(Translation) 1910年 朴海溟 賣夢明文

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In Korea since ancient times omens has played an important role. Often significant state decisions or family affairs have been resolved by the emergence of divine signs that have been interpreted by a professional fortune teller. One of these signs is the dream. Every great event is thought to be preceded by an auspicious dream. In folk culture the dreams of conception, which precede the birth of a son, are particularly important. Until recently in Korea, the main role and task of the woman was to give birth to a son who would continue the lineage. Respectively the inability of a woman to give birth to a son was the main cause of anxiety. So, a number of superstitions were practiced to help conceiving a son, including buying an auspicious conception dream. Usually the woman or her husband buys the dream of someone who has dreamed an auspicious conception dream, most often a dragon or a tiger. Dreaming a dragon or tiger precedes the conception of a great and heroic son. It is considered that the “deal” is valid only if the buyer pays with money or some object.

We can trace the tradition of buying and selling dreams back in time, when the story of the Munhui, sister of the great commander Kim Yu-shin (595 – 673), was recorded. Munhui buys her sister's dream and thanks to it she marries the future ruler King Taejong Muyeol ((604 – 661) and gives birth to a great son. In return she pays with silk skirt (Samguk Yusa, Book 1, Taejong Kim Ch’un-ch’u).

Original Script

Classical Chinese English


右明文事 切有用處故 陰


必有禎祥 右夢放賣於右

前 而錢文千兩依數捧用是

遣 右前永永放賣爲去乎

日後若有雜談 以此文記





First Part (by Jong Woo): The fourth year of Yunghi (1910), fourth month, third day. This document has the following usage. The twenty-third day of the second month of the lunar calendar, I saw in my dream a dragon and a tiger. This [dream] should be auspicious.

Middle Part (by Kim Young): I sell this dream to this person and receive a thousand 錢文... ;P