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Bulguksa

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  • Korean/Japanese: 仏国寺 (Bulguksa / Bukkoku-ji)

Bulguksa is a major Buddhist temple in South Korea, dating from the Silla period (8th century). It is closely affiliated with the Seokguram cave temple, and is considered both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Treasure of Korea.

When originally constructed, the temple is believed to have been quite lavishly painted in bright colors. Many of the temple's buildings were destroyed in Toyotomi Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea in the 1590s. While they were later rebuilt numerous times (in the wake of fires and other disasters) in the 17th to 20th centuries, by the 1960s much of the temple had fallen into a severe state of decline and disrepair. The temple has since been restored, however, to an emulation of what is believed to have been its original appearance, complete with layers of brightly colored paint, and it is today a major tourist attraction.

References

  • Ronald Toby, Sakoku toiu gaikô, Tokyo: Shogakukan (2008), 13.
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