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Image gallery for Pulgasari

Pulgasari in Pulgasari
Alternate names Bulgasari, Purugasari
Subtitle(s) Giant Monster (大怪獣,   Daikaijū)PLG[1]
Legendary Giant Monster
(伝説の大怪獣,   Densetsu no Daikaijū)PLG[2]
Species Giant resurrected humanBLG;
animated rice figurinePLG
Forms Human form, BulgasariBLG;
rice doll, young form, adult formPLG
Allies Ami (initially)PLG
Enemies King of the Goryeo dynastyPLG
Played by Kenpachiro SatsumaPLG,
Masao Fukazawa (juvenile)PLG
First appearance Latest appearance
Bulgasari (1962) Pulgasari (1985)

Pulgasari, or Bulgasari (불가사리,   Bulgasali), is a legendary creature from Korean mythology. There have been at least two kaiju interpretations of the character: in the 1962 South Korean film Bulgasari, and the 1985 North Korean film Pulgasari, the former now lost.

Name[edit | edit source]

Pulgasari is named after the legendary creature of the same name, which is derived from the Sino-Korean word bulgasal, meaning "cannot be killed" ( () () ()), or "can be killed by fire" ( () () ()), depending on which homophonous Chinese characters were used.[3][4]Bulgasali is also the Korean word for "starfish."

The spelling "Pulgasari" is the McCune-Reischauer romanization of the name. A variant of this system is the official romanization scheme of the Korean language used in North Korea. The spellings "Bulgasari" and "Bulgasali" come from the Revised Romanization of Korean system, which is instead used in South Korea. In Japan, the monster from Pulgasari was referred to as プルガサリ (Purugasari), a transliteration of the former spelling.

Design[edit | edit source]

In Pulgasari, Pulgasari resembled a bull. He is exceedingly tall, and has a muscular body reminiscent of the Minotaur. He has long horns, and dark fur covering his body. His belly also appears to be protected by plates of gold-colored armor.

Origin[edit | edit source]

In Pulgasari, Pulgasari was created when a small monster figurine created by a blacksmith came in contact with the blood of the blacksmith's daughter, giving rise to the horned monster.

History[edit | edit source]

Bulgasari[edit | edit source]

After being murdered by traitors during the Goryeo dynasty, a skilled martial artist is resurrected as Bulgasari, a fearsome monster who consumes iron.

Pulgasari[edit | edit source]

In feudal Korea during the Goryeo dynasty, an evil emperor rules the land with an iron fist. He sends the villagers into misery and poverty. All seems hopeless, until an old blacksmith was sent to prison for an unspecified reason. During his time at the jailhouse, he builds a small figure of a monster. When the small figure is splashed by the blood of the blacksmith's daughter Ami, it creates Pulgasari. Pulgasari starts eating metal, becoming bigger and stronger. Eventually, he becomes powerful enough to try to take on the emperor. The emperor's guards attempt to stop Pulgasari, but the creature is unaffected and kills them all. Pulgasari finally kills the emperor and ends his wrath. Pulgasari starts to become a nuisance and turns on his creator. He begins to cause havoc at the villages and continues to feast on whatever iron he can find, but Ami devises a plan. She tricks Pulgasari into eating her, causing Pulgasari to dissolve. The bull-like monster's terror has ended.

In other languages[edit | edit source]

Language Name Meaning
Flagicon Japan.png Japanese プルガサリ Purugasari Transcription of English name

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Pulgasari's overall role and backstory in Pulgasari strongly resembles Daimajin:
    • Both kaiju are spirits that can take a physical form.
    • Both Daimajin and Pulgasari appear in a medieval setting, and are prized by the common people.
    • Both Daimajin and Pulgasari attack the bourgeoisie of said medieval setting.
    • After their work is done, both Daimajin and Pulgasari disappear, but not before threatening to cause chaos that affects the people who previously released them.

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Pulgasari. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. Giant Monster Pulgasari (大怪獣プルガサリ). eiga-chirashi.jp. Retrieved on 8 July 2021.
  2. プルガサリ~伝説の大怪獣~ [DVD]. Amazon. Retrieved on 8 July 2021.
  3. Impossible-to-Kill (不可杀伊). Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture. Retrieved on 19 August 2021.
  4. 불가사리(不可杀伊). Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture (Korean). Retrieved on 24 August 2021.


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