1618 - Permission Given to the Oya and Murakawa Families

The following is a translation of a 1618 document sent to the feudal lord of Tottori Domain, giving the Oya and Murakawa families of the castle town of Yonago permission to make voyages to Takeshima (Ulleungdo). The permission was written by ministers of the Shogunate.
We have heard that a voyage was made from Yonago (米子) of Hoki Province  to Takeshima (Ulleungdo) in a previous year, which has led to a desire to go again. Concerning the application of Murakawa Ichibee and Oya Jinkichi of Yonago, we have spoken to the Shogun (Tokugawa Hidetada), and he listened to the request without seeming to have any objection and has granted their request. Therefore, I humbly convey this to you.

May 16 (1618)

Nagai Sinanonokami Naomasa
Inoue Kazuenokami Masatsugu
Doi Ohinokami Toshikatsu
Sakai Utanokami Tadayo
To Matsudaira Shintaro (Feudal lord of Tottori domain)
Link to the Japanese Version


  1. Pacifist,

    Thank you for the translation. I have made a few minor edits to the translation and would like to ask a couple of questions.

    First, I changed "Tottori county" to "Tottori domain" which is how it was translated in the Shimane Prefecture brochure.

    Also, was Matsudaira Shintaro the feudal lord of "Tottori domain" or of "Houki domain"? Wasn't Houki the old name Tottori prefecture, or at least the western part of the prefecture? If Houki was the old name for Tottori prefecture, then maybe we can write Houki with Tottori in parentheses, such as the following:

    Houki (Tottori) domain

    Also, does the Chinese character 殿 at the end of 松平新太郎殿 mean "feudal lord"?

    Finally, is there no original document or is this just what was reported in the 島取藩史? If it was just reported in the 島取藩史, then do you know the date of the 島取藩史? And how would you translate 島取藩史? What does 藩 mean in Japanese?

    Anyway, you must have read my mind because I was wanting a translation of that paragraph.


  2. Pacifist,

    By the way, when you make a post, there is a button with a quotation mark (") on it on the menu bar. If you have a quote in your post, you can highlight the quote and then press that button to show it as a quote in the post. It will show the quote as indented text, which helps separate it from the part of the post that is not a quote. I think it looks better than drawing lines to separate the explanation from the quote.

  3. Sorry. I had one more question.

    Concerning the part of your translation that is in parentheses, it is possible that the sentence might read as follows?

    "As I have explained to you, concerning the application by Ichibee Murakawa and Jinkichi Oya of Yonago to travel to Takeshima (Ulleungdo), as they had done in a previous year, there is no objection and you make grant the request."

  4. Gerry,

    Thanks, I will use the quotation mark next time.

    BTW, 殿 (dono) or 様 (sama) is used when you write to somebody and it means "Mr", Just like ゲリー殿 (Mr. Gerry).

    藩 (han) is a feudal clan, a county, or a feudal domain. It was a kind of country in those days.

    Tottori han(鳥取藩) was a large han including Inaba (Inab no kuni or Inshu) and Houki (Houki no kuni or Hakushu).

    The permission was from the Oya family's documents I think, although the same permission can be read in the 鳥取藩史 (history of Tottori han).

  5. Gerry,

    As for the last question, yes I think that is not wrong, I just translated as the original orders of sentences untouched as possible, but you may correct it to make it natural English.

  6. Gerry,

    Correction: the report was from one of the documents Shimane prefecture reported to Meiji government when the government asked details of "Takeshima and another one island" in 9th year of Meiji (1876).

  7. Thanks Pacifist.

    Do you have a link to Meiji document?

  8. pacifist,

    Good job!

    I am going to add those document to the J-document section and link to your post.

  9. Gerry,

    I found this document at 半月城's site (pro-Korean site), I will post some other documents found at the site later (after translating them).

    Also I found an interesting Meiji document at アジア歴史資料センター.

    It is a document in 1881 when Japan was asked by Korea to call back the Japanese in Ulleungdo. The document included a topic that the warship Amagi saw matsushima and measured the location of Matsushima. It located N 37 degree 48 min, E 130 degree 32 min. Is this Liancourt rocks?

  10. Pacifist,

    That Amagi document sounds interesting, but wasn't it the Amagi that determined that "Matsushima" was actually Ulleungdo? Did they mention a different set of coordinates for Ulleungdo?

    No, those coordinates do not sound like Liancourt Rocks. In fact, the 130.32 degree east longitude coordinate is very close the 130.35 degree longitude Korea's 1899 Daehanjiji said was Korea's eastern most boundary.

    I look forwary to seeing your translation of that document.

  11. Gerry,

    You are right.
    The document says that the first measurement I wrote above took place in 1878. It also says that Amagi re-visited the island called Matsushima in 1880 and found it was Ulleungdo and that there is another island called "Takeshima" but they got to know that it was only a small islet.
    Sorry Gerry, it was about the "Takeshima and another island" but this small islet may be almost certainly Jukdo, not Liancourt rocks.

  12. はじめて投稿させていただきます。




  13. Makoto様



  14. Makoto様





  15. pacifist さんへ




    その意味で私は昨年11月、韓国『中央日報』は「『国際機構に諮問し資料を検討、独島が適切と判断』…仏教科書出版社」と伝えた件を注目しています。 http://japanese.joins.com/article/article.php?aid=107261&servcode=A00&sectcode=A00


  16. Kaneganeseさんへ



  17. Makotoさん





  18. so... is Ulleungdo japanese land?

    what do you want to say? Gerry..

    you are squeezing out so hard.. from nothing..

    this is just permission.. even if it matters.. it's ulleungdo, not dokdo


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