Dan Gun
The Full Story

Dan Gun
The Full Story
The Story Of Dan Gun (2333 B.C.)

Dan Gun was the father of Korea, and founded the kingdom of Korea in 2333 B.C.

Legend has it that Hwan Ung, came down from heaven to rule the universe. At that time a tiger and
a bear, who lived in a cave, begged Hwan Ung to change them into humans.

The tiger couldn't comply with the commandments of Hwan Ung, so he lost his chance to become
human. However, the bear could, became a woman, and prayed under an alter to become

Hwan Ung was moved by her plea, changed himself into a man, and married her. They had a
son, Dan Gun, the father of Korea.

The birth of Dan Gun, and the story of the founding of Korea, belong to the myths, but after
the Silla unification, especially in the era of the Lee Dynasty, the myth became respected by

The Koryo dynasty viewed Dan Gun as the sole founder of the Korean kingdom and used this
legend to show Korean superiority to the Mongolian tribes. There was considerable
antagonism towards the Mongolian tribes because in the past they had invaded and conquered
Korea several times.

The myth of Dan Gun played a very important role in protecting the Korean kingdom from invasion by maintaining the Korean culture for several thousand years, through the succession of the Silla, Koryo and Lee dynasties.

Nowadays, October 3rd is celebrated as a national holiday in Korea, to commemorate the founding father, Dan Gun.