Baengma River(白马江)

Baengma River

Headword

백마강 ( 白马江 , Baengmagang )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer LeeSanghee(李尙姬)

The legend of Baengmagang (White Horse River) narrates the story of the ancient kingdom Baekje’s fall, brought upon by a general from Tang China, who killed Baekje’s king, who had transformed into a dragon.

When the Silla-Tang allied troops launched an attack on Baekje, they were stopped by Baekje’s king, who had turned into a dragon to guard Sabi River. General Su Dingfang of Tang, upon learning that the dragon’s favorite food is white horse meat, hooked a white horse onto a fishing pole and caught the dragon on a rock by Sabi River. The river has since been called Baengmagang, or White Horse River, and the rock where the general’s knee prints remain is called Joryongdae (Dragon Fishing Rock).

Some variations identify the king as King Uija or King Mu. In the King Uija versions, the king guards Baekje as a human king by day and as a dragon by night. In the King Mu versions, King Uija is taken to Tang as a hostage, and his father King Mu explodes with fury, stirring up a storm. The character who battles the dragon is generally Su Dingfang, portrayed as the son-in-law of the Baekje king, and it is the king’s daughter who tells him about the white horse, which enhances the tragedy of the narrative. In some of the King Mu versions, this role is played by the king’s beloved concubine. The dragon’s death effects not only the Baengma River but all the way to the Gongju area.

This tale transforms King Mu’s river dragon legend into Su Dingfang’s dragon fishing legend, switching the protagonist from Baekje’s king to a general of Tang China, and focusing on Su’s success in entering Baekje by exercising his wisdom and courage to kill the dragon king.

The legend is transmitted around Baekje’s ancient capital of Buyeo, and reflects the perception of the local people about the fall of Baekje, supported by evidence in the region’s geography.

Baengma River

Baengma River
Headword

백마강 ( 白马江 , Baengmagang )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer LeeSanghee(李尙姬)

The legend of Baengmagang (White Horse River) narrates the story of the ancient kingdom Baekje’s fall, brought upon by a general from Tang China, who killed Baekje’s king, who had transformed into a dragon.

When the Silla-Tang allied troops launched an attack on Baekje, they were stopped by Baekje’s king, who had turned into a dragon to guard Sabi River. General Su Dingfang of Tang, upon learning that the dragon’s favorite food is white horse meat, hooked a white horse onto a fishing pole and caught the dragon on a rock by Sabi River. The river has since been called Baengmagang, or White Horse River, and the rock where the general’s knee prints remain is called Joryongdae (Dragon Fishing Rock).

Some variations identify the king as King Uija or King Mu. In the King Uija versions, the king guards Baekje as a human king by day and as a dragon by night. In the King Mu versions, King Uija is taken to Tang as a hostage, and his father King Mu explodes with fury, stirring up a storm. The character who battles the dragon is generally Su Dingfang, portrayed as the son-in-law of the Baekje king, and it is the king’s daughter who tells him about the white horse, which enhances the tragedy of the narrative. In some of the King Mu versions, this role is played by the king’s beloved concubine. The dragon’s death effects not only the Baengma River but all the way to the Gongju area.

This tale transforms King Mu’s river dragon legend into Su Dingfang’s dragon fishing legend, switching the protagonist from Baekje’s king to a general of Tang China, and focusing on Su’s success in entering Baekje by exercising his wisdom and courage to kill the dragon king.

The legend is transmitted around Baekje’s ancient capital of Buyeo, and reflects the perception of the local people about the fall of Baekje, supported by evidence in the region’s geography.