• 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

    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…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Seonunsa Temple – 선운사 (Gochang, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Seonunsa Temple, which is located in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do, means “Seon [Zen] Cloud Temple,” in English. The name of the temple implies how profound wisdom is found by staying in the clouds in the boundlessness of Seon meditation. Seonunsa Temple was first built in 577 A.D. by the monk Geumdan-seonsa of the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. to 660 A.D.). There are three myths about the founding of Seonunsa Temple. The first myth centres around the idea that King Jinheung of Silla (r.540 – 576 A.D.) spent the night in a cave on Mt. Dosolsan, which is where Seonunsa Temple is located on the northern foot of the range. King…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Tapsa Temple – 탑사 (Jinan, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Tapsa Temple, which is located in Jinan, Jeollabuk-do, means “Pagoda Temple,” in English. The story of Tapsa Temple begins with the enigmatic layman Lee Gap Yong (1860-1957). Lee first came to Mt. Maisan (687 m), or “Horse Ear Mountain,” in English, at the age of 25. And for the next thirty years, Lee not only spent time meditating, but he single-handedly built one hundred and eight spherical stone pagodas. Of the one hundred and eight pagodas that were originally constructed, eighty of these pagodas still stand to this day at Tapsa Temple. Much later in life, Lee Gap Yong became an ordained monk with the Jogye-jong Order and…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Geumsansa Temple – 금산사 (Gimje, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Geumsansa Temple, which means “Golden Mountain Temple,” in English is located in a flat river valley on the western slopes of Moaksan Provincial Park in Gimje, Jeollabuk-do. Geumsansa Temple was first established in either 599 or 600 A.D., depending on the source, during the reign of King Beop of Baekje (r. 599-600 A.D.). When it was first built, it was rather unassuming and nothing like it is today. It wasn’t until 762 A.D., under the guidance of the monk Jinpyo (8th century), that Geumsansa Temple was rebuilt. Geumsansa Temple was rebuilt over a six year period. Numerous buildings at the temple were rebuilt at this time including the…