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Hwarang were elite Shilla warriors who also received training in the arts and music.

The Hwarang were an elite group of male youth in Shilla, an ancient Korean kingdom that lasted until the 10th century. There were educational institutions as well as social clubs where members gathered for all aspects of study, originally for arts and culture steeped in Buddhism and Taoism. These groups developed into a more military organization as the Shilla court centralized political power and battled to unite The Three Kingdoms.
"Hwarang" is most often translated as "Flower Knights" or "Flower Youths." Hwa is the Sino-Korean (hanja) character for flower or the act of blooming. Rang means man, sometimes used as a suffix in Shilla official titles. The term Hwarang does not literally indicate "youth" or "boys". The Samguk Yusa differentiates between the male and female Hwarang through a change in the second character.

Hwarang leaders were also sometimes referred to in the Samguk Yusa as Gukseon 國仙 ("state immortals", or "state sylph"). The character 仙 is heavy in Taoist meaning, denoting an immortal or transcendent being dwelling in the mountains. Seon may be a transliteration of a pure Korean word meaning man.

Famous HwarangEdit

10 Hwarangs of SeorabeolEdit

Elite Hwarang GroupsEdit

  1. Do Wyol Seong Il ((The Sun and Moon Cadet) led by Bojong
  2. Cheon Ryeong Ing Do (Dragon Green / Blue) led by Seok-Pum
  3. Yi Hwa Jeong Do (Plum Blossom) led Deok Chung
  4. Mae Baek Dong Do (Camellia White) led Baek Yui
  5. Bi Cheon Ji Do (Flying Elves)-led Kim Alcheon
  6. Mu Ji Hyeon Do (Black Warrior) led Pil Dan
  7. Hu Guk Seon Do (Royal Guards) led by Im Jong
  8. Hu Bo Baek Do (White Tiger) led Dae Nam-bo
  9. Yun Sang In Do (Above Clouds) led Seon Yeol
  10. Cheon Si Hwon Do (Celestial City) led by Wang Yon

Others:

  • Yonghwahyangdo 용화향도 (龍華香徒) - Kim Yushin Hwarang faction

Hwarang Five CommandmentsEdit

  • Youths, Gwisan (귀산,貴山) and Chwihang (취항, -項), approached the Silla monk Won Gwang (원광, 圓光) seeking spiritual guidance and teaching, saying

“We are ignorant and without knowledge. Please give us a maxim which will serve to instruct us for the rest of our lives."

  • Won Gwang, who had gained fame for his period of study in Sui China, replied by composing the Five Commandments for Secular Life e Sae Sok O-Gye; 세속 오계; 世俗五戒). These have since been attributed as a guiding ethos for the Hwarang:
    1. Loyalty to one's lord (sagun ichung; 사군이충; 事君以忠; 나라에 충성하고)
    2. Love and respect your parents and teachers(sachin ihyo; 사친이효; 事親以孝; 부모님께 효도하고)
    3. Trust among friends (gyo-u isin; 교우이신; 交友以信; 믿음으로 벗을 사귀고)
    4. Never retreat in battle (imjeon mutwae; 임전무퇴; 臨戰無退; 싸움에 나가서는 물러서지 않으며)
    5. Never take a life without a just cause (salsaeng yutaek; 살생유택; 殺生有擇; 살아있는 것을 함부로 죽이지 않는다)

The Samguk Yusa also records that Hwarang members learned the Five Cardinal Confucian Virtues, the Six Arts, the Three Scholarly Occupations, and the Six Ways of Government Service (五常六藝 三師六正).

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