Sulsaemit shrine has been thoroughly cleaned by Jeju locals and expats, an event organized by the new activist group the ‘Senjari Rangers’. Last night, on the traditional ceremonial date, January 7th by the lunar calendar, at least one elderly worshipper attended the shrine and left an offering to the village’s tutelary gods, Grandmother Go, Grandfather Kim and the Mountain God.
The fact that former Juksung residents are now able to return to their shrine, knowing that others from outside their community have shown concern, is a great inspiration to those of us who participated in last week’s cleaning operation. Juksung Village saw most of its population killed in cold blood during the massacres of the 1948, Jeju Uprising. (wikipedia) Throughout the following decades survivors returned to the shrine to make offerings and pray on ceremonial days, this despite the fact that not a single house remained after the bloody assault on the village. Sulsaemit shrine was throughly desecrated last winter by unknown assailants. I followed the story for over a year as part of my documentary project on Jeju’s shrines. Recently, a blog post I wrote attracted attention and motivated a group to form with the aim of salvaging the shrine.