Thursday, November 3, 2011

korea's image problem ii

what it is: korea's image probelm ii
where i found it: here and there

Despite being thoroughly raped by happy Christianity as of late, Korea has a long Buddhist history that they've managed to keep alive. There are hundreds and hundreds of stunning temples hiding all over the country, not to mention a supposedly more direct lineage to Seon (Zen, as the Japanese say) tradition than Japan. While I see stupid corporate co-opting of Zen iconography all the time, much of the imagery in Korean temples was new to me. I was really happy to find this blog recently, where this guy named Dale seems to spend all of his free time taking pictures of Korean temples. So how many times have you seen the word “Seon” and how many times have you seen the word “Zen”? That's my point.

Here are some of the temple shots I was able to get while there:

A "cloud plate gong". Sounded to reach sky beings.

The Dharma drum. Sounded to reach Earth beings.
Here's an amateur video someone took of the Dave Lombardos of the monastic world going to town on this thing.

huge statue, little people

 Look for the pre-nazi-co-opted symbology. It took me a minute to figure out what was happening when on the ride from the airport i saw a giant glowing swastika in the night.