Gon and Woo are mythological persons who were born in China and who performed all their tasks there. That is why they are present in Korean myths from time to time, for instance in the myth about Dangun or the kingdom Goguryeo, and finally they achieve universality and credibility. On the other hand the holy mother Seondo was the daughter of the Chinese emperor who acquired supernatural powers and went to Korea where she stayed. Consequently Koreans did not know much about what she did in China. As a result she became accepted by Koreans as the common goddess of mountains called differently in different regions. From the point of view of the Korean nation Ju Wonjang and Seol Ingwi are heroes from China but at the same time despite being persons of low birth as commonalty they managed to become heroes. It is an extremely important aspect for Koreans. Although they actually attacked Goguryeo and forced Korea to obey China, for the Korean commonalty such historical experiences could be of different significance. As far as myths about Chinese heroes are concerned, the Korean commonalty seemed to be interested first and foremost in their skills and strength, which were so great that there was no authority in Korea powerful enough to withstand it. In my opinion for the Korean commonalty the concept of nation was something in the form of an imaginary community, which should arise at any moment by chance and should unify people strongly. The Korean commonality expressed in legends and folktales its strong will to identify themselves with people beyond national divisions in order to save themselves from their hard everyday life. Folktales usually do not present any issue fully. They only present a specific situation or a particular day or something typical of China, etc. By treating Chinese heroes as if they were their own, the Korean commonalty took advantage of them in some sense. I think it was their strategy enabling them to fulfil their dreams by living the life of others.
Jang Deok-Sun et al. 2005. 『구비문학개설』 (증보판). 서울: 일조각.
Jeong Jang, 1982, “鯀禹治水神話的産生和演變,” 『民間文學論文選』, 湖南人民出版社, pp. 51-55.
Kim Jong-Kun. 2009. “Modification pattern of Sundosungmo story and the meaning”. A Journal of Onji, No. 32, pp. 43-63. Seoul: The Society of Onji Studies.
Lee In-Taek. 2000. 『중국신화의 세계』, 서울: 풀빛.
Lee Ki-Huyng. 2006. “Comparative Research on Seol Inkwi Legends”. Journal of Korean folklore, No. 44. Seoul: The Korean Folklore Society.
Park Jong-Seong. 2003. ‘헝가리의 創世 및 民族起源神話의 再編樣相’,『동유럽연구』12권 1호. 서울: 한국외국어대학교 동유럽발칸연구소.
Park Jong-Seong. 2004. “Why, now, Goguryo mythology”. The Journal of Humanities, No.9, pp. 27~56. Seoul: The Institute of Humanities (The Catholic University of Korea), pp. 27-56.
Ryu Dae-Pyeong (劉大平) 編著, 『中國神話經典』, 內蒙古大學出版社, 2003.
See Kim Jong-Kun, “Modification pattern of Sundosungmo story and the meaning,” A Journal of Onji, The Society of Onji Studies, 2009, pp. 43-63.
Seo Dae-Seok, 2011. 『이야기의 의미와 해석』. 서울: 세종출판사.
Seon Jeong-Gyu. 1996. 『중국신화연구』, 서울: 고려원.
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