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

5. Developing the Industry Department and Establishing the Industrial Organs

The founding group for the industry department, inaugurated in Won-Buddhist year 12 (1927), was consistently striving to raise funds when it decided to adopt Pak Daewan`s proposal to start a peach orchard in front of the General Headquarters` building in October Won-Buddhist year 13 (1928). This endeavor was crowned with great success. Subsequently, over 4,000 persimmon trees were planted in Mandeok Mountain in Jinan, followed by 2,400 chestnut trees in Hwangdeung-myeon in Iksan and 700 in Albong behind the General Headquarters` building. Over 1,000 peach trees were planted near the General Headquarters and in front of Yeongsan Temple, and a mixed orchard with over 2,000 fruit trees was cultivated in Yi-heung near Sinheung Temple. In Won-Buddhist year 21 (1936), a separate building for the industry department was constructed. Various seedlings, medicinal herbs, and vegetables were grown. Chickens, pigs, and rabbits were also raised, which produced great results. In September Won-Buddhist year 22 (1937), the industry department widely expanded its egg-producing capacity, for which 18 hen houses were newly constructed. The eggs were exported in large quantities to as far as Manchuria, which raised the industrial activities of the new Order.
Meanwhile, in August Won-Buddhist year 19 (1934), an herbal medicine shop, named Bohwa-dang, opened in Iri in the form of a limited partnership. This developed into the most profitable industry for the new Order. The shop`s purpose was to raise funds to build a charity hospital (Je-Jung-Won), and to conduct edification training as Sot`aesan had intended. It received the investment of the public-service fund (10,000 Korean Won) collected from the lay believers affiliated with the General Headquarters and the provincial districts. They saved money by implementing the newly established ceremonial protocols. Yi Jaecheol, the chief executive director (also the Chief of General Affairs), and the first officers (Yi Dong-An, the executive director and Pak Yiseok, the doctor) laid the foundations of its development.
In February Won-Buddhist year 25 (1940), 32 acres of forest land in Sugye-ri, Samrye were purchased to open Samrye Orchard. The orchard`s capital was funded with the operational savings of the branch offices in various provincial districts (over 7,000 Korean Won). Yi Dong-An was appointed as the first supervisor (also the head of the Industry Department) and the first officers of practical affairs (Kim Seokgyu as the chief officer and Jeong Ilji as the engineer) were dispatched to start a mixed orchard that mainly produced yellow peaches. Samrye Orchard, later renamed Samchang Orchard, Sugye Farm, and the Eunsan Foundation Sugye Farm, developed into the basic industrial training grounds of the new order.