This record is interesting for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it mentioned an island named "Bangpaedo" (防牌島), which was reported to be three ri (1.2 km) east of the main island (Ulleungdo). That was almost certainly a reference to Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島), which is about 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo's east shore.
Another reason this record is interesting is that it referred to a place on Ulleungdo called "Gaji-gumi" (可支仇味 - "Sea Lion Cove"), which is where the inspectors found two caves and sea lions. Even on Ulleungdo today, there is a cave on the west shore of Ulleungdo called "Gajae-gul," which means "Sea Lion Cave." Korea claims that Ulleungdo inspectors traveled to "Dokdo" (獨島 - Liancourt Rocks) to hunt sea lions, but this record and others are evidence that the inspectors hunted sea lions on Ulleungdo, not on Liancourt Rocks.
Wonchun Governor Lee Chi-jung (李致中) Reports the Results of Ulleungdo Inspection
Wonchun Governor Lee Chi-jung (李致中) reports that the inspection of Ulleungdo was scheduled to take place in 1785, but because of the terrible famine in the Yeongdong region that year, the previous governor, Seo Jeong-su, petitioned the king and it was cancelled. This year's inspection was conducted by Wolsong Commander Kim Chang-yun (金昌胤), who submitted the following report:
On April 19, we checked the wind at the Kumi Naval Base in Pyeonghae. At between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the 27th, eighty people, including Japanese interpreter Lee Yu-mun, various ranks of officials, sailors, and assistants all divided up, boarded four ships, and departed. Between 5 and 7 a.m. on the 28th, the assistants pointed toward something and said, ‘Below that dark cloud over there is the island’s tallest peak.’ Within a few hours, the island’s three tallest peaks were clearly visible. At about 3 a.m., the four boats assembled, and with mixed feelings of joy and sadness everyone talked about the fears and the dangers he had encountered. On the 29th, we raised anchor and landed at Jeojeon-dong (苧田洞), where everyone took baths and made offerings to the Mountain Spirit. Then we begin a thorough inspection.
It was about twenty ri from the village entrance (洞口) to the central peak, over a series of overlapping peaks that weave in and out. Three peaks were especially towering. This was the island’s main fortress. In a village there was still the obvious remains of a stone fortress that had a circumference of two to three ri. Inside the fortress were large and small stone pillars and foundation stones. Covered with plants such as ramie, the land was flat and wide enough to cultivate eight to nine seok (石) of fields or paddies.
We advanced to Gaji-gumi (可支仇味 - Sea Lion Cove), where we found two caves in the side of the mountain. It was difficult to calculate their depth. We surprised some sea lions that dashed out (of the caves), but before they could get into the water, all our riflemen fired at once and got two of them.
On May 1st., between 5 and 7 a.m., we changed direction and headed south toward the Japanese boat dock. From the entrance (of the Japanese boat dock) to the central peak it was about thirty ri of mountainous wasteland with clear remains of what included a stone fortress, stone pagodas, and stone-piled graves. We changed direction and headed forward and found a steep rock wall stretching out at the water’s edge that looked as if it had been craved out . When we arrived at the Jangjakji (長作地) bamboo forest, we found it sparse. The big bamboo that had been there was gone. We headed north and arrived at Cheonmagumi (天磨仇味).
At sunrise on the 2nd, we began a thourough inspection. One rock towering in the middle of the sea looked like the horns of a cow. It was called “Hujuk-am” (帿竹巖). Bangpaedo (防牌島) was to the east, about three ri from the main island.
On the 3rd, we arrived at Hyeunjakji (玄作地), where we found overlapping stone mountains and a rocky coastline. Chusan (錐山) had a strange shape and was made of a strange back rock. Jukam (竹巖) was two towering rocks that looked like “Hujuk” (帿竹). Next to Jukam was Gongam (孔巖), through the center of which a small transport boat could pass. When we arrived at Hwangtogumi (黃土仇味), we found overlapping peaks and a mountain stream. There was enough land to farm about thirty seok of rice paddies or tens of seok of fields. It was about thirty ri from the village to the central peak. Above “Cave Rock,” on the right and left, were written the names of previous inspectors.
On the 4th, we headed toward Hyangmok Pavilion (香木亭). The circumference of the entire island was about 120 ri. The distance from north to south was between seventy and eighty ri, and from east to west was sixty to seventy ri. All four sides of the island were cliffs and all of the mountains were steep. There were large and small streams falling and flowing down the valleys that looked like a silver rainbow 1,000 jang high. It looked like 10,000 pieces of jade had been spewed up into the air. Looking out from the Daepungso (大風所 - Wind-waiting Place), we saw the following trees: camellia, Oriental arborvitae, juniper, maple, hoinamu, kalopanax, paulownia, mulberry, elm, and birch. The birds were crow and seagull. The only wild animals we saw were cats and mice. The sea products were brown seaweed, abalone, and sea lions. After our search, between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. on the same day, we all went up to the alter and respectfully made offerings to the sea god. Then we set sail and immediately returned.
Between 5 and 7 p.m. on the 5th, the commander’s ship arrived at Jangori in Wondeok-myeon, Samcheok. Between 7 and 9 p.m., the Japanese interpreter's two ships arrived and anchored. Between 9 and 11 p.m, Ha Bok’s ship also arrived. On the 7th, we returned to the Wind-waiting Place (大風所), and on the 8th, we returned to our camp.
The products brought back were two sea lion skins, three green bamboo trunks, two blocks of rosewood incense, five seung of red ocher, one map of the island, and a report, which were sent to the Bibyeonsa. That is why I am sending this.
July 4, 1786
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