• Gyeongju

    Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site – 사천왕사지 (Gyeongju)

    Temple Site History This is the former site of Sacheonwangsa Temple, which was built in 679 A.D. during Later Silla (668-935 A.D.). It was the first temple to be built by the Silla Kingdom after the unification of the Three Kingdoms (Silla, Baekje, and Goguryeo). The Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site is located near the royal tombs of King Sinmun of Silla (r. 681-692 A.D.) and Queen Seondeok (r. 632-647 A.D.) at the foot of Mt. Nangsan (99.5 m) in Gyeongju. The foundation of the temple is rooted in the protection and safety of the Korean peninsula through the protection of the Buddha. It can be said that Sacheonwangsa Temple was built…

  • Artwork

    Jowang-shin – The Fireplace King Spirit: 조왕신

    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 more uncommon figures you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple is Jowang-shin, or “The Fireplace King Spirit” in English. I have yet to see a shrine hall dedicated to this shaman deity; instead, where you’ll find Jowang-shin is in the kitchen area of a temple or hermitage. And even then, it’s very uncommon to see this shaman deity. In all of my travels, which includes nearly…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Wibongsa Temple – 위봉사 (Wanju, Jeollabuk-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 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…

  • Gyeongju

    Gulbulsa-ji Temple Site – 굴불사지 (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 Gulbulsa-ji Temple Site is located in the centre of Gyeongju at the base of Mt. Sogeumgangsan (176.7 m). According to the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), a 13th century text, King Gyeongdeok of Silla (r. 742-765 A.D.) was making the short trek to the neighbouring Baeknyulsa Temple. Baeknyulsa Temple is located a little further up Mt. Sogeumgangsan. However, as King Gyeongdeok of Silla was making…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…