Hwanung (Korean for the "Supreme Divine Regent") is an important figure in the mythological origins of Korea. He plays a central role in the story of Dangun Wanggeom (단군왕검/檀君王儉), the legendary founder of Gojoseon, the first kingdom of Korea. Hwanung is the son of Hwanin (환인; 桓因), the "Lord of Heaven". Along with his ministers of clouds, rain, and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught the humans various arts, medicine, and agriculture.

천부인 (天符印).jpg
Revised RomanizationHwanung

Creation mythEdit

According to the Dangun creation myth, Hwanung yearned to live on the earth among the valleys and the mountains. Hwanin permitted Hwanung and 3000 followers to depart and they descended from heaven to a sandalwood tree on Baekdu Mountain, then called Taebaek Mountain (태백산/太伯山). There Hwanung founded Sinsi (신시/神市, "City of God") and gave himself the title Heaven King. In a cave near the sandalwood tree lived a bear and a tiger who came to the tree every day to pray to Hwanung. One day Hwanung gave the bear and the tiger twenty bulbs of garlic and some divine mugwort. Hwanung promised if they ate only his garlic and mugwort and stayed in the cave out of the sunlight for one hundred days he would make them human.[1]

The tiger and the bear agreed and went back to the cave, but tiger was too hungry and impatient to wait, leaving the cave before the 100 days were done. But the bear remained, and on the 21st day was transformed into a beautiful woman, who gratefully honored Hwanung with offerings. With time the woman grew lonely, and prayed to Hwanung that she might have a child. So Hwanung made her his wife and gave her a son called Dangun, a name which has two meanings: "Altar Prince" and sandalwood. Dangun eventually founded Gojoseon.[2]

Kingdom of Sinsi-BaedalEdit

In the pseudo-historic book 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. The descriptions are generally accepted as fabrications in the modern era by mainstream historians.

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 are claimed to have 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, are claimed to be 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.

Tae-ho (태호), youngest among the 12 sons of Tae-u-eui Hwan-ung, his descendants lived in present-day Shaanxi, China. In the Hwandangogi, the descendants of Tae-ho (태호 복희씨, Tae-ho Bok-heui-sshi) has revealed the beginning of the Chinese fundamental principles of Bagua (Hanja: 八卦, Pal-gwae 팔괘) in Taoist cosmology.

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/

(Chi-u-cheon Wang)

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

Popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit




  • Stocker, Terry (2009). The Paeolithic Paradigm. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4490-2292-1.
  • Thomas, Cullen (2008). Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea's Prisons. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-311311-9.