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NoYounggeun

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NoYounggeun

10

Big Bluffers

This droll tale narrates the story of two men from different regions engaging in a nonsensical contest of words. A Seoul slicker and a Gyeongsangdo slicker met for a contest of words at Yeongchang River in Miryang. Gyeongsangdo slicker asked where Seoul slicker was headed and he stepped inside the river, answering that he was headed to the banquet at Yonggung (Dragon Palace). After a long while, Seoul slicker emerged from the water, commenting that it was a grand banquet with wonderful delicacie

Korean Folk Literature

Daughter-in-Law Who Tamed Her Mother-in-Law

This tale narrates the story of a daughter-in-law who dominates her harsh mother-in-law by using violence. There lived in a village a harsh mother-in-law who kept chasing away her daughter-in-laws, one after another. When a new marriage was being arranged for her son, a maiden from a poor family in the village persuaded her parents and became the new daughter-in-law. She did as she was told at first and everyone thought she was discreet and obedient. But when the husband and father-in- law were

Korean Folk Literature

Halfie

“Banjjogi” is a tale about a baby born with only half a body, who defeats a tiger and a greedy man by using his power and wit, and in the end lives a wealthy and happy life. There lived a man who offered devoted prayers as he awaited a baby. One winter day, a Buddhist monk visited his home to request a donation and the man’s wife offered rice. The monk gave her three cucumbers, saying that if she ate all three of them, she would have three sons. The wife had finished two of the cucumbers when he

Korean Folk Literature

Fart Duel

This tall tale narrates the story of two men with powerful farts who hold a duel flinging a wooden pestle back and forth with their gas. Fartman of Gyeongsang Province visited Fartman of Jeolla Province to compete him, but no one was home except for his son. When Gyeongsang Fartman asked where his father was, the son answered that he was out in the field. Disappointed that he missed his competitor, Gyeongsang Fartman went into the kitchen to fart before he headed back, which sent the son flying

Korean Folk Literature

Lie After Lie

The tale “Saebbalgangeojimmal (Lie After Lie)” reveals the the falsity of the lies depicted in the narrative by listing implausible events and non-existent objects or creatures. This story tells of Mt. Taishan, on which stands a pear tree without roots, on which hangs a great number of pears without stalks. A headless monk comes and picks all the stalkless pears, collecting them in a skirt without a waistband, and when he lays out the pears on a wooden floor without a log frame, the straw mat fl

Korean Folk Literature

Crooked-Back Granny

“Kkoburanghalmeoni” is a word-play narrative that uses the word “kkoburang, ” meaning, “crooked and curved, ” in repetition to create rhythm and comic effect. Crooked-Back Granny walks with a crooked walking stick to climb a crooked hill. She sits under a crooked pine and makes crooked feces which a crooked-back dog gobbles up. Crooked-Back Granny strikes the crooked-back dog with her crooked walking stick and the crooked-back dog runs away with a crooked limp, yelping. In some variations, the d

Korean Folk Literature

Monster with Long Tail and Long Beak

The tale narrates the story of a son who seeks revenge on the monster with a long tail and beak that killed his parents. A son returned home to find his parents dead. His neighbor told him that a monster, with a tail that was five bal long and beaks also five bal long killed them with its beak. The son set out after the monster. When he asked about the monster’s whereabouts in a village, the villagers demanded fifty jim of wood in return. When he asked again in the next village, the villagers de

Korean Folk Literature

Tall Tale

Gwajangdam, or tall tales, are farcical narratives that apply unrealistic exaggerations to emphasize humor. Tall tales in the Korean oral tradition depict events that unfold due to the protagonists’ exaggerated abilities, or from exaggerated competition between rivals. An example is the story of a lazybones who even found breathing too much of a bother. One day his family had to go away for a banquet hosted by a relative, and they left slices of rice cakes hanging near his mouth for him to eat,

Korean Folk Literature

Tale of Eccentrics

Giindam, or tales of eccentrics, depict characters that demonstrate traits and actions that are different from ordinary people. Tales of eccentrics can be categorized into those that explain the origin of the eccentrics, and those that depict their deeds. The eccentrics’ origins are usually explained through their appearance. Han Myeong-hoe was born only seven months into the pregnancy, his body not yet fully formed, and when his family did not want to raise him, an old maidservant wrapped him w

Korean Folk Literature

Student Finds Wife for Teacher

This tale narrates the story of a student who uses his wit to arrange a marriage between his teacher and a widow. A student asked his teacher at the village school who lived alone if he liked a widow in the village. When the teacher said he did, the student visited the widow for three evenings and asked where his teacher was. When he visited for the fourth time, the widow got angry and while they were quarreling, the teacher sneaked into the widow’s room. The student insisted that he had to chec

Korean Folk Literature
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