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Three Hanja for ordering food 小 中 大 (한자) | Korean FAQ

Some Hanja are useful to know no matter your Korean level, and three of those are 소, 중, and 대.

Although you don't need to know how to write these characters, you should be able to read them and recognize them. They'll appear on some Korean menus at restaurants.

Note that there is a small mistake in the beginning of this video where I use 소녀 and 소년 - these two words actually use a different 한자 for "소" than is shown in this video.

The post Three Hanja for ordering food 小 中 大 (한자) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Anjeoksa Temple – 안적사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

A Look Back Through the Cheonwangmun Gate Towards the Iljumun Gate at Anjeoksa Temple in Gijang-gun, Busan.

Temple History

Anjeoksa Temple was founded by Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.) in the first year of King Munmu of Silla’s reign in 661 A.D. to the west of Mt. Gamdimsan (308.4 m) in Gijang-gun, Busan. There is no early documented history about Anjeoksa Temple besides who founded it. With that being said, there is writing indicating that the temple was once named Unbongsa Temple. Also, there is architectural evidence at Anjeoksa Temple of a stone pagoda, roof tiles, earthenware, and more on the grounds, which points to the fact that Anjeoksa Temple existed at the end of the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.) and/or the start of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). However, this temple, Unbongsa Temple, was destroyed during the Imjin War (1592-1598) and left in disrepair for years. Later, the temple was moved to its present location and renamed Anjeoksa Temple.

Temple Legends

There are a couple temple legends directly associated with Anjeoksa Temple. The first relates to Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). One day, the two were hiking around the foothills of famous mountains in and around Busan for their Buddhist studies. When they passed by the foothills of Mt. Jangsan (634 m), they suddenly had a flock of nightingales fly onto their shoulders and arms. The birds seemed like they were hugging the two monks. With this realization, the monks figured that this spot at the base of Mt. Jangsan was sacred. As a result, they built a temple on this site. Afterwards, the group of nightingales blocked the monks’ pathway. This mountain is called “Aengrimsan,” which means “Forest of Nightingales” in English. Also, Wonhyo studied at Anjeoksa Temple after the temple was completed. It’s also believed that Wonhyo-daesa gained spiritual enlightenment and attained Nirvana at Anjeoksa Temple. That’s why the temple is named Anjeoksa Temple. “An – 安” means “Peaceful” in English, while “Jeok – 寂” means “Attainment of Nirvana.” So Anjeoksa Temple means “Peaceful Attainment of Nirvana Temple” in English.

There is a second legend also attached to the founding of Anjeoksa Temple. In this legend, Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa started to study, and they promised each other to meet up again once they had attained enlightenment. Afterwards, they went into caves. One day, Uisang-daesa saw Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities) during his studies. He wanted to show off to Wonhyo-daesa, his friend, so he received a promise from the Bicheon to appear when he next met Wonhyo-daesa. However, the Bicheon didn’t show up that day when Uisang and Wonhyo next met. Uisang was angry at the Bicheon, so he scolded her. Wonhyo knew about Uisang’s vanity/ego, so Wonhyo set up a meeting with the Bicheon. Afterwards, Uisang realized that Wonhyo had greater power than him, so Uisang started to look up to Wonhyo.

Temple Layout

Isolated away from both the city centres of Busan, as well as the ocean, Anjeoksa Temple is one of the more remote temples that you’ll find in Busan. You first approach Anjeoksa Temple up a steep set of stairs. After finally mounting these stairs, you’ll be greeted at the temple by a stout Iljumun Gate.

Lining the pathway up to the next entry gate, the Cheonwangmun Gate, are a row of fir trees. There are a pair of seokdeung (stone lanterns) and a pair of stone lion guardians out in front of the Cheonwangmun Gate. And surrounding the exterior walls to the Cheonwangmun Gate are the Sibiji-shin (The Twelve Spirit Generals). Stepping into the Cheonwangmun Gate, you’ll find four modern Sacheonwang (The Four Heavenly Kings) statues.

Upon entering the main temple courtyard, you’ll be greeted by a three-story stone pagoda. To the left of this central pagoda is a compact Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion). This Jong-ru houses a stout Brahma Bell. Next to the Jong-ru are a row of budo (stupas) underneath an ancient tree and surrounded by a bamboo forest.

Straight ahead of you is the rather large Daeung-jeon Hall at Anjeoksa Temple. The exterior walls to this main hall are mainly adorned with Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals). However, there are a couple other paintings adorning the exterior walls of the Daeung-jeon Hall like those dedicated to the myths about Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa and Anjeoksa Temple. As for the interior, and resting on the main altar, is a triad centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This central image is then joined on either side by Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power) and Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). To the right of this main altar triad is a blacked haired statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). This statue is then backed by an equally beautiful wooden relief of the Bodhisattva of the Afterlife. And on the far left wall, you’ll find a large wooden relief of the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural) with a striking image of Dongjin-bosal (The Bodhisattva that Protects the Buddha’s Teachings) in the centre. The only other artwork of note inside the Daeung-jeon Hall are the murals painted above both sides of the entries of Munsu-bosal and Bohyeon-bosal.

The only other shrine hall that visitors can explore at Anjeoksa Temple is the Samseong-gak Hall. The exterior walls to this hall are adorned with Taoist images and a couple more murals dedicated to Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa and the founding of Anjeoksa Temple. As for the interior, you’ll find a newer image dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars) hanging in the centre of the three shaman murals. On the left is a simplistic image of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). And on the right side of these three main altar murals, you’ll find a large image dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), which is reminiscent of the one found at Beomeosa Temple in Geumjeong-gu, Busan. The reason for this similarity might be because the head monk at Anjeoksa Temple was first trained at Beomeosa Temple; either that, or it could simply be a coincidence. And the final artwork that occupies the Samseong-gak Hall on the right side are a row of paintings dedicated to famous monks that once called Anjeoksa Temple home. Not surprising, you’ll find paintings dedicated to both Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa.

A couple of interesting points about Anjeoksa Temple. You’ll find a sheer rock wall on the right side of the temple grounds. Here, you’ll find a collection of figurines left behind by devotees. You’ll wonder how people were able to place these trinkets upon the thinnest of rock ledges.

How To Get There

To get to Anjeoksa Temple, you’ll need to use the Busan subway system and get off at “Witbansong Station – 윗반송역” on the fourth line. This station is also known as “Dong-Pusan College Station – 동부산대학역.” Go out exit #3 and walk for about two minutes. There, you’ll find a bus stop. This bus stop is “Witbansong-yeok – 윗반송역.” Take the local town bus called “Gijang-gun 11 – 기장군 11” After ten stops, or eight minutes, get off at the “SWAT Team entrance – 경찰 특공대 입구” bus stop. From here, you’ll need to walk uphill for about 2.2 km, or thirty minutes, to get to Anjeoksa Temple.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Both entry gates at Anjeoksa Temple are masterfully built, and they’re wonderful examples of Korean Buddhist architecture. Other highlights to look for is the wooden relief of the Shinjung Taenghwa inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, as well as the beautiful paintings housed inside the Samseong-gak Hall. In addition to all this artistry, Anjeoksa Temple is beautifully located in the Busan landscape.

A look through the Iljumun Gate at the entry of Anjeoksa Temple.
The beautiful Cheonwangmun Gate.
Gwangmok Cheonwang, one of the Four Heavenly Kings, inside the Cheonwangmun Gate.
The three-story stone pagoda in the main temple courtyard with the Daeung-jeon Hall in the background.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The amazing wooden relief of the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural) inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The Jong-ru Pavilion to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) mural inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
The murals of famous monks that once called Anjeoksa Temple home including Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa.
The stone wall to the right rear of the temple grounds with these figurines left behind by devotees.

Reasons you need to feel better about your Korean skills (feat. Hyunwoo)

Do you feel like you're not progressing how you'd hoped? Are you too busy to study lately? These are common things I've heard from Korean learners over the years, and they're completely normal.

So I met up with Hyunwoo from Talk To Me In Korean and he shared some solutions and some advice. Ultimately, we talked about how you need to feel good about where you're currently at, no matter where that is. We talked about the reasons why you should, and also when some people shouldn't.

The post Reasons you need to feel better about your Korean skills (feat. Hyunwoo) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Geumgangam Hermitage – 금강암 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

Dolbada, or “Sea of Rocks” in English, at Geumgangam Hermitage near Beomeosa Temple in Geumjeong-gu, Busan.

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! 

Hermitage History

Geumgangam Hermitage, which means “Diamond Hermitage” in English, is one of the more popular hermitages on the Beomeosa Temple grounds in Geumjeong-gu, Busan. Although there is no way to confirm whether Geumgangam Hermitage existed before the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), there are records that show that it was constructed in 1803 by the monk Chuigyu-seonsa. Since its foundation, Geumgangam Hermitage has been reconstructed twice; first in 1863 and then again in 1899.

More recently, and during the 1980’s, Geumgangam Hermitage, which was a smaller mountain hermitage, started to gradually gain in popularity. It’s from this popularity that the hermitage began to grow in both size and influence.

Like the neighbouring Anyangam Hermitage and Daeseongam Hermitage, Geumgangam Hermitage is located to the south-west of Beomeosa Temple and a little further up Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5 m). But while Geumgangam Hermitage welcomes visitors, both Anyangam Hermitage and Daeseongam Hermitage are strictly off-limits, as they are centres for Buddhist monastic studies.

Hermitage Layout

You first begin your trek up to Geumgangam Hermitage from the upper left side of the Beomeosa Temple grounds. Here you’ll find an opening with a large collection of rocks. This area is known as Dolbada, or “Sea of Rocks” in English. Continuing up the trail through the Dolbada, you’ll come to two wooden bridges. Instead of going over them, which will eventually bring you much further up the mountain to Wonhyoam Hermitage, hang a right. The hermitage is about three hundred metres up a stone stairway and a collection of cascading water.

Having finally mounted all the uneven stairs, you’ll see a sign with the name of the hermitage on it, as well as a bridge that spans the length of the cascading water. At this point, you should also be able to see the Iljumun Gate out in front of the main hermitage grounds at Geumgangam Hermitage. Instead of having the more traditional hanja characters writing on it, the writing on the nameplate is written in Korean. And the nameplate simply reads “Geumgangam – 금강암.”

Passing through the uniquely designed Iljumun Gate, you’ll enter into the beautiful Geumgangam Hermitage grounds that has lush green grass growing in the main hermitage courtyard. Straight ahead of you is the Daejabi-jeon Hall. The outside walls to the main hall are adorned with fairly traditional paintings. One is the Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life Murals), and the other set is the Shimu-do (The Ox-Herding Murals). The Palsang-do set is on top, while the Shimu-do on are the bottom. The Shimu-do are placed within a circular design, while the Palsang-do are fading with age. Inside the Daejabi-jeon Hall, on the other hand, are a triad of main altar statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This central image is joined on either side by golden statues of Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). Behind this triad is a beautiful wooden relief. To the right of the main altar, you’ll find another stunning relief. This wooden relief is dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). And to the left is the third stunning wood relief inside the Daejabi-jeon Hall. This relief is a depiction of the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And rounding out the Buddhist artistry inside the main hall is an all-white mural dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) on the far left wall.

Surrounding the Daejabi-jeon Hall are a collection of shrine halls. To the immediate right of the main hall is a rather top-heavy three-story stone pagoda. Out in front of this simplistic three-story pagoda is an intricate stone incense burner with a dragon design around its base. Above this pagoda is the Samseong-gak. Rather interestingly, once again, the name of the shrine hall is written in Korean on the signboard. The outside walls to this hall are adorned with a mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). Inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll find the three most popular shaman deities housed inside its walls. In the centre of the three hangs a golden relief dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). To the left hangs a golden relief dedicated to Sanshin. And to the right hangs another golden relief; this time, this golden relief is dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint).

To the left of the Daejabi-jeon is a diminutive Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion). The bell inside this pavilion is equally compact. But also like the pavilion, it’s beautiful in design. Up the embankment, you’ll find an entrance to a cave. This cave is the hermitage’s Yaksa-jeon Hall. Housed inside this cave is an all-white image of Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha). The white statue of Yaksayeorae-bul is pouring water from the bottle it holds in its left hand. And surrounding the central image of Yaksayeorae-bul are tinier statues of all-white Buddhas.

Further up the embankment, and only accessible by way of the Samseong-gak Hall, is the Nahan-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this hall are painted with various Nahan either studying or teaching. As for the interior, you’ll find another golden relief hanging in the centre of the main altar. This golden relief is centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). And it’s fronted by a diminutive triad of statues, again, centred by Seokgamoni-bul and joined by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). Flanking this main altar triad are statues of the sixteen Nahan (The Disciples of the Historical Buddha). There are also two wooden reliefs joining the golden relief on the main altar. However, these two reliefs are of the Nahan.

How To Get There

From the Beomeosa Station subway stop, stop #133 on line #1, leave this station through exits #5 or #7. From there, walk five minutes to the bus stop and take Bus #90 to get to the entrance of Beomeosa Temple. From the entry of Beomeosa Temple and the historic Iljumun Gate, you’ll need to take the trail that leads to the left. Eventually, you’ll come to a wooden bridge that spans a stream. This area is known as Dolbada, or “The Sea of Rocks” in English. Hang a left but don’t cross the bridge; instead, head up the stone stairway next to the cascading water for about three hundred metres. Along the way, you’ll pass by Daeseongam Hermitage to your right. You’ll know that you’re nearing the hermitage with a sign that reads “금강암.” This sign is situated on a bridge that spans the length of the rolling rocks and water. Head up this path for an additional fifty metres until you arrive at Geumgangam Hermitage’s Iljumun Gate.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Geumgangam Hermitage is large enough to be a temple. And if it wasn’t attached to Beomeosa Temple, it would probably be far more famous than it already is. It’s located up a beautiful valley and up the cascading waters that flow down from Dolbada, or “The Sea of Rocks” in English. Geumgangam Hermitage is home to a handful of beautiful temple shrine halls including the Nahan-jeon Hall and the Samseong-gak Hall. Included in these halls is the rather unique Yaksa-jeon cave shrine hall. If you’re to visit any hermitage at Beomeosa Temple, Geumgangam Hermitage should be high on that list.

Making your way up to Geumgangam Hermitage.
Part of Dolbada on your way up to the hermitage grounds.
Finally approaching Geumgangam Hermitage.
Daejabi-jeon Hall at Geumgangam Hermitage.
A look inside the main hall at the main altar.
To the left of the Daejabi-jeon Hall is this cave Yaksa-jeon Hall and the Nahan-jeon Hall above it.
A look inside the Yaksa-jeon Hall.
The Samseong-gak Hall to the right of the main hall.
A golden relief of Chilseong (The Seven Stars) is housed inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
The view from the Nahan-jeon Hall across the Daejabi-jeon Hall.
A look towards the Nahan-jeon Hall.
And a look inside the Nahan-jeon Hall.

~다(가) 보면 "If you keep..." | Live Class Abridged

The grammar form ~다 보면 itself is an intermediate level verb ending and sentence connector used to mean "If you keep doing" something, but using it often requires other knowledge of several grammar forms, so I would probably classify it as more useful in the advanced level.

~다 보면 is also often compared with ~다가는, but these two forms are very different despite having similar English translations. We also very briefly compared ~다 보면 with ~다 보니까.

The post ~다(가) 보면 "If you keep..." | Live Class Abridged appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Simhyangsa Temple – 심향사 (Naju, Jeollanam-do)

The Dry-lacquered Seated Amitabha Buddha of Simhyangsa Temple inside the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.

Temple History

Simhyangsa Temple is located in Naju, Jeollanam-do at the foot of Mt. Geumseonsan. The temple looks out towards the Yeongsan River. It’s believed that Simhyangsa Temple was first established by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). Originally, the temple was called Mireukwon after Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha). The temple is also said to have been the place where King Hyeonjong of Goryeo (r. 1009-1031 A.D.) prayed for peace as he fled the royal palace. The Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) was being invaded at this time by the Tungusic people of Manchuria in 1011.

The temple was later repaired in 1358. And it was reconstructed by the monk Mongsu in 1789. A ridge beam at Simhyangsa Temple says “The reconstruction of Yonghwa-dang Hall of Sinhwangsa Temple in Mt. Geumseong – in the 54th year of Emperor Qianlong in China” written on it. This writing was discovered after this temple shrine hall was dismantled and restored. This temple shrine hall is currently called the Mireuk-jeon Hall, and it was restored after a rainstorm had damaged it in August, 1976. The restoration was then completed by October, 1977. With this in mind, the temple was once known as Sinhwangsa or Sinwangsa Temple in 1789, when the inscription inside the Mireuk-jeon Hall was written. It’s unknown when the name of the temple changed to Simhyangsa Temple.

In total, there are ten buildings at Simhyangsa Temple, which includes the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall that was constructed in 1982.

In total, Simhyangsa Temple is home to two Korean Treasures. The first is the Three-story Stone Pagoda Outside the North Gate, which is Korean Treasure #50. The other Korean Treasure is the Dry-lacquered Seated Amitabha Buddha of Simhyangsa Temple. This statue is Korean Treasure #1544. Additionally, the entire temple grounds are considered Jeollanam-do Cultural Heritage #88. And the Seokjo-yeorae-jwasang inside the Mireuk-jeon Hall is believed to date back to the Goryeo Dynasty, and it’s classified as Jeollanam-do Cultural Heritage #309. Simhyangsa Temple, as of 2006, also participates in the popular Temple Stay program.

Temple Layout

Simhyangsa Temple is sandwiched between two high school campuses and at the foot of Mt. Geumseongsan. The Iljumun Gate at the temple is rather small in comparison to other temple entry gates with the same name. However, the Iljumun Gate at Simhyangsa Temple isn’t used; instead, there’s a wide open entry to the right that allows visitors to enter the large temple grounds. In line with the Iljumun Gate is the two-story Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion). This entry area of the temple grounds also has the visitors centre to the far right, as well.

Having passed by the Iljumun Gate and the Jong-ru Pavilion, and up a flight of stairs, you’ll enter into the lower courtyard at Simhyangsa Temple. The two temple shrine halls in this area are the Myeongbu-jeon Hall and the Mireuk-jeon Hall. And out in front of these two temple shrine halls are a pair of stone pagodas. While both are beautiful, it’s the three-story stone pagoda to the left, which is officially known as Three-story Stone Pagoda Outside the North Gate, that’s Korean Treasure #50. This pagoda is believed to date back to the late Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Originally, this pagoda stood, as the official name kind of hints at, at the North Gate of Najueupseong Walled Town. But in 1915, the pagoda was moved to Geumseonggwan Guesthouse, which is Korean Treasure #2037. At this time, the Geumseonggwan Guesthouse was used as a county office. Then in 2006, the pagoda was moved, once more. This time, it was moved to its current location of Simhyangsa Temple. Because of weathering, part of the pagoda has fallen off the three-story structure. And because of its smaller size, locals call the pagoda the “Dwarf Pagoda.”

In front of the pair of pagodas is a sunken area, where you’ll find a pair of five hundred year old hackberry and quince trees. Both seem to have seen better days, but both are still standing, all the same.

To the right rear of the pair of pagodas, on the other hand, is the Mireuk-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this temple shrine hall are beautifully adorned with dancheong colours and floral murals. Stepping inside the Mireuk-jeon Hall, you’ll find a large stone statue dedicated to the Buddha on the main altar. This statue is known as the Seokjo-yeorae-jwasang, and it’s believed to date back to the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). There are murals that are also housed inside the Mireuk-jeon Hall like a mural dedicated to Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha), as well as a Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).

To the rear of the Mireuk-jeon Hall and the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, and up a flight of stone stairs, is the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall. The main hall at Simhyangsa Temple was built in 1982. The exterior walls to the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall are beautifully adorned with a masterful collection of Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life). Also, you’ll find a collection of dragons, both big and small, up in the colourful eaves of the main hall at Simhyangsa Temple.

Stepping inside the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall, you’ll find a solitary statue of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) on the main altar. This statue is officially known as the Dry-lacquered Seated Amitabha Buddha of Simhyangsa Temple, and it’s Korean Treasure #1544. The statue was created using the dry lacquer method, which was fairly common at this time. Amita-bul has almost an exotic look to his face. The expression on his face is somewhat austere, which was typical of similar statues from the late Goryeo Dynasty. The statue is similar to the age and design of other statues in the Naju region like at the neighbouring Bulhoesa Temple. The statue is believed to have first been created during the late Goryeo Dynasty.

As for the rest of the interior of the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall, you’ll find three murals to the right of the main altar. The first is a simplistic mural dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). This mural is joined to the right by an intricate mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). Dokseong is joined by two dongja and a white crane in this mural, as well as a sneak peak of a portion of a wooden deck in the top left corner of the mural. And hanging on the far right wall is another Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). To the left of the main altar image of Amita-bul, you’ll find a collection of murals dedicated to famous Korean monks, as well as a shrine and mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife).

To the left of the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall, you’ll find the top four stories to a historic pagoda that seems to have lost its bottom stories through the passage of time.

Climbing another flight of stairs to the upper courtyard this time, you’ll find the Samseong-gak Hall to your left. The exterior walls to this hall are adorned with scenic landscapes. Stepping inside the Samseong-gak Hall, you’ll find three newly created and painted reliefs dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Chilseong (The Seven Stars), and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint).

Across from the Samseong-gak Hall, and through an open field with a trail, you’ll come to a stupa field with a collection of historic stupas of monks that once called Simhyangsa Temple home.

How To Get There

From the Naju Train Station, you’ll need to walk to get to the Naju City Hall bus stop. The walk will take you about nine minutes (513 m). From this stop, you can take one of several buses to get to Simhyangsa Temple. You can take Bus #100, #101, #102, #104, #105, #109, #400, #401, #402, #403, #404, #500, #501, #502, #503, #504, or #505. After five stops, you’ll need to get off at the “Baekminwon – 백민원” bus stop. After walking about twenty-five minutes, or 1.8 km, you can finally arrive at Simhyangsa Temple.

Another way to get to Simhyangsa Temple from the Naju Train Station is to simply take a taxi. The ride should last about seven minutes (3.6 km), and it’ll cost you around 5,100 won.

Overall Rating: 7/10

While Simhyangsa Temple is little known outside the Naju, Jeollanam-do area, there is quite a bit for people to see and explore like the pair of pagodas at the entry of the temple grounds, as well as the Goryeo Dynasty statue of the Buddha housed inside the Mireuk-jeon Hall. Additionally, all the murals throughout the temple grounds, both inside and outside the temple shrine halls, are first rate. But the main highlight to the temple is the beautiful, historic statue of Amita-bul housed inside the equally beautiful Geukrakbo-jeon Hall at Simhyangsa Temple. So if you’re ever in the Naju area, add Simhyangsa Temple to your list of temples you need to visit.

The diminutive Iljumun Gate at Simhyangsa Temple.
The Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion) just beyond the Iljumun Gate.
The Three-story Stone Pagoda Outside the North Gate with the Mireuk-jeon Hall and Geukrakbo-jeon Hall in the background.
The Seokjo-yeorae-jwasang statue from the Goryeo Dynasty inside the Mireuk-jeon Hall.
The beautiful danceong colours and view from the Mireuk-jeon Hall towards the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.
Some of the dragons adorning the eaves of the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.
One of the murals from the Palsang-do set that adorns the exterior walls of the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall of the Dry-lacquered Seated Amitabha Buddha of Simhyangsa Temple.
The mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) inside the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.
To the left of the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall is the top four stories of a stone pagoda. And in the background is the Samseong-gak Hall.
The colourful reliefs inside the Samseong-gak Hall of Sanshin (left), Chilseong (centre), and Dokseong (right).

Dabosa Temple – 다보사 (Naju, Jeollanam-do)

The Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion) at Dabosa Temple in Naju, Jeollanam-do.

Temple History

Dabosa Temple is located on Mt. Geumseongsan (453.3 m) in Naju, Jeollanam-do. It’s believed that Dabosa Temple was first built in 661 A.D. by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). However, another legend states that Dabosa Temple was in fact founded by a monk who was meditating on Mt. Geumseongsan after he had a dream that a large pagoda decorated with the seven treasures rose from the ground and Daboyeorae-bul (Abundant Treasures Buddha), or Prabhutaratna in Sanskrit, appeared from the pagoda. Dabosa Temple means “Abundant Treasures Temple” in English.

The temple is believed to have been rebuilt in 1184 during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) by another famed monk, Jinul (1158-1210). And in 1594, the temple was rebuilt, once more, by yet another famous monk; this time, it was rebuilt by Seosan-daesa (1520-1604).

Dabosa Temple is located in a deep valley between the peaks of Odobong Peak and Dabokbong Peak. The temple is surrounded by thick mountain forests. The current temple buildings date back to the 19th century. Specifically, the Yeongsan-jeon Hall, the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, and the Chilseong-gak Hall were all rebuilt between 1878 to 1881. The current Dabosa Temple Daeung-jeon Hall was originally located in the nearby temple called Sillosa Temple. However, the Daeung-jeon Hall was moved to Dabosa Temple when Sillosa Temple was closed. During the Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945), the Daeung-jeon Hall at Dabosa Temple was used as a famous training place.

Dabosa Temple is home to a pair of Korean Treasures. They are the Hanging Painting of Dabosa Temple, which is Korean Treasure #1343. The other Korean Treasure is the Wooden Sakyamuni Buddha Triad and Clay Sixteen Seated Arhats of Dabosa Temple, which is Korean Treasure #1834. Additionally, the Daeung-jeon Hall is Jeollanam-do Cultural Heritage Material #87. And the Wooden Statues of Ksitigarbha Triad and the Ten Underworld Kings are Jeollanam-do Tangible Cultural Heritage #310.

Temple Layout

Dabosa Temple is located up a long valley; but before you turn to the left at the bend in the road, and near the mountain trail parking lot, you’ll see the old, unpainted Iljumun Gate that once showed the temple boundary. Now, it’s located about two hundred metres away from the main temple grounds at Dabosa Temple.

Finally approaching the main temple grounds, and making your way to the temple parking lot, you’ll first be welcomed by Dabosa Temple’s rather imposing four-story Haseong-dang Hall. This hall acts as the study halls, visitors centre, and administrative office. The fourth floor of the structure, which is the most traditional of the structure, and is also on the same level as the lower temple courtyard, is the Cheonbul-jeon Hall. It’s a bit tucked away, so even I missed it on my visit to Dabosa Temple.

To the left of the Haseong-dang Hall and the Cheonbul-jeon Hall is the Geumgangmun Gate at Dabosa Temple. Up a bit of an incline, you’ll be welcomed by this newly painted entry gate. Housed inside the Geumgangmun Gate are two standing statues dedicated to Narayeon Geumgang and Miljeok Geumgang – 나라연 금강 & 밀적 금강. You’ll also find two seated youthful images, one dedicated to Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power) and the other dedicated to Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). Bohyeon-bosal is riding the multi-tusked elephant to the left, while Munsu-bosal is riding the blue haetae to your right.

Having passed through the Geumgangmun Gate, and still making your way up the incline, you’ll turn to your right and enter the lower courtyard at Dabosa Temple. First up is the beautifully adorned Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion), which has a beautiful bronze Brahma bell housed inside it. Straight ahead of you is the historic Daeung-jeon Hall. Rather uniquely, the exterior walls of the Daeung-jeon Hall are adorned with fading white murals of pagodas. These paintings obviously harken back to the temple creation story and Daboyeorae-bul. At the front of the entry, which is a peculiar feature rarely seen at a Daeung-jeon Hall, is a railing and wood flooring. The wooden latticework adorning the front doors of the Daeung-jeon Hall are those of chrysanthemums, apricot flowers, and peonies. Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll be greeted by a triad of large statues. In the centre rests Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). And this statue is joined on either side by Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha) and Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). Hanging on the left wall is the temple’s Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And on the far right wall is a mural dedicated to the Buddhist Three Jewels.

To the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to the Myeongbu-jeon Hall are adorned with simplified dancheong colours. As for the interior, you’ll notice a green haired image of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) on the main altar. And this statue is joined on either side by the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld). Both Jijang-bosal and the Siwang are Jeollanam-do Tangible Cultural Heritage #310, and they date back to 1659. In total, there are twenty-two of these historic statues housed inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, and they were made by nine monk-sculptors. They were later repaired in 1903. Completing the interior of the Myeongbu-jeon Hall are ten murals hanging above the heads of the Siwang statues. The murals depict the Underworld that each of the ten Siwang rule over.

Joining the Daeung-jeon Hall and the Myeongbu-jeon Hall in the lower courtyard are the monks’ residence and the upper body of a historic pagoda. Sadly, only the upper two stories of the pagoda still exist.

To the rear of the Daeung-jeon Hall, and up a flight of stairs, is the Chilseong-gak Hall in the upper courtyard. Housed inside this shaman shrine hall are three murals. In the centre hangs a more modern mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). To the left of this modern mural hangs an older mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), who is joined in this mural by a tiger with its mouth wide open. The final mural in the set of three, and hanging on the far right wall, is the mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). Of the set, it’s the Dokseong mural that stands out. In the mural, Dokseong sits upon a golden chair. And both his finger and toe nails are rather long, which only adds to the overall age of Dokseong.

The final temple shrine hall that visitors can explore at Dabosa Temple is the Yeongsan-jeon Hall, which is up another flight of stairs to the left of the Chilseong-gak Hall. The exterior walls are similar to the dancheong colours that adorn the Myeongbu-jeon Hall at Dabosa Temple; but it’s the interior, with its Wooden Sakyamuni Buddha Triad and Clay Sixteen Seated Arhats of Dabosa Temple that’s the star. This collection of statues were first made in 1625, and they’re Korean Treasure #1834. There was a team of sculptors that created these statues that was led by the monk Suyeon. He was a leading Buddhist sculpture during the early part of the 17th century. Inside the statues, written prayers were found. Not only were there prayers, but the age of the statues and the names of the sculptures were also contained inside it, as well as the patrons that sponsored the production of the statues. The nineteen statues are masterfully designed, and the Nahan statues are colourful in their overall composition.

One thing that visitors can’t see at Dabosa Temple, but is a Korean Treasure nonetheless, is the Hanging Painting of Dabosa Temple. This Gwaebul is Korean Treasure #1343. The central image of the large mural, which measures 1,143 cm in length and 852 cm in width, is that of Seokgamoni-bul. The Historical Buddha is joined by smaller Bodhisattva images of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). Joining these smaller Bodhisattva images are other Buddhas, as well, like that of Daboyeorae-bul (The Abundant Treasure Buddha) and Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This large mural used to be kept at Boheungsa Temple on Mt. Geumseongsan. This Gwaebul was completed by nine monks including Uigyeom, and it’s believed to have first been painted in 1745.

How To Get There

From the Naju Bus Terminal, you’ll need to walk to get to the Gwangju Bank Bus Stop, which will take you about ten minutes (635 m). You’ll need to take the “Sunhwan 3 – 순환 3” bus. After six stops, or eight minutes, you’ll need to get off at the “Dabosa Entrance Stop – 다보사 입구.” From this stop, you’ll need to walk nine minutes (607 m) to get to Dabosa Temple.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Dabosa Temple is beautifully located on Mt. Geumseongsan in Naju, Jeollanam-do. Adding to this natural beauty are the statues inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall of Jijang-bosal and the Siwang, as well as the paintings of Sanshin and Dokseong inside the Chilseong-gak Hall. But the main highlight to Dabosa Temple are the collection of statues of both the main altar triad and Nahan statues inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall. They are all so descriptively rendered and vibrantly painted.

The Haseong-dang Hall and Cheonbul-jeon Hall at the entry to Dabosa Temple.
The Geumgangmun Gate.
The historic Daeung-jeon Hall.
One of the Daeung-jeon Hall’s exterior walls with a pagoda mural adorning it. This pagoda refers to the founding legend at Dabosa Temple.
The main altar triad inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
An image of Dongjin-bosal (The Bodhisattva that Protects the Buddha’s Teachings) at the centre of the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural) inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.
A look at one of the expressive Siwang (Ten Kings of the Underworld) statues inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.
The Chilseong-gak Hall behind the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A unique portrait of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) inside the Samseong-gak Hall.
The Yeongsan-jeon Hall.
A look inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall at the Korean Treasures housed inside it.
A closer look at one of the Nahan inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall.

집다 vs 줍다 – “To Pick Up” | Korean FAQ

Two common words for "to pick up" are the verbs 집다 and 줍다. Both of them mean "to pick up," and both of them are equally as common. So you'll need to learn how to use and conjugate both of them.

I'll talk about what each means, and when you'll want to use both of them in this week's episode of "Korean FAQ." This series is where I answer common Korean questions, or small tips for Korean that you might not find anywhere else.

The post 집다 vs 줍다 – “To Pick Up” | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Seonjisa Temple – 선지사 (Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do)

Jesus Inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall at Seonjisa Temple in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Temple History

Seonjisa Temple is located in the western part of Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do to the south of Mt. Gyeongunsan (377.2 m). Seonjisa Temple was officially registered as a temple with the Korean government in 2007. The name of Seonjisa Temple is in reference to the local town, Seonji. It is also the name of a local pond called Seonji, as well. Before 2007, it’s believed by some that there had been a temple on the Seonjisa Temple grounds until it fell into disrepair and disappeared altogether. For nearly thirty years, this temple was nothing more than a tent that the head monk lived in. Two lay women, or “bosal” in Korean,” donated a lot of money to have Seonjisa Temple built. Specifically, Seonjisa Temple was built for the worship of Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha). The idea for this design came to the head monk after he had seen the five hundred Nahan of Gongjuksa Temple in China, which is located in Unnamseong. With this in mind, the name of the main hall at Seonjisa Temple is that of a Yeongsan-jeon Hall for the worship of Nahan.

Finally, and according to the head monk at Seonjisa Temple, the goal of the temple is to make people in this multi-religious world of the 21st century feel comfortable at Seonjisa Temple (more on this idea later).

Temple Layout

When you first approach Seonjisa Temple, you’ll approach it up a side road that snakes and winds its way up the foot of the mountain. Finally in the temple parking lot, and over a knoll, you’ll finally enter into the lower courtyard at Seonjisa Temple. To the left is the temple’s kitchen, and to the right are the monks’ dorms.

Straight ahead of you, and the largest shrine hall at Seonjisa Temple, is the Yeongsan-jeon (Vulture Peak Hall). The front entry doors to this hall are adorned with elfish-looking Gwimyeon (Monster Masks). There are two sets of murals that adorn the exterior walls of the Yeongsan-jeon Hall. The first set, which is the lower set of the two, are the Sibiji-shin (The Twelve Spirit Generals). Each of the twelve are simplistically painted in their own panel and surrounded by a painted circle. As for the second set, which is painted above the Sibiji-shin, are a collection of paintings dedicated to the Nahan.

But the real highlight to Seonjisa Temple is what resides inside the Seonjisa Temple. Housed inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall at Seonjisa Temple are some five hundred statues of various figures.

These statues include such luminaries as Jangyu-hwasang (The monk brother of Queen Heo of Gaya), Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.), Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.), Seosan-daesa (1520-1604), and Jesus (Hyangsang-jonja – 향상존자). According to the head monk at Seonjisa Temple, Jesus is the 109th Nahan (Historical Disciple of the Buddha). And Jesus’ connection to the Nahan is through a temple in China. This temple in China is called Gongjuksa Temple in Unnamseong. Supposedly, Jesus traveled to China from the Middle East. And by way of China, and the aforementioned Chinese temple, Jesus traveled on to the Korean peninsula, and Seonjisa Temple in particular, with a Nahan. (This story was broadcast on a KBS TV program called Sponge). Jesus came to Korea to tell Koreans the message that we should live well together since the society we live in is multicultural and multi-religious.

As for the rest of the interior, and placed upon the main altar of the Yeongsan-jeon Hall, you’ll find four statues. The statue in the centre is that of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is joined on either side by Yeondeung-bul (The Past Buddha) and Mireuk-bul (The Historical Buddha). And the fourth statue to the far right on the main altar is a smaller version of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). Hanging on the far right wall is a well-populated Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).

Up the mountainside to the right, you’ll find a small shrine hall dedicated to an Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) statue that dates back to 1605. This statue was only recently opened to the public within the past ten years, and the shrine hall that surrounds it proves just how recent of an addition it is. Backing the four hundred year old statue is a black mural of the Buddha of the Western Paradise. This black mural is also populated by the Four Heavenly Kings.

In the upper courtyard at Seonjisa Temple, and past a newly built storage area, you’ll find the temple’s Sanshin-gak Hall. Inside the Sanshin-gak Hall, you’ll find a simple, yet beautiful, mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). You also get a beautiful view of the western part of Gimhae from this vantage point, as well.

How To Get There

There are a couple of buses that go to Seonjisa Temple. You can take Bus #21 or Bus #30 to get to Seonjisa Temple. You’ll need to get off at the Dongseon-maeul stop. From this stop, you should be able to see signs that say “Seonjisa – 선지사” on them. There are numerous brown signs with the name of the temple on them. And the road that leads up to Seonjisa Temple is a dead-end. So once you start heading in the right direction, you shouldn’t get lost.

Overall Rating: 7/10

While a bit difficult to find, Seonjisa Temple is definitely worth the effort. Where else will you find a statue of Jesus at a Korean Buddhist temple? The location is beautiful. The statue of Amita-bul is beautiful. The statues inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall, including Jesus, are masterful. And when you add the story behind the statue of Jesus, you’ll need to find the time to visit Seonjisa Temple in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do.

The Yeongsan-jeon Hall at Seonjisa Temple.
A look up at the dancheong and dragons that adorn the Yeongsan-jeon Hall.
The dragon mural, which is part of the Sibiji-shin (The Twelve Spirit Generals) set, that adorns the exterior walls of the Yeongsan-jeon Hall.
A look inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall with the main altar to the left.
The Shinjung Taenghwa (left) and a phoenix mural (right) on the right side of the wall inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall.
Can you spot Jesus among the five hundred Nahan?
There he is: Jesus !?!
Some more of the amazing Nahan statues inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall.
A look over at the Yeongsan-jeon Hall from the small shrine hall that houses the four hundred year old statue of Amita-bul.
And the small shrine hall that in fact houses Amita-bul at Seonjisa Temple.
A look at the Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) statue.
The Sanshin-gak Hall in the upper courtyard at Seonjisa Temple.
Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).
The beautiful view from the Sanshin-gak Hall down at the Yeongsan-jeon Hall and western Gimhae.

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