2007 - "Takeshima in the Korean official map" by Funasugi Rikinobu (舩杉力修) - Supplement


Well, there were the following counter opinion about the analysis of the map recently. "Originally, maps has huge visual effect, thus it tend to be argued based on only few maps in the territorial debate, but as a matter of fact, inaccurate old maps only have hearsay evidence at most in the international adjudication arena. Especially the map which is not based on the measurement has little evidential ability in fact.(Newsletter No.127 by half moon)."

This person referred the article of Mr. Araki Norio (荒木教夫), who specialises in international law, and concluded that inaccurate old maps are worthless for the international adjudication. However, if you actually read Araki's thesis, it is understood that it is mere a part of quotation.

Araki wrote that the map, which its' value has been admitted in the international adjudication, had been basically the ones which show "Mutual agreement of the country concerned", even they were attached to the border agreement. He also admit that though the official maps of the party in dispute doesn't become the conclusive proof of the dispute solution, but the maps in which the land in concern was diadvantageously drawn and voluntarily admitted it has no sovereignty over the land of concern hold important meanings in dispute. "

However, Korea has absolutely no official maps which described this debatable island favourable to their territorial claim nor sovereignty in the debatable ground. Moreover, there is even no Korean maps which actually described the island in concern (Takeshima/Dokdo) itself at all in the first place. In a word, it can be said that it was clarified that in South Korea, there is no single map that could be used as an evidence in the international adjudication to support their claim.

朝鮮側作製の官製地図にみる竹島(Takeshima in the Korean official map)」 by associate professor Funasugi Rikinobu (舩杉力修) of Shimane University.
Translated by Kaneganese.
Courtesy of
Web Takeshima Research Center.


  1. Gerry and pacifist,

    Could you please check my translation when you have time? Thank you.

  2. Hi Kaneganese,

    I cannot read the Chinese characters in your e-mail, but I assume you are talking about the 1807 document.

    Concerning the date of the maps, as I have said before, I do not think the maps showing 小干島 and 大干島 were made before the 1711 map because the maps had names for the rocks and different coves on Ulleungdo, but the 1711 map did not, which suggests that the 1711 map was an earlier map. Also, as I said before, 干島 means "shield island" in Korean, which can also be translated as "Bangpaedo" (防牌島) in Korean, and Bangpaedo was mentioned in inspector's reports in the late 1700s, which suggest that the maps were made either then or later. There were inspections even in the early 1800s, so the maps could have been map then, too.

    I think the reason the maps showed a "Small Shield Island" (小干島) and a "Large Shield Island" (大干島) was because the inspectors were unclear about which of the two island was called "Shield Island" (防牌島 - Bangpaedo) since the reports of the 1786 and 1794 inspections gave conflicting descriptions of the location of Bangpaedo. Therefore, the maps may have been made in the early 1880s.

  3. Corrections: "Therefore, the maps may have been made in the early 1800s."

  4. Anonymous17/1/08 02:42

    Conversely I'd say much the opposite to disprove Japan's claims they considered Liancourt Rocks (Matsushima) as part of Japan's territory prior to the annexation in 1905. This effectively kills Japan's historical claims.

    For example. Japanese maps of the Meiji Era prior to the annexation of Liancourt Rocks show all of Japanese territories. Many of these maps even show distant islands included and are so up to date they show recently annexed islands such as the Ogasawaras (Bonin Island) the Ryukyu's, the Kuriles and even Taiwan.

    Here are some examples.

    1899 Japanese Map

    1893 Japanese Map

    1901 Japanese Map

    1899 Japanese Map2

    This is also true with Japanes National map books which often included Ulleungdo and Dokdo on the added overall map, but failed to show Dokdo as a part of any Japanese prefecture. These map books also included all Japanese minor islands, even those as far away as 1000kms.

    Here is a 1890 Japanese map book showing Ogasawaras, Ryukyus, Kuriles and all outlying islands considered Japanese land as of 1890. Notice Japan's boundary ends with the Okinoshimas.

    1890 Japanese map book

    In 1895 the following map book was drawn. Notice the same outlying islands were included. This map book however, was so up to date, it showed newly annexed Taiwan, seized by the Japanese after the Sino-Japanese War. Again, there is no Liancourt Rocks as part of Japan, although tiny Mishima off the shore of Tottoir, is shown as part of Japan.

    1895 Japanese Map Book

    Kanganese, prior to Japan's military annexation of Dokdo in 1905 both Korea and Japan's involvement on the island can be cloudy. But we know both nations were cognizant of the island beforehand.

  5. Steve Barber,

    It is meaningless to show maps of Japan before 1905 - before the incorporation (not annexation) of Takeshima (Liancourt rocks).

    Liancourt rocks were once recognised to be in Japan's territorial sea in the Edo period but in the Meiji era (late 19th century) Liancourt rocks were forgotten in the turmoil of confusion of island names. Japan reconfirmed that Liancourt rocks or Ryanko island was ownerless island and incorporated it in 1905.

    On the other hand, Korea didn't know Liancourt rocks until early 20th century when Japanese hired some Koreans and brought them to the island.

  6. Gerry,

    Please take time for the correction.

    As for the inspectors maps, I pasted two text from 肅宗実録 in 1699 and 1702 to show you the positions (越松萬戸 & 三陟營將) of the inspector which supposed to be in the text on the map. Since I don't have any picture of the text of both maps, I sort of wanted you to make sure, since I don't have any text on the map.

    肅宗 33卷, 25年(1699 己卯 (康熙) 38年) 7月 15日(壬午)
    ○江原道越松萬戸田會一, 搜討鬱陵島, 還泊待風所, 圖上本島地形, 兼進土産篁竹、香木、土石等數種。

    肅宗 36卷, 28年(1702 壬午 (康熙) 41年) 5月 28日(己酉)
    ○三陟營將李浚明、倭譯崔再弘, 還自鬱陵島, 獻其圖形及紫檀香、靑竹、石間朱、魚皮等物。 鬱陵島間二年, 使邊將輪回搜討, 已有定式, 而今年三陟當次, 故浚明乘船于蔚珍、竹邊津, 兩晝夜而還歸, 比濟州倍遠云。

    It is possible that "干島" in 1699(?) was meant for "Shield Island"like you guess, but as you have made sure 1702(?) map shows "于島" instead. I think it is also possible that it was just an misspelling for "于" as always. We need more information to decide.

    And it is true that there are many records in the early 1800s that inspector gave maps to the king, and actually, some of the description of the place name coincide with the maps. For example, 玄石龜尾, 黄土窟, 天底仇味 are both appeare on the map and the documents. But it looks like inspectors after late 1700s followed the rules for the descriptions. For example, they always land on the place between Hwangto Cave (黃土窟 ) and Byeongpung Rock (屛風石). And they always mantioned about the distance from the place to the central peak. But we cannot find any 屛風巖(石) nor the distance description either. Besides, there are no "刻石立標" on the east side or "刻板立標" on the west side which almost all the other maps followed. Especially, 1699(?) map has 倭船倉 on the southeastern shore of the map, though it doesn't have any "刻石立標" sign. Anyway, I think it is really weird that those two maps lacks the description of the distance from the shore to the central peaks, which are common in other maps. And the information of the inner islands are too simple, too.

    The Korean old maps of Ulleundo doesn't describe the rocks aroud the islands carefully at all. In that sence, those two offcial maps and 1882 official map by Lee are the exceptions. I think it is very reasonable to think those two are made before 1711 and most of the Korean geographer who didn't really surveyed the island only copied the information from 1711 maps, including the Usando plus 5 islands on the southern shore.

    I think if it was absurd opinion, Korean academics had already refuted to Prof. Shimojou long time ago, which I had never heard so far. I myself withhold final decision until I get more detailed information and professional opinion(especially Korean academics refutation). I suspect there were special reason why Korean academics had not picked up those two maps until recently.

  7. Anonymous17/1/08 14:26

    Pacifist, again I'm calling B.S. and await some evidence that the Japanese considered Matsushima (Dokdo) part of their territory in the 17th Century. Every time I demand this, you change the subject. Why?

    We know that the Shogunate inquired to Dottori (Shimane) in 1695. They replied that niether Takeshima (Ulleungdo) nor Matsushima (Dokdo) were part of Hoki or Imbashu.

    Japanese used to assert the Shogunate "bestowed" these lands to the Murakawas and Oyas who lived in Yonago City in Hoki Region. Thus, if the islands were not considered part of Hoki (Murakawa, Oya hometowns) it is a safe bet they were not part of Japan itself.

    17 Century Doc

    Let's (wrongly) assume Japan did consider the islands part of Japan in the 17th Century. First after the Anyongbok incident Ulleungdo was ceded to Chosun ending this era. As far as Matsushima was considered, Anyongbok declared Matsushima and Takeshima as Chosun land. Surely if the Shogunate thought the island was Japanese land he would have disputed this assertion. However, Japan raised no objection to Anyongbok's claim.

    You can see his declaration here.

    Anyongbok 1

    Anyongbok also declared Takeshima and Matsushima as part of Kangwon Province Korea in his chart of the eight Korean provinces shown here.

    Anyongbok 2

    Whether or not Anyongbok was right is not the issue. The Japanese would have certainly raised objections to the his claim to Matsushima if they felt the island was theirs, but they didn't.

    In 1877 the Japanese again concluded Ulleungdo and other island(s) were not part of Shimane Prefecture. Enclosed within these documents is a map of Ulleungdo and Dokdo showing correct shape and form of both islands. Maps of Shimane Prefecture without exception fail to show Liancourt Rocks or Matsushima as part of this prefecture. By the way Pacifist, I noticed in your misleading interpretation of this report you failed to include the attached map. This would have shown there really was no confusion of islands in this report. It also shows the Japanese were not citing three island maps when they made this decision.

    1877 Kobunroko

  8. Steve Barber,

    Your theory about Ahn Yong-bok is totally wrong because he didn't declare that Takeshima and Matsushima were Korean territory.

    Remember that Ahn was a criminal who smuggled himself into Japan. Japanese officials investigated him and during the investigation the officials wrote down what he said. It was merely his opinion, a criminal's opinion and was not a declaration.

    japan didn't refute to a criminal's opinion so that you insist that Japan admitted Liancourt rocks to be Korean territory?

    Or what a silly theory!
    Do you forget your homework I ordered you many months ago? You should bring back the evidence Korea knew and used Liancourt rocks before 1905 but you couldn't.

    Your theory is nothing when Korea didn't know Liancourt rocks until 20th century.

  9. Anonymous19/1/08 00:35

    Pacifist, Anyongbok certainly did declare Takeshima and Matsushima were Korean territory. Please read the Murakawa documents found in 2005. Especially page 5.

    Here is the document.

    Anyongbok Doc

    It reads as:
    "According to Anyoengbok,  "Takeshima (Ulleungdo) is this Bamboo Island. He says that there is an island named Ulleungdo in Dongnae-bu, Gangwando, Korea and this is also called Bamboo Island. He had a map of eight provinces of Korea that says so. Matsushima (Dokdo) is the island called Jasan (Usan) in the same province of Gangwando. It is the same name for Matsushima (Dokdo) and this is also recorded on the eight provinces of Korea map...."

    My point is that if Japan thought Matsushima was Japanese land at this time, surely they would have objected to Anyongboks statements in their following correspondence to Chosun. But they didn't.


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