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Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site – 사천왕사지 (Gyeongju)

Thu, 2021-05-13 23:25
The Tortoise Based Biseok at Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site in 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 as a nation protecting temple.

Sacheonwangsa Temple means “The Four Heavenly Kings Temple” in English. And it was established in 674 A.D. to call upon the power of the Buddha to help defeat the forces of Tang China (618-907 A.D.), who were preparing to invade the Silla Kingdom. Having allied themselves with the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the 7th century, and under the rule of King Muyeol of Silla (654-661), Silla was able to defeat and subjugate the Baekje Kingdom. Then in 668 A.D., now under the rule of King Munmu of Silla (661-681 A.D.), and through the leadership of Gim Yu-shin (595-673 A.D.), the Silla Kingdom defeated and conquered the Goguryeo Kingdom to the north. It was after these two victories, and the unification of the Korean peninsula under Unified Silla rule, that Silla would have a decade long war to expel Chinese forces from the Korean peninsula. The Tang Dynasty wanted to create Tang colonies to unify their kingdom as far north as Pyongyang.

According to a legend, the Tang forces were quickly approaching the Korean peninsula, when there was not enough time to complete the temple. Construction of Sacheonwangsa Temple began in 674 A.D. with the advanced warning that Tang China were sending an army of half a million soldiers across the sea to attack the Silla Kingdom in the Jeongju area. The plans for the invasion of the Korean peninsula were discovered in February, 674 A.D. by the monk Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). Immediately, Uisang-daesa returned to Silla and informed King Munmu of the Tang plans. Surprised by such a revelation, King Munmu of Silla sought the advice of the monk Myeongnang.

The monk Myeongnang went to Tang China to study in 642 A.D. There he learned Esoteric Buddhism, which believed that by reciting the words of the Buddha you could attain Buddhahood. After returning to Korea, Myeongnang created the Sinin sect of Buddhism, which focused on the esoteric form of Buddhism. This Sinin method of Buddhist speech is believed to have helped destroy the seaward Tang Chinese forces. By reciting incantations, it was believed that if a person had a disease, or was in mortal danger, or a nation was in danger, the Four Heavenly Kings would come and defend that person or nation with seventy thousand spirit soldiers.

Myeongnang instructed King Munmu of Silla to build a temple, which would become Sacheonwangsa Temple, in an effort to help thwart Chinese aggression and gain favour with the Buddha’s intervention on the Silla Kingdom’s side. Quickly, a makeshift shrine hall was created out of silk fabric and rice straw. A Buddhist altar was constructed and Buddhist incantations were performed to pray for the the kingdom from destruction at the hands of the Tang China army. Before the battle even started between the Silla and Tang forces, a great wind arose and sunk the Tang’s entire fleet and the forces it carried. The temple’s construction was completed five years later in 679 A.D.

The temple site was partially destroyed during Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945) with the construction of railroad tracks across the northern part of the temple grounds. Through an extensive excavation that was conducted from 2006 to 2009, the remains of various buildings were found at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site, including a central gate, two foundations for wooden pagodas, a main shrine hall, and a lecture hall. The arrangement of the temple grounds are typical of Silla temples like those found at the Gameunsa-ji Temple Site in eastern Gyeongju and the neighbouring Hwangnyongsa-ji Temple Site in central Gyeongju.

Presently, there is one flagpole support at the entry to the temple grounds from the highway, and there are two additional tortoise-shaped pedestals that were also found. Shards of green-glazed brick carved with depictions of guardians were also excavated from the site around the foundations to the wooden pagodas that formerly stood at Sacheonwangsa Temple. It’s believed that these bricks were made by Yangji, the greatest sculptor of the Silla Dynasty.

The temple is also famous for its connection with the eminent monk Wolmyeong, who left behind two famous poems, Dosolga or “Song of the Heaven of Joy” in English, and Jemangmaega or “Song for My Deceased Sister” in English.

Temple Site Myth

Before Sacheonwangsa Temple was completed, and according to the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) it’s stated of Queen Seondeok of Silla (r. 632-647 A.D.):

“…one day while the Queen was still in perfect health, she called her courtiers together and said ‘I will surely die in a certain year, in a certain month, on a certain day. When I am gone, bury me in the middle of Doricheon [Tushita].’ The courtiers did not know the place and asked the Queen where it was, whereupon she pointed to the southern hill called Wolf Mountain [present day Mt. Nangsan].’

Queen Seondeok’s Tomb on Mt. Nangsan in Gyeongju.

“On the very day she had predicted the Queen died, and her ashes were interred on the site she had chosen. Ten years later (656) the great King Munmu had Sacheonwangsa Temple built beneath the Queen’s tomb. Buddhist scripture alludes to two heavens called – Doricheon [Tushita] and Sacheonwangcheon [Sumeru]. All were amazed at the Queen’s premonition and knowledge of the afterlife.”

It was just over thirty years after the death of Queen Seondeok that Sacheonwangsa Temple was completed near Mt. Nangsan. This mountain was believed to be Mt. Sumeru, which is the centre of Buddhist cosmology, and it’s guarded by the Four Heavenly Kings, or “The Sacheonwang” in Korean. And while the Samguk Yusa is a bit off with the year of Sacheonwangsa Temple’s founding, the story highlights just how important and influential Buddhism was to the Silla Kingdom and its people’s thinking.

Temple Site Excavation

Perhaps the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site is most famous for the three wild-eyed green-glazed sculpture tiles that were unearthed on the site. These three tiles depict guardians that are now housed at the Gyeongju National Museum in their permanent collection.

The western wooden pagoda foundation with a part of the green-glazed tiles (Picture courtesy of the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site).

Sacheonwangsa Temple came to prominence, once more, in 1916, during Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945). At this time, the Japanese historian Ayukai Fusanoshin discovered a shard of the green-glazed tile with an image of a Buddhist deity seated on a monster at the temple site. In 1918, the Japanese Government General started an excavation project at the Sacheonwanga-ji Temple Site in hopes of uncovering even more fragments of the green tiles. This excavation resulted in the unearthing of the temple boundaries, the layout of the temple, and the scale of the temple size. However, what it did not do was locate the exact location of the origins of these fragmentary tiles, and whether there might be more. The tile shards that were discovered were then placed in the custody of the Gyeongju branch of the Government General, which is presently the Gyeongju National Museum.

After Korea regained its independence in 1945 from the Japanese, additional research revealed that the fragmentary tile pieces at the museum in fact came from two separate images. However, further site discoveries were discontinued. Finally in 2006, the Gyeongju National Research Institute decided to conduct an extensive excavation of the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site. This excavation would last until 2012, and it would uncover numerous artifacts including additional tile shards.

During the seven year project, it was revealed that these tile fragments were situated around the base of the wooden pagodas that once took up residence on the temple grounds in the eastern and western sections of the temple site. Each base consisted of two sets of three sculptural tiles on each side of the pagoda. There were different guardian images that appeared around the base of these wooden pagodas. In total, there would have been a total of forty-eight tiles adorning the base of both the eastern and western wooden pagodas at Sacheonwangsa Temple.

The three green-glazed tiles found at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site (Picture courtesy of the Korean Heritage website).

In total, there were about two hundred green-glazed tile fragments that were discovered on the temple site. After a long and difficult process which included 3-D scanning of the tile images, the Gyeongju National Research Institute successfully re-assembled the pieces to form three different distinctive tiles bearing the image of guardians.

In these three guardian tiles, one guardian is holding a sword in their left hand, while another tile guardian has a bow and arrow, while the other is holding a sword in their right hand. What’s interesting about these three images is the inclusion of the Indian mythological sea creature from Hinduism. Makara is included on the corner edges of the tiles. Also, the appearance of the three guardian deities allows historians to believe that their creator, the monk Yangji, who was a Buddhist monk, was originally from either Western or Central Asia.

An aerial shot of the present day Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site (Picture courtesy of the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site). Temple Site Layout

You first approach the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site off of the busy Saneop-ro Road, which leads up to Bulguksa Temple to the south. The first thing to greet you at the temple site is the stone flagpole support to the left near a cluster of trees and flowers. Straight ahead, you’ll notice the wall of sheet metal that once acted as the barrier between the excavation site and the rest of Gyeongju. It’s a little strange that it still stands nearly ten years later.

But surpassing this strangeness are the pair of tortoise based biseok that stand to the right down the embankment of the road. Of the two, the one to the left is better preserved, but both are without heads. It’s unclear whether they were broken off, or they simply fell off. It seems as though the two were a monument for King Munmu of Silla, as there are places for a protective cover to be placed. With all that being said, it’s rather strange to find two historic monuments that are over 1,300 years old being placed where they are.

To the far right of the sheet metal wall, and past the parking lot, you’ll find an opening up through the forest that now surrounds the temple site. You’ll enter the temple grounds from the north-east side. Straight ahead of you is an elevated foundation. This, and the one to its rear, are called Dongdanseok-ji and Seodanseok-ji. It’s unclear what these sites formerly housed; but based upon the design of other similar Silla temple sites, it would appear as though one of these foundations were used as a lecture hall.

To the left of these two stone foundation sites, you’ll see a long rectangular elevated site. This is known as the Geumdang-ji, which was the former site for the main hall at Sacheonwangsa Temple. The elevated stone foundation appears to be around thirty metres long and twenty metres wide. Some of the foundation stones still stand in place on the site.

And to the left of the Geumdang-ji site you’ll find the stone foundations for the once standing western and eastern wooden pagodas at Sacheonwangsa Temple. Sacheonwangsa Temple became the first Silla temple to have twin pagodas in its temple courtyard. Before that, it was the custom to have a single pagoda in the main temple courtyard. This style is then duplicated by the twin stone pagodas at Gameunsa Temple. It was from these two locations that the aforementioned green-glazed tile shards were taken from. Presently, while the eastern pagoda site is left uncovered, the western pagoda site has scaffolding over top of it, and the ground is covered in blue tarps.

A couple notes about the temple site. First, even though the temple site’s excavation was completed nearly ten years ago, the site is still occupied by the excavation and the detritus. Another interesting point to be made about the temple site is that during Japanese Colonial Rule a railway track was run through the north-east portion of the temple grounds cutting off a portion of the former Sacheonwangsa Temple grounds.

How To Get There

From the Gyeongju Train Station, you’ll be able to get to the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site. There’s a bus station called the “Gyeongju St., Post Office Stop – 경주역, 우체국 정류장” from out in front of the train station. You can take any number of buses to get to the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site like Bus #11, #153, #601, #602, #603, #604, #605, #607, and #609. After seven stops, you’ll need to get off at the “Namsan Ipgu Stop.” From this stop, you’ll need to walk three minutes, or two hundred metres, to get to the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site.

Overall Rating: 4/10

Unfortunately, there is almost nothing that remains at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site other than the stone flag supports and the twin tortoise based biseok. The foundation stones are impressive, especially when you imagine just how spectacular the twin wooden pagodas must have looked like as they reached up into the Gyeongju sky. Now, passing through the knee high wild grass that grows at the temple site, all you are left with are thoughts of what had once been. It’s quite the experience to make your way around the temple site alone with your thoughts.

The twin tortoise based biseok out in front of the temple site. The entry to the walled-off temple site to the north-east. The still scaffolded western wooden pagoda foundation site. And the elevated eastern wooden pagoda foundation at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site. The foundation for the Geumdang-ji (main hall) at the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site. The view from on top of the Geumdang-ji with some of the foundation stones still remaining. The foundation stones to Seodanseok-ji. The railway tracks to the north-east that bisect the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site.

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[Dance] IU - Lilac (아이유-라일락)

Thu, 2021-05-13 13:00

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Hi 안녕하세요 I'm Won!
I hope this channel is helpful

Private Korean lesson (Conversation, Pronunciation, Writing etc)
You can check more detail on my Instagram page

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IT programmer

Thu, 2021-05-13 08:27
Classified Ad Type: Location: Neighborhood: Bu-gukContact person by email

 

 

I am looking for an experienced IT programmer who can help me develop a database.

The database had been developed before but unfinished. 

It used C# NET ASP with MySQL.

Please send me messages if you are interested.

 

 

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BGN Eye Hospital Teacher`s day event!

Thu, 2021-05-13 08:08
Classified Ad Type: Location: Neighborhood: BusanContact person by email

Happy Teacher`s Day! Get a special discount at BGN Eye Hospital Busan only this week!!!

Book a surgery during event period and get an extra discount on top of our promotional prices:

300,000 KRW discount for SMILE surgery!

Free post-surgery eye drops worth 100,000 KRW for the same day surgery!

Don`t miss this great chance to get maximum discounts for Laser Vision Correction!

Not sure if you are a candidate for Laser Vision Correction or which surgery is the best for you?

No worries, as BGN provides free LASIK examination for each patient! We will recommend you the most suitable procedure after a comprehensive examination.

* Event is valid from the 13th to the 19 of May 2021

For booking an appointment and free Lasik consultation please refer to the following details:

Phone: 010-7670-3995

kakao: eye1004bgnbusan

Email: [email protected]

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Looking for a used Q mattress In Gimhae area

Wed, 2021-05-12 22:22
Classified Ad Type: Location: Neighborhood: Gimhae-siContact person by email

Hello guys. 

I am looking for a used queen size mattress 

in Gimhae-si.

 

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(으)로 "Using" | Live Class Abridged

Wed, 2021-05-12 17:12

The particle (으)로 has a large variety of different usages, but one of the most common ways it gets used is to mean "Toward" or "Using."

Using (으)로 to mean "Toward" is pretty straightforward, but using it to mean "Using" is a bit different.

In a future live stream I'll also explain some more of the uses of (으)로, but this live stream focuses on how it means "Using."

The post (으)로 "Using" | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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(으)로 "Using" | Live Class Abridged

Wed, 2021-05-12 13:00

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[K-POP] Lyrics breakdownㅣMAMAMOO-Decalcomanie

Wed, 2021-05-12 10:49

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Parents’ Day Celebration in Korea and Korean Makeup Shopping Preview

Wed, 2021-05-12 08:35
— From Korea with Love
Chrissantosra.wordpress.com


 

 

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IKEA Solsta two-seater sofa bed

Wed, 2021-05-12 06:23
Classified Ad Type: Location: Neighborhood: Mulgeum-eupContact person by email

IKEA Solsta two-seater sofa bed

  • fair to good condition:  no tears, holes, or stains 
  • top cushion cover/case is removable and washable
  • sofa and sleeper cushions are removable and can be washed
  • original owner
  • 69,000 KRW (price is non-negotiable)
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Parents’ Day Celebration and Korean Makeup Shopping Preview

Wed, 2021-05-12 05:11
— From Korea with Love
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House for rent next to Pusan National University

Wed, 2021-05-12 04:49
Classified Ad Type: Location: Neighborhood: Pusan National University Contact person by email

Hi everyone!

A friend of mine rented a house near Pusan National University. It is located on a 5 minutes walk from north gate of the university and 5 minutes walk from the Jangjeon station.

He went back to home country and due to the COVID situation, he is unable to come back. So I am posting this on his behalf. We are looking for someone to take the house.

The deposit for the house is 3,000,000 and rent is 350,000. The house has 2 bedrooms and a seperate kitchen.

If anyone is looking for a house in this vicinity please contact...

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Korean 1:1 lesson in Deokcheon(덕천)

Tue, 2021-05-11 23:48
Classified Ad Type: Neighborhood: Contact person by email

Hi I'm Wonnie!
Do you live in Busan?
Do you want improve your Korean?
Are you interested in learning Korean?

Here are some information about Korean lessons!
If you need more info about these lessons, feel free to contact me :)

* The place for these lessons in Deokcheon(덕천).
* You can choose the time except -- these pin marks 

 

☆☆☆

- Although the student late for the class, still finish on time.

- Payment is on the first day of lesson times.

- Class cancellation must be announced by the day before on the class day, and if canceled on the day, the class is considered.

- Announced by the day before on the class day lessons will have supplementary lessons after the last class.

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Jowang-shin – The Fireplace King Spirit: 조왕신

Mon, 2021-05-10 23:23
Jowang-shin at Anjeokam Hermitage in 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!

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 five hundred Korean Buddhist temples and hermitages, I’ve only come across three Jowang-shin murals. So who exactly is this figure? What’s it supposed to represent? And what do they look like?

The History of Jowang-shin

Traditionally, Jowang-shin was thought of as the shaman deity of fire and the hearth. As a result, Jowang-shin was customarily found inside a Korean home. But over the past several decades, this shaman deity has all but disappeared.

Jowang-shin was worshiped on the Korean peninsula for over a millennium, ever since the Three Kingdoms Period (57 B.C – 668 A.D.). Jowang-shin goes by a few different names. You can hear the shaman deity being referred to as Jo-shin (Kitchen Deity – 조신), Jowang-gakshi (The Woman Who is the King of the Kitchen – 조왕각시), Jowang-daeshin (Great King Deity of the Kitchen – 조왕대신), and Buddumak-shin (Deity of the Hearth – 부뚜막신). All five names for Jowang-shin are used interchangeably.

Traditionally, Jowang-shin was embodied as a bowl of water held on the clay altar above the hearth in a Korean kitchen. The housewife would awake early in the morning and pour fresh water from the nearby well into the bowl that was meant to symbolize Jowang-shin. After doing this, the housewife would kneel in front of the bowl and pray for good luck. Also, during important festivals, Jowang-shin would be honoured with rice cakes and various fruit.

There were five rules that a housewife would have to follow to ensure a happy and prosperous household. They were:

  • 1. Do not curse around the hearth.
  • 2. Do not sit on the hearth.
  • 3. Do not place your feet on the hearth.
  • 4. Maintain a clean kitchen.
  • 5. You can worship other deities in the kitchen.

Jowang-shin would then make known to the heavens what was happening inside the home. If the rules were followed, Jowang-shin would be a benevolent deity. However, if any of the rules weren’t followed or they were broken, Jowang-shin could be a vengeful deity.

Jowang-shin at Wonhyoam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. Jowang-shin and Korean Buddhism

In Korean Buddhism, Jowang-shin is a shamanic tutelary deity. Inside a Buddhist temple, you’ll occasionally find this deity housed inside the kitchen area. Jowang-shin has a special altar inside the kitchen called a Jowang-dan. You’ll often find a portrait on the wall above the altar depicting Jowang-shin.

The kitchen, traditionally, was seen as being a symbol of the overall prosperity of a home. A good fire signified a prosperous home, while a home without a fire represented poverty because traditionally all meals came from fire. This also translated to a Korean Buddhist temple or hermitage.

As a shaman deity, Jowang-shin is considered a guardian of the dharma. But in the pantheon of shaman deities, Jowang-shin is a minor folk-Buddhist deity behind the more popular shaman deities like Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), Chilseong (The Seven Stars), and Yongwang (The Dragon King).

What Does Jowang-shin Look Like?

So what exactly does Jowang-shin look like? Jowang-shin is male. He’s typically middle aged, and he sports a long black beard not too dissimilar to the one you’ll find Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) sporting. Jowang-shin holds his black beard with one hand, while the other is holding a fan or a wooden tablet. Jowang-shin is a king, so he’s dressed in royal clothes. He sits upon a throne. And behind his throne you’ll see banners with Chinese characters written on them. Of note, Jowang-shin’s feet never touch the ground, and his eyes look out towards the kitchen.

Examples

The three examples I’ve found in Korea are all found in the southern part of the peninsula. Two are found on Mt. Cheonseongsan in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do at Anjeokam Hermitage and Wonhyoam Hermitage. The other great example of Jowang-shin can be found at Daewonam Hermitage on the Pyochungsa Temple grounds in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Conclusion

Jowang-shin is definitely one of the more difficult shaman deities to find at a Korean Buddhist temple. He can often be confused for Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld). But what sets Jowang-shin apart from the Siwang is his location. Jowang-shin is always found inside the kitchen. So the next time you’re at a Korean Buddhist temple, have a look around the kitchen, if you’re allowed. You might just be surprised to find one of the more obscure shaman deities that takes up residence in and around Korean Buddhist temples and hermitages.

Jowang-shin at Daewonam Hermitage in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.
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Why you need to know Formal Speech | Korean FAQ

Mon, 2021-05-10 17:17

I've seen many beginners who are learning Korean misuse 나 ("I," "me") together with the 니다 form (such as 입니다).

A common example could be this sentence, 나는 빌리입니다. While it grammatically makes sense, and there are situations where it can be used correctly, for the most part it's used incorrectly by learners and should be avoided completely.

Here's my explanation why it's wrong, how it may be used, and how to avoid making this mistake.

The post Why you need to know Formal Speech | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Konglish

Mon, 2021-05-10 17:00

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Why you need to know Formal Speech | Korean FAQ

Mon, 2021-05-10 13:00

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