于山武陵二島 在縣正東海中 二島相去不遠 風日淸明 則可望見 新羅時 稱于山國 一云鬱陵島. 地方百里
우산무릉이도 재현정동해중 이도상거불원 풍일청명 칙가망견 실라시 칭우산국 일은 울릉도. 지방(地方)이 1백 리.
The two islands of Usan and Mu-leung are in the sea due east of the present "hyeon" (Uljin), and the distance to them is close enough that they are visible on a clear, windy day. In the time of Silla, they were called Unsan-guk or Ulleungdo. It has an area of 100 ri.
The Korean Claim
Koreans claim that the distance being talked about in the above passage was the distance between the two islands rather than the distance between Uljin and the two island. They say that though Ulleungdo can be seen from the Korean mainland, its neighboring island cannot be seen, so the Usan in the passage had to be referring to Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks), which is ninety-two kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo but can sometimes be seen from the mountains of Ulleungdo. Also, they say that it could not have been referring to Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島 - Jukdo), which is about 2.2 kilomethers off Ulleungdo's east shore, because Jukdo can be seen on days that are not particularly that clear, so "Usan" had to be referring to Dokdo.
Problems with the Korean Claim
There are a few problems with the Korean theory.
First, the two islands were discribed as being "due east" of Uljin, which means they would have been on the same latitude, but Ulleungdo and Dokdo are on different latitudes. Ulleungdo is on a latitude of 37° 30', but Dokdo is ninety-two kilomethers southeast of Ulleungdo on a latitude of 37° 14'.
(In the picture on the right, Ulleungdo can be seen in the distance from a mountain above the Korean east coast city of Donghae.)
Second, the sentence in question was from a section of the text describing the geography of Uljin, a village on the east coast of Korea, by giving the directions and distances to locations around the village. The direction to the two islands of Usan/Muleung (于山武陵 - 우산, 무릉) was given as being "due east of the village," and since the distance to the two islands was unknown, they were simply described the islands as being within visible distance. The sentence was not referring to the two islands separately, but as a 2-island group. Notice that it gave only one direction and one area measurement for the two islands, indicating that they were thought of as a main island and its smaller, nearby neighboring island. (See HERE.)
Third, the Korean interpretation of the sentence would not make sense because it would mean that Koreans would not have known where the two islands were. They would have only known that they were in the sea "due east" of the village, but they would not have known how far east. With the Korean interpretation, the two islands could have been on the other side of the Sea of Japan or on the other side of the world.
Fourth, the text also said that Usan/Muleung used to be one island, which means that they had since discovered that it had a neighboring island. Jukdo is Ulleungdo's largest neighboring island and is only 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo's east shore, so it would have been the neighboring island, not Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks), which is ninety-two kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo.
Fifth, Korea's first map to show Usando and Ulleungdo as a 2-island group was the the Paldo Chongdo (八道總圖 - 팔도총도), which was made in 1530. That map (shown on the right) showed Usando (于山島 - 우산도) due west of Ulleungdo, which means it could not have been Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks) since Dokdo is ninety-two kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo. In other words, Usando and Dokdo would have been on opposite sides of Ulleungdo.
Ulleungdo has a neighboring island called Jukdo (竹島 - 죽도), which is 2.2 kilometers off its east shore. The two islands referred to in King Sejong's geography text was Ulleungdo (鬱陵島 - 울릉도) and its neighboring island of Jukdo. Whether the Usando in the text was referring to Ulleungdo or Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo at that time in history is matter of debate (See HERE.), but based on the arguments I presented above and on other map evidence, it is clear to me that the Usando in King Sejong's 1454 geography text was not referring to Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks).
Full Text of the Geography of Uljin
The following is the description of the geography of Uljin from King Sejong's geography text. The passage giving the bearing and distance to Ulleungdo is shown in red.
As you can see from the above, the evidence is overwhelmingly against the Korean claim that the Usando in King Sejong's geography text was Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks). Usan/Muleung was just another name for Ulleungdo. Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks) was not mentioned in the text, by any name.
本高句麗于珍也縣, 新羅改今名爲郡。 高麗稱蔚珍縣, 本朝因之。【縣人諺傳古名半伊郡, 又仙槎郞。】藥師津、【在縣南。】骨長津。【在縣北。】四境, 東距海口八里, 西距慶尙道安東任內小川縣六十三里, 南距平海三十七里, 北距三陟三十二里。 戶二百七十, 口一千四百八十三。 軍丁, 侍衛軍三十八, 舡軍七十, 守城軍四。 土姓五, 林、張、鄭、房、劉; 續姓一, 閔。【榮川來, 鄕吏。】厥土肥塉相半, 俗業海錯, 崇習武藝, 墾田一千三百五十一結。【水田三分之一。】土宜五穀, 桑、麻、柿、栗、梨、楮。 土貢, 蜂蜜、黃蠟、鐵、胡桃、石茸、五倍子、川椒、藿、漆、鹿脯、狐皮、狸皮、獐皮、虎皮、猪毛、大口魚、文魚、水魚、全鮑、紅蛤。 藥材, 茯苓、當歸、前胡、白芨、五味子、人蔘。 土産, 篠蕩。 鹽盆六十一。 磁器所一, 在縣北十里薪谷里。 陶器所一, 在縣北十二里甘大里。【皆品下。】皇山石城。【周回六百十六步五尺, 時以爲邑城內有四泉一池, 泉則雖大旱, 皆不渴, 池則大旱或渴。】溫川在縣北四十四里興富驛西仇水亏勿山洞。 驛三, 興富、【古名興府。】德神、【古名德新。】守山。【古名壽山。】烽火四處, 全反仁山在縣南,【南準平海沙冬山, 北準竹津山。】竹津山、【北準竹邊串。】竹邊串、【北準亘出道山】亘出道山。【北準三陟可谷山。】于山、武陵二島在縣正東海中。【二島相去不遠, 風日淸明, 則可望見。 新羅時, 稱于山國, 一云鬱陵島。 地方百里, 恃險不服, 智證王十二年, 異斯夫爲何瑟羅州軍主謂于山人愚悍, 難以威來, 可以計服, 乃多以木造猛獸, 分載戰舡抵其國, 誑之曰: “汝若不服, 則卽放此獸。” 國人懼來降。 高麗太祖十三年, 其島人使白吉土豆獻方物。 毅宗十三年, 審察使金柔立等回來告: “島中有泰山, 從山項向東行至海一萬餘步, 向西行一萬三千餘步, 向南行一萬五千餘步, 向北行八千餘步, 有村落基址七所。 或有石佛像鐵鍾石塔。 多生柴胡蒿本石南草。 我太祖時, 聞流民逃入其島者甚多, 再命三陟人金麟雨, 爲按撫使, 刷出空其地。 麟雨言: “土地沃饒, 竹大如柱, 鼠大如猫, 桃核大於升。 他物稱是。”】
본래 고구려의 우진야현(于珍也縣)인데, 신라에서 지금의 이름으로 고쳐서 군(郡)으로 하였고, 고려에서 울진현이라 일컬었으며, 본조에서도 그대로 따랐다. 현의 사람들이 전하기를, “옛이름은 반이군(半伊郡) 또는 선사군(仙槎郡)이었다. ” 한다.
약사진(藥師津) 현의 남쪽에 있다. 골장진(骨長津) 현의 북쪽에 있다. 사방 경계는 동쪽으로 바다 어귀에 이르기 8리, 서쪽으로 경상도 안동(安東) 임내 소천현(小川縣)에 이르기 63리, 남쪽으로 평해(平海)에 이르기 37리, 북쪽으로 삼척(三陟)에 이르기 32리이다.
호수가 2백 70호요, 인구가 1천 4백 83명이다. 군정은 시위군이 38명이요, 선군이 70명이요, 수성군(守城軍)이 4명이다.
토성(土姓)이 이니, 임(林)·장(張)·정(鄭)·방(房)·유(劉)요, 속성(續姓)이 1이니, 민(閔)이다. 영천(榮川)에서 왔는데, 향리이다.
땅이 기름지고 메마른 것이 반반이며, 풍속이 해산물로 생업을 삼고, 무예를 숭상한다. 간전(墾田)이 1천 3백 51결이요, 논이 3분의 1이다. 토의(土宜)는 오곡과 뽕나무·삼·감·밤·배·닥나무이다. 토공은 꿀·밀[黃蠟]·철(鐵)·호도·석이·오배자(五倍子)·조피나무열매[川椒]·미역·칠·사슴포·여우가죽·삵괭이가죽·노루가죽·범의 가죽·돼지털·대구·문어·숭어·전복·홍합이요, 약재는 복령·승검초뿌리[當歸]·바디나물뿌리[前胡]·대왕풀[白芨]·오미자·인삼이요, 토산(土産)은 가는대와 왕대요, 염분(鹽盆)이 61이다. 자기소(磁器所)가 1이니, 현의 북쪽 10리 신곡리(薪谷里)에 있고, 도기소(陶器所)가 1이니, 현의 북쪽 12리 감대리(甘大里)에 있다. 모두 품질이 하품이다.
황산 석성(皇山石城) 둘레 6백 16보 5척인데, 때로 읍성(邑城)으로 삼으며, 안에 샘이 4, 못이 하나 있는데, 샘은 비록 크게 가물어도 모두 마르지 아니하나, 못은 크게 가물면 간혹 마른다. 온천(溫泉)이 현의 북쪽 44리 흥부역(興富驛)의 서쪽 구수우 물산동(仇水亐勿山洞)에 있다. 역(驛)이 3이니, 흥부(興富) 옛 이름은 흥부(興府)이다. ·덕신(德神) 옛 이름은 덕신(德新)이다. ·수산(守山)이다. 옛 이름은 수산(壽山)이다. 봉화가 4곳이니, 전반인산(全反仁山)이 현의 남쪽에 있고, 남쪽으로 평해(平海) 사동산(沙冬山)에, 북쪽으로 죽진산에 응한다. 죽진산(竹津山) 북쪽으로 죽변곶(竹邊串)에 응한다. ·죽변곶(竹邊串) 북쪽으로 긍출도산(亘出道山)에 응한다. 긍출도산(亘出道山)이다. 북쪽으로 삼척 가곡산(可谷山)에 응한다.
우산(于山)과 무릉(武陵) 2섬이 현의 정동(正東) 해중(海中)에 있는데 2섬이 서로 거리가 멀지 아니하여, 날씨가 맑으면 가히 바라볼 수 있다. 신라 때에 우산국(于山國), 또는 울릉도(鬱陵島)라 하였는데, 지방(地方)이 1백 리이며,
[The map of Gangwon Province to the right is from the 1700s Korean atlas "Yeojido" (輿地圖 - 여지도). It shows one island off the east coast of Uljin (蔚珍 - 울진) labeled as "鬱陵于山兩島," which means "the two islands of Ulleung & Usan (울릉우산 양도). See HERE.]
〈사람들이 지세가〉 험함을 믿고 복종하지 아니하므로, 지증왕(智證王) 12년에 이사부(異斯夫)가 하슬라주(何瑟羅州) 군주(軍主)가 되어 이르기를, “우산국 사람들은 어리석고 사나와서 위엄으로는 복종시키기 어려우니, 가히 계교로써 하리라. ” 하고는, 나무로써 사나운 짐승을 많이 만들어서 여러 전선(戰船)에 나누어 싣고 그 나라에 가서 속여 말하기를, “너희들이 항복하지 아니하면, 이 〈사나운〉 짐승을 놓아서 〈너희들을〉 잡아먹게 하리라. ” 하니, 그 나라 사람들이 두려워하여 와서 항복하였다. 고려 태조(太祖) 13년에, 그 섬 사람들이 백길토두(白吉土豆)로 하여금 방물(方物)을 헌납하게 하였다. 의종(毅宗) 13년에 심찰사(審察使) 김유립(金柔立) 등이 돌아와서 고하기를, “섬 가운데 큰 산이 있는데, 산꼭대기로부터 동쪽으로 바다에 이르기 1만여 보이요, 서쪽으로 가기 1만 3천여 보이며, 남쪽으로 가기 1만 5천여 보이요, 북쪽으로 가기 8천여보이며, 촌락의 터가 7곳이 있고, 간혹 돌부처·쇠북·돌탑이 있으며, 멧미나리[柴胡]·호본(蒿本)·석남초(石南草) 등이 많이 난다. ” 하였다. 우리 태조(太祖) 때, 유리하는 백성들이 그 섬으로 도망하여 들어가는 자가 심히 많다 함을 듣고, 다시 삼척(三陟) 사람 김인우(金麟雨)를 명하여 안무사(按撫使)를 삼아서 사람들을 쇄출(刷出)하여 그 땅을 비우게 하였는데, 인우가 말하기를, “땅이 비옥하고 대나무의 크기가 기둥 같으며, 쥐는 크기가 고양이 같고, 복숭아씨가 되[升]처럼 큰데, 모두 물건이 이와 같다. ” 하였다.
Originally named “Ujinya-hyeon” during Koguryeo, the name was changed to its present name during Silla and made a gun. During Koryeo it was called “Uljin-hyeon,” which is still being used during our dynasty. People in the hyeon say that in the past it has also called “Bani-gun” and "Seonsa-gun."
Yaksa-jin is to the south of the hyeon, and Goljang-jin is to the north. Its boundries stretch eight ri east to the mouth of the sea, sixty-three ri west to Andong’s Socheon-hyeon in Gyeongsang Province, thirty-seven ri south to Pyeonghae, and thirty-two ri north to Samcheok.
It has 270 lakes and a population of 1,430. Its military includes thirty-eight soldiers, seventy sailors, and four fortress guards. There are five local family names: Im (林), Jang (張), Jeong (鄭), Bang (房), and Yu (劉). There is also a Min (閔) from Yeongju.
Half the land is fertile and half is not. They make their living by fishing, but they also venerate martial arts. They cultivate about 1,351 gyeol of land, of which one third is rice paddies. The land produces the five grains, mulberry, hemp, persimmons, chestnuts, pears, and paper mulberry. They paid tribute of honey, beeswax, iron, wallnuts, mushrooms, gallnut, prickly ash, brown seaweed, lacquer, cured venison, fox pelts, wildcat pelts, deerskins, tiger pelts, pig hair (used for brushes), codfish, octopus, gray mullet, abalone, and hard-shelled mussel. The medicinal herbs they have are bokryeong mushrooms, Angelica uchiyamana root, Angelica decursiva root, bletilla, Schisandra chinensis, and ginseng. They have sixty-one local products, including slender bamboo, large bamboo, and salt.
There is one porcelain pottery shop ten ri to the north at Singok-ri, and one crockery shop twelve ri to the north at Gamdae-ri. All of their products are of poor quality.
The Hwangsan Stone fortress has a circumference of 616 paces, 5 cheok and is sometimes used as a the village fortress. Inside are four springs and one pond. The pond sometimes dries up during severe dought, but the springs never do.
There is a hot springs forty-four ri to the north, west of Heungbu Horse stations at Gusu-u in Mulsan-dong. There are three horse stations: Heungbu (興富), which used to be Heungbu (興府); Deoksin (德神), which used to be Deoksin (德新); and Susan (守山), which used to be Susan (壽山). There are four signal fire stations. One is said to be at Mount Jukjin, which is south of the hyeon past Mount Jeonbanin and north of Pyeonghae’s Sadong Mountain. One is said to be at Cape Jukbyeon, which is north of Mount Jukjin. One is said to be at Mount Geungchuldo, which is north of Cape Jukbyeon. And the last is at at Samcheok’s Mount Gagok, which is north of Mount Geungchuldo.
Two islands, Usan and Muleung, are in the sea due east of this hyeon [Uljin]. The distance between the two islands is not far, so they are visible on a clear, windy day. During the time of Silla they were called Usanguk or Ulleungdo. It has an area of 100 ri.
[The map of Gangwon Province to the right is from 1700s Korean atlas "Gwangyeodo" (廣輿圖 - 광여도). It shows one island off the east coast of Uljin (蔚珍 - 울진) labeled as "鬱陵島于山島," which means "Ulleungdo, Usando (울릉도, 우산도). See HERE.]
People had thought the land to be too rugged to subjugate; however, in the twelfth year of King Lee Jijeung [512 A.D.], Isabu became the commander of Hasula-ju [an area that was around Kangneung], and said, “The people of Usan are ignorant and savage, so since it would be difficult to subjugate them with strength, we must use cunning.” He made many ferocious animals from wood, loaded them on his warships, went to the island, and told the people there: “If you do not surrender, I will release their ferocious beasts so that they can eat you. The people of the island were afraid and came and surrendered.
In the thirteenth year of Goryeo’s Taejo (930 A.D.), the people of the island (Ulleungdo) sent Baek Gil and To Du to pay tribute (see here) . In the thirteenth year of Wui Jong (1159 A.D.), Simchalsa Kim Yu-rip and others returned (from the island) and said, “There was a big mountain in the middle of the island. The distance from its peak to the sea was more than 10,000 paces to the east, 13,000 paces to the west, 15,000 paces to the south, and 8,000 paces to the north. There were remains of seven villages on the island. There were also a stone Buddha, a bell, and a stone pagoda. A lot of dropwort, mugwort, and moorwort grow on the island.”
It is said that during the time of our (King) Taejo (1392 ~1398 A.D.), a great many of our wandering people ran away to the island. Samcheon resident Kim In-u was again ordered to be the anmusa to forcefully evict the people there and to leave the land empty. In-u said, “The land is fertile. The bamboo are as big as columns, the rats as big as cats, and the peach seeds as big a doi [a unit of measure]. All of its products are like that.”
Other Korean References
- 1600s - Map of Silla, Goguryo, & Baekje Regions (支那朝鮮古地圖 - 지나조선고지도)
- 1530 - "Paldo Chongdo" (八道總圖) - "Map of the Eight Provinces"
- Mid 1600s-1682 - "Gi-eon - Kim Si-seop" (記言 - 金時習): "From Weolsong he viewed Ulleung/Usan." (越松望鬱陵于山)
- 1700s? - Korean Atlas "Yojido"
- 1711 - Bak Seok-chang''s (朴錫昌) Map of Ulleungdo
- 1736 ~ 1767 - Yeojido (輿地圖) - Ulleung/Usan (鬱陵于山兩島)
- 1737 ~ 1776: "Gwang Yeodo" (廣輿圖) - Gangwondo & Ulleungdo
- Mid 1700s - "Paldo Yeojido" (八道輿地圖) - Ulleungdo Map (鬱陵島圖)
- Early 1750s - "Haedong Jido" (海東地圖) - Ulleungdo
- 1750~1768 - Joseon Jido (朝鮮地圖) - Ulleungdo
- 1777 ~ 1787: Haedong Yeojido (海東輿地圖) - Ulleungdo
- 1795-1800: Dong Yeodo (東輿圖) - Ulleungdo (鬱陵島)
- Late 18th c., "Joseon Paldo Jido," Ulleungdo & Usando
- 18th/19th? Century Map of Ulleungdo & Usando
- 19th c. Map of Ulleungdo: "Ulleungdo Dohyeong" (鬱陵島圖形), property of Samcheok Museum
- 1834 Korean Map: "Cheonggudo" (靑邱圖)
- 1888 - 1895 - Map of Samcheok District & Ulleungdo