Pop Culture & Society
Pop Culture: Gumiho
by | August 8, 2010 | 79 Comments

In honor of My Girlfriend is a Gumiho premiering this week, we thought it would be a good time to define what a gumiho is, and discuss this mythical creature’s cultural implications on gender, film, and tv. This isn’t a comprehensive definition, by any means, because there are endless number of myths, folktales, films, and dramas that feature gumihos in them. But I’ll cover the basics and discuss what’s interesting about this figure from a cultural point of view.

A gumiho [구미호] is a nine-tailed fox, a legendary creature with origins in ancient Chinese myths dating back centuries. There are versions of the figure in Chinese and Japanese folklore, although each differs slightly. The Chinese huli jing and the Japanese kitsune have more ambiguous moral compasses, in that they can be both good and bad, and are not necessarily out to get everyone. The Korean gumiho, on the other hand, is almost always a malignant figure, a carnivore who feasts on human flesh.

According to legend, a fox that lives a thousand years turns into a gumiho, a shape-shifter who can appear in the guise of a woman. A gumiho is evil by nature, and feeds on either human hearts or livers (different legends specify one or the other) in order to survive. The Chinese huli jing is said to be made up of feminine energy (yin) and needs to consume male energy (yang) to survive. The Japanese kitsune can be either male or female, and can choose to be quite benevolent.

The Korean gumiho is traditionally female. Some can hide their gumiho features, while other myths indicate that they can’t fully transform (ie. a fox-like face or set of ears, or the tell-tale nine tails). Either way there is usually at least one physical trait that will prove their true gumiho form, or a magical way to force them to reveal this form.

Much like werewolves or vampires in Western lore, there are always variations on the myth depending on the liberties that each story takes with the legend. Some tales say that if a gumiho abstains from killing and eating humans for a thousand days, it can become human. Others, like the drama Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child, say that a gumiho can become human if the man who sees her true nature keeps it a secret for ten years. Regardless of each story’s own rules, a few things are always consistent: a gumiho is always a fox, a woman, a shape-shifter, and a carnivore.

Now on to the cultural meanings. A fox is a common figure in many different cultures that represents a trickster or a smart but wicked creature that steals or outwits others into getting what it wants. Anyone who grew up on Aesop’s Fables knows the classic iteration of the fox figure in folklore. And it’s not hard to see how the fox got such a bad rap. The animal is a nocturnal hunter and a thief by nature, and is known the world over for its cunning mind.

In Korea, the fox has a second cultural implication—that of sexual cunning. The word for fox, yeo-woo [여우] is actually what Koreans call a woman who is, for lack of a better translation, a vixen, a siren, or a sly man-eater. There is a similar English equivalent in the phrase “you sly fox,” although in Korean it’s gender-specific (only women get called yeo-woo), and has a much more predatory “there-you-go-using-your-feminine-wiles-to-trick-me” kind of meaning behind it. Women who use any sort of feminine charm in an overt way, or women who are overtly sexualized (as in, asserting and brandishing their sexuality in a bold way), get called “yeo-woo.” Interestingly, the word for “actress” [여배우] is the same in its shortened form: [여우].

It is not by mistake that gumihos are only beautiful women. They are a folkloric way to warn men of the pitfalls of letting a woman trick you or seduce you into folly. For an example, see this translation of a classic gumiho tale. In many stories the hero of the tale (always a man) has to “endure” the seduction and unclothe the gumiho, thereby revealing her true form. Thus a woman’s true nature, her hidden sexuality = demon.

WTF, Korean folktales?

The concept of female sexuality as dangerous is nothing new to folklore, for sure. But it’s not a stretch to say that both the gumiho figure and the use of “yeo-woo” are quite prevalent in modern culture and its fiction. Most people may gloss over the fact that the gumiho myth is a story designed to uphold patriarchy. But that’s what makes such a legend so cunning in its own right.

In film and tv, the gumiho can be both a horrific figure and a straight-up demon, or a comically laughable one, depending on the genre. And throughout the ages the gumiho legend has changed, as in Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child ‘s take on the tortured gumiho with a kind soul who longs to be human and spares men’s lives. She is a reluctant demon who chooses to walk the fine line of morality in order to hold onto her human traits. This interpretation is much closer to the vampire-with-a-soul mythology, as one being battles the demon within.

But one interesting thing to note in that drama is that the child, once she comes of age, transforms into a gumiho herself and struggles with that overpowering demonic force. One can’t help but draw parallels to a young girl’s own coming of age and sexual development, and how this myth only serves to further demonize a woman’s sexuality as something uncontrollable and evil that befalls even the most innocent of young girls. In this, and other more overtly sexualized depictions, the gumiho serves to downgrade female sexuality as demonic and directly carnivorous of men.

All this isn’t to say that female writers couldn’t take ownership of such a legend and reclaim it. I think that’s the only way to take it out of this territory and blast all these old versions away with something empowered. Do I think that’s what the Hong sisters’ goal is? Not outright. And I’m definitely not going to be watching that rom-com for its stellar commentary on gender politics. What I will be doing is looking forward to the reversal, the woman-on-top dynamic of the beta male dating a powerful gumiho, and crossing my fingers for a step in the right direction.

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79 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. pengork

    *wolf whistle* niiiiice. fantastic food for thought, girlfriday, as always. these pop culture posts are getting better by the post. i have to admit, it’s made my interest in the show shoot up even more, because all this gender politics stuff will be prevalent in my mind. the Hong sisters are known for doing cliches well and for subverting them, but their female characters have actually been getting less and less hardcore by the drama, so this is even more fascinating to keep an eye on. i’d love it if they messed with the tale and gave patriarchy and misogyny a kick up the backside. thank you! <3

    • 1.1 silvester

      It is blitheringly inorderly lugubrious to term ‘gender politics’ a well-to-do axiomatic rather than ruminating on d oh-so up-to-d-minute axiomatic on d axiom that d law of equity should be practical. I kept on wandering in wonder why our leAdeRs won’t accede woth dAt axioM… Oh! Blitheringly abysmal.

  2. Leslie

    please recap My Girlfriend is a Gumiho….

  3. Sobia

    Being clueless about gumihos, I was waiting for this post– thank you, girlfriday! I agree, these pop culture posts are a feast for a reader’s imagination. =-) Please keep ‘em coming.

    So I was wondering, what’s up with the claim that gumihos used to deliver books to the king? Is that an actual part of the legend, or did the Hong sisters just insert that into the mythology to show that maybe gumihos are getting a bad wrap? Kinda suggests how intricately sexuality and knowledge are linked, and how being too clever for their own good got the gumihos in trouble…

    I can’t wait to see what they do with this tale! Thank you for providing us with a firm basis in gumiho-lore.

  4. javabeans

    I think this it the best one yet. (I can say that ’cause I didn’t write it, right?)

    Brilliant!

  5. therainhouse

    Hmm.. I love a good breakdown of mythical creatures.

    • 5.1 silvester

      Gumihos are just tactical synonyms of mythicism, they weren’t really in existence, so haLt dIs chit-chat and stop chinwagging with a chivalrous daffY…

      • 5.1.1 silvester

        Symphonies; meAn.

  6. Ata

    The gumiho, Eve, Pandora…I guess passing the buck to women (which is silly) is a universal condition.

  7. orangelauren

    Thanks for clearing it up. On a related note: the image of women as wily creatures trying to seduce men using their feminine charms has always bothered me. (WTF? Isn’t it the man’s fault as well if he can’t keep it in his pants?)

    • 7.1 staples

      haha! so true!

      • 7.1.1 staples

        and being a “player” is often considered a good/manly thing. So lame and sexist.

    • 7.2 jpak

      AGREED. (x

  8. Cam

    Oooh, THIS is very very very INTERESTING and unique, yupz. O__o

    Love these different styles of gumiho culture with their colorful eyes!

  9. kaedejun

    oooooh thanks for clarifying the legend!!! though i initially thought the hong sisters would just use the legend to full comic effect, now i wonder (and hope!) that they can do something different too!

  10. 10 Ani

    AWESOME! This makes me see the Gumiho in a different light. I mean jb once mentioned how using “fox” towards a woman in Eastern culture carries a negative light, but it also makes me look at “Gumiho: Tale of the Fox Child” in a whole new light. BRILLIANT. To think there is so much underlying meaning in all of these folklores/myths. Encore! Encore!

  11. 11 nabi

    thnx for the definition JB…i was really curious when i heard about this LSG drama but i dunno if i’m into this kind of story albeit i love LSG…umhhh i really think i’ll pass on this one!

  12. 12 Ani

    Sorry, but something else occurred to me, something that is a constant question when it does arise. Why is it when women sleep around they are, excuse me for this SL*TS or WH*RES, but when men sleep around they are “just boys being boys”? I mean geez, way to give the guys the upper hand. But I’m not male bashing, just wondering.

    • 12.1 Cassie

      The excuse I’ve been getting is that, any woman can get sex if she wants but men have to work harder for it thereby making it more of a conquest and earning congratulations and awe.

      Still lame in my opinion.

      • 12.1.1 staples

        I agree. I mean, the only reason men have to “work for it” is because if a girl goes around doing it, she’s considered lower-class (for lack of a more sophisticated term), while a guy who goes around getting it is considered successful and junk. It’s society’s little cat-and-mouse game. I’m not sure whether it’s better to be the cat or the mouse…

    • 12.2 jossy

      we live in a doubled standard society my friend

  13. 13 cupcake

    i’ve seen a chinese movie about gumiho or nine tails fox, called “Painted Skin”…i think it’s a good movie. I think they made it based on the tale of gumiho because it really similar with the gumiho you’ve decribed (sorry for my poor english)

    • 13.1 Nine Tailed Fox

      Um…Painted Skin was only about a regular fox demon….not nine tails fox demon

  14. 14 danni

    Interesting. I’ve heard of the gumiho creature a lot, but I had always wondered about its origins, especially now that I’m watching Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s child so this has definitely shed a little light on the subject.

    This was an interesting viewpoint on the gumiho, and it makes me wonder why female sexuality is always seen as a bad thing, even nowadays. A woman who is openly sexual must be “evil” or “crazy” or something like that and if a man is sexy, he’s just being a man. I really don’t understand but I guess these ideas are rooted in ancient myths like these.

  15. 15 birdscout

    Intelligent and thought-provoking articles such as this one make dramabeans.com THE site for great kdrama info. Many thanks girlfriday for this post!

  16. 16 Laica

    Excellent post, Girlfriday!

    I knew about the carnivorous and somewhat evil nature of the gumiho, but I had no idea of the sexuality angle… very interesting. I wonder how the Hong Sisters will approach this. Probably milk it for all its comic effect and not much else; like you, I don’t expect any deep insight about social issues. But that’s part of what makes their dramas so light and fun to watch. ;)

    As for why women get blamed for being the tempters of men, I think it’s because historically men have had the power and made the rules. So they were able to blame their own actions on the “weaker sex” and get out of taking responsibility. Demonizing women made men look like innocent “victims”. *rolls eyes*

    Anyway, thanks so much for the insight! This makes me look forward even more to the drama. And I’m so looking forward to whipped!LSG.

  17. 17 Jenju

    Oh, I LOVE it when you do articles like this. I really get a lot out of them. I hope you continue writing such articles.

    Having known that this drama was coming out, I had already tried to research it on my own. But with all the varying legends out there, it was very refreshing to read this and get a clear understanding.

    Thank you!!

  18. 18 gemini28

    One of the reasons why this awesome blog is like no other: The ‘deconstructing’ part of kdramas and kpop culture.

    Give yourself a pat on the back, Girlfriday! :D

  19. 19 Maggie Y

    My parents got us these books on Korean folklore to teach us Korean when we were little kids and I remember being SO scared of the gumiho. In the picture, she would sit in her room and sharpen her knives in the middle of the night to eat the male traveler. Not the best story to tell a child! Haha

  20. 20 Scarlett

    where does kim tae-hee come from? where did she have a gumiho role?

    • 20.1 missmanderley

      she appeared in an older kdrama called Forbidden Love/The Legend of the Nine Tailed Fox with Jo Hyun Jae, I believe around 2004. it wasn’t exactly a good kdrama and was kinda campy… but i do remember her acting in it as a gumiho :)

  21. 21 Mari

    Interesting. Immediately reminds me of Native American Shaman women who wore fox tails. The more they wore, the older and wiser it meant they were.

    Male shaman also wore fox tails, as well as wolf.

    http://compare.ebay.com/like/370209994445?ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&rvr_id=122012522886&crlp=1_263602_263632&UA=WXF%3F&GUID=54fcc96012a0a0aad0d102e1ff177c1a&itemid=370209994445&ff4=263602_263632

    http://www.cherokeevisions.com/images/28-blufox_m.jpg

  22. 22 Lemon

    Thanks for this post! i’m really excited for My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, and I hope you guys will recap it. (:

    Also, i realised the layout of this website is new. I miss the simple, good ol’ layout, but I guess change is good too.

  23. 23 sallynally

    1. Of course, there’s the male equivalent in wolves (늑대). In k-dramas, it’s not uncommon to see dads warning their daughters to be wary of all men cause they’re all wolves.

    2. The word “foxy” in English is pretty gender specific to females as well. I’ve heard women be described as foxy ladies, but never men as foxy men.

    • 23.1 javabeans

      I do think “wily as a fox” gets applied to both genders in English, though.

      • 23.1.1 sallynally

        Point taken. What I meant by my second point is that fox, or foxy here, when used to denote sexual characteristics is used exclusively for females in both Korean and American cultures.

        It wasn’t clear to me in girlfriday’s post but from my understanding, when fox is used to describe slyness (minus the sexual aspect), it can be used for both males and females in Korea. For instance, I’ve seen older Koreans call a sly, cunning guy to be fox-like (여우새끼 같다). I’ve also seen it being used to a baby when he knows how to act cute to receive attention or love (여우짓). So 여우 is used exclusively for females in Korea in instances where the sexual characteristic is implied, but the word itself is not exclusively gender-specific.

        Finally, I too would guess that gumihos in traditional folklores would have been all women, but that has not been the case in recent popular culture. For instance, male gumihos have appeared in the 2004 drama 구미호외전 (Forbidden Love) and the 2006 film 구미호 가족 (The Fox Family). However, it is noteworthy that in both works, the lead characters were beautiful female gumihos (Kim Tae Hee and Park Shi Yeon) falling in love with human males (Jo Hyun Jae and Park Joon Gyu).

  24. 24 rainerust

    Awesome post GF. Can’t wait for LSG & SMN!

    Just a small question…I didn’t manage to identify all the pictures from movies/dramas that you used (except for Gumiho: Tale of The Fox’s Child) and I was just wondering which movies and/or dramas they’re from…?

    Anyway, recently Chinese drama has begun to romanticize fox demons as well (I use the word “recently” loosely, since I think the drama I’m thinking of was probably made like, 10 years ago), so it’s an interesting phenomenon of reverse engineering that’s been occurring.

  25. 25 gailT

    Can anyone help me figure out where the 4th and 5th pictures came from? I recognize the 2nd and 3rd pics in the recaps on dramabeans (because I’m too scared to actually watch the drama).

    • 25.1 sallynally

      The actress playing the gumiho is in parentheses:
      1. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Shin Mina)
      2. Hometown of Legends (Park Min Young)
      3. Hometown of Legends (Park Min Young)
      4. Forbidden Love (Kim Tae Hee)
      5. Left – Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child (Han Eun Jung)
      Right – The Fox Family (Park Shi Yeon)
      6. Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child (Han Eun Jung)
      7. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (Shin Mina)

      “Forbidden Love” is a romance and “The Fox Family” is a comedy, so you should be able to watch them both even if you’re not a fan of the horror genre.

      • 25.1.1 gailT

        sallynally, you’re the best! whoa, i should’ve recognized Kim Tae Hee, and that’s what I had been trying to figure out. OK, i’ll be on the look-out for both dramas.
        thanks very much! :D

  26. 26 Dele

    Very interesting post. Loved the last shot, I guess she is unclothing him to reveal his true nature:). I’m going to miss the next two weeks of it though, because I’ll be traveling, but I trust that the Hong sisters will give us a strong and cool female to cheer on like usual.

    One question, when a gumiho transforms into their real form, are they always white?

    • 26.1 girlfriday

      Actually, was going to include something about that, but it delves into a whole separate mythology. Basically, the Woman in White is the most common ghost archetype–the ghost of an unfulfilled woman (virgin, never bore children, especially a MALE child) who gets killed.

      So the white dress, long black hair–it’s to evoke supernatural, ghosty qualities, and that’s the quickest shorthand. Also links to sexual metaphors, etc.

  27. 27 kpm1111

    Am so loving the new dramabeans website :)

    Thanks guys!

  28. 28 jubilantia

    Great job, girlfriday. I hadn’t quite formulated the whole “gumiho-ness as female sexuality” angle yet. However, I have been vaguely disquieted by the general attitude in Tale of the Fox’s Child. I’m enjoying it so far, although i don’t know how much you’ve seen of it. I understand that in that superstitious time, you reeeeeally didn’t want to be different. Still, I have been waiting for Yeon Yi to embrace- and ultimately subvert the evil of- her power and use it for good rather than this “If I’m a monster, I want to die!” shrinking violet crap. Hopefully it gets there. If either you or dramabeans have been watching that one, I would love to hear your thoughts in more detail.

  29. 29 Lee

    I think it would be interesting and told him she wants his heart but in a way that made us and him think she was going to eat it, then in the end either by accident he falls in love with her and therefore she has his heart or she does go the typical gumiho route and uses her wiles to make him fall in love with her and again can claim ownership of his heart. I hope the Hong sisters go with the first one. Also if it hasn’t been said, the writers of the legends were most likely (as in 99% sure) men so it comes to mind that they saw female sexuality as something fearsome and scary, it was also something that they couldn’t control and could be unleashed at any time and if you weren’t careful it could lead to a world of pain (i.e. that you fell in lust/love with her and she left you e.t.c). p.s. I love my run on sentences.

  30. 30 Oppa

    Thanks Girlfriday!
    What a great introduction to Gumiho’s!
    I looking forward to the Hong Sister’s new drama with great anticipation, and this is a great insight into the myth and folklore of the Gumiho.

  31. 31 Lahlita

    This was amazing, Girlfriday! Female sexuality = dangerous has been around for ages. I remember being a young girl in a land that is not the US, and being told to wear long skirts to cover up my legs up so that men didn’t get the wrong idea or be tempted, because then they wouldn’t be able to control themselves and it would be my fault. I was 10. WTF, indeed!

    That last short of Gu Mi-ho reaching under Lee Seung-ki’s shirt is really intriguing. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be playfully sexual, or if she’s trying to get a grip on his tasty, tasty heart. I too think that the female sexuality of the gumiho will be played for laughs. I imagine it’ll go something like this: Gu Mi-ho throws Lee Seung-ki down and crawls on top of him, he FREAKS OUT all beta-like (cute!), completely losing the plot, at which point she sits back wondering what is wrong with this wimpy man-child. Or she spends half the drama attempting to lift up his shirt to get at his yummy liver, and is surprised to find yummy chocolate abs under that shirt, and all manner of sexual hilarity ensues. Naturally at some point he’ll be completely shirtless, still freaking out! because she’s all evil and carnivorous and sexual. I don’t imagine it’ll go much deeper than that. She’ll be allowed to make a few pseudo-sexual advances as long as they’re not realized and are played for humor, because sexually liberated women are the downfall of civilization. Obviously. Still, I am so watching this drama! Javabeans is recapping it, right? Or you switching off like you sometimes do?

    I’m thinking about rewriting The Fairy and the Woodcutter. It’ll be the Woodcutter and the Gumiho, and once that kidnapping ass reveals what he did, his “fairy” wife will reveal herself as a gumiho, seduce him into thinking they’re about to have sexy times, and then have herself a heart-and-liver-of-woodcutter pie.

  32. 32 Sere

    Huh, I sort of assumed the myth conveyed a message about female sexuality as well, but I had no idea how big of a role it played. Thank you, Girlfriday, for this article.

    Guys, you are soooo awesome. I love this blog. And oh! I didn’t notice that the new layout allows direct replies to each comment. SO COOL! \o/

  33. 33 six

    the Shinmina/Seungi picture reminded me when Seulong 2Am (shinmina die hard fan ) asked Shinmina why she put her hand under Seungi shirt, lol

    Btw, love this info and I just realize that direct reply is available at new layout. Remind me how hard to check which post the replier comments at old layout :)

  34. 34 sajor

    excellent post girlfriday! liked how you linked it to gender politics, and especially loved your resolution (?) for MGiaG which is stated perfectly in your last paragraph.. now definitely looking forward to your recaps (or will it be jb’s?)

  35. 35 sajor

    on a related note, which many above mentioned: why is it generally worst for women to (overly) express their sexuality compared to men?

    perhaps part of the reason to this is human nature. in fact, in animals, the sex that is bigger physically is the one that usually has more mates. and in humans, men are around 10% larger than women. thus, and even though we are mostly monogamous, it is more natural for men than for women to have more partners (if ever). unfair? yup. after all, not all that is more natural is better. i’m with girlfriday here, hoping that MGiaG will be a “step in the right direction.”

  36. 36 unny

    Very well done, Girlfriday. Intelligently written, but without lacking that all-too famous girlfriday humor :)

    Anywho. The concept of the gumiho is worrisome to me. With the last pop culture bit on the angel and the woodcutter, and now this on the gumiho all point to disturbingly sexist elements running through the heart of Korean fables and culture. Of course such patriarchal elements exist in probably every society, no matter how developed (it doesn’t help that many women rather prefer their men to “be the man”). Still, I’m looking forward to the series. TV usually is quite daring in how it portrays men and women and plays a big role in breaking down gender roles, so hopefully this drama will take some different turns with the gumiho concept.

  37. 37 giddygirl108

    :)

  38. 38 reluctantbutaddicted

    Nice post, thanks, gf! Foxiness in the sense of cunning (‘sly as a fox’) can be attributed to anyone in English, but foxy in the sense of sexy seems to be only used for women, so we have that in common with Korean usage. I don’t know much about the history of the term foxy (for sexy) but I just looked it up in the Online Etymology Dictionary which says it (“Meaning attractive”) dates back to 1895. It also, acc to Wiktionary, is used for people with red hair.

    So is the Fox in the drama title “What’s Up, Fox?” a reference to the supposed predatory sexiness of the older woman, with an intimation of gumiho?

    • 38.1 girlfriday

      What’s Up Fox uses it in the sexy, man-eating way. Think: cougar.

      That use of “foxy” doesn’t evoke gumiho, but rather the concept of the gumiho is tied to those meanings.

  39. 39 Nonnie

    Interestingly, “vixen” is the word for a female fox. I wonder if there used to be more explicit connections between female sexuality and foxes in English-speaking societies?

  40. 40 Ojou_Belle

    I love this post, GF!…it explains a lot and it also makes me think! I will watch the Hong sisters show now that my interest is piqued.

    About women’s sexuality being cast in an evil light, my theory is that men basically see women as good and as caretakers, generally,(their mother’s being women and all that!) and they have a difficult time adjusting to the thought that women can take matters into their own hands and beat them to it! Hahaha! Just my two cents, people! It may also stem from the fact that sexually active women run the risk of getting pregnant and to prevent this she would have to use contraception which in the narrow minds of men might seem very wily or cunning as a forethought since many view women as timid and in need of help constantly.

    Don’t bash me for these thoughts…they are just what occured to me after reading the posts above!

  41. 41 Mphn17

    This is something interesting that I just know, I don’t remember where I heard it though but the Japanese greeting is “moshi moshi,” meaning “hello.” It is a way to know if the person is a kitsune or not b/c they can’t say those words. :) Interesting, ey? Haven’t been on your page in a couple of days and its changed! :D Nice look, seems like all kdramablogs are looking that way.

  42. 42 Mphn17

    Oh, I forgot to say. I just finished watching Shining Inheritance and I loved it! And I’m glad to see LSG b/c I wasn’t all that fond of him during Xman.

  43. 43 Porcelain

    Another valuable lesson from GF & Javabeans… Thanks guys!

    Yeah regardless its Korean, Japanese or Chinese…
    Foxes always have that connotation… mostly is sly, vixen/foxy like… scheming to grab some unsuspecting man… the whole package…

    And I realize… its almost surreal the similarity between Asian and Western foklore… Prolly only thing that amuse me is how different dragons are drew in those fairytales. ^^ haha…

    Dragons anyone?

  44. 44 mellowyel

    awesome post!

  45. 45 Jessica

    Thanks so much for this post Girlfriday !

    I love these posts that give me so much information to understand the impact of the significance of these words to Korean culture and traditions, especially since I am not Korean. I can’t wait to watch this now that I finally understand what Gumiho means.

    Can’t wait for more brilliant posts! :)

  46. 46 unny

    Uh wow. Get ready for this. Yesterday my dad pulled me aside as we were shopping to inform me (I am heading off to college in a couple of weeks as a freshman) that I must be very careful because “all guys are wolves.” I IMMEDIATELY thought of dramabeans. :P

  47. 47 Brown Boy

    http://enc.daum.net/dic100/contents.do?query1=10XX109148

  48. 48 sapientia

    fantastic!!! very well written & observed social commentary!
    its great u bring up the gender politics of this myth, which is pretty clear & overt in this case, because the same exists in so many folk tales & even currently popular fairy tales the world over. And I love the point about female writers now reinterpreting the legends to give the woman a voice and rework the ideology contained in the stories that have been brainwashing generations..
    theres no point in denying these myths or stories, but there is a alot to be said for adopting the methods of the ruler & beat them at their own game, remaking myths & hence breaking down & changing age old notions..
    Loving MGIG right now I hope the Hong Sisters have the guts and the insight to really rework the myth and give us something to celebrate & hand down as an alternative myth of our own..
    great post keep it coming! \m/

  49. 49 Misa

    Thanks a bunch for breaking that down for all of us who were going into this drama saying “whats a gumiho??!!!”

  50. 50 =_=

    naruto comes to mind everytime i thought about gumiho…

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