December 17, 2014
Hooray for a lighthearted TL;DR! We’ve been handling some serious topics lately, about slave contracts, single mothers, and animal shelters, and we’re glad to put up something a lot more light and fun. WOOHOO! Now you can feel free to ask more serious questions and we’ll get back into digging into those. We just needed a break from all the seriousness.
On to other Korean Mythological Creatures! We’re starting with:
We learned something new when we were doing research for this topic! This guy right here is actually the symbol used for the Korean Red Devils, which is a popular sports mascot. You see it often during Olympic and World Cup time, like in our video. We just thought it was a random mascot that was meant to inspire fear, but it actually dates back to Korean folklore. Supposedly it’s a midget thing that has a spiked bat, and it tricks bad people while rewarding good people. It’s not a ghost or a spirit of something; rather, it’s transformed out of inanimate objects. I’m not well-versed enough to know what objects get transformed into the Dokkaebi, though.
This thing I don’t actually recall seeing anywhere in Korea. Or, at least, it might have been referred to somewhere but I wasn’t aware of it. Supposedly it has a head and body shaped like a bear, needle-like fur skin, a tiger’s claws, a bull’s tail, an elephant nose, and the eyes of a rhino. Quite the concoction. I have no idea why they would take the eyes of a rhino as opposed to, well, you know, it’s freaking horn, which is what it’s known for. That’d be like hiring Michael Jordan to cook you dinner. Do rhino eyes have anything special about them?
What I find most interesting about the Bulgasari is how it supposedly was made. One day, a buddhist monk was bored from hiding in a room that he made it out of leftover rice. Then the thing started eating needles and nails and spoons and every damn thing he could find like a Katamari Ball and just kept on getting bigger. It’s name also either means “cannot be killed” or “fire can kill it.” I’m not sure which one is correct.
AWW YEAH COCK DRAGON. More like Chicken Dragon, but that doesn’t sound as badass as Cock-Dragon. Anyhow, think of this thing as a Chocobo, if you’ve played Final Fantasy. It kinda looks like a Chocobo. It pulls chariots for legendary heroes and all that jazz. I don’t know much more about them. There’s a mountain in Korea named after it as well, Gyeryongsan. I’m not sure why it’s called that. Maybe there are lots of cock dragons in the bushes there. HA!
Ok so this one is a bit of a throwaway, because we don’t have that much to say about it, but Martina mentioned it at the end of our TL;DR. We found very little information about it. It’s part of a Korean Mask Dance, aka Talchum, and it’s a fat musical water spirit that’s covered in seaweed. It’s kind of comedic relief in the dance. And, there you go. It’s hard to find more info about it, and it’s a bit anticlimactic considering the awesomeness of the other mythological creatures we mentioned, but there you go!
So that’s it for mythology. YAY for a fun topic. I don’t think we’re doing a TL;DR for next week, because it’s Christmas, but we should hopefully get one ready for the week afterwards. Let us know if you have any similar mythological creatures where you’re from, and if there’s any overlap or not :D