Preserving Our Cultural Heritage
Sajikdan, located in Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, symbolizes the spiritual center and the 500-year history of the Joseon Dynasty. Sajikdan was the altar for the sacred rites to the god (‘shin’, 神) of earth (‘Sa’, 社) and the god of five grains (‘jik’, 㹄), and has been designated as the country’s National Treasure No. 121. Unlike the royal shrine of Jongmyo, which was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, Sajikdan had been abandoned since its desecration into a park under the Japanese occupation as part of Japanese policy to destroy the Korean national spirit.
Recognizing the need to restore and preserve Sajikdan, YÉOL has actively pursued the restoration of Sajikdan to its historical importance since the society’s inception in 2002. It has organized forums and volunteers, as well as promoting Sajikdan among the public. As part of the Cultural Heritage Administration’s “One Heritage, One Keeper” campaign, YÉOL members and youth volunteers attend to Sajikdan every month.
Looking beyond the preservation of Sajikdan, YÉOL is envisioning the development of a cultural/historical/environmental beltway that ties Sajikdan and Inwangsan mountain with the 40-acre greenery that surrounds both.
Every year Jongmyo attracts thousands of foreign and domestic visitors after its designation as an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. We look forward to the day when Sajikdan enjoys a similar level of public affection as a centerpiece of Korean history.
YÉOL is the Keeper for Sajikdan as part of the Cultural Heritage Administration’s “One Heritage, One Keeper” campaign. We manage the “Cultural Heritage Supporters” volunteering program for the youth, college students, and the general public. We ask for your support and participation in the program, which consists of the learning of historical meaning of Sajikdan and the volunteering activity of cleaning the site. Applications for the volunteering can be accepted through http://www.1365.go.kr(contact: 02-735-5878).