Choi-Young General Belief in Korea
General Choi-Young was a premier and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Goryeo Dynasty during the 14th century. The general was greatly respected for his loyalty, patriotism, and humility. He was executed by his subordinate commanders, headed by General Lee Sung Gye, who later became the first king of the Choseon Dynasty. He became a deity of Korean and his powers can be found through images in the temples and the intercession of spirit mediums (shamans) nowadays.
This study focuses on Choi-Young General’s life and the process of his deification through the history of the Goryeo Dynasty (Goryeo Sa) and the veritable records of the Choseon Dynasty (Choseon wangjo sillok). What people though of him is considered through the unauthorized history and folktale. In addition, to evaluate the importance of him in shaman many factors of temples of Choi-Young are actually investigated by the author in the regions of Korea.
From the record of history documents, there was one-sided estimation about Choi-Young by Choseon Dynasty’s scholars. They said that he was stubborn, foolish and had enormous mistake to decide attack Ming Dynasty that was more powerful than Korea at that time in 1388. Nevertheless, General Choi-Young was worshipped from the first of Choseon Dynasty. There are two ways of worship of Choi-Young. He is worshipped in many temples as a hero. Especially, in Korean Shamanism he becomes an important deity. The reason that shamans deified him is not due to his achievements or his great personality but is due to his miserable death.
Keywords: Choi-Young, Choi-Young Belief
Thi Ngoc Cam Le
Graduate Student, Korean History, Inha University