#STORY 04. Taesung Park, The Devoted Son
In the late Joseon Dynasty, there was a devoted son named Taesung Park near Hanyang. He was so devoted that all the residents near his place knew his name
As time passed by, his father Segul Park passed away because of illness. It is called Simyo that children establish the tent next to the tomb and live there for 3 years when parents pass away. Taesung Park did Simyo after his father passed away. Furthermore, he visited his father’s tomb every single day after Simyo to ask his regard.
However, there was a Inwangsan Mountain tiger who was well-known to eat humans on the Muakjae Baksuk hill where he needed to pass to reach to his father’s tomb.
One day when Taesung Park was on his way to his father’s tomb, he met Inwangsan Mountain tiger. Tiger scolded him as if he was about to eat him.
“Hey, have you not heard about me?”
Taesung Park was scared and trembled but valorously said,
“I knew your reputation. However, I cannot abandon my duty as a son to my father. I need to visit his tomb.”
However, tiger snorted at him and showed his fang while growling.
“I am really hungry and need to eat you.”
Then, Taesung Park started crying. Tiger was laughing at him.
“I thought you were brave, but you are crying now. You are so scared of death, right?”
Taesung Park stopped crying and said,
“The reason why I cried was not because I was scared of death. However, if I die, I cannot ask my father regards anymore. This must be sad.”
Hearing him, tiger was impressed by how devoted he was to his father. There were many people crying because they were scared of tiger. However, they all cried because they did not want to die. However, tiger was impressed at Taesung Park who was not scared of death but only thought of devotion to his father at the moment.
“I have seen so many people but never seen anyone who was devoted this much to his father. Get on. I will take you to your father’s tomb.”
Tiger laid down flat in front of Taesung Park. Taesung Park was surprised but jumped on tiger’s back. Then, tiger ran so fast and take Taesung to his father’s tomb. Since that day, tiger always waited Taesung Park on Muakjae park and took him to his father’s tomb.
Devoted son tombstone and tomb at Hyoja-dong
As time passed by, it had been 40 years since Taesung Park and tiger first met. Taesung Park became old and ended up passing away. After the funeral, Taesung Park was buried next to his father. Not too long after, people found one tiger who died next to the tomb of Taesung Park. It was Inwangsan Mountain tiger who built friendship with Taesung Park for 40 years. People were so impressed by their friendship. Therefore, they buried the tiger next to Taesung Park.
The story of devoted son, Taesung Park, and his friendship with a tiger who was impressed by his devotion became an origin at Hyoja-dong in Deokyang-gu. Tomgs of Taesung Park, his father Segul Park, and tiger are still at the Jechungmal village, Goyang-si, below Bukhansan Mountain.
Aren’t we supposed to be devoted to our parents as shown in the story of Taesung Park who impressed fearful tiger who used to eat humans?