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Photographer's Note

The Great Unification Buddha, a 14.6-meter/48-foot, 108 ton gilt-bronze Buddha statue, called "Tongil Daebul", sits atop a 4.3-meter/15-foot high pedestal, of the same material, making the total height 18.9-meter/62-foot, excluding the lightning rod and nimbus.

The lotus pedestal is flanked with 16 delicately engraved panels and the forehead of Tongil Daebul is adorned with eight 8-centimeter/3-inch stones of amber, with a single piece of jade in the center that is 10-centimeter/4-inch in diameter

Tongil Daebul sits with legs crossed and half-closed eyes in meditation, his lips displaying a perceptible smile. A flowing robe with gentle folds, revealing the right shoulder, drapes the Buddha's robust torso

The hands of Tongil Daebul are positioned in the mudra symbolizing the "enlightened one"

Contained within the hollow statue are three pieces of the Buddha's sari, remains collected after his cremation, donated by the Myanmar government, and the Tripitaka, the original Buddhist scriptures

The project to construct this statue of the Buddha cost 3.8 billion won ($4.1 million), raised through the contributions for over a decade from over 300,000 small donations from anonymous donors visiting the temple

This statue represents the crucial wish of the Korean people for the reunification of the divided country

I hope the "Ajuma" (Auntie) at the left corner is a good comparison on how tall the statue is.

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Additional Photos by Chian Sing Lai (kim_gwan) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 88] (416)
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