There are two large rocks on the boundary between Suwon Village and Daerim Village. It is said that the rocks were set up there about two hundred and fifty years ago by people from Daerim Village. A geomancer once investigated the topography of the area and discovered that the region lying to the west of the regional boundary had negative energy. In order to prevent that bad energy from entering their district, the men of Daerim Village pooled their strength together and rolled a large rock up to the boundary line. Then they tried to raise up another large rock and place it on top, but couldn’t manage the feat.
Seeing them fail, one of the villagers known as Officer Bak stepped forward. He was an extremely strong man, and took the opportunity to mock his neighbors and show off his strength. “What, even a whole bunch of you working together can’t lift up that tiny little thing?” He snatched up the rock all by himself and placed it top of the other one. Because the rocks were set up in their present location like this, Daerim Village used to be called Standing Stones, or Standing Stones Village.
After the stones were set up, life got better in Daerim Village, but things got worse to the west in Suwon. An examination of the situation revealed that the stones were blocking the flow of vital energy, and the village’s prospects for achieving prosperity were poor. So the villagers got together one night and stealthily toppled the upper stone. Then they rolled them both away. When the Daerim villagers found out what had happened, they went and set up the stones again. A few days later, down the top stone came again, only to be set up once more. Things continued in this way for some time. The stones would go up and come tumbling back down in accordance with the strength of the villagers. Stories about this back-and-forth raising and toppling of the stones continue to be told to this day.
Based on the account given on July 28, 1959, by Mr. Jang Eung-Seon of Aewol-ri.
From 99 Legends of Jeju Island, a compilation based on accounts compiled by Professor Hyun Yong-Joon.
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 imbued with magical abilities.
Officer Bak’s rank was cheonchong (천총: 千摠). During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), government officials in the military and civil service were given a rank of one to eighteen, and divided into junior and senior classes. Each military base had an army officer called a cheonchong, who was of the senior third rank.
Standing Stones : Seondol : 선돌
Standing Stones Village : Ipseok-ri : 입석리 : 立石里
1 thought on “The Standing Stones of Daerim”