18

That went a lot further down the rabbit-hole than I expected. There doesn't seem to be a lot of agreement on the origin of the phrase. It wouldn't seem like it would be a very old reference, since tobacco was introduced to Korea in the early 1600s. This Reddit post claims that it comes from an earlier phrase about eating the tobacco and might actually have ...


9

Note As mentioned in the comments, a challenge was posted contesting the content of this answer. I answered the challenge with multiple real-world usages and the alleged origins of the expression. I'm linking it here as it serves as a further elaboration of this answer. I want to add a counteranswer here, not because I think Sean's answer is wrong, but ...


8

You don't know how funny it is to read this. This requires both cultural knowledge of Korea as well as the language. The "Heavenly Lord" or in this context is formally called Haneulnim (하늘님, "Heavenly King"). "Heaven" in this context is not the afterlife, but the literal sky and everything in the sky. I'm not too sure on the ...


6

The place you seek is actually better transliterated as "Geumgang-Gul". Geumganggul Cave is a cave located in Seoraksan National Park, in Sokcho, South Korea... It was once a place of worship and contains a Buddha stone. - Wikipedia It's located very far northeast of the country. . You can walk there from a famous temple called the Sinheungsa ...


5

In Korean, the story is called 호랑이와 곶감. I would personally go with the translation: “The Tiger and the Dried Persimmons", but this isn't the exact translation. First, I’ll address the food, because it’s simpler. In Korean, it's called 곶감. There are actually four types of persimmons enjoyed in Korea, but I'll just explain the two types. Regular persimmon ...


4

Your speculations in the question about what the contrast might mean are on point. Specifically, the poem moves from grandiose claims to mundane reality. The claims are about the past (recall) or the future (next thousand years); the reality is the present (am waiting). That the day is windy underlines the contrast between reality (cold wind) and the claims (...


3

when Koreans say "back when tigers smoked," this is kind of the equivalent of Americans saying "long ago, when dinosaurs used to roam the Earth" except that dinosaurs actually existed and we're not sure if tigers ever smoked. It just means to say that it was a very long ago. A lot of Korean folktales have to do with tigers if you have ...


2

No, not as far as I know of. Most Korean folk tales are similar to European fairy tales in the sense that each story may share similar themes and motifs, the specifics don't seem to relate. I could be wrong, but this seems to be an independent folk tale rather than part of a continuity of a sort. The sun and the moon don't normally make an appearance in most ...


1

The closest match I can find in Myths and Legends from Korea: An Annotated Compendium of Ancient and Modern Materials by James H. Grayson (Routledge, 2001) is Tale 100: "The Origin of Eclipses" (pages 253-255). This story describes a Dark Land neither sunlight nor moonlight. Dogs were raised in that land that were known as "Fire Dogs" (...


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