Like a lot of posts on this blog, I’d meant to get something up on San-shin.org ages ago. If you’re at all interested in traditional Korean culture, this site’s an awesome resource. It’s a treasure trove of info on everything from Korean Shamanism and Buddhist culture to folk art, feng shui, hiking and green tea.
San-shin.org is the work of David A. Mason, who’s been living in S. Korea since the mid 80’s and has a M.A. in Korean Studies from Yonsei University (among other degrees). His expertise and personal experience make san-shin.org a great read. David’s posted page after page of articles, explanations, histories, myths, legends and personal anecdotes. With David’s wealth of knowledge, I won’t even bother to try summarizing anything here; you’re best off just visiting the site yourself.
The sheer amount of info on the site can be a bit overwhelming and it can make it a bit tricky to navigate at times. It’s worth taking a few visits to sit down, flip through the pages and soak it all in. It also helps that David has peppered the site with photos from his 25 years of experience in country.
David has also been involved in publishing several books (all available through his website). I’m currently working my way through his “Spirit of the Mountains” at the moment. It’s a interesting and well researched book focusing on the San-shin (산신), or “mountain god” (hence the name of the website), and it’s place in Korean Shamanism and Korean traditional culture as a whole. It’s also got tons of great photos from David’s archives. Copies of can be ordered directly from this page. If you’ve got any sort of interest in Korean Shamanism, it’s well worth picking up.