History of Our World: The Korean Origins and Foundations Myth

9 Oct

Korean legends are a fascinating world to immerse yourself in–of course as an avowed student of Myths and Mythology, I could perfectly happily spend my entire life in the fantastic world of eastern stories.  Of a particular interest to me are the origin stories of creation and cultures, a passion which led me to research the Korean story of creation and the Korean culture’s origins.

Mythology and stories about the beginning of the world can be divided into two categories ~ 1) Creation Myths which tell of the origin of the world and 2) Foundation Myths, a subset of the Creation genre, which more specifically relate the origin of a people, nation, or culture. 

As one of the great ancient peoples, it is only natural that much of Korean myths come through to us in the oral tradition.  Still, Koreans do not have much in the way of “Creation of the Earth” myths ~ most of their stories and legends presume that the world was already in existence when the tales begin.  

There are a few minor oral tales that claim the world began (as so many origin stories hold) in a time of utter chaos and an absence of any type of creation or order.  The stories go on to say that suddenly a crack appeared in the heavens, dividing the earth from the skies.  But those are very minor, basic tales lacking any deep specifics or embellishments.  

Rather, Korean myths tend to fall into the realm of Foundation Myths ~ sharing the origins of Korea and the Korean peoples. There are several variations, of which the most popular is the Myth of Tangun, which speaks of Hwangun, a beautiful character of strength and eternal goodness.

Once upon a time, many centuries ago, the great Heavenly God Hwanin had a noble son whose name was Hwangun.  Hwangun had looked upon earth and fell in love, wishing greatly for the chance to come to earth and rule over it so that it might prosper.  After learning of his son’s desire and examining the situation on earth, Hwanin decided that his son’s leadership would benefit the earth and so decreed that Hwangun should go to earth and take charge.

Before he left, Hwanin gave his son three Treasures from Heaven that would signify his authority and right to rule.  Taking these with him, Hwangun finally embarked on his great mission.  Taking 3000 spirits with him Hwangun first alighted on a mountain in Myohyangsan, a place in the modern-day North Korea.

Along with his great assistants, the spirits of the wind, rain, and cloud, Hwangun began implementing his leadership and guided the earth into a time of prosperity and splendor.  

After some time had passed, Hwangun began to be pestered by a tiger and bear who came visiting him and begging for human forms.  Taking pity on them, Hwangun set before them a test~ they were to fast for 100 days and then they would receive their human bodies.  Now, the bear was very diligent and passed the test, finally transforming into a female and enjoying her new form. The tiger was not so steadfast and failed to transform.  But the bear was greatly saddened, for she realized that there was no one on earth for her to mate with and thus no children would come to her.  So daily, she went to the alter and pleaded with the Heavens to provide her with a child.

Once again feeling pity for the tragic bear-woman, Hwangun transformed himself into a human form and married the woman.  Together they had a son, who they named Tangun.  Tangun was the man who, in the time of Emperor Yao (one of the Five Emperors of China in the 2300s-2200s BC), established the first human Korean city in Pyongyang and the first Korean dynasty~ the Choson dynasty.

There are of course several variations of this initial story, but this is the tale in its original and most basic form. Even, to me, the most beautiful form.  

What do you think? Does this sound familiar to your culture’s foundation myth? Any themes or similarities that cross cultural bounds?  Let me know in the comments!

If you are interested, this story is some-what re-told (with major alterations) in the Korean drama “The Legend“~ it’s a great watch, both for the beautiful storyline and insight into Korean cultures/ideology.

Happy Birthday to China!

9 Oct


This is the week where China celebrates its birthday!  Lots of Fireworks!


The Good Fairy Sings

8 Oct


“Take in long-lost, wartime art attributed to Chihiro”

7 Oct

“Take in long-lost, wartime art attributed to Chihiro”

by “The Japan News

The Yomiuri ShimbunThree long-lost paintings believed to have been produced by the popular picture book author Chihiro Iwasaki (1918-1974) are on display at her namesake museum in Tokyo.The works were discovered last year at the Nippon seinenkan (foundation of Japan-youth center) in Tokyo. One of the three works is making its public debut at the ongoing exhibition, titled “Commemorating 70 Years of Non-war — Chihiro’s Wish for Peace,” at the Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo in Nerima Ward.

The discovery was significant because many of the artist’s works created before and during World War II were lost in air raids.

“We want people to think about the war through Chihiro’s works, which were produced at a time when people were not allowed to freely create art,” said a museum official. . . . .


Paris Sights

6 Oct

Exquisite Sights to see in Paris

“Paris is a place in which we can forget ourselves, reinvent, expunge the dead weight of our past.”

**Michael Simkins

Museums & Palaces

The Louvre

Palace of Versailles

Rodin Museum

Palais Royale 

Musee D’Cluny

Musée d’Orsay


The Eiffel Tower

Albert Kahn Musée & Jardins

Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris


Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre

Opera National de Paris

Sainte Chapelle


Le Marais

Ile de la Cite

Place de la Concorde

Canal Saint Martin

Parc de la Villette

Shopping & Fashion


Triangle d’Or

stgermaindespres_creativecommons_ccl2008.jpg -

Saint-Germain des Prés

Le Bon Marche in Sevres Babylone


JB Guanti, 59 Rue de Rennes

Rue de Rennes

Haussmann Saint-Lazare


Le Marais



Roller Skating

Activités nautiques, Bassin de la Villette, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand


Disneyland Paris - Tic et Tac © DR - OTCP

Disneyland Paris

Evasion Verte 1 - Paris - © OTCP - DR

Evasion Verte

Parc Asterix - Spectacle | 630x405 | © OTCP

Parc Asterix

Poisson clown, Aquarium de la Porte Dorée, Paris © DR


Natural Views

Luxembourg Gardens

Jardin des Tuileries

Bois de Boulogne

Jardin des Plantes

Parc Monceau


The Wanderess

5 Oct

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city”

**Roman Payne

English Translation for the Malaysian Business Registration Form

30 Sep

In Corporate Governance this semester, we are learning about International Rules of Incorporation, Bylaws, Corporate Structures, etc.  It’s actually proving to be a fairly fascinating class, and I’m enjoying watching the students work.

One of the assignments I have given them is for each group to choose a country and to complete the appropriate Articles of Incorporation paperwork for that country.  Anyways, long story short, I ended up on the SSM (government) website, which directed me to with Form A (the Business Registration form). Unfortunately, it was entirely in Malay, making it useless to my students.  So I decided to translate it!

I cannot promise you that this is an exact translation, but I believe it is pretty accurate. I hope this will help someone out!

NAMA SENDIRI—Menggunakan nama sendiri seperti di dalam MYKAD/MYPR sebagai nama perniagaan. Are you using your own personal family and given name as the name of the business?

Check if Yes

NAMA TRED—Menggunakan nama perniagaan yang direka atau selain nama di MYKAD/MYPR sebagai nama perniagaan Or Are you using a trade name/business name as the name of the business?

Check if yes

NO. RUJUKAN (Untuk kegunaan pejabat) NO. References (For Office Use)
MAKLUMAT PERNIAGAAN Business Information
*TARIKH MULA BERNIAGA Date of Commencement of Trading (Date you begin doing business)

·         TIADA

·         ADA

Partnership Agreement (Check Which One Your Company Has)

·         None

·         Yes, There is a partnership

TARIKH Date when you created the partnership (if there is one)
(Nyatakan tarikh dan lampirkan perjanjian) Specify date and attach the agreement
*ALAMAT (P.O. Box tidak dibenarkan) Address (PO Box is not allowed)
POSKOD Postal Code
ALAMAT SURAT MENYURAT (Jika berlainan dari alamat di atas) Mailing Address (If different from address above)
POSKOD Postal Code
NO. TELEFON Telephone Number
E-MEL Email

(Describe your Business’s Purpose)

ALAMAT CAWANGAN (Jika ada, P.O. Box tidak dibenarkan) Branch Address (If so, PO Box is not allowed)

Address of Company Branches

ALAMAT (P.O. Box tidak dibenarkan) Address (PO Box is not allowed)
POSKOD Postal Code
ALAMAT (P.O. Box tidak dibenarkan) Address (PO Box is not allowed)
POSKOD Postal Code
*MAKLUMAT PEMILIK (Ejaan nama seperti di dalam MYKAD/MYPR) Owner Information (Spelling the Owner’s Name as in the MYKAD/MYPR (your official government ID forms)
NAMA PEMILIK Name of the Owner
NO. MYKAD/MYPR Your Government ID # (aka Passport #/SSN#/Citizenship #)àMYKAD is the identity document Malaysian citizens have
NO. K/P (Lama) Not sure what this is actually J
JANTINA L  P Gender (L or P) (Check the box)

L = Lelaki = Male

P = Perempuan = Female

KERAKYATAN Citizenship
WARGANEGARA Citizen (Of Malaysia)

(Nyatakan negara asal)

Permanent Resident (Please specify the country of origin)
BANGSA Nationality
MELAYU Malaysian
CINA Chinese
India Indian
LAIN-LAIN ((Nyatakan bangsa)) Other (State your Nationality)
ALAMAT KEDIAMAN Residential Address
POSKOD Postal Code
NO. TELEFON Telephone Number
PENGESAHAN PEMILIK TUNGGAL/RAKAN KONGSI Certification by the owners/partners
(Diwajibkan setiap pemilik tunggal/rakan kongsi mengisi butiran dan menurunkan tandatangan/cap ibu jari kanan di atas borang ini) It is required that every single owner / partner fill in these details and sign or put their right thumbprint on the form.
Saya/kami yang bertandatangan di bawah mengesahkan semua kenyataan yang dibuat dalam borang ini adalah benar dan mengaku bahawa saya/kami adalah pemilik tunggal/rakan kongsi bagi perniagaan ini. I/we, the undersigned do certify that all the statements made on this form are true and that I/We are the owners/partners for this business.
BIL Number
TANDATANGAN/CAP IBU JARI KANAN Signature / Right Thumbprint
TARIKH PERMOHONAN Date of Application
Saya adalah Orang Yang Bertanggungjawab (OYB) menyerahkan butir pendaftaran perniagaan yang dinyatakan di atas I am a Person Responsible (OYB) for submittig the business registration details mentioned above.


Life in China: Vypr VPN (Update)

29 Sep

Vypr VPN

A while back, I did a review of VyprVpn and mentioned some problems I was having with it here in China.  Since, I seem to have fixed most of my problems, I thought I would post an update on how it’s going!


Price: Same

Check out this post for a pricing run-down

Review: If you do decide Vypr is for you, go through this link for an extra 50% off your first month :)

Installation: Easy, but Repetitive 

Review: The process for installation is pretty easy.  Initially, you visit http://www.goldenfrog.com to set up an account and download the VPN.  That process is actually really easy.  And I didn’t have any problems with the DNS server when I set it up (unlike with Astrill).

One problem I’ve now run into is that the program keeps stalling (I hit connect and it stalls out, delivering a warning) and I have to re-install it every time I re-start my computer.  I’ve got the installation program downloaded now, so all I have to do is re-open it and run through the steps (takes about 3 minutes).  But it’s still a little annoying.

Also, the last update doesn’t work for me at all. It just shuts down Vypr.

Use: Easy (pretty much)

The recent update didn’t change appearance any, so the use-process is the same.

When I turn on my computer, I open the program from my desktop.  You can set it up to start automatically if you want.  The box will look like this:

Untitled picture

If you want to just connect right away, just click the blue connect button. If you want to change locations, click the exclamation mark looking blue button.  I have found that I never use the “Fastest Server” setting and I am constantly changing servers.  Just a tip, try to run with locations that look like someone no one else would use–the less famous nations on the list.

The little gear in the top right corner is where you can change the protocols (for example, they have a program Chameleon designed specifically for China!)  I found however that the only protocol that works for me in China is PPTP.  Anything more and it won’t connect.  I also recommend that you set it to “Automatic Reconnect” — Vypr tends to dis-connect and re-connect frequently for me on poor internet servers so I like for it to reconnect without having to repeatedly punch the buttons.

That’s all there is to it! Just click connect and then close the program when you’re done.

Continue reading


Lights in the Dark

25 Sep


Cool Tools! Mochi Travel Wallet

25 Sep

Better Together Note Pouch v1

Who: Mochi Things

What: Note Pouch (basically a wallet, far as I can tel)–

Dimensions 8.7 * 5.3 * 1.4 in.
Weight 8.18 oz
Material Polyester, Nylon, Paper
Ships Worldwide From Seattle, WA, USA

Where: MochiThings.com

Why: This looks like it would be a great wallet replacement for your carry-on or backpack during travel! I really like that it has room for a passport and/or notebook.

How Much: $45.95 (If anyone tries this, I’d be interested in whether it lasts!


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