• Jeollabuk-do

    Eunsusa Temple – 은수사 (Jinan, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Eunsusa Temple, which means “Silver Water Temple” in English, is located in Maisan Provincial Park on the ridge above Tapsa Temple in Jinan, Jeollabuk-do. The temple was first called Sangwonsa Temple during the early part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Sangwonsa Temple would fall into disrepair and a hermitage was built on the temple’s former grounds. This hermitage would be named Jeongmyeongam Hermitage. The current name of the temple, Eunsusa Temple, and according to legend, was made when King Taejo of Joseon (r. 1392-1398) visited the temple. After he made the comment that the water flowing nearby was as clean and smooth as pure silver, the temple would…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Baekjangam Hermitage – 백장암 (Namwon, Jeollabuk-do)

    Hermitage History Baekjangam Hermitage is located in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do to the west of Mt. Seoryongsan (1,073 m). Baekjangam Hermitage is a hermitage that belongs to the neighbouring Silsangsa Temple. The name of the hermitage is derived from Baekjang, who was a disciple of Master Majodoil (709-788 A.D.). While we know when Silsangsa Temple was built, which was in 828 A.D. by the monk Hongcheok (?-?), it’s unknown when Baekjangam Hermitage was first established. After Silsangsa Temple was destroyed by fire in 1468, Baekjangam Hermitage became a temple until 1679, when a fire also destroyed Baekjangam Hermitage. The hermitage was later rebuilt in the early 1800’s. Once again, a fire destroyed…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Mireuksa-ji Temple Site – 미륵사지 (Iksan, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple Site Legend The site for Mireuksa Temple, like so many other famed temples on the Korean peninsula, has an entry about it in the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). According to the Samguk Yusa, King Mu of Baekje (r. 600 – 641 A.D.) and his queen were on their way to Sajasa Temple when they saw a triad of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) appearing above a pond near Mt. Yonghwasan (Dragon Flower Mountain). Later, at the request of the queen, King Mu of Baekje had the pond filled in with land, and a temple was built on the site where the royal couple saw the Mireuk-bul triad.…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Dongguksa Temple – 동국사 (Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Dongguksa Temple is located in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do. What sets this Buddhist temple apart from all other Buddhist temples in Korea is that it’s the only temple still in existence, and operating, that was built by the Japanese during Japanese Colonial rule (1910-1945). With the opening of the port in Busan in 1877, after the signing of the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, not only did it open Korea up for trade and exploitation, but it also allowed Japanese Buddhism to enter Korea, as well. This was done at the request of the Japanese government. And in 1904, a form of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism began missionary work in Gunsan.…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Geumdangsa Temple – 금당사 (Jinan, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Geumdangsa Temple is located in Jinan, Jeollabuk-do near the entrance of Maisan Provincial Park. In fact, just a little up the paved pathway about six hundred metres past Geumdangsa Temple, you’ll come to the famed Tapsa Temple. Both temples are housed within the park grounds of Maisan Provincial Park. Geumdangsa Temple means “Golden Hall Temple” in English, and it has two differing stories as to when it was first established. According to one story, Geumdangsa Temple was first established in 814 A.D. by the Chinese monk Hyegam. Another story relates how in 650 A.D. the monk Muri came to the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.) from…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Wibongsa Temple – 위봉사 (Wanju, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History and Myth Wibongsa Temple is located on the south-eastern slopes of Mt. Wibongsan (557.8 m) in Wanju, Jeollabuk-do. There are a couple theories as to when, and by whom, the temple was first established. One theory states that Wibongsa Temple was first constructed in 604 A.D. by the monk Seoam-daesa during the reign of King Mu of Baekje (r. 600-641 A.D.). According to another source, Wibongsa Temple was created at the end of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) by a man named Choi Yong-gak. According to this source, Choi Yong-gak was riding a horse one day, when he looked south. The land to the south looked like three phoenixes…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Silsangsa Temple – 실상사 (Namwon, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Silsangsa Temple, which means “True Nature Temple,” in English, is surprisingly located near farmer’s fields alongside the meandering Mansucheon River in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do. Silsangsa Temple is situated in the centre of a cauldron of mountains that make up the northern part of the famed Mt. Jirisan (1915.4 m). Silsangsa Temple was established by the monk Hongcheok (also known as Jeunggak) in 828 A.D. Hongcheok traveled to Tang Dynasty China with the monk Doui-guksa in the early 800’s. Both Hongcheok and Doui-guksa returned to the Korean peninsula after being certified as enlightened in Seon lineage Buddhism. After his return, Hongcheok was named “Guksa,” or “National Preceptor,” in English, by…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Naejangsa Temple – 내장사 (Jeongeup, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Naejangsa Temple, which means “Storing Inside Temple,” in English, is located in Naejangsan National Park in Jeongeup, Jeollabuk-do. Naejangsa Temple was first built in 636 A.D. by the monk Yeongeun-josa. At this time, it was large in size, with fifty halls and pavilions. Originally, Naejangsa Temple was called Yeongeunsa Temple. In 660 A.D., after being destroyed by fire, Naejangsa Temple was rebuilt by the monk Hwanhae. Naejangsa Temple was an important temple during Later Silla (668-935 A.D.) and through to the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). During this time, it was rebuilt and renovated several times. It would become, in time, one of the leading Seon temples. During King Jeongjong…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Naesosa Temple – 내소사 (Buan, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Naesosa Temple, which means “Come Revive Temple,” in English, is located in Buan, Jeollabuk-do. Naesosa Temple is located just south of Gwaneum-bong (Gwanseeum-bosal Peak) in the southern part of Byeonsan Bando National Park. Naesosa Temple was first established in 633 A.D. by the monk Hyegu-duta in the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.). At that time, two temples were built. They were Daesoraesa Temple and Sosoraesa Temple. Daesoraesa Temple was later destroyed by fire, and all that remained of the two was Sosoraesa Temple. There’s a story that states that So Jeong-bang, a general from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) visited Naesosa Temple and served as a…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Songgwangsa Temple – 송광사 (Wanju, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Songgwangsa Temple, which is located in Wanju, Jeollabuk-do, is situated south of Mt. Jongnamsan (608.3m). This Songgwangsa Temple, however, shouldn’t be confused with the more famous temple with the same name in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do. This Songgwangsa Temple was first founded in 867 A.D. by the monk Doui-guksa. Originally, when the temple was first constructed in 867 A.D., it was known as Baekryongsa Temple. Eventually, the temple would be renamed by the famed monk Jinul (1158-1210) during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). After years of neglect, Jinul asked his disciples to renovate and rebuild the temple. Unfortunately, this wish wasn’t fulfilled by his disciples. The temple was largely destroyed during…