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Treasure 318

Stone Reliefs of Four Guardian Kings at Unmunsa Temple, Cheongdo
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Classification Treasure 318
Name of Cultural Properties Stone Reliefs of Four Guardian Kings at Unmunsa Temple, Cheongdo
Quantity 4
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla Period
Address Unmunsa Temple 264, Unmunsa-gil, Unmun-myeon, Cheongdo-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Unmunsa Temple was built by Sinseung in the 21st year of King Jinheung (560) of Silla, and was reconstructed by Wongwang, the writer of Sesogogye (The Five Commandments for the Common People) in the 30th year of King Jinpyeong (608).

It has taken on its present appearance through several stages of repair since Seolsong reconstructed it in the 16th year of the reign of King Sukjong (1690) of Joseon.

Four Stone Guardian Kings are lined up like stone pillars on either side of the Stone Seated Buddha in Jagapjeon Hall.

It was not their original place, for they used to be on four sides of the main stone on the first story of the body of stone pagoda.

Armed figures wearing armor are stepping on the back of the devil with a triumphant look.

Sacheonwang, or the Four Guardian Kings, were the deities whose role was to protect the Buddhist Law from evil forces: Jigukcheonwang (meaning Watcher of the Lands) was in charge of evil in the east, Gwangmokcheonwang (meaning He who see all) in the west, Jeungjangcheonwang (meaning He who enlarges) in the south and Damuncheonwang (meaning He who hears much) in the north.

The body of the stone pillar of these Four Guardian Kings is relatively large, but it does not look massive as the protruding engraving not clear.

It was assumed that it was built later, since its body looks weak and has a gentle appearance.

They are almost identical to the Four Guardian Kings statues in the Stupa of Master Bojo built in 880 or in the Stupa of Master Cheolgam, but there is a discrepancy between this relief of Four Guardian Kings and that of Seokguram Grotto in the 8th century, because it is rather big and has bold pleats.

It is assumed to have been built in about 900, in the late Unified Silla or in the Later Three Kingdoms period.