[KS] A temple query

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Mon Aug 11 03:47:17 EDT 2014

Yes, you might be right, but not sure. It COULD be Changan-sa 長安寺 as 
KBS (or the blogger) states. I think we would need to see a picture 
taken FROM that little bridge on the right in order to know more. The 
"2-tiered roof" of the main hall you mention is indeed not to be seen, 
at least not from that view.  But first of all, these three pictures 
were not all taken in 1925 or 1926, if any of them were. The group 
portrait, for example, was either taken on 20 April, afternoon, or the 
morning of 21 April 1911, during Weber's first visit, and not in the 
north but at some smaller temple close to the American gold mine 
Chiksan 稷山 in Chungchŏngnam-do. Close means here within 5 waking 
hours, in the mountains/hills.  

The other two pictures seem familiar, but I am not sure either (also do 
not have the books with me I would need to find them). Again, these 
other two images could be from the same or from two different places -- 
very unlikely from that same small monastery in Chungchŏngnam-do just 
mentioned. If from Kŭmgang-san, there were 34 monateries and temples. 
But that 'altar' as well as the birds-eye view photo could, because of 
the size, only depict one of the four great temples of Kŭmgang-san. 
Apart from Changan-sa there are (or were) Pyohun-sa 表訓寺, Singye-sa 神
溪寺, and Yujŏm-sa 楡岾寺. I would exclude all of them but Yujŏm-sa. 
So, **if** this is in Kŭmgang-san then it is very likely Yujŏm-sa, 
which was in structure rather close to Changan-sa (thus I understand 
the mix-up KBS produced).

By the way, Weber wrote another beautiful book just about Kŭmgang-san, 
_In den Diamantbergen Koreas_ [In the Diamond Mountains of Korea] (St. 
Ottilien: Missionsverlag, 1927). I suggest to check that as well, if 
you have it around. (I do not.) It has lots of his watercolors and some 
photos. You might well find the posted pictures published in there. 
Unfortunately, he was rather uninterested in Buddhism and Korean 
culture, so his writings do not provide many insights when it comes to 
culture. But as a jet-setter of his time, one that thought of himself 
as a "scientist" and "ethnographer" and good colonialist for the Kaiser 
(until that pipe dream burst in 1918/19), he used his power and time 
for all these photographic and film documentaries -- and was fired soon 
after he returned from this trip, as it was just a little too much for 
his Bavarian order.


On Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:56:22 +0900 (KST), Brother Anthony wrote:
> In the set of rather fine photos from Abbot Norbert Weber's 1926 
> visit located at http://parasports.co.kr/317 there are 3 temple 
> pictures, an overview, a group of monks, and the interior of a major 
> hall. The captions say (perhaps following the KBS documentary) that 
> the temple is Jangan-sa but of course it is not. Jangan-sa's main 
> hall had a 2-tiered roof and its main altar was quite different . . . 
> so does anyone know which temple this might be?
> Brother Anthony
> President, RAS Korea

Frank Hoffmann

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