Mountain-spirit Shrines and Icons found on
the South Coast of South Jeolla Province, November 2002

This Page: southern Haenam Peninsula
Way down on the Haenam-bando, at the stunningly beautiful Dalma-san [Mt. Bodhidharma, named
after the founder of Zen {
Seon} Buddhism], Mi-hwang-sa [Beautiful King Temple], has long been the
southern-most temple on the mainland of the Korean Peninsula.  It hosts a nice antique (but
spattered) San-shin and Deok-seong matched-pair in the shrine seen at lower-right
(shot at sunset).  
The San-shin portrait in the "Assembly of Spirits" icon (lower-left) reminds me a bit of Uncle Sam!  In
the Chil-seong painting, the North Star Spirit's extended head is quite exagerated; the "earthly star"
to his lower-left looks like a classic San-shin.
Also at Dalma-san, just to the north of Mi-hwang-sa, the small Taego-sect temple
named
Cheong-ju-sa hosts a charming San-shin-gak. The painting inside has the tiger
leaping to the front, while the watchful (startled?) angelic
dongja-girl tends the stove
with a very delicate fan.  The boy-attendant holds his hands in prayer/respect, but his
eyes are fixed upon the pretty girl instead of his master-- (
just what is he praying for...?)

RIGHT:  The San-shin portrait in the "Assembly of Spirits" icon holds a sprig of
bullocho (mythical mushroom of immortality), and wears not only a mantle of fresh
green leaves (echoing Korea's Founder-King Dan-gun) but also a Daoist-style "flying"
hat of the same!  This is the first time I have ever seen that...  his full black hair is also
distinctive.