The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 3. Fruition of the Sacred Work

Chapter 1. Continuing the Sacred Work of Sot`aesan

5. Reconstructive Work on Jeongkwanpyeong Embankment and Developing the Sacred Ground

Thirty years passed since the first land reclamation project in Jeongkwangpyeong. The embankment required extensive repair work and it became definite that its expansion and fortification would receive partial financial aid from the government under the national reconstruction program. In August Won-Buddhist year 40 (1955), Jeongkwanpyeong Embankment Repair Propulsory Committee was organized, with Head Dharma Master Chŏngsan as its president, Song Hyehwan as the chairperson, and Kim Hongcheol as the deputy chairperson in charge of practical affairs. In April of the following year, the ground-breaking ceremony was performed.
The groundwork was conducted with the help of labor services provided by the members of the public service groups belonging to the temples in various regions. Those who could not provide physical labor instead gave monetary donations. This was followed by various phases of construction, including a tide embankment, waterproofing measures, installation of two floodgates for drainage, bank protection work for water storage, and underdrain work, all of which were completed in Won-Buddhist year 44 (1959). Over 12 acres of new farmland was gained equipped with complete irrigation facilities. It was decided that the old dike, positioned inside the newly developed farmland after the construction of the new embankment, would be preserved as a monument. Seventy percent of the total cost of the construction (over 30,000,000 Korean Won) was financed by government aid.
Meanwhile, a campaign headed by Kim Daegeo was underway to restore the sacred ground of Yeongsan, which had been devastated during the war. Since Won-Buddhist year 43 (1958), the birthplace of Sot`aesan and the whole area surrounding the place of his great enlightenment were being purchased. From Won-Buddhist year 44 (1959), the year the embankment reconstruction ended, the sacred-ground development project became more active. While the area around Sot`aesan`s birthplace was being purchased, construction to expand and repair the road leading to the place of pilgrimage was underway. In January of the forty-fifth year of Won- Buddhism (1960), the administrative committee of the Board of Administration organized the Propulsory Committee for the Development of the Sacred Ground of Yeongsan. With the inauguration of the Half Centennial Project Committee, a forest land surrounding the sacred place of Sot`aesan`s great enlightenment was purchased and repair work was done on the great enlightenment hall in Yeongsan.