They are said to have been transformed from inanimate objects, rather than the spirit of someone who has died. The face is modelled after Chiwoo Cheonwang, an influential figure in Korean and Chinese mythology who stood as a figure for victory and guardianship. Curupira (Brazilian Mythology) orig06.deviantart.net. In this list of supernatural creatures, I’m comfortable rating the gumiho (or nine-tailed fox) the third most popular, mainly due to their appearance in the 2010 TV drama “My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox.” Sounds like a particularly uncomfortable episode of Maury Povich. Like Chinese mythology, Korea has its own polar guardians, but if you’ve seen D-Wars, you’ve probably had enough of dragons. Deriving from ancient Chinese myths and folklores, a fox that lives a thousand years turns into a kumiho, like its Japanese and Chinese counterparts. Pages in category "Korean legendary creatures" The following 21 pages are in this category, out of 21 total. These days, the romanisation “Cheonma” is highly favoured, which can be found on anything from cement to soccer teams. by Charles La Shure. But they tell us about more than mortal fear alone. An impressive 46-meter-tall statue of Chollima was built in downtown Pyongyang, depicting the winged horse carrying on his back a worker holding a Korean Workers Party address and a woman carrying rice. I’d love to see more movies do to Korea’s mythical creatures what films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ginger Snaps, and Twilight (okay, maybe let’s forget that one) have done for vampires and werewolves. In one story, the gumiho transforms into a male form in order to seduce a woman. The myth must explain how that feature was formed. You can see gwishin all over Korean horror movies, and the Japanese version of the image went global thanks to the 1998 film The Ring. Korean creatures that transform from old inanimate … Please let me know. The haechi originally was an animal, sort of a hybrid between a lion and a watchdog, with a horn in the center of its head. The bonghwang is a mythical bird of East Asia that is said to have dominion over all other birds. It is bigger than a turtle, but has a … At the Boseong Green Tea Plantation, a dragon is depicted holding the Yeouiju in its jaws (photo courtesy of Boseong County). It is said to come to this world when there’s peace on earth. Scylla was a monster in Greek mythology that lived between two rocks near Italy and Sicily. The three-legged crow Michelle Bachmann’s worst nightmare? Starring Seung-gi Lee (이승기) and Min-ah Shin (신민아). Dokkaeki became very popular after the drama 도깨비 (Goblin) came out. Also like western ghosts, most gwishin are depicted as floating, legless, and translucent. The Korean Mythological Bestiary The bulgasari is an unusual hybrid creature. Lovecraft Country finally revealed the military service of protagonist Atticus Freeman during the Korean War, which included a horrific encounter with one of the biggest monsters in Korean folklore: the kumiho. The chollima is an important symbol in North Korea because of how the creature is portrayed. Ihamrga is the representation of fabulous creatures in Hindu mythology. This book will examine how both myth and fact contributed to the culture and traditions of the Koreans, and how these influences and some stories continue to live on throughout the centuries. The creature was described by Homer as a monster with twelve feet and six long necks. According to the original legend, Chollima was a winged horse who wanted to be tamed. They love cucumbers. Mogwai/Mogui. However, their image is striking and easily identifiable, and I’ve been taken aback by the strength of the belief so many Koreans have in ghosts, which are imagined to be found almost everywhere. Korean legends are full of mythical creatures and today I will tell you about some of them. Eggbun promises to be your Korean tutor and conversation partner. The haechi should be recogniseable to anyone who’s been to Seoul, as it’s been the city’s symbol since 2009. Greek mythology is known for its variety of mixed-up monsters — e.g. Like Chinese mythology, Korea has its own polar guardians, but if you’ve seen D-Wars, you’ve probably had enough of dragons. Korean legends characterise a variety of mythical creatures, ghosts, monsters, and dragons. Warning: don’t let your kids play with a haechi. The best way to learn Korean is to live in Korea. Of course not in real life, but their legends live on in various forms. They may move objects around, and their presence is accompanied by an eerie feeling, a light breeze, or a cold sensation, very much like western ghosts. It had six heads with three rows of sharp teeth. Gwishin are usually women or girls with long black hair, and most commonly they are depicted wearing white funerary clothes. In East Asian mythologies, the three-legged crow is a symbol of the Sun and is said to live there. Kappa. Your email address will not be published. Don’t live there? Dokkaebi (도깨비) are mischievous creatures that play jokes on bad people and grants good people’s wishes during the night. Some also draw parallels of this beast with the Waheela gian… Korean legends are full of mythical creatures and today I will tell you about some of them. Supernatural Creatures of Korean Mythology, by JonDunbar. There are multiple versions of dokkaebi, which come in … A staple of fairy tales and mythology, the kumiho is the Korean interpretation of the nine-tailed spirit foxes that also appear in Chinese and Japanese folklore. Every culture has their own monster and each one tells its own story about what haunts or scares us. It is portrayed as a horse that can fly at very high speeds. Their club, called a bangmangi (방망이), allows them to summon any item they want. Dokkaebi (도깨비) are mischievous creatures that play jokes … After they finish their final draft, they can make picture books. The Inmyeonjo (인면조) is the bird with the human face. It’s a major part of Chinese mythology, often even replacing the rooster in the Chinese zodiac. Although Korea’s dragons are comparable to Chinese dragons, there are a few factors that make Korean dragons unique. The presidential logo, seen here on President Park Jeong-hui’s podium, depicts two bonghwang facing each other (photo: Yonhap News). Geography The Korean peninsula juts out from the mainland in Northeast Asia between China and Japan. The main character was actually a Dokkaebie that was looking for the human wife to end his immortal life. To understand more about the character and scope of Korean mythology and folklore, it is necessary to have at least a brief background in the history and geography of the country. Learn how your comment data is processed. For instance, the ancient Greeks had their minotaurs and cyclopes, the middle ages had elves and dwarves, every culture had dragons, and even the relatively young culture of North America has Bigfoot and Chupacabra. Often symbolising justice, it was a common decoration of old Chinese and Joseon architecture. So, not much different from any other club at the hands of a robber, from what I can tell. The dokkaebi is a good place to start, as it was the focus of the museum I found up on Namsan. Dokkaebi are endowed with a few magical items. It’s a major part of Chinese mythology, often even replacing the rooster in the Chinese zodiac. An important distinction to make between dokkaebi and Chinese and Japanese monsters is that dokkaebi wish to live among people. Cheonma as depicted on logos for: Seongnam FC, Chungnam Women’s FC, Cheonma Cement They look like they want to challenge you to a wrestling match. The Kappa lives in the rivers and waterways of Japan. A haechi statue sits in front of Gyeongbok Palace, protecting the nation from Yang energy (and small children). Many are derived from Chinese legends, but with their own unique Korean spin. In most stories their motivation is revenge, but there can be other reasons. But during the Goguryeo Dynasty, the samjoko was considered a symbol of power, superior to both the dragon and the bonghwang. The bonghwang is composed of the beak of a rooster, the face of a swallow, the forehead of a fowl, the neck of a snake, the breast of a goose, the back of a tortoise, the hindquarters of a stag, and the tail of a fish. Your email address will not be published. The idea of a gwishin is very similar to western conceptions of ghosts: they are the restless souls of the dead who refuse to move on, usually because of something they haven’t completed. In recent times, illustration has become the core component to create the identity of any product…, This is what 500 years of graphic design in print looks like, Why Typography Matters — Especially At The Oscars. A gumiho is said to be a fox that has lived 1000 years, after which it gains the power of shapeshifting. Dokkaebi, also known as Korean goblins, possess extraordinary powers and abilities that are used to interact with humans, at times playing tricks on them and at times helping them. Follow our curriculum and chat with Lanny in Korean! Many of them have jumped straight from the pages of myth and into popular culture. 7) Tsuchigumo. People are wont to carelessly refer to Korean dokkaebi or Japanese dokkaebi, but they are clearly mistaken. While some myths suggest Crataeis was Scylla’s mother, Hecate was also linked to be the mother in some other myths. Bulgasari: Another famous monster. For in a culture's tales of death we can see what it is they value in life. The gumiho has been depicted in Korean media numerous times; as well as the SBS drama they’ve been the center of the 1994 film The Fox with Nine Tails, the 2006 musical comedy The Fox Family, and the 2007 animated film Yobi, the Five-Tailed Fox. The term “ Mo ” is derived from the Sanskrit Mara and means “evil” (the word “Māra” comes from … In old Tokyo, there was a tradition where people wrote their family members’ names onto cucumbers and sent them downstream to appease the Kappa. The image of the dokkaebi ranges between a demonic figure and a conventional troll, right down to the club. The mogwai are demons who seek to harm a human. the manticore, which has a lion's body, bat wings, and a human head — but they have nothing on Japan. King Arthur and Excalibur, the Loch Ness Monster; the Boogeyman; Bigfoot, Leprechauns, and many others. Although, it should be pointed out, in My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox this is revealed to be a rumour that ruined the main character’s reputation and kept her from landing a husband. Dokkaebi are legendary creatures from Korean mythology and folklore. Most dragons were originally imugi, a type of lesser or juvenile dragon resembling a giant serpent. Having found no one able to tame him, he flew up into the sky. Regardless of how they're used, urban legends remain a consistent and … It remains as a symbol of the Goguryeo Dynasty, and can still be seen in contemporary Korean historic dramas, such as Jumong. I guess owing to their love of games, the dokkaebi were a natural choice when it came to pick a mascot for the Red Devils, the official support group for the Korean national football team. The Red Devils mascot is based on a type of dokkaebi (photo: Yonhap News). Other times, multiple urban legends are combined to create a new mythology. The azure dragon is the guardian of the East. Required fields are marked *. A cheonyeo gwishin was depicted in the 1999 Korean film Ring Virus, based on the Japanese book. These Japanese monsters are seen as mischievous tricksters, though this can range to the downright diabolical such as kidnapping or raping women. In Korea, the bonghwang has appeared on the royal emblem, and more recently the presidential emblem, and there is a statue of it at Cheong Wa Dae. The gamtu (감투), or hat, grants them invisibility. According to some stories, they are easily beaten by hooking their leg, as they only have one of those. For the purpose of this monster compendium, I’m going to focus on actual supernatural creature species, rather than individual legendary figures, to focus on the creatures themselves rather than the specific myths they’re tied to. Let the students share their myths with the rest of the class. The name means “1000-ri horse,” with “ri” representing a traditional unit of measuring distance. Myths and legends help explore those anxieties. Like pretty well every country, Korean legends make mention of dragons. This list may not reflect recent changes (). Despite the existence of tales (and SBS dramas) depicting the gumiho as good, or even as naive beings being exploited by evil humans, they have gained a reputation for being evil, sometimes feral beasts, depicted seducing men or robbing graves to eat the hearts of the recently deceased. Dokkaebi exist in Korea, not in Japan. The bonghwang is a mythical bird of East Asia that is said to have dominion over all other birds. Follow our curriculum and chat with Lanny in Korean! In more traditional stories, the gumiho retains more of its foxlike nature, with some stories depicting them as more of a half-fox half-human, or were-fox. Said to eat fire, they are places at the entrances to buildings and palaces to prevent them from burning down. Korea’s mythology is filled with incredible supernatural creatures, and I’d love to see more of them brought forward into the modern world, much the way the gumiho has been, or other famous movie monsters in the western world such as vampires and werewolves. Here is the best alternative. Western cultures have many myths and legends that we are familiar with. Norse mythology – including the stories of Odin, Thor and Loki – was the basis of the religion of the Viking warriors that plundered Europe from the 8 th to the 11 th centuries. Technically gwishin belong to a different category from the other entries here, which are all considered monsters while gwishin is essentially the ghost of someone who died. They reproduce sexually with the arrival of the rains, which symbolizes abundance and fertility. 구미호 Gumiho (Nine-tailed fox) The Gumiho, known as a Nine-tailed fox is also one of the popular … Kala is a ferocious monster symbolic of time in its all-devouring aspect and associated with the destructive side of the god Shiva. A kumiho (gumiho) (Korean pronunciation: ; Korean: 구미호; Hanja: 九尾狐, literally "nine-tailed fox") is a creature that appears in the tales and legends of Korea. It made me curious about what other kinds of mythical creatures lie buried in Korea’s past. Korean mythology is intricate, complex, and the ideals behind some of their mythological beliefs were often intertwined with real-life events. After the Korean War, the North Koreans started using the slogan “Charge forward with the speed of Chollima!” Today, Chollima is greatly significant in North Korean public discourse, reminding them to devote their lives to hard work. A while ago, I was riding around Sowol-gil on the slope of Namsan when I stumbled across what appeared to be a museum on mythical Korean monsters. Gumiho (구미호) is a nine-tailored fox. It is romanised many different ways, with the Chinese version xiezhi (sure to give any Scrabble player a heart attack), and the more Korean haetae, or Haitai. However, it cannot create the item out of thin air, thus obeying the Laws of Thermodynamics like a good little magic item; instead, the item is stolen from others. Probably the most confusing of all these creatures, the three-legged crow known as samjoko seems the most like it just shouldn’t exist. These two history books are based on much older records that are currently lost. Thank you for a very interesting and informative article. Of course, she was still encouraged to drink blood, and told that her boyfriend must die after 100 days. This is just like the Pegasus where the horse has wings. For that matter, they are known to eat children as well, which anyone who’s ever flown in economy class with a crying baby the whole flight will probably see the logic to. Characteristics of a Goblin/Dokkaebi. Some dragons were even said to be sentient, capable of understanding complex emotions. Monsters. The Chollima has lent its name to a Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province) county, as well as the national soccer team, a movie studio, and even North Korea’s 1956 answer to China’s Great Leap Forward, intended to promote rapid economic development (wanna guess how that worked out for them?). Some legends say she had to starve for 1,000 or 100 days, some say that she had to eat human liver or heart 100 times. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Goblin (dokkaebi) Goblin, also known as dokkaebi in Korean, is a creature familiar to people who’ve … When the morning comes, they disappear by turning into inanimate objects. You might recognise that last one as the confectionery and beverage company of the same name. Don’t worry. Another extremely popular Korean legend that is being used in recent dramas is that of the Jeosung Saja; also known as Netherworld Emissaries. Have I missed any other supernatural Korean creatures? Korean mythology. Due to conflicting definitions, the ri is either 393 meters or 2927 meters, the latter which was adopted by Korea during the Japanese imperial era, so I’m going to guess they’re referring to the first one. These mythical creatures are similar to the widely known Grim Reapers, and were charged with the duty of guiding both good and evil souls to the afterlife. The religion went into decline around a thousand years ago when Christianity swept through the north of Europe. Curupira is a gnome like creature belonging to … Mythological creatures are in essence the manifestations of our biggest fears. It has the body of a bear, buffalo's eyes, elephant's nose and tiger's claws.
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