The Development and Originality of Wind Chimes of the Goryeo Dynasty

고려시대 풍탁(風鐸)의 전개와 독창성

Lee, Young-sun

  • Received : 2019.03.29
  • Accepted : 2019.05.06
  • Published : 2019.06.30


Buddhists have always tended to adorn and embellish Buddhist statues and their surrounding spaces in order to exhibit the grandeur and sublime nature of the Buddha. The various kinds of splendid instruments and implements used in such ornamentation are collectively called jangeomgu in Korean. Thus, the term jangeomgu encompasses articles used to decorate Buddhist statues, halos, and baldachin, as well as Buddhist banners and wind chimes, which are generally hung outside a building. Wind chimes are still widely used at Buddhist temples. In China, judging from various structures such as the Wooden Stupa of Yongningsi in Luoyang and the Dunhuang Caves, wind chimes began to be used around the sixth century. As for Korea, Buddhism was first introduced from China during the Three Kingdoms Period, and Koreans accordingly began to build Buddhist temples and buildings. It would appear that wind chimes came to be used around the time that the first temples were built. The oldest extant wind chime in Korea is the gilt-bronze wind chime of Baekje, discovered at the Mireuksa Temple Site in Iksan. In general, Korean wind chimes dating from the Three Kingdoms Period are classified into two general types according to their shape and elevation, i.e., those shaped like a Buddhist bell and those shaped like a trapezoid. As these two forms of wind chimes have influenced each other over time, those made during the Goryeo dynasty, having inherited the style, structure, and design of the preceding period, display such features. At the same time, the artisans who produced wind chimes pursued technical development and adopted free, yet not extravagant, designs. In particular, Goryeo wind chimes are characterized by original designs created through exchanges with other Buddhist art forms of the same period, such as the embossed lotus design band of Goryeo bells; the bullmun design, which served to display the grandeur of the royal family; the samhwanmun design, which consisted of decorating the interior of a Goryeo incense burner with three holes; Sanskrit designs; and designs inspired by the windows and doors of stone pagodas. In this way, the production of Goryeo wind chimes developed with a focus on purpose while being free of formal constraints. This study started out from the fact that the largest number of Korean wind chimes were produced during the Goryeo dynasty. Therefore, research on wind chimes should be based on those of the Goryeo dynasty, especially since fewer relevant studies have been conducted compared to studies on other forms of Buddhist art. For the purposes of this study, the reasons for the production of wind chimes will be examined first, followed by an examination of the various styles of Korean wind chimes. Then, based on the findings of this investigation, the development and characteristics of the wind chimes produced during the Goryeo dynasty will be explored for each period.


wind chime;wind chimes of the Goryeo dynasty;Sanoesa Temple;Wollamsa Temple;Sungsunsa Temple