DIARY OF A TRIP TO THE DIAMOND MOUNTAINS.
(Sept to 21st, Oct 22nd, 1917.)
We were off for a month to the Diamond Mountains and what a heap of baggage we seemed to require: sleeping-rolls, boxes of canned goods, hamper-baskets of clothes, pots, pans and kettles. Foreigners are surely to be pitied compared with the light travelling man of the east, who picks himself up with a wisp of trouser, transparent jacket and a pair of straw shoes and hies him off on light and easy toe. He is not cangued with collar or cuffs, but goes simple as nature made him. With all the hair on his head, thick and black, to protect him from the sun, he laughs to scorn William Shakespeare and company as he flings hat and turban to the winds and faces the day undaunted. How close to nature he is. My friend Yi as interpreter for the world in general went along. He is congenial and can read the inscriptions down the face of time-worn rocks in a way that would make the Rhys Davids and Sayces of the world look green with envy.
Another general help was the Chokha, nephew of a man we left at home on guard. My wife, who likes English sounds in preference to Korean, calls him “the Choker.”
Thus we drew out of Nandaimon station along the Gensan (Wonsan) line, that swings off toward the east skirting the bank of the river.
It was a lovely morning with an abundance of sunshine to bless and cheer the world.
After making the round of the city, the railway line turns almost directly north toward the port of Gensan.
We passed many stations, some of which have the word light in their names; others dragon, foot-prints of the Buddha and the old philosopher.
One is called Euijung-boo, (議政府) government office. This is a sad reminder of the days of 1392 A. D. when the man who founded the dynasty, like Saul the son of Kish, changed his vocation from farmer to king. Like Saul, also, he was not happy, for he was the head of a household of lawless sons, who turned against the counsels of their father and against one another. He threw up the job of being king and went off in a huff to his native Hamheung, some 220 miles to the north.
Later, his people begged him to come back. He finally came as far as this railway station, where he set up a temporary rule, and so the place to-day is called Government Office.
On we hurry north through fields of rice and millet till we come to Pyung-kang (平康) 75 miles from Seoul. The name of the place means Peace.
All unexpectedly, on the landing, I met an old friend Pak, a most interesting character, headman of his town, whom I had come to know from the fact that he had no end of experiences with “fire-devils” in the thatch, that had set not only his house but the palings ablaze time and again. He had told me all about it and how he could feel the devils going up and down his back playing heusal heusal with the soul within him. Pak’s experiences continued till one day these fire-devils, suddenly got the better of him and up went his house in smoke, and thirty others with it.
Pak left the village, but where he had gone I did not know, till, suddenly, he reappeared to-day on the station platform, and hailed me with such a smile as would have done honour to a king,
All our bundles, packs, traps, and boxes, he handed over to the care of his son and marched us off triumphantly to his home in the town. Whither were we bound? He would help us on our way though it were to the moon. Pak’s face was slightly redder than when I had seen him last, and there was a suggestion of light drinks about him, but he was so kindly hospitable that even a Wilbur Crafts could not have found it in his heart to launch out on a tea-total sermon.
We found the distance to the Diamond Mountains, to be 220 li, or 73 miles though it turned out to be 90. Pak scoured the town for horses, and four of them at last came hobbling in. They would take our packs and let us ride to Chang-an Temple for five yen and fifty sen a head.
Pak had really done us good service, for hiring horses from the ordinary dealer is one of the trying experiences of East Asia. They were soon loaded and off we went, 17 miles south-east, to Kim-wha (金化) (Golden Transformation).
What Buddha or old Philosopher in the past, I wonder, tipped this place with his wings and left so exalted a name? Religious foot-prints are evident all along the way—it was a yellow golden afternoon with long stretches of rice-field before us blending into the declining day—the road was like the high smooth entrance to a palace. So we found it, all those 90 miles, with the exception of a broken bridge-way here and there it was level as a table, a wonderful band of silver winding its way through the inaccessible approaches to Kang-wun province.
But we ran into difficulties: the small boy, George, who was to ride on the coolie’s back, seated in a little chair, found his man unable to keep up with the rapid stepping ponies, he fell away out of reach of his mother’s ear, and so all the caravan must stop. It finally came to putting the six-year old lad on a pony by himself and giving him a rope-end to hold by.
For part of the way, the road led along the table-land, till suddenly we turned the corner of a hill and dropped down into the rice-field lowlands—round and round we went past smoking hamlets, where the evening meal was being prepared, on and on till darkness fell and then into the the uncertainties of the night we drove following the mapoos, who led the horeses along by a swinging gait
One mapoo was old, 68 years he had seen, and still he tramped the roadway at his horse’s head. I inquired as to his welfare and he replied “damnedly mang hayusso. “Why?” I asked. “Three daughters and no son.”
Poor old fellow! The only consolation I saw him have, in all the weary round of the day, was his long pipe—frequently he would fill it and puff sweet clouds of pure tobacco far to the rear.
The younger mapoo was an unwashed lad, who sang lustily as the evening stars came out—he had no wife and no family, and not a care in the world—his face shone and his firm knit body swung along on easy step that kept pace with the moving world.
We found a little Japanese inn and put up comfortably for the night. By 8 A.M. we were off again into the glorious mists of the morning.
The fields were waving heavy with crops of grain, rice, yellow millet, black millet, sorghum, white beans, black beans, green beans, buckwheat, tobacco, pumpkins, gourds, peppers, hemp and sesamum. There were radishes too.
Tall fields of sorghum, and crowded patches of millet filled the lower landscape. Ripe chilli-peppers touched off the world with brilliant red. Soft gray leaves of tobacco lined the roadway. Woven by the stems into long strings of straw rope they were hanging before the houses to dry, row upon row.
Harvest hands were out cutting the sorghum. Women, too, were busy picking heads off the cho, or yellow millet
One could hardly imagine a more delightful excursion than a September ride by pack-pony along the beautiful road that leads to the Diamond Mountains.
I called little George’s attention to the delights of the way but he said he had a question to ask.
What was it?
“Do pack-ponies, have souls, or do they simply die and that’s all?”
I told him I did not have any definite knowledge as to the future of the pack-pony. He would like to have felt sure in heart that his good pack-pony at least might have hopes of heaven to come.
By one o’clock we had made 50 li, or seventeen miles, and entered the town of Kim-sung (金城) (Golden City), by a beautiful approach along a clear and sparkling stream.
We did not leave till four o’clock, and by that time the shades of evening were not only upon us, but dark clouds of wind and rain were threatening. Would it rain ?
It sprinkled now and then, grew dark and then lighted up, grew dark again, sprinkled more, threatened, held off, till finally at 7 P.M. we arrived at this little town of Chang-too where I now write.
Sep. 23rd, 1917.
It was raining this morning and so we settled down to a quiet day.
Across the way was an unsavoury house where lived the mother of three or four dirty children. Talk of microbes and germs being the enemy of man seems folly, in view of these youngsters caked with every known bacilli, and yet fat and vigorous and strong.
The mother enlivened the day somewhat by giving off long paragraphs of invective in a hard, driving tone, proving that, like John Knox, she feared not the face of man. One would label the children who lurked about her noisome den as sons of dogs, swine, devils and what not, in a way most extraordinary. Where, in this quiet country place, she had acquired such a ready tongue to lash all the world with was a mystery.
The day went by and closed with a sombre evening.
Sep. 24th, 1917.
By 8. A.M. the four pack-ponies had arrived, the old man of sixty-eight and the young lad of twenty-two. Yi informed me that twenty-two made some slighting remark regarding the wobbly condition of the old man’s legs. Quick as lightning sixty-eight turned on him, and, with an iron grip that threatened the very soul within him twisted his body into a lump of excruciating agony. Twenty-two is wiser now and walks warily in regard to seniors.
About 10 A. M. we reached the gorge of the river Chi-t’al, a yawning chasm, that took an hour to push our way through. A vast sword-cut of primeval nature it would seem that has never healed. The surveyor’s hand has done good work in making the way easy and safe for the motor-car. From here on we crossed a rather dreary upland and reached the town of Shin-an,
An hour or so later we took our departure along the apparent way, but called a halt on seeing a road far to our right that bent seemingly in the direction of the Diamond Mountains. I asked the old mapoo how about this and he suddenly concluded that we must be bearing away toward the northwest in the direction of Hoi-yang when we ought to be going to Wha-ch’un (華川). Such an amount of profane language as he expended over this situation I never would have dreamed of.
We finally found the right road and entered a long ascent that took us across the small of Korea’s back and landed us partially on the other side. The streams we now found running toward the Sea of Japan and the verdure and foliage richer and more picturesque than ever.
The long sweep down the hill was taken in the cool of the evening—almost cold, and by dark we reached the picturesque village of Wha-ch’un. Here a retired Korean soldier provided quarters for us, very neat and clean. His name is Song In-soo and he certainly does credit to all Korean inn-keepers.
Sep. 25th, 1917.
By 8 o’clock in the morning we were off south-east on our way to Mal-hwi-ri, seventy li distant.
Thus had we come the whole distance of the motor-car road: Pyung-kang to Kim-wha, 50 li; Kim-wha to Kim-sung 40 li; Kim-sung to Chang-too 30 li; Chang-too to Shin-an 40 li; Shin-an to Wha-ch’un 40 li; and Wha ch’un to Mal-hwi-ri 70 li; 260 in all.
Here the special road ended and we entered one, less favoured, to go the remaining 7 miles to the monastery of Chang-an-sa.
The shades of night were falling as we crossed the Fairy Bridge that marks the entrance to the wooded world of the Diamond Mountains. Stately pines meet overhead and cast a deep shadow. Just as darkness was falling we moved briskly along unde the entrance gateway of the temple.
The abbot, Kim Pup-ke, met us and bowed his kindly greetings.
Sep. 26th, 1917.
We walked out by morning light to view the scene.
Crossing the bridge near the temple we came to a large white monument that I had noticed the evening before. On closer examination I found it to be a copy of the Nestorian Tablet, erected by the Hon. Mrs. Gordon in May 1916. How strange to find this recommendation of the Christian religion standing before one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the land.
In the afternoon my wife and I made our way to Pyo-hoon-sa, the second temple of the Diamond enclosure.
The way impressed us greatly. Walls of rock, fringed with pines to the very top, mark its border. Through some of the rifts are seen immense battlements ornamented with a delicate green. We saw also temple eaves here and there through the mazes of leaf, and rock, and tree.
The master of Pyo-hoon, named Han, a native of Seoul, was most cordial in his greeting, and, after talking for a time, told us of Chung-yang-sa, a temple some distance up the hill. We found it a stiff climb but were rewarded abundantly by its far-seeing top.
The temple stands on a lovely elevation in view of the whole range of Keum-gang Mountain.
The abbot, also named Han, was a charming gentleman of the old school. He showed us the two halls of Yaksa, the Great Physician, and Pan-ya; also a stone lantern that adorns the court, which is said to have been set up by one of the kings of Silla.
He brought out two foreign books that he desired us to see, Mrs. Gordon’s Symbols of the Way, and Dr. Richard’s Epistle to All Buddhists.
Mrs. Gordon was a friend of his, he said, and had sent him these, books. He pointed us out Pi-ro Peak through the gathering mists, and other peaks as well, a view perfectly wonderful.
Sep. 27th, 1917.
A lovely autumn day dawned upon us, such weather as one sees when September blends into October, fresh, sweet, invigorating. The question was where should we go. We finally decided, after conference with the abbot, to go and see Yung-wun-am, the picturesque temple that has a place among the paintings of the Chosen Hotel.
The distance was said to be 7 miles. The chief told me, too, that the road was good, and that I need have no anxiety. But what a Buddhist abbot regards as a good road may be the most awful collection of primeval rocks imaginable. He expects you to jump from one to the other like the wild-goat of the mountains or the ibex.
We started with a coolie of the place, who served as guide; our man of all work, Yi Sun-saing and little George.
Leaving Chang-an-sa we entered a gorge on the right hand between the peaks of Chi-jang and Suk-ka. For a time the road led through a lovely wood, no sound accompanying but that of running water. Cliffs circled us about in the most amazing way, closing the view time and again and leaving no exit as far as the eye could see. A limpid stream of polished water, with a yellow tinge in its bosom, rattled down the gorge. Enormous rocks that have been beaten upon by wild wind and rain have here taken on wierd and awesome personalities.
To my confusion I found we had to cross and recross this stream by the most precarious ways, stepping a seven league pace from one bald rock-head to another. These boulders have been polished too by the passing footsteps of 2,000 years. Forty-four such crossings, think of it! In the maze of watching our feet we would stop at times to look upon a landscape that grew more and more wonderful—the road to dreamland, the avenue to the worlds of mystery.
The most startling part of the way is where you come to the River of the Yellow Shades, and the Gateway of Hell, with the peaks Suk-ka and Chi-jang one on each side.
The Yellow Shades, or rather Springs, is the name of the world that lies underneath this mortal existence. So often Koreans say, “With what face shall I meet my father in the Yellow Shades?” Here was its picture. This world that is to be, surely, for startling beauty of nature, surpasses the imagination.
The Tower of the Bright Mirror stands over a silent pool, the water, tinged with yellow, lying at its feet. Such masses of walled rock confront you; so deep the gorge, so delicate the decorations that soften its aged face!
A little Korean girl, named Keum-wun, nearly a hundred years ago, passed here and wrote a description of what she saw. She says, “The hills seemed to close us in as prisoners. Great rocks stood barring the way. Round we circled, in and out, till at last we reached what is called Pavilion and the Tower. Here a little stretch of open greeted us. Before it is a wonderful wall of rock, a half hundred paces wide that shoots up to heaven. It is as smooth on its face is a mill-stone and as broad as the sail of a ship. It glittered before my eyes like polished marble. For this reason it is called the Bright Mirror of Past Deeds.”
As we continued our way up the valley we came upon one of the sad reminders of failure. The King of Silla, a thousand years ago, (918 A.D.) found the tide of events set against him and the Wangs in power. He resigned his kingship and bowed submission to the usurper. His son, in desperation, cut away from kith and kin and made this haunt of the Diamond Mountains his fiery soul’s retreat. Here by Hell Gate and the amber Pool of Hades he built himself a fortress wall in defiance of all the tides that were against him. I had heard of this wall, but a thousand years of time will fling into oblivion greater things than loose stones unset by mortar. Was it a dream for here to-day, the same stones were before my eyes and the old wall still standing as it has stood through the centuries. The only passers in these long years have been those who have looked with pity on the sad remembrance of a broken knight and a broken kingdom, and with reverent feeling, have left the loose stones untoucheel There it stands, one stone upon another, as it stood in the days of Alfred’s England
Yung-wun takes its name from a boyish priest of Silla who came here, lived, prayed, and died. One of his followers built the temple and called it after him.
In a little side building dedicated to the white-haired Na-han we lit our kerosene stove and had a far-Western tiffin. The main temple was quite deserted, the master being away. Eternal silence marks this lonely region shut off from all the noisy world.
At night, the darkness and the solitude must be as impressive almost as in the ice-bound circle of the Pole. Only the falling water, and the rustling of leaves are heard, with now and then a strange, weird, forest cry.
On our return, we found in the soft sand at the bank of the stream, the track of a wild-boar who had crossed since we had come. Tigers, no doubt, some times look out on passers from the greedy depth of their inner being but keep quiet. Not having yet tasted human flesh, they let these strange fearsome creatures go by.
We came safely back and touched at Chi-jang Temple. It stands on the west side of Chi-jang peak, as Hell Gate, the Pool of the Yellow Shades, and the Tower of the Pure Mirror, stand on the east.
Chi-jang is one of the greatest of the Bodhisattvas. He has charge of Hell and his office seems one that works to set sinners free. The Hon. Mrs. Gordon sees some resemblance between his name and that of Jesus.
Sept 28th, 1917.
It being too late to go to Pyo-hoon I decided to make a list of buildings etc. attached to the Chang-an Temple and the abbot gave me the following:
1. The Main Hall.
2. The Temple of the Four Holy Ones.
3.The Temple of the Light of the Sea.
4. The Pavilion of the Sanscrit King.
5. The Hall of Nirvana.
6. The Pavilion of the Fairies.
7. The Temple of the Sea Shade.
8. Pavilion of Truth.
9. The Great Censer Pavilion.
10. Small Censer Pavilion.
11. The Hall of Hades.
12. The Hall of Pi-ro.
13. Temple of Long Life to the King.
The following pictures and images are found in the Main Hall:
1. Middle, Suk-ka Yu-rai (seated).
2. Right hand Yak-sa Yu-rai (seated).
3, Left hand, A-mi-t’a Bool (seated).
1. The Ryung-san Whoi (Spirit Mountain Assembly). 靈山會
The Buddha in charge is Suk-ka Yu-rai. 釋迎如來
There are present the Eight Bodhisats with faces of yellow gold and haloes about their heads; ten great Disciples who are called Na-han; and the Four Kings of Heaven, besides angels and angelic beings.
2. The Man-wul Whoi (Full Moon Assembly). 滿 月會
The Buddha in charge is Yak-sa Yu-rai.
There are here present also the Eight Bodhisats, ana the Ten Great Disciples; while on the right-hand is the Bodhisat of the Sun (Il-kwang Po-sal). and on the left the Bodhisat of the Moon (Wul kwang Po-sal). Here also the Four Kings of Heaven are seen.
3.Keuk-nak Whoi (The Assembly of Nirvana). 極樂會
The Buddha in charge in A-mi-Va Bool).
The Eight Bodhisats are here and the Four Kings of Heaven wearing fierce countenances.
4.Sam-jang Whoi (Assembly of the Three Gods of Space). 三 藏會
Middle Figure, Ch’un-jang.
Right hand, Hu-kong-jang.
Left hand, Chi-jang.
There is a row of Na-ch’al also present These are the constables of Hell. Angel boys, girls, and fairies may be seen likewise.
5.Sam-ke Whoi (Assembly of the Three Worlds). 三界會
Middle Figure, Che-sitk Ch’un-wang.
Right hand Tai-pum Ch’un-wang.
Left hand, Tong-jin Po-sal. [page 23]
Many constables and others are also present
6.Ch’il-sung Whoi (Assembly of the Seven Stars).
The Buddha in charge is Ch’il-sung-hwang Yu-rai.
Three of the Seven Stars stand to the right while four stand on the left There are present also the Sun and Moon Bodhisats.
7.The Mountain God with the Tiger. 山神
8.The Tok-sung Na-han (One who awakens of himself to the Truth). 獨聖羅漢
9.Kam-so Whoi. This is an assembly in which all the souls of the world are being prayed for by the priests, seven being in charge, three representing the past and four the future.
Yi and I also examined the copy of the Nestorian Tablet given by Mrs. Gordon, that stands by the roadside. On one side is written:
“After 1134 years, A.D. 1916, 5th Moon (May) an English lady, Gordon, had this stone cut and set up as a memorial before the Chang-an Temple.”
On the other:
“After 1079 years in Keui-mi (1859) of Ham-poong, Ham Tai-whan had the original stone placed under a pavilion. I regret to say that visitors were not allowed to see it.”
Other stones stand about Chang-an that are of no special interest. I looked for the one with the inscription by Yi Kok, but it was nowhere to be found.
In the afternoon Yi and I went to the Pyo-hoon Temple again along the pathway that leads by the Wailing Pool.
There are said to be no snakes in the Diamond Mountains but we saw a green one. Yi started after it with his umbrella. He pounded it and flung its coils right and left, but the creature got into its hole and disappeared. He turned to me with a very redly excited face and said, “If only you had given me your stick I could have finished off this limb of evil.
‘‘Yes, and you would have broken my bamboo,” said I, “1 could not think of giving it.”
Yi was very disappointed at not having killed the creature that is said not to inhabit the Diamond Mountains.
I told him I could imagine the snake going home and telling his wife that he had narrowly escaped death at the hands of a horrible creature that had no religion, for Buddhists never kill snakes. Yi replied, “I kill the devil whenever I see him.”
We passed on till we came to the Rock of the Three Buddhas (Sam-pool Am), which I photographed with Yi standing at the side. This stone was chiselled into shape by the famous priest Nan-ong who lived in 1400 A. D., and has three Buddhas on the front, and the Fifty Three at the back.
We visited the little “Hall of Worthies” that stands just before the platform on which are found relic pagodas and the tall memorial stote of Su-san Tai-sa. In it are portraits of many famous masters of the Buddha, including Chi-kong (an Indian), Nan-ong, Moo-hak, Su-san Tai-sa, and my old friend Oong-wul whom I had met and whose hospitality I had enjoyed 20 years before.
Sept 29th, 1917.
After breakfast, when the dew had dried somewhat from the ground, our party crossed the bridge and started on a fifteen minute walk up the hill. The road branched off by a big rock that has written on it “Nam-moo A-mi-t’a Bool,” (I put my trust in Amida Buddha.)
We climbed up to Chang-kyung Am, the Temple of Endless Blessing, Here we were greeted by a young priest and an old, old priestess, who came out with smiling face and put her arms about Georgie. How delighted she was to see him. “You’ll be my little boy, won’t you, and live with me always.” Her age was 84, and her name, Myo-tuk-haing, Beautiful Virtue.
We sat for a time and enjoyed the view, while the old priestess laughed and called attention to Georgie’s Korean. Yi stood aside and looked wonderingly and inquiringly on.
Remarking on her age, he said to me, “Anyone whose ears cling close back to the head like hers is bound to live long.”
Later in the day Yi told me a very interesting story. He said when he lived in Hai-joo, forty years ago, their next door neighbour and special friend of his mother, was a widow No-si, who had one son called Seven Stars (Chyil-sung), his very dearest playmate. As a boy, his name, too, was Seven Stars, and so the two little Seven Stars played together. Later, his friend died and left a great blank in his life, but greater in that of the broken-hearted mother, now a widow and childless. She had many goods and much wealth, which relatives undertook to dispossess her of. Being determined, however, that this should not be, she sold all she had and disappeared.
Thirty years later Yi heard from the abbot of Puk-han that No-si still lived, that she had become a priestess and had gone to the east coast, to the Diamond Mountains.
Said he, “When I met the old priestess this morning, heard her voice with its Whang-hai accent, and saw the way she put her arms round Georgie, my memory went back forty years to No-si, who used to treat me in just the same way. I am sure it is she and shall immediately go and inquire.” We also visited another temple, some ten minutes distant along the same hill, called Kwan-eum Am.
Here we met an apple-cheeked old witchy body whom I had seen twice already on the road. She is evidently a grandmother of Humpty Dumpty judging from her cheeks and the pictures I have seen of him.
The surroundings of this temple are not so attractive as some of the others, but the hills behind are full of majesty.
Old Apple-Cheek told us to wait and see the chief-priestess who was in the rear room weaving. By an inner door we entered, and found her at a very simple loom weaving coarse linen. A young priestess was by her side lending a helping hand. She greeted us kindly but went on with her work.
My wife expressed a desire to have a piece of linen on which to write the names of the different abbots of the monasteries at which we stopped and which she hoped to embroider later. The chief-priest of Chang-an hearing this, brought a piece that he presented with his very best compliments.
Sept 30th, 1917.
At 2 P. M. we went to see Yi’s old friend who turned out to be the person he thought, No-si of Hai-joo. She had lost her son when he was 12 years of age. He told of meeting her again, how amazed she was when she realized that he, the companion of her long lost Seven Stars, was before her.
We found her basking in the light of the most glorious sunshine. One of the finest possible views of the hills is to be had from her temple looking over the richly wooded valley just beneath.
The old priestess greeted us most cordially and referred to Yi as her boy, Ch’il-sung (Seven Stars). She was disturbed by the fact that she had nothing to offer us in the way of refreshments. We assured her, however, that that was quite unnecessary as we had just dined.
I had her sit for a photograph, Yi on one side and George and his mother on the other, and then I took her alone. Speaking of her little son she said his loss had left her broken-hearted and that she had become a priestess of the Buddha and had found comfort.
Yi read her a poem that he written and had a spoonful of rice brought with which to paste it up on the inside of her verandah.
She again turned to George and with the simplicity of the kindest impulse, took the string of amber beads that she was using as a rosary, put them round George’s neck and said, “May you live as long as I, and may we meet again in the happy world to come, and say to each other: Why we met, long long ago, in Chang-kyung Temple in the Diamond Mountains, didn’t we?”
Oct. 1st, 1917.
We left our delightful home at Chang-an-sa at 9 A.M. and said good-bye to the abbot who came out with a long line of retainers to see us oft. For six days board for Yi and the coolie and two extra meals we paid Y4.70. I gave the abbot four yen as well for room rent and bade him good-bye at the foot of the stair that leads up over the Wailing Pool. It was a glorious morning, sweet, fresh, and fill of sunshine.
We had four coolies to carry our loads and two to help over the impossible ways of the Cascade Valley.
As we passed Blue Heron Peak (Ch’ung-hak Pong) we came upon the padok board carved in the rocks, as well as the ornamental writing by Yang Pong-nai.
Pong-nai P’oong-ak, Wun-wa Tong-ch’un.
This is in some respects the most famous inscription in Korea while Yang Pong-nai is the most interesting man as-sociated with the Diamond Mountains.
This Yang I knew was born in 1517 but he was such a strange mixture of man and fairy that I wanted a fuller account of his life than I had yet seen. At last I found it in the Keui-moon Chong-wha.
The way through the Cascade Valley leads over great rocks and along gorges that echo with rushing water. The eternal walls of squared masonry that enclose the way on all sides look like a building of the gods.
Over bridges of a single log we made our precarious ascent like the fairies, while the goods and chattels that followed, found safe passage on the backs of the genii.
On our way up we heard calls and shouts behind us as though some of the bearers had fallen, load and all, into the boiling deep. However they came safely through, bottles and cups undamaged. They charged 2 sen a li or forty sen for the whole journey. I gave them a pourboir of 40 sen each but they showed no superabundant symptoms of gratitude over it. I asked if they would come along, pick us up again on the 5th and see us safely to Yoo-jum-sa, but they said No, that was not their custom. If it were a continuous journey they could go through, but each temple had its own group of men, and we would have to employ those as we went along.
This is the far-famed Man-pok, the Valley of Ten Thousand Waterfalls.
Mr. Bribosia, the Belgian Consul, who had passed through the week before us wrote the following. Mr. Bribosia is a Frenchman as to speech and so his fine mastery of English is not natural but acquired.
“Pagan pilgrims in the land of the holy swastika, we direct our steps to another station placed in this sacred retreat of Buddhism, at the far end of the Asiatic continent, by the first apostles, who, long ago, came from the warm plains of the Indian lotus.
“Slowly we descend between walls of basaltic rocks, darkened by time. A vegetation that no hand dares desecrate clings and climbs toward the skies. The torrent rolls its limpid waters through a labyrinth of enormous rocks fallen from the heights above. The path forces its narrow way through wherever it can find a hold, gripping the flanks of the wall, taking advantage of fallen trees, held by creepers to the face of these gigantic monuments; it crosses and re-crosses the rushing waters, the leaping cascades, the dizzy whirlpools of blue and green piscines carved in the stone. Up and down it goes through tortuous, shaded stairways of heaped up rocks, due to the work of nature, or to the kind thoughtfulness of the monks; always through a strange and tangled vegetation so foreign to our eyes, a vegetation that suggests “stage scenery” living, dying and lying in death, the three stages of the cycle that human utilitarianism does not here disarrange in their respective relations.
“It is in the maze of these gigantic boulders, heaped up together, leaning on one another in fantastic shapes, that is offered to the invader, who penetrates on tip-toe, a world so wierd, so mysterious, as to defy the fertile imagination of a Gustave Doré. Its disconcerts one in its twisted forms as would the mentality of a painted Chinese landscape. The phantasy of an artist would discover here the abodes and the actors of Greek mythology, with its fauns and nymphs of woods and waters, the queer people of the fairy tales so dear to our childhood. You find here too the cave of Alibaba, the spot shaded by azaleas and lilacs, festooned with garlands of creepers, where so long slept the princess awaiting the kiss of Prince Charming. Hark Diana, fleet of foot, may appear suddenly from behind one of these rocks in pursuit of the deer you hear in flight. Listen, the wind cries through the foliage with the rumbling noise of the torrent, like the laugh of the satyrs, and the frightened cry of the surprised Naiads.
“Truly a world of wonder is this sacred land of the Buddha! In our heart grows a feeling of gratitude toward the old religion for the refuge it has granted to romance, everywhere expelled from our humdrum existence.
“Hooked to the side of an immense rock, a hermitage hangs over the valley. In its miniscule oratorium, fastened with chains to the basaltic wall, suspended in space, a man of silence, on his knees before the holy Buddha, murmurs the eternal words, fateful formulas in a dead language, of long ago, and which have passed during many centuries from the lips of other lonely recluses within these tiny walls.
“A true scene detached from the “life of the saint.” Unconsciously one looks around for the dutiful raven which brings the loaf of bread to this new Simon Stylites.
“His eyes do not even for a moment leave the object of his adoration though the outside world thus invades his retreat; he is far away from this earth and the insects that crawl upon it, his thoughts are in the divinity which fascinates him. Hypnotized by the life beyond, he has no other desire but to take his flight toward the destiny which his God prepares him.
“Silently we withdraw in a graver mood, feeling the weight of the solitude, impressed by the meaning of this silent little scene, and the great unsolved problems it recalls to our frivolous minds.
“One could not escape the thought that perhaps, after all, the true wisdom lay with him, not with us, in his contemplation of this fleeting, human existence, evanescent like the sunset’s glow on the hills above.”
At last we reached that part of the course where we spied the little temple that sits perched on its projecting rock, with a long brazen pillar beneath it. It has stood thus on its giddy edge for many hundreds of years, holding its place in all winds and weather. This the Po-tuk temple mentioned by Mr. Brihosia.
Near the head of the gorge and just before we reached Ma-ha-yun we came to a pool called Fire Dragon (Wha-ryong Tam) from which a specially fine view is to be had.
The Mahayana Monastery stands with the great peak of Hyul-mang just across the way. Hyul means “hole” or “opening” which one can see through the mass of masonry. What part the fairies have had in it, I know not, but some power has cut a tunnel through its flinty face.
At nightfall the moon came sailing up through the pine trees over the cockscomb ridges to the east, a splendid autumn moon, fair, and sweet, and strong, as though it had come fresh from the hand of the Maker, a glorious orb of light.
Oct. 2nd, 1917.
At 6 A. M. the light broke in through the paper doors and a beautiful morning in the woods began to dawn.
The maples, coloured by the touch of autumn, had broken out into red and yellow, giving the landscape a gorgeous setting and trimming with beauty the walls and battlements about us. The saw-toothed ridge, that rides all along the skyline, walls in this silent world of indescribable colour.
George and I visited Pearl Pool and while seated there a gendarme came hurrying by, his revolver strapped at his side and his legs bound about with puttees. It seems that he and his attending guard had started off that morning to rout out a den of thieves that were said to have their rendezvous near Piro Peak. We questioned, when we saw him going by, as to whether he had caught any of them. On return to Ma-ha-yun we learned that they had captured three who would pass shortly. A little later we heard calls from the valley and following this up the pathway under a guard of four gendarmes carne these most unfortunate creatures. One was a big man with a black head and fierce beard, very ragged in dress; another a little old man with his head wrapped round, also most dishevelled in appearance, the third, a pale-faced fellow with a very ill-constructed countenance.
They were tied with the regular police cord. One had had his arm broken the scuffle, they said. After a short wait they all set out on foot for Chang-an-sa, the headquarters of the gendarme guard. Their offence seems to be some encroachment on the Tungsten Mining Concession that lies north of Piro Peak.
The day closed rather sullenly.
Oct. 3rd, 1917.
In showing me about the temple the priest Yun-ho called my attention to their bell whose soft muffied note had awakened us in the morning. It was an oon-pan, Cloud Gong, which is said to call all beings from the air, the ordinary bell being used to call dwellers from hell. The mok-u or wooden bell, calls creatures of the sea, while the pup-ko, or drum, is for the hairy, or furry creation.
He also showed me a set of 66 volumes of the Wha-eum Sutra copied off many years ago by a famous priest named Ho-pong (Tiger Peak). This work of Ho-pong’s is spoken of by the scholar Chu-sa, as a creation of the genii, so beautifully is it done. It cost him ten years of labour and is certainly a great literary treasure.
I learned that in the copying of the Buddhist Scriptures, if a single error is made on a page the whole thing is thrown away, just as the Jewish scribes did in days of old.
In the afternoon the abbot showed us the way up the stream as far as Myo-kil Sang the great image of the Buddha, that stands on the north side of the road, a huge bas-relief 70 feet high, reminding one somewhat of the Dia-Butsu of Kamakura,
Oct. 4th, 1917.
A glorious autumn day! Last night the wind blew and the hills roared a long wailing note that echoed through the valley. I looked out, no moon had risen and fierce darkness brooded over rock and chasm. The spirit or Tam-moo-gal sat high on his cliff dimly outlined against a murky sky.
By morning, the wind had fallen, and a great calm succeeded. The darkness took wing, and a light such as they talk of in the language of the Buddha, Tai-kwang, opened up-on the world.
The chill of the night had changed still more deeply if possible the colour of the leaves, till the landscape had become exceeding beautiful.
No words can give any idea of this central valley of the Diamond Mountains in the early days of October. Let all lovers of nature come at this season and behold how the great Master of water-colour can scatter His tints over hill and valley.
We start tomorrow for Yoo-jum-sa.
Oct 5th, 1917.
Up early this morning to leave for Yoo-jum-sa! Ten li it is to An-moo Jai, Inner Water Pass. Ten li seemed but a mere trifle. After crossing the Pass twenty li more to would make but a pleasant day’s outing.
The men, six of them, four to carry loads, and two to help over rocks and streams were to be on hand early, but Korean like, they were not to be seen even at 8 o’clock.
We started at 8.20. The morning was most glorious, the sunlight through the trees being tinted as if by amber.
Passing the great Buddha, Myo-kil Sang, we followed up the course of the stream. Sometimes the roadway was soft and carpeted with hignly coloured leaves; sometimes, again, it made its way over rocks and boulders in a manner to make one’s hair stand on end.
I inquired as to the animals that inhabit these wood, and the carriers told me of the o-so-ri which is like a wild dog, and yet eats earthworms. “Then there is the tam-poi, a most extraordinary creature, smaller than a dog, that goes, in packs like wolves. One tam-poi, acting as outpost, climbs a tree and gives warning to the others. It is exceedingly fierce and attacks and carries off even tiger’s cubs. “Elsewise,” said the priest, “there would be no living in these hills for tigers.” Thanks to the tam-poi!
Then there are kom, or bears. A young priest of our temple had seen two cross his path at An-moo-jai a day or two before. Bears, however, are timid and unless suddenly surprised seldom attack people.
The ho-rang-i, tiger, is everywhere. As we passed along, half way between Ma-ha-yun and the mountain top, we saw fresh marks of this lord of the underbrush that made us feel somewhat anxious. How close he must have been. Our un-trained souls have no confidence in the prayer Nam-moo A-mi-t’a Bool, to effectually bar the tiger on his way. Under ordinary circumstances he is afraid of man. Unless the fatal taste of human blood be known to him, he will, in all probability, keep still and watch while these strange beingrs pass. We saw no tiger, nor did any other of the cat tribe startle us with its cry.
There are deer, sa-sim, and no-roo, as well as wolves, neuk-tai and il-heui, rabbits (t’o-keui) too, and blue rats (ch’ung-su), sables (ton-yi), squirrels (ta-ram-choui), otters (soo-tal), wild-cats (salk) and badgers (no-koo-ri).
The road was said to be ten li, an hoar’s run, but we kept on till 11.30, three hours, and still were not in sight of the top. A few moments later we reached it. What a terrific climb it was. Of course the bearers stopped and rested nearly a third of the time. However, after making due allowance for such delays it is two strenuous hours to the top of the pass. Anyone going with coolies should allow three hours.
The top, 4,300 feet above the sea, is reached without once meeting any dizzy height or dangerous place. How much higher it is than Ma-ha-yun I do not know.
On the top, is a wide open space surrounded by oaks and chestnuts. A short time before reaching it we had a glimpse of Pi-ro Peak (5,800). From the pass it is not visible though a fine view of the Chang-hyang walls, flat topped and bare is to be had.
Then began the easy course down the hill, a soft twenty li I had pictured it, but it turned out to be a good three hours journey.
At first the hills were somewhat uninteresting but later, as we got down to the wonderful world of colour, with the bald peaks of Ch’il-po-tai, Eun-sun-tai and others standing out before us we were intoxicated with the joy of it
About noon our whole party, that is the bearers, sat down and drew a comfortable lunch from a net-bag and ate while we kicked our heels against the rocks and waited for them. The down-trodden Oriental coolie may appear to be but a “poor little Hindoo,” but remember, please, that albeit of a most unassuming guise, he is a king in his own right, and can teach the Ben Tillets and Hendersons, and Ramsay Mac-donalds, points as to how the real lords of creation command things in their own favour. He may not be able to read the clock but you may be sure that all the world will go hollow cheeked and hungry-eyed before be loses his pap. Later on, we entered a lovely valley decorated with every imaginable shade of autumn colour, and the water rushing by over rock and shingle.
At one point we passed many relic budos and tall upright memorial stones, marks of this ancient religion.
By 2.30 P. M. after six hours of strenuous walk we were at Yoo-jum-sa. Let any future voyager know that six hours are required for the trip from Ma-ha-yun.
Oct. 6th, 1917.
The day opened fair and fresh. Judging from the fact that the hill just east of the rest-house is marked 2,903 feet above the sea, the temple here must stand about 2,600, or the height of Pai-on-tai, Puk-han. This explains the cool refreshing atmosphere of Manchuria that it enjoys as it sits high up above the world of rice and persimmon.
The abbot came down to speak his morning greeting, and after breakfast we made a round of the temples—the oldest in Korea, not the actual buildings but the site.
Associated with this place is the story of the 53 Buddhas that came from the Punjab (Wul-chi Gook) in 5 A. D., or 60 years before the first news reached China. As told by a little Korean maid who visited this place in 1835 it is one of the most interesting stories that I find in connection with the Buddha.
She goes on to say, “These Buddhas are said to have come from the Punjab, India, in the far off days of Silla. They were made by the Moon-soo Bodhisat, at first in the shape of bells, but when he said his prayers they became Buddhas and danced and flitted before him. They sailed across the sea, some say in a stone boat, others on an iron bell and arrived in the port of An-chang County where they disappeared among the rocks and trees. The magistrate, No Ch’oon, hearing of this, gathered his retainers about him and went in search of them. The Moon-soo Bodhisat hastened to appear in a dream to a certain priestess, telling her to go out and meet the magistrate. He found her sitting on a rock at a spot now known as the Nun’s Resting Place (Yi-yoo Am). She led him on his way, for a time, and then a white dog made its appearance, looked at him and wagged its tail. He followed this animal over the Dog Pass (Koo-ryung). Later, overcome by thirst, he had his men dig the ground, when water suddenly appeared, the spot being called No-Ch’oon’s Well (No-ch’oon Chung). As they went on the dog disappeared and a red deer took its place. A little later the deer too disappeared and the sound of a bell was heard. This place he called Deer Neck (Chang-hang). Delighted, he hurried on over the hill that was called Glad Hill (When-heui Ryung) because of the bell. He continued on and at last entered a narrow defile where he came to a large pool with Keyaki trees at the side. Here a bell was swinging, and on the limbs of the Keyaki tree sat the 53 little Buddhas.
A soft fragrance filled the air. No Ch’oon came with his followers and bowed. He then informed King Nam-hai (4-24 A.D.) of it and a temple was built where the Buddhas were seated on the Keyaki trees, the temple being called Keyaki-tree Rest-house (Yoo-jum-sa).”
We went into the main hall where a prayer service was going on at 10 A.M. and saw rice placed before the altar. In the limbs of the artificial tree sat the Buddhas, all gilded and of different sizes. There are now only 33 however. Three were lost early in their history, and three years ago 17 were carried off by some thief. Now they are wired in carefully from the public, and when the priest is through with his daily prayers he takes up a little board that lies on his table with the 33 marked, each in its place. He counts them with the board in hand to see that all are where they ought to be. These 33 little Buddhas constitute as unending source of anxiety to those in charge.
Oct. 7th, 1917.
Early in the day the abbot came to call, when I asked him about Dog Pass, No Ch’oon’s well, Yi Yoo-am etc. and he said we would see them all on our way down. What about the writing of Queen In-mok?
Keurn-wun, the little maid says in regard to it; “Queen In- mok (wife of Injo 1650 A. D.) copied off, with her own hand, the Mita-Sutra, which book is now preserved in the Yoo- jum Monastery. She did this when a prisoner in the West Palace. At the end she added a note in small characters saying, ‘May my parents and relatives, and my son, Prince Yung-chang, all be blessed in the next world by my having copied this off’.”
The priest showed me a document as well written by King Sung-jong in 1470, the year of his accession to the throne, which proves how beautifully a king could write in those distant days; also a little book by Nan-ong with Indian characters at the back, copied by his own hand. He died in 1376.
There were some very valuable pieces of pottery too, one a dish of the Choo Kingdom dated 1130 B. C.; another a beautiful jade bowl, marked 15 A.D., was said to be worth 10,000 yen. Other dishes of Koriaki ware were also shown us.
By 6.30 we had our baggage packed and were on our way to Sin-ke-sa. The question was, Would it rain ? We were somewhat disappointed with Yoo-jum-sa and needed a special send off to give it a worthy place in our memory. We got it on our journey out when we passed through a world of indescribable colour along the steep bank of a roaring torrent, over Deer Neck Pass that No Ch’oon had crossed 1912 years before on the track of the 53 Buddhas. No region could ever lend itself better to a fairy tale than this walk by No Ch’oon’s Well, where he drank on his thirsty way.
Later we passed a wretched inn and walked for some few minutes along a desolate heath then dropped down over an emerald ridge and suddenly came upon a panorama that outdoes my powers of description. Under somewhat lowering clouds was a vista of hill and valley that ended in the long blue reaches of the sea. Deep and deeper shades of green blended with the thickening sky and shaded off into the watery distance.
After a long look at this unusual picture we began the descent of 2,300 feet down, down, till finally we came to a wood devoid of all colour, and a world of soft April showers, entirely different from the region we had left.
Gradually the poetry faded away from the landscape, and soon we were into flat paddy-field prose as dismal as possible.
I forgot to say that we passed Yi Yoo Am, the rock on which the priestess waited to point No Ch’oon on his way. Po-hyua Tong is the place where No Ch’oon met the Bodhisat, who directed him upward.
Not far from this is a shrine to No Ch’oon’s wife. It seems she was about to accompany her husband when she suddenly realized that she had left some washing out to dry and expressed anxiety about it. No Ch’oon at once told her that she was a worldly-minded woman unfit to share the bliss of the Buddha and that she should stay here and see the priests hull rice for all eternity. There she remains today.
By 5.20 P.M. we had crossed a rushing stream on the back of a strong athletic coolie and were safe in Sin-ke-sa. It lies at the foot of the Mount of the Fairies (Chip-sun Pong) 5,440 feet high.
Tired somewhat over the walk of 27 miles, much of it through mud and rain, we turned in to sleep at 8 P.M.
Oct. 9th, 1917.
We passed rather a cold night but were refreshed by a beautiful morning breaking in upon these impressive heights. We are walled up on the south-west by the most tremendous fortifications, five thousand feet high, gray granite rocks that permit of no pathway or exit of any kind whatever.
Oct. 10th, 1917.
The day threatened rain with clouds on the tops of the hills so we made no special plan for a journey anywhere. We went later up the valley as far as the little pass beyond which is the pebbly edge of the stream. Here we threw stones into the water with which sport George was delighted.
When we returned home and were sitting on our verandah thirteen gendarmes disguised with long white outer coats came in with nine brigands in tow, captured near Pi-ro Pong, three women and six men. They were a very unsavoury looking lot.
Oct. 11th, 1917.
By early dawn we were informed that the day was clear and most hopeful for a trip, so we harried through breakfast and made ready. At eight thirty we were off, the old padre, three young priests, a coolie whom I hired, Yi Sun-saing and Yi, the man who carried George’s chair on his back, quite a procession in all.
After an hour up through a most ponderous canyon we came to Diarnond Gate, just in front of it a Japanese couple whom we had met in the valley the previous day, have a little stall where they sell post-cards, ginger-ale, beer, apples, tea and cake.
Before we reached this point we met a half dozen wild looking fellows, a part of the rabble that infests Pi-ro Peak. Several other uncanny creatures came out of the shadow of the bushes as we went by. There is evidently a numerous brood inhabiting these inaccessible heights.
Passing the Japanese fruit stall, we bowed our heads beneath the Diamond Gate and little by little advanced up a very rugged valley where no woman should ever attempt to go. The road is all but impassible and my anxieties were great when I thought of our little lad being carried on coolie back along these giddy edges with roaring torrents far beneath. We passed places where the road is anchored fast by chains; where mountain creepers are all we had to cling to; where a single log stood between us and a skid over 500 feet of slippery rock.
We had to watch our feet so carefully that we lost much of the grandeur of the scene. One part of the canyon that specially struck my fancy was the Ok-ryong Kwan, Dragon King’s Palace, to which we were introduced by the Diamond Gate. Then we passed Pi-pong Falls, a very pretty toboggan slide over the face of the rock.
A few turns further on brought us to the Sun-tam, or Boat Pool, that we crossed by clinging to a creeper that was bolted to the wall. The Boat Pool is very beautiful and yet others beyond it are even more attractive. Later on we found the way walled in by a chain to which we clung as we passed.
The road gradually grew more and more difficult till finally my wife felt it impossible to descend to the depths required, while the final drop before the Dragon Fall was too dangerous to attempt. She had to be satisfied with looking on from a distance. I crossed the stream and looked up at the face of the fall , some three hundred feet high, they say, and as white as a sheet of bleached cotton let down from the Milky Way.
Just below the pavilion, in front, there is an inscription written in the rock by Song Si-yul, which reads,
The angry fall pours down and makes dizzy the eyes that see.
Also one by Yang Pong-nai,
Ch’un-chung paik-nyun man-kwoih chin-joo.
(A thousand measures of white linen, ten thousand buckets of jewels.)
I found it hard to make my return over the slippery rocks and could not have done so except for Yi Sun-saing’s help. Once more along the giddy way we went clinging to ledges by decaying poles, holding to iron rods and chains and moving backwards down block stair-ways.
At 12 M. we passed the corner above the Pearl Pool where a Japanese last year slipped foot and went skidding down to death. The old padre told how he had said prayers for his soul, and how a letter and come to him from the lad’s mother in Japan thanking him.
Once more through the Diamond Gate we passed the wonderful opening that leades to the Dragon King’s Palace.
Oct. 12th, 1917.
The morning dawned as sweetly and beautifully as an April day. I proposed a walk to Yang-jin along the new road bringring us within a mile of the sea.
Yang-jin is a little corner village with a Sun-chun man for shop-keeper. An indifferent mortal he seemed to be with not the first shadow of manners about him. Here he was in his cluttered up shop selling goods with no more sense of order or neatness about him than if the whole thing had been shot out of a gun. I asked him if he was a Buddhist? No. Was he a Christian? By no means. What religion had he? None!
From Yang-jin on the way to Onseri we had a magnificent view of Pi-ro Peak.
Oct. 13th, 1917.
It is interesting to note that the sun went down behind the hills, as we sat in the verandah at Sin-ke-sa at 4.10 P.M.
After breakfast we went to Po-kwang Temple where the priest in charge received us in the little chapel of the Seven Stars and treated us to chestnuts and cake. His room is filled with all sorts of curiosities, a scroll among other things, with the character Bool, Buddha, in which one of the arrows runs clean down to the bottom of the kakamoni. His picture of the tiger is also very good.
After seeling these Buddhist temples and making a list of things that somewhat suggest a similarity between Buddhism and Christianity I give the following.
1. Temples Churches
2. Monasteries Monasteries
3. Monks and Nuns Monks and Nuns
4. Sacred Books Sacred Books (Hebrew and
(Sanscrit and Pali) Greek)
5. Rosaries Rosaries
6. The Cross (Swastika) The Cross (Various Forms)
7. Different Denomin Different Denominations
8. Celibacy Celibacy
9. The Trinity (Amida, The Trinity
10. Pool (佛) I H C (Man, arrows and bow)
11. Prayer in an unknown Unknown tongue (Latin)
12. Images Images
13. Robes Robes
14. Founded on Faith (Romans)
Keui-sin Non (起信論) Faith
15. Posal, Nahan Saints, Martyrs
16. The Buddha (God) Jesus (God)
17. Charms and Magic Charms and Magic
18. From the West From the East
19. The Nestorian Stone The Nestorian Stone
20. Heaven (Nirvana) Heaven (Paradise)
21. Hells Hell
22. The Seven Stars The Seven Stars (Revelation)
23. Wild Beasts (San-sil- Wild Beasts (In desert ruled by
24. Bells and Gongs Bells
25. Relics Relics
26. Patriarchs Fathers
27. Servants of all men Servants of all men.
28. Hermits Hermits
Oct. 14th, 1917.
This was another wild, windy morning. Yi Sun-saing had tried to do Manmool Sang yesterday, and had been nearly blown off the cliffs, so he came home with his trip unfinished and said he had paid too dear for his whistle.
In the afternoon we as a family went to the Nirvana Hill to meet the old padre on his way home from On-chung-ni. We did not see him, however, and came back in the dusk after a very delightful outing in the pines. The view of the temple toward eventide from the hill is very fine, the valley beneath being wrapped in shade.
Sin-ke-sa is the most accessible of all the monasteries and also the most attractive in some respects. It sits among the eternal hills, companion of the Fairy Peak (5,400 ft.) and holds the gateway to the Nine Dragon Pool. It lacks the magic spell that accompanies the Inner Keum-kang and those tints that mark its every winding way, but it is wonderful to a degree and worth a trip at any time.
Oct. 15th. 1917.
By 8 A. M. we were packed up and ready to start for the port town of Chang-jun.
Four coolies waited with our goods on their backs while the old padre and all his retainers came out to bid us go in peace. Very kind and courteous have been all these sons of the Buddha.
It is a lovely walk of two and a half miles, a good road all the way. We touched the sea half an hour after leaving Yangjin. The beach is somewhat bare, as Korean sea-beaches usually are, but it is sandy and suitable for bathing. We found the San-yo Hotel a suitable little place with an agreeable prospect. Here we put up.
From here to Wonsan we went by road along the beautiful shore of the sea, golden grain all about us, and a lovely expanse of water off to the east. The road as it lifts and falls gives every variety of view. The Giant Causeway Rocks offer a new excitement in the way of form and colour. All the way, in fact, is a world of delight.
From Wonsan we returned home reaching Seoul Oct 22nd, our trip having taken one month and one day.