Jeju's Largest Temple
|Nobody is sure who first founded Halla-san Gwan-eum-sa, but it existed by about 1700 in the Joseon Dynasty under the name Beob-jeong-am. It fell into disuse and ruins in late Joseon, but was recon-structed by monk An Bongno in 1908, as he revived Buddhism on Jeju Island. It was unfortunately destroyed during the Cheju civil war of 1948-50 (the "4.3 Massacre"; it now contains many memorial sites for the victims outside of its main compound. Today its spacious grounds are arranged like a public park, and it is the most-visited temple on the island. It serves as Headquarters Temple for the Jogye Order's 23rd District (all of Jeju Province).|
|Myself at the front gate [Ilchu-mun], Guardian statues and the Second Gate behind. The signboard reads right-to-left: Han-ra-san
This temple is named for the very popular Bodhisattva of Compassion, called Gwanse-eum or just Gwan-eum in Korea.
|LEFT: the new Sam-seong-gak
[Three Saints Shrine], way back up
the slope in the forest, not yet painted.
The San-shin altar can be seen
through the center doors; center is
the highest-status position.
BELOW: the San-shin painting (same one as in 1986), gold-on-black in an echo of ancient illustrations of Buddhist sutras. The new granite San-shin statue was Shamanically veiled, still wrapped up in white cloth and paper. Its unveiling ceremony was held in 9/03.
|The finely-detailed Dok-seong painting is matched with the San-shin. Servants prepare tea for him in the background. But there is no new granite statue for him...|