Dangun (단군; 檀君; [tan.ɡun]) or Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검; 檀君王儉; [tan.ɡun waŋ.ɡʌm]) was the legendary founder and god-king of Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom, around present-day Liaoning, Manchuria, and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. He is said to be the "grandson of heaven" and "son of a bear", and to have founded the kingdom in 2333 BC. The earliest recorded version of the Dangun legend appears in the 13th-century Samguk Yusa, which cites China's Book of Wei and Korea's lost historical record Gogi (고기, 古記).
Portrait of Dangun
|Revised Romanization||Dangun Wanggeom|
- 1 Myth
- 2 The mythology of the Kingdom of Hwan to the historiographies of 47 Dangun Rulers
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Mausoleum of Dangun
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
Dangun's ancestry legend begins with his grandfather Hwanin (환인/桓因), the "Lord of Heaven". Hwanin had a son, Hwanung (환웅/ Hanja: 桓雄), who yearned to live on the earth among the valleys and the mountains. Hwanin permitted Hwanung and 3,000 followers to descend onto Baekdu Mountain, where Hwanung founded the Sinsi (신시/ Hanja: 神市, "City of God"). Along with his ministers of clouds, rain and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught humans various arts, medicine, and agriculture. Legend attributes the development of acupuncture and moxibustion to Dangun.
A tiger and a bear prayed to Hwanung that they might become human. Upon hearing their prayers, Hwanung gave them twenty cloves of garlic and a bundle of mugwort, ordering them to eat only this sacred food and remain out of the sunlight for 100 days. The tiger gave up after about twenty days and left the cave. However, the bear persevered and was transformed into a woman. The bear and the tiger are said to represent two tribes that sought the favor of the heavenly prince.
The bear-woman (Ungnyeo; 웅녀/ Hanja: 熊女) was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. However, she lacked a husband, and soon became sad and prayed beneath a "divine birch" tree (Korean: 신단수; Hanja: 神檀樹; RR: shindansu) to be blessed with a child. Hwanung, moved by her prayers, took her for his wife and soon she gave birth to a son named Dangun Wanggeom.
Dangun ascended to the throne, built the walled city of Asadal situated near Pyongyang (the location is disputed) and called the kingdom Joseon—referred to today as Gojoseon "Old/Ancient Joseon" (고조선, Hanja: 古朝鮮) so as not to be confused with the later kingdom of Joseon (조선, Hanja: 朝鮮) that was established much later. He then moved his capital to Asadal on Mount Paegak or Mount Gunghol.
Emperor Dangun's rule is usually calculated to begin in 2333 BC, based on the description of the Dongguk Tonggam (1485) contrary to the 40th year of the reign of the legendary Chinese Emperor Yao. Other sources vary somewhat, but also put it during Yao's reign (traditional dates: 2357 BC-2256 BC). The Samguk Yusa states Dangun ascended to the throne in the 50th year of Yao's reign, while Annals of the Joseon Dynasty says the first year and Dongguk Tonggam says the 25th year.
Until 1961, the official South Korean era (for numbering years) was called the Dangi (Korean: 단기; Hanja: 檀紀), which began in 2333 BC. Followers of Daejongism considered October 3 in the Korean calendar as Gaecheonjeol (Korean: 개천절; Hanja: 開天節 "Festival of the Opening of Heaven"). This day is now a public holiday in South Korea in the Gregorian calendar called "National Foundation Day". North Korea dates Dangun's founding of Gojoseon to the early 30th century BC.
The mythology of the Kingdom of Hwan to the historiographies of 47 Dangun RulersEdit
In the Hwandan Gogi (환단고기/ Hanja: 桓檀古記) described Gojoseon to have existed and formed in Hwan-guk (환국/ Hanja: 桓國, "Kingdom of Hwan") and Baedal-guk (배달국/ Hanja: 倍達國, "Kingdom of Baedal": later known as Sinsi 신시/ Hanja: 神市, "City of the Gods"). It is said that both nations were ruled by Hwan-in and Hwan-ung, each spanning from 7 rulers and 18 rulers respectively.
Kingdom of HwanEdit
Establishment of the NationEdit
According to Hwandan Gogi (환단고기/ Hanja: 桓檀古記), Hwan-in transformed himself from the sky of Sabaek-nyeok/ Sabaek-ryeok (사백력) to become a god, and with him, 800 young men and women descended from the sky to the eastern land of the shallow sea (천해/ Hanja: 淺海), which is the land of Heuk-su (흑수/ Hanja: 黑水, "Black Water") and Baek-san (백산/ Hanja: 白山, "White Snow-capped Mountain"). Some claim the area of Sabaek-nyeok/ Sabaek-ryeok is Siberia (in spite of the similarity of prior archaic pronunciation), and the shallow sea is Lake Baikal.
The 12 FederationsEdit
1) Kingdom of Biri (비리국/ Hanja: 卑離國),
2) Kingdom of Yang-un (양운국/ Hanja: 養雲國),
3) Kingdom of Gumak-han (구막한국/ Hanja: 寇莫汗國),
4) Kingdom of Gudacheon (구다천국/ Hanja: 句茶川國),
5) Kingdom of Il-gun (일군국/ Hanja: 一群國),
7) Kingdom of Gaek-hyeon-han (객현한국/ Hanja: 客賢汗國),
8) Kingdom of Gumo-aek (구모액국/ Hanja: 句牟額國),
10) Kingdom of Sanapa/ Sanaba (사납아국/ Hanja: 斯納阿國),
11) Kingdom of Seonbi/ Seombi (선비국/ Hanja: 鮮裨國).
Its territory is so vast that it is said to be 50,000 li (around 25,000,000 metres or 25,000 kilometres) from north and south and 20,000 li (10,000,000 metres or 10,000 kilometres) from east and west on record.
Dynasty of HwaninEdit
The following rulers of the dynasty is dominantly ancient Korean in nature:
|Annal/ Generation||King Name in Hanja||King Name(s) in Hangul||Title (descendants bearing the suffix: 환인 Hwan-in)||Transliterated Name
(/ = variants in pronunciation)
|1||安巴堅||안파견||안파견 환인||Anpa-gyeon/ Ampa-gyeon Hwan-in|
|2||赫胥||혁서||혁서 환인||Hyeok-seo Hwan-in|
|3||古是利||고시리||고시리 환인||Goshiri Hwan-in|
|4||朱于襄||주우양||주우양 환인||Ju-u-yang Hwan-in|
|5||釋提壬||석제임||석제임 환인||Seok-je-im Hwan-in|
|6||邱乙利||구을리||구을리 환인||Gu-eulli Hwan-in|
|7||智爲利||지위리||지위리 환인||Jiwiri Hwan-in||also known as Hwan-in (환인; 桓仁), father of Hwan-ung|
Kingdom of Sinsi-BaedalEdit
There are descriptions on both the books of "Sinsi Yeokdaegi" (신시역대기/ Hanja: 神市歷代紀, "Era of the Dynasty of Sinsi") in the Samseonggi (삼성기/ Hanja: 三聖紀, "Period of the Sacred Three" - i.e. Hwanin, Hwanung and Dangun) and the "Sinsi Bon-gi" (신시본기/ Hanja: 神市本紀 "Period of Sinsi") in the Taebaek Il-sa (태백일사/ Hanja: 太白逸史, "History of Taebaek"), about the kingdom of Sinsi-Baedal where Dangun transferred the Korean people in the Kingdom of Gojoseon in Manchuria to establish the nation mainly at the centre of the Korean Peninsula. The kingdom of 18 descendants of Hwan-ung ruled the nation for 1565 years in the annals of these books, as well as the featuring one of emperors, Chiyou (Hangul: 치우; Hanzi: 蚩尤) which has been traced from Chinese Mythology on record.
The following rulers of the Sinsi-Baedal, dominantly ancient Korean in nature:
|Annal/ Generation||King Name in Hanja||King Name(s) in Hangul||Title (descendants bearing the suffix: 환웅 Hwan-ung)||Transliterated Name
(/ = variants in pronunciation)
|Reign from (B.C.E)||Reigning Years||Age||Remarks|
|1||居發桓||거발한||거발한 환웅||Geobal-han Hwan-ung||3898-3804||94||120|
|2||居佛理||거불리||거불리 환웅||Geobulli Hwan-ung||3804-3718||86||102|
|3||右耶古||우야고||우야고 환웅||Uyago Hwan-ung||3718-3619||99||135|
|4||慕士羅||모사라||모사라 환웅||Mosara Hwan-ung||3619-3512||107||129|
|5||太虞儀||태우의||태우의 환웅||Tae-u-eui Hwan-ung||3512-3419||93||115||Tae-u-eui Hwan-ung is the 12 descendant of the clan of Fuxi-shi (Hangul: 복희씨, Bok-heui-sshi; Hanzi: 伏羲氏), in Chinese mythology.
|6||多儀發||다의발||다의발 환웅||Da-eui-bal Hwan-ung||3419-3321||98||110|
|7||居連||거련||거련 환웅||Geo-ryeon Hwan-ung||3321-3240||81||140|
|8||安夫連||안부련||안부련 환웅||Anbu-ryeon/ Ambu-ryeon Hwan-ung||3240-3167||73||94|
|9||養雲||양운||양운 환웅||Yang-un Hwan-ung||3167-3071||93||139|
|10||葛古||갈고/ (독로한)||갈고 환웅/ (독로한 환웅)||Galgo Hwan-ung/ (Dok-rohan Hwan-ung/ Dong-nohan Hwan-ung)||3071-2971||100||125|
|11||居耶發||거야발||거야발 환웅||Geo-yabal Hwan-ung||2971-2897||92||149|
|12||州武愼||주무신||주무신 환웅||Jumushin Hwan-ung||2897-2774||105||123|
|13||斯瓦羅||사와라||사와라 환웅||Sawara Hwan-ung||2774-2807||67||100|
|14||慈烏支||자오지/ (치우천 왕)||자오지 환웅/ (치우천 왕)||Ja-oji Hwan-ung/
|2707-2598||109||151||also known as Chiyou (Hangul: 치우; Hanzi: 蚩尤) in Chinese Mythology|
|15||蚩額特||치액특||치액특 환웅||Chi-aek-taek/ Chi-aeg-taek Hwan-ung||2598-2509||89||118|
|16||祝多利||축다리||축다리 환웅||Chuk-dari/ Chug-dari Hwan-ung||2509-2453||56||99|
|17||赫多世||혁다세||혁다세 환웅||Hyeok-dase/ Hyeog-dase Hwan-ung||2453-2381||72||97|
|18||居弗檀||거불단||거불단 환웅||Geo-buldan Hwan-ung||2381-2333||48||82||also known as Hwan-ung (환웅; 桓雄), father of Wanggeom Dangun - the founder of the first recorded royal dynastic lineage of the greater Korean empire, Gojoseon|
Annals of Dangun rulers in the Kingdom of GojoseonEdit
The historiographies such as Gyuwon Sa-hwa (규원사화/ Hanja: 揆園史話), Dan-gi Gosa (단기고사/ Hanja: 檀奇古史), and Hwandan Gogi (환단고기/ Hanja: 桓檀古記), which are judged to be inconvenient in the history of academia, record the history of 47 generations of Dangun rulers who ruled Gojoseon and detailed reign. These chronologies are almost identical in life to the 47 Dangun rulers, but there is a big difference and discrepancies between the calendar year and the details of taxation. In particular, Hwandan Gogi (환단고기), which is the latest in the world, is recorded together with the contents of the reigns in Gyuwon Sahwa (규원사화) and Dan-gi Gosa 단기고사, which are likely to have been copied.
|Annal/ Generation||King Name in Hanja||King Name(s) in Hangul||Title (descendants bearing the suffix: 단군 Dangun)||Transliterated Name||Reign
|1||王儉||왕검||왕검 단군||Wanggeom Dangun||93||Founder of the Korean people and the first royal dynastic lineage in the greater Korean empire, Gojoseon|
|2||夫婁||부루||부루 단군||Buru Dangun||58|
|3||嘉勒||가륵||가륵 단군||Gareuk Dangun||45|
|4||烏斯/ 烏斯丘||오사/ 오사구||오사 단군/ 오사구 단군||Osa Dangun/ Osagu Dangun||38|
|5||丘乙||구을||구을 단군||Gu-eul Dangun||16|
|6||達文||달문||달문 단군||Dalmun Dangun||36|
|7||翰栗||한율||한율단군||Han-yul/ Hallyul Dangun||54|
|8||于西翰/ 烏舍咸||우서한/ 오사함||우서한 단군/ 오사함 단군||Useohan/ Osaham Dangun||8|
|9||阿述||아술||아술 단군||Asul Dangun||35|
|10||魯乙||노을||노을 단군||No-eul Dangun||59|
|11||道奚||도해||도해 단군||Dohae Dangun||57|
|12||阿漢||아한||아한 단군||Ahan Dangun||52|
|13||屹達/ 代音達||흘달/ 대음달||흘달 단군/ 대음달 단군||Heuldal/ Dae-eumdal Dangun||61|
|14||古弗||고불||고불 단군||Gobul Dangun||60|
|벌음 단군 (?)
대음 단군/ 후흘달 단군
|Beo-reum Dangun (?)
Dae-eum Dangun/ Huheuldal Dangun
|16||尉那||위나||위나 단군||Wina Dangun||58|
|17||余乙||여을||여을 단군||Yeo-eul Dangun||68|
|18||冬奄||동엄||동엄 단군||Dong-eom Dangun||49|
|19||緱牟蘇||구모소/ 종년||구모소 단군/ 종년 단군||Gumoso/ Jongnyeon Dangun||55|
|20||固忽||고홀||고홀 단군||Gohol Dangun||43|
|21||蘇台||소태||소태 단군||Sotae Dangun||52|
|22||索弗婁||색불루||색불루 단군||Saekbullu/ Saegbullu Dangun||48|
|23||阿勿/ 阿忽||아물/ 아홀||아물 단군/ 아홀 단군||Amul/ Ahol Dangun||76|
|24||延那||연나||연나 단군||Yeonna Dangun||11|
|25||率那||솔나||솔나 단군||Solla/ Solna Dangun||88|
|26||鄒盧||추로||추로 단군||Churo Dangun||65|
|27||豆密||두밀||두밀 단군||Dumil Dangun||26|
|28||奚牟||해모||해모 단군||Haemo Dangun||28|
|29||摩休||마휴||마휴 단군||Ma-hyu Dangun||34|
|30||奈休||나휴||나휴 단군||Na-hyu Dangun||35|
|31||登兀||등올||등올 단군||Deung-ol Dangun||25|
|32||鄒密||추밀||추밀 단군||Chumil Dangun||30|
|33||甘勿||감물||감물 단군||Gammul Dangun||24|
|34||奧婁門||오루문||오루문 단군||Orumun Dangun||23|
|35||沙伐||사벌||사벌 단군||Sabeol Dangun||68|
|36||買勒||매륵||매륵 단군||Mae-reuk Dangun||58|
|37||麻勿||마물||마물 단군||Mamul Dangun||56|
|38||多勿||다물||다물 단군||Damul Dangun||45|
|39||豆忽||두홀||두홀 단군||Duhol Dangun||36|
|40||達音||달음||달음 단군||Da-reum/ Dal-eum Dangun||18|
|41||音次||음차||음차 단군||Eumcha Dangun||20|
|42||乙于支||을우지||을우지 단군||Eu-ruji/ Eul-uji Dangun||10|
|43||勿理||물리||물리 단군||Mulli Dangun||36|
|44||丘忽/ 丘勿||구홀/ 구물||구홀 단군/ 구물 단군||Guhol/ Gumul Dangun||29|
|45||余婁||여루||여루 단군||Yeoru Dangun||55|
|46||普乙||보을||보을 단군||Bo-eul Dangun||46|
|47||古列加||고열가||고열가 단군||Goyeolga Dangun||58|
The period of reign was between 2333 B.C.E. and 238 B.C.E., which lasted for 47 to 2096 years.
The earliest recorded version of the Dangun legend appears in the 13th century Samguk Yusa (삼국유사/ Hanja: 三國遺事), which cites China's Book of Wei and Korea's lost history text Gogi (고기/ Hanja: 古記). This is the best known and most studied version, but similar versions are recorded in the Jewang Un-gi (제왕운기/ Hanja: 帝王韻紀) by the late Goryeo scholar Yi Seunghyu (이승휴/ Hanja: 李承休, 1224-1300), as well as the Eungje Siju (응제시주/ Hanja: 應製詩註) and Sejong Sillok (세종실록; commonly known as "Annals of the Joseon Dynasty", Sejong Jang-heon Dae-wang Shil-lok 세종장헌대왕실록/ Hanja: 世宗莊憲大王實錄) of the early Joseon. Dangun is worshipped today as a deity by the followers of Cheondoism and Daejongism.
Dangun is the second pattern or hyeong in the International Taekwon-Do Federation form of the Korean martial art taekwondo. Students learn that the hyeong represents "the holy legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 BC." Unusually for a hyeong, all the punches in Dan Gun are high section (eye level) symbolising Dangun scaling a mountain (see Dangun Hyeung).
Mausoleum of DangunEdit
North Korea's leader Kim Il-sung insisted that Dangun was not merely a legend but a real historical person. As consequence, North Korean archaeologists were compelled to locate the purported remains and grave of Dangun.
According to a publication by North Korea, the Mausoleum of Dangun is the alleged burial site of the legendary Dangun. The site occupies about 1.8 km² (0.70 mi²) on the slope of Taebaek Mountain in Kangdong, not to be confused with the Taebaek Mountain in South Korea. Dangun's grave is shaped like a pyramid, about 22 m (72 ft) high and 50 m (164 ft) on each side.
Many observers and historians outside of North Korea, including South Korea, consider the site controversial.
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|New creation|| King of Gojseon
c. 2333 BC – c. 2240 BC
Next known title holder:Jizi