1880 - Japanese Warship "Amagi" (軍艦天城) Surveys Ulleungdo and finds "Takeshima" is Jukdo.

In 1876, Mutoh Heigaku (武藤平学), a Japanese businesssman in Vladivostok, proposed to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the government allow him to develop the Japanese territory of Matsushima. See HERE"

Following this, many Japanese who believed there to be a Japanese island called "Matsushima" (松島) in the sea of Japan started sending numerous petitions to Minstry of Foreign Affairs between 1876 and 1878 asking that they be allowed to develop the island. Though Japanese in the Edo era had been clearly aware of the locations of Takeshima (竹島 = today's Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (松島 = today's Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks/Dokdo), the non-existent island on Western maps called "Argonaut" and the turmoil in the Japanese government following the fall of the Edo Shogunate caused confusion and debate on the names and locations of islands in the Sea of Japan between Japan and Korea. See HERE.

In order to resolve these questions, Foreign Minister Terajima Munenori (寺島宗則) finally ordered an on-site survey of Ulleungdo in 1880 (明治十三年) and dispatched the warship Amagi to the Ulleungdo area to clear up the name confusion concerning the islands in the region. The Amagi discovered that "Matsushima" (松島) was actually Ulleungdo and "Takeshima" (竹島) was a small island off the northern shore of Ulleungdo, which Koreans pronounce as Jukdo (竹嶼). The map made during the survey confirms that Takeshima was Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島).

Kitazawa Masanari (北澤正誠) wrote an account of this survey in the Takeshima Kosho (竹島考証 - "A Study of Takeshima"). In his account, he concluded that Matsushima was Ulleungdo and confirmed that both Ulleungdo and the island he called Takeshima, which was Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo, were not Japanese territory. Jukdo is about about two kilometers off Ulleungdo's east shore.

Here is what Kitazawa wrote about the 1880 Amagi survey.



In the above (items) 甲, 乙, 丙, and , there was so much argument about this and that that it was difficult to reach a decision. Even all the talk about conducting a survey had ended. In September 1880, when navy Ensign 三浦重郷 and others of the Warship Amagi returned to port, they said they reached "Matsushima (松島)", where they conducted a survey. The island was the so-called "Ulleungdo(鬱陵島)" of old, where they found a small island off the northern shore that someone said was called "Takeshima(竹島)", though it was not much bigger than a rock. In one morning, long-held suspicions and arguments were cleared up. Now, I present the following picture.

The following is the report and the map of Ulleungdo and Jukdo made during the Amagi survey. It was attached to Kitazawa's "Takeshima Kosho" and labelled as "No.24", which was the last number of the referenced documents in the book.







明治十三年九月十三日 水路局長海軍少將 柳楢悦


No. 24

Waterway Report No. 33

This report was submitted by navy Ensign Miura Shigesato (三浦重郷), who is a crewman of the Amagi.

Sea of Japan

At Matsushima, which Koreans call Ulleungdo, we found anchorage. Matsushima (Ulleungdo) is located about 140 ri northwest 3/4 of Oki Prefecture. It was unknown whether or not anchorage was available because no ship had done a precise survey of the area. However, our ship, Amagi, called at this place during our trip to Joseon (Korea) and found a place to anchor off the east shore of the island, as is shown on the map.

September 13, 1880
Navy Rear Admiral Yanagi Narayoshi
Director of the Bureau of Hydrography

After the above report, Kitazawa, the author of this compilation and MOFA official, wrote the final conclusion as follows:

"I finally came to understand the situation when I learned that "Matsushima" (松島) was Ulleungdo, and the other island, which was called Takeshima (竹島), was just a rock(一個の岩石)(竹嶼/Jukdo=Boussole rock). Thus, today's Matsushima is the island that was called "Takeshima" in 1699 (元禄十二年), and (they [= Ulleungdo and Jukdo] are) not historically Japanese territory."


Reference : Lies, Half-truths, & Dokdo Video, Part 5


  1. This is basically a re-write of Gerry's post on Occidentalism, but I added pacifist's translation and re-arranged it. I also corrected some very minor mistakes in the original.

    Anyone who find any mistakes, please let me know. Thanks.

  2. Usually this issue tend to be focused only map confusion between Takeshima/Argonaut and Matsushima/Daglet-Ulluengdo and Jukdo/Boussole rock.
    I realise there are other Geography confusion of the islands,It is Usando.

    Here there are Map list of by Japanese imperial Army/navy,other ministery, and related person.
    (I eleminate privator map because it is difficult to understand those govement people decide something from private publishers maps)

    Most of them displays that Takeshima is Argonaut and Matsushima is Dagelet-Ulluengdo especially 1860's, started from 1850's.
    And some Japanese map succeed orthodox recognization, Takeshima/Dagelet-Ulluegndo and Matsushima/Liancourt Rocks.
    This pattern is already minority aruond 1870s.

    One things is ,See the 磯竹島圖,there are another unknown island called Jukdo-Boussole Rock as 間の島Mano-shima.
    Other Japanese Map shows 間の島Manoshima as いが島Igashima. So they don't have confirmed clear name of it.

    Then, some Japnese maps before 1880, there are Korean peninsula map which draw Ulleungdo and Usando.
    Those Usando seems to be doubtful for them bcoz those located Southwest,west or east. So they may felt wonder the existence.
    Also, they knows Takeshima-Argonaut is not exist.
    So they may confuse Takeshima-Argonaut and Matsushima-Dagalet and unknown Usan.

    Anyway, see the list above and theose maps after 1880, those confusion was solved by the survey of Amagi, they confirmed Matsushima be Ulluengdo and Takeshima be Jukdo/Boussole rock.

    But..still there remains another question why they didn't inspect Liancourt Rocks they already knew the location, although they inspect Matsushima/Dagelet-Ulluengdo and Jukdo-Boussole Rock.
    (P/S if there are another Japanese imperial military/ ministery /and related maps till 1900, please let me know and I will add it)

  3. Anonymous22/5/08 12:46

    This survey was conducted on behalf of some Japanese officials who wrongfully asserted there may be another island in the East Sea. The Japanese Navy had long since known the truth and this survey as mentioned was merely to confirm "the long held suspicions" no other islands existed.

    From here we know 100% the Japanese did not consider Liancourt Rocks part of Japan. From this time on Japan continually omitted Dokdo from her territory until the Russo~Japanese War.

  4. Steve Barber,

    As usual, you are wrong.

    The 1880 survey confirmed that there were two islands being referred to as "Matsushima" (松島). One was Korea's Ulleungdo, and the other was Japan's Liancourt Rocks, which Watanabe Kouki (渡辺洪基) said was Japanese territory:

    The (mentioned) “Takeshima” is considered to be Chosun’s Ulleungdo, which the Shogunate ended up entrusting to them (Koreans) as a convenient quick fix, without considering future implications. Therefore, if the “Matsushima” being talked about here is Takeshima (Ulleungdo), then it belongs to them. If the Matsushima is not Takeshima, then it must belong to Japan. It is still inconclusive.

    After Japan cofirmed that Ulleungdo and Liancourt Rocks were both being called "Matsushima" (松島) in 1880, the Japanese decided to continue referring to Ulleungdo as "Matsushima," but changed the name of Liancourt Rocks to "Liancourt Rocks" to avoid any future confusion.

    As Mr. Watanabi's letter above shows, the Japanese considered Liancourt Rocks to be Japanese territory in the 1870s, even though the island was not officially incorporated into a Japanese prefecture until 1905. After Liancourt Rocks was incorporated into Japanese territory in 1905, the name of the island was changed to Takeshima (竹島), which was the old Japanese name for Ulleungdo.

    I think one of the reasons Japan decided to use "Matsushima" (松島) for Ulleungdo in 1880 was because, by that time, Ulleungdo already had a neighboring island named "Takeshima" (竹島), which was the old Japanese name for Ulleungdo.

  5. Anonymous22/5/08 23:39

    Gerry, how many times do I have to clear up your confused mind on the Watanabe Kuoki documents?

    Many Japanese maps continued to show Liancourt Rocks as Matsushima long after the survey by the Amagi. The Japanese Takeshima lobbyists are trying to tell us Japanese cartographers eliminated Dokdo and double mapped Ulleungdo but this is rubbish. The Japanese cartographers simply traced the 2 islands in more Westerly locations. We know this because the Western island is often labelled as "Takeshima 竹島 Ulleungdo 鬱陵島“

    Watanabe Kuoki state "foreign maps showed these Hornet Rocks" as Japanese territory. What he meant is British maps because they were the only nation that referred to Liancourt Rocks as "Hornet Rocks" He did not state Liancourt Rocks was Japanese land. As I've told you about three dozen times before Gerry, Watanabe Kuoki's opinion on the Matsushima issue was one of three views, it was not the majority opinion at all.

    Some other Japanese officials stated this Matsushima was Usando and attached to Chosun's Ulleungdo. They rightfully wanted the Japanese to stay out of the region. Other Japanese said survey the region first and see.

    The bottom line is the Japanese cleared up any doubt and did not incorporate Liancourt Rocks until a full quarter of a century later during the largest war of the day (Russo Japanese) Obviously Gerry, the Japanese never considered the islands historically as part of Japan before 1905. If you think so, please put your money where your mouth is. I've got about 70 maps that say you are full of it.

  6. Steve,

    Watanabe had a recognition that Ulleungdo was Korean land and it was the eastern limit of Korea, just like Korean People in those days believed. So if Matsushima was Ulleungdo and Takeshima was out of this Korean territory, he thought then the island belonged to Japan, which was a natural thought.

    At this point, he was not sure that Hornet rocks (Liancourt rocks) were the same as today's Takeshima/Dokdo but Hornet rocks positioned 92 km far east from Ulleungdo, so he thought it was naturally Japanese territory and other countries thought so as he pointed out.

    You wrote "Watanabe Kuoki's opinion on the Matsushima issue was one of three views, it was not the majority opinion at all", but your view is wrong. He was the one of the tremendous leaders of MOFA, his opinion was very grave.

    You also wrote, "Some other Japanese officials stated this Matsushima was Usando and attached to Chosun's Ulleungdo". If one of them wrote so, it apparently indicated today's Jukdo - Usando in old Korean maps. Steve, Liancourt rocks didn't attached to Ulleungdo (92 km away!), the attached island was nothing but Jukdo.

  7. Anonymous23/5/08 13:12

    Pacifist, the Japanese leaders stated. "This Usando is what we call Matsushima and is attached to Chosun's Ulleungdo" This island was of course Liancourt Rocks there is no Japanese record or map which shows Jukdo Islet as being called Matsushima, though the shoddy "historians" on this forum have tried to say so.


    Watanabe Kuoiki was hoping there would be another island similar to Korea's Ulleungdo in the region for Japan to exploit or assert military control over Pacifist. He was wrong. The only other island was Liancourt Rocks. If the Japanese were so anxious to claim these rocks they would have done it then and there. Did they? No.

    Liancourt Rocks remained "ownerless" as Admiral Kimotsuki stated for 25 years after Watanabe Kuoki's confusion. Thus we know the Japanese have absolutely zero historical claim prior to 1905.

    Of course, only a fool would expect the world to redraw the Japan Korea boundary back to the colonial era.....Right Pacifist??

  8. Steve Barber,

    There is no Japanese map that shows "Usando" (于山島) as Liancourt Rocks. They all show Usando as Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo in either its correct position east of Ulleungdo or in one of its mismapped positions around Ulleungdo.

    Also, a Japanese mission to Korea in 1870 reported that Ulleungdo had a neighboring island named "Matsushima" (松島), which Koreans pronounce as "Songdo." Even Korea's King Kojong said in 1882 that Ulleungdo had a neighboring island that was sometimes called "Songjukdo" (松竹島), sometimes called "Jukdo" (竹島), and sometimes called "Songdo" (松島), which is pronounced as "Matsushima" in Japanese.

    You know all of this, Steve, but you still try to deceive people with your silly writings for reasons that I do not understand. Would your Korean wife love you less if you told the truth about Liancourt Rocks?

  9. Steve,

    You wrote; 'Pacifist, the Japanese leaders stated. "This Usando is what we call Matsushima and is attached to Chosun's Ulleungdo" This island was of course Liancourt Rocks there is no Japanese record or map which shows Jukdo Islet as being called Matsushima, though the shoddy "historians" on this forum have tried to say so'.

    The thought "Usando = Matsushima" is a Korean logic, not Japanese, which originated from Ahn Yong-bok's false statement. Some may have read the Korean documents or heard from Koreans that Usando was Matsushima. But in these days, Matsushima was not Liancourt rocks (it was called as Hornet rocks) as you know. Matsushima was lost in these days.

    And as you should know, Usando was Jukdo, not Liancourt rocks, so the Japanese may have thought the long-lost Matsushima was merely a small island attched to Ullengdo (Jukdo).

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Anonymous23/5/08 23:34

    Pacifist the Japanese looked at their maps which showed two islands in the East Sea, Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (Dokdo) Then they saw Korean maps that showed two islands in the East Sea Ulleungdo and Usando. They naturally concluded Takeshima was Ulleungdo and Matsushima (Dokdo) was Usando. I'm simply stating the facts. Save your

    Gerry the Japanese never said anything about "an island that the Koreans pronounce as Songdo" That is utter B.S. The Japanese mission said Takeshima (Ulleungdo) had an neighbour island that was called Matsushima. They said they had no file on the island. This means they were gathering their data from their own sources NOT the Koreans as you wrongly imply. Remember Gerry, for the hundredth time the character “隣” simply means "adjacent to" not directly beside.

    Gerry, what does your wife say about the Dokdo issue?

    Mine couldn't care less. But she had a pretty good laugh over your translation of the Korean term "접해있다“ a couple of weeks ago.

    Pacifist, Anyongbok said Usando was Matsushima and that it was 50ri from Ulleungdo. From this record many historical documents were cited. Jukdo Islet is only one-half of a ri away from Ulleungdo. It's clear that Usando is not Jukdo Islet from this record..... Too bad for you.

  12. Kaneganese,

    I made some corrections to your post. Please check it for mistakes.

  13. Steve Barber,

    Stop being dense. My explanation of the Korean pronunciation of 松島 (Matsushima) was not in quotes, which means I was not attributing it to the Japanese report.

    Yes, the Japanese report said they had no record of Ulleungdo having a neighboring island named "Matsushima," which means the Japanese did not consider the island to be Liancourt Rocks since Japan did have records of that "Matsushima."

  14. Anonymous24/5/08 14:14

    Gerry, I didn't know you had access to the Shogunates files back in 1870. It's not clear why these officials had poor records on Matsushima. Remember this was the very beginning of the Meiji Era and they were just establishing relations with Chosun after a major political upheaval. There still was ambiguity about the ownership of Matsushima because it wasn't mentioned in the correspondence in 1696. Perhaps that is the only data they had regarding Matsushima.

    Stop referencing the confused conversation with King Gojong and LeeGyuwon in this case Gerry. You are imposing the territorial perceptions of Chosun on the Japane from two totally unrelated historical documents Gerry. Pretty shabby.

  15. Steve Barber (Dokdo-Takeshima),

    The Japanese embassy in Busan apparently had pretty good records of Ulleungdo in 1870 since the Korean king, himself, corroborated the 1870 Japanese report when he said, in 1882, that Ulleungdo had a neighboring island that was alternately called "Songdo" (松島 - Matsushima), "Jukdo" (竹島), and "Songjukdo" (松竹島). Two different records corroborating each other is a good thing, not a "shabby" thing.

    Here is a translation of the 1870 Japanese report:

    How Takeshima & Matsushima Became Part of Chosun

    Matsushima (Songdo) is a neighboring island of Takeshima (Ulleungdo). We have no previous records of Matsushima. In regard to Takeshima, after the Genroku years (1688 - 1704), Chosun (Korea) sent people there to live for awhile, but now, as before, it is uninhabited. It produces bamboo and also reeds thicker than bamboo. Ginseng and other products also grow naturally. We have also heard that there is an abundance of marine products.

    Concerning his 1876 petition, Mutoh Heigaku (武藤平学) wrote the following about Matsushima:

    Some say that if Japan touches Matsushima, Joseon will claim it, but Matsushima is nearer to Japan, and it has belonged to Japan since ancient times. It has also been shown as Japanese territory on Japanese maps. It is Japan’s land. As for Takeshima, a dispute arose in the medieval period of Tokugawa, and it was given to Joseon, but there was no argument about Matsushima, so it clearly belongs to Japan. If Joseon tries to claim it, we should admonish them and use various evidence to prove that it is a Japanese island. It is not only in a critical location for traffic between Japan and Joseon, but it is also in a critical location for travel to countries to the north. Also, it is urgent that a lighthouse be built at good harbors in Japan and Joseon, which will benefit all countries.

    Mutoh obviously saw records from the Edo period, so other Japanese would have seen them, too. However, Mutoh seems to have been confused by the non-existent island of Argonaut, which he most likely believed to be Korea's Ulleungdo (Takeshima), since he seems to have been describing the real Ulleungdo as Matsushima (松島). For example, he said that Matsushima was full of pine trees, which means he was not talking about Liancourt Rocks. However, he also said that Matsushima was closer to Japan than Korea, which suggests that he was also looking at old Japanese maps (before Argonaut appeared on them) that showed Matsushima as Liancourt Rocks.

    In 1880, the Japanese warship Amagi determined that the Matsushima Mutoh Heigaku had referred to was, in fact, Ulleungdo, not Liancourt Rocks.

    Your shameless and shabby attempts to try to make people believe that Japan gave up claim to Liancourt Rock during that time are easily proven wrong.

    If I were you, I would be ashamed. Maybe, you should change your name again and go back to posting under multiple IDs, as you did before you got caught. Someone, such as you, who used to have five or six sock puppets, is the type of person people should be cautious of.

  16. Anonymous24/5/08 23:03

    Gerry what the Hell does the petition of a private individual four years prior have to do with the Secret Mission to Chosun by the Japanese Government in 1870?

    Japan gave up Matsushima (Liancourt Rocks) long before the Meiji Era. Even as early as the Anyongbok Incident in 1696 they clearly excluded Matsushima from Japanese territory.


    Please Gerry why don't you tell us all. Which one of these maps show Liancourt Rocks as Japanese territory?


    Gerry, watching you post the same weak arguments to help Japanese in their hopeless task of recolonizing the East Sea makes me sad if anything.

    You are getting too old for this and should be spending these years doing positive things instead of lashing out at Korea (and me). Focus you energy on the good things about Korea and you will be rewarded with positive experiences.

  17. Thank you, Gerry

    I'd like to change the last sentence, which is Kitazawa's final conclusion as follows. The translation was not complete and was too short. Could you check it?

    "I finally came to understand what it really was when I got to know Matsushima was Ulleungdo and the other island which is called Takeshima was no more than one rock(一個の岩石). Thus, today's Matsushima is the island which was called as Takeshima in 1699 (元禄十二年), and they( Ulleundo and Jukdo) are not historically Japanese territory."

    (「松島は鬱陵島にして、その他竹島なる者は一個の岩石たるに過ぎざるを知り、事始て了然たり。然るときは今日の松島、 即ち元禄12年称する所の竹島にして、古来我版図外の地たるや知るべし」)

    I was going to write about the structure of Kitazawa's "Takeshima Kosho" in the next post and translate this conclusion completely, but maybe it is better to add this whole sentence like you did. Thanks.

  18. Hi Kaneganese,

    Here is my correction of the paragraph.

    I finally came to understand the situation when I learned that "Matsushima" (松島) was Ulleungdo, and the other island, which was called Takeshima (竹島), was just a rock(一個の岩石). Thus, today's Matsushima is the island that was called "Takeshima" in 1699 (元禄十二年), and they (Ulleungdo and Jukdo) are not historically Japanese territory."

    That paragraph is interesting since it showed a good understanding of the situation at the time.

  19. Steve Barber wrote: "Japan gave up Matsushima (Liancourt Rocks) long before the Meiji Era. Even as early as the Anyongbok Incident in 1696 they clearly excluded Matsushima from Japanese territory.

    Gerry Writes: Steve, you are as "nutty as squirrel poo." (J. K. Rowling)

  20. 「竹島なる者は一個の岩石」
    Jukdois one rock(Boussole rock)
    竹島 is 岩石


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.