Planned Wadal Village (臥達里) Rest Stop

The photo below is of the planned Wadal Village Rest Stop on Ulleungdo. It seems that before long you will not be able to walk or hike anywhere on the island without hearing and seeing cars and buses, especially along the shoreline. Koreans seem to be turning a quiet, beautiful island into another noisy, concrete tourist trap seen only from the window of a noisy Korean tour bus.

Planned Wadal Village Rest Stop

Koreans are now building a road from Seom-mok (섬목) to Naesu-jeon (내수전) that will complete a 44.2 kilometer perimeter road around the island, a project begun in 1963. You can read the Korean article HERE.

The dotted red lines on the map show where the new road is being built.

Road near Sucheung Bridge (水層橋 - 수층교)


Late 18th C. Korean Map of Gangwon Province & Ulleungdo

I cannot remember if we posted this map or not. It is stored in the Hyejeong Museum (혜정박물관) at Kyung Hee University (경희대학교). I would guess we did post it.

Where was “Wadal Ungtong Cove” (臥達雄通邱尾) in 1882?

Could the “Wadal Ungtong Cove” (臥達雄通邱尾) described in Ulleungdo Inspector Lee Gyu-won's 1882 diary entry have been the gap between Gwaneumdo and the main island instead of where Wadal Village (臥達里) is today? Could the rock sticking out from the main island have been considered a part of Gwaneumdo, which would explain why it was described as "a harbor inside the island"? Did the name 通邱尾 (통구미) describe a kind of cove that could be passed through since  通邱尾 literally means "a passing-through cove"? Or maybe the cove was where they built the 6-story tower leading up to the rock that crosses over to Gwaneumdo, as can be seen in the second and third pictures?

Read the description of the cove from Inspector Lee's 1882 report, and then consider the two picture below it. I got the first picture from the video below at about the 2-minute mark. It is quite an interesting video.

After describing Ulleundo's two neighboring islands, “Dohang” (島項) and  “Jukdo" (竹島也), Ulleungdo Inspector Lee then wrote the following:
Inside them is a harbor named (其内浦名) “Wadal Ungtong Cove” (臥達雄通邱尾), but the current is very strong (而水勢太強), so a ship would have difficulty entering (船路難進). Even on a day with no wind or waves (雖無風無波之日), the rocking of the ship (船之搖動) is like that of a lightly drifting gourd dipper (如瓢子輕漂之像). It is a place one must be extremely careful (極其操心處也). Therefore, I carefully look left and right at the stone walls (仍察左右石壁), which are layers of large and small rocks (大小層巌). They look strange and dangerous (則形容危険奇恠). The tempo of the tide going in and out (潮汐進退緩急) is sometimes like the sound of a beating drum, and sometimes like the sound of a ringing gong (箇中自有鼓鼓然錚錚然).  It is the tempo of music (音楽之節奏矣).

By the way, while watching the video, consider where "Ship Plank Cove” (船板邱尾) might have been. Remember! It was a cove with a long valley behind it where there were traces of trees being dragged.


1882, 9th Day of 5th Lunar Month -- Lee Gyu-won (李奎遠) Sails Around Ulleungdo

In 1882 on the 30th day of the 4th lunar month, Ulleungdo Inspector Lee Gyu-won (李奎遠) arrives on the Korean island of Ulleungdo and stays until the 11th of the 5th lunar month inspecting and surveying the island. On the 9th day, Inspector Lee and his crew board a small boat at Little Hwangto Cove (小黃土邱尾) and begin to circle Ulleungdo in a clockwise direction with the intent of going to the east side of the island. Inspector Lee describes the trip in the diary entry below.

There are a few inconsistencies between the diary entry and Inspector Lee's map. The first is that Inspector Lee wrote that they reached Hyangmok Cove (香木邱尾) before reaching Big Hwangto Cove (大黄土邱尾), but going in the direction they were going, they should have reached Big Hwangto Cove before reaching Hyangmok Cove, according to Inspector Lee's map. Another inconsistency is that the diary entry mentions "Jukam" (竹岩), but the map does not show it.

There are also a couple of confusing things about the diary entry. One is that it says there are two islands, and it gives two names, "Dohang” (島項) and “Jukdo" (竹島也), but it gives only one set of measurements, without specifying if it is for just one island or both islands.

Another confusing thing is the location of Wadal Ungdong Cove (臥達雄通邱尾). First, the map does not show a beach for the cove, so we cannot be sure if it was on the shore of the main island or somewhere else. Second, the map shows the cove between "Seokganju Cave" (名石間朱穴) and "Ship Plank Cove” (船板邱尾), both of which the diary describes as being north of "Dohang" (島項) and "Jukdo" (竹島), but modern-day Wadal Village (臥達里) is south of Gwaneumdo (觀音島), the island Inspector Lee seemed to label as "Dohang" on his map. Third, the report also describes Wadal Ungdong Cove as being a harbor inside one or both of the two neighboring islands (其内浦). Finally, the report describes it as a place you go into with stone walls on the left and right. It also says that when the current goes in and out of the cove, it makes sounds like the musical tempo of drums and gongs. That seems to be describing reverberations inside some kind of enclosed space, possibly a cave.

I also have one opinion on the description in the diary of the "rock that floats upright" (一石浮立) and "looks like a Bodhisattva" (形如弥勒佛). I think it was describing a rock in the water whose base had been eroded by the sea water, leaving a kind of mushroom-head shaped rock that is especially noticeable at low tide. Such a rock might look as if it were floating on the water. As for it looking like a Bodhisattva, Inspector Lee seemed to have been thinking of a painting or statue of a Bodhisattva levitating, meaning he was floating in the air slightly off the ground.

I will stop with my comments here and let people judge for themselves. Here is Inspector Lee's diary entry for the 9th day of the 5th Lunar Month in 1882

The following is Inspector Lee's diary entry of the trip made that day.
The 9th (初九日)

On the 9th (甲午) there is a red sunrise (朝霞), but the day is clear (午晴). We hold our morning religious service (晨朝) and pray to the Mountain God (山祭祈祷). Sea cloud cover is thin (海雲薄掩). The mountain mist (山嵐) is damp (漏濕). After breakfast (朝飯後), we board a boat (乗船) and depart (離發). We row (以櫓力) out past (越) the first shallow (一湫) breakers (水宗). Then we head east (次向東) and go about 10 ri (而行十餘里) to reach (至) Hyangmok Cove (香木邱尾), but even though it is called a harbor (則名雖謂浦), the wind and waves (風波) pound us (衝突). As for the shape of the rocks facing the sea (臨海岩形) many are strange (多有奇恠). Most of the red sandalwood trees are among them (其中紫丹香木最多).
Northwest Corner of Inspecter Lee's 1882 Map
We still row (仍以櫓力) gradually forward (次次前進) and reach a harbor (至一浦). The harbor (此浦) is Big Hwangto Cove, the very harbor at which we spent the night the day before we went into the mountains (卽前日山行時一宿大黄土邱尾也). Since there is no need to cover old ground (今不必疊床), we immediately launch the boat (而卽爲放船) and go quite a few ri (行幾許里) to reach (到) Daepung Harbor (待風浦). The shape of the harbor (浦形) and that of (亦與) Hyangmok Harbor (香木浦) are roughly the same (略同矣). The name “Daepung” (待風之稱) comes from (由於) using it to wait for fair winds (以待順風), but as a nickname (而稱名), this is actually an inappropriate name (此實不符之名也). The strangeness of the rocks on the shoreline (浦邊岩石之奇), the luxuriantly dense growth of valuable wood (珍恠之材鬱密), the difficult, mountainous paths (崎路之難行)--though I write, I cannot record it all (書不可盡記). Therefore, we launch the ship (仍爲放船) and row (以櫓力) down past (進下経) Hyeonjakji (玄斫支) to reach (到) the Japanese Ship Landing (倭船艙). These ports are the same ones we already passed by and had lunch at the day we entered Nari-dong (則此等浦 卽前日入于羅里洞時 所経中火之處也), so, of course, it would be wrong to again record them (亦不可更録矣). Therefore, we launch the boat and gradually move on (仍爲放船漸下).
Next to there is a peak (其傍有一峯). Its height is several thousand jang (高爲数千丈). It is shaped like the edge of garlic (形如蒜稜), so it is called “Garlic Peak” (名日蒜峯). A few ri farther (其下幾里許) there is “Dae Rock.” (有大岩). Its height is several thousand jang (高爲数千丈), and it is so towering it is an amazing sight. (而屹立亦一奇観也). On the foothills behind it (其後山麓) there is a big stream (有大川). In the interior (其内), several ranges of peaks overlap (峯巒数疊) to form a screen (爲屏), and beneath them (而其下) there again is a waterfall (又有瀑布一線), streaming layer after layer down to the sea (層層落海者), which, of course, is a grand sight (亦一壯観也). The shape of the mountain below that (其下山形) is a tall wall of layered rock (石壁層峻). In the water offshore is Jukam (其洋中有竹岩). The name alone implies (名色只) it is overgrown with bamboo (有竹叢生). Its height is several hundred jang (高爲数百丈), and its base is steep and bare (而山麓嵂屼).

North Shore of Inspector Lee's 1882 Map
Also there is a large, unnamed rock (又有無名大岩). Its height is dozens of jang (高爲数十丈). There is also a wide, flat, level rock (又有廣平盤石) that can hold dozens of people (可容数十人). Below that, at the foot of the mountain (其下山足), there are two standing rocks aligned east and west (有東西雙立岩石). As for the eastern rock (東岩則), it has one trunk (一根) and two heads (両頭). Its height is several hundred jang (高爲数百丈). As for the western rock (西岩則), it appears threatening (形容険悪). Its height is close to 1,000 jang (高爲近千丈). They appear like two brothers standing together (形如兄弟雙立). Next to them is also a lofty rock standing straight up (其傍又矗石直立) several hundred jang (数百丈). It is called (名曰) Choktae Rock (燭台岩也). Beside that is another rock floating upright (其傍又有一石浮立). It looks like a Bodhisattva (形如弥勒佛), and at the shore is a rock cave (而其海邊有石穴) that is reddish purple (色紫) with lightly dripping sea water (海水細滴). It is called "Seokganju Cave" (名石間朱穴), but it is not red orcher (而不是爲石朱也). Beyond that is a small harbor called (其下有一小浦名曰) “Ship Plank Cove” (船板邱尾), where there are traces of temporary shelters (而有結幕痕). Behind that is (其後有) a long valley with traces of trees being dragged (長谷曳木之痕矣).
In the sea on the south side are two small islands (南便洋中有二小島). They look like cows lying down (形如臥牛), but one is turned to the right (而一爲右旋) and one is turned to the left (一爲左旋). Each, on one side (各其一便則), has groves of young bamboo (稚竹有叢), and, on the other side (一便則), weeds worthlessly grow (卉雑腐生). The height is several hundred jang (高爲数百丈). The width is several * of land (廣爲数●之地). The length is five- or six-hundred paces (長爲五六百歩). People call it (人云) “Dohang” (島項) and they also call it (亦云) “Jukdo (竹島也). The circumference is about 10 ri (周可十里許). It is too dangerous to climb (危険不可攀登).  
Inside is a harbor named (其内浦名) “Wadal Ungtong Cove” (臥達雄通邱尾), but the current is very strong (而水勢太強), so a ship would have difficulty entering (船路難進). Even on a day with no wind or waves (雖無風無波之日), the rocking of the boat (船之搖動) is like that of a lightly drifting gourd dipper (如瓢子輕漂之像). It is a place one must be extremely careful (極其操心處也). Therefore, I carefully look left and right at the stone walls (仍察左右石壁), which are layers of large and small rocks (大小層巌). They look strange and dangerous (則形容危険奇恠). The tempo of the tide going in and out (潮汐進退緩急) is sometimes like the sound of a beating drum, and sometimes like the sound of a ringing gong (箇中自有鼓鼓然錚錚然).  It is the tempo of music (音楽之節奏矣).
Northeast Corner of Inspector Lee's 1882 Map
We board the ship and go down (乗船而下). The cliffs wind like those of Hangju’s Mount Seok-jong (宛如杭州石鐘山絶壁也). The shores of the harbors to which we sailed today (此日周回之各浦沿邊) had nine caves where fur seals and sea lions bear and raise their young (有九窟海狗水牛之産育處). The coastal people who come to the island to build ships (而入島造船之海民) use nets and guns to capture them to eat their meat (以網以銃捕捉食肉矣).
The sun is already setting (日已当暮), so we want to stop and sleep (仍欲止宿), but there is no place we can stop (則無處可留). Moreover, we want to gradually continue forward (更欲漸進), but the sea route is unknown (則水路未詳), so unavoidably we turn around (故不得還) and head to Jukam (向竹巌), where we disembark (而下陸), set up camp (結幕), and spend the night (留宿).


Ongdo (옹도), Janggundo (장군도), & Dokdo (독도) all mean "Jar Island"

General Rock (將軍巖 - 장군암),
1882 Korean map
Ongdo (瓮島 - 옹도), Janggun Rock (將軍巖 - 장군암), and Dokdo (독도 ) can all refer to the same rock off the east shore of Ulleungdo.
In his 1794 Ulleungdo inspection report, Han Chang-guk (韓昌國 - 한창국) wrote the following to describe the view from near Ulleungdo's Jeojeondong (楮田洞 - 저전동), which is on the east shore of Ulleungdo and was most likely the port town of Jeodong (苧洞 - 저동):
There were three islands in front (前有三島). The one to the north was called  (在北曰) "Bangpaedo" (防牌島). The one in the middle was called (在中曰) "Jukdo" (竹島). And the one to the east was called (在東曰瓮) "Ongdo" (瓮島). The distance between the three islands (三島相距) was only about 100 paces (不過百餘步), and the circumference of each was tens of pa (島之周回, 各爲數十把). They were so steep and towering (險巖嵂, it was difficult to climb up and look (難以登覽, so we stopped and slept (仍爲止宿).
Though the distances and some of the measurements of the islands in the report make no sense, the islands line up fairly well with either islands or rocks off the east shore of Ulleungdo. Bangpaedo" (防牌島 - 방패도) was most likely Gwaneumdo (觀音島 - 관음도), the northernmost island off the east shore of Ulleungdo. Jukdo (竹島) was almost certainly present-day Jukdo (竹島 - 죽도), which is southeast of Gwaneumdo. And Ongdo (瓮島 - 옹도) was most likely referring to Bukjeo Rock (北苧巖 - 북저암), which is the most prominent rock offshore of Jeodong (苧洞 - 저동).

Tourist Map of the Northeast Section of Ulleungdo, showing Kwaneumdo, Jukdo, and Bukjeo Rock

The Chinese character 瓮 (옹) in the name 瓮島 (옹도) means "jar" or "pot." The pure Korean word for "jar" can be either "독" or "장군." The Korean word for "chamber pot," for example, is 오줌 장군. Therefore, the island or rock referred to as 瓮島 (옹도) in the 1794 report on Ulleungdo could also be written as either "독도" or "장군도."

In 1882, Ulleungdo Inspector Lee Gyu-won (李奎遠 - 이규원) made a map of Ulleungdo. Among the rocks and islets he drew off the east shore of Ulleungdo, one was labeled "Janggun Rock" (將軍巖 - 장군암), which translates as "General Rock." However, the Sino-Korean word for "general" and the pure Korean word for "jar" are both pronounced "janggun" (장군). Since pure Korean words have no Chinese characters, Inspector Lee would have had to select Chinese characters to represent the sound for place names on Ulleungdo with pure Korean names.

When the poor Korean islanders on Ulleungdo told Inspector Lee that the name of the rock off the east shore of Ulleungdo was called "Janggun Rock" (장군암), they most likely did not mean "General Rock," but rather "Jar Rock," since that was the name given to one of the rocks in the 1794 inspection. Inspector Lee wrote the characters 將軍巖 (장군암) to represent the sound of the rock's name, not its meaning.

Portion of Inspector Lee Gyu-won's 1882 Map of Ulleungdo

In 1948, when the Korean men of the Patriotic Old Men's Assocition wrote to General MacArthur to claim "Docksum" (Dokdo) was Korean territory, they wrote the following:
Japan, however, never dismiss the fishering profit around the island "Ulneungdo," but planned to occupy a corner of it by some means and became to find out a small island called "Docksum" (Dokdo) in the Korean name, meaning a small pot-shaped island, near the Ulneungdo, where whales gathered.
You can read the full letter from the Patriotic Old Men's Association HERE.

As you can see, Koreans in 1948 believed the name "Dokdo" (독도) meant "Pot Island," not "Lonely Island (獨島 - 독도), which has the same pronunciation and is how Koreans write the name of the island today. They also believed the reason it was called "Dokdo" was that it was "pot-shaped," but anyone who has seen photos of Liancourt Rocks knows they are not shaped like a pot. Famed Korean historian Choi Nam-seon (崔南善) said the same thing in a 1950s newspaper article, explaining that the name "독섬" (독도 - Dok Island) meant "甕形小嶼" (옹형소서), which translates as "a small, pot-shaped island."

1950s Newspaper Article by Choi Nam Seon (崔南善)

The interesting thing about Choi Nam-seon is that in his 1948 book, "General Knowledge of the the Joseon Kingdom," he wrote that Korea's eastern-most island was Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島 - 죽도), not Japan's "Jukdo" (竹島 - 죽도), which is 92 kilometers away from Ulleungdo's Jukdo. To help ensure there was no mistaking it, Mr. Choi even wrote the longitude as 130° 56' 23" E, which is the same longitude  as Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo. Here is the quote from the book:
Adding Islands-- 
Most Eastern -- 130° 56' 23" E (Jukdo, Ulleungdo, North Gyeongsang Province) 
島嶼를 넣어서 
極東 --  東經 130° 56' 23" (慶尙北道 鬱陵島 竹島)


Ulleungdo had a neighboring islet just off its eastern shore named "Jar Island" or "Pot Island," which can be written as either Dokdo (독도), Janggundo (장군도), or Ongdo (옹도 - 瓮島), so it is true that Ulleungdo had a neighboring "Pot Island," but it was not Liancourt Rocks. It was one of the rocky islets just off the eastern shore of Ulleungdo, and really the only island off the eastern shore of Ulleungdo that looks like an overturned pot is Ulleungdo's Jukdo (竹島), which is only about 2 kilometers off Ulleungdo's eastern shore.


Question About Lee Gyu-won's 1882 Ulleungdo Inspection Report

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?"


1870 - "Travels of a Naturalist in Japan and Manchuria," by Arthur Adams, F.L.S.

In his 1870 book "Travels of a Naturalist in Japan and Manchuria," Arthur Adams not only gives a fairly detailed description of the plant and animal life on Dagelet (Ulleungdo), but he also said a wall of rock seemed to surround the island, except for "seven little sandy coves at which it is possible to land." That suggests the ship he was on did a pretty good survey of the island.

Also, Mr. Adams seemed surprised at how curious and uproarious the reddish brown "sea-bears" living in the waters around Ulleungdo were. "Sea-bear" was the name Europeans first gave to the fur seal.

Mr. Adams also wrote that they saw "three poor Koreans at work" repairing a dilapidated boat. He also said the Koreans had collected "great heaps of dried seals' flesh," so apparently the Koreans were harvesting a lot of seals on Ulleungdo back in 1870.

I think GTOMR posted the text from the book describing Ulleungdo in the comments section of a post, but I do not think we have ever posted about the book, so I am doing it now.

1899 July 6 - Ulleungdo Inspection Report by Acting Commissioner E. Laporte

The following report was submitted by Acting Commissioner E. Laporte of the Busan Custom-house to the Chief Commissioner of Korean Customs McLeavy Brown on 6 July 1899.

At the request of the Korean Government, Commissioner Brown had asked Mr. Laporte to go to Korea's Ulleung Island (鬱陵島 - 울릉도) and personally investigate the situation there. A copy of the report was confidentially provided to Mr. John Newell Jordan, who at the time was the  Chargé d'affaires of the British Legation in Seoul, Korea. This copy is apparently the copy given to Mr. Jordon or the copy Mr. Jordon sent to the British Prime Minister since this copy is now housed in The National Archives of the United Kingdom.

A 23 September 1899 article entitled "Ulleungdo Situation" (鬱陵島 事況) in the Korean newspaper Hwangseong Sinmun (皇城新聞 - 황성신문) was, at least, partially based on Mr. Laporte's report.

It is no surprise that this report says nothing about Liancourt Rocks ("Dokdo" - 獨島 - 독도), like all the other Ulleungdo inspection reports before it. This report was pretty much Korea's last gleam of hope for finding something to support her claim to "Dokdo," but is seems that last gleam of hope is now extinguished.

The first clipping below shows that Mr. Jordan transmitted on 24 July 1899 a copy of the report to the Marquess of Salisbury, who was the British Prime Minister at the time. The Prime Minister received it on 11 September 1899. The second, third, and forth clippings are the report itself.

Letter sent with a copy of the Laporte Ulleungdo Report to the British Prime Minister from the British Chargé d'affaires in Seoul

Page 1 of Laporte Report

Page 2 of Laporte Report

Page 3 of Laporte Report