Bath houses in Korea (known as “JjimJilBang“) must be a big thing, because they show up in almost every Korean drama I’ve watched. Secret Garden, Brilliant Legacy, You’re Beautiful…they all have some element of bath-house-dom. I’m definitely not complaining; I’m just seeking some understanding of this phenomenon.
So what is its significance? Here in the states (and keep in mind, this is just a case study of one person), bathing is a private ritual. I have no desire to bring my girlfriends with me whenever I feel the need to clean. But what I’ve learned from these Korean dramas is that bathing is a community event. You can bathe, eat, and sleep at bath houses, with friends or strangers. What a concept!
I am now on a life-changing mission to keep a running list of all Korean dramas that include bath house scenes. City Hunter is currently the drama I’m watching—and yes, you guessed it—bath houses in this one, too! Can you name a few more?
Image source: by Taekwonweirdo from Flickr.