Korean mythology is the foundations of the belief system of the people of modern North and South Korea. The unique factor of Korean Mythology is that there are two distinct formats that are revered and followed even today. There is the written or literary form which is mainly about historical aspects including the founding fathers of the nation and the monarchy. The second element relates to the extensive oral mythology which has a heavy influence on the religious practices of today.
Korean mythology in it’s written form can be found documented in both Chinese and Korean languages. The primary books of reference include the Samguk Sagi and Samguk Yusa which is in the Chinese language and Munheon Sinhwa in Korean. These preserved records tend to revolve around the creation myths of the Korean nation. The myths are further divided into Northern (Goguryeo) and Southern (Silla) versions which talk about their respective foundation and its founders. The other myths in these records tend to delve around the family lineages and characters that came later. The myths contained in these volumes are heavily historicized, to the point that it is often difficult to differentiate between historical fact and mythology.
The Korean society also follows Shamanism which is the indigenous religion of the country and this is heavily influenced by the second part of the mythology. These oral mythologies, also known as Gubi Sinhwa, tend to be shamanic narratives usually recited by the priests or shamans during rituals. It consists of a huge variety of Gods and mortals and is much richer in terms of stories and content. This part of Korean Mythology is divided into five regional traditions having original narratives with a common underlying theme. They tend to be more religious in nature and is a type of living mythology similar to Indian Mythology.