Yi Seong-gye(李成桂)

Yi Seong-gye

Headword

이성계 ( 李成桂 , Yi Seong-gye )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KwonDokyung(權都京)

This legend narrates the story of Yi Seong-gye, founder of Joseon dynasty.

Folk narratives about Yi Seong-gye justify his founding of a new dynasty through stories of the virtuous accomplishments of Yi’s ancestors; of divine signs like his reception of the golden ruler; of heroic acts like the defeat of the Japanese invader Ajibaldo; and of receiving help from a tiger, considered the guardian of the people. On the other hand, the public’s nostalgia for the myriad grassroots heroes from late Goryeo to early Joseon and their negative views of Yi as the aggressor, are dramatized in stories of the mountain god (sansin) of Jirisan who rejects Yi’s enthronement; of Might Baby (Agijangsu) Uturi’s battle with Yu; and of Tung Duran, who loses his life to Yi.

In South Korea, legends about Yi Seong-gye are transmitted around North Jeolla Province, and most cast Yi in a positive light, except for the ones of conflicts between the mountain god of Jirisan and Uturi.

There are also tales of Yi Seong-gye defeating the evil dragon, which is a motif that was used earlier in the myth of Goryeo founder Wang Geon in the episode about Wang Geon’s ancestor Jakjegeon who receives the divine message about Wang Geon’s founding of a new kingdom. In the Yi Seong-gye tale, the evil dragon can be interpreted as Darughachin, the official dispatched to Goryeo from Yuan China, representing the political group from the Jurchen people challenging or resisting against Yi Seong- gye’s family. On the other hand, the white dragon seems to be a mytholgical representation of the group of Jurchens submitting to the supervision of Yi’s political allies. The legend takes place against the backdrop of Yi Seong-gye developing his power base in the northeastern region of the Korean peninsula, and the region’s population splitting into two groups.

Yi Seong-gye

Yi Seong-gye
Headword

이성계 ( 李成桂 , Yi Seong-gye )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KwonDokyung(權都京)

This legend narrates the story of Yi Seong-gye, founder of Joseon dynasty.

Folk narratives about Yi Seong-gye justify his founding of a new dynasty through stories of the virtuous accomplishments of Yi’s ancestors; of divine signs like his reception of the golden ruler; of heroic acts like the defeat of the Japanese invader Ajibaldo; and of receiving help from a tiger, considered the guardian of the people. On the other hand, the public’s nostalgia for the myriad grassroots heroes from late Goryeo to early Joseon and their negative views of Yi as the aggressor, are dramatized in stories of the mountain god (sansin) of Jirisan who rejects Yi’s enthronement; of Might Baby (Agijangsu) Uturi’s battle with Yu; and of Tung Duran, who loses his life to Yi.

In South Korea, legends about Yi Seong-gye are transmitted around North Jeolla Province, and most cast Yi in a positive light, except for the ones of conflicts between the mountain god of Jirisan and Uturi.

There are also tales of Yi Seong-gye defeating the evil dragon, which is a motif that was used earlier in the myth of Goryeo founder Wang Geon in the episode about Wang Geon’s ancestor Jakjegeon who receives the divine message about Wang Geon’s founding of a new kingdom. In the Yi Seong-gye tale, the evil dragon can be interpreted as Darughachin, the official dispatched to Goryeo from Yuan China, representing the political group from the Jurchen people challenging or resisting against Yi Seong- gye’s family. On the other hand, the white dragon seems to be a mytholgical representation of the group of Jurchens submitting to the supervision of Yi’s political allies. The legend takes place against the backdrop of Yi Seong-gye developing his power base in the northeastern region of the Korean peninsula, and the region’s population splitting into two groups.