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Korean Folk Tales: Imps, Ghosts And Fairies | by James S. Gale



To any one who would like to look somewhat into the inner soul of the Oriental, and see the peculiar spiritual existences among which he lives, the following stories will serve as true interpreters, born as they are of the three great religions of the Far East, Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. An old manuscript copy of Im Bang's stories came into the hands of the translator a year ago, and he gives them now to the Western world that they may serve as introductory essays to the mysteries, and, what many call, absurdities of Asia. Very gruesome indeed, and unlovely, some of them are, but they picture faithfully the conditions under which Im Bang himself, and many past generations of Koreans, have lived...

TitleKorean Folk Tales: Imps, Ghosts And Fairies
AuthorJames S. Gale
PublisherJ. M. Dent & Sons
Year1913
Copyright1913, E. P. Dutton & Co.
AmazonKorean Folk Tales: Imps, Ghosts And Fairies
Korean Folk Tales Imps, Ghosts And Fairies

Translated From The Korean Of Im Bang And Yi Ryuk By James S. Gale

J. M. Dent & Sons
-Preface
To any one who would like to look somewhat into the inner soul of the Oriental, and see the peculiar spiritual existences among which he lives, the following stories will serve as true interpreters, b...
-I. Charan
[Some think that love, strong, true, and self-sacrificing, is not to be found in the Orient; but the story of Charan, which comes down four hundred years and more, proves the contrary, for it still ha...
-Charan. Part 2
Straight to Charan's home he went, but Charan was not there, only her mother. She looked at him, but did not recognize him. He said he was the former Governor's son and that out of love for Charan he ...
-Charan. Part 3
To return in the story: On awaking in the morning in the temple where he and his friends had gone to study, they found Keydong missing. All was in a state of confusion as to what had become of the son...
-II. The Story Of Chang To-Ryong
[Taoism has been one of the great religions of Korea. Its main thought is expressed in the phrase su-sim yon-song, to correct the mind and reform the nature; while Buddhism's is myong-sim kyon-song,...
-III. A Story Of The Fox
[The Fox - Orientals say that among the long-lived creatures are the tortoise, the deer, the crane and the fox, and that these long-lived ones attain to special states of spiritual refinement. If tree...
-IV. Cheung Puk-Chang, The Seer
[Cheung Puk-chang. - The Yol-ryok Keui-sul, one of Korea's noted histories, says of Cheung Puk-chang that he was pure in purpose and without selfish ambition. He was superior to all others in his marv...
-V. Yun Se-Pyong, The Wizard
[Yun Se-pyong was a man of Seoul who lived to the age of over ninety. When he was young he loved archery, and went as military attache to the capital of the Mings (Nanking). There he met a prophet who...
-VI. The Wild-Cat Woman
[Kim Su-ik was a native of Seoul who matriculated in 1624 and graduated in 1630. In 1636, when the King made his escape to Nam-han from the invading Manchu army, Kim Su-ik acompanied him. He opposed a...
-VII. The Ill-Fated Priest
A certain scribe of Chung-chong Province, whose name was Kim Kyong-jin, once told me the following story. Said he: In the year 1640, as I was journeying past Big Horn Bridge in Ta-in County, I saw a ...
-VIII. The Vision Of The Holy Man
Yi Chi-Ham (Master To-jong). - A story is told of him that on the day after his wedding he went out with his topo or ceremonial coat on, but came back later without it. On inquiry being made, it was f...
-IX. The Visit Of The Man Of God
In the thirty-third year of Mal-yok of the Mings (a.d. 1605), being the year Eulsa of the reign of Son-jo, in the seventh moon, a great rain fell, such a rain as had not been seen since the founding o...
-X. The Literary Man Of Imsil
[The calling of spirits is one of the powers supposed to be possessed by disciples of the Old Philosopher (Taoists), who reach a high state of spiritual attainment. While the natural desires remain th...
-XI. The Soldier Of Kang-Wha
[The East says that the air is full of invisible constituents that, once taken in hand and controlled, will take on various forms of life. The man of Kang-wha had acquired the art of calling together ...
-XII. Cursed By The Snake
[Ha Yon graduated in the year 1396, and became magistrate of Anak County. He built many pavilions in and about his official place of residence, where people might rest. As he went about his district, ...
-XIII. The Man On The Road
In the Manchu War of 1636, the people of Seoul rushed off in crowds to make their escape. One party of them came suddenly upon a great force of the enemy, armed and mounted. The hills and valleys seem...
-XIV. The Old Man Who Became A Fish
Some years ago a noted official became the magistrate of Ko-song County. On a certain day a guest called on him to pay his respects, and when noon came the magistrate had a table of food prepared for ...
-XV. The Geomancer
[Yi Eui-sin was a specialist in Geomancy. His craft came into being evidently as a by-product of Taoism, but has had mixed in it elements of ancient Chinese philosophy. The Positive and the Negative, ...
-XVI. The Man Who Became A Pig
[Kim Yu was the son of a country magistrate who graduated with literary honours in 1596. In 1623 he was one of the faithful courtiers who joined forces to dethrone the wicked Prince Kwang-hai, and pla...
-XVII. The Old Woman Who Became A Goblin
There was a Confucian scholar once who lived in the southern part of Seoul. It is said that he went out for a walk one day while his wife remained alone at home. When he was absent there came by beggi...
-XVIII. The Grateful Ghost
It is often told that in the days of the Koryo Dynasty (a.d. 918-1392), when an examination was to be held, a certain scholar came from a far-distant part of the country to take part. Once on his jour...
-XIX. The Plucky Maiden
[Han Myong-hoi. - We are told in the Yol-ryok Keui-sul that when Han was a boy he had for protector and friend a tiger, who used to accompany him as a dog does his master. One evening, when he started...
-XX. The Resourceful Wife
In the last year of Yon-san terrible evils were abroad among the people. Such wickedness as the world had never seen before was perpetrated, of which his Majesty was the evil genius. He even gave orde...
-XXI. The Boxed-Up Governor
A certain literary official was at one time Governor of the city of Kyong-ju. Whenever he visited the Mayor of the place, it was his custom, on seeing dancing-girls, to tap them on the head with his p...
-XXII. The Man Who Lost His Legs
There was a merchant in Chong-ju who used to go to Quelpart to buy seaweed. One time when he drew up on the shore he saw a man shuffling along on the ground toward the boat. He crept nearer, and at la...
-XXIII. Ten Thousand Devils
[Han Chun-kyom was the son of a provincial secretary. He matriculated in the year 1579 and graduated in 1586. He received the last wishes of King Son-jo, and sat by his side taking notes for seven hou...
-XXIV. The Home Of The Fairies
In the days of King In-jo (1623-1649) there was a student of Confucius who lived in Ka-pyong. He was still a young man and unmarried. His education had not been extensive, for he had read only a littl...
-The Home Of The Fairies. Continued
The master said, Show this young man the way to his apartments and treat him well till the time of the wedding. The official then led the way, and the young man bowed as he left the room. When he h...
-XXV. The Honest Witch
[Song Sang-in matriculated in 1601. He was a just man, and feared by the dishonest element of the Court. In 1605 he graduated and became a provincial governor. He nearly lost his life in the disturban...
-XXVI. Whom The King Honours
In the days of King Se-jong students of the Confucian College were having a picnic to celebrate the Spring Festival. They met in a wood to the north of the college, near a beautiful spring of water, a...
-XXVII. The Fortunes Of Yoo
There was a man of Yong-nam, named Yoo, who lived in the days of Se-jong. He had studied the classics, had passed his examinations, and had become a petty official attached to the Confucian College. H...
-XXVIII. An Encounter With A Hobgoblin
I got myself into trouble in the year Pyong-sin, and was locked up; a military man by the name of Choi Won-so, who was captain of the guard, was involved in it and locked up as well. We often met in p...
-XXIX. The Snake's Revenge
There lived in ancient days an archer, whose home was near the Water Gate of Seoul. He was a man of great strength and famous for his valour. Water Gate has reference to a hole under the city wall, b...
-XXX. The Brave Magistrate
In olden times in one of the counties of North Ham-kyong Province, there was an evil-smelling goblin that caused great destruction to life. Successive magistrates appeared, but in ten days or so after...
-XXXI. The Temple To The God Of War
[Yi Hang-bok - When he was a child a blind fortune-teller came and cast his future, saying, This boy will be very great indeed. At seven years of age his father gave him for subject to write a vers...
-XXXII. A Visit From The Shades
[Choi Yu-won. - (The story of meeting his mother's ghost is reported to be of this man.) Choi Yu-won matriculated in 1579 and graduated in 1602, becoming Chief Justice and having conferred on him the...
-XXXIII. The Fearless Captain
There was formerly a soldier, Yee Man-ji of Yong-nam, a strong and muscular fellow, and brave as a lion. He had green eyes and a terrible countenance. Frequently he said, Fear! What is fear? On a ce...
-XXXIV. The King Of Yom-Na (Hell)
[Pak Chom was one of the Royal Censors, and died in the Japanese War of 1592.] The Story In Yon-nan County, Whang-hai Province, there was a certain literary graduate whose name I have forgotten. He ...
-XXXV. Hong's Experiences In Hades
Hong Nai-pom was a military graduate who was born in the year a.d. 1561, and lived in the city of Pyeng-yang. He passed his examination in the year 1603, and in the year 1637 attained to the Third Deg...
-XXXVI. Haunted Houses
There once lived a man in Seoul called Yi Chang, who frequently told as an experience of his own the following story: He was poor and had no home of his own, so he lived much in quarters loaned him by...
-XXXVII. Im, The Hunter
[Im Kyong-up. - One of Korea's most famous generals, who fought in behalf of China in 1628 against the Manchus. He is worshipped to-day in many parts of Korea.] The Story When General Im Kyong-up wa...
-XXXVIII. The Magic Invasion Of Seoul
A gentleman of Seoul was one day crossing the Han River in a boat. In the crossing, he nodded for a moment, fell asleep and dreamed a dream. In his dream he met a man who had Gothic eyebrows and almon...
-XXXIX. The Awful Little Goblin
There was an occasion for a celebration in the home of a nobleman of Seoul, whereupon a feast, to which were invited all the family friends, was prepared. There was a great crowd of men and women. In ...
-XL. God's Way
In a certain town there lived a man of fierce and ungovernable disposition, who in moments of anger used to beat his mother. One day this parent, thus beaten, screamed out, Oh, God, why do you not st...
-XLI. The Old Man In The Dream
Kwon Jai was a man high in rank and well advanced in years. He was, however, much given to sport and various kinds of pleasure. One night he had a dream, when an old man came to him, who bowed low, an...
-XLII. The Perfect Priest
There was once a priest called Namnu who had perfected his ways in the Buddhistic doctrine. Whenever he had clothing of his own he would willingly undress and give it to those who were cold. His spiri...
-XLIII. The Propitious Magpie
People say that when the magpie builds its nest directly south of a home that the master of the house will be promoted in office. King T'ai-jong had a friend once who was very poor and had failed in a...
-XLIV. The "Old Buddha"
Prime Minister Choi Yun-tok was in mourning once for his mother. With a single horse and one servant he made a journey to the south where the road led through the county of Kai-ryong. At that very tim...
-XLV. A Wonderful Medicine
Prince Cheung had been First Minister of the land for thirty years. He was a man just and upright, now nearly ninety years of age. His son was called Whal, and was second in influence only to his fath...
-XLVI. Faithful Mo
Prince Ha had a slave who was a landed pro-prieter and lived in Yang-ju county. He had a daughter, fairest of the fair, whom he called Mo (Nobody), beautiful beyond expression. An Yun was a noted scho...
-XLVII. The Renowned Maing
Minister of State Maing Sa-song once upon a time, dressed in plain clothes, started south on a long journey. On the way he was overtaken by rain, and turned into a side pavilion for rest and shelter. ...
-XLVIII. The Senses
The eyes are round like gems, so that they can roll about and see things; the ears have holes in them so that they can hear; the nose has openings by which it can perceive smell; and the mouth is hori...
-XLIX. Who Decides, God Or The King?
King Tai-jong was having a rest in Heung-yang Palace, while outside two eunuchs were talking together over the law that governs the affairs of men, as to whether it is man or God. A said, Riches and ...
-L. Three Things Mastered
There was a relative of the king, named Im Sung-jong, who was a gifted man in thought and purpose. He was the first performer of his time on the harp. King Se-jong said of him, Im's harp knows but on...
-LI. Strangely Stricken Dead
There was once a man called Kim Tok-saing, a soldier of fortune, who had been specially honoured at the Court of Tai-jong. He had several times been generalissimo of the army, and on his various campa...
-LII. The Mysterious Hoi Tree
Prince Pa-song's house was situated just inside of the great East Gate, and before it was a large Hoi tree. On a certain night the Prince's son-in-law was passing by the roadway that led in front of t...
-LIII. Ta-Hong
[Sim Heui-su studied as a young man at the feet of No Su-sin, who was sent as an exile to a distant island in the sea. Thither he followed his master and worked at the Sacred Books. He matriculated in...
-Ta-Hong. Part 2
Then Ta-hong said, 'We cannot meet here; let's go to my aunt's home in the next ward, where it's quiet, and talk there.' We went to the aunt's home. It was neat and clean and somewhat isolated, and a...
-Ta-Hong. Part 3
'I then asked who the person was with whom she had made this contract, and she told me your name. I am so old that I no longer think of taking wives and concubines, but she called herself my concubin...
-Some Romantic Volumes In Everyman's Library
Le Morte D'Arthur (2 Vols.) Introduction by Sir John Rhys The Mabinogion Translated by Lady Charlotte Guest Kalevala, or the Land of Heroes (2 Vols.) Newly Translated from the Finnish by W. F. Kl...









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previous page: Green Willow And Other Japanese Fairy Tales | by Grace James
  
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next page: Korean Tales | by H. N. Allen