[KS] A temple query
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
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