Today I noticed that Mr. Tanaka has added very high-quality scans to his Web site of Inspector Lee Gyu-won's 1882 Ulleungdo Inspection Report. Among the scans of the report, I have a question about one character in the section shown below.
What is the first character within the red box in the scan? I ask because Mr. Tanaka seems to have left that character out of his transcription of the document. Mr. Tanaka simply wrote the following: 松竹于山等島.
Is the character a mistake? Is the right half of the character circled to show that he made a mistake? Or could it be a slight variation of 松? What if Inspector Lee had wanted to write 松松竹于山等島, but wanted a way to separate the first 松 from 松竹? Is there a way of doing that without using periods or commons?
If the character is not a mistake, I suspect Inspector Lee meant 松島, 松竹島, and 于山島 with his expression. The Koreans translated 松竹于山等島 as 松島, 竹島, and 于山島, but we know Inspector Lee did not mean to write 竹島 because here he was listing the names of the islands he could not find. We know he found 竹島 because it was on his map, so here he meant to write 松竹島, not 松島 and 竹島.
Remember that before Mr. Lee's inspection, King Kojong had said Songjukdo (松竹島) and Usando (于山島) were next to Ulleungdo. Inspector Lee responded by saying that Usando was just another name for Ulleungdo and that Songjukdo (松竹島) was a small island between 3 to 10 ri offshore of Ulleungdo. The King responded by saying “Both Usando and Songjukdo (敎曰 或稱芋山島 或稱松竹島) are written in the Yeojiseungram (輿地勝覽)," and that although the names 松島 and 竹島 are also used, there were three islands that made up Ulleungdo. You can read the full conversation HERE.
Therefore, during his inspection of Ulleungdo, Mr. Lee would have been looking for islands named 松島, 竹島, 松竹島, and 于山島. Lee found Jukdo (竹島), but he did not find the other three. The Koreans the Inspector found on Ulleungdo all said they had heard of a small island named "Songjukdo" (松竹島) and/or "Usando" (于山島), but they did not know where it was, and Inspector Lee said he could not see any other neighboring islands in the area.
So, again my question is, "What is the first character in the red box below?"