The record is interesting for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it mentions a place called "Gajido" (可支島 - Sea Lion Island). Korea claims that Gajido was an old Korean name for "Dokdo" (Liancourt Rocks), but has no documents or maps to back up that claim. In fact, the Gajido in this report could not have been Liancourt Rocks since right after mentioning Gajido, the report said the inspection team traveled ten ri (4 kilometers) up a valley from the beach. There are no such valleys on Liancourts Rocks. In fact, the largest of the two islets that make up Liancourt Rocks is only about 300 meters long on average. Also, since Gajido was mentioned in this survey report of Ulleungdo, it seems almost certain that it was just a neighboring islet or rock of Ulleungdo, not Liancourt Rocks.
There is a rock off the southern tip of Ulleungdo today that is called "Gajae Bawui" (Sea Lion Rock), so it is possible that was the Gajido referred to in the report, but it is also possible that Gajido was off the north shore of Ulleungdo since after surveying the Gajido area they went to other areas on the northern shore. Still, it is unclear which of Ulleungdo's neighboring islets was Gajido, but it almost certainly was not "Dokdo" (Liancourt Rocks).
The other thing that is interesting about the report is that it mentions three other islands: "Bangpaedo" (防牌島), "Jukdo" (竹島), and "Ongdo" (瓮島). Bangpaedo was described as being to the north of Jeojeon-dong 楮田洞), Ongdo to the east, and Jukdo in the middle. It is not really clear where these three islands were because they were described as being within 100 paces of each other; however, there is an island about 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo's east shore called "Jukdo," and there is evidence that Ulleungdo's Gwaneumdo (觀音島) was once called "Bangpaedo" (防牌島). "Ongdo" (瓮島) is never mentioned in any other Ulleungdo inspection reports, so its location is unknown. By the way, the pure Korean word for "Ongdo" (瓮島) is "Dokseom," which means "Pot Island."
Gangwondo Governor Sim jin-hyeon Reports to the King
Since it is the practice to alternately designate a commander to inspect Ulleungdo once every two years, I have assigned Wolsong Commander (越松萬戶) Han Chang-guk (韓昌國) as the inspector. According to the Wolsong commander's written report, “On April 21st, we fortunately got a favorable wind, so we divided up and loaded food and provisions among four ships and set sail on the same day at between 1 and 3 p.m. (未時) with Japanese Interpreter Lee Bok-sang (李福祥) and eighty men under my command, including various ranks of civil servants and assistants.”
“In the middle of the sea, at between 5 and 7 p.m., we got a sudden wind from the north and heavy fog rolled in from all directions. We got rain and lightning. The four started out together were scattered, and we did not know which direction we were headed. The commander regained his wits, put on his military uniform, prayed to the sea god, and scattered food in the water to feed him. Then he ordered the sailors to hold up torches and call out to the other ships. Two ships held up torches and answered the call, but there was no sign of firelight from one ship.”
“Between 3 and 5 a.m. on the 22nd, the violent waves gradually lessened, and we could see the sails of two ships in the distance coming south. Then the assistants pointing toward the east said, 'That thing over there in the fog that looks like a threatening cloud is probably one of the island's high peaks.' When the commander looked carefully, it was, indeed, the shape of an island.”
“The commander, himself, beat the drum and urged the sailors on. We soon anchored at the Hwangto-gumi landing (黃土丘尾津) and went up the mountain to look around. It was about thirty ri from the valley to the central peak over a series of overlapping ridges. The waters from the valley came together to form a stream, and inside (the valley) is land for about sixty seom of paddies. The valley was narrow, and has a waterfall. The Hwangto-gumi Cave (黃土丘尾窟) was on the left and Byeongpung Rock (屛風石) was on the right. Up above was Hyangmok Pavilion (香木亭). The juniper trees (香木) there were scare because they had previously been cut every other year.”
“On the 24th, we arrived at Tong-gumi landing (桶丘尾津). The valley was shaped just like a wooden barrel. There was a rock in front about fifty paces offshore. It was tens of gil high. There were cliffs on all sides. There were rocks piled up at the valley entrance. We climbed with difficulty up the valley. The peaks were high the valley was deep. The trees reached to the sky, and the weeds were thick.”
“On the 25th, we arrived at the valley entrance of the Port of Jangjakji (長斫地浦). As expected, we found a bamboo grove, but the bamboo was both sparse and short. After we cut down some of the bigger bamboo, we headed southeast to Jeojeondong (楮田洞). Between the tens of ri from the valley entrance to the central peak, there were three areas wide enough for tens of seom of farmland. Also, there were three islands in front. The one to the north was called "Bangpaedo" (防牌島), the one in the middle "Jukdo," and the one to the east "Ongdo" (瓮島). The distance between the islands was only about 100 paces, and the circumference of each was tens of pa (把). It was difficult to climb up and look because the rocks were steep and very towering. We slept there.
On the 26th, we changed direction (reversed course) and went to Gajido (可支島), where we surprised four or five sea lions that dashed out. They looked like water cows. Our riflemen all fired at once and got two of them. The geographical features of the cove landing (丘尾津) was the strangest thing. We went about ten ri into the valley, where we found the remains of what were clearly ancient dwellings. On both sides, the valley was deep difficult to climb up.
Next we looked around several places, including Jukam (竹巖), Hupoam (帿布巖), Gongam (孔巖), and Chusan (錐山). Then we went to Tonggumi (通邱尾) and made offerings to the mountain and sea (gods). We stayed there and waited for the wind.”
“Generally speaking, the circumference of the island is seventy to eighty ri from north to south and fifty to sixty ri from east to west. All four sides are stratified rock cliffs. There are remains of ancient dwelling in various places in the valleys around the island. Land suitable for rice paddies and fields total in the hundreds of "seom." Trees on the island included juniper, Korean nut pine, amur cork, old pine, mulberry, and hazel. The main species of plants are dropwort, mallow, mugwort, ramie, and paper mulberry. In addition, there are strange trees and grasses that were difficult to record because their names were unknown. Birds on the island included wild geese, hawks, seagulls, and white herons. Furry animals were cats and rats. Sea products were only brown seaweed and abalone.”
“On the 30th, we boarded our ship and set sail. On the 8th of the new month, we returned to our home base. The products from the island were two seal skins, three trunks of common Korean bamboo, two blocks of rosewood incense, five doi of red ocher, and one map, which were all packaged and sealed and given to our superiors.”
I send this together with the products to the Bibyeonsa (備邊司).
鬱陵島搜討, 間二年, 使邊將輪回擧行, 已有定式, 故搜討官越松萬戶韓昌國處, 發關分付矣。 該萬戶牒呈: “四月二十一日, 幸得順風, 糧饌雜物分, 載四隻船, 與倭學李福祥及上下員役、格軍八十名, 同日未時量, 到于大洋中, 則酉時, 北風猝起, 雲霧四塞, 驟雨霹靂, 一時齊發, 四船各自分散, 莫知所向。 萬戶收拾精神, 戎服禱海, 多散糧米, 以餽海神後, 使格軍輩, 擧火應之, 則二隻船擧火而應, 一隻船漠然無火矣。 二十二日寅時, 怒濤漸息, 只見遠海之中, 二隻船帆自南而來。 格軍輩擧手指東曰: ‘彼雲霧中隱隱如雲者, 疑是島中上峰也。’ 萬戶詳細遠望, 則果是島形也。 親自擊, 激勵格軍, 卽爲到泊於島之西面黃土丘尾津。 登山看審, 則自谷至中峰三十餘里, 而山形重疊, 谷水成川, 其中有可作水田六十餘石下種之地。 谷則狹窄, 有瀑布, 而左爲黃土丘尾窟, 右爲屛風石。 其上又有香木亭, 故斫取香木, 而以間年斫取之故, 漸就稀少。 二十四日到桶丘尾津, 則谷形如桶, 前有一巖在海中, 與島相距可爲五十步, 而高近數十丈, 周回皆是絶壁。 谷口巖石層層, 僅僅攀登而見之, 則山高谷深, 樹木參天, 雜草茂密, 通涉無路。 二十五日到長作地浦, 谷口果有竹田, 非但稀踈, 擧皆體小。 其中擇其稍大者斫取後, 仍向東南楮田洞, 則自洞口至中峰爲數十里許, 而洞裏廣闊基址, 顯有三處, 可作水田數十石下種之地。 前有三島, 在北曰防牌島, 在中曰竹島, 在東曰瓮島。 三島相距, 不過百餘步, 島之周回, 各爲數十把, 險巖嵂, 難以登覽, 仍爲止宿。 二十六日轉向可支島, 四五箇可支魚, 驚駭躍出, 形若水牛。 砲手齊放, 捉得二首, 而丘尾津山形, 最爲奇異, 入谷數里, 則昔日人家遺址, 宛然尙存。 左右山谷, 甚爲幽深, 難於登陟。 仍遍看竹巖、帿布巖、孔巖、錐山等諸處, 行到桶丘尾, 禱山祭海, 待風留住。 蓋島周回, 摠爲論之, 則南北七八十里許, 東西五六十里許。 環海則皆是層巖絶壁, 四方山谷, 則間有昔日人居之土址, 而田土可墾處, 合爲數百石下種之地。 樹木則香、栢、蘗、檜、桑、榛, 雜草則靑芹、葵、艾、苧、楮。 其餘異樹奇草, 不知名, 難以盡記。 羽蟲則雁、鷹、鷗、鷺, 毛蟲則貓、鼠, 海産則藿、鰒而已。 三十日發船, 初八日還鎭。 島中所産可支魚皮二令、篁竹三箇、紫檀香二吐莫、石間朱五升、圖形一本, 監封上使” 云。 幷上送于備邊司