Muhak (무학, 1327–1405) was a Korean Buddhist monk that lived during the transition between the Goryeo and the Joseon kingdoms.


Muhak was a Buddhist monk and an advisor to Yi Seong-gye who became King Taejo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty. Muhak was his Buddhist name (meaning "the uneducated"), while his real name was Jacho (자초).

It is thought that Muhak's reputation as a geomancer influenced Yi's decision to move the capital from Gaeseong to Hanyang (present-day Seoul). According to a historical account dating from 14th century,[1] Yi Seong-gye asked Muhak to find a site for the new capital. After searching for a suitable place, the monk stopped and saw an old farmer passing by on his ox. The farmer pointed toward the northwest and said to him, wangsimni (往十里), literally meaning 'go ten more ri.' The startled Muhak went to the northwest as he was told and ended up at the southern foot of Mt. Bugak, where Gyeongbokgung now stands. Wangsimni Station on the Seoul Subway is named according to this record.


Stale of Muhak Daesa
Stone light for Muhak Daesa
Stupa for Muhak Daesa at Hoeamsa treasure 388 of SK
Muhak Daesa in various Korean locations

A portrait of Muhak is enshrined in Josadong. This pavillon, located inside Silleuksa, is used to pay tribute to the three Buddhist priests Jigong (d. 1363), Naong Hyegeun (c. 1320 – 1376) and Muhak (c. 1327 – 1405). This shrine is now the oldest remaining building of the founded circa 580 temple.


  • Gihwa (기화) 1376–1433

Television portrayalsEdit


  1. ^ Yoon 2008


  • Yoon, H.K. (2008). The Culture of Fengshui in Korea: An Exploration of East Asian Geomancy,. AsiaWorld Series. Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739113493.