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Here Is The Full Summary Of The Korean Classic Folklore “Tale Of Chunhyang”

CHUNHYANG – The summary of the classic Korean Folklore “Tale of Chunhyang” has a lot of lessons to teach its readers.

One of Korea’s most famous stories is the Chunhyangjeon. In this article, we are going to talk about the plot, story, themes, and lessons of “Tale of Chunhyang”.

However, much like most folklore, the true author of this iconic story remains a mystery. But, scholars say it most likely originated as a work of pansori or musical storytelling.

Tale Of Chunhyang Summary And Lessons (Korean Folklore)

Afterward, accounts linked the origins of “Chunhyang” during the time of either King Sukjong or King Yeongjo as it was transformed into pansori. This is a musical involving percussion.


There are several plot summaries in the story. As such, several themes can be seen across the entirety of the tale. Among these themes is the relationship between true love and the social ladder.

Once upon a time, there was a gisaeng, a female musician, who was called Wolmae. Although the gisaeng were refined in culture and skill, the nobles still viewed them with contempt.

But, Wolmae wanted nothing more than to escape the life she lived. So, she worked her may to the heart of a civil minister. Eventually, her plan worked and he took her in as his second wife.

The two then gave birth to a daughter they named Chunhyang or “scent of spring”. This is where the story of Chungyang started.

After 16 years, a boy named Yi Mong-ryong, the son of a district magistrate was out walking to take in the beauty of spring. But, he was stopped in his tracks after he spotted a girl whose beauty was no less than mesmerizing.

He thought that the girl was the loveliest sight he’d ever seen. Desperate to meet the girl again, He sent his servant to arrange a meeting with her.

At first, Chungyang was having doubts about meeting the suitor, but eventually, she agreed to meet him at Gwanghallu Pavillion, a popular public spot.

Chunghyang remained shy. Meanwhile, Moon-ryong had totally fallen head over heels. At that moment, he instantly decided that he wanted to marry her.

Without a hint of hesitation, he talked to Wolmae and asked for her daughter’s hand. Knowing that her daughter’s marriage would lead to a prestigious family that would lead to a better life, Wolame gave her approval.


Due to traditions, the two were not married right away. They had to wait until Mon-ryong passed the civil service exam. Fortunately, Chunhyang saw the sincerity in Moon-ryong and she fell in love.

While Moon-Ryong was studying for his exams, the two lived happily and peacefully. But, one day, Moon-Ryong’s father had a promotion, causing the boy’s family to move to Seoul.

Because Chunhyang’s mother was a gisaeng, he strictly forbid his son to marry her. He said that it could risk the family honor.

With tears flooding the lovers’ eyes, they embraced each other and said their final goodbyes. Still, the boy promised Chunghyang that he’d pass his exams and earn a respectable title and that he’d come back for Chunhyang to marry her with honor.

Read more about the story in the link here.

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