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Double Passive Verbs (이중 피동사) | Korean FAQ

I've often seen native speakers use verbs such as 닫아지다, 보여지다, and others ending with 지다 as passive verbs. Did you know that these sorts of verbs are technically incorrect? However, since they're so common, I recommend knowing what they are and how they work.

These sort of verbs are known as Double Passive Verbs, since they're made by taking a verb that's already passive, and attaching the passive 지다 ending - thus making them double passive. However, since there is no such thing as a double passive, they should be avoided in any sort of academic setting (such as on your next Korean test, or when giving a speech).

Are there any other double passive verbs you've learned about? Let me know here, or in the comments below the video~!

The post Double Passive Verbs (이중 피동사) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Agwi – Hungry Ghosts: 아귀

An 18th Century Image of an Agwi from a Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural) at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.

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If you’ve ever looked close enough, especially around the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, perhaps you were lucky enough to see the image of an “Agwi – 아귀,” or “Hungry Ghost/Spirit” in English. Or more likely, you’ve probably seen this demon-like creature, but you weren’t sure what it was. So what exactly is an Agwi? Where can you find them? And what are they supposed to represent?

Physical Description of an Agwi

An Agwi, or “Hungry Ghost” in English, was formerly a human who is now suffering in the afterlife from hunger and thirst as a part of their karma for their bad deeds. These deeds can include killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, desire, greed, anger, and ignorance, while they were alive. As a result of their actions, their appearance reflects their misdeeds.

An 18th century painting of the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld) from the museum at Girimsa Temple in eastern Gyeongju.
Another 18th century painting of the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld) from the museum at Girimsa Temple in eastern Gyeongju.

Agwi are human-like in appearance. They have sunken, mummy-like skin. They also have small limbs with bulging eyes, open mouths, distended bellies, and a long narrow neck. Also, they are hardly wearing any clothes on their bodies. Their eyebrows are knitted in anger, while they are either bald or losing their hair. Additionally, they typically wear a lot of jewelry like bracelets or anklets. Also, their ears are typically pierced with gold earrings. But perhaps the easiest way to identify Agwi is by the red wings that appear from behind their ears. Their overall appearance, especially the large belly and narrow necks, are meant to symbolize their insatiable appetites that are never satisfied.

History of the Agwi

Agwi appear in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and local folk religions. They have their origins in Indian religions; however, there are many myths surrounding the origins of Agwi. Agwi were later adopted into Eastern religions by way of the spread of Buddhism eastward. In Sanskrit, they are called Preta. Preta means “departed or deceased”, and it comes from “pra-ita”, which literally means “gone forth/departed.” The Chinese translation for the word Preta is Egui (餓鬼), which literally means “Starving Ghost” in English. Agwi is a transliteration of the Chinese Egui. In East Asian Buddhism, Agwi are also called “burning mouths.” The reason for this very literal name is that when Agwi put food to their mouths; the food bursts into flames so that the Agwi can’t consume the food.

An image of an Agwi from a Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural) housed at the National Museum of Korea. This mural is from 1649.
Another image of an Agwi from the mid 17th century from the historic Daegwang-jeon Hall at Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Agwi are believed to live in the afterlife in the Agwi Realm. This is believed to be located far beneath the earth’s surface, but it’s located above hell. Agwi are reincarnated in one of the three evil destinies. This belief comes from the idea of “The Doctrine of the Ten Worlds and Their Mutual Possession.” In Korean, this is known as “Sibgye – 십계.” Of these ten realms, there are four upper realms and six lower realms. They are distinguished by the degrees of enlightenment that an individual has achieved. The four upper realms are 1. Śrāvaka (Disciples), 2. Pratyekabuddha (lone Buddha), 3. Bodhisattva, 4. Buddhahood (fully enlightened being). As for the lower realms of enlightenment, they are known as the Six Realms. And these Six Realms are: Hell (Naraka), The Agwi Realm, Beasts, Asuras (demigods), Humans, and Heaven (or realm of the deities). So because these individuals lived a past life as someone that consumed with insatiable desires and/or cravings, they have been reborn in the Six Realms in the Agwi Realm. In this Realm, and according to Buddhist sutras, there are thirty-six different types of Agwi.

More specifically, Agwi were once humans. In fact, they could even be a deceased member of your family. A good example of this can be found in the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha). Of the sixteen Nahan, one, Mahākālika, or “Gariga – 가리가” in Korean, saved his own mother from the Agwi Realm. Ceremonies are performed in Korea at Buddhist temples to help “feed” Agwi. They are held by people for their own deceased family members, or they can be held by monks for those spirits suffering as Agwi in the afterlife. This ceremony is typically held inside the main hall at the temple or inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall in front of a Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural). Typically, the ceremony involves chanting and the performing of Buddhist instruments like drums, bells, or cymbals in front of the Gamno-do to help comfort Agwi.

An Agwi adorning the exterior wall to a shrine hall at Seongjusa Temple in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Agwi in Buddhist Texts

One of the most common places to find Agwi is in the “One Hundred Fables Sutra,” which is from the early third century. Here are just a few examples of stories related to Agwi found in this sutra:

One tale from the “One Hundred Fables Sutra” is about a rich man who travels selling sugar cane juice. One day, a monk came to the rich man’s house looking for some juice to help cure his illness. The man had to leave rather abruptly, so the man instructed his wife to give the monk a drink of juice, while he was gone. Instead of doing this, the wife secretly urinated in the monk’s bowl, added a bit of sugar cane juice, and gave it to the monk to drink. The monk was not easily fooled, so he poured out the contents of the bowl. When the wife eventually died, she was reborn as an Agwi.

Another tale is entitled “An Operation of the Mouth.” In this tale, there is a man who visited his wife’s home. There he saw people removing the husk of the rice. He stole some of this rice and hid it in his mouth. When his wife came to talk to him, instead of opening his mouth and confessing to the rice he had stolen, the husband remained silent. She said, “On his way over, my husband suddenly got a swollen mouth and is unable to speak,” so immediately the wife’s father called a doctor. When the doctor arrived, he said “Very serious is your illness. It will be cured by an operation.” The operation was completed and the husband’s theft was revealed. The conclusion of the tale says, “In doing evil deeds it breaks the pure commandments and hiding sins, people descend to the Three Evil Ways of hell, beasts, and Hungry Ghosts.”

Yet another tale from the “One Hundred Fables Sutra” describes a man who was giving and kind. One day, he was about to leave his house when a monk came begging. The man told his wife to give the monk some food. After the man left the house, his wife was overcome with greed. The wife decided she would teach the monk a lesson, so she locked the monk up inside an empty room all day without food. When she eventually died and was reborn, she was reborn as a Hungry Ghost [Agwi] for an unlimited amount of lifetimes.

Another mid 17th century Agwi image from inside the Daegwang-jeon Hall at Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Agwi Examples

There are some wonderful examples of Agwi spread throughout the Korean peninsula at Buddhist temples and hermitages. Here are just a few of these examples. First, there’s a pair of 17th century Agwi murals inside the historic Daegwang-jeon Hall at Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. There are other historic murals of Agwi that can be found in Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural) at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. There is also a beautiful collection of Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld) in the museum at Girimsa Temple in eastern Gyeongju that have amazing images of Agwi. For more contemporary Gamno-do images, you can find them at Boseongsa Temple near Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do and Naewonam Hermitage near Unmunsa Temple in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do. And finally, there are images of Agwi adorning both the interior and exterior walls of temple shrine halls like at Seongjusa Temple in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do and Nammireuksa Temple in Gangjin, Jeollanam-do.


This tortured creature often appears around temple shrine halls at Korean Buddhist temples, especially in paintings. The most common place to find these desperate spirits is around the main hall and the Myeongbu-jeon Hall especially in Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Murals). Typically, you can find monks and/or descendants making offerings to the deceased to help pacify and aid these Hungry Ghosts. So the next time you’re at a Korean Buddhist temple or hermitage, have a look around for these red-winged Agwi that are in constant torment. And if you can, say a little prayer for their well-being.

An image from Nammireuksa Temple in Gangjin, Jeollanam-do.
And a pair of Agwi from Boseongsa Temple near Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

10 Summer Classroom Activities and Games – Great for ESL Lessons!

Republished from:

Teaching English during summer can often be very difficult. It’s hot, students have a lot energy and everyone would rather be outside enjoying the warm weather.

To help with that I’d like to share 10 Summer Activities you can do in your class. Keep students engaged with plenty of games and movement-based activities. Even though this is primarily for English Teachers, most of these can be used in other classes too.

And as always, I’ve added all the best worksheets in the description where you can get them for free by joining the Etacude email list.

Now, let’s check out 10 Summer Classroom Activities and Games for English Class

1. Five Senses

Summer is all about the senses. The amazing smells, the warm sun on your skin, a cool breeze, the sound of laughter or waves if you’re at the beach This is a great outdoor activity if you are able to take the kids outside. If not, they have to stay inside and use their imagination. “sad face”

Pair students with a partner and give them a paper. On the paper they write the 5 senses” see, smell, hear, touch and taste. Then, they have to fill in the sections with as many examples they can think of as possible, give them a minimum number like 5 so they don’t keep it blank.

See children playing outside. Smell the ocean. Hear the bees buzzing, touch the sea sand when building a sandcastle or taste ice cream for example.

Once they are done ask pairs to share the items they have on their sense paper. Write the answers on the board to compare. You could take it a few steps further by telling the students to write sentences with those words or a story.

2. Human Scrabble

Not necessarily a summer activity but it will get the students moving

Get some A4 papers and write a letter on each – Similar to what you would do with real Scrabble. Add lots of vowels, S’s, R’s , N’s – You know, letters that are easier to use.

Once a teacher shouts Scrabble, students have a minute to arrange themselves into groups to create the longest word possible. Groups can score points by having the longest or most complex word.

Once they’ve created a word, each individual student can write down their score. After 10 Rounds you can stop and see who has the highest score at the end.

Once a word has been created they may not use it again. You can also swap cards so that students have different letters to use.

With younger students you can give a point per letter and with older classes give each letter the real scrabble score.

3. I’m going to the beach riddle

This is a fun, or frustratingly fun riddle activity. You start by saying “I’m going to the beach and I’m taking a…” Here you can say anything. But whatever you say is related to a secret rule that only you know…

For example, the secret rule is milk foods. I’m going to the beach and I’m taking a milkshake.

Each student has a to take a thing. If they say “I’m taking a chocolate.” They can’t go!

If they say cheese. They can go. The students continue until they figure out the secret rule.

There are many creative rules that you can use like:

It could be categories like food, or the word has to start with the first letter of your name, or the alphabet so you start with “Apple”, Only words with 4 letters. Compound nouns like pencilcase. Anything inside the classroom. Any rule you can imagine.

4. Summer Flashcard Activity

Create flashcards or write down Summer vocabulary on papers.

Have 4 students each hold up a flashcard at the front of the class, flash and then hide their card.  The teacher calls out one of the words and the children have to remember where the word is and line up in front of the child holding that flashcard.  Children have great fun trying to remember, jumping from one line to the next, following their friends and excitedly waiting for the card to be revealed.  In a second round, it’s fun to add an additional challenge and get the children holding flashcards to change places, and then repeat the activity with the whole class”.

Once in their lines you can ask random students to use the word in a sentence. That gets them all to think of possible sentences to use if asked.

5. Blindfolded Games

There are many activities that can be played by using a blindfold. Any scarf or sleep mask will do.

One such activity is by the touch or taste challenge. Get different summer-related items like a snorkel, tube, sunscreen, beachball ect. A student puts on a blindfold and you give them different items to touch and identify.

You can then let them use the items in a role play or write a story, whatever you feel like you want to do.

If it’s in your budget, you could get different summer fruits for them to taste – Watermelon, apple, oranges. As a cheaper option you can use fruit-flavored sweets in stead of the real thing.

Another fun blindfold activity for question practice is to have everyone stand in a circle with one student in the center wearing the blindfold. Spin him/her around a few times and have him ask the nearest student a question. When the student answers, the blindfolded student must guess who it is. Let students think and write down some ideas for questions before starting. You can let students change once they guess the correct person.

6. Travel Activities

Travel is another common activity that takes place during the summer months.  A fun activity is to help your students plan real or virtual summer vacations. They create a personal itinerary and discuss or write about their plans. I added a list of Travel Questions that students can ask each other in the worksheet file which you can get from free once you join the Etacude email list.

Click HERE for the FREE Travel Questions

7. Suitcase of Random Items

Another travel related activity is to have a suitcase with many random items. If you don’t want to do that you could find a picture on the internet of a collection of items or it could be many people in one photo, almost like Where’s Waldo.  Give the students a minute to study the suitcase contents or picture. Then they write down everything they saw. It could be fun to put students in pairs to write everything down together. After that, randomly remove a few of the items, students then have to guess what’s missing.

They can also create a dialogue or story based on the items.

8. Scavenger Hunt

Create a list for the summer scavenger hunt. There is an example in resources. Students walk around the class (or outside if possible) and make their own scavenger list of things to see. They should try and make it specific. Then randomly redistribute the lists to everyone. They have to walk around and find the items. After you’ve given them time to complete, put them in groups and where they explain the items and where they were found to the other students.

This is a good activity to practice prepositions and explaining where things are.

9. Planning a Picnic

The summer is also a popular season for picnics and barbeques.  Discuss with your student about how they would plan and organize a (real or imaginary) picnic or barbecue. The students  create a Mind Map about the best location, weather, food, and beverages for the event. Practice conversations about verbal invitations and review writing invitations with your student. Help your students discover some in-season dishes they would like to make and they can write a recipe for foods they would like to create.

Many great places you can take this activity

10. Summer Bucket List

Students create a summer bucket list. They write down what activities they hope to do that summer. After sharing their bucket lists they can plan a timeline to explain how they might achieve these goals.

It’s very important for students to share these ideas with their classmates in pairs or small groups, and then they share what their friend is planning to do. This a great way to practice listening for information and then sharing it. Also, I’ve found that students are less shy to speak in front of the class if they are talking about another friend’s activities in stead of their own.

So these are 10 summer games and activities for class. Check out this next video for more fun and easy activities you can do in class.

Republished from:

Learn Korean Ep. 120: 아/어/etc. 가다 & 오다

Lately I've started doing some yoga. It would be great if Keykat would join me! After all, she looks like she'd be great at yoga, considering she's fluffy and a bear.

This lesson is about the grammar form ~해 가다 and ~해 오다, which are used when moving somewhere (or moving here).

Also make sure to download the free PDF lesson, which you can find right below the video here.

Click here to download a free PDF of this lesson!

The post Learn Korean Ep. 120: 아/어/etc. 가다 & 오다 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Baekyangsa Temple – 백양사 (Jung-gu, Ulsan)

The Wooden Stairs that Lead Up to the Sanshin-gak Hall at Baekyangsa Temple in Jung-gu, Ulsan.

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

Baekyangsa Temple at the foot of Mt. Hamwolsan (200.6 m) in Jung-gu, Ulsan, which shouldn’t be confused with the one in Jeollanam-do, was first founded in 932 A.D. by the monk Baekyang-seonsa. In fact, the temple is named after this founding monk. The temple was destroyed by fire during the Imjin War (1592-1598). However, Baekyangsa Temple was later rebuilt in 1678 by the monk Yeonbu-seonsa.

Baekyangsa Temple would later fall into disrepair. And in the 1920’s, the temple would be resurrected under the watchful eye of the Bhikuni (nun) Bohyeon. More recently, and in 1992 with the development of Jung-gu, which is where Baekyangsa Temple is located, this area became the city centre of Ulsan. While the temple used to be located up in the mountains in rural Ulsan, it is no longer the case with the overall development and spread of the urban areas in Ulsan.

Since 1998, Baekyangsa Temple has undergone a large scale renovation and expansion which continues to this day. As for the temple itself, it was designated as Ulsan Traditional Buddhist Temple #6 in 1999. And the historic Shinjung-do (Guardian Mural) that dates back to 1878 that’s housed at Baekyangsa Temple is Ulsan Metropolitan City Tangible Cultural Heritage #27.

Temple Layout

You’ll first approach the temple grounds off of some neighbouring city streets, and make your way under the newly constructed Iljumun Gate. This sturdy, and rather colourful entry gate, has a pair of stone sculptures at its base. To the left is a lion and to the right is a dragon holding a wisdom pearl in its mouth.

Now making your way through the temple parking lot, and the simplistic Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion), you’ll notice a cluster of buildings. Past these, and to the right, there’s a stone stairway that will bring you to the main temple courtyard at Baekyangsa temple. It’s from this vantage point that you’ll find all the amazing shrine halls that Baekyangsa Temple has to offer.

The first of these temple shrine halls, and to your rear, is the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this hall are beautifully adorned with paintings of animals, the Sacheonwang (The Four Heavenly Kings), and paintings dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). As you step inside this sparsely decorated interior, you’ll notice the main altar to your right. Standing in the centre, all by herself, is an image of Gwanseeum-bosal. This statue is backed by an equally eloquent painting of herself joined by Yongwang (The Dragon King). There is a fiery nimbus surrounding the statue, and there are two large Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities) floating overhead of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

As you step outside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall, you’ll notice the monks residence to your immediate right. This hall is beautifully adorned with Shimu-do (The Ox-Herding Murals). And to your immediate left are facilities at the temple like the kitchen and visitors centre.

But by far the main highlight to this temple, and straight ahead of you, is the Daeung-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple. Out in front of the main hall is a variety of stone statues like twin elephants, the Wheel of Dharma, and the Sibiji-shin (The Twelve Zodiac Generals), as well as a Bicheon, and massive stone lanterns. Nearing the Daeung-jeon Hall, and looking around the eaves of the hall, you’ll notice the amazingly intricate dancheong that’s adorning the main hall. In addition to the vibrant dancheong, you’ll notice one of the finest collection of Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals) in Korea. In addition to this amazing set, you’ll also be greeted by various Buddha and Bodhisattva murals around the exterior walls, as well, to the Daeung-jeon Hall. Before stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, make sure you have a look at the stunning front floral latticework that adorns the doors. As for the interior, there are five statues that take up residence on the main altar. Sitting in the centre is the largest in the set. This statue is dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). To the right and left of this central statue are two standing statues. They are Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). And completing the set, and standing to the far left, is a green haired statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). And on the far right is another standing statue. This time, however, this statue is dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal. And hanging on the far left wall is an older, red mural dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This mural is fronted by a triad of statues, again, centred by Amita-bul and joined by Gwanseuum-bosal and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul) on either side.

To the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Eungjin-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple. Adorning the exterior walls to this hall dedicated to the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha) are a beautiful collection of Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life). Stepping inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall, you’ll be greeted by sixteen masterful statues of the Nahan with each of their names written in front of them on a black plaque. Sitting in the centre of these sixteen statues, eight on either side, is a triad, rather uniquely, centred by Amita-bul and joined by Gwanseeum-bosal and Daesaeji-bosal, again. It’s also inside the Nahan-jeon Hall, hanging on the right side of the shrine hall, that you’ll find the historic Shinjung-do (Guardian Mural) from 1878.

And to the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the temple’s Myeongbu-jeon Hall. Around the exterior walls are various Buddhist motif murals of coming of age. It’s also on these walls that you’ll find one of the more sensational images of the Dragon Ship of Wisdom to adorn a temple shrine hall in Korea. As for the interior, there are large sized seated statues of the Siwang taking up residence inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. And taking up residence in the centre of the main altar is a rather dour older image of Jijang-bosal with green hair.

Next to the Myeongbu-jeon Hall is the Chilseong/Dokseong-gak Hall. Each mural housed inside this shaman shrine hall are dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars) and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), and they are rather typical in their composition inside the Chilseong/Dokseong-gak Hall. Also housed inside this hall, rather uniquely, and to the left, is a mural dedicated to the founding monk of the temple: Baekyang-seonsa.

The final temple shrine hall that visitors can explore at Baekyangsa Temple is to the rear of the main temple complex and up a side-winding set of wooden stairs. Fronted by a rather tacky fading picture of a tiger, the Sanshin-gak Hall houses one of the more peculiar images of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) inside the confines of this type of shaman shrine hall. The image of Sanshin looks rather unhealthy and ghost-like in appearance; thus, bucking the more traditional trend of exuding health and virility found in the image of The Mountain Spirit. It’s also from the heights of the Sanshin-gak Hall that you get a great view of the temple compound and the rest of Ulsan off in the distance.

How To Get There

To get to Baekyangsa Temple, you’ll first need to ride Ulsan city Bus #5003 from the Ulsan Train Station. With this bus, you’ll need to get off at the Samhogyo bus stop. From here, you’ll need to transfer to Bus #408 for an additional six stops, where you’ll need to get off at the Gungdojang bus stop. From this bus stop, you can walk to get to the Ulsan City Police Station Headquarters. From here, you’ll need to walk about five to ten minutes, or six hundred metres, to get to Baekyangsa Temple.

Overall Rating: 8/10

There’s quite a lot to see and enjoy at Baekyangsa Temple in central Ulsan. First, you can enjoy all the amazing murals that adorn all the exterior shrine hall walls at the temple. Another thing to enjoy are all the inspiring statues at Baekyangsa Temple like the statued dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall and the Nahan statues housed inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall. In addition to all this artistry, there’s all the beauty surrounding the Daeung-jeon Hall like the latticework, the statues, the dancheong colours, and the beautiful murals, as well as the main altar statues. Adding to all this is the haunting image of the Mountain Spirit housed inside the Sanshin-gak Hall to the back of the temple grounds.

The Daeung-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple.
One of the Ox-Herding Murals adorning the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A look out towards the Gwaneum-jeon Hall from the Daeung-jeon Hall.
Some of the amazing artwork adorning the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
The Myeongbu-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple.
A look inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall at the main altar.
One of the Palsang-do that adorns the exterior walls to the Eungjin-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall.
The historic Shinjung-do inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall.
And the ghostly image of Sanshin inside the Sanshin-gak Hall.

Punggyeong – Fish-Shaped Wind Chimes: 풍경

A Fish-Shaped Wind Chime at Manbulsa Temple in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do

This post 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!


One of the most beautiful decorative items that you’ll find adorning a Korean Buddhist temple or hermitage are the melodious wind chimes that hang from the eaves of a shrine hall. And while these Fish-Shaped Wind Chimes, or “Punggyeong – 풍경” in Korean, are absolutely beautiful, but like everything else at a Korean Buddhist temple, they have a symbolic meaning. So what do they look like? Why are they shaped like a fish? And why do you find them adorning Korean Buddhist temple shrine halls?

Fish-Shaped Wind Chime Design

When you first approach a temple, especially on a windy day, you’ll be able to hear a slight ringing in the air. This is the Fish-Shaped Wind Chime that is so prominently displayed up in the eaves of temple structures, especially shrine halls.

First, the bell is smaller is size. It has a typical bell shape as is the clapper/striker, as well. What differentiates the Fish-Shaped Wind Chime is that the sail, which dangles down from the bottom of the bell’s opening, is shaped like a fish. This fish-shaped sail dangles down from a mid-sized string/cord and allows the clapper/striker to hit off the interior of the bell. This is what allows the temple to sound so beautiful, especially on windy days. Also, this style of bell is traditionally made of bronze.

A uniquely designed Fish-Shaped Wind Chime at Gakwonsa Temple in Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do
A Fish-Shaped Wind Chime at Anyangam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Fish-Shaped Wind Chime Meaning

There are three meanings behind the design of the Fish-Shaped Wind Chime. The first is that the wind chime allows the wind to pass through the chime. This is likened to the condition of complete freedom from obstruction. This is centred on one of the core beliefs in Buddhism: the shedding of the superficial for the Truth. The second is found in the meaning behind the eyes of the fish. Like in real life, a fish never closes its eyes whether it’s asleep or awake. Similarly, the Fish-Shaped Wind Chime rings both night and day without ceasing and never getting tired. This is important symbolically because it’s a reminder to both monks and nuns to remain diligent on their path inside the Dharma and on their journey towards enlightenment. And the third, and final, meaning behind the Fish-Shaped Wind Chime is that the bell’s sound is meant to dispel evil spirits. As a bit of a side note, this is why you’ll see both houses and apartments in Korea having a Fish-Shaped Wind Chime near their entryways.


Much like all artwork that adorns Korean Buddhist temple halls, the Fish-Shaped Wind Chime has so much more symbolic meaning than simply looking and sounding great. So the next time you hear a ringing in your ear at a temple, you’ll know that this sound is a reminder to the faithful to remain vigilant on their journey towards Buddhahood. And if there’s an evil spirit around, it might just dispel a spirit or two.

A Fish-Shaped Wind Chime at Beomeosa Temple in Geumjeong-gu, Busan.
The Fish-Shaped Wind Chime at Seoamjeongsa Temple in Hamyang, Gyeongsangnam-do.

9 ways to say “to hold” in Korean | Korean FAQ

This is something I'd never even thought about before, but there are a lot of different words that mean "to hold" in Korean.

In order to translate "to hold" in every situations, it's necessary to learn at least nine different verbs. There might even be more I couldn't think of. Here are the most common ways how to say "to hold" in Korean.

The post 9 ways to say “to hold” in Korean | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Grading your Korean – Super fast Korean skills | Billy Go

Since starting this series I've received dozens of videos of subscribers speaking in Korean. It's been a lot of fun watching them, and it's always a challenge to pick which ones I can feature in a video.

In today's video I grade one of my subscribers, Fatimah. I'll show you what she does well, and how she can improve her Korean even more.

Also if you'd like to be featured in a future episode of this series, check out the link in the video description with information for how you can send in your video to be graded.

The post Grading your Korean – Super fast Korean skills | Billy Go appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Haegwangsa Temple – 해광사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

The Yongwang-dang Hall at Haegwangsa Temple in Gijang-gun, Busan.

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Temple History and Myth

Haegwangsa Temple is a seaside temple located in Gijang-gun, Busan. The temple was first built about one hundred years ago by the monk Kim Mokam-sunim. As for the myth surrounding the creation of the temple, originally Kim Mokam-sunim was a farmer. In fact, the land used for the creation of Haegwangsa Temple used to be his farmland.

One day after finishing up his work, Kim took a shower. It was during this shower that he found a wooden statue of the Buddha, which had drifted up towards him from the sea. As soon as he held and hugged the statue, Kim felt a strange power take hold. Rather strangely, the wooden statue spoke to Kim, saying “I was buried at the temple, deep in the mountain hundreds of years ago, but because of an avalanche, I was swept out into the sea and floated around without a permanent home. Finally, I appeared here, today, as a connection between the past and the present. So place me next to the spring over there.”

When the temple was finally created, it was called Haebulam Hermitage, which means “Ocean Buddha Hermitage” in English. After the temple was created, the wooden statue of the Buddha was placed inside the main hall at the hermitage. However, during Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945), the hermitage was looted by the Japanese. In fact, the historic wooden Buddha was stolen by the Japanese at this time. After Korea’s liberation, a monk at the hermitage brought the wooden Buddha statue back to Haebulam Hermitage. But because of preservation issues with the statue, it was badly damaged during its possession by the Japanese. So in an attempt to help preserve the foundational wooden Buddha, it was buried beneath the main hall in 1974, which is where it’s been buried ever since. It was also around this time that the hermitage changed its name from Haebulam Hermitage to its current name of Haegwangsa Temple.

Temple Layout

You first approach Haegwangsa Temple up a bit of a backroad. With the East Sea to your left, you’ll notice Haegwangsa Temple to your right through a pair of buildings that slightly obscure the entry to the temple. It’s through this opening that you’ll enter into the main temple courtyard at Haegwangsa Temple. Straight ahead of you is the Daeung-jeon Hall. Wrapped around the exterior walls to the main hall are an eclectic assortment of murals which include the Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals), the Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life Murals), a mural dedicated to Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.) and Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.), the Bodhidharma, and several other Buddhist inspired murals. Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find row-upon-row of tiny jade statues of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). As for the main altar triad, it’s centred, once again, by Seokgamoni-bul. This statue is joined on either side by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power).

To the front left of the Daeung-jeon Hall is a ten metre tall white statue dedicated to Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha). And to the left of this statue and the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Samseong-gak Hall. On the right exterior wall to this shaman shrine hall is a beautiful blue lotus flower mural. And when you step inside the Samseong-gak Hall, you’ll find a set of three murals housed inside. This set of three includes a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars) and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). But it’s the mural to the left dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) that stands out with its eyes wide apart with a forlorn and desperate look upon his face.

To the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall, on the other hand, and past the Dabo-tap pagoda replica from Bulguksa Temple, is the temple’s Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this hall are painted with various hellish and redemptive images. As for the interior, and resting on the main altar, is a green haired statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Jijang-bosal is joined on either side, five on each side, of the Ten Kings of the Underworld, or Siwang in Korean.

Making your way back out towards the temple parking lot, and then hanging a right, you’ll need to make your way out to the East Sea to see the last temple shrine hall at Haegwangsa Temple. An easy one hundred metre stroll back to the crashing waves, you’ll notice a shrine hall perched among the jagged, black rocks. This is the main highlight to Haegwangsa Temple, and it’s the temple’s Yongwang-dang Hall. This shaman shrine hall is dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King). Carefully following the somewhat slippery pathway, you’ll climb a set of stairs and enter into the diminutive shrine hall. An orange robed statue of the Dragon King awaits you inside. Backing the orange robed Dragon King is a window with a beautiful view of the East Sea of which he rules over.

How To Get There

To get to Haegwangsa Temple, you can simply walk the kilometre distance from the neighbouring Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. Turn right, and then walk straight down the main road. As you walk, you’ll eventually notice a large brown rock with the Korean words for “Haegwangsa Temple – 해광사” written on it to your right. Or you could simply take a taxi from Haedong Yonggungsa Temple to Haegwangsa Temple. The taxi ride shouldn’t cost you any more than 3,000 won.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

While smaller in size and less popular than the neighbouring Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Haegwangsa Temple still packs a punch with its unique charm. The paintings in and around the temple shrine halls are beautiful; but without a doubt, it’s the seaside Yongwang-dang Hall that sits among the waves of the East Sea that’s the main highlight to this seaside temple. This lesser known temple is a must see in Busan.

The Daeung-jeon Hall at Haegwangsa Temple.
The Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa mural that adorns one of the exterior walls of the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The Daeung-jeon Hall’s exterior walls are also adorned with the Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals).
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A look towards the ten metre tall statue of Mireuk-bul and the Samseong-gak Hall.
A look at Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
A look towards the Myeongbu-jeon Hall and a miniature replica of Dabo-tap pagoda.
The main altar inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.
The morning sun creeping through the trees.
A little early morning fishing near Haegwangsa Temple.
The amazing Yongwang-dang Hall at Haegwangsa Temple.
The orange robed image of the Dragon King from inside the Yongwang-dang Hall.
One last look at the Yongwang-dang Hall.


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