5 Hahoe Mask Facts That Are Present in the Korean Version of Money Heist


1. Legendary traditional masks

There is a long history behind this Hahoe mask. This mask is so legendary in South Korea . This mask is usually used in cultural events and rituals that are already famous in the ginseng country. Usually this mask is used to perform the Byeolsingut ritual.

This cultural event is always held every 2nd day of the first month in the lunar calendar. When this festival takes place, usually many people come to see it. Not only South Koreans, people from abroad also enjoy the festival. At this festival we will witness the beauty of dances that have a noble meaning.

2. The background of a tragic love story

As a form of culture, there is a background behind the making of this mask. In the past, this mask was made by a young mask craftsman named Heo. One day he felt he got a hint from the mountain god to create a mask. There’s just one important condition! No one is allowed to meet him when making masks.

Finally he made a house in the middle of the forest. Her lover named Kim was left in the village and could not see her at all. Month after month passed, Kim felt homesick for Heo.

Such a great longing made it violate the conditions requested by Heo. He went to the forest and found his lover. In the crack of Heo’s house, Kim peeked at her lover who was making the last mask.

Unfortunately, when he peeked at his lover, suddenly a curse fell on Heo. He immediately vomited blood, fell down and died. Kim is filled with regret over the death of her lover. In the end, it was Kim who finished Heo’s final mask.

3. It was so special that a museum was created

The Hahoe mask is not an ordinary mask, this mask is really special for the Korean people. Even to continue to preserve this mask, a museum was established in the Andong area of South Korea.

There we can see various kinds of legendary Hahoe masks. The museum also displays an explanation of the original history of the iconic mask. One of the most interesting is the story of the last mask that has not been completed so that it does not have a chin.

The mask was named Imei. If you have the opportunity to go to South Korea and happen to visit Andong City, there’s nothing wrong with stopping by this museum.

4. The mask used in Money Heist is called Yangban

According to the story there were dozens of masks made. All masks have names and characteristics. The mask used in the Korean version of Money Heist is a Hahoe mask called the Yangban.

The Yangban mask represents the highest social class during the Joseon Dynasty empire. This Yangban group usually belongs to the nobles or royal employees.

Compared to other Hahoe masks, Yangban masks have structured facial features. It looks like there will be a scene in the Korean Money Heist series that explains why they use Yangban masks instead of dozens of other Hahoe masks.

5. It was stolen by Japan

According to Korean historians, these masks were invented in the 12th century. Debate has arisen over how many Hahoe masks were ever made.

Some say 11, some say 14, some say 16. But for sure, in the 14th century when Japan controlled the Korean plains, some masks were confiscated and brought by the Japanese military. Finally, for centuries the Hahoe mask was never complete.

Uniquely, in the last few years a surprising news came, a Japanese citizen living in Kumamoto City found three ancient masks that were suspected to be the missing Hahoe masks.