THE FILIAL PRINCESS PARI
translation by E. Henry
Long long ago in the land of Pulla, there lived a ruler named “King Ogu.”
At the age of fourteen, King Ogu took a nineteen-year-old maiden named “Kildae” to be his queen,
and made a divination which indicated that this union would result in a string of seven princesses.
King Ogu was bewildered. However clarvoyant the fortuneteller might be, these words could not be
“How could that be right? One or two them must turn out to be princes, surely.”
And so, thinking thus, King Ogu forgot the fortuneteller’s words and lived happily with his wife
Kildae. And later on, when Madame Kildae gave birth, the baby was a daughter.
King Ogu felt this was not important.
“If the first child is a daughter, then surely the second or third will a son.”
But a child was born every three years, and from the second to the sixth, each one was a daughter.
King Ogu’s face turned white.
The fortune teller’s words—that seven princesses would be born in a
row—now seemed likely to be proved correct.
Madame Kildae gave birth to a seventh child, but it was no different—This time also it was a
King Ogu was overcome with rage.
“I hate even the sight of her face! Throw the child into the sea!”
King Ogu gave the name “Princess Pari” to his abandoned seventh child, and put both her and a piece
of paper, on which was recorded the date of her birth and her social status, into a jade casket.
His attendants set the jade casket afloat on the ocean, whereupon a golden turtle suddenly arose from
the ocean and, taking the jade casket on its back, slowly swam off with it. When the casket arrived at an
acean shore it was discovered by an old married couple.
The old man and woman saw Princess Pari in the casket and were overjoyed.
Knowing that we are childless, the Jade emperor of Heaven has sent us this cute little daughter.”
“Haha, yes indeed, from now on we’ll bring her up very well.”
The old couple took Princess Pari with them to their house and brought her up very devotedly.
Princess Pari grew up very rapidly as the days passed.
In the year that Princess Pari turned fifteen, King Ogu and Madame Kildae suddenly fell ill and
became bedridden. They called in all the most famous doctors of the region and tried all the medicines
said to be efficacious, but nothing availed; their illnesses did nothing but get worse.
King Ogu called a soothsayer in and questioned him.