Friday, July 8, 2011


Today, we didn’t have class, but left for a fieldtrip. We went to Kyoungjoo, which is a little city about 1.5 hours from Busan. We went to a museum, but this one has been my favorite museum yet, because we had a guide explain everything to us. It was so much better than just depending on myself to learn by reading the signs. You could tell this guy loves Korean history because he tells us about the things with a story. Then we went to a Buddhist temple. Koreans don’t like the Japanese because when Korea was a Japanese colony, they took a lot of artifacts to Japan, ruined a lot of historical objects, and if they returned anything they “stole” it came back broken. So about everything we saw went like this: “This used to be like this, but then Japan came and ruined it.” I feel bad because there were so many cool things that now are missing and Korea can’t do anything because a lot of these artifacts are in private collection now.

I saw a large granite Buddha (Corbin was quite excited) but they wouldn’t let us take any pictures of them. The different ways Buddha holds his hands explains the lesson he wants to teach. His ears are huge to signify to listen more; his lips are closed to signify to talk less; and his eyes are slightly shut to signify to not judge. In the temple, there is a statue of another Buddha that is only in the light once a year. When the light comes through, it hits Buddha’s “third eye (the stone between his eyes” and reflects to another stone which shines it round the temple. I would love to see that, but it wasn’t that one day of the year. Koreans did this in the Silla dynasty, over 1000 years ago. If you think about that, it is amazing how much they did considering the technology at that time period. We saw a lot of national treasures, which basically means it is really important to Korean history and people.

Before we got to go in the temple, we had to “purify ourselves” but cleaning our hands in mountain water that flowed into a fountain, and they had cups and you could drink the water. It was so cold and wonderful!! They have lanterns hanging everywhere and the white lanterns are in memory of people who have died and the colored lanterns are in honor of people that are still living.

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