Entrance to the Shamanist village and Inwangsan Mountain in Seoul

Entrance to the Shamanist village and Inwangsan Mountain

Seonamjeong Temple on Inwangsan Mountain, Seoul

Seonamjeong Temple on Inwangsan Mountain

Continue up the stairs for another 50 meters to reach the mythical and unique…

Inwangsan Guksadang

Inwangsan Guksadang, Seoul

Inwangsan Guksadang

Inwangsan Guksadang is one of the most important and almost mythical Shamanist shrines in Korea. The structure is quite small and simple and similar to the design and colors of other temple and shrine buildings in Seoul. At at a time it was even used for exorcisms.
The shrine was originally built at Namsan Mountain in 1395 at the request of King Taejo. This shrine was destroyed during the Japanese occupation in 1925. A new shrine seen today was built location without the knowledge of the Japanese.

Shamanism is a religion with beliefs in unseen worlds of gods, demons, and spirits. Shamanists believe in 12 deities which are the spirit of the mountain, the spirit of the dragon king, the spirit of three monks, and spirit of seven stars. They also worship natural things such as the trees, streams, mountains, and rocks.

Shamanism led the way for other religions such as Buddhism and Confucianism. Today, only a handful of people in Seoul practice Shamanism.

Seonbawi (Rock)

Seonbawi (Rock)

Rock carved Buddha, Seoul

Rock carved Buddha

Seodaemun Prison History Museum in Seoul

Seodaemun Prison History Museum

Dongnimmun, also known as Independence Gate in Seoul

Dongnimmun, also known as Independence Gate