• North Korea

    Sounsa Temple – 서운사 (Yongbyon, Pyonganbuk-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Sounsa Temple [Seounsa Temple] is located in Yongbyon, Pyonganbuk-to, North Korea on Mt. Yaksan. And for some of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. According to the “Sounsa Hyangbuldabbi,” the temple was first founded in 1345. As for the name of the temple, the reason that it was named Sounsa Temple [Seounsa Temple] is because it was always cloudy in the area around the temple. The current temple shrine halls at Sounsa Temple [Seounsa Temple] date back to 1654. And they were rebuilt in 1678 and 1756. Until recently, Sounsa Temple consisted of…

  • North Korea

    Chonjusa Temple – 천주사 (Yongbyon, Pyonganbuk-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Chonjusa Temple [Cheonjusa Temple] is located on the southern slopes of Mt. Yaksan in Yongbyon, Pyonganbuk-to, North Korea. And for some of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. The location of the Chonjusa Temple has long been considered one of the Eight Scenic Views of Gwanseo. The present Chonjusa Temple was founded in 1684, while rebuilding the inner fortress on Mt. Buksan. However, it’s believed that Chonjusa Temple existed before 1684, but it fell into disrepair. Chonjusa Temple was then later rebuilt in 1722. While once larger in size, the temple now only…

  • North Korea

    Yujomsa Temple – 유점사 (Kosan, Kangwon-to, North Korea)

    Temple Myth This temple post is a little different than others in that the temple no longer exists. However, because of its historical significance, and with it being in North Korea, I decided to do a post on it. And it should be noted, before I get too far ahead of myself, that this article will largely use the North Korean spelling of locations. Now, with all that being said, Yujomsa Temple [Yujeomsa Temple] has one of the more interesting temple myths associated with it. Rather strangely, and according to “Saji,” a historical document, Yujomsa Temple [Yujeomsa Temple] was first founded in 4 A.D., which is rather odd since Buddhism…

  • North Korea

    Simwonsa Temple – 심원사 (Yontan, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Simwonsa Temple is located in Yontan-gu, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea. And the temple contains the fourth oldest wooden structure, the Pogwang-jeon Hall [Bogwang-jeon Hall] in North Korea. It should be noted that some of the spelling in this post will be based on North Korean spelling. The Pogwang-jeon Hall dates back to 1374, which makes it two years older than the Muryangsu-jeon Hall at Buseoksa Temple in Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do and one year older than the Yeongsan-jeon Hall at Geojosa Temple in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The exact date of the founding of Simwonsa Temple is unknown; however, it has been claimed that Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.) founded Simwonsa Temple. Later, and after…

  • North Korea

    Kwanumsa Temple – 관음사 (Kaesong, Hwanghaebuk-to North Korea)

    Temple History Kwanumsa Temple [Gwaneumsa Temple] is located on Mt. Chonmasan near Kaesong, North Korea. The temple is named after Kwanum, or Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And it should be noted that some of the spelling in this post will be based on North Korean spelling. This small temple is located between two mountains in a valley. The two mountains are Mt. Chonmasan (757 m) and Mt. Songgosan; and at the back of the valley, you’ll find Pakyon Falls. Kwanumsa Temple was first established in 970 A.D. by the monk Beopin, when he placed two marble statues of Gwanseeum-bosal inside a cave behind the temple. As for the temple,…

  • North Korea

    Anguksa Temple – 안국사 (Pyongsong, Pyongannam-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Anguksa Temple is located in Pyongsong, Pyongannam-to, North Korea. It’s located on the slopes of Mt. Pongrinsan (217 m). And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. Anguksa Temple was first established in 503 A.D. Anguksa Temple is one of the oldest cultural sites still remaining in North Korea. Of particular importance is the two-story Taeungbo-jeon Hall [Daeungbo-jeon Hall] that was built during the mid-Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). According to the writing on the eaves inside the Taeungbo-jeon Hall, the main hall was rebuilt in 1419. It was later rebuilt again…

  • North Korea

    Songbulsa Temple – 성불사 (Sariwon, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Songbulsa Temple [Seongbulsa Temple] is located in Sariwon, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea. Additionally, Songbulsa Temple is located inside the Mt. Jongbangsan [Jeongbangsan] Fortress in the southwest corner. The fortress was rebuilt in 1632 to ward off Japanese pirates. And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. As for the temple, it was first founded in 898 A.D. by Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.). After falling into disrepair, Songbulsa Temple was rebuilt in 1374 by Naong (1320-1376). The temple was then expanded in 1569 and 1632. In 1751, the temple was repaired by the…

  • North Korea

    Pohyonsa Temple – 보현사 (Hyangsan, Pyonganbuk-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Pohyonsa Temple [Bohyeonsa Temple] is located in Hyangsan, Pyonganbuk-to [Pyonganbuk-do], North Korea. And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. The temple is named after Bohyeon-bosal, or Pohyon-posal in North Korea, who is the Bodhisattva of Power. Pohyonsa Temple was first founded in 968 A.D. during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) as a smaller sized temple. The temple is located near Mt. Myohyangsan (1,909 m). During the Imjin War (1592-1598), Pohyonsa Temple became a base for part of the Righteous Army led by the monk Seosan-daesa (1520-1604), which would assist in…

  • North Korea

    Singyesa Temple – 신계사 (Onjong-ri, Kosŏng-gun, Kangwon-do, North Korea)

    Temple History Singyesa Temple, which is located in Onjong-ri, Kosong-gun, Kangwon-do, North Korea, was first founded in 519 A.D. The temple was founded during the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. to 935 A.D.), and it was once one of the largest Buddhist temples in and around Mt. Kumgangsan (1638 m). The location of Singyesa Temple was initially chosen as a site in the Mt. Kumgangsan area because of the mountain’s natural beauty. Through the centuries, Singyesa Temple continued to grow until it became one of the four major temples of Mt. Kumgangsan alongside Pyohunsa Temple, Jangansa Temple, and Yujomsa Temple. Singyesa Temple lasted until Japanese Colonization (1910-1945), when the temple became…