• Gyeongju

    Gameunsa-ji Temple Site – 감은사지 (Gyeongju)

    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 Site History The history of Gameunsa-ji Temple Site is inextricably linked to King Munmu of Silla (r. 661-681 A.D.). King Munmu of Silla is considered to be the first king of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). And it’s this link to history, and the defence of the kingdom that he unified, that the course of Gameunsa-ji Temple Site and King Munmu are forever connected. King Munmu of Silla (626-681 A.D.)…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Cheontaesa Temple – 천태사 (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! Temple History Cheontaesa Temple is located in western Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. The name of the temple comes from the name of the mountain where the temple is located, which is Mt. Cheontaesan (630.9 m). More generally, both the temple and the mountain are named after the Cheontae-jong Order, which is based upon the Tiantai school of Buddhism. This school of Buddhism is also called “The Lotus School” for its focus on…

  • Jeollanam-do

    Heungguksa Temple – 흥국사 (Yeosu, Jeollanam-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 Heungguksa Temple, which is located on the northern side of the southern coastal city of Yeosu, Jeollanam-do. The Heungguksa Temple of Yeosu shouldn’t be confused with two other temples of the exact same name found in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do and Namyangju, Gyeonggi-do. The name of Heungguksa Temple in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do means “Flourishing Kingdom Temple” in English. More specifically, it’s located on the eastern slopes of Mt. Yeongchwisan (439 m),…

  • Artwork

    The Manja – The Swastika: 만자

    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 I’m sure you’ve seen the Manja – 만자 several times when you’ve visited a Korean Buddhist temple. In the West, this symbol is known as a swastika, and it has a more ominous meaning to it, unfortunately. It’s now come to be synonymous with Nazism, Hitler, and the Third Reich. However, while the Nazi use of the swastika stands for racism and hatred, the Buddhist idea of the swastika…

  • Gyeongju

    Borisa Temple – 보리사 (Gyeongju)

    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 Borisa Temple is located on the northeast side of Mt. Namsan (494 m) in the historic town of Gyeongju. The name of the temple means “Awakening Enlightenment Temple” or “Bodhi Temple” in English. It’s believed that the temple was first established in 886 A.D., during the 12th year of King Heongang of Silla’s reign (875-886 A.D.). The founder of the temple is unknown. Not only is Borisa Temple…

  • Jeollanam-do

    Ssangbongsa Temple – 쌍봉사 (Hwasun, Jeollanam-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 Ssangbongsa Temple, which is located in Hwasun, Jeollanam-do, means “Twin Peak Temple” in English. Ssangbongsa Temple was first established by the monk Cheolgam-seonsa. At the age of twenty-eight, Cheolgam-seonsa (797-868 A.D.) traveled to Tang China (618-907 A.D.) to study Buddhism. Cheolgam-seonsa returned to the Korean peninsula in 847 A.D. alongside Beomil-guksa (National Preceptor). Cheolgam-seonsa settled around Mt. Pungaksan in Namwon, Jeollabuk-do. He later moved to Hwasun, where he…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Janggoksa Temple – 장곡사 (Cheongyang, 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 Janggoksa Temple, which means “Guardian Valley Temple” in English, is located on the western slopes of Mt. Chilgapsan (559.7) in Cheongyang, Chungcheongnam-do. Located in a valley, Janggoksa Temple was first established in 850 A.D. by Seon Master Chejing (804-880 A.D.). It should be noted that Seon Master Chejing, who was posthumously awarded the title of Master Bojo, established Borimsa Temple in Jangheung, Jeollanam-do. Borimsa Temple was established in…

  • 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…