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Hayeo-Ga and Dansim-Ga

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Name Hayeo-Ga
Also Known as
<Ancient Korean>
<Ancient Chinese(Hanja)>
<Modern Korean>
Writer: Lee Bang Won
Region Goryeo (Korea)

Name Dansim-Ga
Also Known as
<Ancient Korean>
<Ancient Chinese(Hanja)>
<Modern Korean>
Writer: Jeong Mong Ju
Region Goryeo (Korea)

Hayeo-ga and Dansim-ga are two of the famous poetries in Korea. They’re written in the end of Goryeo (Ancient Korea) by Lee Bang Won and Jeong Mong Ju. And they both has a political message. Since Dansim-ga is written to reply Hayeo-ga they have strong relationships each other.
The reader can understand the conflict between Lee Bang Won’s pursuit of real life (Betraying Goryeo) and Jeong Mong Ju’s moral obligations (loyalty).


Kwon-moon-sae-jok and the new nobility[edit]

Kwon-moon-sae-jok, who took power in politics during the late Goryeo dynasty[edit]

During the late Goryeo Dynasty, it was the kwon-moon-sae-jok who took power in politics. Most of the people of the kwon-moon-sae-jok were eunuchs, interpreters, former soldiers or their relatives with the power of the Mongolian empire on the back of them. So, they became officials more through the conspiracy than they were in the past, and that was essentially the dominant force in the nobility.[1] [2]

The new nobility challenging kwon-moon-sae-jok[edit]

While the kwon-moon-sae-jok were taking power, new social forces that challenged them, the new nobility, have emerged. They argued for a reform policy to rectify political, economic and social chaos caused by the monopoly of political power and the expansion of farm fields. So, the conservative kwon-moon-sae-jok and the progressive new nobility had a conflict.[3][4]

The new nobility – moderate reformers v.s. radicals[edit]

The new nobility took the lead in politics after Lee Seong-gae 's troop withdrawal at the Wihwa- Island. Then it was divided into moderate reformers and radical reformists. Jeong Mong-ju, the leader of moderate reformers, claimed " Let's make gradual reforms in Goryeo.", while Jeong Do-jeon, the leader of the radicals, argued that “We should erect a new dynasty since Goryeo has ended.” The radical groups, who insisted on a dynastic revolution in the lead of Jeong Do-jeon, and Lee Seong-gae, the new warrior, faced Jeong Mong-ju of the moderate faction.
There was only once a chance for Jeong Mong-ju to remove the Lee Seong-gae faction from the Goryeo Dynasty. Lee Seong-gae couldn’t come to Gae-gyeong and was taking care of himself at Byeok-ran-do Island, since he was injured by falling from a horse while hunting. At this time, Jeong Mong-ju decided to remove the Lee Seong-gae faction by considering it a chance given by Heaven. However, Jeong's plans went awry by Lee Bang-won, Lee Seong-gae’s son, who believed his father was in great danger. So he ran to Byeok-ran-do in the middle of the night to bring Lee Seong-gae to Gae-gyeong. Jeong Mong-ju was very disappointed. However, it was necessary to know how much Lee Seong-gae was in shape to plan the next task. So, under the pretext of Lee Seong-gae's visit, he visited his home. At this time, Lee Bang-won told Jeong Mong-ju a poem, and Jeong Mong-ju replies with another poem. After reciting this poem to Lee Bang-won, Jeong Mong ju came out of Lee Seong gae’s house. Lee Bang-won thought it was impossible to persuade Jeong Mong-ju. So he dispatched his men to Sunjukyo to murder Jeong Mong-ju. .[5] [6]

The hidden meaning of each poem[edit]

The hidden intention behind Ha yeo-ga[edit]

The poem Lee Bang-won told Jeong Mong-ju is the famous Ha yeo-ga. In short, it was a conciliatory gesture to stay on our side and live forever.

A reply to Hayeoga, Dan shim-ga[edit]

Jeong Mong-ju answered the question with Dan shim-ga, another poem. It meant that “I will serve the Goryeo Dynasty even if I die a hundred times again”, so it was a stern warning to stop trying to persuade him. This made Lee Bang-won be convinced that it was impossible to conciliate him, which led to Jeong Mong-ju’s death. [7]

Analysis of the two poems[edit]

Analysis of Hayeo-ga[edit]

Features and Purpose[edit]

Hayeo-ga is a typical traditional 3-verse Korean poem called “sijo”. The writer Lee Bang Won, wanted Poeun Jeong Mong Ju to pursue practical interest over rationale and persuade him to join his party and ask to help to make new country. So, it’s mood is conciliatory and persuasive. Although it has a political message, its mood is also easygoing, too.

Original form and translations[edit]

The original versions of Hayeo-ga and Dansim-ga are written in ‘Chung Gu Young eun’ in Ancient Korean, and they’re translated into 'Ancient Chinese (called Hanja)’ in <Poeun Poetry> and <Haedong Ak Bu>, etc. And in modern times, people interpreted them into 'Modern Korean' translation. Those all three versions of two poems are popular, but the Korean versions are the most.

Korean English Meaning
이런들 엇더 며 져런들 엇더 료,

만수산(萬壽山) 드렁츩이 얼거진들 엇더 리,
우리도 이 치 얼거져 백년(百年) 지 누리리라.[8]

What shall it be? this or that?

What shall it be even if the mountain’s kudzu vine become tangled?
We’ll be associated like this and enjoy for long long time.

It doesn’t matter to you anyway.

Even if you betray Goryeo and make a new country with me.
Let’s make good relationship between us (Help me), and live in the new dynasty happily forever.


Phrase and word analysis in Hayeo-ga[edit]

In the first and second line, he repeated “what shall it be?” to show his suggestion (to make a new country with him). And, his recommendation for Jeong Mong Ju to adapt the changing world is expressed in the second line. Also, he appealed that he wanted to be with him and live happily forever in the last line. In this poem, the word vine in the mountain (kudzu vine) is especially emphasized and the writer compares his purpose of its shape indirectly. Also, ‘mountain’ in this poem has a special meaning. The word Man Susan in Korean Hayeo-ga means the mountain that has ten thousand lives. (It can be understood as a real mountain in Western Gaesung that has seven tombs of the kings of the Goryeo.) This word shows that Lee Bang Won was rebuking Jeong Mong Ju’s deep loyalty to Goryeo and he wanted him to become his side by betraying Goryeo. (In Hanja version, it was interpreted to ‘SeongHwang room’s garden is ruined’ in second line instead of ‘kudzu vine become tangled’, but, the meaning is similar; both are saying that Betraying Goryeo doesn’t matter to him.) [10] [11]


In <Dosan 12 poetry> written by Yi Hwang, one of the most prominent Korean Confucian scholars of the Joseon Dynasty, there is a sijo whose first line is very similar to <Hayeo-ga>. He used that to say ‘not to try to interfere or fix the other’s thoughts’ effectively. Also, he showed his enjoyment living in the nature in the poem. [12]

Dosan 12 poetry, 1st part
이런들 엇떠하며 저런들 엇떠하료

초야 우생이 이러타 엇떠하료
하물며 천석고황을 고텨 므슴하료[13]

Analysis of Dansim-ga[edit]

Features and Purpose[edit]

Dansim-ga is a poem that answers Hayeo-ga, made by Jeong Mong Ju. He made this to reject Lee Bang Won’s idea and show his loyalty to Goryeo. The feature of this is directly and volitionally speaking, that is opposite to Hayeo-ga. It is easy to find his purpose to write this, rejecting Lee Bang Won’s idea and showing not only his loyalty to Goryeo but also his concrete mind. .[14]

Original form and translations[edit]

Korean English Meaning
이 몸이 죽고 죽어 일백 번 고쳐 죽어,

백골이 진토되여 넋이라도 있고 없고,
님 향한 일편단심이야 가실 줄이 있으랴

Though I die and die, die for 100 times,

And my bones become dirt and dust and my soul disappears or not
How can my sincere heart fade away?

Any things or attraction cannot change my concrete mind.

And it will last forever. (Even if my soul had disappeared.)

I will always be loyal to my lord and Goryeo Dynasty.


Phrase and word analysis in Dansim-ga[edit]

In the first and the second line, he used drastic expression like Dying or bones becoming dirt, etc to emphasize his integrity to the Goryeo Dynasty. And the words in third line show his principle directly.
In the poem, the sincere heart(일편단심, one-sided-sole-mind) is based on the justification, not to show loyalty to two kings and it is the most important phrase that shows his purpose and how strong his loyalty to Goryeo is. [16] [17]


Although the main idea in this sijo opposed Joseon establishment, paradoxically that was spread widely in Joseon. Because it shows and emphasizes fidelity and loyalty and those are important factors in Confucianism rule order (Courtier’s Confucianism rules). Also, its urgent but attractive expression contributed the sijo’s development a lot.
Meanwhile, Sin Chaeho, one of the Korean independence historian claimed that Dansim-ga was not written by Jeong Mong-Ju but a Baekje woman Hanju, based on Haesang Jab’rok. [18] According to this, When Koguryo King Anjang was a prince, he once secretly broke into the next country, Baekje to see the conditions in there. That time, he accidentally met a beauty, Hanju and fell in love each other. But he was a prince in other country, so he had no choice but to return to his country promising to her that he would come back. After that time, the mayor in her town desired to get her, but she made “Dansim-ga” to reject him, to show her fidelity to King Anjang.
[19] [20]

Hayeo-ga and Dansim-ga’s Form[edit]

The Form of Sijo[21][edit]

The Conditions of Sijo[edit]

The form is an important standard of dividing sijos. Sijos should satisfy some fundamental conditions, and we can divide sijos by whether they fulfill a condition or not.
Sijos should always consists of three lines, and one line should be divided into two phrases. Also, the length of the first beat in third line should be three letters, and second beat in third line should always consists of five or more letters. Sijos usually have about forty-five letters in total. We can divide sijos with the length of each phrase.

The Basic Form of Sijo[edit]

The base form of a sijo is as follows.
3.4/4.4-first line
3.4/4.4-second line
3.5/4.3-third line

The Form of Hayeo-ga[edit]

The first sijo, Hayeo-ga, consists of the following format. We can divide them into 3 lines, and a line consists of two phrases, and a phrase consists of two beats. If we count on letters in each beat, it becomes as the followings below.

이런들 엇더 며 져런들 엇더 료 3.4/3.4
만수산(萬壽山) 드렁츩이 얼거진들 엇더 리 3.4/4.4
우리도 이 치 얼거져 백년(百年) 지 누리리라. 3.6/4.4
The first beat of the third line in this sijo consists of three words, and there are more than five words in its second beat. They have almost similar form compared to the basic one, and only one letters are more or less in each phrase. There are forty-six letters in total, and there is not a long passage in particular, so we can divide this sijo as a plane sijo.

The Form of Dansim-ga[edit]

The second sijo, Dansim-ga, has almost similar format with Hayeo-ga. The form of Dansim-ga is as follows.

이 몸이 죽고 죽어 일백 번 고쳐 죽어 3.4/3.4
백골이 진토되여 넋이라도 있고 없고 3.4/4.4
님 향한 일편단심이야 가실 줄이 있으랴 3.6/4.3
It satisfies the conditions mentioned above. It consists of three lines with two phrases in each line, and it has same letters in total compared to the basic format. Because of these reasons, Dansim-ga is known as another plane sijo.

Expression Techniques used in Hayeo-ga and Dansim-ga[edit]

Expression Techniques used in Hayeo-ga[edit]

Elements forming a rhythm[edit]

- In the first row, the words " Uh-Thu-Ha-Myeo (어떠하며) " and " Uh-Thu-Ha-Li (어떠하리) " should be repeated collectively to form a rhythm.
- The first and second lines end in a ' 어떠하리 ', forming rhyme.

A figurative and symbolic expression used in the poem[edit]

- In the second row, Lee Bang-won and Jeong Mong-ju, who shared opposing positions on the reform of Goryeo, were compared to Mansusan Derungchick.
- In line 3, they are speaking figuratively again by using the expression ‘like this’.

Expression used in Dansimga[edit]

Elements forming a rhythm[edit]

-In line 1, the meaning of poetry emphasized by the repetition of the word ‘dead’(It also forms the rhythm of a poetry).
- The first and second lines follow the format of Article 3.4 accurately, making the rhythm feel strong.

A figurative and symbolic expression used in the poem[edit]

- Jeong Mong-ju’s sacrifices for king of Goreyeo is compared to the sentence, ‘ The white bone turns into soil’.

Elements highlighting the speakers ' feelings[edit]

- In first line to second line, the expressor ‘Dying’ is expressed gradually with a strong feeling.
In line 1, ‘Die a hundred times’ is an exaggeration.


Hayeo-ga and Dansim-ga’s Hanja version[edit]

Hayeo-ga Dansim-ga




This article "Hayeo-Ga and Dansim-Ga" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Hayeo-Ga and Dansim-Ga. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

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