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Korean Temple Artwork

The Sermon on Vulture Peak Painting – Yeongsan Hoesang-do (영산 회상도)

Gimryongsa

The famous Yeongsan Heosang-do at Gimryongsa Temple that dates back to 1703.

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The English name for the Yeongsan Hoesang-do is “The Sermon on Vulture Peak” painting. It is a highly symbolic painting that most people see at a Korean temple, but they simply don’t understand its meaning. So what does the Vulture Peak painting look like? And what is the meaning behind it?


The Guardian Mural – Shinjung Taenghwa (신중 탱화)

Naejangsa

The elaborate Shinjung Taenghwa at Naejangsa Temple.

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In English, the Shinjung Taenghwa is called the “Altar Painting of Guardian Deities” or the Guardian Mural for short. This painting is a highly intricate painting that most people have seen if you’ve been to any temple or hermitage throughout the Korean peninsula. However, what is less known about this painting is all of its rich detail and meaning. So what exactly does a Guardian Mural look like? And more specifically, what is the meaning behind it all?


Hungry Ghosts – Agwi (아귀)

Boseong1

A couple of monstrous-looking Agwi.

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Revolving Scriptures Library Pillar – Yunjangdae (윤장대)

CSC_1979

 Inside the Daejang-jeon Hall at Yongmunsa Temple. The Yunjangdae is to the left with the oldest main altar relief to the right.


The Founder’s Hall – Josa-jeon (조사전)

Samyeongam

A look across at the Josa-jeon Hall at Samyeongam Hermitage near Tongdosa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!! This is yet another article on little known or seen things you might encounter at a Korean Buddhist temple. This time, I thought I would explain the Josa-jeon Hall at a temple. While you might have seen this hall before, it may not be all that clear as to what purpose it serves. So what exactly is this halls purpose and what does it look like? In English, the “Josa” means “patriarch” or “founder; while “jeon” means hall. So the best name, at least in English, for the Josa-jeon Hall is “The Founder’s Hall.”


Large Buddhist Banner Painting – Gwaebul (괘불)

Tongdosa2

 The large-sized Gwaebul painting at Tongdosa Temple during Buddha’s birthday.

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In yet another article on little seen or known items at a Korean temple or hermitage, I thought I would talk about the Gwaebul painting just in time for Buddha’s birthday.

The largest paintings in Korea are known as Gwaebul (괘불), which means “Large Buddhist Banner Painting,” in English. These paintings are extremely hard to find throughout Korea because they are usually only put on display once a year. So what do they look like and what is the meaning behind them?


The Sweet Dew Painting – Gamno-do (감로도)

Yeongsanjeongsa

Two monks discussing the Gamno-do painting at Yeongsanjeongsa Temple in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.

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The next entry about rarities to be found at a Korean temple or hermitage is the extremely hard to find Gamno-do painting. In fact, I’ve only ever seen it publicly displayed at three temples in my three hundred plus temples I’ve visited throughout Korea.


Universal Salvation Pavilion – Boje-ru (보제루)

Donghwasa

The Boje-ru Pavilion in the background behind the Cheonwangmun at Donghwasa Temple in Daegu.

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The next entry in the series of postings on rarely seen things you might encounter at a Korean temple or hermitage is the Boje-ru Pavilion.


The Diamond Gate – Geumgang-mun (금강문)

Magoksa4

 The Diamond Gate at Magoksa Temple in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do.

The next article about lesser seen things at Korean temples or hermitages is about the Geumgangmun Gate, or the Diamond Gate in English. So what exactly does it look like, where is it found at a temple, and what is its meaning?


The Fireplace King Spirit – Jowang-shin (조왕신)

Anjeokam2 - Jowangshin

A faded portrait of Jowangshin found at Anjeokam Hermitage in the mountains of Cheonseongsan.

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In the next few articles, I thought I would explore some of the lesser seen or known sites at Korean temples or hermitages. These are rare finds that you might encounter during your travels and simply don’t know what they’re supposed to represent or even depict.


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