Tuesday, July 22, 2014

on the craft of temples and worship in Korea

I’m not the first nor last to say it, but, one of the most powerful parts of visiting other parts of the world is seeing evidence of the history which we don’t really have in the United States. It seems like every park, mountain, and public square in Korea is has a temple or sculpture dedicated to worship, and dating back hundreds or sometimes thousands of years. Like in many smaller countries, there is a huge amount of national pride which filters down to the maintenance and care of public and historical artifacts. 

It’s incredible how people used to build when labor was cheap and materials expensive. Most of these temples were either built during the Silla or Joseon Dynasty, or take their appearance from those styles. As Korean Confucianism became prevalent, some of the details become slightly less ornate. 

Koreans hold strongly on to historical beliefs and superstitions, and it is typical to see whimsical characters or animals guarding over a structure or place. 

Many Buddhist temples were built during later dynasties, and while there are modern Christian churches in Korea, none that I saw show the intricacy or care of these from the past. 

No comments:

Post a Comment