Yongjusa Temple

Yongjusa Temple, imbued with a king's filial piety and Buddhist spirit

As the temple where King Jeongjo of Joseon prayed for the repose of his father--Crown Prince Sado, lost in the sad mists of history--Yongjusa evokes hyo, the virtue of filial piety. Pierced by mournful longing for his father, King Jeongjo had his father enshrined here in Hwaseong. That night, he dreamed of a dragon ascending into the sky holding a dragon ball in its mouth. This is the origin of the name 'Yongjusa' (龍珠寺, meaning 'dragon pearl temple'). All the time, waking or sleeping, King Jeonjo thought of his father, who had unjustly been taken from this world. Whenever he was yearning for his father, or after an inauspicious dream, he would visit the tomb and look after it himself. At such times, he would also stop at Yongjusa, entreating them to keep and protect the tomb. This boundless filial piety strikes a forlorn chord in many visitors' hearts. Today, Yongjusa is known for its Seungmuje (Buddhist ritual dance festival) and Temple Stay program. The Seungmuje festival is a hallmark annual event of the temple. Seungmu (Dance of the Buddhist Nun) is a traditional performance expressing the agony of not reaching enlightenment. "A sheer white silk'n hood folded fairly, I wonder if it were a flying butterfly" -- This line from Cho Ji-hoon's well-known poem 'Seungmu' captures the dance's bittersweet beauty. The poet was said to have witnessed seungmu here in 1938, and was moved to write a poem to capture its effect upon him. Yongjusa is also known for its Temple Stay program. Visitors are given a chance to experience of the daily life of Buddhist practitioners, including early morning yebul (Buddhist ceremony), barugongyang (eating as part of Buddhist practice), performing 108 prostrations (bows), chamseon (sitting meditation), forest walks, and dado tea ceremony. Yongjusa's program is unique in its emphasis on exploring our indebtedness to our parents. In honoring the hyo (filial piety) shown by King Jeongjo, we are reminded to feel love and gratitude towards our own parents. This also embodies the spirit of Hwaseong, where the Confucian virtues of chung, hyo, and ye (loyalty, filial piety, and propriety) are revered.


- Location : 136, Yongju-ro, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
- Tel : 031-234-00409(Yongjuro Management Office)