8 Korean Folklore & Urban Legends That Inspired Korean Dramas & Movies

Obviously, Korean dramatizations and films managing the powerful have a method of enrapturing our consideration through their special storylines. That is on the grounds that the scriptwriters have an abundance of Korean old stories and metropolitan legends to draw from. From god-like dokkaebi to wrathful spirits, there’s actually no restriction with regards to allowing their minds to go out of control.

In any case, for global watchers who aren’t knowledgeable in Korean culture, here are 8 Korean old stories and metropolitan legends you should think going to all the more likely comprehend your number one K-show and film characters.

Goblin (dokkaebi)

Troll, otherwise called dokkaebi in Korean, is an animal recognizable to individuals who’ve gotten the Korean show of a similar name.

In contrast to trolls in the West, which are typically depicted as underhanded and pernicious, the dokkaebi is accepted to have a divine resembling status with a huge load of capacities.

While this is generally precise in Troll, where Gong Yoo plays a dokkaebi who has the ability to mediate with human issues and help those out of luck, there’s in reality more to this legend.

Some abstract sources say that the dokkaebi was without a doubt loved like a Divine being previously, with anglers imploring them for great gets before they embarked to the ocean. On the other side, different sources guarantee that the dokkaebi circumvents beguiling ladies.

Indeed, if the troll looks like Gong Yoo, we wouldn’t see any problems with being beguiled.

Grim Reaper (jeoseung saja)

Similar as the Soul harvester in different pieces of the world, the ones in Korean legends likewise represent demise. Nonetheless, in contrast with its Western partners – a nondescript figure in a dark shroud holding a grass shearer – the ones in conventional Korean old stories wear a gat, a dark cap worn during the Joseon period.

Messenger of death is said to direct those who’ve withdrawn the human domain to eternity, and this clarifies why individuals dread encountering one. This legend has been adjusted into numerous K-shows, including Troll, Arang and The Justice, Dark, and 49 Days, just as a hit film arrangement called Alongside The Divine beings.

While Koreans accept that dreaming about a Harvester of souls is a terrible sign, we would tend to disagree if it’s one of the three swank Messengers of death: Lee Dong-wook, Jung Il-charm, or Sung Seung-heon.


A considerable lot of us grew up with Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, just as Disney’s energized variation. The mermaid has a long history, with establishes in Greecian folklore. Old Assyria was quick to turn stories of mermaids and the rest is, all things considered, history.

Korea is no special case – back in the Joseon Line, a researcher by the name of Yu Mong-in gathered different cultural stories and ordered it in an arrangement called Eou yadam. One story recounts the tale of an angler who held mermaids prisoner. This will ring a bell for K-show fans as it was the motivation for the Legend of the Blue Ocean.

A great many people accept that mermaids are only results of fiction. In any case, there are genuine mermaids in Korean. Known as haenyo, they’re a gathering of female jumpers who can hold their breath for more than 3 minutes and plunge to profundities of in excess of 30 meters while they reap the freshest fish.

This legend was likewise portrayed in another show known as Surplus Princess, where a mermaid gets tangled in human undertakings subsequent to saving a cook from suffocating in the Han Waterway.

Obviously, this exemplary Korean story actually reverberates with individuals, regardless of the time.

Nine-tailed fox (gumiho)

As per Korean legend, if a fox lives beyond 1,000 years, it turns into a soul equipped for taking on various structures, with its most loved being a youthful, wonderful lady who baits men to their downfall.

Throughout the long term, this story has been retold in numerous Korean dramatizations, taking on a more cheerful structure. Rather than being the standard tissue eating up crafty fox, the cutting edge gumiho is depicted as a delightful lady equipped for cherishing and really focusing on others.

My Better half is a Gumiho, featuring Lee Seung-gi and Shin Min-ah, is quite possibly the most well known gumiho-themed shows to date. Gumiho aren’t generally female – Story of Gumiho, an impending show set to be broadcasted in the later 50% of 2020, changes everything around by having a male gumiho all things considered. What’s far superior is that it will be played by entertainer Lee Dong-wook.

This story is mainstream to the point that it has advanced into a scene of Running Man, where the individuals needed to gather 9 tails to “become a human” and win the week’s test.

Virgin ghost (cheonyeo gwishin)

While there are a wide range of types of gwishin (phantom) in Korean extraordinary legends, the most notorious one must be the virgin apparition – cheonyeo gwishin.

Regardless of being a profoundly modernized country, Korea is still generally a Confucian culture. Ladies are required to satisfy certain duties, for example, youngster bearing. Virgin phantoms address the spirits of ladies who passed on a virgin, and were supposedly utilized as an alarm mongering strategy to ensure young ladies got hitched straightaway.

Like different spirits who prowl around the living because of unfulfilled wishes or obligations, virgin apparitions can’t proceed onward to eternity until they’re assuaged – generally by raising phallic sculptures. A portion of these sculptures can in any case be found in Haesindang Park, situated in Samcheok.

The tale of the cheonyeo gwishin has been adjusted in contemporary Korean shows. Yet, rather than returning with retribution while wearing a white sobok, a customary grieving outfit, virgin phantoms in dramatizations will in general show a more entertaining side as they meander around looking for genuine romance.

In case you’re up for a decent chuckle, think about watching Gracious My Phantom and Arang and the Judge, which spin around virgin apparitions played by Kim Seul-gi and Shin Min-ah separately.


Haechi, otherwise called Haetae, is a legendary animal said to start from China prior to advancing into Korea. It has a solid form and sharp teeth like that of a lion, yet is shrouded in protective layer like scales.

In Korea, the haechi is held in high respect aIn 2008, the haechi was authoritatively named as Seoul’s agent figure. A sculpture of it very well may be found before Gwanghwamun, the fundamental entryway of Gyeongbokgung Castle.

Haechi is a recorded dramatization that is named after this legendary animal, however has a storyline loaded up with characters that show the characteristics this animal typifies – equity and honesty.

Water ghost (mul gwishin)

Mul gwishin are water spirits of the individuals who have suffocated in enormous waterways, with the Han Stream being the most notable spot.

As these mul gwishin passed on a forlorn demise, they are said to have a propensity for hauling clueless casualties down to go along with them. This is known as mul gwishin jeokjeon – the demonstration of a water apparition pulling on you.

In the principal scene of Inn Del Luna, the spirit of a killed cop, whose body was discarded in a waterway, in the long run discovers her way to the nominal lodging. She figures out how to get Jang Man-wol to help vindicate her passing prior to proceeding onward to existence in the wake of death.

Jangsan Tiger (jangsan beom)

Stories of the Jangsan Tiger initially began spreading on Korean discussions in 2010. This animal is supposed to be shrouded in white hide and resembles a tiger when down on the ground. It’s reputed to live on Jangsan mountain, situated in Busan, which clarifies its name. Others have detailed detecting this legendary figure in Incheon, Gyeongju, and Gyeongsan.

Rumors from far and wide suggest that the Jangsan Tiger has the capacity to emulate the sound of a lady sobbing for help, baiting its casualties profound into a thick timberland prior to eating up them.

A thriller called The Copy has a plot that draws motivation from this metropolitan legend. It shows itself as a young lady who has a voice shockingly like the fundamental character’s child, whom she as of late lost.

Korean fables and metropolitan legends

These stories presented in Korean dramatizations and motion pictures have a long history behind them and are fascinating to find out about. Regardless of whether you’re not a set of experiences buff who’s keen on conventional Korean culture, it’s a smart thought to extend your insight through your K-show and film gorges.

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