In the case of a banner put up by the city of Ch'unch'on to welcome tourists to this Winter Sonata site location, the Japanese writing appeared on top and in much bigger lettering than the English underneath it (fig.
At the beginning of the series, a male high school youth, Kang Joon Sang (played by Pae Yongchun), 5 who is being raised by a single mother with a prominent international career as a pianist, moves into the small town of Ch'unch'on (in northeastern South Korea).
After many awkward moments and missed opportunities, Joon Sang and Yujin are to acknowledge their love on New Year's Eve--in what is hopefully to result in a romantic interlude between the two--on the main shopping street of Ch'unch'on.
Of course, what the main character of the drama does not yet know--but the audience suspects--is that Min Hyeung is indeed the same person as the youth from the Ch'unch'on high school who supposedly died ten years previously.
The imaging of the characters' past lives in small-town Ch'unch'on mirrors Japanese desire for the projected memory of Japanese life in previous times focused on nostalgically remembered or imagined past rural village and small-town communities.
Although located in Korea, Ch'unch'on becomes an emblematic projection of the Japanese concept of furusato [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].
The cast of characters helps facilitate this dual-identity quest through the youthful friends and lovers able to pursue their independence and individualism through trendy careers and highly Westernized lifestyles in the mega-city of Seoul (along with occasional trips to desirably imaged Western cosmopolitan centers such as Paris and New York City), while their youthful experiences and continuing presence of the parental generation in the smaller town of Ch'unch'on retains the suggestion of identity as embedded in larger groups of on-going interactive family, community, and support networks.
Only at the end of the film, after Sang-kwon has returned home to Seoul and won a position as professor at Ch'unch'on University, do the two meet again.
Their fear of falling from the mountain echoes an earlier scene: After dropping off his application documents at Ch'unch'on University, Sang-kwon encounters a stray dog and is frozen in fear.
A comparable excursion-exclusion occurs in Turning Gate: After Kyongsu's friend recounts in detail the folkloric legend of the Ch'ongp'yong-sa revolving gate near Ch'unch'on (a fable involving a snake-coiled Chinese princess and the titular entrance that together suggest a metaphor for lovemaking), the two men opt not to see it at the last minute, and instead return to the ferryboat on which they arrived.
When Sang-kwon receives an official letter from Ch'unch'on University reporting the good news that he had been waiting for, this pivotal moment in his career is presented anti-climactically.