The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 2. Founding of the Order

Chapter 3. Forming the System of the Order

1. Publication of the Edification Periodicals

In between the first commemorative general meeting (March, Won-Buddhist year 13) and the second commemorative general meeting, the most significant task of the new Order was publishing the edification periodicals.

In May Won-Buddhist year 13 (1928), the "Month-End Communication" [Wol-Mal-Tong-Sin] was first published with Song Doseong as the editor-in-chief, and was mimeographed through the 34th issue (the December issue in Won- Buddhist year 15). It was then unavoidably interrupted for a while due to other pressing affairs, such as the publication of the Books of Won-Buddhism. It was reissued in April Won- Buddhist year 17 (1932), under the new name the "Monthly Newsletter" [Wol-Bo] with Jeon Eumkwang as the editor-in-chief and was mimeographed through the 48th issue (the June issue in Won-Buddhist year 18). Then the Japanese officials argued that it violated publication codes. All of its 48 issues were confiscated and the periodical ceased publication.

In September Won-Buddhist year 18 (1933), after an official permit was issued by the colonial Japanese government, the monthly periodical, Hwe-Bo (Won-Buddhist Newsletter) with Jeon Eumkwang as the editor-in-chief, was issued and mimeographed. Beginning with the December issue (the 13th issue) in Won-Buddhist year 19 (1934), typography was employed with Yi Kongju (the head of the Communications Department) as the editor, after which circulation increased. However, in Won-Buddhist year 25 (1940), due to the acute situation of World War II, the periodical became a quarterly publication until January of the twenty-sixth year of Won- Buddhism (1941) when it finally suspended publication, with the 65th issue being the last.

The "Month-End Communication" was distributed to a number of temples in the country mainly reporting the gist of the sermons and messages from the General Headquarters to the congregations as well as news and developments of the Order. The "Monthly Newsletter" and the mimeographed "Won-Buddhist Newsletter" served as the means to exchange views in addition to providing its existing services. The typographic "Won-Buddhist Newsletter"eventually functioned as the means of edification and cultural activities and became the only cultural activity under the Japanese colonial rule. By publishing sermons and writings on awakenings and impressions, views, handlings of their bodies and minds, questions and answers, it long remained the spiritual legacy of the Order in its early stage.