A Study on the Sanctuary of the Residence in East China Sea Skirts Area

동중국해권 민가의 성역(聖域)에 관한 연구

  • Youn, Lily (Architectural Research Division, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Onomichi, Kenji (Department of Architecture, Kyushu Kyoritsu University)
  • 윤일이 (국립문화재연구소 건축문화재연구실) ;
  • 尾道建二 (일본 규슈공립대학 건축공학과)
  • Received : 2010.04.02
  • Accepted : 2010.06.04
  • Published : 2010.06.30


Jeju Island, in Korea, shows many characteristics that are differentiated from the rest of Korea. Its culture is rooted in mythology which advocates a egalitarian, rather than hierarchical, social structure, the place of women in the home is relatively high, and the formation of buildings, the separation of cooking and heating facilities, and the living format of residential homes is dissimilar. These disparities in culture indicate that Jeju Island's heritage was not formed only from influences from the North, but also from other places as well. To fill in the blanks, residential homes in Jeju Island were compared with those scattered throughout the East China Sea, which connect the southern coastline of the Korean peninsula and Jeju Island. The regions encompassed by the East China Sea, sharing the Kuroshio current and a seasonal wind, can be considered as one cultural region integrating cultural aspects from the continental North and the oceanbound South. The unique characteristics of southern culture as seen in southern residences was examined through an investigation of the sacred places in which gods were considered to dwell. First, the myths of these areas usually concerned with the ocean, and a sterile environment made sustenance impossible without a dual livelihood, usually taking on the forms of half-farming and half-fishing, or half-farming, half-gardening. Although family compositions were strongly matricentric or collateral thanks to southern influence, a patriarchical system like those found in the North were present in the upper classes and in the cities. Therefore, residential spaces were not divided based on age or gender, as in hierarchical societies, but according to family and function. Second, these areas had local belief systems based on animism and ancestor worship, and household deities were closely related to women, agriculture and fire. The deities of the kitchen, the granary and the toilet were mostly female, and the role of priest was often filled by a woman. After Buddhism and Confucianism were introduced from mainland Korea, China and Japan, the sacred areas of the household took on a dual form, integrating the female-focused local rites with male-centered Buddhist and Confucian rites. Third, in accordance with worship of a kitchen deity, a granary deity, and a toilet deity led to these areas of the home being separated into disparate buildings. Eventually, these areas became absorbed into the home as architectural technology was further developed and lifestyles were changed. There was also integration of northern and southern cultures, with rites concerning granary and toilet deities coming from China, and the personality of the kitchen deity being related to the southern sea. In addition, the use of stone in separate kitchens, granaries, and toilets is a distinguishing characteristic of the East China Sea. This research is a part of the results gained from a project funded by the Korea Research Foundation in 2006.


Supported by : 한국학술진흥재단