Three-Legged Dog(三足狗)

Headword

삼족구 ( 三足狗 , Samjokgu )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer SimWoojang(沈愚章)

The legend of “Samjokgu” narrates the story of a three-legged dog with supernatural powers.

The nine-tailed fox Gumiho turned into a beautiful woman and became Daji, consort to King Zhou of ancient China. Having won the king’s affections, Daji asked the king to build her a house out of beads, and when the king asked who was capable of building a house out of beads, Daji answered that it was Grand Duke Jiang, the great strategist. Daji was frightened by Jiang and planned to kill him on the king’s orders after proving that he was incapable of building a house out of beads. When Grand Duke Jiang was summoned to the court, he saw right away that the woman standing next to the king was the nine-tailed fox. He answered that he could build the house as the king commanded, then ran away. After Jiang’s disappearance, Daji’s evil deeds increased, killing more and more men to eat. Then one day Grand Duke Jiang acquired the three-legged dog Samjokgu and returned to the court, where the dog leaped out from inside Jiang’s robe and attacked Daji’s neck. Bitten by the dog, Daji turned back into Gumiho and died.

The reason that Samjokgu, fierce but small with only three legs, was able to defeat a thousand-year- old nine-tailed fox, was because it possessed divine powers to fight evil, just like the indigenous dog sapsalgae, as seen in other tales, in which it kills a rat turned into a human, or the messenger from the underworld (jeoseungsaja).

The tale of Samjokgu reflects the attempt of the victor to denigrate the dark history of a fallen kingdom by adding elements of the supernatural, to highlight the view that a kingdom that fell to a fox in human form had already been rejected by heavenly will.

Three-Legged Dog

Three-Legged Dog
Headword

삼족구 ( 三足狗 , Samjokgu )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer SimWoojang(沈愚章)

The legend of “Samjokgu” narrates the story of a three-legged dog with supernatural powers.

The nine-tailed fox Gumiho turned into a beautiful woman and became Daji, consort to King Zhou of ancient China. Having won the king’s affections, Daji asked the king to build her a house out of beads, and when the king asked who was capable of building a house out of beads, Daji answered that it was Grand Duke Jiang, the great strategist. Daji was frightened by Jiang and planned to kill him on the king’s orders after proving that he was incapable of building a house out of beads. When Grand Duke Jiang was summoned to the court, he saw right away that the woman standing next to the king was the nine-tailed fox. He answered that he could build the house as the king commanded, then ran away. After Jiang’s disappearance, Daji’s evil deeds increased, killing more and more men to eat. Then one day Grand Duke Jiang acquired the three-legged dog Samjokgu and returned to the court, where the dog leaped out from inside Jiang’s robe and attacked Daji’s neck. Bitten by the dog, Daji turned back into Gumiho and died.

The reason that Samjokgu, fierce but small with only three legs, was able to defeat a thousand-year- old nine-tailed fox, was because it possessed divine powers to fight evil, just like the indigenous dog sapsalgae, as seen in other tales, in which it kills a rat turned into a human, or the messenger from the underworld (jeoseungsaja).

The tale of Samjokgu reflects the attempt of the victor to denigrate the dark history of a fallen kingdom by adding elements of the supernatural, to highlight the view that a kingdom that fell to a fox in human form had already been rejected by heavenly will.