to me.

Of course, life is not that simple, it's not like reading a book, then "click", you understand everything, but surely this book helps me to be a more easy-going person.

Information of the other book called "Norwegian Wood" by Haruli Murakami
(The novel is a nostalgic story of loss and sexuality. The story's protagonist and narrator is Toru Watanabe, who looks back on his days as a freshman university student living in Tokyo. Through Toru's reminiscences we see him develop relationships with two very different women — the beautiful yet emotionally troubled Naoko, and the outgoing, lively Midori.

The novel is set in Tokyo the late 1960s, a time when Japanese students, like those of many other nations, were protesting against the established order. While it serves as the backdrop against which the events of the novel unfold, Murakami (through the eyes of Toru and Midori) portrays the student movement as largely weak-willed and hypocritical.

Norwegian Wood was hugely popular with Japanese youth and made Murakami somewhat of a superstar in his native country (apparently much to his dismay at the time). In translation it is also one of the most read Japanese novels in the Western Hemisphere.)

Whenever I could not get to sleep, this book was my company.

Sometimes I would turn my watch back, I tried to think back 10 years ago, the time I was 20.What did I expect when I was 20? My current self reviews my obstinacy 10 years ago, I may find myself silly. The ongoing life, sometimes I feel tired and lonely, I would think,” Did I set my priority right? I tried to find my pure self back from the mess.

After a long day shooting, sometimes I can't get to sleep easily. My body was very tired but my mind was clear. Sometimes, I worry about tomorrow's job, then I can't get to sleep as well.

My best friends seem so far away. Sometimes my relatives leave and sometimes my friend die, I can never escape, but I must overcome the pain, and find an exit of my spirit. The Norwegian Wood is a spring of intelligence for me.

The human nature is like a tree among the wood, it stands among many individuals, and it feels the lonely existence. This book shows people the way to get through the wall of loneliness. We can get through the desperation and frustration. When I am down, I love to read this book.

This novel is a revelation of the sadness and happiness of youth.

Whenever I have doubt of myself, I remember a sentence of this book," Don't take everything serious, it may not be a big deal. All the matters must keep a distance from you."

Murakami shows us the love, pain, emptiness, loneliness and wait between different entities. Nature of youth is sadness and infirmity. All the suffering reminiscences often flash back at midnight just like a sentence from a song (Norwegian Wood) of Beatles," And when I awoke I was alone. This bird (the girl he met) had flown." However I strongly believe the overcome of isolation is on the right track of being meaningful and happy.

When I was younger, I was immature and vulnerable, even hope and love can be my hurt. It’s a dilemma; feeling lonely is painful, if I choose to love but not to be able to fully in love with each other, it's also a regret. The unknown future, I feel quite lost sometime.....

I was immersed into the exciting stories of the novel, I was attracted by the personality of the roles in different stories. This book grants me courage and energy to face the suffering in life.

We can't gain power from the suffering memories, the stories of youth is like the plants, the touching moments like waves in my heart.


My hairy little fat dog with brown spots is called 57. The name is a little bit strange, isn't it?

My dog joined my family on the 7th, May 1995, that's why we called him 57. At first it's a gift for my parents for the Parents Festival, so that the dog could be a company of them while I was at work. My father loved it at the moment he first saw it but my mother.......

My dog ran from here to there and from there to here, the hair of my dog flew everywhere, my mother had to take care of the mess by this baby dog 57. I felt so sorry to give her more trouble than I thought, at first, I just thought to buy a cute little dog and did not know how hard it could be to take care of a naughty baby dog. I thought, "If my mom decide to give it to somebody, I would not oppose....." so I did keep a distance. I did not want to be too close to my dog. (My own opinion: Sorry, Young Ae....that's you, a dog is like a person, when you both know each other so well, it might be the moment to separate...the end of one's life)

However...after a few days, 57 soon became my family member. My mother took care of her whenever she heard its noise, she helped 57 to take shower and blew dry and brushed its hair.

When 57 was young, he had many little problems and he's a frequent visitor of Animal's Hospital. 57 not only caught the attention of my parents but also the attention of my brother and his wife, also the visitors of my home. Whenever I came home, 57 ran out to welcome me back.

This little thing would never hide his own emotions like human being, all his emotions showed clearly on his body gesture. 57 was like a guard to watch over me outside of my room, he loved to sleep outside of my room and waited for me. The next day's morning, whenever I open the door, it would run to lick my face and hands. Sometimes I slept later than usual, 57 kicked my door to see what was I doing, I pretended I was still sleeping to see what he did next. I opened the door a little bit to see what he is doing. Oh! He totally forgot and played his own games like tearing the leaves of my mom's plants or biting the corner of the daily newspaper on the floor. Even 57 was quite naught, my parents still loved him so much, nobody would blame him for the little mistakes, my whole apartment became the front stage of my "57".

It became bigger and bigger, he did not look like when it first came to my home anymore. I guess my dog did envy my niece, Ha- Gyeong. My brother gave birth of their first kid. For our whole family, the new born niece was a treasurable new member, she is the first kid in the third generation. My brother's family had long expected such a kid. For me, she seemed a mirror of my childhood, she looked like the young Young Ae.

Usually a baby is born with expectation. In the four million-years history of human being, a new life came to the unknown world and this new life have to work hard to know the world, I looked at the baby carefully to praise this lovely creation secret, the substance of a new life was leaning on me.

The change of my family's atmosphere, my little 57 felt some frustration, I did ignore him and rushed to see the baby niece. If she wasn't home, I would call my brother's home and hear her noise, my heart would be comforted even by hearing her noise. My niece caught all the attention of my family, the poor 57 was ignored all the time. My smart dog did all kind of awkward things to catch the attention back, but I could tell you ahead, he was failed.

57 treated my niece as his rival, once upon a time he was the only spoiled "kid" at home but my niece soon stole all his attention. 57 was naughty but he had never been a danger for anyone, however he bite my mom's ankle occasionally or barked at my niece. My family worried that he would hurt my niece so they started to scold him for mistakes.

Afterwards, he started to eat a lot and treated the visitors more cordial than me when they came into my apartment. Not only that, he sat on the lap of the visitors, so this little cute hairy dog tried extremely hard to please our guests, however when they wanted to leave, they had to tolerate him since he chased them after, my mom could not help to scold him, "You can't behave like this, this is impolite, you will make people dislike you."

My 57 and jealous Ha- Gyeong became our family talk's major topic

After the birth of Ha-Gyeong, 57 became a hectic issue of my family, my mom often scolded him and I felt uneasy about that, a jealous dog could be a danger and his strange behaviors were funny. Not too long later, there was another more interesting thing happened. Ha- Gyeong's little brother was born, we found the level of her jealousy is similar to 57, she forced herself to dress in her little brother's clothes(obviously those were too small for her). She struck the baby and ran away or wanted people to embrace her while other was embracing the baby. She reminded me the jealousy of 57.

Lately, the family gathering seems closer, the family members are increasing. The living room has no longer silent like before. After dinner, we were eating water melon, the noises of sharing and China wares as well as my naughty little 57 compose a symphony of family's warmth. I think I am a lucky one.


Heart warming music, the space belongs to me.

My character likes simplicity; the decoration in my room is simple. One bed, one desk, one bookshelf, one upright piano and a mini Hifi set for enjoying music. Also, I placed a small notice board on the wall for posting some news or reports from magazines that left me deep impression.

My rooms lacks of paintings of famous artists, there is not even a vase for flowers, it's not like a room of a rich woman, and there is none of the cute little girls' things either. For me, it's a comfortable and warm space. After long day's working, I would lie down on my bed and think, "I only need such a place, not too small, not too big, not too fancy but not too plain".

Due to not having many small items, my room is very neat and clean, an old piano with the lid open, the musical scores are put on the stand, it looks quite messy. I often play piano, so it's not necessary to close the lid or put the music back neatly.

I don't play piano for raising my performing level or enjoying the musical interest, I play to release my pressure from work. I play with passion even there are wrong notes, I pour my heart to play "Pathetique" or some other music (I have to check the name). Through the percussive action, I would not be upset anymore, my burden seems to release. For this kind of playing, it might not be piano playing but violent like boxing games. (Yup! Young Ae Ssi, you transformed your game from 7-year old little girl's boxing to piano playing^^)

Why did I pick up piano playing? I was attracted by Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Later on I like many different kinds of music. For example, I am like wandering in the dreams, the Mozart's sonatas give me lighter mood while the Bach concertos give me a lot of room to think; the Schubert's songs cycles are suitable for autumn, the Jazz is like red wine, Hip-hop, Korean folk music, I always listen to many kinds of music.

I love the English songs album published few years ago, it's called "Greatest Love".
The album includes Boys II Men, Sarah McLachlan, Extreme, Natalie Imbruglia, and Eric Clapton. I like the lyrics and melodies, I often listen to it while I am driving or I listen to it before going to bed. I especially like two songs in this album like A Song for Mama and More Than Words. A Song for Mama expresses gratitude towards my mother and More Than Words is a love song.
I love the lyric very much, just like my high school favorite Bon Jovi's Bed of Roses.
I am the cover girl of this album; I am supposed to pass a message as an angel of pure love. In fact, I also enjoy this job very much.

Later on, I decided to donate part of the royalty from the album to a Pusan children's sanatorium of heart disease. I hope to boost up the sale of the "Greatest Love", so I can help more children with heart disease.