Means of Korean Traditional Design – 4

lightning storm : timing. scourge. punishment. warning. bumper crop. free of charge. divine power

Send down the wall force commander. Send down the scoundrel. Send down General Thunder.
Send the thunderbolt down. Send General Hwadeok down.
– From Jeju Seosamuga [Cheonjiwangbonpuri]
Whether in the East or the West, lightning has symbolized the heaven’s punishment for bad behavior.

There is a record that the eldest son, the lord of heaven, sent down lightning to punish a long-lived, vicious person, and in the second year of King Munmu, a child who struck his mother was struck by lightning and died.
The warlord has come down. This is also the reason why people who have been struck by lightning from ancient times have looked unkindly at them.
He even avoided sleeping between men and women on days of lightning.
This is because it was believed that if we went to bed together, regardless of the anger of heaven, the heavens would become angry and give birth to a child with epilepsy.

The sight of lightning hitting the ground in the blink of an eye with a loud sound must have given primal fear from the moment humans began to live on this earth.
In fact, the lightning gate is one of the oldest patterns created by mankind, and in our history, lightning gates have already appeared on earthenware from the Neolithic Age and bronze mirrors from the Bronze Age.
There are two main types: Ji (之) and Hui (回), and the latter is also called Huimun (回紋).
Because of the origin of the pattern, the lightning bolt pattern was mainly used in ceremonies used to inquire about the will of the sky and wish for the care of the heavens. In particular, lightning patterns can be easily found on various incense burners and bell bells made during the Goryeo Dynasty, when Buddhist culture flourished.
On the other hand, the lightning bolt, expressed in the letter 回, symbolizes the origin of the universe or longevity because its shape has no beginning and no end. Living long is also the will of heaven, and they all come from the same context.

Not too long ago, I could often hear the phrase, “You will be punished.”
But today, where every building is filled with lightning rods, lightning can no longer punish the wicked.

Rather, only passers-by during the rainy season are anxious. It seems that the sky is tired of the endless greed of man.


lotus flower : barley heart. truth. Buddha. enlightenment. richness. fertility. female. transmigration. Rebirth. gentleman. fresh. rebirth


If you pick a flower from the upper branch and give it to someone you meet for the first time, the lotus flower will bloom on the other branches as well. A big snake would only need to bite one luminous bulb, but it is not a dragon because it bites three out of greed.
So, if you give two to the first person you meet, it will become a dragon. If you, too, have that luminous wine and lotus flower, you will become the goddess of the jade emperor.
– From Jeju Island [Woncheongangbonpuri]
Even though it grows in a dirty pond, the lotus flower blooms unspoiled and pure flowers.
Just as a snake becomes a dragon when it bites a luminous drink and ascends to heaven, it is said that when a person has a lotus flower, the symbol of truth, he becomes a goddess or is born in the Western Pure Land.
The main character of the Korean version of Thousand Lies in Search of Mother [Woncheon Gangbon Solving] Today (or Onal) Lee receives a request from the lotus and snake to fix his navel while visiting his parents.

The above verse is a passage in which parents tell today their eight children, and today Yi solves their problems according to the words, and she gets a lotus flower and becomes a goddess.
She has been praised for being so noble in the lotus that blooms in the mud. The lotus flower is used as a symbol of purity in Buddhism, a symbol of a gentleman who transcends the world in Confucianism, and as a flower symbolizing Hasseongo (何仙姑), one of the eight virtues (Yellow Page.2-3-3) in Taoism. The pattern was used in various places as much as its symbolism.

However, it is particularly closely related to Buddhism, and it is the lotus that adorns the pedestal of the Buddha, and it is also the lotus that fills the Western Pure Land described in the Amitabha Sutra.
The steps of the Buddha are also represented by lotus flowers.
Even the lotus flower, which is closely related to faith and seeks a state of escapism, has been transformed into a symbol of longevity and fertility when used for people seeking worldly blessings.
The lotus flower was used as a symbol of longevity due to its strong vitality, and the lotus flower also puts the hope of successive descendants by emphasizing the ecology of the lotus flower, where flowers and fruits are opened at the same time.

In addition, it appeared together with the mandarin duck to symbolize the couple’s harmony and happiness.
Since early times, the lotus flower has been used as a pattern in various cultures and religions.
The shape of the lotus flower can be divided into one viewed from the side and one viewed from above.
In addition, although only the lotus flower is shown separately, the lotus leaf and lotus rice appear together.


tiger : mountain god. guardian. power. kwon three. boeun. host. referee. Byeoksa


Several people were sleeping in a cave, when a tiger blocked the front of the cave and wept loudly.
The ten said to each other, “The tiger is about to eat us, so as a test, the one who threw his own coffin and bit the coffin at the tiger decided to go out and get hurt, and they all threw their coffins.”

The tiger bit Hogyeong’s coffin, so Hogyeong went out and tried to fight the tiger, but the tiger suddenly disappeared and the cave collapsed, leaving nine people dead.
From Kim Kwan-eui, 「Pyeonnyeon Tongnok」
In Korea, where there are many mountains, tigers were special. He was an object of fear and awe. Humans’ imaginations often endowed animals with personality, but they gave tigers a higher position, a deity, than themselves.
And they called him a mountain god, a mountain spirit, and a mountain gun, and made him an object of faith. How do humans know the counting of living gods?

Hogyeong, the 5th ruler of Goryeo Taejo, was able to save his life with the help of a mountain god.
If the dragon frequently appears as the progenitor of national entrepreneurship, the tiger frequently appears as its assistant.
For example, in 「Samguk Yusa」, there is a story that when Gyeon Hwon’s mother left him alone under a tree to get her food, a tiger came and nursed her and took care of her.

He uses the power of the mountain god to assert his authority.
Even though tigers are less patient animals than bears, our people were more of a tiger than a bear.
Traces of tigers date from prehistoric petroglyphs and the Bronze Age.
Early examples of how tigers were given divine status include the white tiger in Goguryeo tomb murals and the tiger statue among the 12 zodiac deities popular in tomb sculptures during the Unified Silla period.

It is said that “the gentleman of the mountain, a tiger, even when he lies down, all his thoughts are within him” (山君伏 知在商量). Here, the tiger refers to a lion who follows the will of the mountain god or the mountain god itself.

People borrowed the dignity of such a tiger to drive away evil and vile energy and hoped that they would find peace in their lives. Therefore, a tiger was always drawn on the amulet to protect against the samjae (三災) or the new year’s gift (歲畵), and a tiger was made with mugwort during the Dano period.
Samjae refers to disasters caused by wind, water, and fire.病) and water bell (水腫) mean together.
When a tiger appears in this amulet, it usually roars loudly or takes a posture looking straight ahead. to scare away demons

Sometimes a bamboo appears behind the tiger, which also has the meaning of Byeoksa. It was believed that by throwing bamboo into the fire, the popping sound could drive out demons.
He also believed that hanging a tiger painting in the house would give him a child who would rise to a high office. Seeing that the tiger chased away the disease by shouting, “The killer has come” even if he caught a common cold, it must have been that the tiger was terrific.
On the other hand, it is said that he never used the words ‘tiger’ or ‘beast’ in the mountains. This is because it was believed that when a horse became a seed and said the word ‘tiger’, a tiger would actually appear.

Instead, the phrase that was welcomed on the mountain road was the preface to “Middle Dragon” (中庸).
Also, there is a rumor that if you intentionally spill coffee or turn a stone over when a tiger comes along, the law will go away.
The time when tigers began to live on the Korean Peninsula dates back to hundreds of thousands of years ago. The oldest tiger fossil known so far was excavated from the Sangwon Black Anvil site in Pyongyang, and is estimated to be about 550,000 years old.
In addition, as in this long history, tigers appear in various forms in folk tales.

In the story, tigers can be broadly divided into bad tigers, good tigers, and foolish tigers. If the tiger who climbs up the rope following his sister in the Sun and Moon Myth is the typical bad tiger, the tiger in the [Kim Hyeon Gam Ho] tale is his own. He is a good tiger who sacrifices himself to pay his respects.
And if you are a foolish tiger, you might mention the famous guy who ran away from the dried persimmon.
It was during the Japanese colonial era that tigers, who always lived next to people and gave them fear, sometimes happiness, and laughter, began to walk the path of extinction in earnest on the Korean Peninsula.

According to the official records of the Government-General of Korea, 108 tigers and 670 leopards were captured between 1917 and 25 years.
Dozens of tigers caught by the famous Russian hunter Yangkovsky in the 1930s are not included in this record, so it is estimated that the actual number of tigers killed during the Japanese occupation is much higher.
The last official record in North Korea was the capture of three tiger families at Nangnim Mountain in North Hamgyong Province in 1993.

In the novel Hojil (虎叱) by Park Ji-won in the late Joseon Dynasty, there is a scene where he uses the mouth of a tiger to rebuke the ugliness of human society.
“They said that ‘Yu (儒) is ‘Yu’ (諛), but that’s true… There are even killings of wives in order to live a long life, so can we still discuss the Way of Humanity?”
Now that tigers are gone, people are no longer afraid of tigers in zoos. At best, we only have a hodori.


Mandarin duck : couple love. spun gold. Couple. The blessing of a gentleman. friendly friend. lewdness


I wrote a poem for my wife earlier, and it was like this.
“Once he took up a position, he was ashamed of the ambush, and after three years, he was ashamed of the blind man. Where can I compare this château? Mandarin ducks are floating in the river.”
– From 「The Samguk Yusa」 Volume 5, Gamtong 7, [Kim Hyeon Gam-ho]

Jing, a Shinto who has a woman disguised as a tiger as her wife, compares each other’s feelings to mandarin in the above poem dedicated to his wife.
However, the tiger wife replies to this poem as follows, puts on her leopard and goes back to the mountain.

“Even though the affection of Geumseul is one of them, the meaning of the forest itself is deep.”
He looks at where she left her and weeps for her days.
But who would dare argue that tigers have a deep meaning for forests. He always stands next to his shoulder when flying, and the bird that dies when his mate dies is called a mandarin duck.
That is why mandarin ducks are called piljo (匹鳥), that is, a pair of birds.
The gold thread of the mandarin duck has been famous since the Bronze Age, and it has already appeared in pairs in the sotdae-shaped decorations made of bronze.
Until the Goryeo Dynasty, owls and parrots were used as the same symbol, but the pattern of mandarin ducks that die along with their mates soon came to be commonly used.
So even now, mandarin ducks are often embroidered on the couple’s pillowcases and duvets.

In particular, the newlyweds’ bedding, embroidered with mandarin ducks and nine young mandarin ducks, was called wonangpi (鴛鴦被) or wonangchim (鴛鴦枕). In addition, a mandarin duck was put on the bride’s short hair.
Mandarin ducks often appeared together with lotus flowers and lotus rice. When the mandarin duck goes with lotus, it means Yeonsaengguija (連生貴子), which means giving birth to precious sons in succession. Wartime (殿試) had the meaning of passing successively in the past.
Furthermore, mandarin ducks were also used to represent loyalty between military gods and friendships.

Mandarin ducks also appear in dreams to foretell the meeting and separation of a man and a woman. When the mandarin duck meets Noksu (綠水), he will meet his spouse, and when an unfamiliar mandarin duck appears in a dream, it is said that he knew that his partner had a new love.
That is, her husband had another woman.
In addition, a dream in which a pair of mandarin ducks are scattered means a divorce or separation between the couple.


plum blossom : incision. grace. Beauty. recovery. friend. fertility


Years passed, and the young man’s hair became white, and the plum tree grew as it bloomed and withered.
He couldn’t put her pretty clothes on her when holidays like New Year’s Day or Dano came back, but instead made her flower bowls and transplanted her plum trees there.
“If I die, who will take care of you? What would you do without me?”
and he was very sad.
– From [Plum Blossoms]

The plum blossom that blooms before winter is still over. It is said that the shape resembles that of a flower blooming from a dead dragon. The ancients said that just by cultivating plum blossoms, spring blooms.
Among [Maehwa Taryeong] transmitted to Gyeonggi-do
“Amidst all things human separation, the Soksu Workshop is in trouble, it’s good, it’s a plum blossom, hey, it’s a plum blossom, hey, hey, hey, hey, love is also a plum blossom.”
There is a phrase called The first thing to scratch the inside of a widow who spends winter without a forest and enters spring is the plum blossoms in full bloom.
Despite this symbolism of plum blossoms, there are not many plum blossoms used in the meaning of pure love.

This may be due to the solemnism of the Confucian society, but above all else, it is because the plum blossoms as the Four Gentlemen or the Three Hansamu (Yellow Page.3-2-1) received more attention.
Although the plum blossom pattern frequently appears on the celadon inlaid plum blossoms made in the Goryeo Dynasty and the white porcelain of the Joseon Dynasty, it is not clear whether this is a plum blossom as a symbol of love or a plum blossom as a symbol of love.
However, it can often be found in hairpins used by women, and plum blossoms, symbolizing love, appear in folk tales created in the secular atmosphere of the late Joseon Dynasty.

Rather, plum blossoms boast their enchanting appearance in literary works rather than in patterns.
Gyu-Bo Lee, who sang “Jade-like skin still has a clear scent,” and Ku-Yong Kim, who sang, “The appearance of a fine and beautiful Ok-seon,” compares white and pure beauty to plum blossoms and praises them.
In addition, in the 12 lyrics of an unknown author called [Plum Flower],
“Plum blossoms, springtime is returning to the old stumps, the spring and snow are in full swing, so I don’t even want to bloom… Let’s make a net, let’s make a net, let’s make a net in the five colors.”
It compares the struggle of love between a man and a woman to the act of forming a net.

Amisan chimney at Gyeongbokgung Palace, famous for its beauty, is carved with plum blossoms and bamboo. Also, a gorgeous plum blossom is placed on the door frame of Jogyesa Temple.
Although these were made with different meanings, they would have been very pleasant to young men and women who saw them in early spring.
Why isn’t it said that in the past, there were many cases of eye contact while being a top doll?


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