Drum Mountain and the phases of life:
Da Mo took a monk’s spade and went with Shen Guang to the Drum Mountain in front of Shaolin Temple. The Drum Mountain is so called because it is very flat on top. Da Mo’s unspoken message to Shen Guang was that Shen Guang should flatten his heart, just like the surface of the Drum Mountain. On this Drum Mountain Da Mo dug a well. The water of this well was bitter. Da Mo then left Shen Guang on the Drum Mountain. For an entire year, Shen Guang used the bitter water of the well to take care of all of his needs. He used it to cook, to clean, to bathe, to do everything. At the end of the first year, Shen Guang went down to Da Mo and again asked Da Mo to teach him. Da Mo returned with Shen Guang to the Drum Mountain and dug a second well. The water of this well was spicy. For an entire year, Shen Guang used the spicy water for all of his needs. At the end of the second year, Shen Guang went back down to Da Mo and asked again to be taught. Da Mo dug a third well on the Drum Mountain. The water of this third well was sour. For the third year, Shen Guang used the sour water for all of his needs. At the end of the third year, Shen Guang returned to Da Mo and agains asked to be taught. Da Mo returned to the Drum Mountain and dug a fourth and final well. The water of this well was sweet. At this point, Shen Guang realized that the four wells represented his life. Like the wells, his life would sometimes be bitter, sometimes sour, sometimes spicy and sometimes sweet. Each of these phases in his life was equally beautiful and necessary, just as each of the four seasons of the year is beautiful and necessary in its own way.
On the discovery of green tea while wall-staring
As he sat in deep concentration, Bodhidharma abruptly realized that in an agonizing instant of fatigue, he had closed his eyes and dozed off to sleep. In anger at his weakness, he savagely tore at his eyes in self disgust, ripping out his eyelids and flinging them to the ground. As the leaf like lids of flesh lay bloody in the dirt, they sprouted miraculously into tea plants. Instinctively, Bodhidharma reached over and plucked a few leaves from the bushes to chew and suddenly felt as “one who awakens.” His mind clear and focused, he resumed his meditation.
Headed over to Busanjin to explore the 400-year-old remains of a Japanese castle.
Found lots of walkers.
Found a couple of shrines. Got off the the main path and followed the trail around the hill.Found Mōri Terumoto‘s fortress walls. Jinjiseong at the top of the hill in the Korean style of contruction. West Gate reconstruction (1974) in Korean style.
See Fortress Cats post.
Turnbull, Stephen R., and Peter Dennis. Japanese Castles in Korea, 1592-98. Oxford: Osprey, 2007. Print.
Wikipedia list of Japanese castles in Korea.
Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin 이순신 (1545-1598).
Picture of site of wajo 倭城 of Yangsan and Hopo. p.5. (fortress 和城)
Map of castles in Jeolla and Gyeongsang province. p.6.
Picture of site of wajo of Ulsan. p.7.
“Busan Castle, an extension of the city wall on the edge of the sea, was in fact one of the best examples of a Korean fortress,” p. 9.
See Siege of Busanjin.
The Japanese used Arquebuses p. 9.
Sketch of Ungcheon harbour p. 9.
Korean guerrillas p. 10.
Jinju fortress (first siege of Jinju “Korea’s greatest land victory of the war”) p. 10.
Picture of hill of Jaseongdae, Busanjin 부산진지성. p.11.
See wikipedia entry for Jaseongdae.
Yi Sun-shin impressed by the eupseong 읍성 of Ungcheon 웅천 p. 11.
Castles in Japan: “jinaimachi or temple towns associated with the self-governing communities of the True Land sect of Buddhism and defended by their Ikko-ikki armies” p.13.
Jinaimachi town near Osaka.
Pure Land Buddhism wikipedia entry
Fortress defense: “tora no guchi (tiger’s mouth) gateway passage” with a “90-degree turn” p.13.
Castle of Gupo drawing. p.14.
Clay was used to make the defense structures of a castle fireproof. p. 15.
Three Wajo in Geoje island. p. 16.
Seosaengpo 서생포 (Ulsan) p. 17.
“Seosaengpo was the most important Japanese castle in Korea.” p. 19.
Japanese fortresses in Tsushima. p. 18.
Last night we were filming at an old elementary school near Munhyeon. I guess it was built in the decade after the war. It looked like a hoarder of cardboard squatted there. There were bundles of cardboard everywhere. One of the PAs told me the school had been abandoned for about a decade in the 60s or 70s. A lot of things were hidden under black dust covers. As we were shooting in the small atrium, I heard unusual noises. I walked down a dark hallway and entered the classroom from where I thought the noises were coming from. The classroom was empty except for chairs and desks. The noises seemed to be coming from the ceiling. Water pipes most likely.
I leave the location after 11 to catch the train home. Once in bed I fall asleep quickly. I am back in a boulder field in the Andes, with the laguna behind me. I meet my oldest brother and he makes a remark that upsets me. I sit and wait and look towards La Posada. My old dad appears and then we’re in his taller (the one he had by the big window before the one he built by the white higuera). He asks me to follow him to the backyard. The old adobe walls are now brick and elaborate. They remind me of the columbarium walls of Cementerio General. White squids hang to dry like sad socks beneath red brick Gothic arches. There’s a staircase, and he tells me there’s treasure if I follow it down to the catacombs. I wake up con corazon pesado. Outside is drizzling and gray.
daejeon to sejong city
120 km south of seoul near the middle of the country.
goseong-gun to samcheok
unification observatory in goseong-gun county south to gopo village in samcheok by bike (east coast)
busan to seoul
busan > follow the nakdong river north> cross the middle of the country on the saejae bicycle road to where the han river begins > ride the hangang up to seoul
four rivers trails
- hangang (seoul) paldang station > chungju dam ~ 136-224 km
- geumgang (west, middle of the country) daecheong dam > geum river estuary ~ 146 km
- yeongsangang (south west tip of the peninsula) damyang dam downstream > mokpo yeongsan river estuary weir ~ 133 km
- nakdonggang (busan) ~ 100-378 km (korea herald)
- saejae bicycle road (hilly link between the nakdong and the han) ~ 100 km
seoul bicycle website (in korean)