Bian County School

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Chinese Characters 比安鄕校
Field Religion/Confucianism,Cultural Heritage/Tangible Cultural Property
Type Relics/Buildings
Area 65-14, Gyohwa-gil, Angye-myeon, Uiseong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do [285, Gyochon-ri]
Period Joseon/Late Joseon
Writer Baek Jiguk

    [Detail Information]

    Characteristics Local Schools
    Style Gable Roof
    Number of Kan along the Front 5-kan [Shrine of Confucius] | 2-kan [Dongmu] | 3-kan [Seomu] | 4-kan [Myeongnyundan]
    Number of Kan along the Side 3-kan [Shrine of Confucius] | 1-kan [Dongmu] | 1-kan [Seomu] | 2-kan [Myeongnyundan]
    Ownership Gyeongsangbuk-do County School Foundation
    Manager Bian County School
    Cultural Property Designation Number Gyeongsangbuk-do Cultural Material No. 263
    Relocation Period/Date 1610연표보기 - Bian County School Constructed
    Relocation Period/Date 1737연표보기 - Bian County School Relocated to Angye-ri, Gyeongsangbuk-do
    Relocation Period/Date 1983연표보기 - Pyouigak Relocated to Ogyeon 2(i)-ri
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1610연표보기 - Bian County School Reconstructed
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1716연표보기 - The Gwangpungnu of Bian County School Reconstructed (1716)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1887연표보기 - The Myeongnyundang of Bian County School Reconstructed (1887)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1898연표보기 - Bian County School Repaired (1898)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1921연표보기 - The Gwangpungnu of Bian County School Reconstructed (1921)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1924연표보기 - Wall and Triple Gate of Bian County School Repaired
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1935연표보기 - Bian County School Repaired (1935)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1947연표보기 - The Myeongnyundang of Bian County School Reconstructed (1947)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1981연표보기 - The Daeseongjeon of Bian County School Repaired
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1983연표보기 - Gyojiksa of Bian County School Repaired (1983)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1984연표보기 - The Gwangpungnu of Bian County School Restored (1984)
    Reconstruction | Extension Period/Date 1994연표보기 - Gyojiksa of Bian County School Repaired (1994)
    Cultural Property Designation Date November 26, 1992연표보기 - Bian County School Designated as Gyeongsangbuk-do Cultural Material No. 263
    Current Location 285, Gyochon-ri, Angye-myeon, Uiseong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-doMap
[Definition]
A local public education institution of the Joseon Dynasty located in Angye-myeon, Uiseong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

[Summary]
Bian County School was a secondary educational institution where Confucian students from Bian-hyeon and Anjeong-hyeon stayed to study. Also at the same time, as it was a place where several tombs were located it was utilized as a space for holding ancestral rites, and also functioned as an autonomous local bodies. Bian County School is thought to have been established in the early Joseon Dynasty, however the exact date of its establishment is unknown.

[Location]
Bian County School is located at [285 Gyochon-ri]65-14 Gyohwa-gil, Angye-myeon, Uiseong-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do. After entering Gyochon-ri, the traveler will see Gyochon Rural Communities Experience School on the left side of the road. Turning left down the street next to the school, about 130 meters down the road the traveler will find the parking lot for Bian County School.

[Changes]
Only a brief record of the establishment of Bian County School remains, so it is difficult to discover much about the history of the school. It is assumed that Bian County School was established either at the time when the Joseon Dynasty was founded, or when Anjeong-hyeon and Biok-hyeon were merged to become Anbi-hyeon in 1421 (the 3rd year of the reign of King Sejong), or when the name Anbi-hyeon was again changed to Bian-hyeon and a chiso (a governing office) installed in Biok in 1423.

There is a story that Bian County School was completely destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion of 1592 (the 25th year of the reign of King Seonjo), and that a local resident named Son Bok hid the ancestral tablet enshrined at the school inside a cave in a mountain to escape disaster and this story is recorded in the Survey of the Geography of Bian compiled in 1758. The reconstruction of Bian County School was decided by discussion between the Confucian scholars. After a five-year preparation period, construction began in 1608 (the 41st year of the reign of King Seonjo) and was completed in 1610 (the 2nd year of the reign of King Gwanghaegun). The year of its reconstruction has been confirmed by the discovery of a roof tile inscribed with the name of the era, ‘the musin year of the reign of the Wanli Emperor (1608)’.

Bian County School was again relocated approximately 6 kilometers to the north of the village in 1737 (the 13th year of the reign of King Yeongjo) and rebuilt. The Myeongnyundang (main study) was damaged by fire in 1887 (the 24th year of the reign of King Gojong), so it was restored, and the roof tiles of the Daeseongjeon (shrine holding the memorial for Confucius) were also repaired at the same time. After Japan took all rights of sovereignty over the whole of Korea in 1910, Bian County School lost its status as a national school, however the school continued to be operated through the attention of the local Confucian scholars. This tradition has continued even after the nation received its independence so that the school continues to be well maintained after several restoration and repair projects. Bian County School was designated Gyeongsangbuk-do Cultural Property Material No. 263 on November 26, 1992.

[Formation]
Bian County School has a structure where ‘the school buildings are located in front and the shrine at the back’ so that the Daeseongjeon is located on the higher site in the east, and the Myeongnyundang is below.

The Daeseongjeon is built in the choikgong style (wooden framing between the roof and pillars) with a gambrel roof, consisting of 5-kan along the front and 3-kan along the side. The five great Chinese sages including Confucius, the six sages of the Song Dynasty and the 18 sages of Korea are enshrined at the school. When the paintwork on the Daeseongjeon was carried out in 2000, a ridge-beam scroll was discovered, but it was put inside a strip of the wood supporting a ridge beam and sealed. The Dongmu and the Seomu face each other in front of the Daeseongjeon. The Dongmu is a building with a gambrel roof consisting of 2-kan along the front and 1-kan along the side and the Seomu is a building with a gambrel roof consisting of 3-kan along the front and 1-kan along the side.

The Myeongnyundang is a building – in the iikgong style (double wing-bracketed) on the front side and in the choikgong style on the back side – with a gambrel roof consisting of 4-kan along the front and 2-kan along the side. A number of gimun (written records) are hung inside, and a board inscribed, ‘Myeongnyundang’ is hung on the upper middle part of the right side of the front. Bian County School does not have any dormitories. It is unclear whether it was originally not intended to be constructed. It is highly possible that they were not originally constructed because there are no records mentioning any dormitories.

The Gwangpungnu Pavilion, built in 1716, was originally a single-story building with the name Ganggweru, but the name was changed to the current Gwangpungnu when it was reconstructed in 1985. The Gwangpungnu Pavilion is a multistory choikgong style pavilion with a gambrel roof consisting of 3-kan along the front and 2-kan along the side. The Oesammun Gate has a gatehouse with a gambrel roof consisting of 3-kan along the front and 1-kan along the side. The Bian County School Confucian Way Revival Monument is located on the front left side. Bian County School also has a Gyojiksa (management office), toilet, side gate and pond.

[Current State]
The current state of the collection housed at Bian County School is as follows. Until the time when the Records of the County Schools in Uiseong were published in 1988, the school possessed such materials as copies of Yuan, Cheonggeumnok, Janguian and Hyangan. According to the Survey on the Institutions Holding General Movable Cultural Properties in Large Quantities (I), most of the old documents and books have been destroyed and only the hanging boards inscribed with ‘Gwangpungnu Jungsugi,’ ‘Bian Hyanggyo Jungsugi,’ ‘Gyoto Bokgu Jeonmalgi’ and ‘Munmyo Jungsugi’ remain. Fortunately, the materials that used to be housed at the school have been reproduced by phototypography and are contained in the Collection of the Materials of County Schools in Gyeongsangbuk-do compiled by the Institute of Korean Cultural Studies, Yeungnam University in 1992.

Bian County School periodically holds ancestral rites for Confucius, and recently feasts for the elderly led by Gyochon Farm Experience Village. Bian County School is owned and managed by the Gyeongsangbuk-do Hyanggyo Foundation.

[Significance and Evaluation]
Most county school buildings from the late Joseon period have lost their educational function, and some have no dormitories. Bian County School is believed to be one of them. Bian County School has very important significance as an example of the nature of the county schools of the late Joseon period in that the buildings relating to sacrificial rites still remain even though the school has no dormitories.

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