Buseoksa Temple, located on the mid-slope of Bonghwangsan Mountain, was built by the Buddhist monk Uisang in 676 (the 16th year of the reign of King Munmu of the Silla Dynasty) by royal order.
According to Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), a woman who adored Uisang was transformed into a dragon and followed him to this area upon his return from a period of study in the Tang Dynasty.
Then, she defeated a band of thieves hiding out in this area before resting behind Muryangsujeon Hall.
According to a local legend, the tree below the eastern eaves in front of Josadang Shrine grew from a cane planted by Uisang.
Josadang Shrine is the place in which a well-known portrait of Uisang is enshrined.
It was first built in 1377 (the 3rd year of the reign of King U of the Goryeo Dynasty), and was repaired in 1490 (the 21st year of the reign of King Seongjong of the Joseon Dynasty) and 1493 (the 24th year King Seongjong’s reign).
The building is small, so the detailed structures are more compact than those of Muryangsujeon Hall in the precincts of Buseoksa Temple.
The left and right sides of its interior were painted with murals during the late Goryeo Period, including images of the Four Guardian Kings and a Bodhisattva.
They murals are among the rarest paintings made in the Goryeo Period, with the exception of the mural paintings of ancient tombs, and are some of the oldest colored paintings in Korea.
They have been replaced by excellent copies and are now housed in a special protective building.