Gojongdari and Dragon’s Head

There is a rocky promontory called Dragon’s Head on the shore at the bottom of Sanbang Mountain in Hwasun Village. The sides of the massive outcrop of volcanic rock fall sharply towards the ocean, forming cliffs and interesting rock formations. It extends from Sanbang Mountain as a longish hill sticking out from the shore, where it looks like a dragon lifting its head as it dives into the ocean.

Sanbang Mountain

These events took place during the reign of Qin Shi Huang. When he became the ruler of China he ordered the Great Wall to be built around his empire as a defence against incursions by foreign enemies. But he couldn’t put his mind at ease, fearing that another emperor would arise in a neighboring country. Upon hearing that the landscape Jeju was home to a Site of Kings and Feudal Lords, Qin Shi Huang worried that a rival leader would be born on the island. He decided to send a master of geomancy named Gojongdari to go and cut off the flow of powerful energy issuing from the site.

When Gojongdari came to Jeju, he wandered around searching for the Site of Kings and Nobles. After a few days he knew he was close. The locus of energy was somewhere around Sanbang Mountain. He searched the area carefully to find the spot most critical to the center of power. It was Dragon’s Head. While the dragon was alive, the energy that flowed through it would aid in the birth of a rival king. If it were killed, Qin Shi Huang’s worries would be over. 

Gojongdari first cut off the dragon’s tail in one swing of his sword, followed by its back, which took two strokes. Blood poured out of the cuts and flowed down the rock into the ocean. It is said that Sanbang Mountain trembled and moaned. The death of the dragon and loss of its strong energy left Jeju unable to produce a king. You can still see in the rocky outcrop where Gojongdari sliced off the dragon’s tail and back. 

Based on the account given on February 27, 1975, by Mr. Go In-bong (63) of Jongdal-ri.

From 99 Legends of Jeju Island, a compilation based on the work of Professor Hyun Yong-Joon.

Dragon’s Head : Yongmeori : 용머리


   Geomancy, better known as feng shui, or pungsu in Korea (풍수: 風水: wind-water), is the art of situating manmade structures in locations that have strong, positive, vital energy, called gi (기: 氣). The energy is thought to flow through the landscape, and the areas where the energy is strongest are the most auspicious. Geomancers, called jigwan (지관: 地官), are proficient in finding suitable places to build graves, homes and other structures, and are often said to have magical abilities.


   This character is usually called Ho Jongdan : 호종단 : 胡宗旦 in mainland Korea. He is said to have been a geomancer and master of divination during the Song dynasty of China (960-1279).

Site of Kings and Noblemen : wang-hu-ji-ji : 왕후지지 : 王侯之地

Qin Shi Huang

   Qin Shi Huang (romanized in Korean as Jinsihwang: 진시황: 秦始皇) became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC. He ruled until his death in 210 BC.

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