Holang-i Jipang-i Item in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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Holang-i Jipang-i

"One day, a farmer was taking his crops to market, and had to cross over a bridge. But on the bridge was a tiger, who was reaching over the edge and poking a stick into the water. The farmer stopped a good distance and way and asked the tiger what he was doing. The tiger replied that he had seen men fishing with sticks, and that it looked easier than trying to pull them out with his teeth and claws. He had even gone to Heuk, the lord of tigers, and asked for a stick to use to catch fish. Heuk gave him a beautiful stick made from black bamboo, and told the tiger that all he had to do was touch a fish with it, and it would be stuck to the stick until the tiger let it go. But the stick was so much trouble, the tiger said. All along the way to the stream, it was getting stuck to everything it touched, and wouldn't let go until the tiger told it to release. And now, after finally making it to the stream, it was impossible to get it to touch the fish - no matter how fast he jabbed the stick into the water, the fish always darted away.

All of this bother had left the tiger very hungry, he said. So it is a good thing the farmer came along. The tiger dropped the stick on the bridge (where it stuck), and advanced on the farmer, licking his chops. Wait, cried the farmer, What if I can get the fish for you? The tiger considered, and since he really did want to have some fish after all this trouble, agreed. If you can catch enough fish with this stick to fill my belly, he said, I will eat them and not you.

Hastily the farmer tried to pick up the stick - but it was stuck to the bridge. The tiger laughed at that, and said that only the person who stuck it there could unstick it again. He spoke to the stick, and it let go, and the farmer began to try and catch fish with the tiger's stick. He quickly saw that he wouldn't be fast enough to catch the fish by stabbing them, but that a slow and gentle motion would let him sneak the stick close enough to gently touch the fish. Once it touched even a little bit, the fish was stuck. The farmer could then pull the fish out and place it before the tiger, commanding the stick to release the fish.

He caught four large fish that way, but the tiger was still hungry, and also impatient. It takes too long to catch fish this way, he said, I think I must fill my belly a different way. The farmer backed away, holding the stick in front of him, as the tiger advanced on him. Suddenly the tiger lunged, and the farmer blindly jabbed with the stick, catching the tiger across the nose - where the stick stuck. Quickly the farmer dropped the stick onto the bridge and ran. The tiger tried to follow, but couldn't - the stick was stuck to his nose and to the bridge!

The tiger demanded the stick release him to no avail - it could only be unstuck by the farmer, now. The tiger tried to shake it loose, and clawed at it, and tried to break the stick, but it was made by Heuk and no tiger could break the creation of their lord. Finally, the tiger begged the farmer to release him, for his nose was very sore, and he feared that he would starve stuck to the bridge. The farmer made the tiger swear by Lord Heuk that if he was freed, the tiger would go away, and never eat any person ever. The tiger growled and spat at that but finally agreed, and swore by Heuk to let the farmer go and never hunt people.

Then the farmer ordered the stick to release the tiger's nose, and he was free. The tiger stalked away from the bridge and vanished into the forest without a word of thanks, for tigers do not thank anyone. The farmer watched him go, and then unstuck the tiger's stick from the bridge and placed it in his wagon, thinking it might be useful in the future." - Rengo folktale of the Tiger's Stick

The Holang-i Jipang-i, or Tiger's Stick, is a magical item created by Heuk, the lord of Tigers, and has long been a part of Rengo folklore. It makes appearance in several stories, which tell how the stick came to be, and later how it passed into the hands of Hwangun-ung, a folk hero of the Rengo who founded the Kingdom of Gukusan. The Holang-i Jipang-i later appears in various stories from Rengo lore, either handed over by a mysterious stranger to the hero, or sometimes by Heuk himself. Its current location is unknown, but legend says that it will be one of the items held by the next King of Gukusan when the Empire of Wamato leaves the Seom Islands and Gukusan is restored.


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