King Chin-Hung's next selection method was to choose handsome male youths of noble birth, some as young as twelve years old. These youths were dressed in the finest clothing, their faces were attractively painted with elaborate make-up, and they were extensively instructed in Buddhism, poetry, and song. It was believed that those who did well in these activities had the grace to become competent warriors, so they were selected as Hwarang trainees. Sor Won was the first to be selected for the Hwarang and was made a "kuk-son" (general).
The best translation for Hwarang-do is "way (do) of flowering (hwa) youth (rang)." Members of the group were also known as "flower knights" but the Hwarang movement had no similarities to the Knights of medieval Europe. Some believe the Hwarang and the Japanese samurai were similar, but the Hwarang movement pre-dates the samurai and did not have the political influence of the samurai. In addition, Silla youth did not remain Hwarang for life, as did the Samurai, and they were not born into the group and its privileges. The Hwarang movement remains a unique spiritual and physical training that has never been duplicated in Korea or anywhere else in the world. The modern Taekwondo hyung "hwa-rang" is named after the movement.
The Samguk Yusa (Legends of the Three Kingdoms) implies that Shinson, the spirit of the supernatural being, was often called Miruk by the Koreans. The people of Silla referred to the Hwarang as "yonghwa Hwarangdo." Traditionally, Yonghwa is a mountain in India where the Miruk lived. Linguists of today realize that the terms "Hwarang," "Miruk," and "Shinson" may be used almost interchangeably.