Farmhand Reincarnated as Magistrate

Farmhand Reincarnated as Magistrate

Headword

원님으로 환생한 머슴 ( Farmhand Reincarnated as Magistrate )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer ChoiWoonsik(崔雲植)

This tale narrates the story of a man of lowly social status reincarcated as the son of a nobleman and appointed to public office.

The story is recorded in the section titled “Daeseonghyoisebumo (Daeseong’s Filial Piety for Two Generations of Parents)” of Samgungnyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). Narratives about characters who overcome the limitations of their social status and achieve success were of great public interest in Joseon, which resulted in the tale’s inclusion in various anthologies, including Cheongguyadam (Tales from the Green Hills) Gimunchonghwa (Assorted Collection of Tales Read and Heard), and wide oral transmission.

Kim Sang-gu, who worked as a farmhand all his life donated all of his wages to a temple, where he offered devoted prayers asking that he be “reincarnated as a human” in his next life, then died in an empty room. As he entered the room, he had pleaded to the monks that “the door to the room should never be opened for twenty-two years, after which someone will come to open it.” Twenty-two years later, the newly appointed magistrate came to the temple and opened the door to retrieve the remains and hold a funeral for Kim. The magistrate was Kim’s reincarnation, which the magistrate learned from a dream.

In many variations of this tale, the protagonist is either a farmhand, a farmer’s son or a monk, wishing to be reincarnated as a governor or a magistrate. The protagonists learns of his previous life in a number of different ways: The parents receive a prophecy prior to conception about the son’s fate, and the baby is born with a wooden badge in his hand, written with the name of his identity from his previous life; the protagonist, in his next life, has an annual dream about receiving great hospitality from an elderly couple, whom he meets after being appointed as magistrate and from them learns of his previous life; the protagonist reads in his dream a will placed next to the corpse of his previous self; or the will left behind in the previous life matches with the conception dream of the protagonist’s dream in his next life.

This tale reflects the views of the Korean people on the human soul and reincarnation, on Buddhism, social success and anticipation and faith about achieving one’s dreams in the next life.

Farmhand Reincarnated as Magistrate

Farmhand Reincarnated as Magistrate
Headword

원님으로 환생한 머슴 ( Farmhand Reincarnated as Magistrate )

Location of the encyclopedia

Korean Folk Literature > Folk tales > Folk tales

Writer ChoiWoonsik(崔雲植)

This tale narrates the story of a man of lowly social status reincarcated as the son of a nobleman and appointed to public office.

The story is recorded in the section titled “Daeseonghyoisebumo (Daeseong’s Filial Piety for Two Generations of Parents)” of Samgungnyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). Narratives about characters who overcome the limitations of their social status and achieve success were of great public interest in Joseon, which resulted in the tale’s inclusion in various anthologies, including Cheongguyadam (Tales from the Green Hills) Gimunchonghwa (Assorted Collection of Tales Read and Heard), and wide oral transmission.

Kim Sang-gu, who worked as a farmhand all his life donated all of his wages to a temple, where he offered devoted prayers asking that he be “reincarnated as a human” in his next life, then died in an empty room. As he entered the room, he had pleaded to the monks that “the door to the room should never be opened for twenty-two years, after which someone will come to open it.” Twenty-two years later, the newly appointed magistrate came to the temple and opened the door to retrieve the remains and hold a funeral for Kim. The magistrate was Kim’s reincarnation, which the magistrate learned from a dream.

In many variations of this tale, the protagonist is either a farmhand, a farmer’s son or a monk, wishing to be reincarnated as a governor or a magistrate. The protagonists learns of his previous life in a number of different ways: The parents receive a prophecy prior to conception about the son’s fate, and the baby is born with a wooden badge in his hand, written with the name of his identity from his previous life; the protagonist, in his next life, has an annual dream about receiving great hospitality from an elderly couple, whom he meets after being appointed as magistrate and from them learns of his previous life; the protagonist reads in his dream a will placed next to the corpse of his previous self; or the will left behind in the previous life matches with the conception dream of the protagonist’s dream in his next life.

This tale reflects the views of the Korean people on the human soul and reincarnation, on Buddhism, social success and anticipation and faith about achieving one’s dreams in the next life.