In Korean mythology
, the story goes that there was a poor, old fisherman who once caught a gigantic (12 foot) carp
. When the old man finally got the fish into his boat the fish began begging to be freed. The old man obliged and the fish turned out to be the son of the Dragon-King
, lord of all the ocean
. The fisherman was rewarded with all that he desired.
Carps are revered in Japan and Korea as the symbol of youth, bravery, perseverance, strength,
and self-defense; all qualities much admired, especially in warriors. The Koreans also regard it as
a symbol of wealth. The Dragon Carp lived for a thousand years.