• Artwork

    Geumgangmun – The Diamond Gate: 금강문

    Hello Again Everyone!! The Geumgangmun Gate is one of five entry gates that can potentially be found at a Korean Buddhist temple. The Geumgangmun Gate is the second of these entry gates, and it’s placed between the Iljumun Gate (the first entry gate) and the Cheonwangmun Gate (the third entry gate). The name of this gate, Geumgangmun, means “Diamond Gate,” in English. The name is Hindu in origin. Geumgang means “diamond,” in English, which is the hardest substance on Earth. It can’t be harmed or broken by any other matter, but it can cut through or break other material. As such, it’s a symbol of the Buddha’s teachings. The Dharma…

  • Artwork

    Iljumun – The One Pillar Gate: 일주문

    Hello Again Everyone!! So we’re going to be starting a new series here on the blog. We’re going to be talking more about Korean Buddhist temple architecture. What does it mean? What does it look like? Why is it there? And first on the list is the first gate, which is also typically the first structure that will greet you at a Korean Buddhist temple, is the Iljumun Gate. Iljumun translates into English as the “One Pillar Gate.” The Iljumun Gate is very simple in its design. It consists of a tiled roof that’s supported by either two or four pillars that stand in a straight line. A wooden name…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Haeinsa Temple – 해인사 (Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Haeinsa Temple, which means “Ocean Mudra Temple,” dates back to 802 A.D., when it was founded by the monks Suneung and Ijeong after their return from their religious travels to China. According to legend, and the temple’s foundation myth, the two monks helped to heal the wife of King Aejang of Silla (r.800-809). As a sign of gratitude, the king gave the funds to the two monks to help construct Haeinsa Temple. Through the centuries, the temple has been expanded numerous times like in 1488, 1622, and 1644. Tragically, Haeinsa Temple was burned to the ground in 1817. It was rebuilt a year later. In total, the…