Jang Gil-son the Giant

Jang Gil-son the Giant

Headword

거인 장길손 ( Jang Gil-son the Giant )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer KwonTaehyo(權泰孝)

This tale narrates the story of Jang Gil-son, a widely recognized male giant character in the Korean oral tradition.

While the number of oral recordings of Jang Gil- son narratives are few the tales are observed around the country.

There are two different types of narratives about Jang:

The first type is about Jang creating geographical features with his own excrement. Jang Gil-son was so huge that there were no clothes that fit him, which the king deemed pitiful and so had an outfit tailored for him, with fabric that had been sent up from the three southern provinces. Jang was so happy he danced and pranced, his movements so large they blocked the sun and ruined the harvest. The angry farmers chased Jang away all the way to Manchuria, where Jang dug up the earth to eat, and with his excrement, created mountains and rivers. In the second type, the people of the three southern provinces collected hemp cloth to make clothes for Jang, but Jang’s shadow ruined the harvest. The government sentenced Jang to the punishment of flogging, but his body was so huge the officers were unable to locate his bottom and in the end failed to give him a flogging.

Jang Gil-son is a male giant and geographical creator, comparable to female giants in Korean mythology like Magohalmi (Grandmother Mago) and Seolmundaehalmang (Grandmother Seolmundae), but the tales offer a caricature of a weakened creator, emphasizing his giant physique and his excrement.

Jang Gil-son the Giant

Jang Gil-son the Giant
Headword

거인 장길손 ( Jang Gil-son the Giant )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer KwonTaehyo(權泰孝)

This tale narrates the story of Jang Gil-son, a widely recognized male giant character in the Korean oral tradition.

While the number of oral recordings of Jang Gil- son narratives are few the tales are observed around the country.

There are two different types of narratives about Jang:

The first type is about Jang creating geographical features with his own excrement. Jang Gil-son was so huge that there were no clothes that fit him, which the king deemed pitiful and so had an outfit tailored for him, with fabric that had been sent up from the three southern provinces. Jang was so happy he danced and pranced, his movements so large they blocked the sun and ruined the harvest. The angry farmers chased Jang away all the way to Manchuria, where Jang dug up the earth to eat, and with his excrement, created mountains and rivers. In the second type, the people of the three southern provinces collected hemp cloth to make clothes for Jang, but Jang’s shadow ruined the harvest. The government sentenced Jang to the punishment of flogging, but his body was so huge the officers were unable to locate his bottom and in the end failed to give him a flogging.

Jang Gil-son is a male giant and geographical creator, comparable to female giants in Korean mythology like Magohalmi (Grandmother Mago) and Seolmundaehalmang (Grandmother Seolmundae), but the tales offer a caricature of a weakened creator, emphasizing his giant physique and his excrement.