" "Dokdo Month" without any historical grounds”“実事求是 〜日韓のトゲ、竹島問題を考える〜 第16回 歴史的根拠を欠いた「独島の月」について 下條正男”
In July 4, 2005, Gyeongsangbuk-do assembly in South Korea enacted the ordinance of "Dokdo Month (October 25)" in opposition to "Takeshima Day" which Shimane prefecture assembly enacted on March 17, 2005. The ground they based on was "Imperial Ordinance No.41" dated on Oct. 25, 1900, which is 5 years earlier than Japan's incorporation of Takeshima into Shimane in 1905. Article 2 of this Ordinance determined jurisdiction of Uldo district as "whole Ulleungdo and Jukdo Seokdo", and since the pronunciation of "Seokdo" is similar to that of "Dokdo", Korean claim Dokdo was incorporated earlier than Japan. Korean side explains the reason for this speculation as in Ulleungdo, majority of immigrants were from Cholla-do and they pronounce "Dolseom(石島)" which has similarity with "Dokseom(独島)", hence this reference name by fishermen on Ulleungdo was inscribed as 石島 in the Ordinance. However, in order to claim this, they should have establish when they started to use this reference and when they started fishing on Ulleungdo by concrete evidence. If they cannot show the evidence, it simply stays as merely speculation.
In fact, in his book "The Fishery Guide of Sea around Korea (韓海通漁指針) "(1903), Kuzuu Shuusuke wrote that "Korean/Japanese called the island as Yanko-to". So the former reference name of Dokdo by Korean was actually "Yanko-to", not "Seokdo/Dolseom" as Korean claim. This "Yanko-to" was started to be called as "Dokdo(独島)" around 1904. In the September 25 entry in the Japanese naval vessel Niitaka (新高丸)'s log, it was recorded that a Japanese civilian staying on Ulleungdo had personally visited Liancourt Rocks, which he said was written as "Dokdo" (獨島) by Koreans and was called "Ryanko-to" by Japanese fishermen. This is because sealion hunting on Takeshima became in full-scale around 1904 and Korean on Ulleugdo who were hired by those Japanese hunters went to Takeshima. Naturally, it is impossible that the name "Dokdo(独島)", which started to be adopted around 1904, has any influence on 1900's Ordinance and made it inscripted as "石島" at all. Thus, Korea's "Dokdo Month" has no historical grounds at all and their "Seokdo = Dokdo" theory is nothing but just an preposterous speculation after all.
This is strongly supported by the petition which was submitted by 李乾夏, a Minister of Internal Affairs of Korea, 3 days before the Ordinance NO.41 was promulgated. Since it specified Ullengdo, which later became Uldo County, has "80 ri(32km) in length and 50 ri(20km) in width" and its special products are "potatoes, barley, soybeans and wheat." In those years, major industries on Ulleungdo were agriculture and fishery were extremely as minor as harvesting seaweeds around on the shore around Ulleungdo. This is also proved by the report of inspector U Yong-jeong(禹用鼎) in June 1900, which lead Ulleungdo promoted as one of the county of Gangwon Province 4 months later. In his report "Uldo-gi(鬱島記)", U wrote that "its agricultural products were barleys, wheats, soy beans and sweet potatoes." and "fisheries were mainly harvesting seaweeds." As we can clearly see from this, on Ulleungdo in 1900, agriculture was the residents' legitimate occupation, while fishery were only for harvesting seaweeds. Islanders on Ulleungdo only started to voyage to Takeshima/Dokdo when they were hired by Japanese fishermen who began hunting sealions in earnest on Takeshima/Dokdo, which was 4 years after the Imperial Ordinance were promulgated.
Moreover, the area which U inspected was limited to "the circumference 140-150 ris (56-60 km)(周廻一百四五十里)", which means the area was Ulleungdo alone and he didn't go to Takeshima/Dokdo at all. This is because, for Korean, the territorial sphere for Ulleungdo were already established as Inspector Lee Gyu-won(李奎遠), who inspected Ulleungdo in 1883, had already wrote that Ulleungdo has "the circumference 140-150 ris (56-60 km)(周廻一百四五十里)". Then Lee defined neighboring islands of Ulleungdo as 竹島(Jukdo) and 島項( It was later changed to "鼠項島", whose pronunciation resembles to "Seokdo" very much. ) altogether and those two are small islands within 2km or so from Ullgungdo.
Gyeongsangbuk-do assembly made October a "Dokdo Month" , based upon "Imperial Ordinance no.41". But it is apparent that 石島 in the Ordinance was not today's Takeshima/Dokdo. Since Uldo County itself were limited to the Ulldngdo island itself, which has "the circumference 140-150 ris (56-60 km)(周廻一百四五十里)" excluding Takeshima/Dokdo. Korean assert that Japanese incorporation of Takeshima into Shimane as "invasion" based on this Imperial Ordinance, but it is actually Korean themselves who "invaded" Takeshima and still occupy Japanese land without any historical grounds.
Courtesy of Web Takeshima Research Center.
Other Column of the Series:
The 21st column " Refutation against "Analysis of Shimojo Masao's Editorials" by Mr. Park Byeong-seop(朴炳渉)”
The 8th column “The Historical Facts" The 6th column “Onshu-shicho-goki (隠州視聴合記)" and the "Nihon Yochi Totei Zenzu (日本輿地路程全図)" by Nagakubo Sekisui(長久保赤水)"
The 5th column “South Korea’s erroneous interpretation of the document 'Takeshima and Another Island are Unrelated to Japan"
The 4th column “Errors in Educational Video Produced by the Northeast Asian History Foundation (東北アジア歴史財団)."
1900 - Japanese map of Ulleungdo (赤塚正助 鬱陵島山林概況)
1903 - The Fishery Guide of Sea around Korea (黒龍会 韓海通漁指針)