竹島問題の歴史

19.9.07

1696 Ahn Yong-bok's second visit to Japan: Part II

Secondly, we will take a look at the next stage (the stage to the mainland Houki county).

They arrived at Akasaki of Houki county on 4th of June. Tottori feudal clan sent a magistrate concerning ships, Yamazaki Shume (山崎主馬), to Akasaki on the 6th. He met the Koreans’ ship at Nagaobana on the way to Akasaki, and led them to Aoya (today’s Aoya of Tottori city) and let them moor the ship there. It was reported to the lord of the Houki county on the 13th of June. The examiner Yoshida Heima was sent and his report was informed to Okubo-Kaganokami (the superior official of the shogunate).

1) From “御在府日記(Superior’s diary during staying in Edo 1696)”:

As we’ve heard that the men who came through Oki county have a complaint concerning Takeshima, we ordered Hirai Kinzaemon to hear from them but it was difficult because there is no interpreter.

Tsuji Ban-an (a Confucian scholar) arrived at Aoya, he invited
Anhichan (Ahn Yong-bok) and another one to the Sen-nenji temple and interviewed them. But Kinzaemon heard from Ban-an that it seemed that they didn’t complain about Takeshima, and came back.

2) From "竹島紀事" (Takeshima Kiji):

Memorandum

Koreans arrived at Akasaki of Houki county on the
4th. They wanted to go to Inaba county (east area of Tottori), so we
retained them but there was no approval. We put watchmen at an inlet called Aoya of Inaba but as there was so much difficulty in communication that we couldn’t understand the details of their want. As So Jiro (the lord of Tsushima) would send his retainers, you have to consult with them. However, whatever would be their want, they should go to Nagasaki and talk to the magistrate’s office of Nagasaki, we ordered this.
Then if they don’t want to go to Nagasaki, tell them to go home because we have a law not to argue diplomatic problems outside of Nagasaki.

We ordered the above. That’s all.

23rd of June

This memorandum was passed from Okubo-Kaganokami to Yoshida Heima on 23rd. According to this order, the feudal clan of Tsushima decided to dispatch three persons, Suzuki Gonpei, Abiru Sobei and an interpreter Moro-oka Sukeza-emon. However, the feudal lord So worried about their negligence – they had not informed to Chosun yet the shogunate’s decision to ban to visit Takeshima. If Chosun would misunderstand that the shogunate agreed to Ahn Yong-bok’s request and banned to visit Takeshima, it would not only be a future trouble but also a big trouble to Tsushima because they would be excluded from the negotiations between Chosun and the shogunate. So, So Yoshizane (宗義真) dispatched a messenger Kashima Gonpachi to Edo, who explained the situation of Tsushima to Okubo Kaganokami and Abe Bungonokami of the shogunate. After the conference in the shogunate, they abandoned their plan to send the Koreans to Nagasaki to investigate and decided to send them back soon. To follow is a letter from Okubo Kaganokami to Matsudaira Houki-nokami, the lord of Houki county (from “竹島紀事”):

Dear sirs,

Concerning the Koreans who went to Inshu (Inaba
county), we ordered you before to send them to Nagasaki after interpreters from
So Jiro (of Tsushima) arrived and consulted with them, but businesee concerning
Chosun should have been told to the lord of Tsushima, So Gyobu-no-taifu (So
Yoshizane), first. So you don’t need to make interpreters ask them or to send
them to Nagaski. It is a law that no counties except Tsushima can handle the matters concerning Chosun. We informed this to the judicial officer. If they disagree on this decision, then tell them to get back to their country and turn them away. This is what we think about this matter.

Sincerely yours,

To Matsudaira Houki-no-kami

From Okubo Kaganokami

24th of July

To follow is from “通航一覧” (Vol.137, Part of Chosun country #113: Takeshima):

In the summer of this year (1696), 11 Koreans came to Inaba county
and they wanted to appeal to the Shogun, but they were finally deported by the
order of the shogunate.

Ahn Yong-bok and other Koreans returned to Chosun on 29th of August, they were caught and sent to Seoul. Then they were examined by the office of defence. To follow is from the Korean document “粛宗実録” (edited in 1728; vol.30) [Continued from the former part]:

He couldn’t bear it. He rode on the ship and
directly went to Houki county. As he called himself tentatively a “tax official
of both Ulleungdo and Usando (
欝陵子山兩島監税将
)” and sent a messenger, the mainland
welcomed them with people and horses. He wore blue clothes (official uniform), a
black cloth hat, and a pair of shoes. He was on the palanquin, with others
riding on horses. They went onto the mainland.

He roused the chief of island (feudal lord of Tottori), they sat face to face and he told to the lord. Many sat on the lower floor.

The lord asked the reason of his visit and he replied,
“Apparently, I received a contract concerning the two islands the other day but
the lord of Tsushima robbed me of the contract, Japanese forged
another document and dispatched several persons to invade and get them
illegally. I’d like to appeal to kanpaku (Chief Adviser), telling about their
crime”.

The lord permitted him to do so, he (Ahn) was to present a petition
sending
李仁成
as a messenger when the father of the
lord of Tsushima came to Houki county and asked them not to petition, saying “if
the petition is presented, my son would be definitely sentenced to death”. So he
couldn’t appeal to kanpaku.

However, the 15 Japanese who crossed the border the
other day were punished. Then the lord said, “If there were criminals who
crossed the border after the two islands belonged to your country, or if the
lord (of Tsushima) invaded them, I would make
a sovereign letter and send the officials to punish them”. The lord proposed that they would give them food and make the Japanese
guards escort them home but he declined as he left the room. The others
including
雷憲
also declined the proposal. The Korean officials requested to wait for several days until they decide how to treat them.

As the text explains, Ahn pretended as he was a Korean official. At first, people of Tottori were deceived by his disguise. The Koreans were invited to the castle town of Tottori (the capitol of the local government) on 21st of June and were entertained with all sorts of delicacies but it was not the shogunate’s order. The shogunate (Okubo Kaganokami) ordered the Tottori feudal clan on 23rd of June to retain the Koreans in the ship without putting them on shore. Ahn’s misrepresentation of his identity tricked Tottori feudal clan and it was a mistake to have treated them as a diplomatic mission. Ahn’s statement above may have fancied from his experience during his stay in Tottori.

There are many inconsistencies in his statement in the Korean document:

(1) Ahn Yong-bok stated that he met with the feudal lord of Tottori and that they talked about the contract about the two islands. But actually, he didn’t meet with the feudal lord, Ikeda Tsunakiyo, because the lord was absent in June 1696. He had been to Edo (Tokyo) and came back to Tottori on 19th of July.

(2) Ahn told about the contract about the two islands but such a contract didn’t exist. He was a criminal who crossed the border in 1693, he couldn’t have such a chance to meet with powerful persons.

(3) Ahn told that the father of the lord of Tsushima, So Yoshizane(宗義信), pleaded with Ahn not to petition to save his son, but Ahn couldn’t meet with him because he had been in Edo (Tokyo) at that time. And his son, So Yoshitsugu(宗義倫), had died long before Ahn came – he died of illness on 27th of September 1694. So Yoshizane couldn’t plead with Ahn to save his “dead” son from death penalty.

(4) Ahn disguised as a tax official of Ulleungdo and Usando. If he believed that Usando was Matsushima, then the island should be inhabitable island because uninhabited island won’t produce the need of tax. It is natural to think that the Matsushima in Ahn Yong-bok’s imagination was not the Liancourt rocks.

(5) Ahn told about 15 Japanese who crossed the border, but there is no record of such Japanese. Since the shogunate decided to ban to go to Ulleungdo in January 1696, no Japanese ships went there in 1696.

After reading both of Korean and Japanese documents, it is clear that Ahn Yong-bok was a liar. He didn’t meet powerful persons in Japan, he didn’t make Japan (the shogunate) admit Ulleungdo and Usando (or Matsushima) to be Korean territory. He may have believed that Matsushima was Usando but he didn’t have exact knowledge about Matsushima. His wrong impression that Matsushima was Usando remained later in the Korean documents and it made Korean people misunderstand the truth concerning the Liancourt rocks.

5 comments:

  1. Gerry,

    Could you please correct my bad English? Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good job. pacifist,

    I hope pro-Korean would stop citing bits and pieces, which only suits for their arguments from those documents.

    Quite honestly, it is understandable for Ahn to lie in order to avoid death sentence. But it made his testimony more confused and inconsistent enough to be called as 漂流愚民 even by Choson government official. I think Ahn mixed up all three islands, Jukdo, so-called Usando(Jasando) and Oki Island. But unfortunately, as far as we know, all the testimony made by him tells us that Ahn believed Usando(=Japan’s Matsushima) was big and inhabitable. which totally exclude today's Takeshima, unfortunately. Besides, The name 松島 for island was very common in both countries. Moreover, the map of eight provinces in those days described Usando west to the Ulleundo. Finally, the distance between the islands which Ahn gave to them was confusing and inaccurate. I think it is very natural that Japanese in Oki islands who knew clearly where Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks were thought Ahn's Matsushima was some Korean island in 江原道 which was unknown to Japanese and has nothing to do with Japan's Matsushima( Today’s Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kaneganese,

    Thanks a lot for your comment.

    I hope we will translate accurately the original document you have in the future - concerning Ahn Yong-bok's view of the Usando, the far bigger island than Takeshima (Ulleungdo).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good job, Pacifist.

    I have no classes on the first three days of next week because of the Chusok holidays here in Korea. I will try to use that time to edit your post and some of the other posts that I have let get backed up.

    Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gerry,

    Thank you for your great help.

    I've heard about Chusok...are shops and restaurants closed for a while? (I've heard that travellers should avoid to go to Korea in the Chusok season.)

    ReplyDelete