Myths & Legends

Dangun myth – specific to Korean culture



Dangun is the founder of the first kingdom of Korea, which is called Gojoseon. Dangun’s father Hwan-ung, who ruled heaven descended to the land of earth. He formed a society on the northern part of Korea. Then, a tiger and a bear came to him and asked him to make them human. Hwan-ung gave them a bunch of sacred food, saying that they need to stay in a cave for 100 days in order to become human. In the middle, tiger gave up. But the bear stayed until 100th days and turned in to a human. The bear became a woman named Ungnyeo. She married Hwan-ung and that is how Dangun was born. After Dangun found Gojoseon, he ruled the country for over 1500 years.

  • Why you chose it

I chose Dangun myth because it is a story that has both truth and fake. It is a myth, but Gojoseon, the kingdom that Dangun found was actually part of our country. Relics from that period is found today, and the societal system then is transformed into today’s systems and laws. I think people kind of underestimate the values and meanings of Dangun myth because it is literally a myth, a traditional made-up story from the early history.

  • What I think it is intended to represent

Dangun myths are myths that represent the founding of our nation. Korean history starts from Dangun myth so I think it represents the beginning of our history. Also, in the story, Hwan-ung is a lord of heaven who can control wind, clouds and rain, which represent that Gojoseon was a kind of society that considers agriculture as an important factor.

  • What it has meant to me personally

Dangun myth is the beginning of everything. Our long history started from the time when Gojoseon, the first kingdom of Korea was found. Whenever I learned Korean history in my middle and high school, I studied history all the way back from the time when Dangun found the land of Korea.

Moreover, this myth personally means a lot to me because it gave me a lesson that a person with great endurance can gain a lot. I think it is a great lesson that helped me to endure whatever difficulties I have in order to achieve what I want.



“Korean Mythology / Myth.” TV Tropes,

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