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Mythological first king of the Koreans, whose reign began in 2333 BC. According to one legend, Tangun's father descended from heaven to rule earth from a mountaintop. When a bear and a tiger expressed the wish to become human, he ordered them into a cave for 100 days; after the tiger grew impatient and left, the bear was transformed into the beautiful woman who became Tangun's mother. Buddhism and Daoism credited Tangun with establishing a national religion and originating the Korean maxim Hongik-ingan (Love humanity). His birthday is a school holiday.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Tangun, visit Britannica.com.
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