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STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN I had heard the myth many times. The prince of heaven, eager to pursue a life on earth, is sent down to Changbai Shan, a volcanic peak 250 kilometers from Ji'an, on the North Korean border. There he challenges a tiger and a she-bear. Whoever can stay for 100 days in a cave, eating nothing but mugwort and garlic, will be rewarded with human form. The bear triumphs, becomes a maiden and marries the prince. Their child, Tan'gun, is father of the Korean race. The origin myth explains only a part of the mountain's significance to Koreans. Changbai...

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