The Origin of Devotion to Manjusri Bodhisattva in Korea
Woljeongsa (Korean: 월정사, Chinese: 月精寺, pronounced “Wol-jeong-sa”) was established by Jajang Yulsa (慈藏律師), a celebrated Vinaya Master of the Silla Dynasty. Jajang went to China to study and had an audience with the manifestation of Manjusri Bodhisattva at Taihe Lake in Shanxi Province. Manjusri then gave Jajang some of the Buddha's cremains, his robe and alms bowl and told him to return to Silla. The bodhisattva said he would meet Jajang again on Mt. Odaesan (五臺山), located northeast of Gyeongju. Upon his return to Korea, Jajang went to (current) Odaesan and built a temporary hut. He prayed in this hut to meet the manifestation of Manjusri again but was not successful because inclement weather lasted for three days.
Later, Sinhyo Geosa, a layman known to be the reincarnation of Learned-Youth Bodhisattva, resided there and cultivated his Buddhist practice. Ven. Sinui, a disciple of National Preceptor Beomil Guksa, built a small hut on the site where Jajang Yulsa had built his and also resided there. After Sinui died, the hut fell into ruin. When Ven. Yuyeon of Sudasa Temple built a hermitage on this site, it finally gained stature as a proper temple. In 1377, the hermitage burnt to the ground, and Ven. I-il rebuilt it. In 1833 it burnt down again, and in 1844 it was reconstructed by two monks, Yeongdam and Jeongam. During the Korean War, over ten of the temple's buildings, including Chilbul-bojeon, were torched by friendly forces for strategic purposes. It was only in 1964 that reconstruction was begun again by Ven. Tanheo, beginning with the Jeokgwangjeon Hall.
The Bodhisattva and His Exquisite Pagoda
Woljeongsa has many items of cultural heritage. There are nine items of state-designated heritage that include: four National Treasures, including the Octagonal Nine Story Stone Pagoda (National Treasure No. 48), and five other designated treasures including a Seated Stone Bodhisattva (Treasure No. 139). In addition, the temple has: 17 pieces of “Tangible Cultural Heritage” designated by Gangwon-do, six pieces of “Cultural Heritage Material,” one “Historic Site,” one item of “Folklore Heritage” and one item of “Registered Cultural Heritage.” Woljeongsa's Octagonal Nine Story Stone Pagoda is the only pagoda in South Korea that exhibits characteristics of the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BCE – 668 CE). The beautiful Seated Stone Bodhisattva in front of the pagoda is unusual and only found in northern Gangwon-do, including Gangneung and Woljeongsa. The bronze bell of Sangwonsa, a temple associated with Woljeongsa, is the oldest temple bell produced in Korea. The bell comes with an interesting legend and boasts exquisite beauty in both its shape and the inscribed flying celestial figures on its body.
In the Main Hall there is a statue of Gautama Buddha, but the more important statue is of an unusual Bodhisattva, 1.8 meters high, probably Medicine Buddha. Said to have been found in the Diamond Pond to the south of the temple, the statue is offering to an unknown figure. The statue is wearing a crown, the face is long, and the ears are slightly hidden by the long hair.
Around the neck there are three lines which are carved to look like necklaces. The elbow is resting on the head of a young boy. Because of its unusual style, the statue is thought to have been carved in the 11th century by craftsmen belonging to a special sect.
Nine Storey Stone Pagoda Edit
Woljeonsa'a Octagonal Nine Storey Stone Pagoda, called the Sari-pagoda (relic pagoda) believed to have been constructed in the 10th century, is a multi-angled stone pagoda standing 15.2 meters/50 foot high and is representative of the multi-storied pagodas popular during the Goryo Period, especially in the northern regions of Korea.
The presently exposed stone base is not the original, with the original now being below the surface. A flat stone base has been laid over the original base and is carved with lotus flowers and other images.
Pillars are delicately carved into each corner of the upper face of the stone. The shape of the first tier and the door-frame images on all sides of the stone body along with the horizontal roof stone is representative of the Goryeo Period.
The roof and body stone structure of the nine storeys gives this pagoda a feeling of stability. The thin body, curved corners, door-frame on the lower body and the variations in the octagonal shape illustrate the unique and aristocratic characteristics of the Goryeo era Buddhist culture.
Woljeonsa'a Octagonal Nine Storey Stone Pagoda is National Treasure number 48.
List of treasure Edit
- National Treasure No. 36 Dong Jong (Bronze Bell)
- National Treasure No. 48 Octagonal Nine-story stone Pagoda of Woljeongsa Temple
- National Treasure No. 221 Wooden Seated Child Manjusri of Sangwonsa Temple
- National Treasure No. 292 Documents of Sangwonsa Temple
- Treasure No. 139 Stone Seated Bodhisattva
- Treasure No. 793 Excavated Relics from the Wooden Seated Child Manjusriof Sangwonsa Temple
- Treasure No. 1375 Reliquaries from the Octagonal Nine-story Stone Pagodaof Woljeongsa Temple
- Treasure No. 1811 Wooden Seated Manjusri Bodhisattva and Excavated Relics of Sangwonsa Temple
- Treasure No. 1812 Excavated Documents from Wooden Seated Manjusri Statue of Sangwonsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 28 Hall of Sublime Equanimity in Woljeongsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 53 Statue of 6-hands Avalokitesvara in Woljeongsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 54 Tripitaka Koreana
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 130 Wooden Seated Statue of Buddha and Excavated Relics in Youngheungsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 131 Wooden Seated Statue of Buddha and Excavated Relics in Gounam, North hermitage in Woljeongsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 132 Wooden Seated Statue of Amitabha Buddha and Excavated Relics in Unheungsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 133 Dharma Bell in Yongdasa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 134 Hanging Scroll of Vairocana Buddha behind the Buddha in Youngwonsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 135 Buddhist Painting of Buddha giving a sermon in Youngwonsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 136 Tripitaka Painting and excavated relics in Guryongsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 137 Buddhist Painting of Avalokitesvra in Unsuam Hermitage
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 138 Buddhist Painting of 1,000 Dragons in Unheungsa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 139 Hanging Scroll behind the Buddha and Excavated Relics in the Hall of Sa-seung (four saints), Bodeoksa Temple
- Gangwon Tangible Cultural Property No. 140 Painting of National Preceptor Beomil Jinyoung in Youngeunsa Temple
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 141 Painting of Great Seon Master Samyeongdang Jinyoung
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 169 Wooden Seated Ksitigarbha and Excavated Relics in Jijangam Hermitage in Samcheok City
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 170 Shakyamuni triad and excavated relics in Youngeunsa Temple, Samcheok City
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 42 Buddha-stupas in Woljeongsa Temple
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 134 Odaesan Jungdae Bulryangmun (Book that recorded the list of donors both monastics and laypeople for building the Hall of Sublime Equanimity in the late-Joseon period)
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 135 Odaesan Jungdae Bulryang Gyewonsubomun (Record of the list of items in the Hall of Sublime Equanimity made when transferring the hermitage in charge of management to another one)
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 157 Stone Seated Statue of Buddha in Bodeoksa Temple
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 158 Milbu in Woljengsa Temple
- Gangwon Cultural Property No. 159 Documents in Odaesan Mountain Historic Archive
- Historic Site No. 37 Odaesan Mountain Historic Archive
- Important Folklore Cultural Property No. 219 Ornamented Jacket of King Sejo
- Registered Cultural Property No. 645 Kasaya of Buddhist Monk Hanam
Woljeongsa offers Templestay programs for visitors where visitors can experience Buddhist culture. 
28 bells toll at dawn to bring light to the darkness of human existence.
Against the darkness of early dawn, when the world is still asleep, the sound of ringing bells resonates deep within the mountains. This sound, which awakens humans from sleep, brightens the darkness, reverberates as far as the horizon and seeps into the Earth as deep as hell itself, announces that to dispel a lifetime of pain and agony and travel the path of enlightenment, one only needs to empty and open the heart. The solemn yet distinct, clear sound of the Buddhist temple bell's lingering ring brings a sense of momentary peace to the body and mind burdened by worldly concerns, allowing one to repent and open the heart. There is also the belief that hearing the temple bell ring brings salvation to those who are suffering in hell by bringing them back to paradise. Because of the various meanings associated with it, the Buddhist temple bell of Korea has been one of the most important tools of Buddhist ritual since early times.
In repeatedly breaking the surface of one's greed and rage that is as strong as cast iron, one comes to recognize the deep and clear resonance of enlightenment from deep within the emptiness of the heart. This is what the sound of the Buddhist temple bell signifies, and the reason why it rings without fail each dawn.
The Goryeo dynasty ruled Korea from 918 CE to 1392 CE and Buddhism continued to be the most important religion of the state. 70 bells from this period survive with 17 of them carrying dates, the earliest being 963 CE. Many examples are today in Japan, given as gifts by the Yi government or looted during the 16th-century CE Hideyoshi invasion. Goryeo bells are smaller than the giant bells made by the Silla kingdom but can still be up to 1.7 metres tall. They, too, were cast in bronze and decorated with dragons and heavenly figures, but now also Buddhas and bodhisattvas too. If anything, the Goryeo bells are more decorative than their predecessors with one example from the Naesco temple in south-west Korea (1222 CE) having lotus leaf petals protruding from the upper rim of the bell, a more elaborate border around the nine-nodule squares, and four spheres added to the dragon suspension loop. Perhaps the most outstanding Goryeo example is the 1.7 metre tall bell now at the Toksu Palace Museum of Fine arts in Seoul.
Bells must not have been particularly popular with the local peasant populace as they were often compelled by monasteries and temples to ‘donate’ their bronze goods so that they could be melted down and recast into bells. This is probably the origin of the Bulgasari monster of Korean folklore. His name means ‘Buddhist Temple Dweller’ and he was thought to have lived off bronze and iron which he melted with his red-hot body. He was especially fond of needles and promised to chase away other monsters if his appetite was satisfied. Handbells and temple gongs were also produced in metal for use in Buddhist monasteries, and these smaller works were often beautifully inlaid with very fine pieces of silver or gold.
Sangwonsa Bell - History
An octagonal nine-story stone pagoda. Supposed to be made in the 10th century, this pagoda has been designated as National Treasure No. 48.
At dusk on a hot summer day, grand chanting sounds reverberate through the roaring stream at the facade of the temple. ``Seokga Moni Bul, Seokga Moni Bul, Seokga Moni Bul. '' The chanting in unison accompanied with the sound of the ``moktak,'' a wooden percussion instrument for monks, emanates from a group of almost one hundred people.
Right now, they are performing the practice of ``samboilbae'' or ``one prostration per three steps.'' The solemn procession has continued for more than a mile starting from the ``One Pillar Gate,'' or the first temple gate, to the ``Guardians' Gate'' or the second gate. Participants' faces, though tired looking and soaked with sweat, seem to radiate their utmost eagerness. The fir forest trail they follow is a scenic walk, a one of a kind in Korea.
In exploring Woljeongsa Temple and Sangwonsa Temple, we must mention the legend of Manjusuri Bodhisattva, namely the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, and Mt. Odae. A Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism, to which Korean Buddhism belongs, is a being qualified to be a Buddha but willingly postpones becoming one until completing the salvation of all sentient beings. Master Jajang, a famous monk in the Silla Kingdom, strongly believed Mt. Odae to be Manjusuri Bodhisattva's abode and founded Woljeongsa and Sangwonsa temples here in the 7th century.
The Manjusuri worship practice has since been rooted more strongly due to a phrase in the Avatamska Sutra: ``In the northeastern Mt. Cheongryang, ie, Mt. Odae, Manjusuri Bodhisattva resides and delivers Dharma Sermon all the time, leading 10,000 followers.''
Later on it developed further into 50,000 Bodhisattva worshipers. Brother princes of the Silla Kingdom, Bocheon and Hyomyeong, cultivated themselves on Mt. Odae, and also held services for the 50,000 Bodhisattvas residing among its five peaks.
In the Joseon Kingdom, an anecdote has it that King Sejo encountered the Child Manjusuri in person and was mysteriously cured of his chronic skin disease. After having a hard time remembering his exact appearance, the king had the image of Child Manjusuri carved into a wooden statue, which we now can find in the Manjusuri Hall of Sangwonsa Temple. This story provided a strong motive for the Manjusuri to be worshiped even firmer than ever.
Woljeongsa Temple, located at the eastern foot of Mt. Odae, is one of Korea's 10 national parks and is the head temple for the 4th district of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, having Sangwonsa Temple as its branch. The temple grounds are spacious but possess a cozy atmosphere probably due to the circular arrangement of its halls and pavilions.
At the center of the temple compound stands an elegant pagoda. Pagodas in Buddhism are considered as a part of Buddha's body, so they are objects to be worshiped. This is why they are generally erected at the heart of a temple.
Located in front of Jeokgwangjeon, the main hall, the octagonal nine-story stone pagoda was supposedly made in the early Goryeo Kingdom in the 10th century. Like others, it is composed of three parts: two-tier foundation decorated with lotus flowers nine-story body part laid above that foundation and lastly the top part adornment portraying the culmination of delicacy. All the three components make perfect harmony with each other, emitting grace, solemnity and formative beauty.
The two-tier base part reminds us of a lotus pedestal on which the Buddha is seated, while the nine-story body part symbolizes Buddha himself. Singularly enough, a few meters away from the pagoda opposite to the main hall, a stone Bodhisattva takes an offering posture toward the pagoda. What a dynamic and dignified sight it is! The duo _ the pagoda and the Bodhisattva _ are so thorough as to evoke celestial beauty.
But regrettably the stone Bodhisattva, under the name of protection from the elements, has been removed. Thus viewers have been deprived of the vivid, fantastic match between the offered Buddha and the offering Bodhisattva. Once separated, the two seem to have lost much of their life force. When looking at the seated offering Bodhisattva that was dragged into the museum, I could not grasp the meaning of his kneeling postures and graceful smile vividly. Of course, his appearance may look much cleaner and sleeker but that didn't impress me much.
Walking at night through the fir alley gave us unforgettable experiences. Completely secluded from urban noises and lights, we entered a wholly different world of nature and our senses seemed in tune with its sound.
In the darkness, I thought over the rough history of the temple. Since its foundation in the 7th century, the temple has suffered from many disasters, the Korean War causing the most serious damage. Today's Woljeongsa Temple, showing no trace of the past sorrow, stands out high as a major center of Korean Buddhism. Perhaps Manjusuri's protecting power has been working throughout the mountains.
Sangwonsa, a branch temple of Woljeongsa, is located about 9 kilometers away from it. The unpaved road to Sangwonsa is full of dangerous holes around two feet wide. Intermittent showers have aggravated the road condition. I had to make every effort in driving to evade them, not to fall into any in case they struck a deadly blow to our eight-year-old car. The beautiful scenery unfolded along the clear stream on the right side, however, gave us some compensation. It took more than 30 minutes to drive just 9 kilometers.
The cement-paved upward alley from the parking lot to Sangwonsa provided us with as much delight as that of Woljeongsa's fir walk. The temple lies halfway up the mountain, commanding a fine clear view. In the temple compound, lots of tourists walked around making noise but generally I felt a silent and solemn atmosphere.
On the right side lies Cheongryang Meditation Hall. This Seon center is well known for its strictly practiced rule among Seon monks. I peeped into the meditation hall through the gate, which is open, however entry is prohibited. There seemed to be nothing but a lingering silence, into complete stillness.
After appreciating Child Manjusuri Statue and the Brahma Copper Bell briefly, we headed for Jeokmyeolbogung, or literally a valuable palace of no agony. On the way, we stopped at Sajaam Hermitage on Jungdae Peak, where 10,000 Manjusuri Bodhisattvas are enshrined. Gulping down a bowl of water at the foundation, I pondered upon what had caused them to build these massive structures on this steep hill.
About 10 minutes of climbing brought us to our destination, a sacred ground where Sakyamuni Buddha's relics are enshrined. Interestingly enough, like all the other four Jeokmyeolbogungs in Korea, there was no Buddha statue on the pedestal _ instead, his relics lay there, though no one knows of their exact location.
On returning from the tour, I tried to look back upon the moment I spent exploring. There is a saying that one can see things only as much as one knows. If I had just remained a casual viewer lacking any interest in what our forefathers thought, said and did, I surely could not have seen things as they are, whatever and whoever they may be.
The writer is an English translator and a trainee international Dharma instructor, Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.
Gangwon-do was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The province was formed in 1395, and derived its name from the names of the principal cities of Gangneung ( 강릉 江陵 ) and the provincial capital Wonju ( 원주 原州 ).
In 1895 Gangwon-do was replaced by the Districts of Chuncheon (Chuncheon-bu 춘천부 春川府 ) in the west and Gangneung (Gangneung-bu 강릉부 江陵府 ) in the east. (Wonju became part of Chungju District.)
In 1896 Korea was redivided into thirteen provinces, and the two districts were merged to re-form Gangwon-do Province. Although Wonju rejoined Gangwon-do province, the provincial capital was moved to Chuncheon, where it remains today.
In 1945 Gangwon-do (along with the rest of Korea) was divided by the 38th parallel north in 1945 into American and Soviet zones of occupation in the south and north respectively, which led to Wonsan joining the province's northern half in 1946 to serve as its administrative center. In 1948, the southern half of the province became part of the new Republic of Korea. As a result of the Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, the boundary between the South and North Korean portions of the province was shifted northward to the Military Demarcation Line.
Gangwon-do is bounded on the west by Gyeonggi-do province, on the south by the provinces of Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. To the north lies the province's North Korean counterpart, Kangwŏn province. The province's landscape is dominated by the Taebaek Mountains (called Taebaek Sanmaek) which almost reach the sea. As a consequence the coast is very steep.
Gangwon-do and its North Korean counterpart Kangwŏn are together referred to as the Gwandong region. The region west of the Taebaek Mountains is called Yeongseo, while the region east of the mountains is called Yeongdong. The term "Yeongdong" is frequently used in reference to transportation services from Seoul, the national capital. Thus, one might catch a bus or train on the "Yeongdong Line," or drive to Gangneung on the Yeongdong Expressway.
Gangwon-do's Köppen climate classification's climate class is sometimes humid subtropical, because in some of its areas, especially in most of Yeongdong, it's Cfa. Otherwise, its climate class is Hot-summer humid continental climate, because it's Dwb in some mountain areas, Dfa in eastern areas, Dfb in eastern mountain areas, and Dwa otherwise. The Taebaek Mountains causes different climates in Yeongdong and Yeongseo. 
The climate of Gangwon-do is influenced by the latitude. In summer along with the higher temperature and there is high humidity, but in winter the weather can be very cold owing to high pressure from the east of the Asian continent. According to Korea Meteorological Administration's data, average temperature are very different. In Yongdong, average temperature is 11.0 °C (51.8 °F), and Yeongseo is 10.8 °C (51.4 °F). All of this province's average temperatures range from 6.6 to 13.1 °C (43.9 to 55.6 °F). and the yearly amount of rainfall is 1,300–1,900 millimetres (51.2–74.8 in), and it's concentrated on mountain area. It is one of the snowiest areas in South Korea. 
The full area of Gangwon-do (in North Korea and South Korea) is 20,569 km 2 (7,941.74 sq mi),  South Korea's Gangwon-do covers 16,874.59 km 2 (6,515.32 sq mi). The province is renowned for its agricultural produce, especially potatoes and fish (cuttlefish and pollock). Mineral resources from the province include iron, coal, fluorite, limestone and tungsten. There are some hydroelectric, thermoelectric power plants in the region.
It is unknown when the first people of Gangwon began to live, but Paleolithic sites were excavated. 
Many historical heritages are in this region, like the Later Silla era's Bell of Sangwonsa, North–South States Period era's Iron Seated Vairocana Buddha of Dopiansa Temple, Goryeo era's Main Gate of Imyeonggwan Guesthouse, and Joseon era's Documents of Sangwonsa Temple. Other popular heritages, like Ojukheon are located.
Because of Gangwon Province's landscape, a number of old Buddhist temples have survived, like Woljeongsa and Oseam.
Established in 2002, Chuncheon National Museum is operated by the central government for the purpose of classifying and reserving.  The local government also has some of museums, including Park Su-geun Art Museum,  and Taebaek Coal Museum. Purpose-built private museums, such as ChamSori Gramophone Edison Museum  are being operated.
In Gangwon Province, almost of the regions hold festivals. Gangneung Danoje was listed in UNESCO's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity 
Geographically, Gangwon Province has several national parks as well as some natural monuments.
Because of its geographical environment, Gangwon Province is composed of mountains or basins. For the reason, locals mainly make food with potatoes or buckwheat.  All regions of the province have seasoned vegetable rice. For example, Jeongseon County is famous for Jeongseon thistle rice Yeongwol County is famous for Yeongwol buckwheat rolls Hwacheon County is famous for Hwacheon trout rice in a stone bowl and Hwacheon goatsbeard rice and Yanggu County is famous for Yanggu dried green radish cuisine.   In coastal regions, they mainly eat fishes and salted seafood. For example, Donghae City is famous for Donghae steamed fish Sokcho is famous for Sokcho Squid Sausages and Samcheok is famous for blowfish soup. These are normally very simple and easy to cook, like the province's traditional food. 
National Parks & Nature Monuments Edit
Thanks to the Taebaek Mountains, Gangwon Province has 4 national parks & several natural monuments.
Seoraksan National Park has rocky terrain around the peak, Daecheong-bong. It was also listed in Man and the Biosphere Programme.  The government designated the area as a nature reserve in 1965 and UNESCO designated it as a biosphere reserve in 1982. It was also the first Korean national park to be named under the National Park Law in 1970. It is popular with tourists and nature enthusiasts. It is home to many rare taxa of flora and fauna. The reserve has an area of 163.6 square kilometres and includes many mountain peaks measuring over 1,200 metres above sea level, the tallest being Daecheongbong, at an altitude of 1,708 metres. The ranges are composed largely of dissected granite and gneiss. The park is valued for its floral diversity. There are about 1,013 species of plants known, with 822 vascular plant species. Pine trees such as the Siberian pine are abundant on the southern slope while the northern slopes of the mountain range are characterized by oaks and other deciduous trees. Thuja grow Thuja grows in the deep valleys. Dwarf pines and yews grow on low and high slopes. Juniper, hawthorn, Juniper, hawthorn and Manchurian fir can be found. Other plants include forsythias and saw-worts. Rare plants in the reserve include Hanabusaya asiatica. 1,562 animal species have been classified so far. Local fauna include otters, Siberian flying squirrel, kestrel, Chinese sparrowhawk, lenok, Chinese minnow, and spotted barbel. Endangered animal taxa include Tristram's woodpecker, Korean goral, and Korean musk deer. Cultural landmarks in the reserve include the Buddhist temples Baekdamsa and Sinheungsa.
DMZ Museum Edit
This large museum has a surprising amount of English in its narration of the history of the DMZ, as well as exhibits such as US Pow letters and extensive photos. It's inside the Tongil Security Park, on the left side of the road as you approach the Goseong Unification Observatory.
Hantaan River penetrates Cheorwon County's volcanic terrain having several natural monuments. This area was a place of a fierce battle during the Korean War and it is a common rafting route nowadays. [ citation needed ] Around this river, the first Hantavirus hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome virus, Hantaan River virus was found. This virus was named after the river.  Hantavirus Genus is referred this virus's name.
And, Civilian Control Zone is near to Military Demarcation Line, naturally providing areas to stay for migratory birds, especially red-crowned cranes. 
In the township of Haean, Yanggu, specially Haean Basin is nicknamed Punchbowl, which was initially called by a war correspondent for the Korea War. 
강릉시- Gangneung-si Edit
Walking where culture and nature meet Edit
Gangneung is a very rich site, full of beaches connecting each other from north to south along the coast, these beaches are covered with pine tree forests, planted by natives in order to block the sea breeze. Thanks to the proximity of these forests and the beaches, it is very calm and, also, funny to take a walk back and forth. Summer in Gangneung is full of floral scents mixed with the sea. When traveling around Gangneung coffee shops and Chodang Sundubu can’t be missed. Sundubu is made of pure water of the Oriental Sea, it takes the name from Heo Gyun’s father, Chodang. Anmok Port, a little one, got to know as a street fulfilled with coffee vending machines.These vending machines are well known because of their coffee blend, that tastes so different because of the way their owners mix it. It is said that this street turned into coffee street because it is a good place where coffee experts discuss about coffee and love to make comparisons among the coffee products sold from these vending machines. The real adventure is to take a walk along this street with a paper cup of coffee, even if this attitude, nowdays, tends to disappear because of the multiple coffee shops.
철원군- Cheorwon-gun Edit
The Second Tunnel Edit
“Found in the DMZ” was found by Korean guards listening to the sound of explosions under the ground during their shift. After determined excavation on March 19, 1975, “The Second Tunnel” was discovered. It was for a sudden raid by the North Korean Army into South Korea. The second tunnel is composed of a firm granitic layer, is 3.5 km in length, and various in depth from 50m-160m. About 1 km of it is nowadays open to visitors.
Woljeong-ri Station Edit
Woljeong-ri station is a historical building in the DMZ at Cheorwon. This tourist attraction, which can only be visited on escorted security tours of the DMZ, is an abandoned train station on the northernmost end of Korail's Gyeongwon Line. Near the station there was a small yard where rail stock was stored or shunted before leaving for Wonsan, now in North Korea, along the former Gyeongwon Line. Behind the station building there is the wreck of a train bombed during the Korean War. The train was used by the North Korean army and was bombed by U.N. forces. In 2012, as part of the history of its time, it had become a place where artists meet and exhibit their works.
속초시- Sokcho-si Edit
Goseong Unification Observatory Building Edit
While this area was part of North Korea from 1945–53, today this building is the closest most South Koreans can get to glimpsing that world. There are binoculars installed on the viewing deck, and inside the observatory is a large map labelled with mountain names and the locations of military installations. Kiosks here sell liquor, cash, postage stamps and other souvenirs from North Korea. On a clear day, you can get a good view of Kumgang-san, about 20 km to the west. Despite the solemnity of the place, the parking lot is cluttered with souvenir shops and restaurants. On the other side of the lot is the Korean War Exhibition Hall, which provides something of a primer on the war.
Tourist Attractions Edit
Gangwon Province has many tourist attractions, as well as natural monuments, e.g., Namiseom, Tong-il Observatory (similar of Dora Observatory), Soyang Dam and Jeongdongjin. A memorial center of the novelist Lee Hyo-seok is in Pyeongchang County. Along the coast of the Sea of Japan, many seaside resorts are located, including Gyongpo Seaside Resort.
The only domestic casino in Gangwon is Kangwon Land, located in Jeongseon County.
The province also houses the largest Ski Resort in South Korea, the Yongpyong Resort.
Tongyeong Ottchil Art Museum, Geoje Island
KOREA: Ottchil is an art form with long-lasting preservation qualities as well as offering the aesthetics of visual depth and elegance. Ottchil is the semi-permanent material which doesn't get discolored even if it is buried in the earth for thousands of years, obviously having better durability than canvas or paper. In current times creating new concepts and usages of the traditional form of ottchil is a modern art trend.
VIETNAM: Son maiwas a traditional pigment originating in Vietnamese temple art over 1,000 years ago. The art was used for gilding, painting dark brown or black colors, and varnishing pillars and sculptures of religious iconography with som mai (resin of the som tree). Traditionally, Buddhist statues were lightly painted and then varnished with som mai to "bring forth the magical and holy world of Vietnamese traditional painting". The pigment was also used on household furniture and items such as beds, drawers, furniture, plates and chopsticks.
Vietnamese painting culture originated in the Puto region, which was known for producing the best quality of som mai. Before the sun rose, people collected it. It was then put in a large container and after some time, the som mai would separate into layers. The top layer was of the richest blacks and browns (som mai) and used for creating elegance and the lowest layer was of the heavy elements with waterproof qualities and had everyday, commonplace usages (som song). In modern times the simple traditional ingredients have been replaced with more controllable and aesthetically pleasing synthetics. Since the 1980s and 1990s, Vietnamese artists have been expanding the uses of som mai into abstract works to reach new levels of loveliness and idealism.
JAPAN: Urushihas been used by the Japanese since the Jomon era 1,000 years ago. However, this number is young when considering the thread-processing tool with urushi applied on it and surmised to be 7,000 years old. Currently, in Kyoto there are a series of activities to develop and promote urushi quality. A lacquer ware youth association in cooperating with young pupils, craftsmen, Maki-e artisans and urushi refiners has launched various programs to expand the uses of lacquer ware gum.
CHINA: Daqiinitially was used in lacquer ware but has since been transformed through a long process. In 1962 the "Vietnamese Daqi Exhibition" was opened first in Beijing and then in Shanghai, and these would influence the artistic world of China. In the same year that Vietnamese daqi entered China, university students Qiao Shiguang (who later became knows as "the father of contemporary Chinese Daqi art") and Li Hongyin were sent to Vietnam to study daqi, which started a daqi trend.
Woljeongsa Temple on Odaesan Mountain has a beautiful view as well as visitors who seek for healing from its 1,000 years old fir tree woodland path. I also wanted to visit this place the most if I ever go to Daegwallyeong. Because I know how hard it is to keep the way it has been for a thousand years, I admire the old things that must've been through numerous obstacles and difficulties.
Not only that, if you enter the left side from the entrance to Woljeongsa, there is Sangwonsa Temple which is one of 5 Shrines for Sakyamuni Buddha's Sarira in Korea, in other words, one of 5 temples where relic of Buddha are being kept. The other 4 temples are Tongdosa in Yangsan, Inje Bongjeongam, Yeongwol Buepheungsa and Jeongamsa Temple of Taebaksan Mountain.
“Shrine for Sakamuni Buddha's Sarira is a royal palace where Buddha's bones are being kept and where Sakamuni Buddha gets away from the confused (迷惑) world and attains Nirvana. For relic is being kept, statue of the Buddha is not necessarily enshrined to have a Buddhist service, and only a Buddhist alter is to be built. There is no need for a sacred image of Buddha nor alter portrait of Buddha, only the tower with relic is enshrined or Mandala (戒壇) outside the Buddhist sanctuary is to be built." – Doosan Encyclopedia
The first welcoming gate before we went to Daeungjeon is the temple gate dedicated to the Four Devas. This place is like a guard post of patron saints that the Four Devas protect the Bodhi-mandala from evil spirit. It's entertaining to look for the differences in Four Devas from every temple.
Please take a closer look at Image of Four Devas. Does it remind you of hurtful things you said to your family a few days ago, not being able to give warm comments to your parents a few weeks ago and stuff? He seems to know everything I've done wrong. So when I see his face, I feel like I've done something wrong. Forget about everything and move on. Because we know that what's important is what we do from now.
'Odaesan Woljeongsa' is written in Haengseo style font. Signboard that makes us feel the pace reflects the world where we struggle to live. lol This mountain is named for its shape that the 5 buds of a lotus comprising flat earth without any projecting part.
The letters 'Woljeongsa Jongmuso(temple office)' reminded me of the handwriting of one famous calligrapher, Iljung Kim Chung-hyeon.
The lingering imagery from ferry Sewol still remains on the branches of the tree in the front yard of Daeungjeon. I wish they would go some place nice and live happier than they did in this world.
While I was watching the 4 th Short-term Buddhist Priesthood banner, something moved me.I guess it's because the old saying that you could cut your hair and be a monk if you don't like the world sounds attractive but unrealistic at the same time. Giving up on endless desires in the mundane world, waking up 3 in the morning and having a Buddhist service & cultivating themselves religiously could be much more difficult and not everybody can do it I'm sure. Jeok(寂 적) of Jeokgwangjeon means both stillness and nirvana. Handwriting on the signboard which makes you feel the traces of the brush passing through incisively is written by Monk Tanheo, the chief priest at the time of reconstruction of this building in 1968.
Sometimes I feel like the women in their 50s enjoy the life much more than teenage girls. I also understand that the fifty year olds who learned to let it go and enjoy what they have could be happier than teens who are suffering from pressures to study.
Woljeongsa Temple of Mt. Odae is repository of Korean culture where it has four National Treasures including Sangwonsa Dongjong (bronze bell) at Sangwonsa Temple, the Woljeongsa palgakgucheung seoktap (Octagonal Nine-Story Stone Pagoda of Woljeongsa), Sangwonsa Munsudongja Jwasang (seated statue of child monk), and Sangwonsa Jungchang-gwonseonmun. This Octagonal Nine-story Stone Pagoda is a famous tourist attraction where they hold special events such as Tapdori event on Buddha's Birthday. This tower is appraised as the best structure built in Goryeo era, and the shape of the tower rending the sky makes me convinced that there's going to be a hot line that connects me and Buddha if I start praying. lol
Jonggoru is a tower which has a bell, a drum, a sandfish and temple bell built to guide people so it acts as a studio or an audio room of Woljeongsa Temple. In other words, this is like an audible device to awaken for monks and people to awaken their spirits all the time. The sandfish touched me somehow because I felt like it tells us to devote ourselves steadily without stopping like fish sleeps with eyes open.
Photos taken by photo exhibition winners with a theme of Woljeongsa Temple are displayed. Every picture has its characteristics and they look like they have high standards.
After you pass by the Four Devas, there comes Geumgangru, and you should walk that way until you meet Yunjangdae.
I was told that you would get lucky when you turn the Yunjangdae so everybody turns it a few times while they pray before they go down.
There is a shape of Four Devas drawn right below Geumgangru. It probably is used to guard against the evil spirit passing under Geumgangru and protect the Buddhist temple.
With the 3-d pieces attached to it, Four Devas looks more real. It was supposed to be scary but the beautiful colors and balanced body shape would make you feel somehow better. lol
I couldn't stop smiling in front of solemn Four Devas because I thought I saw that pose somewhere in bodybuilding contest.
If you pass the Four Devas and leave Woljeongsa Temple, you'll find a fir tree woodland path that has a history of 1,000 years.
Walking on this road with your bare feet, you will get rid of stress, lose your headaches and your head will be clear.
Fir trees grew so strongly which seem like they are producing so much phytoncide. Breathe in as long as you like and get healthy, how does that sound?
Walking along this road and watching people walking makes me think about life. It also makes me look at myself just like I look in the mirror.
Suddenly there came a solemn walk of truth-seeker coming from the opposite direction. I had to switch the lens to 35mm, cautiously waited until the people are gone and chased after them while I kept pressing the camera shutter. I did my best not to cause restlessness of mind and tried to capture the moment as quiet as I could. I think they were students of 41 st Short-Term Buddhist Priesthood who had been educated for the whole month in July.
Daegwallyeong Salvatore Pension 대관령 살바토레 펜션
Just like the 23 rd phrase of Doctrine of the Golden Mean from the movie 'Yeokrin (The Fatal Encounter' that says 'if you do your utmost in small things, you can attain sincerity, this sincerity becomes apparent, from being manifest it becomes brilliant, brilliant, it affects others', the owner of Salvatore makes people moved with his upmost efforts in small things like a truth-seeker.
. The only pension that I could not find any dust on the refrigerator in the room
. Pension that has a small audio installed in the room for customers to listen to music
. Pension that makes us happy with different kinds of flowers
. Pension where everywhere including blanket is clean and clear
. Pension where you are offered the best quality coffee
. Pension where you could listen to the best quality music with a vintage audio at a cafe
The room on the second floor has a big window to veranda where you could look down the beautiful garden. The beds are all of Ace brand and that shows us that they care about things that are not even exposed to guests right away. Probably that's why the mattress is strong and makes you sleep comfy.
There's a simple sofa next to the bed where you could watch TV comfortably.
The clean, dry and smooth blanket is one of the best advantages of this place.
In the bathroom, it was possible to keep the floor dried which makes it cleaner and more comfortable to come in and out of the room often. The shower booth had enough shampoo and body washer liquids of good brand.
It's not recommended to make a meal in the room but it has simple appliances including a single electric heat, and the furniture look simple but the best quality since they are from Hanssem.
The flowers look so beautiful with green grass in the front yard of the pension. The owner said that if there's anything he was into lately besides music was planting and growing flowers.
We did not expect there would be a small audio in the corner of the room. When you travel, it's sad that you can't listen to music properly even in a five-star hotel but I was so happy to listen to Beethoven's piano sonata as soon as I finished the unpacking in the room.
Address : 266-7, Yongsan-ri, Daegwanryeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gwangwon-do (강원도 평창군 대관령면 용산리 266-7 )
Asia Society Korea Travel Series 2 – Independence Hall of Korea
Last month, we started our new Travel Series with some exercise by taking a trip up beautiful Samaksan Mountain. This month we’re going to learn about Korea’s successful battle for independence from Japan, which it finally achieved on August 15, 1945. There’s no better place to learn about this than the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan. Despite its focus on the independence movements during the Japanese Colonial Period, the museum is divided into a number of exhibits that also document the peninsula’s history from prehistoric times to the Joseon Dynasty.
Independence Hall was officially opened on the anniversary of Korea’s Independence Day on August 15, 1987. It boasts seven exhibition halls and other facilities commemorating the country’s struggle for freedom. Perhaps most fascinating are the historical records related to the uprisings in the 1910s including the March 1 st , 1919 Independence Movement. The often named Samil (3-1) Movement occurred as a reaction to the repressive nature of colonial occupation under the military rule of the Japanese Empire. On that day, Korean activists read aloud the Korean Declaration of Independence along with a number of complaints they held against the Japanese. As many as two million Koreans took to the streets throughout the country to demonstrate, and the Japanese rulers chose physical force as a means to combat the crowds. In the period from March 1 to April 11, thousands were killed, injured, or imprisoned during repeated clashes. Dioramas, models, and images bring the armed resistance and independence movements to life, so visitors get to feel what it was like to live through some of the most troubling times in the nation’s history.
Other notable sites include the Grand Hall of the Nation, which is the standout building and the central point of the museum. The length of a soccer field and 15 stories in height, it was designed to replicate Suseok Temple from the Goryeo Dynasty. The Unification Bell is another “must see” sight. It was modeled after the oldest bronze bell in Korea, which is located at Sangwonsa Temple on Mt. Odaesan. Finally, no trip is complete without a selfie at Taeguk Square. Here you will find 815 South Korean national flags that were raised in 2005 on the 60 th anniversary of Korea’s liberation.
With so much to see, it’s worth giving yourself three to four hours to take everything in. During the summer period, the facility is open from 09:30-18:00. There is no entrance fee as the museum is seen as a gift to the people of Korea, and the country understands the importance of making sure this critical period in the country’s history remains available to everyone. While the museum exhibits do have English labels, those who want a more detailed explanation may want to consider a guided tour. These should be arranged in advance by calling 041-560-0356 however, you might need someone who speaks Korean to help you with the reservation. Finally, the best way to get there by public transport is by taking an intercity bus to Cheonan Intercity Bus Terminal. There are a number of local buses (381, 382, 383, 390) that will take you directly to Independence Hall.
The peninsula is rich in history, both good and bad, and a trip to the Independence Hall of Korea is certain to provide an enlightening and fulfilling day-out for all ages.
Sangwonsa Bell - History
&ldquoWhen something like molten metal exceeds 1200 degrees Celsius, it will of course prefer something hot to something cold. If there is moisture, it will start to bubble up. This is why there can be no water or moisture on a mold or rack.&rdquo
Won Kwang-sik, Jucheoljang (metal casting master) / National Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 112
&ldquoBells&rdquo - Where Scientific and Artistic Techniques Meet
By the hands of master craftsmen, we are able to carry on the beauty of this tradition. When most superior scientific knowledge available meets the purest art of our ancestors the result is an astounding collaboration - the bronze bell! Let's take a look at the intriguing history behind these bells.
A Completely Original and Korean Designed Bronze Bell
This is a dongjong, a bell with a majestic ring that can be heard for miles. Dongjong refers to bells that are made entirely of bronze. After the introduction of Buddhism to Korea, bells were used to alert the people of Buddhist ceremonies as well as to announce the time of day, special town gatherings, or the start of town festivities.
Throughout Asia, bells were developed at the same time Buddhist traditions were introduced, but the shape and characteristics of these bells differed by country.
If you compare the bells of China, Japan, and Korea, these differences become apparent.
Chinese bells are shaped like a tulip, their lower portion fanning slightly outward like petals. Japanese bells have the shape of an inverted cup and have remained largely unchanged for the past 1300 years.
The Korean bell has the characteristics of an upside-down pot, though the shape and production technique has changed with each generation.
The basic style of the Korean dongjong is considered to have been established in the Unified Silla Dynasty, and at this point in time, the original form of the Korean bell was complete.
Let's take a closer look at the structure of the Unified Silla dongjong.
The Yongnyu, or loop part of the bell, is sculpted in the shape of a dragon, while the eumgwan is shaped into a long tube for sound.
These features are unique to the Korean bell and help distinguish it from the bells of other countries, which do not have these parts.
The top and bottom portions of the Korean bell have their own band designs, termed the sangdae and hadae, respectively.
The upper part of the bell has four squares called yeongwak. Each was embellished with a scroll design along its parameter and had 9 protruding bud-shaped spheres, called yeolloe, which are inspired by the lotus flower.
At the center of the bell, we have the jongsinbujosang, a relief that sticks out ever so slightly from the bell, and the dangjwa, the spot where the bell is struck. Lastly, there is the myeongdong, or resonance pit, which is a complementary device separated from the bell and can only found in the bells of Korean Buddhist temples.
The Sangwonsa Dongjong is a masterpiece of the Unified Silla Dynasty and is the oldest dongjong in existence.
At the yongnyu, it seems as if the dragon is advancing with two paws in a sort of forceful stance. From the sangdae to the hadae, elaborately drawn patterning covers the bands.
Images of deities who have descended from the sky and are playing heavenly music are placed on the bell. All this is reason enough to call it the most magnificent dongjong in all of Korea.
The dongjong of the Goryeo Dynasty began to show differences in both form and decorations towards the end of that dynasty.
The ipsanghwamundae, or the floral-patterned band that stuck out somewhat, were added to the design, and the positions of the yongmeori (dragon's head) and the yeouiju (a wish-granting pearl) were changed.
Also, the number of dangjwa increased from two to four. These changes show the Goryeo Dynasty paid more attention to decoration.
During the Joseon dynasty, a new kind of dongjong was developed that combined aspects of the traditional Unified Silla design and the Chinese design.
There are now two dragon heads placed at the yongnyu and in many bell designs, the eumgwan and dangjwa have disappeared.
Those who knew about the majestic, deep sound and exceptional artistry of the Korean dongjong extended far and wide into neighboring countries.
There are now 53 confirmed Korean dongjong in Japan.
There have been numerous conjectures as to when these dongjong left the country. Whether taken during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592, gifted to Japan by the Joseon kingdom, or taken during the period of Japanese colonial rule, all are perfectly plausible.
The reason there are so many Korean dongjong in Japan today has to do with their artistic value and exceptional sound, characteristics that cannot be found in any Japanese bell.
The Scientific Secrets of the Dongjong
While the exterior beauty of a dongjong is important, the depth and clarity of the sound it produces is equally important.
One reason for the exceptionalism of the Korean dongjong is right here.
The most classic example is the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok.
The largest bell in Korea is the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok, measuring 3.75 meters high, and weighing 18.9 tons, it is said to have required 120,000 geun (72,000kg) of bronze for its casting.
Silla&rsquos King Gyeongdeok began production on the bell in order to honor his late father, King Seongdeok but the bell was ultimately completed by Seongdeok&rsquos grandson, King Hyegong. It took almost 34 years to complete.
The reason the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok is considered a masterpiece has to do with its sound.
The bell&rsquos ringing and reverberation is said to resemble the sound of a heartbeat.
This is due to what they call "maengnoli phenomenon," or beating phenomenon.
Maengnoli means &ldquoto have a constant rhythm, like a heartbeat.&rdquo
Due to the maengnoli phenomenon, the sound of the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok lingers for a long time and has a much grander sound.
It is this phenomenon that distinguishes this bell as exceptional among all the bells of Korea.
The superior sound of Korean bells is all due to the way they are made.
The eumgwan rises above the copper figure of the dragon on the yongnyu. The eumgwan makes a bell&rsquos sound much more delicate, while also serving a decorative urpose.
The ratio of copper and tin in the composition of a bell is also important. The amount of tin used determines the strength and sound of the bell&mdashtoo much and it will break, too little and the sound quality decreases.
&ldquoThe ratio of tin used should vary depending on the size of the bell. Is it cold or rainy? What&rsquos the temperature now? Where should we pour into the mold? Should we pour from the top or from the bottom? Once you have perfected the ratio, the purity of the alloy is extremely important.&rdquo
Won Kwang-sik, Jucheoljang (metal casting master) / National Intangible Cultural Heritage No. 112
Set just underneath the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok, which hangs close to the ground, is the myeongdong.
When the bell is rung, the sound vibrations hit the myeongdong and reflected off of it, magnifying the sound and extending the ring. You can find a similar technology in the speakers we use today.
This feature can only be found in Korean bells.
The physical beauty and moving sound of the Korean dongjong captivate one's eyes and ears.
Each dongjong is considered an unrivaled piece of art that perfectly integrates the religion, art, and science of its era.
Must-Know Facts on Culture and Art in Korean History
The creative shape of the Korean dongjong was formed during the Unified Silla period.
2. The Sangwonsa Temple Dongjong is the oldest dongjong still in existence in Korea.
3. The largest of all the ancient bells still in existence in Korea today is the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok.
* The contents of this article are personal opinions of the author and may differ from the official views of the National History Compilation Committee.
Tunnel of lanterns at Woljeongsa's entrance
Woljeongsa's Octagonal Nine Story Stone Pagoda stands in front of the main worship hall