[KS] Hwan-Ung - Illegitimate?

sumnom at u.washington.edu sumnom at u.washington.edu
Fri Jun 18 20:51:36 EDT 2004


Hwanung was said to be a seoja. There is some debate as to what a seoja was. While a standard dictionary entry might yield "illegitimate son," a better translation might be "son of a secondary wife." On page 1777 of the Guksa daesajeon, edited by Yi Hongsik (early 1970's??), Hwanung is identified as the seoja of Hwanin but the entry claims that seoja should be understood as jungja, or a son other than the first son. I do not know what the justification for this interpretation is but you can check out the list of references in the entry and find out. 

I also did a quick google search on Hwanung and found an essay that claims that seoja means "several sons" or a "variety of sons" implying that Hwanung might have been one of many sons. You can find that essay here: 


If you do a google search, you will find quite a lot on Hwanung. Of course, you should bring more than a little salt with you while you read...

Joshua Van Lieu

On Wed, 16 Jun 2004, Bert Edens wrote:

> Greetings, all...
> 	I know there are several references to Hwan-Un being the illegitimate son 
> of Hwan-In, but are there any references as to the story behind it? Or do 
> they just say that he is, and leave it at that? Especially considering the 
> "clan / totem origin" possibilities of the Dan-Gun myth, it makes me wonder 
> about this...
> 	Thank you in advance for everyone's time.
> - Bert Edens

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