Means of Korean Traditional Design – 2

Taegeuk : confusion. Source. sky. space. coexistence. wealth. famous place


Like children’s rock-paper-scissors play, the Taegeuk figure, which continuously rotates chasing each other, represents the primordial state in which the universe is divided by the principle of yin and yang and all things are created.
This symbolizes a situation in which heaven and earth, which appear in common in all creation myths, have opened, and the state of chaos and amorphousness is divided into heaven and earth.
This is what is expressed in the mythical situation of the universe. (Yellow page.1-1-1)
This mythical thinking developed into the philosophical concept of Taoism, and as the ultimate reality of all things, Taegeuk became a principle that continues the creation of all things through the opposition and circulation of yin and yang.
Just as when the moon in the sky reflects on a thousand rivers, a round moon exists in each river, so all things came from a single Taegeuk, and at the same time, the Taegeuk resides in each and every creature.
Although this represents the cosmology of Neo-Confucianism and has now become a symbol of the Korean people through the national flag, in fact, the Taegeuk form is a very universal symbol system that is not limited to any specific nation or religion.
Arnheim, R. even saw that Taegeuk could be a mark representing Christianity or Marx’s dialectic.
Once the utterance begins, the Taegeuk is divided into four elements, namely Noyang, Noeum, Soyang, and Soeum. It continuously evolves into the sixty-four trigrams (六十四掛) and forms the energy that governs all things.
Also, since non-geuk is Taegeuk, all circles become Taegeuk. The circles engraved on mirrors, dolmens, and petroglyphs from the Bronze Age are the sun, the sky, the universe, and the Taegeuk.
The oldest of the Taegeuk patterns in the same form as they are today are the Three Taegeuk engraved on the Jangdaeseok of Gaunsa Temple Site of Silla and the Three Taegeuk found in the hilt decoration of the Silla treasure sword from the tomb of King Michu. It is a date that goes back much further than the 『Taegeukdoseoll』.
The three Taegeuk expresses the principle of the three virtues of heaven, earth, and man. Some say that this represents the three gods ideology since Dangun, and some say that it is almost identical to the patterns found in tombs in Central Asia, so it is speculated that the Taegeuk ideology of the Korean Peninsula and the West is related. Those who follow the view are mainly looking for its origin in the Dangun century.
“The first year of Kihae, that is, B.C. In 2182, our Dangun king summoned Eulboruk, Samnang, and inquired about the way of peace and education (that is, the city of Shinsi) of King Shinwang. By exchanging them, he added them to his right hand to perform the three and six grand rites and proclaimed that he would rule the world with the king’s virtues and principles.”
– From Haengchon teacher Leeam Munjeonggong, from 「The Dangun Century」
When the thumbs of both hands overlap, the dividing line of Taegeuk is revealed in front of your eyes.
In the above text, Eulboreuk’s three-fold ceremonial ceremony is derived from the ceremony of beating the drum three times during the first ceremony, six times during cultivation, and nine times during the three-fold ceremony during the three gods. This is said to represent the Taegeuk pattern.
Also, from this, the custom of engraving the Taegeuk on the ceremonial rituals, on the buildings such as temples and shrines, and on the gates, or on the instruments used in such ceremonies, especially the drums on both sides, began to develop a custom. said to have done
The Taegeuk that appears up to the Three Kingdoms period and the Unified Silla period is mainly the 3 Taegeuk or the 4 Taegeuk.
4 Taegeuk is mainly found in the ruins of Goguryeo and Baekje. Rather than being a complete Taegeuk, it is shaped more like a wasangmun or linear gate. It is also forming a taegeuk.
From the Goryeo Dynasty to the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty, there were more two Taegeuk than the three Taegeuk, and after the middle Joseon period, the three Taegeuk was used again. In particular, many Taegeukmun remain on Hongsalmun, which was built in front of the tombs or houses of public servants who achieved loyalty and filial deeds during the Joseon Dynasty.
Since ancient times, Taegeukmun has been widely used in architecture, folk tales, shamanism, furniture, and ornaments.
No matter how Confucianism gave Taegeuk the baptism of profound cosmic principles and Neo-Confucianism, before that, Taegeuk was an auspicious gate.
Even if they were not clear on the facts and could not read the trigrams, people simply believed that if the world’s affairs were in accordance with the principles of yin and yang, then everything would be harmonious and happiness and longevity would be achieved through this.


chicken : Sun. herald of light. time signal. law. divinity. congratulations. career. intrepidity. Byeoksa


Cheonhwang chicken raises its neck, Jihwang chicken flaps its wings,
The black rooster struck his tail and crowed loudly,
The dawn began to rise in the east.
From Jeju-do Seosamuga [Cheonjiwangbonpuri]
The reason the rooster crows at dawn is to announce its dominance. However, the ancients recognized that the rooster’s crowing brought the morning, not the rooster’s crowing in the morning.
According to legend, the morning begins like this. First, a rooster named Okgye, sitting on the top of the floating point at the end of the East Sea across the sea, starts to cry for the first time. After that, the stones of the Myeongsan Daecheon cries, followed by all the chickens in the world.
Then, the sun rides on a chariot drawn by six dragons, runs through the vast space between heaven and earth, leaves Yanggok, bathes in Hamji, and ascends to the top of the statue.
On the other hand, in Dodosan, there are brothers, Shindo and Ulru, who rule over the demons that permeate the human world.
Here, the rooster opens the morning and brings light to the world, and along with the darkness of the night, it is the epitome of demons.
From time immemorial, the crowing of a rooster has played an important role in signaling the time.
Moreover, on cloudy days, it was necessary to measure the time by relying on the rooster’s crowing.
The ability of chickens to foretell the coming time like this came to people as foresight, and natural chickens were believed to have magical powers.
In the Jeju-do Seosamuga [Cheonjiwangbonpuri] mentioned above, chickens have a huge mission to foretell the rise of the heavens and earth beyond their magical abilities.
According to this, the Cheonji Gaebyeok occurred one morning when the chickens crowed, and the Cheonhwang Chicken, Jihwang Chicken, and Inhwang Chicken that croaked at this time herald the appearance of heaven, earth, and people, respectively.
In particular, the Silla people are famous for their deep relationship with chickens. It is not clear whether the Silla people who buried eggs in Cheonmachong waited for the rebirth of the dead as new life hatched from eggs, or whether they provided food for the underworld.
However, since it was a white chicken that announced the birth of Al-ji Kim in the forest of Sirim (始林), to commemorate this, Shirim became Gyerim (鷄林), and it is recorded that it became the national name of Silla.
At this time, the crowing of a rooster is a metaphor for the temporal transition from night to morning, indicating that the world was transformed from a mythical time to a historical time due to the founding of Silla.


dragon : god of water. king. scepter. country. wall man. auspicious. wind and luck harmony

I am originally from Yongseongguk.
There are 28 dragon kings in our country, all of them born from human wombs. They ascended to the throne at the age of 5 and 6, and taught all people to correct their names.
There are eight holy bones, and they all ascended to the throne without choosing. At that time, his father, Ham Dalpa, met the princess of the Jeonnyeo Kingdom and made her her queen.
– From 「The Samguk Yusa」 Volume 1 Kii 1 [The 4th King Talhae]
In ancient Korean literature, dragons are regular customers of mythology.
Looking at the founding myths from Silla to Joseon, it can be seen that the founders of almost all countries that have been established on the Korean Peninsula are usually descendants of dragons.
As mentioned above, Seoktalhae of Silla was the offspring of King Yongseongguk and the princess of Jeoknyeoguk. ) is the son of

It is also said that Gyeon Hwon, the progenitor of Later Baekje, was born by a daughter of a wealthy family in Bukchon, Gwangju, and this earthworm can be interpreted as a ‘earth dragon’.
[Yongbieocheonga], the national myth of Joseon, also expressed the six progenitors before the founding of Joseon as Haedong Six Dragons.
If the founding myth is a kind of political propaganda adapted later to assert the legitimacy of the newly established monarchy, claiming a blood relationship with the dragon was a sure shortcut to gaining legitimacy.
The prevailing argument is that the reason why the dragon came to be known as a symbol of royal power is that it is accepted as an absolute existence in the agricultural culture as it is the god who governs water and climate.
Or, the connection between the ancient Korean peninsula and the southern or western regions is speculated because dragons come from the sea and often appear in mythology as the subject of communication with beings from ‘overseas’.
Although it is an apparently imaginary animal, articles about the appearance of dragons appear frequently in documents such as 「Samguksagi」 and 「Sillok of the Joseon Dynasty」, which was probably a kind of ‘Yongoreum’, a meteorological phenomenon that occurs in the sea.
In the Joseon Dynasty, dragons appeared in many royal relics as a symbol of the king’s authority.
The five-toed dragon symbolizes the emperor, the four-toed dragon symbolizes the prince, and the three-toed dragon symbolizes the prime minister.
The dragon in the temple is the god of protection, the dragon in Gutpan is the dragon god who makes rain, and the dragon attached to the gate of a private house is a spirit that repels evil spirits.
It is a Korean dragon that is free from any fixed stereotypes and has a thousand face like an imaginary being.


phoenix : the appearance of adults. Tae Pyeong Seongse. slope. king. empress. woman


On that day, Gyeryong appeared at Alyeongjeong Street in Sayeom-ri and gave birth to a young girl on the left rib.
Her face and appearance were very pretty, but her lips were like a chicken’s beak. So, when he bathed him in the river north of Wolseong, his beak fell off and the inside was called Balcheon.
– From 「The Three Kingdoms Yusa」 Volume 1, Kii 1, [King Hyukgeose, the founder of Silla]
The phoenix came from a dragon and a crane. Its shape is said to have the shape of a chicken’s snout, a snake’s neck, a swallow’s jaw, a turtle’s back, and a fish’s tail.
What is certain is that it is an auspicious and beautiful imaginary bird.

However, there is a tendency to view the phoenix as a symbol created by the personification of a natural phenomenon, especially the wind, like a dragon, rather than a deity of a certain creature.
The reason why the origin of the phoenix is ​​put to the wind god is because the character feng (鳳) comes from the character wind (wind).
According to 『Sanhaijing』, it is said that the phoenix lives in Danhyeol Mountain in the Chaoyang Valley facing the sun.

So, I flew out of the Dead Sea, passed Kunlun Mountain, drank water from Jizhou, washed my feathers in mineral water, and slept in the wind in the evening.
And it is said that it has a feather pattern of five colors, makes five sounds, and lives in the paulownia tree and eats the fruit of bamboo.

It is said that the phoenix comes from the country of the wise men of the East, that is, Korea, but in fact, in ancient times in Korea, the symbol of the phoenix does not appear as much as in China.
Alyeong, the queen of the Silla dynasty, Hyukgeose, is the daughter of Gyeryong.
Although phoenixes can be seen on the murals of tombs in Goguryeo and the stone statues of the Three Kingdoms period, the phoenix was used as a symbol of Seonggun in earnest after the Goryeo Dynasty, especially with the opening of the Joseon Dynasty.
It is said that the phoenix appears when a saint appears or when a saint spreads his virtue and the world is at peace. Since he is the lord of all birds, it is said that all birds gather together at this time. So all the princes looked forward to the appearance of the phoenix during their reign.

Also, the appearance and behavior of the phoenix is ​​said to be the same as that of a king, so it itself symbolizes the king.
It is for this reason that phoenixes appear frequently in palace decorations such as pillars and ceilings of palace buildings, royal chariots and breastplates (currently, phoenixes are also located in the coat of arms of the Korean president and the national seal).

It also refers to a good couple or woman, so it is often seen in women’s hair ornaments, wedding clothes, and wedding dressers.



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