‘The Bequeathed’ is a Korean crime show that revolves around a peculiar family, The Yoons, whose past complications emerge with the death of an elder and the ensuing battle over the family burial grounds between two successors. Seo-ha’s life takes a wild and unpleasant turn after she learns about a mysterious uncle who has left her a lucrative generational land as an inheritance. Around the same time, numerous murders start circling around Seo-ha, with arguable connections to the Yoon land, right after the woman crosses paths with her unknown distant half-brother, Kim Young-ho.
Thus, Seo-ha finds herself caught in the middle of family drama and numerous police investigations in the small town where her uncle, Myung-gil, used to reside in the Jinseong-Ri village. In the same locality, a construction company, Jijo, has expansion plans that seem to connect to Myung-gil’s demise. As such, viewers must be wondering how much reality is behind the Yoon family’s hometown. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Fictionality of Myung-gil’s Neighborhood
Within the fictional confines of ‘The Bequeathed,’ Jinseong-Ri village and Jijo Constructions are both fictional elements without any basis in real-life counterparts. The village, Jinseong-Ri, distinguished by its scenic mountains and small-town community, is not a real village. Instead, it’s only a work of fiction, crafted to impart a backdrop for the Yoons’ stories to unfold. Likewise, Jijo Constructions, a company seeking to profit off of the village’s nature-focused locality, is also a fictional business with no ties to a real-life construction company.
However, both elements occupy a classic role within the narrative that remains reflective of the show’s genre. Since ‘The Bequeathed’ depicts a story about a family’s hidden secrets, Jinseong-Ri provides the perfect background for such a tale to unfold. Within it’s small community, made up of both urban and rural individuals, there’s enough space for secrecy and prying eyes. These qualities end up rendering the villagers and their gossip a significant tool for unraveling the numerous secrets held by the Jinseong-Ri native family, The Yoons.
Other stories revolving around small-town mysteries have also equipped similarly structured social ecosystems to drive their plot forward. From films like the 2009 ‘The White Ribbon’ to the 2023 Japanese film ‘The Village,’ viewers will find a town/village that works within the same context as Jinseong-Ri does in ‘The Bequeathed.’
As for Jijo Construction, the company presents another familiar narrative closely associated with stories about generational familial ties. The idea of a sinister corporation whose expansion comes under a direct conflict with individual interests has been a notable narrative tool in storytelling for a while. The most notable example of such evil real estate can be spotted in a wide range of films, from 1974’s crime-noir ‘Chinatown’ to Pixar’s ‘Up.’
Within the story, Jijo Constructions harvests most of its significance in their evil plot to kill Myung-gil, which ends up inciting the show’s following events. Still, even though the company’s presence in the plot remains instrumental and familiar, there’s no firm real-life basis behind it, save for the general public perception of evil corporations. Ultimately, Jijo Constructions and Jinseong-Ri village remain fabricated details.