Baekbeomdang Hall of Magoksa Temple

7. Baekbeomdang Hall of Magoksa Temple

[Woman]
In Magoksa Temple, there is a building called Baekbeomdang Hall where Kim Gu stayed. This place was once the safe-haven of Baekbeom. In February of 1896 when Empress Myeongseong was murdered, Baekbeom killed a Japanese lieutenant with his bare hands in Chihapo of Anak. It was the first rebellion of a young 21-year-old man seeking justice to avenge the Empress. For this incident, he was branded as a murderer and serving as a death row prisoner in Incheon prison. The death penalty was finalized in 1897, and although King Gojong's special pardon suspended the execution shortly before its schedule, his release was out of the question.

[Baekbeom Kim Gu]
"I can’t stay in this prison any longer. I have a mission to accomplish for the country and for the people! I must break out of here!"

[Woman]
On March 19, 1898, he escaped from Incheon prison.

[Baekbeom Kim Gu]
"I've traveled across Gyeongsang-do and Jeolla-do, and now I have arrived in Chungcheong-do. I have traveled almost all three of the southern provinces. Let me try Magoksa Temple in Gongju. Since there is a rumor that the place offers shelter...”

[Woman]
Baekbeom Kim Gu entered the priesthood at Magoksa Temple, where he became a Buddhist monk and obtained Wonjong as his precept name. Next to Baekbeomdang Hall, there is a juniper tree planted by Baekbeom. It was planted as he looked back on the things he had done for the liberation of Korea after he saw a phrase of a verse from the scripture written on a board at Daegwangbojeon Hall during his visit to Magoksa temple after Korea's liberation.

[Baekbeom Kim Gu]
"The phrase on the board hanging in Daegwangbojeon Hall echos in my heart.
"Soon, as I return to the world, everything feels like a dream."
Yes, indeed, everything felt like a dream. However, my dream has come true. I should plant a juniper tree here before I leave.”

[Woman]
Baekbeom had to go through a series of struggles, imprisonment, and exile throughout his life as a Donghak follower, a Buddhist monk, a member of the Korean Liberation Army, and the President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai, but he always had a clear goal of having a liberated and united homeland. To this end, he continued to take one step at a time. That is why his footsteps echo heavily in the hearts of the generations to come.

Baekbeomdang Hall, where Baekbeom once lived, has a picture of him taken with the villagers when he visited Magoksa Temple in 1946. There is also a word "happiness" written in his own handwriting hanging on the wall. A phrase written by Baekbeom is hanging there as well. This is the writing of Buddhist monk Seosan Daesa, known as Baekbeom's lifelong creed.

[Baekbeom Kim Gu]

As you walked through a snow-covered field,
do not whirl around without care.
Because the steps you take today,
will be a milestone for those behind you.

@Registered by : KOREA TOURISM ORGANIZATION

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