The Yeongju Octopus, which emerged with the opening of Yeongdong Line in 1955, has been loved by the public because it was cured to the best condition by the time the quality octopus from the East Sea arrived in Yeongju on a slow train. It is a traditional dish of Yeongju, a town of scholars, and is served during birthdays, wedding ceremonies, funerals, and anniversary ceremonies.
In Chinese writing, octopus is written as 文魚 and 文 refers to the written language or philosophy. Therefore, the octopus was also referred to as the scholars' fish. It is said that the octopus represents the local people's philosophical spirit and admiration. How the octopus lives at the bottom of the deep sea is often compared to the scholars' integrity, faith, and humility. The people of Yeongju also found the octopus friendly because the ink it diffuses when threatened was considered an indispensable stationery item for scholars along with brushes. It is the most suitable specialty for Yeongju, the town of scholars renowned for quality of life and wellbeing.