Korean Documentary on "Dokdo"

The following video shows some close-ups of Liancourt Rocks and also the small cave where a small amount of fresh, but not really drinkable water accumulates. It also mentions that a lot of seagulls on "Dokdo" are killed by falling rocks.

The following portion of the video complains about a lack of support from the Korean government to do "Dokdo" research. In Japan, on the other hand, the video shows a special "Takeshima" section in the Shimane Prefecture Library, and a Korean professor talking about seeing a group of Japanese researchers pouring over declassified documents at the U.S. Library of Congress, which he said gave him an uneasy feeling. does not provide many materials or support for Dokdo research. while the Japanese government, on the other hand, not provide support for Dokdo research whiltalks about the Shimane Prefecture Library, which has a whole section dealing with the Takeshima (Dokdo) issue. Also, at the end of the video, during an interview with one of the Japanese researchers who often supports Korean claims, the Japanese researcher suggests that Koreans are not asking his permission to translate his books.

The following portion of the video talks about the 1998 Japan/Korea fishing agreement, which many Koreans are unhappy with because they feel like they conceded something to Japan in regard to Dokdo (Takeshima).


Japan makes a protest stealthily

The following is from a Sankei News Web article HERE:

竹島問題こっそり韓国に抗議 日本政府、公表せず

Japan made a protest to Korea about Takeshima (Dokdo) issue but stealthily; Japanese government did not announce it officially. 2009.2.27 17:37


Korea wrote that Japan's Takeshima as Korean territory in their "National Defence White Paper 2008 version" using a photo of Takeshima as its cover. Japanese governemnt made a protest to Korean governemnt through the Japanese embassy in Seoul and summoned the men in charge from the Korean embassy in Tokyo to make a protest. The protest was made on the 23rd when the white paper was published. However, Japanese government did not announce it officially so that it was not known to foreign people including Korean people at all


According to Japanese embassy, it was transmitted in Seoul to the Korean Ministry of Defence by a resident officer of Japan and in Tokyo a counselor of the Korean embassy was summoned and claimed. In September last year, Korean government summoned the Japanese minister to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Commerce to claim about the same kind of problem concerning Japan's "National Defence White Paper", and they announced the official criticism to blame Japan.


As to the Takeshima (Dokdo) issue which is a territorial issue between Japan and Korea, Japanese government keeps not announcing the claims and criticism toward Korea not to stimulate Korean public opinions whilst Korean government is always announcing claims and criticism toward Japan.

Great Pictures of Liancourt Rocks on "The Boston Globe" Site

"The Boston Globe" has posted some great pictures of Liancourt Rocks and some Korean protests HERE.


1894 - Carte De La Coree from "Le Petit Journal"

The following map appeared in the September 3, 1894 edition of the weekly French journal "Le Petit Journal. The map was entitled as "Carte De La Coree" and was found in a bound collection of fifty-four editions of the magazine. The map has been in the Korean news lately because some extreme Dokdo advocates are claiming HERE that it shows "Dokdo and the East Sea (Sea of Japan)" as Korean territory.

The following is a quote from another Korean article HERE:

이 가운데 김영준 KBS 자료감정위원이 기증한 조선 지도는 1894년 프랑스 잡지 <르 뻬띠(Le Petit)>에 실렸던 것으로, 울릉도와 독도가 '우산도'라는 명칭으로 조선의 영해 내에 표기돼 있다.
Among them, Kim Yeong-jun, a member of the Materials Appraisal Committe at KBS, donated a Joseon map that was printed in an 1894 edition of the French magazine "Le Petit" and showed Ulleungdo and Dokdo labeled as "Usando" and within Joseon territory.
As you might suspect, the above are more silly Dokdo claims. Here is the close-up of the map showing Ulleungdo and its neighboring island of Jukdo labeled as "I: Ouen-San," which was the French way of writing "Usan Island." Notice that the two islands were drawn right next to each other, which means they could not have been Ulleungdo and Dokdo since Dokdo is ninety-two kilometers away from Ulleungdo. The two island on the map were almost certainly Ulleungdo and its neighboring island of Jukdo, which is only two kilometers off Ulleungdo's east shore.

Besides the claims that Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo was Dokdo and that the map showed the Sea of Japan as Korean territory, another thing I found funny about one of the Korean articles linked to above was the following close-up of the map. Notice that the man puts his finger over the two islands in what appears to be an attempt to hide the fact that the islands were drawn right next to each other instead of ninety-two kilometers apart, which is the distance from Ulleungdo to Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo). Liancourt Rocks do not appear on the map.(LINK) to Korean article).

The map does seem to show a boundary for Japan, but it does not show a boundary for Korea. Therefore, it is ridiculous to look at the map and say that the French recognized the Sea of Japan as Korean territory, especially when the sea was labeled as "Sea of Japan."

By the way, I read that someone paid 10 million won for the map on a Korean auction site in 2007.

US Think Tank Warns Seoul about Noisy Dokdo Protests

According to a February 26 Chosun Ilbo article entitled, "Plan Ahead, Campbell Think Tank Urges U.S., Korea," a US think tank has recently issued a report saying that Seoul's noisy protests over Dokdo could mar its international credibility. Here is how the newspaper summarized the part of the report that mentioned Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo/Takeshima):
The report urges Seoul and Washington to keep publicizing the importance of their bilateral relations at home. Historical issues are dogging Korean-Japanese relationship, it notes, and urges Japan to stop provoking Korea but adding that Korea's excessive response allows the issues to remain burning. It warns that Seoul's noisy protests over the Dokdo islets, an area it already controls, could mar its international credibility.
The report was entitled "The United States and the Asia-Pacific Region: Security Strategy for the Obama Administration" and was issued by the US think tank, "The Center for a New American Security," which was established by Kurt Campbell, who is the next likely U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.


1950's Rand McNally Official War Map of Korea

This is the "Official War Map of Korea" which was published during the Korean War (June 1950 - July 1953).

The San Francisco Peace Treaty was signed in September 1951 and Rhee Syngman drew the Rhee Syngman Line including Liancourt Rocks in the Korean territory in January 1952 before the treaty would be effective in April that year.


So the Takeshima/Dokdo issue began just in the same period as this map was made.
The main map of Korea didn't include either Ulleungdo or Liancourt Rocks, but you can see these islands in one of the seven additional maps, "Japan and Korea". [Click the left map to enlarge]

Ulleungdo was labelled as "ULLUNG (UTSURYO-TO)" and naturally painted in red, the same colour as Korea. Liancourt Rocks were labelled as "TAKE" and its colour is not clear - but at least it doesn't look in red when you used magnifying glass. And the name of the island was only labelled in Japanese name ("Take" of Takeshima), abbreviating "Shima" because "Shima"means island. This map seems to have adopted the same way to label Japanese islands, for example, Tanegashima was written as TANEGA, Yakushima was written as YAKU. So it is sure that the mapmaker believed that Liancourt Rocks belonged to Japan.

Takeshima/Dokdo was undoubtedly believed to be Japan's island before Rhee Syngman drew the line violating the international law.
[Broughton Bay was labelled as "Tongjoson Bay"]

An Yong-bok's "Usando" (于山島) probably "Ika-shima" (いか嶋)

On March 26, 1692, Japanese fishermen sailing from Japan's Oki Island arrived at Ulleungdo's Ika-shima (いか嶋), which according to the 1724 Japanese map above was most probably Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo (竹島 - 죽도). When the Japanese arrived, they were surprised to find that someone had already harvested most of abalone on the island. The next day the Japanese sailed to a place on Ulleungdo called Hamada-ura (浜田浦), which the above map shows was probably present-day Jeodong. There they found two boats. One boat was anchored and the other was floating offshore. They also saw about thirty Koreans.

Passing about 8 to 9 ken (間) in front of the boat offshore, the Japanese sailed to a place called Osaka-ura (大坂浦), where they found two Koreans left on shore. The Japanese took the two men on board and asked them what country they were from. One of the men, who was an interpreter, said they had come from a village in Joseon called "Kawaten" (かわてんかわく).

The Japanese told the Koreans that they came to the island each year with the permission of the Shogunate and asked the Koreans why they had come there. The Koreans replied that there was an island to the north to which they go to harvest abalone about once every three years. The Koreans said that eleven fishing boats set sail on February 21, but that five met with diaster and fifty-three people drifted to this island (Ulleungdo) on March 23. They said that when they arrived on the island they found abalone, so have been staying there. The Japanese then asked the Koreans why they had not already left. The Koreans said that their boats were damaged, so they needed time to repair them.

Here is the Japanese from which my above summary was based:
三月二廿四日に隠岐国より出舟仕 同廿六日之朝、五つ時に竹嶋之内いか嶋と申所へ着舟仕 様子見申候 得者鮑大分取上け申様に 相見へ不審に奉存
同廿七日之朝 浜田浦へ参申内に 唐船弐艘相見へ申候 内壱艘はすへ舟壱艘ハうき舟にて居申候 唐人三拾人斗見へ申候 其内弐人残し置 残り之者とも右之うき舟に乗り 此方之船より八九間程沖を通り 大阪浦と申所へ廻り申候 右之弐人残り申 内壱人は通しニテ 弐人共ニともども船に乗り 此方之舟へ参申候故乗せ申候 
而何国之者と相尋申候へ ちやうせんかわてん国村之者と申候故 此嶋之儀公方様より拝領仕 毎年渡海いたし候 嶋にて候所に 何とて参候やと尋候へは
此嶋より北に当り嶋有之三年に一度宛国主之用にて 鮑取に参候国元は二月廿一日に類舟十一艘出舟いたし 難風に逢五艘に以上五拾三人乗し此嶋へ三月廿三日に漂着、
此嶋之様子見申候へは 鮑有之候間 致逗留 鮑取上けしと申候左候は丶此嶋を早々に罷立候様にと申候へ 共舟も少損じ候故 造作仕調次第に出舟可仕候間 私共船をすへ候様にと申に付 岡へ上り兼て拵置候 
諸道具改見申へは舟八艘 其外諸道具見へ不申候付 通辞へ此由尋候へは 浦々へ廻し遣し候と申候
先此方之舟すへ候へと申候へ共唐人は大勢此方は纔に 弐十一人にて御座候に付 無心元奉存、
竹嶋より三月廿七日之七つ時分より 出舟仕申候然共何にても印無之御座候では如何と奉存 唐人の拵置候 串鮑少々笠壱つ網頭巾壱つかうじ壱つ取致出舟
村川市兵衛舟頭 平兵衛  
同  黒兵衛
I find the above story quite interesting because it tells us the following:
  1. The first place the Japanese stopped when they arrived at Ulleungdo was Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo, which they referred to as Ika-shima (いか嶋). Stopping at Jukdo first suggests that they considered the island to be important.
  2. Japanese maps show Ika-shima (いか嶋) or Iga-shima (イガ嶋) as Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo.
  3. The Japanese said that most of the abalone on Ika-shima had been caught, which tells us that the Japanese would go to Ika-shima to harvest abalone.
  4. The Korean interpreter also referred to an island to the north of Ulleungdo where Koreans would also go to harvest abalone. Since Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo is off the northeast shore of Ulleungdo, the island to which Koreans went to harvest abalone was most probably Jukdo since there are no other islands north of Ulleungdo, except for Gwaneumdo, which is only about 100 meters offshore.
It appears that the abalone of Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo was popular with both Koreans and Japanese. In fact, there is a passage in an 1881 Japanese report (竹島考證 上) that referred to the above incident as follows:
此島ノ以北三里許ニ亦タ一島アリテ上好ノ鮑最多シ 因リテ朝鮮ヨリ三五年ニ一回漁人ヲ遣ハシテ鮑ヲ取ラシム 彼曽テ此竹島ヲ知ラサリシニ我元禄五年ノ春此島ニ漂流メ始テ竹島アルコトヲ知ルナリ
About three ri north of this island [Ulleungdo] was another island where there were a lot of excellent quality abalone. Therefore, every three or five years, fishermen from Joseon were sent there to harvest the abalone. That country did not know about Takeshima (Ulleungdo) before then. It is said that in the spring of 1692, people drifted to the island and learned about Takeshima for the first time.
The above passage gives us more information about the island to the north of Ulleungdo since we learn that it was three ri to the north. Since it was the Korean fishermen who must have given that information to the Japanese, it is possible that it could have been three Korean ri, which would be about 1.2 kilometers. Again, that would suggest that the island to the north was Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo.

According to Japan's "竹島紀事," when questioned by the Lord of Tsushima in 1693, An Yong-bok said the following:

この度參候島より北東に当たり大きなる嶋これあり候. かの地逗留の內, ようやく二度, これを見申し候. 彼島を存じたるもの申し候は. 于山島と申し候通り申し開き候. 終に參りたる事はこれ無く候. 大方路法一日路これ有るべく候.
Northeast of the island to which I travelled [Ulleungdo], there is a large island. While I was there [on Ulleungdo], I saw the island only twice. According to someone who knew that island, it was called "Usando." That's just what I heard. I have never been there. It is about a day away by rowboat.
Notice that An Yong-bok also mentioned that there was an island northeast of Ulleungdo that he heard was called "Usando" (于山島). He said he had never been to the island, but that he guessed it to be about a day away.

We know from the above testimony that An Yong-bok believed Usando to be a large island northeast of Ulleungdo that he had never been to, but that he could see from Ulleungdo. The only island visible northeast of Ulleungdo is Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo, which is two kilometers off Ulleungdo's northeast shore.
Also, since An Yong-bok was taken by Japanese fisherman back to Oki Island, it is very likely they would have stopped at Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima/Dokdo) on the way, where they could have rested and eaten a meal. If that were the case, then the fact that An Yong-bok said he had never been to "Usando" would mean that Usando was not Liancourt Rocks.

I think it is very possible that An Yong-bok was the interpreter that the Japanese fishermen talked to in 1692 and that An Yong-bok's "Usando" (于山島) was the abalone-rich island "about three ri to the north of Ulleungdo." In other words, I think An Yong-bok's Usando was the island that the Japanese referred to as "Ika-shima" and that Koreans today refer to as "Jukdo," which is two kilometers off Ulleungdo's northeast shore.


1884 Appleton Map of Japan and Korea, USA

This map, "The Islands of Japan with Corea, Manchooria and the New Russian Acquisitions", was removed from the book "The Earth and it's Inhabitants: Asia (Chinese Empire, Korea and Japan)", authored by Elisse Reclus and published by D. Appleton and Company (New York) in 1884.

This map seems to have been very precisely drawn: there is no Argonaut island (phantom island), and there are Dagelet island (Ulleungdo) labelled as "Dagelet I." which was painted as the same colour as Korea (yellow) and Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima/Dokdo) as "Hornet Is." which was not coloured. Of course there are Oki islands ("Oki Is.") in red, the colour of Japan.
So this is the oldest and the most precise map we have ever seen. Although this map was published in New York, USA, the information may have been originated from UK because I have heard that the cartographer was British as the same books were originally published in Europe.

(Broughton Bay was labelled as "Broughton B.")


Another Ridiculous Claim from Hosaka Yuji

Hosaka Yuji, the Japanese professor at Korea's Sejong University, has made another ridiculous claim about Dokdo. This time he says that the maps below "clearly prove" that Usando (于山島)was Dokdo because they show Usando drawn with a mountain peak. He says the island could not have been Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo because Jukdo is flat on top.

Hosaka Yuji is sounding more and more like a clown who is willing to say almost anything to get media attention. If the drawing of the peak meant anything, couldn't it have meant that the island shoots almost straight up 100 meters from the sea? Isn't the fact that Usando was drawn as one island, not two, much more convincing evidence that it was not Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks) since Dokdo is essentially two rock islets and ninety-two kilometers away from Ulleungdo?

I doubt that even Korean professors would be silly enough to make the above claim. Link to the Korean Article


2009 - Feb. 22 - Happy Takeshima Day!

Today was the 4th Takeshima Day and Shimane Prefecture held the ceremony in Matsue. Senator Ms. Yamatani Eriko(山谷えり子) , a member of the House of Councilors of Japan, was invited and had a lecture. According to Sanin-Chuo Shimpo (cache), she lectured "It is necessary to expand the budget of the Takeshima Issue, and to appeal to the world opinion". And Professor Shimojo of Takushoku University said "Takeshima Day should be turnabout slowly. Why don't you make the place that can pass a remark freely besides the ceremony each other?"

They also reported that there was no major disruption though there was a scene that became some struggle between policemen and a several South Korean groups, who were protesting outdoor.

According to their other article (cache), participants are 520 people, who are 20 people more than last year. Both Rep. Kamei Hisaoki (亀井久興) and Rep. Kamei Akiko (亀井亜紀子), members of the House of Representatives, attended among Diet members related to the prefecture, and the representation attended for other three Shimane representatives. The Foreign Minister and the Agriculture Minister to whom the prefecture had requested participation were absent this time.

You can watch FNN news on this event here.(Japanese)

Another interesting news from TBS.
Dokdo learning facility for Infant appears in South Korea (Japanese)(cache)

Thanks, GTOMR. I agree this is a brainwash of infant. Horrible.

Normally, it is silent on Takeshima Day on Japanese TV, but this year, even some central media reported it. I think it is a good trend. We need more Japanese aware of this issue and what Korean are doing to their kids while they intimidate Japanese not to teach anything about Takeshima in classroom because it "obstruct" a good relationship of two countries. I don't think such a double standard is tolerable in any sense.

1876 General Gazetteer, UK

This book is "General Gazetteer", a geographical dictionary, by R. Brookes, M.D. published in London, UK in 1876. (William Tegg & Co.)

To follow is from the description about "Corea":


COREA, a kingdom of Asia, bounded on the N. by Chinese Tartary, on the E. by the Sea of Japan, on the S. by a narrow sea, which separates it from the Japanese islands, and on the W. by the Yellow Sea, which separates it from China. The W. coast is flanked by innumerable islands. It is a peninsula, being surrounded on every side by the sea, except towards the N. It is governed by a king, tributary to the emperor of China, and is divided into eight provinces, Hien-king, Ping-ngang, Hoang-hai, Kiang-yuen, King-ki, Tehu-sin, King-chan, and Tehuen-so, which contains 33 cities of the first, 53 of the second, and 70 of the third rank. Pop. 8,000,000. The towns are populous, and the inhabitants follow nearly the same customs, and are of the same religion, with the Chinese.

The country abounds in corn and rice, of which last they have two kinds, one of which delights in water, and the other, which is the better sort, is cultivated on dry ground, like corn. There are mines of gold and silver in the mountains, and good pearl fisheries on the coast. The Coreans are well made, ingenious, brave, and tractable. They are fond of dancing and music, and show great aptness for acquiring the sciences, which they apply to with ardour. They are less fastidious and less ceremonious than the Chinese, but equally jealous of admitting strangers into the country. Men of learning are distinguished from other people by two plumes of feathers, which they wear in their caps. Their women are less confined than those in China, and have the liberty of appearing in company with the other sex. In China, parents often marry children without their consent, but in Corea they choose for themselves.
They never bury their dead till three years after their decease, but keep them in coffins for that time. Corea extends from N. to S. from the lat. of 34.30. to 42. 30. N., and from E. to W. from 125. to 129. of E. long. Kiang-ki-tao, nearly in the centre of the kingdom, is the capital.

It apparently excluded the islands in the Sea of Japan from Korean territory.

Even in the late 19th century, western people didn't think that the islands were Korean territory. (Liancourt Rocks is located at about 132 E. long.)
No geographical books from the world, Japan and even from Korea mention that Liancourt Rocks belonged to Korea.
Korea's claim to Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks) only began in the 1950's when Rhee Syngman drew the Rhee Syngman Line - until then, Liancourt Rocks had never ever been owned by Korea.

1855 Pronouncing Gazetteer, USA

This is a massive Gazetteer (over 1700 pages) "Pronouncing Gazetteer of the World", a geographical dictionary, which was published in 1855 in Philadelphia, USA by Lippincott Company.

There is no description about Liancourt Rocks or Argonaut island although it referred to Dagelet island.
To follow is from the description of "Corea". It didn't mention Liancourt Rocks directly but many of the readers may think it's interesting.


COREA, or KOREA, ko-ree’ a, (called by the natives Tsyosien, by the Chinese, to whom it is tributary, Kao-lee, and by the Japanese, Ko-rai, ko’ri’, whence its European name of Corea, or Korea,) is an extensive peninsular country in North-eastern Asia, whose limits are not accurately known, bounded E. by the Sea of Japan, S. by the Strait of Corea, and W. by the Whanghai, or Yellow Sea, and the Gulf of Leao-tong. The capital, Kingkitao, is situated on the Kiang River, in the centre of the kingdom, lat. 37°40’N., and lon. 127°20’E. Corea comprises a peninsula with a small portion of the continent to which it is attached; the continental portion extending in breadth from lon. 124°to 132°E., the peninsula from lon. 125°15’ to 131°30’ E., between lat. 33°20’ and 43°N., its average width being about 135 miles, while the total length of the country, from N. to S., is somewhat less than 600 miles. Corea also includes numerous groups of islands in the Yellow Sea and Strait of Corea, and the island of Quelpart, 50 miles S. of the peninsula. Area of continental portion, about 80,000 square miles.

The longitude 131°30' E. ,which was mentioned in the peninsula portion, would include Ulleungdo although it still excludes Liancourt Rocks.
Western people didn't think that Liancourt Rocks belonged to Korea in the 19th century at all, as many other books and maps indicated.
And to follow is about Dagelet island (Ulleungdo):
An island in the Sea of Japan, about midway
between Japan and Corea, 8 miles in circumference. Lat. (N.point) 37°25' N.,
lon. 130° 56' E.

GTOMR found that "Matsushima-No-Gi (Arguments on Matsushima)" from the three-volume book "A Study of Historical Evidence of Takeshima (竹島考証)" (1881) mentioned this "Pronouncing Gazetteer of the World" in its Section No.12 "Argument on Matsushima II".
The description of ”section No 12 Argument on Matsushima II" ( 第拾貳號 松島之議ニ) is as follows:

Puronawonsinku (Pronouncing) Gasetsuteru (Gazetteer)
Ze Worurudo (
of the World) written by Ritsupinkotto (Lippincott) mentions that Dazera (Dagelet) is a small island in the Sea of Japan, which is located at almost the midpoint between Japan and Korea and its circunference is 8-ri. North point 37 degree 25 min N lat, 130 degree 56 min E long.



Korean Translation of Jang Han-sang's 1694 Inspection Record

There is now a Korean translation of the "Ulleungdo Sacheok" (蔚陵島事蹟), which is a record of Jang Han-sang's (張漢相) 1694 inspection of Ulleungdo. The Korean translation can be found HERE.

One of the more interesting passages from the record is the following:

The Koreans have translated the passage as follows:

섬의 산위에 올라 저 나라의 땅을 자세히 바라보면 묘망(杳茫)하여 눈에 띄이는 섬이 없어 거리가 얼마나 되는지 딱히 알 수가 없었다.

If you climb to the top of the island's peak and look carefully at their land, it is so far away that no island is visible. Therefore, the distance could not be known for sure.

An article published by the Korea Maritime Institute HERE claims that the above passage is evidence that Jang Han-sang considered the distant island he saw faintly to the southeast of Ulleungdo to be Korean territory, not Japanese, since the above passage said no islands could be seen when looking at Japanese land.

I have two problems with the Korean claim. First, it does not make sense logically. Inspector Jang had previously said he saw an island far off to the southeast of Ulleungdo that he judged to be less than one third the size of Ulleungdo and about 120 kilometers away. The unnamed island he saw had to be Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo). Since Liancourt Rocks is only about one 390th the size of Ulleungdo, not one third, and since it is only ninety-two kilometers away, not 120 kilometers, we know that the Korean inspector did not go to the island and that it was unknown to him, which suggests it was not Korean. Therefore, it would not make sense for the inspector to say he saw a distant island and then later say he saw no islands.

The second problem I have with the Korean claim is the Korean translation of the above passage. The Korean is a mistranslation. Why would the Korean inspector use the characters 之島 if he did not see an island? Therefore, I think the phrase 杳茫無眼杓之島 was describing the island the inspector had seen to the southeast of Ulleungdo, which would mean that the above passage is evidence that the inspector considered the island southeast of Ulleungdo to be Japanese since he said he was looking at Japanese land.

I think 杳茫無眼杓之島 might be translated as "a distant, hazy, inconspicuous island." Therefore, I would like to suggest the following translation of the above passage:


If you climb the island's peak and look closely at that country's (Japan's) territory (登島山峰審望彼國之域則), there is a distant, hazy, inconspicuous island (杳茫無眼杓之島), of which the distance is unknown (其遠近未知幾許).

The Chinese breaks down as follows:

登島山峰 - climb the island’s peak
審望彼國之域 - carefully look at that country’s (Japan’s) territory
則 - If
杳茫 - distant and hazy
無眼杓 - unimposing, inconspicuous (literally: “not eye-catching”)
之島 - island
其遠近 - the distance
未知 - unknown
幾許 - How far

The above is one of only two times in Korean history, before Japan incorporated Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) in 1905, in which the Rocks were referred to, and in both instances it was in reference to Japanese territory. The second reference was in a 1714 document in which the following was written:

鬱陵之東 島嶼相望 接于倭境

"Visible to the east of Ulleung is an island that is on the border of Japan.”

鬱陵之東 - to the east of Ulleungdo
島嶼相望 - an island is visible
接于倭境 - that is on the border of Japan

Korea has no old maps of Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo), and the only two references to the rocks in Korean history, before Japan incorporated them in 1905, suggest that they were part of Japanese territory.


I have had second thoughts about my translation. I now think the passage could also be translated as follows:


If you climb the island's peak[s] and look closely at that country's (Japan's) territory, it (Japan's territory) is distant and hazy and there is no imposing island, so the distance (to mainland Japan) cannot be known.

In the above passage, Inspector Jang did not say he did not see an island; he said he did not see an "imposing island" (large island). We know he saw an island because he had already written in his report that he saw one to the southeast of Ulleungdo, but, apparently, it was not an island he considered to be "imposing." In other words, the island he saw to the southeast of Ulleungdo was not large enough for him to considered it a threat.

The above passage does suggest that Inspector Jang thought that the island he saw to the southeast of Ulleungdo was Japanese territory or, at least, the beginning of it.


1894 Japanese map of Korea "朝鮮輿地図"

This Japanese map of Korea “朝鮮輿地図” was published in 1894 (the 27th year of Meiji) as a reduced copy of Kim Ok-gyun (金玉均)’s map of Korea.

P.S. Sorry, the same map was already introduced by Gerry here:

The preface of the map:


"This map originated from the one and only detailed map of Korea that Kim Ok-gyun had brought with him when he left his country a few years ago. He always had the map with him during his lifetime, however he left it to a certain gentleman when he set out for Shanghai. As I felt it important considering current events, I begged to make a reduced copy of the map. It contained a lot of information including eight districts, prefectures, barracks, naval bases, places of scenic beauty, beautiful villages, mountains and rivers, capes and horns, bays and islands, which can be understood at a glance. It was investigated and made by him with the dignity of his country. I added small maps of five famous places including Seoul, Wonsan, Pusan harbour, Inchon and Hangan and also added a table of distances from Seoul at the rim of the map. There had been many maps of Korea but none of them can be compared with this detailed map. We try to sell this map at a reasonable price with a patriotic spirit, hoping to distribute this map to high-spirited gentlemen within our country. We beg you to buy your copy at your nearest book shop."

Kim Ok-gyun was assassinated in Shanghai on March 28th 1894 (some sources mentioned it was February 29th). [The drawing at the left is from a Korean magazine at that time.] This map was printed on March 1st and published on March 7th 1894, so it seems that the map was published before Kim Ok-gyun’s assassination but the preface mentioned “during his lifetime” and referred to the “current events” which suggested as if he had already been killed when the publication was made.

Anyway, this map was published at such a critical time when Kim Ok-gyun was assassinated and Sino-Japanese war was to take a place. According to the preface, the map was a reduced copy of the original map of Korea made by Kim Ok-gyun. Then, please take a look at the islands in the Sea of Japan. [Please click the map to enlarge]
竹島 (Takeshima/Jukdo) is drawn at about the same longitude as Tsushima (129 degree E long.) and its shape is different from Ulleungdo. Although there are place names such as a river 猪田川 and a mountain 中峰, it is definitely Argonaut island – the phantom island of Ulleungdo. On the other hand, there is an island 松島 (Matsushima/Songdo) drawn at almost the same longitude as Kitakyushu (Kokura/Moji) which is located at around 130 degree 53 minutes E long. The shape and the location are definitely those of Ulleungdo. There are no Liancourt Rocks in the map.

It shows that Korea recognized that they had two islands in the Sea of Japan – Takeshima/Jukdo (Argonaut) and Matsushima/Songdo (Dagelet) but they didn’t recognize Liancourt Rocks to be their territory in the 1890’s. Please remember that the original map was made by Korean government with the dignity of the nation as the preface of the above map mentioned. This is a very important source to understand what happened in 1900 and 1905/1906.

(1) Did the islands in the Edict #41 (1900) include Jukdo (Takeshima/Argonaut)? Did it mean Ulleungdo (Songdo) and Jukdo (Argonaut)?

If the original map of Kim Ok-gyun was made with the dignity of the nation of Korea, it is crystal clear that Korea didn't recognise Liancourt Rocks to be their territory. So the islands in the Edict, "the whole Ulleungdo and 竹島石島 (Jukdo Sokdo)" can't include Liancourt Rocks.

(2) When the chief of Ulleungdo was informed of Japan’s recent incorporation of an island called Takeshima in 1906, didn’t he misunderstand as if one of the two islands, Argonaut (Takeshima/Jukdo) , was incorporated?

In addition, there is a copy of handwriting by Pak Yong-hyo (朴泳孝), who was a comrade of Kim Ok-gyun, at the left upper place of the map. It reads "紹隆三寶" which means "Succeed the three treasures and make them prosper". (Three treasures are nation, people and monarch.)



2月14日(土)13:00~ 朴炳渉「竹島問題をどう考えるか」



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報告者  朴炳渉(竹島=独島問題研究ネット代表)

1894 French map of Korea and Japan

France had a lot of information about Korea in the 19th century because there were many French missionaries sent to this hermit country, although many of them were massacred later. Anyway, they had more information about Korea than other western countries had. So we have kept a big interest in French maps of Korea, although they are very scarce.
Here is a French map of Korea and Japan at last - "Chine Orientale, Coree, Japon" from E. Schraider's "Atlas de geographie moderne" which was published in 1894 in Paris, France by Librairie Hachette et Cie.

Please look at the islands in the "Mer du Japon" - Ulleungdo was labelled as "Is. Dagelet (Matsou Sima) (Jap)" whilst Liancourt Rocks were labelled as "Is. Liancourt ou Hornet (Jap)".
Now you may notice that there is a word (Jap) just below of each island name. France recognised that Ulleungdo and Liancourt Rocks belonged to Japan, as many other western countries did. At least, French people didn't think that Liancourt Rocks belonged to Korea - this is very important because French people knew more about Korea than other western countries. This is another evidence to show that the world didn't recognise that Liancourt Rocks belonged to Korea.
(Broughton bay was labelled as "G.de Broughton")
[Click the left map to enlarge]

Additionally, I would like to show you another "French map" here. This is from a French magazine "Le Tour de Monde", which was published in the 1860's in France. In this map of China and Korea, Korea didn't have either Ulleungdo or Liancourt Rocks.
(Broughton bay was labelled as "Golfe de Coree") [Click the map to enlarge]


1893 Andree's Allgemeiner Handatlas

The following two maps are from "Andree's Allgemeiner Handatlas" (1893) which was published in Leipzig, Germany by Velhagen & Klasing.

The first one is a map of China, Korea and Japan "Ubersichtskarte von China und Japan". In this map, Korean territory was indicated in yellow whilst Japan's territory was shown in orange. Please take a look at Ulleungdo, which was labelled as "Matsu Schima" - it looks as coloured in yellow. Yes, it accurately shows that Ulleungdo belonged to Korea. Then, please take a close look at Liancourt Rocks, which is labelled as "Liancourt R." - it was coloured in orange! Yes, it shows that Liancourt Rocks belonged to Japan. At least, the rocks were not recognised as Korean territory in the 1890's - it is quite natural because Korean eastern limit had been believed to be Ulleungdo.
(Broughton bay was labelled as "Broughton Bai")

The next one is a map of China and Korea, "Ostchina und Korea". Korean territory is shown in yellow and Japan's teritory is coloured in red. Liancourt Rocks were not drawn in this map. Ulleungdo, which was labelled as "Matsu Schima", looks as coloured in red - Japan's territory, although this is inconsistent with the map above. But anyway, it is certain that western people believed that Liancourt Rocks were out of Korean territory.
(Broughton Bay was labelled as "Broughton B.")

This German atlas is one of the circumstantial evidences to show that Liancourt Rocks didn't belong to Korea at all at least in 1890's, before the Korean Edict #41 in 1900 and the incorporation of the rocks into Japan's Shimane prefecture in 1905.


1903 Encyclopaedia Britannica Map

This is a map issued in Edinburgh 1903 by Adam & Charles Black for Encyclopaedia Britannica (10th Edition), one of the most famous encyclopaedias in the world.
(The original design of this map seems to be one of the Century maps [USA].)

Please take a look at the islands in the Sea of Japan - Taka Shima, Matsu Shima, Hornet Is. (Liancourt Rocks) and Oki Is.

Although Taka Shima (Argonaut island) is a phantom island, remaining islands are mapped at the right locations. Most importantly, all these islands were painted in the same colour as Japan.

This is another evidence that western people believed that Liancourt Rocks didn't belong to Korea in the early 1900's when Korean Edict #41 was already promulgated and Japan was yet to incorporate the rocks into Shimane prefecture.

Broughton bay is labeled as Broughton Bay.


RAS Will Sponsor a Lecture on Dokdo on Feb. 24

The Royal Asiatic Society (RAS) has invited Dr. Kim Yong-deok to speak on the history of Dokdo and the legal aspects of the dispute at Somerset Palace in Seoul on February 24. The description of the lecture follows:

RAS Lecture Meeting
February 24, 2009
Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
2nd floor, Residents lounge
Somerset Palace, Seoul
Dr. Kim, Yongdeok

History and Justice - Approaches to the Dokdo Island Issue

The dispute between Korea and Japan concerning Dokdo Island is especially difficult for outsiders to understand. The highly emotional, nationalistic rhetoric often used by both sides provides no objective basis for an informed opinion. Many have gained the impression that there exists no such objective, factual basis and that they should take sides in the dispute simply on the basis of their own instinctive liking for one or the other country.

Among scholars of history and law in Japan and Korea, there has long been controversy surrounding their differing ways of seeing the history of Dokdo and of applying the system of international law to it. Yet all agree that accurate history must of course be based on historical facts, which are established by reference to concrete evidence as to what really happened in the past. Accurate historical research leads to correct history, which in turn supports right legal judgment and the establishment of justice.

Our speaker tonight, Professor Kim Yongdeok, is one of the most respected Korean scholars of Japanese history, and of the history of relations between Japan and Korea. He has long advocated a reasoned dialogue in place of impassioned rhetoric in order to resolve the Dokdo issue. His opinion is that although there is plentiful evidence in support of the Korean claims to sovereignty over Dokdo among Korean sources, the most persuasive way to convince any third party and the international community at large will be to invoke foreign sources, including Japanese documents, about Dokdo (Takeshima in Japanese) to support the claims made by Korea. Tonight he will explain the Korean position in the current dispute, not by making use of Korean sources, or mere rhetoric, but by refering to Japanese and other foreign sources and employing a logic based entirely on historical evidence and the rules of international law.

Kim Yongdeok has been the President of the Northeast Asian History Foundation, Seoul, since 2006. He received his B.A and M.A in history from Seoul National University before going to Harvard, where he received a Ph.D. in history in 1979. From 1980 until his retirement in 2008 he was a Professor in the Department of History at Seoul National University. During that time he served as President of the (Korean) Association of Japanese History Research (1996-1998), as President of the Korean Historical Association (1999-2000), as Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University (2003-2006), as Director of the Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University (2004-2006). He has published a number of books and articles on Japanese history and on the relations between Japan and Korea. LINK

Despite the statement in the lecture announcement that history should be studied objectively and based on historical facts and "concrete evidence," it seems obvious from the announcement that Dr. Kim will not be there to explain the history of Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks) objectively, but will be there to promote Korea's invented claims.

The announcement also says that Dr. Kim will be focusing on Japanese sources instead of Korean. In other words, he seems to be planning to avoid the embarrassing task of trying to explain that why there are no old Korean maps showing Dokdo and why there is no evidence, Korean, Japanese, or otherwise, that Koreans ever traveled to Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks) before Japanese fishermen started taking them there in the early 1900s. Instead, he will likely try to claim that Japan recognized Korea's claim on Dokdo by using smoke-and-mirror evidence that is far from "concrete." Many of the people who read this blog already know some of the shady methods that Korean historians use to try to distort the history of Dokdo.

Anyway, the lecture could be interesting, not because of what Dr. Kim will likely say, but because there may be some in the audience who will question some of his claims, if given the chance.

If anyone is thinking about visiting Korea and is interested in the Dokdo dispute, February 24 may be a good time to visit.

Thanks, Matt, for the heads up.


1946 - Feb. 13 - "Conference with GHQ/SCAP concerning separation of the administration"

GHQ/SCAP confirmed that SCAPIN677 was only for administrative convenience, not territorial direction.
On Feb. 13, 1946, 15 days after SCAPIN677 was issued, GHQ/SCAP officers verbally explained Japanese government official that the directive( SCAPIN677) was only for administrative convenience on the part of allied powers and it did not relate to the territorial issue since the territorial issue had to be decided by the peace treaty(San Francisco Peace Treaty, April 28,1952 ) in the future. This newly confirmed Japanese MOFA's official document re-confirmed Japanese government's claim that SCAPIN677 has nothing to do with territorial issue, and rejected Korea's distorted interpretation again.
Miscellaneous matters of old Japanese oversea land situation 2. The 1st conference concerning separation of the administration (Section 1, Division 1 of Postwar Processing) (1946)13th Feb., a liaison officer Khoda had a first conference with GS "Lodge(?)" and "Pool(?)" concerning for the titled subject. Summary is as follows. Ohda(黄田) "Today, I visited to make some question about our doubt concerning the directive, not mentioning about the issue of territory nor the validity of this directive. " American "This directive(* SCAPIN677) was issued merely for administrative convenience on the part of allied powers. It only re-confirmed the administration which had already been done so far. Namely, it means the others (*which were excluded from Japan in SCAPIN677) were not SCAP's jurisdiction. For example, Ohshima(*大島) is CIN(*C)PAC's jurisdiction and Ulleungdo is under the command of the 24th army corps. Therefore, the decision on the range of Japan by this directive has nothing to do with the territorial issue since the territorial issue is something which has to be decided by the peace treaty(*San Francisco Peace Treaty, April 28,1952 ) at some future time. " * notes added by me -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 旧日本外地情況雑件 2. 行政の分離に関する第一回会談録(終戦一部第一課) (昭和二十一年)二月十三日黄田連絡官GS「ロッヂ」大尉及び「プール」中尉と標記の件に関し第一回会談を行ひたり要旨左の如し 黄「本日は領土の歸屬問題乃至は本指令の妥当性等に付いては触れさることとし単に疑義に付質問を為さんか為参上せり」 米「本指令は単なる連合国側の行政的便宜より出てたるに過きす従来行はれ来りたることを本指令に依り確認せるものなり即ち其の他はSCAPの所管するところにあらす例えは大島はCINPACの所管鬱陵島は第二十四軍団の指揮下に在り従って本指令に依る日本の範囲の決定は何等領土問題とは関連を有せす之は他日講和会議にて決定さるへき問題なり」
Though the South Korean government claims that SCAPINs No.677, which is the instruction concerning the separation of the administration, issued by GHQ/ SCAP, has defined Takeshima/Dokdo outside of Japanese territory, this official document re-confirmed the claim is totally groundless. The fact is, the directive is only for administrative convenience on the part of allied powers, and it did not relate to the territorial issue since the territorial issue had to be decided by the peace treaty in the future, just like Japanese government claims. It is absurd for Korean to claim territorial sovereignty over Takeshima/Dokdo based on SCAPIN677, since the administrator who issued the directive itself clearly answered Japanese official that the directive(SCAPIN677) does not define Japan's territory. To begin with, article No. 1 of SCAPIN677 itself clearly says "The Imperial Japanese Government is directed to cease exercising, or attempting to exercise, governmental or administrative authority over any area outside of Japan, or over any government officials and employees or any over persons within such areas. ", and Takeshima was simply listed as one of the "such areas" which Japanese government was not able to administrate under the occupation, not the areas outside of "Japanese territory as well as Ogasawara and Izu islets, etc. all of them were returned to Japan later, except for Ulleugndo and Jeju, which had been Korean territory before Japan's annexation, and Kurils, Habomai and Shikotan, which are still under the negotiation between Russia. Moreover, the article No.6 of the directive clearly wrote "6. Nothing in this directive shall be construed as an indication of Allied policy relating to the ultimate determination of the minor islands referred to in Article 8 of the Potsdam Declaration. " As the articles of SCAPIN677 clearly defines, it never direct the "territorial issue." The Korean claim is nothing but a irrational argument in the first place.
In addition, SCAPIN1033, which also Korean sovereignty claim bases on, clearly states "5. The present authorization is not an expression of allied policy relative to ultimate determination of national jurisdiction, international boundaries or fishing rights in the area concerned or in any other area”. It is clear that Korean interpretation of the document is only far-fetched argument as well.
On top of that, "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). ", which Korean media reported as the evidence of Japanese government's recognizing Takeshima as outside of the territory this January, only followed SCAPIN677 that limits the administrative power of Japan, unrelated to any territorial issue. As it was showed, pro-Korean always take up only convenient parts of the documents, disregarding inconvenient parts. I hope they stop this kind of nonsense and develop the true discussion with the academic value based on a historical fact immediately. The first thing they need to do is to present clear evidence that Korea's Lee Dynasty or Great Korean government had recognized Takeshima as their territory before 1905. Secondly, Korean government is required to open all internal documents of the Great Korean Empire around 1905-1906 so that we can understand why Korean government didn't protest nor even made inquiry about Takeshima incorporation while they did for the similar case of 竹邊浦 near Ulleungdo. Korean Imperial government officially acquiesced Japan's sovereignty over Takeshima/Dokdo by not protesting about the island against Japan in 1906. This document was found by "kingfish", reported by opp, and chaamiey helped us to decipher some of the obscure kanji. Lots of thanks to them. Reference : 1906- Feb 20 & April 17 - "Official Documents of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Vol.1" - Korean government protested about land transaction in 竹邊浦 Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers Directives to the Japanese Government (SCAPINs) (Record Group 331) - 対日指令集 - 1946 - SCAPIN 677 - #1 1946 - SCAPIN 1033 - #2
1946 旧日本外地情況雑件2.行政の分離に関する司令部側との会談_2