竹島問題の歴史

3.6.07

Shimane prefecture explains the history of Takeshima in 1876 (Part 2/2)

This is a translation of a document made by Shimane prefecture in 1876 explaining the details of the prohibition of voyages to Takeshima. The part in italics near the end of the translation, "if a document...comes up in the discussion in the Shogunate" is difficult to translate because Japanese sentences can sometimes mean either the past or the future. If the italicized portion meant that they had already received this kind of document, then Ulleungdo belonged to Japan and was just lent to Joseon, but if it meant that there "would" be this kind of document in the future, then Ulleungdo will belong to Japan and Chosun will enjoy only the right to engage in fishery (but without such a document it belongs now to Chosun). I hope some experts in old Japanese will help us in the future.

Please note that the document says that the Shogunate recognized Takeshima (Ulleungdo) as Japan's territory.

In those days, there was a man called Murakawa Ichibei from the town of Yonago, who got acquainted with Mr. Abe Shiro-goro, as did Mr. Oya. Both men (Murakawa and Oya) were ordered (to go to Ulleungdo), but it was Mr. Oya who discovered the island. They have made voyages (to Ulleungdo) to fish every year since then. Although it was a faraway, the Shogunate said that it was in our country’s territory and gave them flags for their ships. They were granted an audience with the Shogun, and were often given clothes with the crest of the mallow (symbol of the Tokugawa Shogunate). Later, Jinkichi (Oya Jinkichi) died on the island. (They say that he was buried on the island and that his grave is still there.)

In the 7th year of Genroku (1694), a few Koreans came ashore. They could not understand what they were planning. There were not many people in his ship, so (Murakawa) went back and appealed this (to the local government).

When they went back next year, they took arms with them, as ordered by the Shogunate. They (the Koreans) ran away in fear. There were two people, Ahichan and Toraei (An Yong-bok and Park Otton), who remained, so they were captured and taken back. At the order of the Shogunate, this was informed to the Shogunate, who sent them back to Joseon.

In the same year, that country (Joseon) frequently claimed that Takeshima (Ulleungdo) belonged to them, as it was close to Joseon. We got an order to give Joseon the right to engage in fishery if a document to show that it was inside Japan’s territory came up in the discussion in the Shogunate. That country (Joseon) complied with this. Accordingly, voyages were prohibited from January in the 9th year of Genroku (1696).

Link to Part 1

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