The Story of Heungbu and Nolbu May Be the Greatest Folktale Ever!

Hangbu and Nolbu

We saw this play in Korean during a traditional folk performance and had no idea what was going on because of the language barrier. After doing some research we found that this story is freaking crazy and has to be shared.

I am going to keep it short and sweet so I can get into more detail to what makes this story most amusing to us.

We Present Heungu and Nolbu – A Korean Folktale

The story is about two brothers, Heungbu and Nolbu. Heungbu is the gentle nice brother and Nolbu is the S.O.B. brother who likes to wreak havoc all over the place.

Their father dies and leaves his fortune to both brothers to split, Nolbu is basically like F you bro, I am taking it all. You, your kids, and wife can figure it out on your own.

Heungbu and Nolbu

Nolbu is living it up in his fancy house with his one kid and wife and just being a jerk to everyone else who is starving to death. Nolbu also loved just being a dick and do some real twisted things to people.

Heungbu and Nolbu

Here is a list of his favorite activities: We highlighted some of our favorites.

  • dancing at a funeral
  • killing a dog during a birthing
  • forcing poop into the mouth of a crying baby
  • fanning the flames of a burning house
  • taking a debtors wife as payment
  • grabbing the nape of an elderly man
  • peeing in a well
  • poking holes in rice paddies
  • driving stakes through green pumpkins
  • stomping on the back of a hunchback
  • pushing down on a man squatting to relieve himself to cause him to sit in his own poop
  • kicking the chin of a disabled man
  • stealing bones from graves
  • breaking an engagement by spreading malicious rumors
  • scuttling a ship in high seas
  • punching a boil on a man’s face
  • slapping the cheek of a man with a toothache
  • opening the lid of a neighbors bean sauce jar in the rain.

One day Heungbu came begging to Nolbu for some food since his family was starving to death. Nolbu and his wife said F you man, get out and stay out.

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Hangbu and Nolbu

Heungbu went home to his starving family and saved a nest of sparrows from a snake. One of the sparrows broke its leg and Heungbu healed it. The sparrow flew off to Gangnam (which was some magical land back then) and talked to some mystical creature about how his life was saved). The bird came back with a seed that grew treasures and fortune for Heungbu and his family.

Heungbu and Nolbu Heungbu and Nolbu

Nolbu was like WTF, how did this happen? Heungbu tells him the story and Nolbu is like I have to get in on this action. Heungbu waits like five seconds for the same situation with the birds and the snake to occur and realizes he can’t wait anymore. He breaks a bird’s leg and then splints it up. The bird leaves for Gangnam and comes back with a  seed that grows goblins that come out and beat the shit out of Nolbu. Apparently the bird snapped a gourd and a bunch of poop came out and sprayed all over Nolbu.

Heungbu and Nolbu Hangbu and NolbuThe end.

The crazy thing is, the story of Heungbu and Nolbu is a story for children. We got a huge kick out of this story and decided to do some digging around. In doing so, we stumbled upon another children’s story where two elderly people are having a farting competition to blow a bat at each others head because they hate each other. Were working on getting it translated and finding photos so if you want to see that, consider subscribing to our weekly email or liking us on facebook.