Heo Gyun

Heo Gyun
Hangul 허균
Revised Romanization Heo Gyun
McCune–Reischauer Hŏ Kyun
Pen name
Hangul 교산 / 성소 / 백월거사
Hanja / /
Revised Romanization Gyosan / Seongso / Baegwolgeosa
McCune–Reischauer Kyosan / Sŏngso / Paegwŏlgŏsa
This is a Korean name; the family name is Heo.

Heo Gyun (허균 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 all bigoted and conservative 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]



In popular culture

Site web


  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.
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