Heo Gyun

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Heo Gyun
Revised RomanizationHeo Gyun
McCune–ReischauerHŏ Kyun
Pen name
교산 / 성소 / 백월거사
Revised RomanizationGyosan / Seongso / Baegwolgeosa
McCune–ReischauerKyosan / Sŏngso / Paegwŏlgŏsa

Heo Gyun (Hangul: 허균; Hanja: 許筠, 1569–1618) was a prominent Korean politician and poet, novelist, scholar, and writer of the Joseon dynasty. He was also known by his pennames, Gyosan (교산 蛟山) and Seongso (성소 惺所).


Heo Gyun was born in the city of Gangneung to Heo Yeop and his second wife (known only by her surname Kim 김). Heo Gyun's sister Heo Nanseolheon was a poet. Heo's family was of the noble (yangban) class (his father had been mayor of Gangneung) and as such Heo Gyun was afforded a solid education and in 1594 passed the nation's highest civil service exam. Under the strong influence of his tutor, Yi Dal 李達, Heo Gyun became a progressive and liberal thinker who dreamed of establishing a more progressive society by eliminating Confucian elements in the social, literary, and political realms.[1] Heo went on to serve the government of Joseon in such positions as Minister of the Board of Punishment and State Councillor. In the course of his political career he was exiled several times for involvement in political feuds and was ultimately executed on charges of treason during the reign of Prince Gwanghae.[2]

Heo is often credited as the author of the famous Korean story Tale of Hong Gildong, which in many ways reflects his progressive thinking, although his authorship has been disputed.[3][4][5]


  • Honggildongjeon (홍길동전) (attributed)
  • Dongguk myeongsandong cheonjuhaegi (동국명산동천주해기 東國名山洞天註解記)
  • Domundaejak (도문대작 屠門大嚼)
  • Namgungdujeon (남궁두전 南宮斗傳)
  • Yujaeron (유재론 遺才論)
  • Seongsobu bugo (성소부부고 惺所覆?藁)
  • Haksan chodam (학산초담 鶴山樵談)
  • Gukjo sisan (국조시산 國朝詩刪)
  • Hanjeongnok (한정록 閑情錄)
  • Gyosansihwa (교산시화 蛟山詩話)
  • Gosiseon (고시선 古詩選)
  • Sachesungdang (사체성당 四體盛唐)
  • Dangsiseon (당시선 唐詩選)
  • Songohghasicho (송오가시초 宋五家詩抄)
  • Myungsagashiseon (명사가시선 明四家詩選)
  • Eomcheosajeon (엄처사전)
  • Songoksaninjeon (손곡산인전)
  • Jangsaninjeon (장산인전)
  • Jangsaengjeon (장생전)
  • Namgung seonsaengjeon (남궁선생전)


In popular culture[edit]

  • Portrayed by Kim Joo-young in the 1986 MBC TV series The Hoechun Gate
  • Portrayed by Lee Dong-shin in the 1988 MBC TV series Queen Inhyeon
  • Portrayed by Kim Dong-hyun in the 1993 MBC TV series Iljimae
  • Portrayed by Kim Jong-kyul in the 1995 KBS TV series West Palace
  • Portrayed by Choi Jae-sung in the 2000 KBS TV series Roll of Thunder
  • Portrayed by Ryu Seung-ryong in the 2012 film Masquerade and in the 2014 SBS TV series My Love from the Star

Site web[edit]


  1. ^ Tai-jin Kim. 1976. A Bibliographic Guide to Traditional Korean Sources. Seoul: Asiatic Research Center, 291.
  2. ^ Tai-jin Kim. 1976. A Bibliographic Guide to Traditional Korean Sources. Seoul: Asiatic Research Center, 290.
  3. ^ Heo Kyun 허균, Hong Gildong jeon 홍길동전 [Tale of Hong Gildong], edited by Gu Inhwan 구인환 (Seoul: Sinwon Munhwasa, 2003), 54.
  4. ^ Jeon Yeongjin 전영진, ed., Hong Gildong jeon, Bak ssi buin jeon 홍길동전(洪吉童傳)·박씨부인전(朴氏夫人傳) [Tale of Hong Gildong, Tale of Lady Pak] (Seoul: Hongsin Munhwasa, 2001), 11.
  5. ^ Heo Gyeongjin 허경진, trans., "Hong Gildong jeon," Heo Gyun sanmunjip 홍길동전·허균 산문집 [Tale of Hong Gildong, Collection of Heo Gyun's prose] (Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea: Hanyang Chulpan, 1995), 7.