Tag Archives: Mythology

God of Wealth Birthdays

22 Aug

Today is the God of Wealth’s birthday in Jilin #China! So many fireworks celebrating! It’s a day to find good luck and fortune!! I like this holiday 😋🤑😛💰💵💴💶💸💷💳💰🎊
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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.

Art I Love ~ Hades and Persephone

13 Jul

“Hades and Persephone” by Sandara

Japanese Legends: Story of the Stonecutter

30 Apr

Japanese Legends:

The Stonecutter

bigstock-Stone-Sculptor-21145889

Once upon a time there lived a stonecutter, who went every day to a great rock in the side of a big mountain and cut out slabs for gravestones or for houses. He understood very well the kinds of stones wanted for the different purposes, and as he was a careful workman he had plenty of customers. For a long time he was quite happy and contented, and asked for nothing better than what he had.

Now in the mountain dwelt a spirit which now and then appeared to men, and helped them in many ways to become rich and prosperous. The stonecutter, however, had never seen this spirit, and only shook his head, with an unbelieving air, when anyone spoke of it. But a time was coming when he learned to change his opinion.

One day the stonecutter carried a gravestone to the house of a rich man, and saw there all sorts of beautiful things, of which he had never even dreamed. Suddenly his daily work seemed to grow harder and heavier, and he said to himself: “Oh, if only I were a rich man, and could sleep in a bed with silken curtains and golden tassels, how happy I should be!” Continue reading

“East of the Sun & West of the Moon”

9 Mar

Based upon the story of Cupid & Psyche, this wintery legend has been around for centuries. . . A Beautiful Tale, it suits the season 🙂  I got this particular version from Andrew Lang’s “The Blue Fairy Book” (1965)

“The Polar Bear King” by Hurricane Kerrie

“EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON”

aka THE POLAR BEAR KING

Once upon a time there was a poor husbandman who had many children and little to give them in the way either of food or clothing. They were all pretty, but the prettiest of all was the youngest daughter, who was so beautiful that there were no bounds to her beauty.

So once–it was late on a Thursday evening in autumn, and wild weather outside, terribly dark, and raining so heavily and blowing so hard that the walls of the cottage shook again–they were all sitting together by the fireside, each of them busy with something or other, when suddenly some one rapped three times against the window- pane. The man went out to see what could be the matter, and when he got out there stood a great big white bear.

“Good-evening to you,” said the White Bear.

“Good-evening,” said the man.

“Will you give me your youngest daughter?” said the White Bear; “if you will, you shall be as rich as you are now poor.

Truly the man would have had no objection to be rich, but he thought to himself: “I must first ask my daughter about this,” so he went in and told them that there was a great white bear outside who had faithfully promised to make them all rich if he might but have the youngest daughter.

She said no, and would not hear of it; so the man went out again, and settled with the White Bear that he should come again next Thursday evening, and get her answer. Then the man persuaded her, and talked so much to her about the wealth that they would have, and what a good thing it would be for herself, that at last she made up her mind to go, and washed and mended all her rags, made herself as smart as she could, and held herself in readiness to set out. Little enough had she to take away with her.

Next Thursday evening the White Bear came to fetch her. She seated herself on his back with her bundle, and thus they departed. When they had gone a great part of the way, the White Bear said: “Are you afraid?” Continue reading

Art I Love — Wisdom for an Eye

22 Feb

WhatisThursday’s “Wisdom for an Eye”

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