Meokjung

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts

Writer JungHyungho(鄭亨鎬)

Depraved monk appearing in masked dance-dramas.

A depraved monk who leads a vulgar life although he is a Buddhist monk and ridicules his teacher, Nojang.

Meokjung introduces himself as a Buddhist monk, but his speech and behavior is vulgar. In addition, he enjoys singing and dancing and seduces women while playing the beopgo (Buddhist drum). And when Meokjung finds out the identity of Nojang (old monk), he makes fun of him by likening him to an animal or an object. Such features of the character represent the secularization process of Buddhism during the late Joseon Dynasty, and Meokjung can be viewed as a somewhat deviant character. Since eight depraved monks generally appear, together they are called Palmeokjung, pal meaning “eight.”

In terms of the masks and clothes worn by Meokjung, the monk’s mask in Yangju Byeolsandae is colored red overall, and Meokjung, Omjung, and Wanbo, along with other corrupt monks, all wear the Buddhist monk’s robe (jangsam) made of arrowroot cloth, with a dragon insignia. In Songpa Sandaenori Meokjung wears a mask that is painted brown and is dressed in a short monastic robe in green, blue, yellow with a white peaked hat called gokkal and a colored sash. In Gangnyeong Talchum, Meokjung wears a slightly tough-looking mask colored orange, with a female monk’s hat (songnak), a monastic robe made of arrowroot cloth and a long, red kasaya robe over it. In Bongsan Talchum, the character’s mask is colored orange and has seven large red bumps all over the face. In general, the mask is demon-faced in appearance. Meokjung wears wondong, a type of traditional overcoat with long sleeve extensions attached (the eight monks wear coats in red, orange, green, and blue, respectively), along with a silk deogeure (short military coat) and holds a willow strip in his hand. In short, Meokjung in various masked dance-dramas (gamyeongeuk) wears a demon-faced mask (Bongsan Talchum and Gangnyeong Talchum), songnak (Gangnyeong Talchum), monastic robe made of arrowroot hemp (Gangnyeong Talchum and Yangju Byeolsandaenori), four-colored, short monk’s robe (Songpa Sandaenori), silk deogeure (Bongsan Talchum), and robe with dragon design (Yangju Byeolsandaenori) and carries a willow branch (Bongsan Talchum). Meokjung’s mask is colored red overall and has two to seven bumps on the face. In addition, the depraved monk character wears a monastic robe in almost all traditional gamyeongeuk, except Bongsan Talchum, and in Haeseo Talchum, he wears a demon-faced mask.

Meokjung

Meokjung
Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Arts

Writer JungHyungho(鄭亨鎬)

Depraved monk appearing in masked dance-dramas.

A depraved monk who leads a vulgar life although he is a Buddhist monk and ridicules his teacher, Nojang.

Meokjung introduces himself as a Buddhist monk, but his speech and behavior is vulgar. In addition, he enjoys singing and dancing and seduces women while playing the beopgo (Buddhist drum). And when Meokjung finds out the identity of Nojang (old monk), he makes fun of him by likening him to an animal or an object. Such features of the character represent the secularization process of Buddhism during the late Joseon Dynasty, and Meokjung can be viewed as a somewhat deviant character. Since eight depraved monks generally appear, together they are called Palmeokjung, pal meaning “eight.”

In terms of the masks and clothes worn by Meokjung, the monk’s mask in Yangju Byeolsandae is colored red overall, and Meokjung, Omjung, and Wanbo, along with other corrupt monks, all wear the Buddhist monk’s robe (jangsam) made of arrowroot cloth, with a dragon insignia. In Songpa Sandaenori Meokjung wears a mask that is painted brown and is dressed in a short monastic robe in green, blue, yellow with a white peaked hat called gokkal and a colored sash. In Gangnyeong Talchum, Meokjung wears a slightly tough-looking mask colored orange, with a female monk’s hat (songnak), a monastic robe made of arrowroot cloth and a long, red kasaya robe over it. In Bongsan Talchum, the character’s mask is colored orange and has seven large red bumps all over the face. In general, the mask is demon-faced in appearance. Meokjung wears wondong, a type of traditional overcoat with long sleeve extensions attached (the eight monks wear coats in red, orange, green, and blue, respectively), along with a silk deogeure (short military coat) and holds a willow strip in his hand. In short, Meokjung in various masked dance-dramas (gamyeongeuk) wears a demon-faced mask (Bongsan Talchum and Gangnyeong Talchum), songnak (Gangnyeong Talchum), monastic robe made of arrowroot hemp (Gangnyeong Talchum and Yangju Byeolsandaenori), four-colored, short monk’s robe (Songpa Sandaenori), silk deogeure (Bongsan Talchum), and robe with dragon design (Yangju Byeolsandaenori) and carries a willow branch (Bongsan Talchum). Meokjung’s mask is colored red overall and has two to seven bumps on the face. In addition, the depraved monk character wears a monastic robe in almost all traditional gamyeongeuk, except Bongsan Talchum, and in Haeseo Talchum, he wears a demon-faced mask.