Heavenly Son Rock(天子岩)

Heavenly Son Rock

Headword

천자바위 ( 天子岩 , Cheonjabawi )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KwonDokyung(權都京)

This legend narrates the origins of Cheonjabawi (Heavenly Son Rock) in Ungcheon, in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.

A geomancer was looking for a good location for his father’s grave and found an auspicious site (myeongdang) on the waters off Cheonjabong (Heavenly Son Peak). There he saw an otter, who was half-human-half-beast come in and out of a cave by the sea and followed it, to learn that the creature was the child of the daughter of a gentryman from Ungcheon, kidnapped by an otter. There were two caves and the geomancer was able to recognize that from one would emerge a Chinese emperor (cheonja, or tianzi, meaning “son of heaven”), and from the other a feudal lord. So he made the otter’s son use the underwater cave for his ancestral tomb, but the otter’s son was pushed by the waves to walk backwards, which resulted in the otter’s son being enthroned as the first emperor of Ming China (birth name Ju Won-jang, or Zhu Yuanzhang), and one of the geomancer’s descendants taking the throne as the first king of Joseon (birth name Yi Seong-gye).

This narrative is structured as a contest between the ancestors of Yi Seong-gye and Zhu Yuanzhang, an allegorical comparison of the political and martial powers of the two dynastic founders. The myeongdang motif, centering on the success of a family due to finding an auspicious site for their ancestral tomb, is expanded in this legend into the realm of dynastic foundation.

Heavenly Son Rock

Heavenly Son Rock
Headword

천자바위 ( 天子岩 , Cheonjabawi )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Legends

Writer KwonDokyung(權都京)

This legend narrates the origins of Cheonjabawi (Heavenly Son Rock) in Ungcheon, in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province.

A geomancer was looking for a good location for his father’s grave and found an auspicious site (myeongdang) on the waters off Cheonjabong (Heavenly Son Peak). There he saw an otter, who was half-human-half-beast come in and out of a cave by the sea and followed it, to learn that the creature was the child of the daughter of a gentryman from Ungcheon, kidnapped by an otter. There were two caves and the geomancer was able to recognize that from one would emerge a Chinese emperor (cheonja, or tianzi, meaning “son of heaven”), and from the other a feudal lord. So he made the otter’s son use the underwater cave for his ancestral tomb, but the otter’s son was pushed by the waves to walk backwards, which resulted in the otter’s son being enthroned as the first emperor of Ming China (birth name Ju Won-jang, or Zhu Yuanzhang), and one of the geomancer’s descendants taking the throne as the first king of Joseon (birth name Yi Seong-gye).

This narrative is structured as a contest between the ancestors of Yi Seong-gye and Zhu Yuanzhang, an allegorical comparison of the political and martial powers of the two dynastic founders. The myeongdang motif, centering on the success of a family due to finding an auspicious site for their ancestral tomb, is expanded in this legend into the realm of dynastic foundation.