1667 Onshu Shicho Goki (隠州視聴合記)

Saito Hosen's "Onshu Shicho Goki" can be seen at the following site:

The famous sentences are included in the fourth page. I myself copied the original sentences here:


其府者周吉郡南岸西郷豊崎也 従是南至雲州美穂関三十五里

辰巳伯州赤崎浦へ四十里 未申至石州温ノ津五十八里 自子至卯無可往地 戌亥間行フ二日一有松嶋 又一日程有竹嶋 (俗言磯竹嶋多竹魚海鹿) 此二嶋無人之地 見高麗如自雲州望隠州 然則日本乾地以 此州為限
To follow is the translation:

…named “Oki no kuni” (Country of Oki ).

Its center is Saigo Toyosaki, south bank of

If you go 35-ri south you will get to Miho-no-seki of Unshu.

If you go 40-ri Southeast you’ll get to Akasaki of Hakushu (mid-west of Tottori prefecture).

If you go 58-ri Southwest you’ll get to Yu-no-tsu of Sekisyu (west of Shimane prefecture).

From north to east there is no place to go.

If you go to northwest you will get to Matsushima in 2 days, and you’ll get
to Takeshima in one more day. (This is so-called Iso-takeshima. Rich in bamboo,
fish and sealions) These two are uninhibited islands. From there you can view Korea, it is just like you view Onshu (Oki island) from Unshu (east of Shimane prefecture, mainland of Japan). So then, the northwest of Japan, we make this place to be the boundary.

Pro-Korean people has used this document as a proof that "Japan admitted Oki islands were boundary, Liancourt rocks belonged to Korea", but it's not true.

Please note that the text says that the center of Oki is Saigo (at Togo of Oki islands) . Then the author explains south, southeast, southwest, north to east, and northwest, where Matsushima (Liancourt rocks) and Takeshima (Ulleungdo) locate. And the author thought that this place (Ulleungdo) must be the boundary because he could see Korea from the island. Korea looked very near just like seeing Oki island from the mainland of Japan. So the boundary Saitoh Hosen thought was apparently Ulleungdo, not Oki islands.


  1. not anonymous10/10/07 13:03

    Your translation is wrong....

    Here's the truth.

    Saito Hosen

    Saito Hosen2

    Pacifist these days there are very few people (even Japanese) who support your translation.

    Japan did not consider Takeshima or Matsushima as part of Japanese territory in the 17th Century.


  2. If you read the part normally, following Japanese grammer, "此二嶋"(These two islands) is the only word which should be the Subject of the last sentence "然則日本乾地以 此州為限矣", not "隠州"(Oki). Espesially, the word "州" means "island", too. And as long as the sentence ”如自雲州望隠州” exist just before the last sentence, the most possible translation is these two islands is the subject, as pacifist pointed out. But as pro-Korean Japanese insists, it is true that there is a teeny tiny chance the subject can be Oki, though it is extremely irregurlar as a Japanese grammer. Nevertherless, if Saito, the author really want to mean Oki is the subject, he must have at least written as ”如自隠州望雲州”, not ”如自雲州望隠州” to make Oki or Oki Shuu the subject of the last sentence, but he didn't. Moreover, there are some version of the book(「国代記」) written as ”如自雲州望隠岐”. In that case, 隠岐 cannot be the demonstrated by the pronoun 此州. So, it is clear that "此二嶋"(These two islands) is the subject. Thus, it is highly unlikely "隠州" or "隠岐"(Oki) is the subject of the last sentence but "此二嶋"(These two islands) is.

    Prof. Ikeuchi Satoshi of Nagoya University even said "「「此州」の「此」なる指示代名詞は、直近の固有名詞を承るの解するするが普通である。(The demonstrative pronoun "This" of "this place, prefecture or island" should demonstrate the nearest noun.)」". But then, misteriously, he somehow explains this pronoun demonstrate the first word of the whole paragraph, "隠岐国"(Oki country), not which is not even the "nearest" nor does not mean as this place, prefecture nor island , but country. The only reason of this is next paragraph deals with another issues, tributes. I would have to say he is delusional and not making sense what he says. It is contradicting itself. (「大君外交と武威」池内敏 2006, the article was also included Korean book「独島論文翻訳選Ⅱ」2005 by NAHF, But it seems some part of his article was not translated. )

    What pro-Korean misunderstand or doesn't understand is neighther Prof. Ikeuchi nor Prof. Emeritus Naitou Seichuu has never said that this book or sentence proves Japan recognized those two islands as Korean territory. As far as I know, they never ever said that at least in this book. What they continuously say is as long as there is a chance (even slightly) that the Subject of the last sentence "然則日本乾地以 此州為限矣" could be Oki, we should not use this book as a resource for a territorial dispute. (The sentence of Ikeuchi's book 「竹島/独島が当時の日本の版図から外れたものと認識されていたとするのは妥当だとしても、それがすなわち朝鮮領だということにはならない。」seems like to be omitted from Korean translation. If it is true, Shame on you!! NAHF) (Prof. Emeritus Naitou said in his latest book 「隠岐国を日本の西北の限界であるとしても、竹島・松島が朝鮮国の島だということにはならない。この史料は、そのことについては何らの言及もしていないのであるから、領有権をめぐる論争に利用するのは誤っている。」)

    But after these "new", but inaccurate interpretation came out and welcomed by pro-Korean in 2005 and they started to chant that it is read as "Oki is the boundary of Japan" in Onshu Shicho Goki (隠州視聴合記) , some new important facts were found this year. the map 「亜細亜小東洋図」(Map of Asia and Small Orient)(1857) by Nagakubo Sekisui which clearly coloured Takeshima(Ulluendo) and Matsushima(Liancourt Rocks) in a same colour with Japanese main land. The first edition of this map(1789) is also colured as same. Nagakubo was a official map maker of Edo Bakuhu and he made a official Japanese maps like 「日本輿地路程全図」(Map of Japan)(1779). Since this oldest map of him which is in existence left two island in question uncolured (or uncoloured like Korean penninsula), pro-Korean insist that Japanese in Edo era recognized the islands as Choson territory or didn't recognized as Japanese territory. But the point is, the sentence from Onshu Shicho Goki (隠州視聴合記), "見高麗猶望雲州隠州" is written next to (Takeshima)Ulleundo and Matsushima(Liancourt Rocks). Addition to that, new found maps proves that Nagakubo only left two islands uncolored since those two islands are uninhabited and he clearly recognized those two islands within Japanese territory by coloring them in red (same with Japan) in 「亜細亜小東洋図」(1789) and wrote the sentence "見高麗猶望雲州隠州" from Onshu Shicho Goki (隠州視聴合記) next to them in 「日本輿地路程全圖」(1779). Those two facts proves that Nagakubo Sekisui, the most prominent official Japanese historian and mapmakerin Edo era clearly reads the Subject of the last sentence is "此二嶋"(These two islands) and considered the two islands are the boundary of Japan.

    By the way, Nagakubo started to colour those two islands in same colour even in the revised edition of 「日本輿地路程全圖」 later.

    1846 - Map of Japan, Revised Edition (改正日本輿地路程全圖) by Nagakubo Sekisui(長久保赤水)

    Moreover, the other mapmakers also colored those two islands as Japanese territory and wrote the sentence same as "見高麗猶望雲州隠州" next to two islands.

    1846(弘化三)年 - 栗原信充「改正 日本輿地路程全圖」

    1864(元治元)年 - 逸見豐次郎「増訂 日本輿地全圖

    1865(元治二)年 - 松川半山譯 「新刻 大日本程路全圖」

    So, apparently, pro-Korean people need to update new information and understand that these days there are very few people who against that many Japanese in concern during Edo era apparently considered those two island as a boundary of Japan. Publishing books doesn't mean what he, especially academics say is correct. We need to check their sophistry carefully. I recognized Prof. Emeritus Naito continuously states that Edo Bakuhu and Meiji government relinquished those two islands as faits accomplis in various occasion without any reliable and logical explanation, but preaching sophistry aggressively makes him worthless as a scholar.

  3. Pacifist,

    That is an interesting link you provided. After I do some research, I would like to add to and enhance your post if you don't mind. Hopefully, I will have something up in the next day or two.

    Have you tried using Google Documents to write your posts? If you write your posts in Google Documents, it transfers more easily to our blog. Sometimes I have trouble changing the fonts and formating of your posts.

    Take care.

  4. Kaneganese & Pacifist,

    From my reading of the document, it seems to be setting the outer boundries of Onshu (隠州), which included the islands of Matsushima and Takeshima. When the document says 然則 日本之乾地以此州爲限矣, I think that it is saying that Onshu marked Japans northeastern boundary, but included in Ohshu territory was Matsushima and Takeshima. Remember that Oki was no longer considered just an island (島); it had be ungraded to a 州, which could include outlaying islands. I think Matsushima and Takeshima was mentioned in this document because they were considered outlaying islands.

    By the way, the translation of the document usually stops at 然則 日本之乾地以此州爲限矣, but the paragraph seems to go on. What does the rest of the paragraph say? Could you please look that the documents I have added to the post and tell me what the last four lines say after 然則 日本之乾地以此州爲限矣?

  5. Correction: I should have written "northwestern boundary," not "northeastern."

  6. Gerry,

    Sorry, I was not familiar with Google documents.

    The sentences after the famous phrase seem to me difficult to translate in complete form but it doesn't seem to be mentioning Takeshima or Matsushima.

    By the way, at several pages from the end of the book, the author wrote about Murakawas got 朱印 (red stamp) and went to Isotakeshima but met with a typhoon and drifted ashore to 高句麗 (Korea).

  7. toadface,

    As Kaneganese has already told you, it is not usual to interpret like your theory. You lost again because of the foul hanglu translation.

    Think logically, toadface.
    The book explains details of Oki county including various villages in the islands of Oki.

    And it says the center of Oki county was Saigo (of Togo district of Oki island). And looking from this center, the author expalins what located in every direction. Two of them were Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (Liancourt rocks).

    And when he saw the neighboring contry from the island, he understood that that place was the boundary.

    So the place where the neighboring country could be seen, that is no other place than Ulleungdo, was the boundary.

  8. Gerry, after the sentence "然則日本乾地以 此州為限矣", it can read as "民部図帳曰、凡諸健児免徭役...". According to Prof. Ikeuchi's book, it is a first part of the next paragraph which explains another issues, tributes. It has nothing to do with Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks. but if you want to know, I will write it.

    As I said, there is slight possibility that "此州" means Oki. And as long as the two islands are mentiond in Oki chronicles, it is possible that the Officials of Oki thought two islands as their (Japan's) territory as you say. If it is true (two islands belong to Oki), it makes more sense of the expression of "然則" even the subject is Oki in the last sentence since Oki includes two island. But I'm not sure that officials of Matsue Han thought it is within Oki territory. I need more evidence to determin.

    By the way, Oki itself was a special place, and it was basically a independant from other Han(藩), but sometimes in Edo era, it was under the protect of Matsue Han. As for those two islands 竹島 松島, they became very special place since Edo Bakuhu directly issued Oya and Murakawa clan a travel licence. It is very natural that even Tottori Han considered those are untachable and not their territory since those were not officially given to them by Bakuhu as a feudal domain. But there were special places that called as "天領", which means Shogun's demesne. Lucrative or profitable place are sometimes dominated by Bakuhu directly. And it seems that even some civilian was given lands from Bakuhu. Murakawa clan wrote a record that two islands were given to them by Bakuhu. So, the belonging of those two islands inside Japan were very vague, but I think most people considered them within Japanese territory. I hope we can get more documents to suggest that shows to whom, where, which country or someone those two islands belong in the future.

  9. If Japan knew about an uninhabited island that was rich in "bamboo, fish, and sea lions," I cannot imagine her not considering the island to be part of her territory, especially since the Shogun had already given his permission to harvest the island. That is another reason I think the document was including Takeshima and Matsushima in the territory of Onshu.

  10. not anonymous11/10/07 02:41

    Saito Hosen's quote next to both Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and Matsushima is written beside these islands long after Ulleungdo was "ceded" to Chosun.

    Even as late as 1872 you can see it written next to Ulleungdo. There was no doubt at this time that Ulleungdo was Korean land so this reference is much stronger evidence for Chosun.

    1872 Saito

    Even Hayashi Shihei's map shows a version of Saito Hosen's text beside Takeshima with "Chosun Possessions" beside it.

    Hyashi Map

    Pacifist, if the Shogunate had issued these islands to either the Oyas or Murakawas it would have been considered part of Hoki in Tottori Prefecture not Oki. That is where they resided and that is where the voyages to Takeshima and Matsushima originated from.

    Maps of the 17th Century do not show Takeshima or Matsushima as part of Japan nor Oki Province.

    A map of Japan 1654 Oki is the boundary.

    Japan 1654

    A map of Oki Province around 1660 no Takeshima or Matsushima.

    Oki no Dokdo

    Think logically. Two islands 90kms apart cannot make a boundary. Saito Hosen used visibility as a guideline to denote ownership. Because Korea was visible from Ulleungdo are these islands were not part of Japan.

    Japan did not consider Takeshima or Matsushima as part of Japan at this time.

    It is Japanese who are illogical on this point Kaneganse. You are saying Japan maintained ownership over Matsushima after they gave up Takeshima (Ulleungdo)

    Why would Japan want 2 barren rocks void of vegetation, without fresh water and about 2 days travel? When Japan "ceded" Takeshima, Matsushima was a non issue. There is not one record of Japanese voyaging to Matsushima as a sole destination. Period.

  11. toadface,

    Think logically.
    The place saito Hosen saw Korea was Ulleungdo, not Liancourt rocks.
    So he meant that Ulleungdo was the boundary.

    Think it again, toadface. Ulleungdo was a uninhibited island in those days, and he saw the foreign country from the island (Ulleungdo), so he thought "This is the boundary".

    In those days Murakawas and Oyas had visited Ulleungdo every year and no Korean people there.
    It is no wonder if Hosen thought it was the boundary.

  12. toadface,

    The 1872 map you showed only mentions "Takeshima: Viewing Koryo from here, just like viewing Onshu from Unshu, aka Isotakeshima".
    It doesn't help your opinion, toadface.

  13. not anonymous11/10/07 23:45

    Pacifist, Seeing Japanese Takeshima lobbyists trying to use maps that show Ulleungdo and evidence of anything shows how desparate they really are. Not surprisingly, even Gerry has jumped on the bandwagon with this shabby campaign.

    Any Japanese maps that show Ulleungdo coloured the same as Japan are proof of their inaccuracy. In other words, they aren't worth the paper they are printed on.

    This 1880 western book by Oppert show Europeans knew Matsushima Ulleungdo belonged to Corea and that the Japanese were incorrectly mapping the East Sea.

    Oppert 1
    Oppert 2

    There is absolutely no basis for Japan to say their illegal 17th Century voyages to Ulleungdo and Dokdo were any form of territorial sovereignty at all.

    As early as the 15th Century the Koreans told the Japanese to keep their hands of of Ulleungdo. This is recorded here when Tsushima asked Chosun for permission to settle on Ulleungdo.

    Hands off Ulleungdo

  14. toadface,

    "....and Dokdo were any form of territorial sovereignty at all."

    Dokdo? It's the Korean name of Japanese island, which was named in the 20th century. What did they call Liancourt rocks in Korea before the 20th century, toadface?

    There was no name in Korea. Because they didn't know about the rocks.

    You have to show us the evidence if you really believe that Korea knew Liancourt rocks, toadface.

    Usando was not Liancourt rocks. Sambongdo was not Liancourt rocks. Sokdo was not Liancourt rocks. What is your evidence?

  15. not anonymous12/10/07 12:38

    Pacifist, don't change the subject. Japan says that Matsushima (Liancourt Rocks) was a part of their inherent territory since ancient times.

    This is total rubbish. Japan has no historical claim to Dokdo. Zero.

    All they have is a military annexation of dubious legality undertaken during the Russ~Japanese War of 1905.

    Not surprisingly the Koreans contested this claim the moment they were notified and to this day reject Japan's annexation of the island.

    If Japan wants Dokdo they have to put together a strong historical claim prior to 1905. I haven't seen any such thing on any of the Pro-Japanese websites nor here.

    The Takeshima "Research" Institute is just a huge Japanese Propaganda machine formed to spew out Shimane lies. It's a shame. But at least now the Japanese shouldn't complain about the Koreans.

  16. Non-Anonymous (Steve Barber),

    You are starting to sound really silly. I think you need a vacation.

  17. Pacifist,

    Could you provide me with another link to that pdh file on (隠州視聴合記)? When I try to open the link, it says there is an error.

  18. Gerry,

    I sent you the pfd file and another thing (map) by e-mail. I hope you can open them.

  19. not anonymous12/10/07 18:48

    Gerry, I'm silly?

    All I'm asking is for Takeshima lobbyists and for the people on this blog to put their money where their mouths are and show historical title to Dokdo prior to Japan's 1905 military annexation.

    Is that the best answer you can give Gerry? That's very disappointing, but not at all surprising.

    Speaking of vacations, here is someone who reallys needs one.

    Gerry goes postal

  20. Gerry,

    Mr. Tanaka has another version of the book:


  21. toadface,

    As we've shown, Japan knew and used Liancourt rocks since 17th century (while Korea ddin't know Liancourt rocks until 20th century).

    There are various maps of Liancort rocks in Japan through 17th century, 18th century, 19th century but there is no Korean map at all.

    There are various documents concerning Liancourt rocks (Matsushima) in Japan but there is no document concerning Liancourt rocks in Korea.

    The Korean empire's territory didn't include Liancourt rocks, and Japan incorporated Liancourt rocks in 1905 during the Korean empire era, which means Korea didn't have a right to claim about the incorporation.

    Above is a short summary for you, you understand?

  22. Thank you, Pacifist. I got the file.

    I would whether use this version instead of Mr. Tanaka's version because this version has the both maps that are talked about in the text.

  23. First of all, if we have absolutely no knowledge of Oki nor those two islands and read this book as travel guide, the most possible way to understand is, those two island are the boundary of Japan and they are also a part of Oki.

    And, after finishing reading Onshu Shicho Goki 「隠州視聴合記」, I came to believe at least Saito Hosen himself recognized those two islands are included in Oki jurisdiction as Gerry says, though I am not sure how he came to think like that. And I think he wrote those two islands which are included in Oki, or Oki which include those two islands as the boundary of Japan.

    In his book, Saito wrote that 「磯竹島に渡るもの、是に於て泊して、晴れを量り、風を占う。(p51)」. (the people who goes to Isotakeshima(Ulleundo) stay this place and see when it is going to shine or have favorable winds.

    In other part, he wrote 「元和四年春三月又伯耆国大買村川氏自官賜朱印致大舶磯竹島(p90)」(in the 4th year of Genwa(1618), Murakawas from Ookai(?) in Houki country was given licence(朱印状) from the officials of Bakuhu and sent a huge ship to Isotakeshima(Ulleundo). )

    The ships comes in Oki from another Han or Japanese feudal country, they needed to present their licence to the official in Oki.

    I think it is impossible to say that Saito thought Takeshima and Matsushima are Korean territory but allowed Oyas and Murakawas to go to Ulleundo directly, not through Tshushima Han, since he was a governor of Oki(郡代), dispatched by Matsue Han(松江藩). If he knew Oyas and Murakawas are going to foreign country every year but looked over their contraband, that means he was commiting serious crime (treason) against Bakuhu.

  24. Pacifist,

    What are the differences between the version of 隠州視聴合記 on Mr. Tanaka's site HERE, and the version you linked to above? Is one the original and the other an interpretation of the original?Were they both written at about the same time?

    By the way, could you please translate the portion in parenthesis in the following?

    隱州在北海中故云隱岐島 ト云(按到海中言遠岐故名歟)

  25. Gerry,

    I think that in those days hand-copied books were not unusual. So it is not clear which one was near to the original document.

    But difference is slight. The book I introduced first has a introduction about the history of Oki. The first sentence "隠岐ノ国ト名付賜フ之" (…named “Oki no kuni” (Country of Oki )) is the last sentence of the introduction.

    The second difference is in the depiction about the time to Matsushima. The Tanaka's version reads "戍亥間行二日一夜有松島" ((If you go) into the direction of northwest, (you'll find) Matsushima in 2 days and one night), while the version I introduced reads "戍亥間行二日一有松島" ((If you go) into the direction of northewest, (you'll find) one island - Matshushima in 2 days).
    It is a difference of a word "夜" (night).

  26. Gerry,

    隱州在北海中故云隱岐島 ト云(按到海中言遠岐故名歟)

    My translation:
    Onshu locates in the north sea (= Japan Sea), so it was called as Oki island (I think it is in the sea, off shore (沖 = oki), so it was called as oki (隠岐))

  27. Gerry & pacifist,

    According to Prof.Ikeuchi's book, the only difference in contents between the two is that the WTRC version lacks preface of the book. (Looks like pacifist found another difference. It is good to see there is some "holes" in Prof. Ikeuchi's huge book. But at the same time, it is really sad that we have to doubt even the book written by academic.)

    The original is supposed to be written in 1667. The version of 隠州視聴合記 on Mr. Tanaka's site is from National Diet Library. It was hand-copied in 1688. On the other hand, the version on Web Takeshima Recearch Center was called Okajima version, which was copied by Okajima Seishuu(岡嶋正脩) in 1868.

    There are about 20 versions of the book, and it looks like the date of 11 versions among them are identified. Shimane Prefectural Library posesses 2 of them, and Prof. Ikeuchi wrote that one of them is similar to the original very much or it could be even the original itself since it was donated by Matsudaira Naosuke (松平直亮), who is a direct line of decent of the fuedal Lord of Matsue (松江藩主). Those are categorized into two groups , A(甲) or B(乙). He thinks group A is "parent" and group B is "child", since There are many (17-19) portion which seems to be added later. Two versions we are talking about belong to group A.

    The parts which has something to do with Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks is the sentence "[按神書所謂五十猛歟]".from "俗言磯竹島多竹魚海鹿[按神書所謂五十猛歟]". Group B version books have this part and the other don't.

  28. Thank you, Pacifist & Kaneganese. I guess I should use Mr. Tanaka's version, but I like the maps on the version Pacifist linked to.

  29. Thank you Kaneganese,

    I didn't know that there are such numerous versions of the book.
    But anyway I believe hopefully that the main sentence we have referred to is not so different.


  30. Kaneganese wrote “I think it is impossible to say that Saito thought Takeshima and Matsushima are Korean territory but allowed Oyas and Murakawas to go to Ulleundo directly, not through Tshushima Han, since he was a governor of Oki(郡代), dispatched by Matsue Han(松江藩). If he knew Oyas and Murakawas are going to foreign country every year but looked over their contraband, that means he was commiting serious crime (treason) against Bakuhu.”

    Kaneganese‘s thinking is wrong. Saito Hosen had no reason to consider the voyage to Ulleongdo by Oyas and Murakawas was a crime. Saito exactly knew Oyas and Murakawas went to foreign land with permission (朱印状) issued by the Bakuhu.

    The truth on “Onshu Shicho Goki”(隠州視聴合記) is here.