[KS] Re: Bear as symbol
k u s h i b o
jdh95 at hitel.net
Sun Oct 29 18:32:01 EST 2000
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David McCann wrote:
> Tigers have all the fun, it seems, in contemporary Korea. They are
> symbols, happy little creatures. Bears give gall, so men can be strong.
Seems the bears don't give gall so much as the bears have their gall taken.
Rare, endangered California bears, in fact.
But, more to the point (and related to David's comment), bears are used as a
symbol for pharmaceutical elixirs (I think one company that does this is
Ulsa, which I guess is supposed to be the Hangulization for Ursa, the bear
constellations, but I need to check).
As for contemporary bear symbols, Dankook (Tan'guk) University in
Hannam-dong, Yongsan-ku, Seoul-shi, derives its name from the legendary
ursine founder of Korea, Tan'gun, and uses a bear as its symbol. The school
was founded post-liberation, in 1947, and its depiction of the bear
(prominently displayed in the school seal and elsewhere) is quite modern,
even cartoonish, like a teddy bear reading a book. See
http://www.dankook.ac.kr for a clear picture.
I think its a little ironic that the tiger would "have all the fun," given
that, according to the foundation myth, between the tiger and the bear, the
tiger was the impatient one, who didn't bother to do things the way they
were instructed by Hwanung, and thus gave up and failed.
K U S H I B O
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