The Lonely Saint painting, on the other hand, is quite special... standard & ordinary in most elements,
but with the rare and delightful motif of a bird (magpie, i guess) holding-up one of his extremely-long
eyebrows (or catching it to eat, thinking that it's a white worm?) while the other one is hung over a top-crook
of his staff. This has been seen before, in Long-Eyebrow Arahant icons, rarely in a Dokseong.
and the Lower View-Crags
at the rear of the Inwang-sa Complex, on Inwang-san
This simple shrine, otherwise nameless, serves as the main Samseong-gak [Three Spirits or Saints Shrine] for
the entire "Inwang-sa" complex at its rear. It is perched on a boulder-platform just 20 meters behind Seon-bawi,
at the far foot of the Benevolent King Crag; the Tiger Crag can be seen also looming over it on its right in both of
the above photos. A room where the caretaker, seemingly an independent shaman, sleeps is on the right side,
and also (gray) a guest-room / storage-hut. A sacred three-trunked-tree (appropriate!) stands in-front; note the
bottles of makkeoli rice-wine placed at its base in supplication.
It is usually busy with worshippers and meditators of all sorts; many of them leave offerings of food and liquor.
Steep steps to the left of it lead up to the Lower View-Crags (below), and further up to the Upper Stone Altars.
Signboards: "Sam-seong-gak" left,
"San-shin-gak" above, "Chil-seong-gak" below.
curiously, there is no Dokseong-gak signboard...
|Inside is the typical arrangement: Sanshin is on the right, Chilseong in the center and Dokseong is on the left.
|The San-shin-do [Mountain-Spirit painting] is quite standard and ordinary, virtually a prototype for the genre.
|The Seven Stars painting (left) is so minimal and ordinary, there's nothing to say about it.
|A few steep steps to the left of the Samseong-gak lead up to the Lower View-Crags, which offer
sweeping views to the south and are a crude natural shrine-site in-themselves. This is just 30
meters directly behind and above the Seon-bawi, but it cannot be seen from here (blocked by trees).
Shamans sometimes sit up here all night long, with the downtown lights below them, supplicating
the spirits with prayers, chanting & drumming by candlelight. The simple stairs-trail continues
further around the left side, up to the Upper View-Crags and then up to the Upper Stone Altars.
|Mt. An-san (Inwang's twin) in the background
|plenty of candle-wax can be seen in the female-ish cleft
|guiding a tour there SIWA in April 2010 -- I do this several times every year for them or others
|two Korean women perform some simple Shamanism on the forward part of these crags, in 2009