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|Tigers in Korean culture
The tiger has been strongly associated with Korean people and Korean culture. It appears in not only the Korean foundation mythology but also in folklore,as well as a favorite subject of Korean art such as painting and sculpture. The mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul,South Korea,is Hodori,a stylized tiger to represent Korean people.
The oldest historical record about the tiger can be found in the myth of Dangun,the legendary founding father of Gojoseon,told in the Samguk Yusa,or the Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms. According to the myth,a bear and a tiger wished to become human beings. The bear turned into a woman by observing the commandments to eat only mugwort and garlic for 100 days in the cave. But the tiger could not endure the ordeal and ran off,failing to realize its wish.
There are 635 historical records about tigers in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty.The story of a tiger that began from a myth can be also found in daily life as well. For example,the 19th-century painting named "Sansindo" depicts the guardian spirit of a mountain leaning against a tiger or riding on the back of the animal. The animal is also known to do the errands for the mountain's guardian spirit which is known to wish for peace and the well-being of the village. So,the tiger was ordered by the spiritual guardian of the mountain to give protection and wish for peace in the village. People drew such paintings and hung them in the shrine built in the mountain of the village where memorial rituals were performed regularly. In Buddhism,there is also a shrine that keeps the painting of the guardian spirit of the mountain. Called "Sansintaenghwa",it is depiction of the guardian spirit of the mountain and a tiger.
The painting "Jakhodo" (in leopard paintings,"Jakpyodo";"pyo" means leopard) is about a magpie and a tiger. The letter "jak" means magpie;"ho" means tiger;and "do" means painting. Since the work is known to keep away evil influence,there is a tradition to hang the art piece in the house in the first month of the lunar calendar. On a branch of a green pine tree sits a magpie and the tiger (or leopard),with a humorous expression,looks up at the bird. The tiger in "Jakhodo" does not look anything like a strong creature with power and authority.
Kkachi horangi,paintings depicting magpies and tigers,was a prominent motif in the minhwa folk art of the Joseon period. Kkachi pyobeom paintings depict magpies and leopards. In kkachi horangi paintings,the tiger,which is intentionally given a ridiculous and stupid appearance (hence its nickname "idiot tiger" 바보호랑이),represents authority and the aristocratic yangban,while the dignified magpie represents the common people. Hence,kkachi horangi paintings of magpies and tigers were a satire of the hierarchical structure of Joseon's feudal society.
They can be also found around the royal tombs. In front of the burial mound stands the stone tiger sculptures. People believed that tigers also safeguarded the tomb,the permanent home for the dead. The sacredness of the tiger was also utilized for holding rituals that pray for rain. According to the historical records of the early Joseon era,the head of a tiger was offered as the sacrificial offering when performing a ritual praying for rain while Joseon was under the reign of kings such as Taejong,Sejong,Munjong,and Danjong.
Chinese mythology is mythology that has been passed down in oral form or recorded in literature in the geographic area now known as Greater China. Chinese mythology includes many varied myths from regional and cultural traditions. Much of the mythology involves exciting stories full of fantastic people and beings,the use of magical powers,often taking place in an exotic mythological place or time. Like many mythologies,Chinese mythology has in the past been believed to be,at least in part,a factual recording of history. Along with Chinese folklore,Chinese mythology forms an important part of Chinese folk religion. Many stories regarding characters and events of the distant past have a double tradition:ones which present a more historicized or euhemerized version and ones which present a more mythological version.
Dangun or Dangun Wanggeom was the legendary founder and god-king of Gojoseon,the first Korean kingdom,around present-day Liaoning province in Northeast China and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. He is said to be the "grandson of heaven" and "son of a bear",and to have founded the kingdom in 2333 BC. The earliest recorded version of the Dangun legend appears in the 13th-century Samguk Yusa,which cites China's Book of Wei and Korea's lost historical record Gogi. However,it has been confirmed that there is no relevant record in the China's Book of Wei. There are around seventeen religious groups that focus on the worship of Dangun.
Korean shamanism or Mu-ism is a religion from Korea. In the Korean language,alternative terms for the tradition are musok and mugyo. Scholars of religion have classified it as a folk religion. There is no central authority in control of the religion and much diversity exists among practitioners.
Korean mythology is the group of myths told by historical and modern Koreans. There are two types:the written,literary mythology in traditional histories,mostly about the founding monarchs of various historical kingdoms,and the much larger and more diverse oral mythology,mostly narratives sung by shamans or priestesses (mansin) in rituals invoking the gods and which are still considered sacred today.
Gojoseon,also called Joseon,was the first kingdom on the Korean Peninsula. According to Korean mythology,the kingdom was established by the legendary founder named Dangun. Gojoseon possessed the most advanced culture in the Korean Peninsula at the time and was an important marker in the progression towards the more centralized states of later periods. The addition of Go,meaning "ancient",is used in historiography to distinguish the kingdom from the Joseon dynasty founded in 1392 CE.
Animal worship is an umbrella term designating religious or ritual practices involving animals. This includes the worship of animal deities or animal sacrifice. An animal 'cult' is formed when a species is taken to represent a religious figure. Animal cults can be classified according to their formal features or by their symbolic content.
Stories and practices that are considered part of Korean folklore go back several thousand years. These tales derive from a variety of origins,including Shamanism,Confucianism,Buddhism,and more recently Christianity.
Korean painting includes paintings made in Korea or by overseas Koreans on all surfaces. The earliest surviving Korean paintings are murals in the Goguryeo tombs,of which considerable numbers survive,the oldest from some 2,000 years ago,with varied scenes including dancers,hunting and spirits. It has been hypothesized the Takamatsuzuka Tomb in Japan,from the 7th-century end of the Goguryeo period,has paintings with Goguryeo influence,either done by Goguryeo artists,or Japanese one trained by Goguryeo people. Since a lot of influences came into the Korean peninsula from China during the Three Kingdoms period. Until the Joseon dynasty the primary influence was Chinese painting though done with Korean landscapes,facial features,Buddhist topics,and an emphasis on celestial observation in keeping with the rapid development of Korean astronomy.
Minhwa refers to Korean folk art produced mostly by itinerant or unknown artists without formal training,emulating contemporary trends in fine art for the purpose of everyday use or decoration. The term "minhwa" was coined by Yanagi Muneyoshi.
National Folk Museum of Korea is a national museum of South Korea,located within the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Jongno-gu,Seoul. It uses replicas of historical objects to illustrate the history of traditional life of the Korean people.
Taoism or "Do" is thought to be the earliest state philosophy for the Korean people. However,its influence waned with the introduction of Buddhism during the Goryeo kingdom as the national religion and the dominance of neo-Confucianism during the Joseon dynasty. Despite its diminished influence during those periods,it permeated all strata of the Korean populace,integrating with its native animism as well as Buddhist and Confucian institutions,temples,and ceremonies. The Taoist practice in Korea developed,somewhat in contrast to China,as an esoteric meditative practice in the mountains taught by the "mountain masters" or "mountain sages".
Hwanung is an important figure in the mythological origins of Korea. He plays a central role in the story of Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검/檀君王儉),the legendary founder of Gojoseon,the first kingdom of Korea. Hwanung is the son of Hwanin,the "Lord of Heaven". Along with his ministers of clouds,rain,and wind,he instituted laws and moral codes and taught the humans various arts,medicine,and agriculture.
Hodori (Korean: 호돌이) was the official mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul,South Korea. The stylized tiger was designed by Kim Hyun as an amicable Amur tiger,portraying the friendly and hospitable traditions of the Korean people.
Tibetan mythology refers to the traditional as well as the religious stories that have been passed down by the Tibetan people. Tibetan mythology consists mainly of national mythology stemming from the Tibetan culture as well as religious mythology from both Tibetan Buddhism and Bön Religion. These myths are often passed down orally,through rituals or through traditional art like sculptures or cave paintings. They also feature a variety of different creatures ranging from gods to spirits to monsters play a significant role in Tibetan mythology with some of these myths have broken into mainstream Western media,with the most notable one being the Abominable Snowman –the Yeti.
Ungnyeo was a bear that became a woman according to the creation myth of the Korean nation.
Jesa is a ceremony commonly practiced in the East Asian cultural sphere. Jesa functions as a memorial to the ancestors of the participants. Jesa are usually held on the anniversary of the ancestor's death. The majority of Catholics,Buddhists and nonbelievers practice ancestral rites,although Protestants do not. The Catholic ban on ancestral rituals was lifted in 1939,when Pope Pius XII formally recognized ancestral rites as a civil practice. Many Korean Christians,particularly Protestants,no longer practice this rite. Christians generally,and Muslims avoid the rites,and many emigrants avoid the rites.
Samseong-gung is a shrine along the slopes of Jiri Mountain,Hadong county in South Gyeongsang Province,that was created for paying homage to the three mythical founders of Korea:
Mu (무) is an ancient Korean word defining a shaman in the Korean traditional religion. Korean shamans hold rituals called gut for the welfare of the individuals and the society.
Chaekgeori,translated as "books and things",is a genre of still-life painting from the Joseon period of Korea that features books as the dominant subject. The chaekgeori tradition flourished from the second half of the 18th century to the first half of the 20th century and was enjoyed by all members of the population,from the king to the commoners,revealing the infatuation with books and learning in Korean culture.
Bears have been depicted throughout history by many different cultures and societies. Bears are very popular animals that feature in many stories,folklores,mythology and legends from across the world,ranging from North America,Europe and Asia. In the 20th century bears have been very popular in pop culture with several high profile characters and stories with depictions of bears e.g. Goldilocks and the Three Bears,Rupert Bear,Paddington Bear and Winnie the Pooh.
『조선왕조실록』에 실린 호랑이 관련 기사는 모두 635건에 이른다.