|▲ Kukje Tile Art / CEO Park Bong-shin|
(PowerKorea) Chungmusa in Wando County South Jeolla Province is a shrine built to remember the noble patriotic spirit of Admirals Lee Sun-shin, Song Hee-rip and Woon Jeong. A story goes that residents saw Japanese ghosts who died at the Battle of Sinseongri after the Japanese invasion 500 years ago that they built the shrine to ward them off and indeed they did not appear afterwards.
1913, during which Japan invaded Korea again, the imperialist Japanese burned down the shrine. It was in 1947, 2 years after Liberation, that Koreans rebuilt the shrine at the current location.
You can see many memorial stones when entering the site. Follow up the stairs to see Oesam Gate hung with the Chungmusa signboard. Passing the yin-yang symbolled Donggwang Gate leads you to the shrine with Youngdang and Jesil on both sides. Youngdang is where portraits of the Admirals rest and Jesil is where people hold ritual in April and November every year.
Park Bong-shin, CEO of Kukje Tile Art, was born and grew up near Chungmusa. He wrapped up his 30 years of trading business in Seoul to go down to his home town and has been serving as Chairman of Admiral Lee Sun Shin Historic Sites Preservation Society since 2013.
“I sweep the garden of the shrine 2 hours every day. When people visit, though rare since the pandemic, I guide them through with stories involved. We all know Admiral Lee but I think people should visit his shrine like this to promote his spirit and patriotism. Recently, the team Korea put up a banner at their accommodation in Tokyo ‘Sire, We Still Have Support of 50 Million Koreans’ which is a parody of the famous letter of Admiral Lee to the King ‘Sire, I still have 12 vessels’. Japan complained about the banner which regretfully was put down but it means that they still fear Admiral Lee. So it is very important for us Koreans to learn, respect and promote his courage, bravery and nobleness and there is no better place than to visit the very sites” says Park. *Admiral Lee led 12 vessels to win the Naval Battle of Myeongnyang against the 133 Japanese warships.
Park established Kukje Tile Art in his hometown Suncheon 7 years ago. The company supplies, sells and constructs all kinds of tiles in the world. The construction is prompt and thorough thanks to his years of accumulated experience and attention to detail finish. Kukje Tile Art is famous for its day start and day finish system as well as rational cost and excellent maintenance.
“Bathroom is where tiles are most used. Unlike in the past, bathroom nowadays is a space in a house for chill out. In other words, the design, layout and quality must meet the sophisticated demand of clients” says Park.
As a man of productive heart, Park trains homeless as tile constructors so that they can lead a new life.
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