Change of Heart

Okay, finally, a change of heart. Now I know I definitely need to live in Seoul someday. And to bring my saxophones. And to practice occasionally in the meantime.

Why? Bulgasari.

4 thoughts on “Change of Heart

  1. Wow, that’s really cool to know about… thanks for the link! I particularly like their previous name:

    “(SCUM in Seoul (Small Circle of Unknown Music) was the name it first started with. From vol.10 the name has been changed to Bulgasari.)”

    btw, what does Bulgasari mean?

  2. Apparently it’s the Korean name for that strange and wondrous animal, the starfish.

    Now, there are two interesting little nuances here:

    불가 means unable to, and 사 = “die”. You know how you can cut up a starfish and it regenerates lost limbs or even the majority of its body. 리 is some kind of suffix for freshwater, or perhaps just for common, fish. Anyway, it’s a fish-suffix.

    But also, there’s a pun here: 불가사의 means “incomprehensible”, which is a good word for avant-garde music though it’s often used for more bizarre mysteries like UFOs or sightings of the Buddha or or other bizarre reports of events. And Lime says sometimes people playfully use the word “starfish” to mean “incomprehensible”. (She adds that little kids often mix up the two words.)

  3. Oooh, ooh! I just found another interesting tidbit, looking through a book of Korean poems. Apparently there was a mythical creature of some kind called the Bulgasari, which devoured metals. It apparently was found in Songdo, when it was a capital during the Goryeo Dynasty… so says the poem “On Genesis” by Kim Kwanshik, at least.

  4. Wow, thanks for the extensive explanation… the poetry in etymology can be so cool. Given all the info here and in your other post I’m prepared to admit that Bulgasari is an awesome name, yes even better than SCUM.

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