The 8th column “Seeking Truth Based Solely on Facts(実事求是)” by Prof. Shimojo Masao

Below is a translation of The 8th column “Seeking Truth Based Solely on Facts(実事求是)” by Prof. Shimojo Masao

"The Historical Facts”

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a pamphlet "10 Issues of Takeshima" in February, 2008. Yonhap News Agency in South Korea reported, "Takeshima is a Japanese territory in new Japan-South Korea relations" on the eighth of April, a day before the general election for Korean new president, and many South Korean media followed this.

Mr. Park Byeong-seop(朴炳渉), a permanent Korean resident in Japan, who works for Dokdo research center in South Korea as a consultative committee member and the distributor of "Half-moon's newsletter", objected against this pamphlet.

Mr. Pak claimed that Dajokan's order(太政官指令) in 1877, "Takeshima and another island, Japan has nothing to do with them.(竹島外一島本邦関係之無し)" is the most notable among all, despite this, there were no mention of Dajokan order in it, which was disappointing." He speculate the reason of this as "It must be inconvenient documents and planned not to be open to public, or they didn't reach the conclusion how to make the fact disclosed in and out?".

Mr. Pak assert that this is "Achilles' heel" for Japanese MOFA who claimes that Takeshima is clearly an inherent territory of Japan, because there is a description "This other island is thought to have been the present-day Takeshima." in the 161st Takeshima feature of 'Photo Stripes of Shimane(フォトしまね) ".

However, "the Dajokan Order" in 1877 is not "Achilles' heel" at all as Mr. Pak understand, because Shimane Prefecture actually avoided to conclude, but only "assumed" that it "thought" to have been present-day Takeshima. As a matter of fact, Matsushima as "another island" in Dajoukan order turned out to be today's Ulleundo three years later (1880), and "Takeshima" in the order was identified as today's Jukdo which locates 2km east of Ulleundo until 1881. Besides, though "A Rough Sketch of Isotakeshima(磯竹島略図)", which is a shrinked copy of Ohya clan's map in Kyoho era by Shimane prefecture, in "Kobunroku", which is a compilation of related documents, depict Ulleundo as Isotakeshima and today's Takeshima as Matsushima, the maps in 1870's usually depicted non-exisitant Takeshima(Argonaut) along with Matsushima=Ulleundo(Daglet). The locations and names of the islands were complicated back then.

It was 1881 when such a caotic complication was disentangled and the "another island" was confirmed to be Ulleundo by the book "A Study of Historical Evidence of Takeshima (竹島考証)" and "Consideration about the dominium of Takeshima(竹島版図所属考)" by Kitazawa Masanari (北沢正誠) who was ordered to investigate the issue by MOFA's oreder. In that documents, Kitazawa concluded that Matsushima is Ulleundo, which is "historically outside of Japanese territory" and Takeshima is Jukdo which locates about 2km east of Ulleundo, and stated "There is 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(北方小島竹島ト称スル者アレ共一個ノ巌石ニ過サル旨ヲ知リ、多年ノ疑義一朝氷解セリ)."

This Japanese geographical rcognition in 1881 was followed by Lee Gyu-won's "The map of outside Ulleundo (欝陵島外図)", who invetigated on Ulleundo in 1882. The small island, which was labelled as "so-called Usando" in "the map of Ulleundo" by the clean-up commander, Pak Chang-seok (朴錫昌) in 1711 was labelled as "竹島(Jukdo in Korean, 竹嶼 in Japanese)" and is still called as it is.

How does Mr.Pak explain this historical facts? Contrary to his belief, Dajokan order is not "Achilles' heel" at all in the Takeshima/Dokdo debate. The misdirected criticism, which ignores the historical process and the transition of the historical fact after ages, is the real "Achilles' heel"ish behaviour. " It would not deserve to be the called as "historical research" at all, if the researcher keeps selective attitude towards historical documents and deductive interpretation of them which were arbitrary selected.

This kind of phenominun is also seen in the four books which Northeast Asia History Foundation recently published. Those books were written on the presupposition of the "Japanese Invasion."

However, the historical fact is, it is actually Korea, who has any historical grounds for claiming sovereignty over Takeshima/Dokdo, who had illegally invaded and occupied Japanese Takeshima and never stops fabricating groundless history so that they can keep deceiving international society.

“実事求是 〜日韓のトゲ、竹島問題を考える〜 第8回 歴史の事実" 下條正男

Courtesy of Web Takeshima Research Center.

Other Column of the Series:

The 24th column “South Korean Government dug their own grave by publishing the English version of "The Dokdo/Takeshima Controversy" by Prof. Emeritus Naito Seichu and Mr. Park Byeong-seop.”

The 23rd column " Refutation against the report of South Korean Yonhap News Agency which misread the Mori Kohan(森幸安)'s "The Map of Tsushima(對馬輿地図)"

The 22th column “ Refutation against "The Meiji Government's recognition of Takeshima=Dokdo" by Mr. Park Byeong-seop(朴炳渉)””, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

The 21st column " Refutation against "Analysis of Shimojo Masao's Editorials" by Mr. Park Byeong-seop(朴炳渉)”

The 20th column “Act of Folly by "Northeast Asian History Foundation"”

The 19th column “"Korea Maritime Institute(KMI : 韓国海洋水産開発院), who lacks ability to read their own historical documents, criticized on Shimane Prefecture. "”

The 18th columnAbsurd and Peculiar Theory of Prof. Hosaka, plus the "Children and textbook nationwide net 21" and others' Getting "Out of Control.”

The 17th column “The Ordinance of Prime Minister and Cabinet Office, No.24 and the Ordinance of the Ministry of Finance, No.4 in 1951(昭和26年).

The 16th column ""Dokdo Month" without any historical grounds."

The 15th column " South Korea's Groundless Claim of "Inherent Part of (Korean) Territory"

The 14th column “A reckless Courage of the Professor Kimishima Kazuhiko(君島和彦) of Tokyo Gakugei University(東京学芸大学).

The 13th column “Sins of Asahi Shimbun and Mr. Wakamiya Yoshibumi(若宮啓文).

The 12th column “Northeast Asian History Foundation and Dokdo Research Center's Misunderstanding”

The 11th column “South Korea's Misunderstanding of 'A Map of Three Adjoining Countries (Sangoku Setsujozu 三国接壌図)' by Hayashi Shihei(林子平)”

The 10th column " A Blunder of Sokdo(石島) = Dokto(独島) Theory

The 9th column "Criticism on Dokdo Research Center”

The 8th column “The Historical Facts" The 6th column “Onshu-shicho-goki (隠州視聴合記)" and the "Nihon Yochi Totei Zenzu (日本輿地路程全図)" by Nagakubo Sekisui(長久保赤水)"

The 5th column “South Korea’s erroneous interpretation of the document 'Takeshima and Another Island are Unrelated to Japan"

The 4th column “Errors in Educational Video Produced by the Northeast Asian History Foundation (東北アジア歴史財団)."


  1. pacifist,

    I know you are in the middle of working on 7th, a tough one, but I thought it's a good timing to post it now while I'm working on Takeshima Kosho. I hope you don't mind.

  2. Anonymous3/6/08 01:15

    Is Professor Shimojo still yammering on about the "island confusion" and the Dojoukan documents? Is he still trying to play the island shell game with these records? The "other island" argument is deader than dead.

    I agree with Pro Shimojo. the Dajokan Report in itself is not an "achilles heel" it is the all of the maps of the 19th Century that exclude Liancourt Rocks that kill Japan's historical claim. Whatever Japan thought Ulleungdo was or Dokdo was, no islands West of the Okinoshimas were thought to be part of Japan prior to 1905. This can be proven by the scores of Japanese maps shown here.


    Japan's invasion of Ulleungdo (Korea) is not a "presupposition" at all. There are many documents both Korean and Japanese that record how at least 1000 Japanese squatters and trespassers swarmed Korea's Ulleungdo Island in the years prior to Japan's annexation of Liancourt Rocks. Japan's civilian and military invasion of the region was the whole basis for her claim to Dokdo.

    Japan has no historical title to Liancourt Rocks. She has an illegal military annexation undertaken at the height of the largest war to the day while in her bid to colonize Korea. This is not a sound basis for determining ownership of Dokdo today. It is definitely not a fair modern way to define Korea and Japan's territorial boundary in the year 2008.

    Economy, politics demographics. Considering all of the circumstances in today's real world there is no basis for Japan to again lay claim to Dokdo. The colonial era is dead, and Japan's claim to Dokdo died with it.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. "Next is an island called Matsushima (mod. Liancourt Rocks), along the route from Oki to Takeshima (mod. Ulleung Island), roughly 80 ri (148.16 km) from Oki." - Attachment to Supreme Council Directive of Mar 20, 1877

    There is little mystery here. Although Mr. Shimojo appears to be an intelligent guy, an admirable quality in a scholar if applied in a straightforward fashion without academic dishonesty, I have doubts on legitimate grounds to the reliability of his fictitious claim. Avoiding succumbing to the fallacy of ad hominim, I shall simply show why there is no mystery to feign as Mr. Shimojo would have us believe. Appended to the very Supreme Coundil document of Mar 20, 1877, is an attachment that states exactly which island the second island is (竹島外一島).

    Dajō-kan shirei 太政官指令 of Mar 20, 1877

    Document appended to Dajō-kan Directive of Mar 20, 1877 明治十年三月二十日 太政官指令文 附屬文書

    "磯竹島一ニ竹島ト稱ス. 隱岐國ノ乾位一百二拾里許ニ在ス. 周回凡九(sic.)十里許山峻嶮ニシテ平地少シ. 川三條アリ. 又瀑布アリ. 然レトモ深谷幽邃樹竹稠密其源ヲ知ル能ハス...動物ニハ 海鹿 ...就中海鹿鮑ヲ物産ノ最トス. ...又海鹿一頭能ク數斗ノ油ヲ得ヘシ. 次ニ一島アリ松島ト呼フ. 周回三十町許竹島ト同一線路ニ在リ. 隱岐ヲ距ル八拾里許 樹竹稀ナリ. 亦魚獸ヲ産ス." "Isotakeshima is also called 'Takeshima' (modern Matsushima, Ulleung Island). It is located 120 ri (里 here is kairi 浬/海里 or nautical mile of 1.852km; 120 x 1.852km = 222.24 km) to the north of Okikuni. Its circumference is around 10 ri (里 here is unit of distance 3.927km; 10 x 3.927 = 39.27 km); its slopes are steep, and flatlands few. There are three streams and even a waterfall. The bamboos and trees are dense in the deep ravines, and where they begin is unknowable...(Among the catch,) the most abundant are sea lions and abalones... Furthermore, several tomasu (斗 is measure word of volume roughly equiv. to 5 gallons) of oil is to be got from one head of sea lion. Next is an island called 'Matsushima 松島' (modern Takeshima, Dokdo or Liancourt Rocks). Its circumference is roughly 30 chou (町 109m; 30 chou is ca 3.27 km), which is on the same sea route as 'Takeshima 竹島' (modern Matsushima or Ulleung Island). It is roughly 80 ri (80 x 1.852km = 148.16 km) from Oki. Trees and bamboos are rare, but it also produces fish and (other) sea animals." Shin, Yong Ha, Tokto ui minjok yongtosa yongu, Chisik Sanopsa; 1st edition (1996) ISBN-10: 8942310362, p. 167

    "Next is an island called Matsushima, along the route from Oki to Takeshima, roughly 80 ri from Oki."

    Either Mr. Shimojo is not as intelligent as he appears to be, or is guilty of acedemic dishonesty according to this unambiguous reference to Liancourt Rocks in the Supreme Council Directive attachment itself which he fails to convey to his gullible readers. Oy vey!


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