Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A whole bunch of Buddhas and pagodas

The calm before the storm...On Sunday we did a little bit of tourist type activities. We went to Unjusa, or the 1000 Buddhas and Pagodas place.  This is a beautiful area not too far from Mr. Oh's studio.  Although there have been various studies conducted here, no one really knows exactly how old it is, or why there were so many stone Buddhas carved.  However, they are probably from the 7th or 8th century, and there are lots of legends about their creation.  Most of them involve the residents of the village or stone masons from heaven carving all 1000 Buddhas in one night. The reason was either to protect Korea from China, or to keep the Silla dynasty going forever, or to keep Korea from sinking into the sea, which apparently was a fear because there are more mountains on one side of Korea than another, and is therefore unbalanced.   Whatever the reason, it's a powerful and beautiful place full of inspiration!
Now there are only 94 Buddhas of varying sizes and about 50 pagodas. Unfortunately, this place has been pillaged over the many centuries, not excluding this one.

There's also lots of Buddha parts just lying around.
This was one of our favorites - two giant Buddha statues sitting back to back (here is only one of them) in a proportionally small stone house.  Look how the roof tiles are even notched into each other!
This pagoda looks like a bunch of onggi jars stacked on top of each other!
This one is beautifully perched on a slanted rock...

Well this is the last day of 2008, and it's also our last day to make pots!  Happy New Year!


Ron said...

Wow, what a site.

Courtney Martin said...

Happy New Year!! Beautiful pictures- thanks for posting. Lots of luck with the firing. We miss you both!

Ghost of M's wife said...

good site.check me out.