• Artwork

    Gwimyeon – The Monster Mask: 귀면

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Introduction If you look close enough at temple paintings, you’ll probably notice a menacingly grotesque face staring back at you. To the uninitiated eye these faces appear to be nothing more than ornamental. However, these paintings do in fact have a meaning. So what are their meaning? What do they look like? And why are they are adorning Korean Buddhist temples? Gwimyeon Design The name of these ornamental designs that…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Mitaam Hermitage – 미타암 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Hermitage History and Myths Mitaam Hermitage is located on the eastern slopes of Mt. Cheonseongsan (922 m) in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. The hermitage is named after Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). Mitaam Hermitage was first established by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). In addition to Mitaam Hermitage, Wonhyo-daesa built eighty-nine other temples and hermitages on Mt. Cheonseongsan (One Thousand Saints Mountain) which includes Hongryongsa Temple. The hermitage was…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Singwangsa Temple – 신광사 (Geoje-do, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Temple History Singwangsa Temple is located on the southern coast, on the western side, of Geoje, Gyeongsangnam-do. Specifically, Singwangsa Temple is situated on the western portion of Mt. Baekamsan (494.6 m). According to the temple website, the location of Singwangsa Temple has long been regarded as a sacred place for the worship of Buddhism. Singwangsa Temple dates back to the 1930’s, when a farmer, while digging a pond, discovered the…

  • Artwork

    Yong – Dragons: 용

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Introduction One of the most common things you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple is a dragon. You can find them in paintings, statues, adornments, latticework around shrine halls and even under bridges. So why do you find so many dragons are a Korean Buddhist temple? History of the Korean Dragon As Buddhism started to migrate eastward from India, it started to take on local influences and forms. One great…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Daewonsa Temple – 대원사 (Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Temple History Daewonsa Temple is located in northern Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do. More specifically, it’s located southeast of the diminutive Mt. Obongsan (177.7 m) near Chilpo Beach. Before the modern Daewonsa Temple was built, the site was occupied by a much older temple, which according to local legend, was dismantled during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) in 1510. The former temple was dismantled at this point because the land was needed to house…

  • Artwork

    The Sermon on Vulture Peak Painting – Yeongsan Hoesang-do: 영산 회상도

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! The Sermon on Vulture Peak Painting History The English name for the Yeongsan Hoesang-do is The Sermon on Vulture Peak Painting. It’s a highly symbolic painting that most people see at a Korean Buddhist temple, but they simply don’t understand its meaning. So what does the Vulture Peak painting look like? And what is its meaning? During the Goryeo Period (918-1392), Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) was the…

  • Artwork

    Dancheong – Temple Colours: 단청

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Dancheong Introduction One of the most recognizable features that distinguishes Korean Buddhist temples from a Japanese or Chinese Buddhist temple are the elaborate colours and motifs. Korean Buddhist temples are decoratively painted in a myriad of colours that include reds, blues, greens, yellows, blacks, and whites. So why exactly are they adorning Korean Buddhist shrine halls, and what do they all mean? History of Dancheong The oldest surviving example of…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Muryangsa Temple – 무량사 (Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Temple History Muryangsa Temple is located in Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do at the foot of Mt. Mansusan (575 m). The name of the temple is in reference to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). One of the halls that Amita-bul can reside in at a Korean Buddhist temple is called a Muryangsu-jeon Hall, which means “Immeasurable Life Hall” in English. The exact date that Muryangsa Temple was first built is unknown;…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Yongmunsa Temple – 용문사 (Yecheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Temple History and Myth Yongmunsa Temple, which means “Dragon Gate Temple” in English, is located in Yecheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do to the south-west of Mt. Sobaeksan (1439.6 m). Yongmunsa Temple was first established in 870 A.D. by the monk Duun-daesa. Initially, the Daejang-jeon Hall was first built at the temple in 1173 to house the first set of the Tripitaka Koreana. This set was eventually destroyed in 1232 during the Mongol Invasions…

  • Artwork

    Podae-Hwasang – The Hempen Bag: 포대화상

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! The History of Podae-Hwasang Until recently, I had no idea that Podae-hwasang even existed in Buddhism. It was only after researching him a bit more that I found out who the easily misidentified jovial figure was. Sometimes, he can be confused for the Buddha, but he’s in fact Podae-hwasang. Podae-hwasang, who is better known as Budai or Pu-Tai in Chinese, is a disguised monk. Podae-hwasang is believed to be an…