Document Type


Publication Date



Chiyul (b. 1957), a nun of the Chogye Order of Korean Buddhism, led protests against government construction of a KTX (Korea Train eXpress) tunnel passing through Mt. Ch’ŏnsŏng between 2002 and 2006 and participated in protests against the government’s nationwide four major rivers restoration project between 2008 and 2012, focusing on the Nakdong River. She has made serious efforts to protect environment as a nun in the culturally and institutionally sexist South Korean Buddhist order in particular and in the culturally, not institutionally, sexist South Korean society in general. She, when on hunger strikes five times totaling more than 341 days, filed along with environmental activists a lawsuit on behalf of salamanders living on the mountain and against the tunnel construction, and petitioned the government to take a proper environmental impact assessment. Although the courts would have accepted an unreasonable assessment of the environmental impact construction of the tunnel on the mountain and ruled in favor of the government's project, Chiyul and environmental activists made Koreans pay attention to the importance of these and related issues through legal procedures. In her later protests against the government’s restoration project, she adopted more moderate walking protests than hunger strikes and lawsuits, possibly due to the failure to stop the government though her earlier radical protests.


Unpublished Paper