One reason I am posting this text is that I think it was mentioned in an 1876 letter entitled "Concerning Matsushima 2," by Watanabe Kouki (渡辺洪基), who was Director of the Bureau of Documents in Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time. Mr. Watanabe was trying to determine if the Japanese name Matsushima (松島) was being used to refer to the Korean island of Ulleungdo (鬱陵島) or to some other island. Another reason I am posting it is that it seems like a very interesting text.
Traditionally, the name "Matsushima" or "Oki's Matsushima" was used by the Japanese to refer to Liancourt Rocks, but Mr. Watanabe suspected that it was also being used to refer to Ulleungdo. In the text, Ulleungdo is referred to as "Takeshima" (竹島) and Liancourt Rocks as "Oki Domain's Matsushima" (隠岐国の松島).
The following is the referrence to the Kensaku (金森謙) text from Mr. Watanabe's 1886 letter:
Also, in the text by Kensaku (金森謙), the circumference of Takeshima was written as 15 ri.(Mr. Tanaka's Web site is the source of this text HERE.)
Takeshima Map Explanation (竹島圖說)
In the text “ A Record of the Land of Japan” (日本風土記), “TA (他) KE (計) JI (甚) MA (麽) refers to Takeshima (竹島).
The family of Kitazono (北園子家), a retired retainer of this Domain, has a text of his entitled “Takeshima Map Explanation” (竹島圖說), in which this family’s ancestor, Mr. Tsuuan, (通葊氏) recorded old stories during the Hohreki Era (1751 – 1764) that were passed down among the people of Inshu (因州). So little is known about it/them that this book can, indeed, be called a treasure.
I also recorded the story of an oarsman from Iwami (石見). His name was Chozo ((長蔵), from the village of Hamada (濱田). He still lives in Bittyu Province (備中), but is temporarily staying in the town of Obara/Kobara (小原街). (This town may have been what is now the neighborhood of Obara (小原町) in the village of Kasubuchi (粕淵村) in the Ohchi District of Iwami Province (石見囯.)
These stories are passed down, but I have added to them. I hope this helps those interested in learning about the geography of Takeshima.
Written by Kanamori Ken Kensaku (金森謙建策 題)
As for the map of the island, I have made a copy and attached it.
Someone told me that an essay by Itoh Tohgai (伊東涯) said that the Island of Jikuro (軸羅島) in the Book of Sui(隋書) must be this Takeshima. According to the essay, the circumference (of the island) was 40 ri. I believe his view is probably correct.
日本風土記 他計甚麼 竹島云々
此其家祖、通葊氏者、宝暦年間 甞所傳記 于因人某而
予、復筆, 石之一撑夫 [名長蔵、濱田人也、時未(時來)于備、寓于小原街]
口碑之説而増補於斯。蓋爲使 有志之人 竹島地理亦識焉而耳矣。
There is an island called Takeshima about forty ri to the north of the west island of Oki Province’s Matsushima (隠岐國松島ノ西島). (West Island is part of Matsushima and is called “Next Island” by the locals.) The island borders on Japan and is next to Korea.
They say that it is about forty ri by sea from Takeshima to Korea. This is based on the story of an old man who in 1724, the 9th year of Kyoho (亨保), testified that he had previously traveled to the island several times. When asked he said, “The distance from the village of Mitsuyanagi (三柳) of Hamanome (濱野目) in Aimi County (會見郡) of Houki Province (伯州) to Oki’s Dogo Island (隠岐ノ後島) is between 35 and 36 ri. Using this distance one can guess the distance from Takeshima to the mountains of Korea to be about 40 ri since it seems a bit farther. I suspect that “mountains of Korea” was referring to the mountains of Ulleungdo. The island is triangular in shape and has a circumference of about 15 ri. (It says 15 ri, but that is a rough measurement.)
According to the oarsman (from Iwami), the length from east to west is longer than the length from north to south. Also, there is so much bamboo and so many trees that there are many places that are difficult to enter very far.
There are many products on this strange island. Near the southeast corner of the island is a place everyone calls Old Port Osaka (古大坂浦), where there is a large bamboo grove with bamboo as large as 2 feet in circumference. To the west of this port is Port Hamada (濱田浦). In between there are two small streams. The source is a waterfall (taki) in the mountains that flows out and joining a river to the east before splitting into three streams that flow into the sea. Among these three streams the middle one is said to have many "sweet fish" (ayu). (The Chinese for ayu is 香魚.)
Also, a little to the west of Port Hamada (濱田浦) is Port Take (竹浦), which is a convenient place to moor boats. However, when the southern wind is servere, it is hard to keep ships tied, so most people house their boats on shore. To the west of this port is a large river that flows into the sea. To the west of the river is a small stream that flows into the river. To the west of that is an island, the name of which I still do not know. To the west of the island is a small stream which seems to be a source of the river to the east instead of a waterfall in the mountains.
To the west of the small stream is Port Northland (北国浦), and a little north of there is Port Willow (柳浦). A little north of Port Willow (柳浦) is another stream, which is fed by a small stream to the east, increasing its size.
隠岐國松島ノ西島(松島ノ一小屬ナリ島土俗呼テ次島ト做ス)ヨリ海上道規凡四十里許リ北方ニ一島アリ名テ竹島ト曰フ 此ノ島日本ニ接シ朝鮮 (竹島ヨリ朝鮮ヘ海上道規四十里許ト云此說ハ享保九年昔屢島セル一老叟ニ詰問セラレト其答伯州會見郡濱野目三柳村ヨリ隱岐ノ後島ヘ三十五六里アリ是遠見ノ考ヲ以テ竹島ヨリ朝鮮山ヲ見ハ少ク遠ク見エルハ凡四十里許カト云リ謙按ニ那朝鮮ト山ルハ恐ハ朝鮮ノ鬱陵山ナラン)ニ隣シ地形三角ニシテ周囲凡ソ十五里許リ (是十五里卜云モ只其大概ヲ云丿ミ)
The northern bank of this stream connects to a field of reeds. Far to the east of there is an area called Port Osaka (大坂浦).
Also, in the center of the island, in the mountains a little to the east of the waterfall, there is a spring with clear water that tastes sweet. It is said that it produces about two 升 per day. I suspect it is a similar to so-called "sugar-sweetened water" (甘露水).
"It is about 140 ri by ship from Yonago in Houki Province (伯州米子) to Takeshima. You can sail from Yonago to Izumo (出雲) and then on past Oki’s Matsushima (隠岐丿松島) to reach Takeshima. However, it is said that it is about 60 ri by ship from Oki’s Fukushima (福島), also called Fukuura (福浦), to Matsushima, and then about 40 ri from Matsushima to Takeshima. Moreover, it is about 40 ri from Takeshima on to Korea."
The above account was the response from Yonago residents Kyuemon Oya (大谷九右衛) and Ichibee Murakawa (村川市兵衛) to a 1724 inquiry from the Shogunate."
伯州米子ヨリ竹島マテ海上道規百六十里許アリ 米子ヨリ出雲ヘ出隠岐ノ松島ヲ歴テ竹島ニ至ルナリ 但隠岐ノ福島ヨリ松島マテ海上道規六十里許松島ヨリ竹島マテ四十里許ト云也以上ノ諸説ハ享保九申辰年官府江府ノ叩問ニ依テ米子ノ市人大谷九右衛門村川市兵衛カ貴答ノ上書ニ原ケリ.
People call this island Takeshima, which is 70 ri from Oki Province. It's circumference is about 16 ri. It has many streams.
自隱岐國七十里而有此嶋俗号竹島是也 嶌之廽リ大槩十六里 百大河
Japanese know that Takeshima is located in the sea north of Oki Province. A fisherman from Houki Province (伯耆州) first started fishing there. This island is very near Korea, but previously Koreans did not know of the island. About 3 ri north of this island is another island where there are a great many superior quality abalone. Therefore, it is said that Koreans are sent to the island once every 3 to 5 years to harvest the abalone. At one time Koreans did not know of Takeshima, but in the spring of 1692, they drifted to the island and learned of it for the first time.
This story is accurate since it was given as testimony by Houki Province fishermen and others at hearing in April 1693.
This is a summary of the island's products: Grasses, trees, sand, and rocks
.... 1. We set sail from Yonago (米子) on February 11 in the 5th year of Genroku (1692) and arrived at Port Fuku (隠岐國 福浦) in Oki Province on the last day of the month. We set sail from Port Fuku on March 24 and landed at Takeshima’s Ika Island (竹島ノイカ島) at about 8 o’clock in the morning on the 26th. We noticed that someone had been fishing there. We had never seen this before.
On the morning of the 27th, on our way to the island’s Port Hamada (濱田浦), we saw two foreign ships. One was anchored and the other was floating. We saw about thirty foreigners on the floating vessel, which was about 8 to 9 ken (間) from us as we passed and turned toward Port Osaka (大坂浦). One man was on shore. He boarded a small boat and came to the side of our ship.
When we asked, he answered he came from the Korean village of “Kawaten” (カワテレカワラ). He spoke our language well as if he was an interpreter. Then when we demanded to know why they were harvesting the abalone, he said, “We did not originally plan to harvest abalone on this island. There is an island to the north of here where there is lots of good quality abalone. We travel to that island once every three years by the order of the Korean king. This year we were again headed for that island, but met an ill wind that caused us to drift here."
Then we said, "This is Takeshima, and Japanese have been coming here to harvest abalone since long ago, so you must quickly leave." He said the storm they met had completely destroyed their ship and that they would leave as soon as they repaired it, but they did not seem to be in a hurry to leave.
When we we arrived, we first checked the hut we had previously built. (We kept boats, fishing gear, and other equipment there.)
We found that eight boats were missing. We asked the interpreter about this. He said that they had been sent to the other inlets. Furthermore, we very much wanted to go ashore, but there were so many in their group and so few in ours that we did not dare to try it.
Therefore, we departed Takeshima at 7 o'clock in the evening of March 21. However, we gathered some shewered abalone, a Korean hat, a fermented soybean cake, and some miso noodles as evidence we had traveled to the island. On April 1st, we arrived at Hamada (濱田 in Iwami (石州), stopped by Kumotsu (雲津) in Izumo (雲州), and returned to Yonago (米子) in Hoki Province (伯州) at 7 o'clock on the 5th day of the same month.
In the last part of February in the 6th year of Genroku (1693), we again set sail from Yonago and arrived at Takeshima without incident on April 17. However, just like the year before, a group of Koreans had arrived and were fishing at will, hindering us, occasionally using rude language, and being disruptive.
We had no choice but to take their leader and two or three of his companions on board our ship. We set sail from Takeshima on the 18th of April and returned on the 28th of the same month to Yonago, where we explained the situation to lord of Hoki Province.
Years before, while Matsudaira Shintaro (松平新太郎) reigned Inshu and Hakushu (因伯両州), Ichibee Murakawa (村川市兵衛) and Oya Jinkichi (大谷甚吉), merchants from Yonago in Hakushu, went to Takeshima (Ulleungdo) to fish and continue to do so today. We have heard that the Shogun (Tokugawa Tsunayoshi) now prohibits voyages to Takeshima. His intention must be kept in mind. We humbly convey this to you.
28 January 1696
Tsuchiya Masanao, Lord of Sagami (土屋政直相模守)
Toda Tadamasa, Lord of Yamashiro (戸田忠昌山城守)
Abe Masatake, Lord of Bungo (阿部正武豊後守)
Okubo Tadatomo, Lord of Kaga (大久保忠朝加賀守)
Matsudaira Suketoshi, Lord of Hoki (松平資俊伯耆守)