The History of Won


The History of Won-Buddhism (Wonbulgyo Kyosa)

Part 3. Fruition of the Sacred Work

Chapter 2. Establishment of the Institutions Working Toward the Objectives

1. Three Greatest Objectives and Trials of the Nonprofit Corporations

Sot`aesan often said: "The three objectives of our work are edification, education, and charity, for whose parallel advance we must always endeavor, so that there will be no flaws in our work." Although he made an effort to establish institutions that would respectively pursue the three objectives, he was not completely successful in his endeavor due to the adverse state of affairs of his time. After the country`s liberation from Japanese rule, the Won-Buddhist Constitution stipulated: "The Order shall establish a kindergarten, a school, a moral culture center, a sanatorium, a hospital, a nursing home, and an orphanage." It also stipulated: "The kindergarten and the school shall be the general education institutions; the moral culture center and the sanatorium shall be the mental cultivation and convalescent facilities for persons of merit; the hospital, the nursing home, and the orphanage shall be the general charity institutions." Since then, the Order began to point to the balanced establishment of the institutions to pursue the three greatest objectives of the work.
However, the Order`s industrial organs, which provided financial assistance for the maintenance and the work of the Order, mainly consisted of farms and orchards. Thus the Order`s assets were in the form of farmland and forest land, including Jeongkwanpyeong. Among the farmland owned by the Order that was registered as a nonprofit corporation after the country`s independence, over 89 acres of rice paddy and 36 acres of fields, which had not been under firsthand cultivation by the Order`s personnel, were purchased by the government in accordance with the Farmland Reform Act carried into effect in Won Buddhist year 35 (1950). Hence, the Order passed the resolution to utilize the compensation payment for farmland from the government, and switched from being an agriculture-oriented company to being a commerce-and-industry-oriented corporation. Since a large surplus of yellow peaches were growing at Samrye Orchard (mainly to be made into canned provisions), it was decided that a large corporation whose main business would be wine-making would be established to utilize the extra fruit. In August Won-Buddhist year 36 (1951), a government-vested property in Iri was purchased and Samchang Company, a nonprofit corporation, was established.
"Samchang" means "to prosper the three great works". Almost all of the Order`s real estate was invested in this venture. Although Samrye Orchard was placed under its direct control, Samchang Company failed after three years of business without producing the anticipated result due to economic instability caused by the political convulsions at that time. For several years afterwards, the General Headquarters suffered great financial hardship, and thus decided to create the Committee for the Maintenance Measures for the General Headquarters in November Won-Buddhist year 42 (1957). It was not until May of the following year that some farmland (3.14 acres) needed for the maintenance of the General Headquarters was purchased.