Ninety-Nine Valleys

There is a mountain just off Highway 1117 to the south of Jeju City with a most striking appearance. It is covered with many large and small valleys that run up and down it like the furrows in a field. There are so many of them that the mountain came to be called Ninety-Nine Valleys (Aheunahop Gol). It is said that if the mountain had one more valley, there would be lions and tigers and other such ferocious animals living on Jeju. 

Ninety-Nine Valleys : Aheunahop Gol : 아흔아홉골

Originally there were in fact one hundred valleys, and at that time dangerous animals roamed wild all over the island. At some point, however, a monk crossed over from China and called together the inhabitants of Jeju. He told them that he would get rid of the troublesome wild animals if the people shouted out in unison “The Great King of the Animals has come from China!” 

The people welcomed the idea of not having to worry about dangerous animals, so they did as the monk instructed. Amazingly, when they all shouted out together, each and every one of the frightening creatures of the island came and gathered in the hundred valleys of the mountain.

After reciting some Buddhist scriptures, the monk roared at the beasts “All of you, go off some place where you can live comfortably. I’m going to get rid of the valley you came from, and if any of you dare appear here again, I’ll exterminate every last member of your species.” All the lions, tigers and bears, without exception, went into a single valley and disappeared without a trace. Then the valley itself just completely vanished. 

It is said that since then, there have been no dangerous large animals on Jeju. However, it is also the case that because these events occurred the island has been unable to produce great kings.

Based on the account given on August 10, 1960, by Mr. Bak Yong-Ha of Yongdam-dong, Jeju City. From 99 Legends of Jeju, a compilation based on the work of Professor Hyun Yong-Joon.

Ninety-Nine Valleys : Aheunahop Gol : 아흔아홉 골 

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