Song of County Magistrate Yang I(梁伊牧使本解)

Song of County Magistrate Yang I

Headword

양이목사본풀이 ( 梁伊牧使本解 , Yangimoksabonpuri )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer JungJinhee(鄭眞熙)

The shamanic myth“ Yangimoksabonpuri ”narrates the origins of County Magistrate Yang I, who is worshipped as the shamanic ancestor of the Myeongwol branch of the Tamna Yang clan of Jeju Island.

A long time ago on Jeju Island, one hundred white horses were sent to the royal court each year as an offering. Yang I, who had arrived on the island as the newly appointed County Magistrate, wanted the horses for himself, and offered to take the horses to the capital Hanyang on behalf of the horsemen. Once arriving in Hanyang, he sold all the horses and acquired great wealth. The royal court, after finding out why the offering of horses had not arrived from Jeju, dispatched to the island Geumbudosa, an officer from the State Tribunal, and an assassin to behead the magistrate. Magistrate Yang, learning of this, escaped on the fastest boat on Jeju, which belonged to Old Man Go Dongji, but came across the State Tribunal Officer’s boat at Uldolmok strait. When the State Tribunal Officer asked where the boat was headed, Boatman Go Dongji answered, “ The boat is taking Jeju County Magistrate Yang I on an excursion. ”In the face of crisis, Magistrate Yang jumped onto the boat’s deck and revealed himself to the State Tribunal Officer, then slashed the assassin’s throat, defeating the officer. Magistrate Yang then told the officer that at first he was intent on stealing the horses, but in the end his heart sided with the people of Jeju, who were suffering from excessive donation requirements, and that he spent the money from the horses on helping the people. But while the magistrate was explaining, the State Tribunal Officer struck back and tied the magistrate’s hair to the mast stays. The officer then ordered Old Man Go Dongji to pull a rope, which sent the magistrate hanging by his hair from the mast, and the magistrate dared the officer to behead him. When the officer cut his throat, Magistrate Yang’s body fell into the sea, upon which it turned into blue, yellow and white dragons, and entered Yongwangguk (Kingdom of the Dragon King). The magistrate’s head, which remained on the ship’s fore-deck, left his last wishes to Old Man Go Dongji, asking the old man to go back to his hometown and tell Tojigwan (Land Lord) Yang of Tamna, among the family surnames Go, Yang and Bu, to transmit his personal history for generations, and he would promise eternal prosperity to Yang’s descendants. When the royal court received reports about this, along with Magistrate Yang’s head, a decision was made to exempt Jeju Island’s required offering of one hundred white horses.

“Song of County Magistrate Yang I” is an ancestral myth transmitted exclusively within certain families, but Magistrate Yang’s character also exhibits clear traits of a folk hero fighting against the antagonistic forces of state authority, as represented by the King, the court and the State Tribunal Officer. Magistrate Yang’s character, in other words, is a symbol of the resistance of the people of Jeju, suffering from excessive exploitation, against the powers of the central government. He is a subversive figure who disturbs the ruling order by embezzling the offering to the king, who uses the embezzled funds to bring goods to the people of Jeju. While Yang failed to overthrow the ruling system, he was able to solve the problem by exposing the issue of excessive offering through self-sacrifice.

The myth falls under the category of hero mythology, but Magistrate Yang is distinguishable from other mythological heroes in that he was not born of extraordinary origins but develops into a hero through change. Some interpret “Song of County Magistrate Yang I ” as an altered form of heroic epic that reflects the collective sense of political defeat of the people of Jeju, but it can also be understood as a mythological narrative that raises real-life problems and seeks solutions on behalf of people faced with a changing political order. Its significance within the history of Korean mythology also lies in the fact that it reveals the changing traits of clan mythology in the course political marginalizaton.

Song of County Magistrate Yang I

Song of County Magistrate Yang I
Headword

양이목사본풀이 ( 梁伊牧使本解 , Yangimoksabonpuri )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Mythology

Writer JungJinhee(鄭眞熙)

The shamanic myth“ Yangimoksabonpuri ”narrates the origins of County Magistrate Yang I, who is worshipped as the shamanic ancestor of the Myeongwol branch of the Tamna Yang clan of Jeju Island.

A long time ago on Jeju Island, one hundred white horses were sent to the royal court each year as an offering. Yang I, who had arrived on the island as the newly appointed County Magistrate, wanted the horses for himself, and offered to take the horses to the capital Hanyang on behalf of the horsemen. Once arriving in Hanyang, he sold all the horses and acquired great wealth. The royal court, after finding out why the offering of horses had not arrived from Jeju, dispatched to the island Geumbudosa, an officer from the State Tribunal, and an assassin to behead the magistrate. Magistrate Yang, learning of this, escaped on the fastest boat on Jeju, which belonged to Old Man Go Dongji, but came across the State Tribunal Officer’s boat at Uldolmok strait. When the State Tribunal Officer asked where the boat was headed, Boatman Go Dongji answered, “ The boat is taking Jeju County Magistrate Yang I on an excursion. ”In the face of crisis, Magistrate Yang jumped onto the boat’s deck and revealed himself to the State Tribunal Officer, then slashed the assassin’s throat, defeating the officer. Magistrate Yang then told the officer that at first he was intent on stealing the horses, but in the end his heart sided with the people of Jeju, who were suffering from excessive donation requirements, and that he spent the money from the horses on helping the people. But while the magistrate was explaining, the State Tribunal Officer struck back and tied the magistrate’s hair to the mast stays. The officer then ordered Old Man Go Dongji to pull a rope, which sent the magistrate hanging by his hair from the mast, and the magistrate dared the officer to behead him. When the officer cut his throat, Magistrate Yang’s body fell into the sea, upon which it turned into blue, yellow and white dragons, and entered Yongwangguk (Kingdom of the Dragon King). The magistrate’s head, which remained on the ship’s fore-deck, left his last wishes to Old Man Go Dongji, asking the old man to go back to his hometown and tell Tojigwan (Land Lord) Yang of Tamna, among the family surnames Go, Yang and Bu, to transmit his personal history for generations, and he would promise eternal prosperity to Yang’s descendants. When the royal court received reports about this, along with Magistrate Yang’s head, a decision was made to exempt Jeju Island’s required offering of one hundred white horses.

“Song of County Magistrate Yang I” is an ancestral myth transmitted exclusively within certain families, but Magistrate Yang’s character also exhibits clear traits of a folk hero fighting against the antagonistic forces of state authority, as represented by the King, the court and the State Tribunal Officer. Magistrate Yang’s character, in other words, is a symbol of the resistance of the people of Jeju, suffering from excessive exploitation, against the powers of the central government. He is a subversive figure who disturbs the ruling order by embezzling the offering to the king, who uses the embezzled funds to bring goods to the people of Jeju. While Yang failed to overthrow the ruling system, he was able to solve the problem by exposing the issue of excessive offering through self-sacrifice.

The myth falls under the category of hero mythology, but Magistrate Yang is distinguishable from other mythological heroes in that he was not born of extraordinary origins but develops into a hero through change. Some interpret “Song of County Magistrate Yang I ” as an altered form of heroic epic that reflects the collective sense of political defeat of the people of Jeju, but it can also be understood as a mythological narrative that raises real-life problems and seeks solutions on behalf of people faced with a changing political order. Its significance within the history of Korean mythology also lies in the fact that it reveals the changing traits of clan mythology in the course political marginalizaton.