Ieodo(离於岛)

Ieodo

Headword

이어도 ( 离於岛 , Ieodo )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer MoonMoobyung(文武秉)

This legend narrates the story of Ieo Island on Korea’s southern coast, which at one point in history was referred to as Scotra Rock, after the sinking of the British merchant vessel Scotra in nearby waters in 1900.

A long time ago, a man got himself a concubine and went off to live on a deserted island. His wife pleaded to her father-in-law to build her a boat to go after them, and he went to Seonheul village (today a part of the city of Jeju on Jeju Island) to chop wood to build one. The wife, her mother-in-law, and father-in-law set out together on the boat, the wife rowing as she sang, “Iyeodo sana, iyeodo sana.” When the boat reached the island, the escaped couple was thriving, with a growing family. But when his wife and parents urged him to return with them, he had no choice but to relent. So the entire family was traveling back on the boat, when they encountered a storm and died. (Some versions add that a village in Chungcheong Province commemorated him with a ritual.)

To the people of Jeju, Ieo Island has long been thought of as a utopia or a symbol of the other world, or the underworld. They believed that despite all the hardships and obstacles encountered in their daily lives, beyond this sea of despair lay an island of pleasure and riches, a paradise on the seas south of Jeju. To the women of Jeju, Ieodo was an island of hope, a place they pictured in their minds in times of painful separation from their loved ones. In many folk songs sung by Jeju women, especially ones that Legends Ieodo addressed death and separation, the lyrics make a reference to Ieodo.

Ieo Island, in other words, is a place where reality and ideals coexist: It is where life takes place, where women divers gather food, as well as the backdrop of legends and songs. The name also reflects the Chinese character “嶼 (yeo), ” meaning an island that disappears and appears with the ebb and flow of the tide.

Ieodo

Ieodo
Headword

이어도 ( 离於岛 , Ieodo )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer MoonMoobyung(文武秉)

This legend narrates the story of Ieo Island on Korea’s southern coast, which at one point in history was referred to as Scotra Rock, after the sinking of the British merchant vessel Scotra in nearby waters in 1900.

A long time ago, a man got himself a concubine and went off to live on a deserted island. His wife pleaded to her father-in-law to build her a boat to go after them, and he went to Seonheul village (today a part of the city of Jeju on Jeju Island) to chop wood to build one. The wife, her mother-in-law, and father-in-law set out together on the boat, the wife rowing as she sang, “Iyeodo sana, iyeodo sana.” When the boat reached the island, the escaped couple was thriving, with a growing family. But when his wife and parents urged him to return with them, he had no choice but to relent. So the entire family was traveling back on the boat, when they encountered a storm and died. (Some versions add that a village in Chungcheong Province commemorated him with a ritual.)

To the people of Jeju, Ieo Island has long been thought of as a utopia or a symbol of the other world, or the underworld. They believed that despite all the hardships and obstacles encountered in their daily lives, beyond this sea of despair lay an island of pleasure and riches, a paradise on the seas south of Jeju. To the women of Jeju, Ieodo was an island of hope, a place they pictured in their minds in times of painful separation from their loved ones. In many folk songs sung by Jeju women, especially ones that Legends Ieodo addressed death and separation, the lyrics make a reference to Ieodo.

Ieo Island, in other words, is a place where reality and ideals coexist: It is where life takes place, where women divers gather food, as well as the backdrop of legends and songs. The name also reflects the Chinese character “嶼 (yeo), ” meaning an island that disappears and appears with the ebb and flow of the tide.