Daozhang, which is a series of Taoist books and scriptures, is not only a treasure house of enormous thoughts and stories but also a book on religious thought. It has different kinds of images and imagination systems, and also talks about oriental philosophical experiences and the facts of life in various ways. Therefore, the narrative imagination of Daozhang represents much, as an origin of literary imaginations. Studies on Korean Classical Novels have examined the relation between Taoism and Taoist imagination, but current scholarship has not yet approached issues such as the origin of imagination or the prototypical text.
In China, a national compilation of Daozhang was undertaken on a large scale, covering Taoist hermit tales embodying early Taoist thought to Taoist scriptures of the periods of the North and South Dynasties, Sui and Tang, as well as later offshoots. In Korea, efforts at publishing or translating were not undertaken autonomously, but from the Three Kingdoms period, Taoism and Daozhang were introduced and Taoist scriptures were enjoyed and passed down widely amongst literary people.
Taoist thoughts have a longer history than Buddhism, and in case of China it was a state religion for a while. However, in its dissemination, it played an important role as a folk religion in the basic culture. As the thoughts of the people, Taoism is associated with a fictitious outlook on the world. Novels are also linked with Taoism in terms of their closely private and non-mainstream characteristics, as well as their expressive techniques, such as allegories or comparisons. It is possible to look for Taoist imaginations in Korean or Chinese novels, and novelist such as Kim Siseup pored over the Taoist Scriptures, making use of them in his writings. Some views that suggest Daozhang as a prototypical text of classical novels demonstrate the huge potential for new possible explorations in the study of classical novels, which until now have been focused on Confucian discussion and vision. In addition, we can broaden the scope of East Asian comparative narratology and present a profound viewpoint for it.