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The Hae-juck Taepoong (which is translated in Korean "The Pirate Taepoong", Taepoong also means "storm") said to have existed as the greatest pirate in Joseon Dynasty, a Korean state which was in between 1392 and 1897. He is thought to have existed between 1476 and 1506 when Yeonsangun, who is often considered the worst tyrant in Joseon Dynasty, ruled over.


The pirate Taepoong is suggested to be a 6 feet tall, have a thick black hair tied up with the large red string and have big shining eyes with peaking eyebrows; it was often referred that when he smiled, his eyes were bent like a crescent moon. It is also largely rumored that he lost his right thumb during the battle in the East Sea with Japanese pirates who tried to attack the town in Gangwondo.


The pirate Taepoong was thought to be as a righteous outlaw like Robin Hood and he attacked the ship filled with bribes (bags of rice from Gong-joo and gold at that time) from corrupt officials while the people were starved to death and gave the rice and money to the poor. It is suggested that people often provided shelter and food for him when he was chased by the officials from the government office. Also, he helped the people from the shipwreck and the fisherman and guided their way to get home safely.


There are many suggested stories about his death. The most believed story is that one day as he stole one of the ships going to Jin, China carrying a lot of rice and gold as bribes, the officials from China executed him.


The story about the pirate Taepoong has traveled from mouth to mouth until today and there is a rumor that he became a storm, as his name suggested, and protected the East Sea as the guardian god.


There is no record or picture of him, the story of the pirate Gong-gil remained legendary and has been delivered only from mouth to mouth. Historians suggest that he might have been created by the people who waited for a hero to save them from Yeonsangun.



- Soll Kim

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