Kak Won Sa Temple

Text: Saturday afternoon, March 15, we went out to Kak Won Sa temple, even though it was raining. We were told that we could catch the 102 bus across from the terminal, but we didn't know that the 102 bus only comes every fifty minutes. We stood on the sidewalk under Helena's umbrella and ate sunflower seeds while we waited. Kak Won Sa is located on Tae Jo San mountain on the eastern edge of Chonan, a short bus ride away. Built after the Korean War, the temple is dedicated to reunification. It is famous for its giant Buddha statue, the largest seated bronze Buddha in Asia. It is 14.5 meters tall, and its ears are as tall as Doug.

Door details [close-up]

Dragon detail in main hall [close-up]


Background Paper: Thai unryu (royal blue) from The Paper Web

Pens: Micron black (01)

Scissors: Fiskars jigsaw

The title was my own design.

When I got the big photo enlarged, the framing came out different the first time. The picture showed a lot of ground in front of Doug, and only part of the bell at the top edge. I asked them to do it over, and ended up with a lot more roof than in my original print. If you look at your negatives, there's often more on the edges than shows up on the print.


I tried to find out exactly when the temple was built but couldn't get more specific than "after the Korean War." There's a story about the monk who wanted to build the temple wandering all over the country looking for just the right spot.

When we were finding our way to the temple, we discovered that not many people know the name of the temple itself. Everyone knows "Jwa Bul Song" (giant Buddha statue) but requests for directions to Kak Won Sa are largely met with blank looks.

As it was raining and chilly, there weren't many people around, and we were able to go in the main hall by ourselves. I have only done this a few times. They are dim and quiet inside, and smell of wood and incense.

See A Mindful Visit to a Buddhist Temple