Legends of Mt Myohyang

Mt Myohyang Snowscape

Mt Myohyang Snowscape. (Photo Credit Uriminzokkiri, cropped)


Mt Myohyang (1 909 m above sea level) in northwest Korea is famous for not only its superb scenery but also its legends.


The source of legendary descriptions is the beauty of the mountain, and legends are divided into several kinds according to their themes and ideological content.


Among them are "Tangun Cave and Tangun" and "Sonyu Peak and Haemosu" which tell of the great national pride and self-confidence regarding the mountain as a renowned one where the long history of the Korean nation started and outstanding figures could be born to be recorded in the history of the nation.


The legend "Tangun Cave and Tangun" is mainly about the birth of Tangun, the founding father of the Korean nation.


The tale says: Tangun, born in a stone cave on the ridge of the Hyangno Peak, grew up as a strong and agile young man. He learned martial art on a broad rock above the Tangun cave almost every day, practicing swordsmanship and archery. Later, people called the rock Tangun Rock relating it to his training.


The Chonju Rock has a story that Tangun trained himself in archery every day on the Tangun Rock shooting at the Chonju Rock which stands in the middle of the opposite peak.


Rhododendron yedoense of Pulyong Hermitage

Rhododendron yedoense of Pulyong Hermitage. (Photo Credit Naenara, cropped)


In addition, there are legends about patriotic feats Korean people performed in the struggle against foreign invaders, including "Rhododendron yedoense of Pulyong Hermitage", "Mercy for the Enemy Commander," "Story about the Stick of Saint Sosan" and about origins of historical relics associated with wisdom and talent of the nation and the landscape of the mountain, including "Rocked Bean Curd" and "Heavy Stone of Sangwon Hermitage."


The legends are registered on the list of national intangible cultural heritage as they reflect the pride, aspiration and desire of the Korean people who count Mt Myohyang as one of the greatest scenic beauties.


(Uriminzokkiri - February 11, 2021)

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