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Study on the narrative realization process of the Sea Dragon’s Palace episode and the motif of sending Sea Dragon’s son in the tale of “Boyang and Yimok” contained in the Samgukyusa: focusing on the succession and transformation of narrative tradition

KANGJINOK 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

“Boyang and Yimok” of Samgukyusa shows four episodes of Buddhist Priest Boyang’s deeds, that are ‘Sea Dragon’s Palace, ‘Beginning of Jakgapsa’, ‘Yimok brings rain’, have been brought to attention in that they show a unique variation while succeeding various narrative traditions. The episode of Sea Dragon’s Palace succeeds the old tradition of Buddhist storytelling that is rooted in the episode of Buddha’s visit to ‘Sea Dragon’s Palace and it presents the motif of sending Sea Dragon’s son to serve a buddhist priest. It also shows a unique variation that cannot be found in previous narratives by placing the episode at the beginning of the story and telling the whole story by the Sea Dragon. Though the motif of sending Dragon’s son is briefly mentioned in the motif of sending the eldest son of Taewhaji’s Dragon as Guard Dragon of Hwangryongsa, the main theme is realized in the Cheoyong Tale. The former functions as a national guard dragon, while the latter plays a role of popular god who defend them from evils through rituals. It is similar to the role of Yimok as a practical god who rains for the people. Both of them also show considerable similarities in narrative levels. The reason why we should give attention to the motif of sending sea dragon’s son is that it sheds some light not only to the tale of “Boyang and Yimok” that is transmitted orally around Unmoonsa but also to Samgukyusa. The tale of Samgukyusa treats the Yimok and pear tree as the same, while the oral tale tells the story of move of Yimok who leaves Boyang. Yimok became people’s god in the oral tale and the object of rain ritual, while in Samgukyusa, he became identical with a pear tree and transformed to a door bar of a Buddhist temple hall, thus completely incorporated in the Buddhist world. The difference between the oral tale and Samgukyusa stems from the different world views. The visit of a buddhist monk to sea dragon’s palace shows the process of eastward expansion of Buddist religion from china. The episode of sea dragon’s palace in “Boyang and Yimok” reflects cultural context of Unmoonsa area and succeeds the Buddhist narrative tradition through the motif of sending of sea dragon’s son. While the oral tale delineates the discontent against the Buddhist world view through the episode of move of Yimok, Samgukyusa attemps to incorporate and resolve the conflicts between the indigenous and buddhist beliefs through the process of identification of Yimok and pear tree. Ilyeon seems to attempt to reflect the cultural context of the area in order to realize this world view in his narrative by succeeding both Buddhist tradition and various forms of popular narrative tradition.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.