Korean Folk Tales: Imps, Ghosts and Fairies | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in October 2018 with all known ATU Classifications. Many of the tales in this collection included introductory and/or end note text which has been moved to the Notes section for each tale.

'Old Buddha,' The

PRIME Minister Choi Yun-tok was in mourning once for his mother. With a single horse and one servant he made a journey to the south where the road led through the county of Kai-ryong. At that very time two or three of the district magistrates had pitched a tent on the bank of the river and were having refreshments. They said to one another, "Who is that mourner that goes riding by without dismounting? It must be some country farmer who has never learned proper manners. We shall certainly have to teach him a lesson."

               They sent an attendant to arrest and bring his servant, whom they asked, "Who is your master?"

               He replied, "Choi, the Old Buddha."

               "But what's his real name?" they demanded.

               "The old Buddha," was the reply.

               Then they grew very angry at this, and said, "Your master has offended in not dismounting, and you offend in concealing his name. Both slave and master are equally ill-mannered." And so they beat him over the head.

               Then the servant said slowly, "He is called Choi the Buddha, but his real name is Yun-tok, and he is now on his way to his country home in Chang-won." At once they recognized that it was no other than the Prime Minister, and great fear overcame them. They struck their tent, cleared away the eatables, and ran to make their deepest salaam and to ask pardon for their sin.

               The old Buddha was a special name by which this famous minister was known.

                Yi Ryuk.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: 'Old Buddha,' The
Tale Author/Editor: Ryuk, Yi
Book Title: Korean Folk Tales: Imps, Ghosts and Fairies
Book Author/Editor: Bang, Im & Ryuk, Yi
Publisher: E. P. Dutton & Co.
Publication City: New York
Year of Publication: 1913
Country of Origin: Korea
Classification: unclassified

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