Bangtan & Mythology

Page 1


Hello to our lovely readers. It’s finally time for us to present to you our first issue. In the first blog we released, we explained what Borasaek Vision is and why it was created, but it seems right for us to reaffirm our intentions here at the beginning of this new part of our journey. So, why are we here? Most of us have been saved in more than one way by BTS, their music, and their messsage. We felt lost, without hope, alone, pressured to be perfect in every way and whatever we did seemed not to be enough. Then BTS came into our lives. They helped us understand that we are perfect, in our own way. That we don’t need to follow the rules society imposes on us. Thanks to them, we started the process of loving ourselves a bit more every day; we formed friendships with people in different parts of the world. We even discovered more about ourselves and found our purpose. We are forever grateful to these 7 young men, and we felt hurt and disappointed that the media so often fails to represent the BTS & ARMY family in a professional way. They fail to talk about BTS’ astounding achievements, incredible talent, and deep message; they fail to talk about how different, intellegent, kind, and supportive ARMY is. Most of the time, BTS is nothing more than a boyband with a crazy, screaming fanbase made only of preteen girls. It was only natural for us, once we found each other, to put together our abilities. We wanted a reliable and objective source of information. A way to better ourselves and our skills doing something we love. A way to be a fountain of positivity. To give back. Even a way to call out the toxic behavior linked to fandoms in general, and ARMY in particular. Together, we can be that source, do those things. This is something we can do. Following BTS’ example, and with out teamwork, we promise to always to our best to follow our Borasaek vision! Thank you, and 보라해요!

Borasaek Vision


Mythology 101

1

Mythology and the Psyche

A Silent Companion

5

9

Mythology is Everywhere

13

Modern Mythology

17

Korean 101

21

Recommendations from BTS ARMY

Game Corner BTS Round-Up!

25

27

29


Borasaek Vision Written by: Padma Edited by: Euni Checked by: Ash Designed by: Alex

Mythology has always found a place in popular culture. Various songs, TV shows, films, and novels include references to mythological tales from around the globe, re-telling classic stories written centuries ago. It is not surprising that mythology is a common theme in entertainment, as mythology promotes ideas and messages that guide a culture’s way of living. Interestingly, many of these stories and their expressed messages are found to be universal. BTS is one of the many artists that have used mythology to communicate particular themes. Their music videos contain references to Greek mythology and Asian folklore which help support the concepts and ideas reflected in their songs. Here, we break down three BTS music videos that incorporate mythological references which help the group convey their own messages to listeners.

BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS One of BTS’ most iconic and widely recognized music videos, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, is riddled with references to Greek mythology. The song served as the title track from their hit album, Wings, which conceptualized themes of temptation and maturity inspired from Hermann Hesse’s novel, Demian. Blood, Sweat, and Tears warranted a music video with dense symbolism pertaining to philosophical themes. One of these themes is presented through the statue of Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae. This model of the statue is based on the 16th-century bronze sculpture, Perseus, by Italian artist Benvenuto Cellini located in Florence, Italy. The story of Perseus and Medusa is one of Greek mythology’s most popular tales. At a young age, Perseus was cast away to the island of Seriphus by his grandfather who prophesied that Perseus would kill him. On the island, Perseus encountered King Polydectes who had a desire for Danae, his mother. Perseus protected his mother and prevented the King from capturing Danae. In order to further his advances, Polydectes tricked Perseus to cut off the head of Medusa, the only mortal among the three monsters of the underworld. Medusa had the power to turn anyone to stone with her gaze—hence, Polydectes hoped this quest would defeat Perseus.


Borasaek Vision

Perseus, however, received help from Olympus— Hades, the God of the underworld, gave Perseus an invisibility hat; Athena, the Goddess of wisdom, gave him a bronze shield; Hephaestus, the God of fire, gave him a diamond sword; and Hermes, the messenger God, gave him winged sandals to help him fly. With the help of these tools, Perseus successfully cut off Medusa’s head and survived Polydectes’s scheme. This story serves an interesting purpose in Blood, Sweat, and Tears. One of the many interpretations that can be derived from the myth is that victory is established in teamwork. Even when victory is over personal temptations or evil, there is a certain reliance and dependence on others that contribute to personal growth and maturity.

IDOL Another classic mythological story is exhibited in IDOL, BTS’ title track for Love Yourself: Answer. BTS showcased many aspects of traditional Korean culture in the lyrics, choreography, and imagery of this track. As a result, the music video contains a reference of a classic Asian tale: The Moon Rabbit. The Moon Rabbit refers to a folktale of Buddhist origin. The story has travelled throughout Asian countries including Korea, Japan, and China, among others, where each country has lent itself to a different variation of the myth.

In Korean mythology, the story of the Moon Rabbit is most often associated with Chuseok, the harvest festival. It arises from a supposed image of a rabbit pounding rice cakes on the moon created by the craters and shadows on the moon’s surface. The story is about a rabbit, fox, and monkey who live together in a village. One day, the Emperor of the Heavens descended to the village to test the loyalty of the animals. The emperor disguised himself as a beggar and asked the animals for food—the fox brought the beggar fish, the monkey brought fruit, but the rabbit could collect no more than a few pieces of grass. Embarrassed and ashamed, the rabbit lit itself on fire so that the beggar could eat it instead. Moved by this act of selflessness, the Emperor placed the rabbit on the moon and surrounded the rabbit with smoke to honor its death. Many interpret the image created by the smoke to be that of the Gyesu tree—a tree known for strength, longevity, and medicinal properties. The rice cakes that the rabbit is said to be pounding also represent the success of harvest and the presence of food—a requirement for a long life. Mythology 101 | 2


Borasaek BorasaekVision Vision

BOY BOYWITH WITHLUV LUV BTS’ BTS’most mostrecent recentrelease, release,Boy BoyWith WithLuv, Luv,isis the thetitle titletrack trackoff offof oftheir their2019 2019EP, EP,Map Mapof of the theSoul: Soul:Persona. Persona.This Thisseries seriesaddresses addressesthe the psycho-analytical psycho-analyticalworks worksof ofCarl CarlJung Jungand and highlights highlightsthemes themesof ofself-acceptance. self-acceptance.Boy Boy With WithLuv Luvisisaadense denselyrical lyricalwork— work—bright bright and andplayful, playful,but butwith withlyrics lyricsthat thatdepict depictdeeper deeper messages messagesabout aboutBTS’ BTS’relationship relationshipwith withARMY. ARMY. BTS BTSreturn returnto toGreek Greekmythology mythologywith withBoy Boy With WithLuv. Luv.As Asmuch muchof ofJung’s Jung’swork workitself itself referred referredto toexamples examplesof ofGreek Greekmythology, mythology, this thistitle titletrack trackwas wasthe theperfect perfectmedium medium through throughwhich whichthe thegroup grouprevisited revisitedsome some themes themesexpressed expressedin intheir theirprevious previousmusic. music.

In InIDOL, IDOL,BTS BTSaddress addressthe theintricacies intricaciesof of being being“idols.” “idols.”Despite Despitebeing beingsuperstars superstarsin in the theinternational internationalmusic musicscene, scene,BTS BTSare areno no strangers strangersto tocriticism criticismnor nordo dothey theyignore ignore it. it.Yet Yetin inIDOL, IDOL,BTS BTSexpresses expressestheir their ability abilityto tono nolonger longerdwell dwellon onnegativity. negativity. Their Theirlyrics, lyrics,with withthe theimage imageof ofthe theMoon Moon Rabbit Rabbitin inthe thebackground, background,allude alludeto tothe the saying, saying,"if "ifyou youget getcursed cursedaalot, lot,you youwill willlive live longer" longer"(욕을 (욕을많이 많이먹으면 먹으면오래산다) 오래산다)––in in other otherwords, words,the thecriticism criticismand andhate hatethey they receive receivewill willonly onlysolidify solidifytheir theirlegacy, legacy,making making them themessentially essentiallyimmortal. immortal.Additionally, Additionally, BTS BTScan canbe beheard heardsaying sayingthe theword word“talking”, “talking”, which whichisissimilar similarto tothe theKorean Koreanword wordfor for rabbit, rabbit,“tokki”. “tokki”.This Thisstrengthens strengthensthe theimage image of ofthe themoon moonrabbit rabbitand andits itssymbolism symbolismof of immortality. immortality. Mythology Mythology101 101||33

One Oneof ofthe themain mainmythological mythologicalstories storiesBTS BTS has hasreferenced referencedin inBlood, Blood,Sweat, Sweat,and andTears Tears isisthe thestory storyof ofIcarus Icarusand andDaedalus. Daedalus.Daedalus Daedalus was wasan anartisan artisanwho whoworked workedwith withaatalented talented apprentice apprenticeby bythe thename nameof ofTalus. Talus.Jealousy Jealousy caused causedDaedalus Daedalusto topush pushTalus Talusoff offof ofaarock. rock. As Asaaresult resultof ofthis thisact, act,Athena, Athena,the theGoddess Goddess of ofWisdom, Wisdom,turned turnedTalus Talusinto intoaabird birdand andsent sent Daedalus Daedalusoff offto toCrete Cretein inexile. exile.On Onthe theisland, island, Daedalus Daedalusmarried marriedaaslave slavenamed namedNaucrate Naucrate with withwhom whomhe hehad hadaason, son,Icarus. Icarus. Daedalus Daedalusworked workedfor forKing KingMinos Minoson onthe the island islandof ofCrete. Crete.King KingMinos Minosordered orderedDaedalus Daedalus to tobuild buildaacell cellor orwall wallthat thatcould couldhold holdaa Minotaur, Minotaur,and andDaedalus Daedalusmanaged managedto tocreate createaa brilliant brilliantlabyrinth labyrinthin inwhich whichhe hehid hidthe the Minotaur. Minotaur.But Butin infear fearthat thatthe thepeople peopleof ofCrete Crete would woulddiscover discoverthe theMinotaur, Minotaur,King KingMinos Minos locked lockedup upDaedalus Daedalusand andhis hisfamily. family.


Borasaek BorasaekVision Vision

Daedalus Daedalusrealized realizedthat thatflying flyingout outof ofthe the labyrinth labyrinthisisthe theonly onlyoption optionto toescape. escape.He He began beganto tocollect collectfeathers feathersfrom frombirds birdsand and created createdwings, wings,one onepair pairfor forIcarus Icarusand andthe the other otherfor forhimself. himself.As Asthey theyprepared preparedto to escape, escape,Daedalus Daedalusinformed informedIcarus Icarusthat thathe he cannot cannotfly flytoo tooclose closeto tothe thewater, water,nor norcan can he hefly flytoo tooclose closeto tothe thesun—since sun—sincethe the moisture moisturewould wouldweigh weighthe thewings wingsdown down and andcause causehim himto tofall fallinto intothe thesea, sea,and andthe the sun sunwould wouldmelt meltthe thewax waxholding holdingthe thewings wings together. together.Despite Despitethis thiswarning, warning,Icarus Icarusflies flies higher higherthan thanhe heshould shouldhave. have.The Thesun sunmelts melts the thewax, wax,and andIcarus Icarusfalls fallsinto intothe theocean. ocean. In InBoy BoyWith WithLuv, Luv,RM’s RM’stranslation translationof of his hisverse verseincludes includesthe thefollowing followinglyrics: lyrics:

“I’ll “I’lltell tellyou youfrankly, frankly, sometimes sometimesIIwas wasaalittle littlestuck stuckup up Elevated Elevatedsky skyexpanded expandedhalls halls Sometimes SometimesIIprayed, prayed,let letme merun runaway away But Butyour yourpain painisismy mypain pain When WhenIIrealized realizedthat, that,IIvowed vowedto tomyself myself With Withthe thewings wingsof ofIcarus Icarusyou yougave gaveme, me, Not Nottowards towardsthe thesun, sun,but buttowards towardsyou you Let Letme mefly.” fly.”

the thesun, sun,BTS BTSrealize realizethat thattheir theirflight flightmust must be betowards towardstheir theirfans. fans.They Theydedicate dedicatetheir their existence existenceand andsuccess successto totheir theirfans, fans, crediting creditingARMY ARMYby byproviding providingthem themwith with wings wingsthat thatallowed allowedthem themto torise risein inthe thefirst first place. place.Consequently, Consequently,they theypromise promisenot notto to misuse misusethis thistool tooland andunderstand understandtheir their responsibility responsibilityof ofreturning returninghonor honorand and happiness happinessto totheir theirfans. fans. Throughout Throughoutthe theyears yearsof ofalbums, albums,music music videos, videos,choreographies, choreographies,and andlive liveperformperformances, ances,BTS BTShave haveeffectively effectivelyincorporated incorporated mythological mythologicalreferences referencesin intheir theirworks, works, and andin indoing doingso, so,they theyalso alsoexpress expressuniversal universal themes themesand andconnect connectto tomillions millionsof ofpeople people around aroundthe theglobe. globe.While Whilethese theseare areonly onlyaafew few of ofthe themany manymythological mythologicalreferences referencesBTS BTS have havemade madein intheir theircreative creativeworks, works,they they have haveinspired inspirednumerous numerousinterpretations interpretations and andtheories theoriesfrom fromfans. fans.Such Suchart artremains remains timeless timelessand andcaptivating—as captivating—asBTS’ BTS’legacy legacy continues, continues,their theiruse useof ofmythology mythologywill will surely surelyremain remainan animportant importantcharacteristic characteristic of oftheir theirartistic artisticvision visionand anduniversal universalappeal. appeal.

Here, Here,BTS BTSare arehonest, honest,open, open,and andvulnervulnerable. able.They Theystate statetheir theirhubris hubrisand andpotential potential arrogance arroganceat attimes timesin intheir theirlife: life:feeling feeling“a “a little littlestuck stuckup”, up”,seeing seeingthe the“elevated “elevatedsky” sky” to towhich whichthey theyfelt feltthey theycould couldfly flyto to(as (as Icarus Icarusdid). did).They Theyexpress expresstheir theirdesire desireto to “run “runaway”, away”,suggesting suggestingtheir theirwish wishto toescape escape the thespotlight spotlightthat thatisisalways alwaysfocused focusedon on them. them.But Butwhile whileIcarus’ Icarus’flight, flight,his hishubris, hubris, and andhis hisarrogance arrogancetook tookhim himtoo tooclose closeto to Mythology Mythology101 101||44


Borasaek Vision

Mythology and the Psyche | 5


Borasaek Vision

Mythology and the Psyche: How BTS Uses Mythology Written by Janna | Edited by Caitlin | Checked and Designed by Euni BTS and mythology have a long history. While many of these references have gone unnoticed until recently - there being nothing concrete to really attach them to in terms of concept or story with the release of Map of the Soul: Persona we finally have a confirmation of Greek mythos being a source of inspiration, via the song Dionysus. However, the use of Greek myth can be observed as far back as the Dark & Wild era, when the members wore t-shirts depicting Greek gods. With this confirmation, it’s easier to conclude just how BTS has used mythopoetry, a kind of poetry or story telling that exists in the mind of the human subconscious, for years. Partly based on Carl Jung’s Map of the Soul, Joseph Campbell’s framework for The Hero’s Journey is all about finding one’s true self (what Jung called “individuation”). The hero (we) must go on a journey to battle demons while gathering allies, before returning back to the world they once knew, forever changed. Armed with newfound knowledge, they come to know who they are, fighting their inner demons and past traumas along the way. Then, while sharing this knowledge with others, they can become one’s

true self as they continue to sort through their personas, come to terms with their shadows, and embrace their anima/animus. During the HYYH era, BTS began to question how one finds their own path; how do we figure out who we are? BTS explored these questions through the fictional universe known as the Bangtan Universe (BU), in which each young man has a trauma and ongoing inner or outer struggle. As they stepped into a mythological state (the fictional universe), the characters of the BU had to fight with their monsters - the projections of their subconscious darkness and what each of those represented. Even outside of the BU, BTS continued with the parallels of mythology and the psyche. With the Wings album, BTS began to explore the world of Demian, a book written by Hesse with heavy influences from Jung. The main character, Emil Sinclair, seeks mentorship from several characters who represent the different sides of himself, including shadow and anima, played by Demian’s mother. The seven trailers of the Wings solo songs can be traced back to seven chapters

Mythology and the Psyche | 6


Borasaek Vision of the book, with chapter eight possibly being Blood, Sweat, & Tears. Blood, Sweat & Tears has famously been compared to the Greek myth of Icarus, a cautionary tale of growing too confident, only to fall to one’s demise. The video, which includes Herbert Draper’s painting “The Lament for Icarus,” is laced with images of wings, several paintings, Jungkook hanging from a swing as feathers fall around him, and statues. It also depicts V jumping off a balcony, the famous painting “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder as the backdrop. The Love Yourself era has BTS leaping back into the BU, adding female counterparts - animas - to each character through the Love Yourself highlight reels. With each fictional member of this tight-knit band of brothers coming face-to-face with his anima, they must yet again come to terms with their demons. Only after this confrontation will the epiphany of finding your way back to loving yourself become a reality, moving past the trauma and into true self-love.

The Love Yourself highlight reels aren’t the only area where references to mythology or the psyche exist. In the video for V’s Singularity, he appears to have an obsession with himself, which is reminiscent of Narcissus, the son of the Greek River God and a nymph. Narcissus was so beautiful that he became the object of desire for both men and women. However, it was his obsessive self-love that caused him to refuse all suitors. Narcissus was so transfixed by his own image he forgot to eat or drink, ultimately causing his death while lying next to his reflection in the water. The video is filled with images of V too gazing at his own reflection in the water, including a shot from below the surface. What is the balance between a healthy, self-love and an obsessive, narcissistic love? How can it be found? The answer is attempted with the album Map of the Soul: Persona. It starts by asking, “Who the hell am I?” As RM inquires, are you, “The me that I want myself to be, the me that people want me to be, that me that you love?” Or are you someone else? Do you see value in yourself? Do you see too much value in yourself? According to Jung, the persona can be many different sides of oneself. It is the mask that separates the true self from what the world sees. Even then, however, humans have various personas - one for work, one for friends, and perhaps one for family. Different jargon and pieces of personality are shown in each role, as they fit each situation. Working through each persona before moving on to (and eventually embracing) the shadow is what allows the epiphany of self-love to manifest. Embracing the shadow is not easy. To truly love oneself, the human mind must not only comprehend, but also accept the darkest parts of its personality. According to Dr. Murray Stein, author of the book Map of the Soul - Persona: Our Many Faces, the shadow is the exact opposite of the persona. “If I have worked hard to make my persona come across as a friendly, helpful and encouraging person, that means the opposite of those traits...becomes split off and is deposited in my unconscious shadow,” he states. It is crucial to recognize and deal with the shadow in healthy ways, or it can erupt and become exposed to the public, which can have devastating results.

Mythology and the Psyche | 7


Borasaek Borasaek Vision Vision This This isn’t isn’t to say to say thethe shadow shadow is always is always to be to be feared. feared. Quite Quite thethe opposite, opposite, in fact, in fact, which which is where is where Dionysus Dionysus comes comes in. in. Known Known as the as the disruptor disruptor or the or the loosener, loosener, Dionysus Dionysus waswas a Greek a Greek God God who who upset upset everything: everything: he he trampled trampled values, values, dissolved dissolved oldold behaviors, behaviors, andand broke broke down down peoples’ peoples’ walls. walls. Resisting Resisting Dionysus Dionysus andand hishis temptations temptations waswas futile futile - he- he would would merely merely continue continue until until it became it became overwhelming. overwhelming. Celebrating Celebrating with with himhim could could be be destructive destructive - his - his intoxication intoxication tootoo much. much. Learning Learning to integrate to integrate thethe Dionysian Dionysian philosophies, philosophies, rather rather than than repress repress them, them, is an is an important important step step in the in the process process of self-discovery. of self-discovery. In mythology, In mythology, thethe persona, persona, shadow shadow andand egoego all all work work together together on on thethe pathway pathway to individuation. to individuation. It isItthe is the ego’s ego’s jobjob to determine to determine what what is acceptable; is acceptable; those those experiences experiences or thoughts or thoughts that that areare deemed deemed tootoo painful painful or simply or simply inconsistent inconsistent with with its its ideal ideal areare excluded excluded from from thethe conscious. conscious. “This “This is what is what gives gives riserise to the to the split split

between between persona persona andand shadow,” shadow,” according according to Stein. to Stein. Janus, Janus, thethe Roman Roman God God of beginnings of beginnings andand endings, endings, is is often often depicted depicted with with twotwo faces faces looking looking in opposite in opposite directions directions - seeing - seeing both both thethe future future andand past past at the at the same same time. time. Like Like Janus, Janus, thethe persona persona andand shadow shadow preside preside over over thethe transition transition between between what what thethe egoego cancan andand cannot cannot endure endure knowing. knowing. What What further further mythologies mythologies andand theories theories willwill BTSBTS ex-explore plore with with thethe upcoming upcoming album? album? How How much much further further into into thethe discovery discovery of individuation of individuation willwill thisthis journey journey take take them them on?on? Through Through thethe process, process, BTSBTS must must continue continue communicating communicating andand befriending befriending thethe pieces pieces of of their their soul: soul: persona, persona, shadow, shadow, andand ego. ego. They They must must allow allow their their persona persona to disintegrate to disintegrate so they so they do do notnot become become overidentified overidentified with with thethe mask mask they they wear. wear. Only Only then then willwill they they be be able able to love to love all all pieces pieces of the of the self, self, making making it it possible possible forfor them them to love to love thethe world world beyond beyond themselves. themselves.

Mythology Mythology andand thethe Psyche Psyche | 8| 8


Borasaek Vision

Dionysus A Silent Companion

The BTS-Dionysus connection goes way, way back… Written by: Mei | Edited by: Ash | Checked by: Aury | Designed by: Euni

So What’s The Deal With Dionysus? Each BTS era propels the theorists within ARMY to jot down hints that could fit a possible narrative in line with the BTS-centric Bangtan Universe. With Map Of The Soul: Persona, ARMYs further delved into the world of Jungian philosophy while exploring Greek mythology to try and nitpick through any signs and symbolisms one may have missed out on previously. It was hard not to when, instead of an outro, the album ends with a rather power-packed, headbang-worthy track titled Dionysus. A Silent Companion | 9

Percy Jackson fans within the ARMY community were at their peak when Big Hit Entertainment dropped Persona’s tracklist back in April 2019. Amongst the many trends that the fandom effortlessly pulled up, Dionysus unsurprisingly made it to Twitter’s Worldwide Trends as well. Who exactly is Dionysus? While there are multiple stories of his origin, Dionysus was the ancient Greek God of wine, grape cultivation, fertility, ancient theatre, and religious ecstasy. In millennial lingo, he would’ve been deemed the ‘life of the


Borasaek Vision

“When the night comes Mumble mumble mumble When the night comes Tumble tumble tumble”

party’. In fact, in Roman literature where he is known by the name Bacchus, Dionysus’ personality is quite misunderstood and is reduced to the role of a jolly man who is invoked at drinking parties/celebrations. Dionysus’ most common origin story hint at him as the son of the mortal princess, Semele and the king of the Greek Pantheon, Zeus, making him a sort of demi-god. In another popular version, he is the son of Zeus and Persephone or Demeter. In all the retellings, Hera is seen as the cause of an unborn Dionysus’ near-death. The myths remained mostly consistent that Zeus sewed Dionysus into his thigh in order to rescue him, giving him a chance at a new life. Thus, Dionysus also came to be known as “twice-born” - for being born not only in a womb but also in a thigh. Even though he is one of the twelve Olympian Gods, Dionysus’ unusual birth and upbringing made him an outcast.

In his earlier images and descriptions, Dionysus has been portrayed as an older bearded male, often dressed in the finest robes, and holding onto his thyrsus (a tall fennel staff wrapped in ivy and topped off with a pine cone). However, some others visualized him as a beardless, naked/semi-naked, sensuous, androgynous youth, and have described him as “womanly”. These variations in his appearance could perhaps be attributed to the myth that Dionysus often wore different ‘masks’ or ‘personas’ to hide from Hera. Dionysus Through Persona Following the release of Persona’s tracklist, theorist ARMYs were quick to point out the callback to Dionysus in Persona’s Concept Photo version 4. Besides the intoxicated, dazed look, the members are also seen either holding grapes or a pink drink (supposedly wine). The androgynous aspect of their imagery is supported through A Silent Companion | 10


Borasaek Vision

“Just get drunk like Dionysus Drink in one hand, Thyrsus in the other” their unisex outfits and feminine accessories largely comprised of pearls and makeup. Member Jungkook is also pictured posing with a Gucci bag named ‘Dionysus’ while member V is seen wearing a Dionysus belt. The latter is also seen wearing a snake bracelet or bangle-like ornament which can be associated with Maenads i.e. Dionysus’ female followers who would usually wear snakes around their crown or neck. BTS’ Dionysus stage performances conveniently emphasize the ‘wild and mad religious rites’ aspect of Dionysus’ nature through the rather powerful and aggressive choreography, accompanied with an intimidating attitude. The members have also been seen wearing modernized Roman toga for the same. The memorable highlight of these performances could easily be RM holding a thyrsus, symbolizing not only his position as the ‘leader’ that guides the cult (most likely BTS, probably even ARMY) but also bringing in the phallic aspect related to Dionysus, emphasizing his status as the God of fertility. While BTS have been one of the main acts to take the stage at the Korean year-end awards in the past years, in 2019 not only did they one-up their own performances, A Silent Companion | 11

fans also saw Dionysus be the key highlight with its progressively mighty stage set-up. If the grandiose Dionysus semblance stages weren’t any hint - from large inflatable panthers to backup dancers dressed in togas, and horses with veiled men alongside a gigantic snake statue - with the 2020 Golden Disc Awards, BTS extended the conversation on the Greek mythology. In their VCR titled City Dionysia Begins, indicating the start of festivities to honor Dionysus, each member can be assumed to represent one Greek God. In this case, RM yet again with the thyrsus can be considered as Dionysus’ imitation. However, 2019 wasn’t the first that we saw of Dionysus… Finding Dionysus Before Persona Given his nature of birth that deals with the ideology of being born and reborn or reincarnated, Dionysus has seen comparisons to Jesus Christ, a parallel theory that can be tracked to Blood, Sweat & Tears MV from BTS’ Wings era. In the scene where J-Hope sits with an arrow in his hands, Michelangelo’s famous sculpture ‘Pieta’ depicting Virgin Mother Mary holding the dead body of her son


Borasaek Vision

Jesus right after his crucifixion can be seen. As the God of wine, Dionysus’ connection to Christ can also be assumed from the Wedding Feast in Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water into wine. In the 2016 M!Countdown for Wings’ promotion, BTS members went on to recreate scenes wherein each member represented a different Greek God. Jungkook called out to V as “V-onysus”, a play on Taehyung’s stage name V and Dionysus. The earliest BTS x Dionysus interaction, however, can be traced back to BTS’ early days as rising rookie artists in 2014-2015.

Dressed in all black and eyes lined heavily with kohl, each BTS member sported a black or white t-shirt with a headshot of Dionysus printed in gold and black respectively. Although, much of what it was to signify during the Danger era remains unknown. However, both Big Hit Entertainment and BTS are known for their attention to detail. SUGA has also previously revealed that Bangtan Universe was planned way back in 2013. Is all of this a mere coincidence? Highly unlikely. Perhaps, the purpose of Dionysus’ inclusion can eventually be theorized further through Map Of The Soul: 7… We can hope.

“You ready for this? Are you ready to get hyped up? Come on!”

Photo credit goes to Big Hit Entertainment A Silent Companion | 12






Borasaek Vision

Modern Mythology: Written by: Anna | Edited by: Mheer | Checked by: Aury | Design by: Connie

Why is mythology relevant today?

Many things that we now relegate to the realm of “myth” and “legend” were Christopher Nolan once once the basis of religions. said, “Superheroes fill a They were the foundations gap in the pop culture of science and history – psyche, similar to the humans attempting to role of Greek mythology. explain their existence There isn’t really anything and how they came to be, else that does the job in providing answers to modern terms.” Since questions posed by the he’s the Academy Awardmovements of sky and winning director of the sea. But they gave us incredibly successful Dark something else, too. Knight series, it seems Mythology gave us heroes. safe to consider him Villains. Epic tales of something of an authority battles between good if taken with a grain of and evil. Mythology gave salt – keeping in mind us stories. that he does have a built- Every culture has a in bias towards the subject mythology of some of his films. type, but as science and It is understandable – technology have expanded Batman is one of the bestknown superheroes in the world, after all. If you stop to think about it for a moment, however, what he says makes sense, even if his terminology is a bit broad.

Modern Mythology | 17

and provided explanations as to why the sun actually comes up in the morning and goes down in the evening and what makes thunder go “boom,” we don’t need these stories to fulfill the same roles that they once did, so they became, essentially, fiction. Influential fiction, but fiction nonetheless. However, this presents a problem. If mythology is fictitious and none of it was real, then the heroes disappear, too. And we need heroes. Heroes to save us. Villains to give those heroes something to do. Monsters to represent the fears we face in our day-to-day lives.


Borasaek Vision

Replacing Zeus & Odin with Batman & Iron Man In medieval times, ballads of Robin Hood and King Arthur fulfilled this purpose, with their corrupt sheriffs and evil sorceresses setting up plots for the heroes to foil in epic battles between good and evil. These, too, were eventually deemed legend. Now, in modern times, we needed something new. Enter the superheroes. Marvel and DC unleashed their pantheon of superheroes onto the scene in the 1930s, with periods of ups-and-downs over the oncoming decades. Captain America, Iron Man, Batman, Superman,

Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and Professor X have captivated the hearts and minds of millions in these ensuing eras, with the 2000s being arguably the most successful period; the “Avengers” series of films, one of the top-grossing film franchises of all time, along with “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter.” These superheroes have provided inspiration for people for ages – including BTS; see Anpanman and Jin’s now-infamous reference (“I love you 3000”) in an ending mention during the Love Yourself: Speak Yourself Tour.

But why? What is it about heroes that is so inspirational, causing millions of people to flock to theaters to see these films and shell out hundreds of dollars to purchase comic books? It may be difficult to explain completely – after all, each person who likes them may have different reasons for doing so. However, one thing is for certain: superheroes are larger than life, and, by the same token, the villains they fight are equally as large. These larger-than-lifecharacters, to which we are now accustomed, are multifaceted and, despite their superpowers and super technology, realistic. Bruce Wayne has massive amounts of money and unending technological marvels at his disposal, but he has suffered losses and formed close attachments; Captain America is a super soldier who can’t age and is a near-perfect human being, but he has human vulnerabilities and

Modern Mythology | 18


Borasaek Vision

emotions the super soldier program couldn’t erase. It makes these fantastical characters a bit more relatable while their tales have a sense of grandeur. Interestingly, a set of characters in the Marvel universe(s) has made its way directly to us from mythology itself: Thor is the Norse god of thunder, known for wielding his hammer, Mjolnir, and battling enemies of the gods; he’s also an Avenger in modern comics and films. His perennial adversary, Loki (his adoptive brother in the comics), is the Norse trickster god and is known for his schemes and plots – that much is consistent from myth to comic book. The inclusion of Norse mythological figures as superheroes is interesting. Without going back in time and speaking to the creators of Marvel Comics themselves, it’s impossible to say if this was done on purpose – did they intend to include them as a bridge to ancient mythology and establish their own pantheon? Or was this ancient mythology just a pool of

Modern Mythology | 19

fantastical characters they could use to beef up their roster? Regardless of the intention, whether it was a coincidence or not, the result is the same. In an era when people don’t believe in magic (for the most part) and the gods of many former religions are viewed as quaint archaic replacements for science, there’s still a need for something to believe in. The part of the human psyche that needed the gods and goddesses of ancient mythology still exists. It’s a part of the human psyche that Star Wars also filled back in the 1970s when the original film was released in theaters. The battle between the Jedi and the “Dark Side” is the classic battle between good and evil. At the time that it was released, people (in the US at least) needed that battle, and they needed “good” to win. Times have changed in a lot of ways: we have made technological advancements that, during ancient times, could not have been conceived – for better or worse. This publication itself would never have been possible if those


Borasaek Vision

technological advancements had not been made. However, certain things haven’t changed, and may never change. One of those things is the need for one basic element. Hope. People need hope to continue when things are difficult. People need hope that, when they’re struggling, good things will come again. Ancient Greeks needed to believe that the hero Odysseus could overcome the massive obstacles in his way – including but not limited to evil sorceresses, angry sea gods, and murderous cyclopes – and make it back home to his family. Modern humans need to believe that, despite Thanos’s near-omnipotence while in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, the Avengers could band together and defeat him and reset the world. Superheroes face off against super villains, facing what seems like insurmountable odds, battling their adversaries and their own very human flaws in order to foil the masterminds’

plots and ultimately triumph over evil. Their popularity over the past decade cannot be completely coincidental. The superheroes ultimately, in some way, triumph over evil – whether by hitting a magical time reset button or managing to diffuse a bomb in the nick of time – and thereby reassure us that good can still win. That there is still hope. While it may not be a complete one-to-one comparison – you’d be hardpressed to find temples to Batman – the concept is remarkably similar. Heroes give us hope. In mythology, when Pandora’s box was opened, only hope remained within. Sound familiar? Not only did our very own J-Hope use this as his inspiration for his stage name, but it also suits as a description for the mythology we have created for ourselves in modern times. There was a hole in the human psyche that needed filling, and though we didn’t need explanations for lightning and the tides, we did still need hope. We still needed heroes. So we created them ourselves.

Modern Mythology | 20






Borasaek Vision

MMENDATION RECO by

BTS ARMY

Designed by: Ichi Recommendation by BTS ARMY | 25


Borasaek Vision

RECOMMENDATION byBTS ARMY

N

“Demian” is technically defined as a “Bildungsroman”, a German term for a coming-of-age story that’s focused on psychological and moral growth in the protagonist. In this story, Emil encounters his mysterious classmate Max Demian, who spurs him onward into a journey of self-discovery. Book Title : Demian Author : Hermann Hesse Price Range : $7 - $15

It’s no secret that the members of BTS are well-read - RM has been known to recommend books from time to time, and books have played a part in influencing the group’s music. One well-known example is “Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth” by Herman Hesse. The theory is that RM used this book as a reference in crafting “Blood, Sweat & Tears” and connected it to WINGS, I Need U, and HYYH eras.

Hesse, the German author, was very interested in another school of thought which is familiar to most ARMY: Jungian psychoanalysis. “Persona”, anyone? ARMY theorists have had a field day with “Demian” and done some incredible deep-dive analysis of many of BTS songs and MVs, including “BS&T”. Check it out and jump into the world of theories - enter at your own risk! Let us know what you think, and stay tuned in future issues for more literature recommendations based on BTS’s references. Recommendation by BTS ARMY | 26


Borasaek Vision had a lot of sun gods - but there of Minerva: she is the Roman 7 Egypt was one who was made the sole Egyptian 1 Speaking equivalent of which Greek goddess? deity for one pharaoh's reign. What was

Mythology MytholoQuiz: gy quiz: Test your Test your intellect intellect by Anna Moon

Think you know your mythology? Let’s find out test your wits against the knowledge of Minerva and see just how much you know.

a. b. c. d. e.

Hera Aphrodite Hestia Demeter None of the above

who recently became part of 2 Dionysus, the Bangtan Universe, is known today as the party god, but what other sphere of power is under his command? a. b. c. d. e.

Madness Medicine Harvest Theater Both A and D

3 What animal was Poseidon’s creation? a. b. c. d. e.

Horse Serpent Falcon Dolphin Goat

the All-Father, had two pet 4 Odin, ravens. What were their names? a. Huginn and Muninn b. Freki and Geki c. Sleipnir and Snorri d. Fenrir and Ymir e. None of the above

is the real name of the World 5 What Tree? a. Folkvangr b. Mimir c. Yggdrasil d. Woden e. Trondheim famous Thor has a brother 6 The what is his name? a. b. c. d. e.

Baldr Loki Frey Borr Vili

his name? a. b. c. d. e.

Aker Anubis Amun Aten None of the above

were a sacred animal in ancient 8 Cats Egypt. Which of the following was not a “cat” deity? a. b. c. d. e.

Bastet Maahes Sekhmet Pakhet All of the above are cat deities

Nile River played a huge role in Egyp9 The tian life and myth. Which deity was the personification of the Nile’s floods? a. b. c. d. e.

Sobek Set Hapi Hathor Thoth

ancient Maya believed in 12 10 The death gods, located in which were lo-

cated in an underworld cavern called:

a. Chamiabac b. Xibalba c. Xiquiripat d. Ahaltocob e. None of the above one version of the Mayan creation 11Inmyth, what type of gods were responsible for creating mankind?

a. b. c. d. e.

Jaguar gods Hummingbird gods Monkey gods Eagle gods Serpent gods

Maya god Chaac was one of the 12 The most important figures. What was his sphere of power?

a. b. c. d. e.

Rain and lightning Sun and sky Earth and harvest Moon and the hunt Darkness and death Answer key:

Game Corner | 27

1. E 2. E 3. A 4. A

5. C 6. A 7. D 8. E

9. C 10. B 11. C 12. A


Borasaek Vision

Riddles of the Sphinx written by Anna, edited by Caitlin, designed by Nimas

Mythology is full of fantastical creatures that have survived the transition into modern day, but few are as famous as the Sphinx (she even made her way into the extremely mainstream Harry Potter series, in the third task of the Triwizard Tournament). The Sphinx made its most famous appearance in the Greek play, “Oedipus Rex.” She was sent to guard the entrance to Thebes; and guard she did. In the play, she would show no mercy to anyone who didn’t know the answer to her riddles.

She asked Oedipus the following: “Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?”

Fortunately for Oedipus, he was smart enough to outwit the Sphinx, responding that man was the creature who could have four feet, then two feet, then three - a baby crawls on four feet, a grown human walks on two, and an elderly person walks on two feet and a cane, making three. But did you know that in some accounts, the Sphinx wasn’t happy with this outcome, and that she had another question for him? “There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first. Who are the two sisters?” Can you figure out the answer to this lesser-known riddle? If you think you’ve got that one, how about these two? “You measure my life in hours, and I serve you by expiring. I’m quick when I’m thin and slow when I’m not. The wind is my enemy. What am I?” “I have keys, but no locks, and space, but no rooms. You can enter, but you can’t go outside. What am I?” r final page! For answers, check ou

pic credits to cerqueiraricardo from Pixabay

Game Corner | 28


Borasaek Vision

BTS ROUND-UP! Written by: Miranda | Edited and Designed by: Euni

November November 23 - 24, fan meeting BTS had a fan meeting in Chiba Prefecture’s Zozo Marine Stadium. November 30, MMA BTS swept all four Daesangs (grand prizes) of the 2019 Melon Music Awards (MMA) with Artist of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year with Map of the Soul: Persona, and Song of the Year with Boy With Luv. BTS’ performance at MMA featured a concept that highlights the 7 members’ characteristics.

BTS Round-Up! | 29

December December 4, Jin’s Birthday, FNS Music Festival, MAMA BTS made history by winning every major award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) 2019, merely four days after BTS swept up all the MMA 2019 Daesangs. BTS’s MAMA 2019 performance also stole the show, featuring tracks from their rookie days to contrast to their new music. They opened their 24-minute set with 2013’s N.O and We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2, both of which are BTS’s debut songs. They previewed 2 VCR’s, the first displayed their transition from fear and doubt to living a world where their dreams are now a reality. The second VCR showed how BTS embraced the seven years they’ve been together, including all the good and bad events from their past, present, and future which they label as an “eternal journey.”


December 6, KIIS Jingle Bell BTS performed at iHeartRadio’s 2019 Jingle Ball. SUGA’s Interlude, which is featured in Halsey’s new album Manic was also released. December 14 and 15, Japan Official Fan Meeting BTS held the JAPAN OFFICIAL FANMEETING VOL.5 ‘MAGIC SHOP’ in Osaka.

Borasaek Vision

January January 5, Golden Disk Awards Map of the Soul: Persona claimed the album daesang and Boy With Luv took home the digital song daesang. January 9, Map of the Soul: 7 Pre-sale

December 25, SBS Gayo Daejun BTS performed for the opening of the 2019 SBS Gayo Daejun.

December 27, KBS Music Festival BTS performed in 2019 KBS Music Festival (KBS Gayo Daechukjae) with the theme “A Huge Fantastical Party.” December 30, V’s Birthday Vocalist Kim Taehyung celebrated his 24th birthday. December 31, New Year’s Rockin Eve BTS travelled to USA to perform at the New Year’s Rockin Eve 20 With Ryan

January 10, Comeback Trailer for Shadow Became the fastest Korean video to reach 1M likes on YouTube in just 30 minutes. January 17, release of Black Swan art film BTS broke records once again after they release Black Swan. Black Swan reached #1 on iTunes in 93 countries, beating Psy’s record of 86 countries


Borasaek Vision Magazine Bangtan & Mythology Contributors

Managers Design, Alex Planning, Anna Copy Editor, Aury Social Media, Jaz Social Media, Miranda Writing, Nats Assistant Planning, Caitlin Assistant Design, Euni Assistant Design, Kels Assistant Copy Editor, Mheer

Staff Writing, Alapadma Design, Alma Copy Editor, Ash Design, Connie Design, Dypra Design, Fadly Design, Ichi Writing, Janna Writing, Mei Writing, Shelley Design, Nessa Design, Nimas Design, Nora Design, Rezazer Design, Tia


Disclaimer All the videos, songs, images, and graphics used in the digital magazine belong to their respective owners and Borasaek Vision do not claim any rights over them. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.”

“We will walk the borasaek road with BTS - with love and trust, until the end.” Game Answers Riddles of the Sphinx Answers: Day and night A candle A keyboard

Mythology Quiz: Test your intellect 7. D 1. E 8. E 2. E 9. C 3. A 10. B 4. A 11. C 5. C 12. A 6. A

If you have suggestions and questions feel free to get in touch. Email: borasaekvision@gmail.com Twitter | Facebook | Instagram: @borasaekvision Visit our Website to check out our blogs: https://borasaekvision.wixsite.com/home/