Ilwolji Pond had been called Haedalpotsince the Shilla Dynasty. After Chinese characters were imported from China, the pond started to be called Ilwolji in Chinese characters. Since a religious service for the sky was performed in this place, it has been called Cheonjaeji Pond as well. It has alsobeen called Gwangbokji Pond, which means that the light of the sun and moon has been returned.
The diameter of this pond is about 250m, and the width of the pond is about 150m. Its gross area is about 16,500㎡, and it has a round shape. A tale of Yeonorang and Seonyeooriginated from the pond.
Ilwolji Pond is currently located inside of the marine corps near the Pohang Airport. Every October, a religious service, based on the tale of Yeonorang and Seonyeo, for prayers for the well-being of the local residents is held at the restored Ilwol Shrine.
A Tale of Yeonorang and Seonyeo
One of the main tales in Pohang is "Yeonorang and Seonyeo." According to "the Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms", Yeonorang and Seonyeo lived as spouses on the east coast in the fourth year in the reign of King Adala, who was the eighth king in the Shilla Dynasty. Yeonorang was a fisherman, and Seonyeo wove clothes. They were famous as a couple who led a happy married life. One day, Yeonorang went to the sea and was collecting seaweeds. All of a sudden, a rock surfaced beneath him, which he rode to Japan. The Japanese saw him and deemed him an extraordinary person. They made him their king. Seonyeo continued to look for him, and discovered his shoes. Then she climbed on a rock. The rock crossed the East Sea and went to Japan. The Japanese were surprised to see her and informed the palace of the fact. Seonyeo was able to meet her husband.
After this incident, the sun and the moon suddenly lost their light, and it got dark in Shilla. King Adala was shocked and asked a prophet about the cause. The prophet answered, "The spirit and energy of the sun and the moon had went to Japan." The king heard the explanation of the prophet, and commanded Yeonorang and Seonyeo, who had gone to Japan to return to Shilla. However, Yeonorang and Seonyeo answered, "We followed the will of the sky, and went to Japan. We became the king and queen. Thus, we cannot return to Shilla." Then, they continued, "The queen wove silk. Please fetch it to Shilla. Build a stage near the pond where I used to live, and hang the silk on a bough. Then, hold a sincere religious service to the sky." They gave the silk to the envoy.
The envoy returned to Shilla, and followed what Yeonorang and Seonyeo said. Surprisingly, the light of the sun and the moon was restored in Shilla. After this incident, the silk was kept in the Royal Archives. Since then, the pond where a religious service was held has been called Ilwolji, and this area has been called "Dogiya." The status of Yeonorang and Seonyeo was incorporated into the Homigot Sunrise Plaza in order to pay a tribute to the hero and heroine of this tale.