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Glossary and Character Taxonomy  Breakdown by Country of Origin   Bibliography   Table of Contents    The Best of the Encyclopedia


Bu-ran, Yu. Yu Bu-ran was created by the Korean author Kim Nae Seong and appeared in ten serials in the newspaper Chosun Libo in the late 1930s through the mid-1940s; every serial was later published as a novel.

Yu Bu-ran is a Korean Great Detective Lupin who solves crimes (“in the Western style”) and rights wrongs in a noir environment. Yu Bu-ran, a mystery writer by trade, has the sense of adventure and fun of an Arsène Lupin but the brilliant mind and knack for disguises of a Sherlock Holmes, although his disguises are not infallible, nor his deductions always correct. He’s a very human Holmes/Lupin cross, if such a thing is possible, and often gets involved in adulterous affairs with married women.

* I'm including Yu Bu-ran and his stories in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of their historical importance. While not the first fictional Korean detective nor the first fictional detective to reflect actual Korean culture, Yu Bu-ran nonetheless was important in the history of Korean detective fiction because of the combined quality of the stories, the skill and imagination and literary sensibilities Kim Nae Seong brought to the stories, and because ten serials-turned-novels over the course of a decade was a long time as far as Korean detective fiction went in the 1930s and 1940s. Yu Bu-ran didn't become iconic or archetypal for other writers--the Western influences, though entertaining in the stories, were too foreign for Korean writers and readers to embrace or lift up as an icon--he was influential on Korean detective and mystery writers and fiction. 

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