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KangJinok

8 count

KangJinok

8

Wisdom Tale

Jihyedam, or wisdom tales, are stories in which the motif of using one’s wisdom to solve a problem makes up the narrative backbone. In wisdom tales, the protagonists exhibit their wisdom through various methods: Some use schemes that involve tricks and disguises to solve a problem; unconventional thinking or reversal of convention also lead to solutions, delivered by imagination and articulation, often by child protagonists; logical proof is presented in wisdom tales that center on court cases,

Korean Folk Literature

Lovesick Snake

“Sangsabaem (Lovesick Snake)” is a legend about a protagonist who dies from the pain of his or her unrequited love and turns into a snake to express his or her suppressed emotions to the oject of affection. When Jo Wol-cheon was nineteen years old, he went to the home of Lord Oseong to study reading. Watching the young man pass by her home each day, the local clerk’s daughter Wori fell in love with Wol- cheon. Unable to suppress her emotions, Wori wrote a letter and placed in on the road where W

Korean Folk Literature

Legends of Ponds and Springs

This category of legends narrates the geographical history, or name origins, of ponds and springs. In legends from Samgungnyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), springs and wells are depicted as spatial symbols that speak for the sanctity of the characters: In the tale of Yonaejeong, the spring proves that Talhae is a divine being; in the tale of the origin of Hyegongjeong, the spring demonstrates Monk Hyegong’s supernatural powers; in the tale of Geumgwangjeong, the spring reveals the enlig

Korean Folk Literature

Origin of Underworld Messenger Chasa

The shamanic myth “Chasabonpuri” from Jeju Island tells the story of Gangnim’s appointment as Jeoseungchasa, the Messenger of the Underworld. A senior monk of the temple Donggaenameunjungjeol, upon foreseeing the short lifespan of the three sons of King Beomul of the kingdom Donggeyongguk, instructs a junior monk of what should be done, then passes on to nirvana. The junior monk heads to Donggyeongguk to notify King Beomul of his three sons ’destiny, and recommends that the king offer a three-ye

Korean Folk Literature

Dallae River

This legend narrates the origins of the name of Dallae (Relief) River, posing questions about instinct and ethics in relation to a brother who commits suicide due to guilt over his incestuous impulses, and his sister suffering from the pain of his death. A long time ago, a couple raising a son and a daughter met an abrupt death, and the siblings made a living farming land that was located across the river. One summer, the river rose after heavy rains and the sister, to keep from getting her clot

Korean Folk Literature

Golden Ruler

The tale of geumcheok narrates the story of a man who acquires a golden ruler, which helps him save a man’s life, leading him to success in the world. The golden ruler narrative was first transmitted as the origin tale of Geumcheok Tombs in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, believed to be from Silla. Following the founding of Joseon, the golden ruler was presented as a token of legitimacy for Yi Seong-gye’s enthronement, and the geumcheok narrative began to receive new light. Taejogangheonsil

Korean Folk Literature

Fox Sister

The tale “Yeounui” narrates the story of a fox born into a family as the daughter, but who is killed in the end by her brother. A long time ago, there lived a husband and wife with many sons but no daughter, which they desperately longed for, and after praying to the mountain god (sansin), finally gave birth to a girl. As the daughter grew up, their cattle began to die one by one. Thinking it strange, the parents asked the sons to find out what was going on. Late at night, the eldest son witness

Korean Folk Literature

Tale of Otherworldly Beings

Imuldam, or tales of otherworldly beings, are narratives that feature non-human beings that enter the human world and engage in friendly or antagonistic relations with humans, after which they confirm their identities by returning to their world or being expelled by humans. Tales of otherworldly beings depict the relationship between humans and non-human beings through a wide range of perspectives from various non-human characters. One of the most distinctive non-human beings in Korean folk tale

Korean Folk Literature
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