Miruksa monastery, (near) Iksan, Jeollabuk-do, KR

Raw data

Mirŭksa was founded by King Mu (600–641) of Paekche. The exact date is unknown but at least one scholar proposes that it was founded after King Mu had defeated several Silla fortresses in 624 and seized Kaya from the Silla Kingdom. Perhaps he chose Iksan as the site because he may have been thinking about moving his capital there from Sabi (Puyŏ). According to Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), King Mu and his wife chose the location because the Maitreya Buddha appeared there in a vision.

The description of the layout of the monastery in Samguk sagi (Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms) is accurate according to archaeological investigations. “The temple consisted of three pagodas and three golden halls placed on an east-west axis, each in its own compound, with the lecture hall, and other structures behind, to the north, the whole compound enclosed by a roofed corridor approximately 155 m x 175 m.” The current platform for the central pagoda seems too small for what is claimed to have been a 9-story wooden structure (in the Wei dynasty style), but since King Mu is thought to have been inspired by Emperor Wen of the Sui state in China, it is possible that he was aware of new construction methods. The other two pagodas were masonry buildings.

– McCallum (2009: 149–50)

“Important monasteries, such as Chŏngnŭng-sa in P’yŏngyang (Koguryŏ), Miruk-sa in Iksan (Paekche), and Hwangnyong-sa in Kyŏngju (Silla), housed ‘sixteen-foot”’ Buddha images, changnyuk san. Such temples were constructed near the palaces, or in places made auspicious through divine incarnations (Mirŭk-sa), so that rulers and aristocratic devotees could easily go there to attend ceremonies.”

- Pak & Whitfield (2002: 12-3)

The original monastery no longer stands, but there is a reproduction of the famed Dongtap eastern stone pagoda located on the archaeological site in Iksan. A gold plaque, commemorating the founding and three holes for flag poles have been discovered. Foundation stones, stone lanterns and what may be the remains of a heated floor system have also been found.

- “Mireuksa” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mireuksa
Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Feb 22, 2011

"The two main features of the Mireuksa Temple Site are the stone pagoda (Mireuksaji Seoktap) and the flagpole supports (Mireuksaji Dangganjiju). The 14.24-meter-high west stone pagoda (National Treasure No. 11) is the oldest and largest Korean stone pagoda in existence. […] Other surviving landmarks include the flagpole supports (Treasure No. 236) to the south of the stone pagodas. The 395 centimeter-tall poles are estimated to have been created during the Unified Silla period (676-935 AD) and are set 90 meters apart from east to west."
Input by: tmciolek, Oct 03, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 03 Oct 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Miruksa monastery, KR.

General location of the Miruksa monastery, KR.
Lat 36.01109 Long 127.0311
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2011.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Mirŭksa 미륵사 (彌勒寺). Alternative English spelling: Miruk-sa, Mireuksa

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Korea: Jeollabuk-do (Cholla-bukto)

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 36.01109 Long 127.0311 - based on visual identification of the site in maps and satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 3 May 2011.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag 0600-32c - tmciolek 03 Oct 2013
0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99p 0700-32p 0733-66p 0767-99p 0800-32p 0833-66p 0867-99p 0900-32p 0933-66p dated-ex

12. Date-intermediate

MBM chrono-tag 0667-99p 0700-32p 0733-66p 0767-99p 0800-32p 0833-66p 0867-99p 0900-32p 0933-66p - tmciolek 03 Oct 2013

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents, archaeological

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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