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If you're curious about Korean universities, then how about taking a tour of one of the largest, and Korea's #1 Women's university, Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교) or "이대."
I met up with "Jenn from KOREA" on YouTube, and she showed me around the place where she used to go to school. We walked around campus and checked out the buildings, stopped for a snack, and Jenn shared some inside stories about the university.
The post Touring Korea’s #1 Women’s University: Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.—
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It’s not often that you find an abandoned Korean Buddhist temple. When you do, it’s a haunting reminder of the passage of time and that time waits for no one and nothing. In my time in Korea, and during my travels to some five hundred temples, I think I’ve only ever encountered three abandoned Korean Buddhist temples. Bokcheonjeongsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do is located high up on Mt. Togoksan (855 m) about two hundred metres below the peak. Bokcheonjeongsa Temple formerly belonged to the Cheontae-jong Order. And the temple appears to have been abandoned some time around 2014, probably with the passing of the head monk at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. Even with the temple being abandoned, Bokcheonjeongsa Temple has a beautiful and commanding view of the valley below.Temple Layout
Nature has started to reclaim the land where Bokcheonjeongsa Temple is located, and the very first sign of this reclamation is the overgrown trail and stairs that lead up towards the temple grounds. From where the road recedes and the trailhead begins, you need to hike an additional eight hundred metres to get to the temple grounds. The trail is covered in several spots with fallen leaves and can be quite treacherous and slippery in the thicker spots where the leaves have fallen, so caution is definitely advised.
As recently as seven years ago, Bokcheonjeongsa Temple was a thriving and active temple but, following the passing of the head monk, it became a shell of its former self, with overgrown paths and decaying buildings. Upon arriving at the base of the temple grounds, one gets the sense that they have entered a ghost town with only an eerie collection of abandoned temple shrine halls to greet them. The buildings are starting to fall into disrepair with even some of the windows having been smashed out. You’ll notice this as you stand on the crumbling cement stairs at the entry, as you look towards the discoloured white exterior of the former kitchen to your right and the fading yellow façade of the monks’ quarters to your left.
This is only a taste of things to come at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. Straight ahead of you stands the two-story main hall. The first floor of the main hall looks to have once been a Geukrak-jeon Hall. With that being said, all of the paintings and statues that were once dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) have been removed. In their place is the detritus of a once active temple. The second floor, on the other hand, appears to have once been the temple’s Myeongbu-jeon Hall. Unlike the first floor Geukrak-jeon Hall, the Myeongbu-jeon Hall has a solitary altar mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) still hanging; albeit, off-centre, on the main altar. Besides the garbage that has collected in the subsequent years of its abandonment, this is all that remains inside the second floor of the main hall. It’s also from the second story of the modern main hall that you get an amazing view of the valley below.
To the rear of the main hall is the former Yongwang-dang Hall. And next to it is a slow flowing waterfall that collects at the base in a beautiful clear pool of water. To the left of the main hall, and up an incline, are what look to be a collection of temple structures that once included the monks’ dorms.
Throughout the temple grounds, as you travel, you can’t help but be overcome with a certain unease. And this creeping sensation is only enhanced if the weather is overcast. This feeling of unease is in opposition to almost all other Buddhist temples in Korea that exude a feeling of relative calm. This feeling at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple can create a certain sense of emotional conflict of the transitory nature of life and being.How To Get There
You’ll need to take a taxi from the Mulgeum train station in southern Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. The taxi ride will take about thirty-five minutes, and it’ll cost you 17,000 won (one way). Depending on where the taxi drops you off, it’ll take an additional thirty minutes to hike up the eight hundred metres of hiking trail to get to Bokcheonjeongsa Temple.Overall Rating: 6/10
The views from Bokcheonjeongsa Temple are second-to-none from the heights of Mt. Togoksan and the second-story of the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The temple grounds at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple are much larger than I thought, and it must have once been a very beautiful place. But now that it’s been abandoned, and especially if you visit Bokcheonjeongsa Temple during the winter months, it can make for quite the haunting experience. If abandoned temples are your thing, or if you’ve never visited an abandoned Buddhist temple before, Bokcheonjeongsa Temple is the place for you.Part of the climb up towards Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. The view as the temple grounds first start to appear. The administrative office and kitchen at the former temple. A dry stream that once flowed past an outdoor shrine. The overgrown pathway that leads up to the two-story main hall. The modern two-story main hall. The first floor was probably a Geukrak-jeon Hall. Now it’s just filled with detritus. The view from the second story of the main hall. A mural of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) inside the second story of what was probably the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The amazing view from the second story of the main hall. The abandoned Yongwang-dang Hall at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. And a pool of water where the waterfall collects at the abandoned temple. The overgrown stairs that lead up to the former monks’ quarters. The stairs leading away from the former temple grounds. —
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My name is Samuel. I am finishing a teaching contract in Busan on December 31st 2021. I am currently finishing my certification program and before 2021 is over I will be licensed as a teacher in the U.S. I am also finishing a masters program in Early Childhood Education and will receive my masters mid 2022. I am looking to relocate to Tongyeong while I finish my education. I know there are not many academies but if your school or a school you know is looking for an employee I would be happy to discuss options.
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Munsusa Temple, which is named after Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom), was first constructed in 547 A.D. by the Buddhist monk Yeongi. The temple is located in Gurye, Jeollanam-do in the southwestern portion of the famed Jirisan National Park. Throughout the years, several prominent Korean Buddhist monks such as Wonhyo-daesa (617 – 686 A.D.), Uisang-daesa (625 – 702 A.D.), Seosan-daesa (1520 – 1604), and Samyeong-daesa (1544 – 1610) have all called Munsusa Temple home at one time or another. Much of what you currently see at Munsusa Temple was built in 1984, nearly four hundred years after it was partially destroyed by the Japanese during the destructive Imjin War (1592 – 1598). The temple was further damaged during the Korean War (1950-53).Temple Legend
Like so many other Buddhist temples in Korea, Munsusa Temple has a rather interesting creation story attached to it. One day, a young monk named Cheongheodang was meditating, when an old man approached Cheongheodang and asked him if he could meditate with the old man. At first, Cheongheodang hesitated, and ultimately said no, because he didn’t have enough food for the two of them. Eventually, however, he relented, after the old monk implored Cheongheodang to stay and eat. The two then meditated night and day, until one day the old monk three down his staff against the face of the neighbouring mountain. The staff then turned into a yellow dragon, and the old monk rode the yellow dragon off into the fog. With this story in mind, Munsusa Temple became known as a temple where an individual can attain enlightenment through meditation.Temple Layout
You first approach Munsusa Temple up a long and winding road that runs through a long valley. Finally arriving at the temple parking lot, you’ll gain an amazing view of the rolling peaks from the neighbouring Jirisan National Park. Passing under the arched entryway and past the monks’ living quarters both to your left and right, you’ll finally enter into the main temple courtyard at Munsusa Temple.
Almost instantly, you’ll notice the amazingly beautiful three-story wooden pagoda straight ahead of you. Inside this beautiful structure on the first floor, you’ll find solitary statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) on the main altar. To the right of the main altar is a painting dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And to the left of the main altar hangs the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). Out in front of the elaborately painted exterior of the three-story wooden pagoda is a solemn-looking statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife).
To the left of the three-story wooden structure, you’ll find a temple shrine hall that’s divided into three sections. This unpainted shrine hall only has the middle section open to the public. In the middle section, you’ll find a Reclining Buddha statue on the main altar. Above this image are two additional statues: one is dedicated to a contemplative Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha), while the other is dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
Rather surprisingly, and to the left of the three-story wooden pagoda, you’ll find a penned in area that’s home to four Asiatic black bears. All four are housed inside a red cage. Originally, the bears had been given to the temple in 2001, and originally the plan was to re-release them into the wild. However, after much time, this has yet to happen. It’s not clear as to why they are still penned-up at Munsusa Temple. This is rather strange because the Korean government is attempting to re-populate Korea, and specifically Jirisan National Park, with the Asiatic black bear. Whether it’s because the black bears have now grown too accustom to human contact, of whether it’s something else; either way, the four Asiatic black bears still remain housed at Munsusa Temple for all visitors to see.
Just up the embankment, and up an uneven set of stairs, are three more temple structures in the upper courtyard at Munsusa Temple. The first of these, and the one to the far right, is a meditative hall for monks to meditate and enjoy the beautiful of Mt. Jirisan. In the centre of these three structures is the Munsu-jeon Hall. Housed inside this temple shrine hall is a solitary image of a crowned Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). And to the far left, you’ll find a Sanshin/Dokseong-gak Hall. Inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll find two rather simple murals dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). It’s from this vantage point that you get the most beautiful view of the valley below.How To Get There
From the Gurye Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take a taxi to get to Munsusa Temple. The reason for this is that there isn’t a bus that goes directly to the temple from the Gurye Intercity Bus Terminal location. From the bus terminal, the taxi ride will cost you 14,000 won (one way). And the ride will take about forty minutes. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a trail that leads from Munsusa Templeover to the famed Hwaeomsa Temple.Overall Rating: 7/10
Munsusa Temple is a tough temple to rate. If you love bears, and you don’t mind seeing them caged up, then this temple easily becomes a ten out of ten. However, if you prefer your bears in the wild, Munsusa Temple should suffer a far lower rating. With that being said, there are a few other highlights outside the four Asiatic black bears like the newly built three-story wooden pagoda and the stunning location of Munsusa Temple in Jirisan National Park. Either way, this temple can leave you feeling conflicted.The entry to Munsusa Temple. And a statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) along the way. The prominent three-story wooden pagoda at the centre of the Munsusa Temple grounds. A different angle of the elaborate dancheong colours that adorn the wooden pagoda. A look inside the pagoda at the main altar. To the right is this shrine hall with a Reclining Buddha statue. To the left of the wooden pagoda is the temple’s Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion). The enclosure for the four Asiatic black bears at Munsusa Temple. One of the Asiatic black bears. And another. The Munsu-jeon Hall in the upper courtyard at the temple. A crowned image of Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) inside the compact Munsu-jeon Hall. A look towards the Munsu-jeon Hall from the Sanshin/Dokseong-gak Hall. And the amazing view outwards towards Mt. Jirisan from the Sanshin/Dokseong-gak Hall. —
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I made an Alphabet chant to use with young English learners.
Students can do the actions while saying the word.
Sorry for my singing, the proper song is in the description.
I hope it helps!
ERIC O. WESCH
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The norfolk pines and most of the pothos were recently repotted but the other two bigger plants are needing to be repotted soon. Pick up in Myeongjang dong in Dongnae GuIMG_7375.jpg IMG_7374.jpg IMG_7373(1).jpg IMG_3033.jpg
Rather interestingly, you’ll find several stories related to frogs, toads and Korean Buddhist temples. Some great examples of this can be found inside the Yeongsan-jeon Hall at Tongdosa Temple, which has a frog relief sitting in front of a lotus flower on the ceiling of this temple shrine hall. You can also find a similar image inside the Daeung-jeon Hall at Tongdosa Temple, as well. You can also find Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha) and dongja (attendants) holding a frog or toad, as well. They almost appear to be like a toy in their hands that they’re playing with. These frogs and toads can be found as paintings, statues, or in creation myths like at Jajangam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do on the Tongdosa Temple grounds. So why exactly are frogs and toads found so often in Korean Buddhism and its artwork?The Huye and Hangah Myth
In Korea, kids believe that there is a rabbit on the moon pounding grain in a mortar. It’s also believed that there’s a toad living on the moon, as well. In ancient East Asian art, there are numerous descriptions about the features of the sky, the land, the sun, and the moon. So why exactly is there a toad living on the moon?
A long time ago, there was a man known as “Huye – 후예” who was a mythological archer. In Chinese, this archer is known as Hou Yi, and he’s referred to as Lord Archer, as well. Huye is often portrayed as a god of archery that descended from the heavens to aid humans. Huye saw that humans were suffering from having ten suns in the sky. Because of the ten suns, the ground was too dry and the mountains were on fire all the time, so Huye decided to shoot down nine of the suns with his arrows. Because he was so accurate, nine of the suns dropped from the sky. Since then, people could live in peace. As each of the suns fell, they became three-legged ravens. Because the tenth sun was so scared of being shot down, it hid, which plunged the earth into darkness. The Jade Emperor was angry at Huye, so he took away his position as a god and kicked him and his wife, Hanga – 항아 out of the heavens and into the human world.An image of Hanga – 항아 (Picture Courtesy of Naver).
Huye found living on earth to be difficult, but as long as he had his wife, Hanga, by his side, he wasn’t lonely. But even still, Huye longed to return to the heavens and be a god, once more. In fact, Huye tried so hard that he met the queen of the Taoist hermit Seowangmo – 서왕모. From Seowangmo, Huye received an elixir. The queen said to Huye, if both you and your wife, Hanga, take this, then you will live forever without disease. There are a few variations as to what happened next. One variation states that Hanga overheard that the elixir would grant immortality. So Hanga consumed the elixir while Huye was sleeping. Scared to be caught by her husband, Hanga ran away to the moon to escape her husband’s anger. In fact, Huye was so upset with his wife that he aimed one of his arrows at Hanga. However, he couldn’t bring himself to shoot an arrow at his wife and kill her. Over time, Huye’s anger dissipated. Eventually, Huye left Hanga’s favourite desserts and fruits outside each night to show that he had forgiven her.
Another variation describes how the Jade Emperor locked Hanga up in the moon. She cried so much from her guilt and loneliness. As a result, she turned into a toad. And the immortality elixir that she drank, that still remained in her throat, came out her mouth because of all the crying she was doing. This elixir then turned into a rabbit. It’s said that Hanga still lives on the moon and sings a song to her husband, Huye. This story is written in the Chinese encyclopedia known as the “Hoenamja – 회남자” in Korean. And in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, the Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated to commemorate Hanga. This is a harvest festival, where it’s common to have fruits and sweets placed on an open outdoor altar for Hanga, so that they can be blessed.A pond at Jaoksansa Temple in northern Gyeongju The Frog and the Toad: A Korean Symbol for Foresight, Fecundity, and Abundance
In Korea, the frog is a symbol for foresight, fecundity, and abundance. Historically, Koreans believed that frogs had foresight because frogs can sense the fall of rain before it happens. An example of this can be found during the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). During this time, Queen Seondeok of Silla (r. 632 – 647) predicted three things. In one of these three predictions, and on a cold day, frogs cried out for four days and nights at Okmunji Pond at Yeongmyosa Temple. This happened despite the fact that it was winter. So Queen Seondeok thought that something was off. So Queen Seondeok decided to send two thousand soldiers to be close to the neighbouring valley. When the soldiers arrived just outside the valley, they found some five hundred Baekje soldiers hiding in the valley. The two sides fought, and the Silla soldiers won. In fact, a portion of these soldiers were able to protect the palace where the queen resided. Of course, this happened because of Queen Seondeok’s foresight as a leader, but people also believed that because of the frogs’ foresight, it helped save the Silla Kingdom.
Inside the Samguk Sagi, or “History of the Three Kingdoms” in English, specifically in the “Kings’ History of Goguryeo,” you’ll find another story about a frog’s foresight. In this story, when people saw frogs fighting, they expected the decline of north Buyeo. And whenever the country was thrown into turmoil and chaos, people would witness frogs crying; either that, or a group of frogs would be found dead. As a result, people of Goguryeo believed that frogs were a symbol of foresight.A collection of aquatic animals including frogs in a wooden relief inside the Mireuk-jeon Hall at Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.
And yet another story about frogs relates to them as a symbol of fecundity and abundance. As is commonly known, frogs lay a lot of eggs. In fact, some three thousand can be laid at one time. So traditionally, in Korea, honeymooners would have folding screens and hanging scrolls with frogs painted on them near the bedside in hopes of having numerous children. Additionally, fecundity means abundance; and in Korea, abundance was a sign of good luck. So there is a lot of artwork in and around temples with frogs or toads because they are believed to be a sign of good luck. An example of this is a Nahan holding a frog. More specifically, you can find a Yeongsanhoesang-do – 영산회상도 at the Tongdosa Temple museum originally from the neighbouring Munsusa Temple in Ulsan. There are two unique features to Nahan in this painting. First, you can find a frog being held in the hand of the Nahan. The Nahan is smiling, while the other Nahan are surprised. The reason for this surprise is that frogs are considered to be hard to find; and as a result, a symbol of good luck. This temple artwork is humourous example of late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) Buddhist expression and artistry.The Frog and the Buddha
One day, a frog wanted to listen to the Buddha’s teachings, so it came out of a pond to listen. Heading towards the Buddha, the frog was accidentally killed by one of the listener’s canes, so the spirit of the frog was separated from its body. When the frog awoke, the frog realized that it had been reborn on top of the Buddha’s land. The frog couldn’t believe it. The frog thought, “I was an animal in my former life. Then how could I be reborn in this heavenly palace?” With this, the frog realized that it had sacrificed itself to listen to the Buddha’s teachings. So the frog finally made its way towards the Buddha. There, it prayed appreciatively. Seeing this, the Buddha made the frog a saint. This story is written in the Gyeongryul-isang. Usually frogs are discussed passingly in other Buddhist texts; however, in this Buddhist text, the frog is elevated above its lowly station in life. More specifically, that even a lowly creature can become something more with an earnest heart and the teachings of the Buddha.Jajang-yulsa and a golden frog at Jajangam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. Frogs in a lotus pond at Baekyangsa Temple in Ulsan. Example of Frogs and Toads
Frogs and toads are commonly found throughout Korean Buddhist temples and hermitage like the aforementioned ceiling of the Yeongsan-jeon Hall at Tongdosa Temple. It can also be found at Hyuhyuam Hermitage in Yangyang, Gangwon-do and around the main hall at Jajangam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. Another place that you can commonly see frogs is on the art adorning a Jangeom Sumidan (altar). It’s common to find a frog relief sitting atop a lotus flower in this style of Buddhist artwork.Citation
I would like to thank the Wolgan Tongdo – 월간 통도 for a large portion of this insightful information.
I would also like to thank Irene Ye for this wonderful translation of the original article. If you would like to get in contact with Irene Ye for her to do some translation work for you, please let me know, and I will get in contact with her.A stone sculpture of a toad at Hyuhyuam Hermitage in Yangyang, Gangwon-do. —
Two more useful Hanja to know are 有 (유) and 無 (무).
유 has the meaning of 있다, while 무 has the meaning of 없다.
Where have you seen either of these characters used before? Let me know in the video comments~!
The post Important Hanja Pairs: 有 (유) and 無 (무) (한자) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.—
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