Five Immortals Playing Baduk

An auspicious site located on Hoemunsan Mountain of South Korea’s Jeollabuk-do Province.

Sangjenim used the terrestrial qi of this auspicious site to shape the course of future international events and the world order. (Baduk is a highly strategic board game in which two opponents alternate placing black and white stones on a grid of 361 points. See “baduk.”)

The baduk game board represents the Korean Peninsula, the immortal host is the Korean nation, and the four other immortals (two players and two advisers) represent four major world powers. In the case of the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905), the players were Russia and Japan, and the advisors were Great Britain and France. In the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), the players were China and Japan, with the Soviet Union and Germany as advisors. In the Korean War (1950–1953), the divided nation filled the roles of host and players, while the advisors were the United States and the Soviet Union.

In the current world situation, with the Korean War still not completely resolved, the five immortals are Korea, the United States, Japan, Russia, and China. See also “sangssireum.”