It was Baekjae kingdom museum where I saw Buddha statues made in the Choson Dynasty era.
As entering into the museum, the Choson dynasty Buddha statue special exhibition was going on.
The museum was built for the memory of BaekJae Kingdom though, the relics exhibited were those of the Choson dynasty. That’s because there are not so many relics of the BaekJae Kingdom to exhibit.
The Buddha statues were so impressive. In the Choson kingdom, Buddhism was no more national religion. Even Confucianism in Choson dynasty had suppressed Buddhism to reform the kingdom.
Meanwhile, the Buddhist monks had fought against the Japanese invasion for their dynasty.
In this respect, Buddhism had special meaning among ordinary people in the Choson Kingdom.
Confucianism was the ideology for the rulers, but Buddhism was the religion of the suppressed.
So when we look at Buddhist statues made in Choson kingdom, we need to understand this cultural and historical background.
There was an unique characteristics in Buddha statues in the Choson dynasty. The ratio of the head size seemed larger than the size of body.
The Buddha statues of Choson dynasty were not so elegant to those of the BaekJae and Shilla Kingdom which had been existed 500 years before the Choson Kingdom.
Those stautes seemed to be made by the ordinary people. Buddhism in Choson was people's religion.