17th C. Korean Map - "Paldo Jeondo" (八道全図)

Below is a Korean map of the Korean peninsula entitled "Paldo Jeondo" (八道全図), which is believed to have been made in the 1600s. The map is stored in Korea's Koryo University Museum.

On the map, Ulleungdo (鬱陵島) was drawn off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, and Usando (于山島) was drawn as a small island off the west coast of Ulleungdo, between the Ulleungdo and the peninsula. Off the southeast coast of Ulleungdo was written the following:

Japan is east of here.

The statement on the map agrees with a 1714 entry in the "Bo Gweol Jeong O" (補闕正吳), which was a supplement to the Records of King Sukjong (肅宗實錄). The record was as follows:

鬱陵之東 島嶼相望 接于倭境
Visible to the east of Ulleung is an island on the Japanese border.

In the report of his 1694 inspection of Ulleungdo (蔚陵島事蹟), Jang Han-sang wrote about climbing the central peak of Ulleungdo and seeing an island in the distance to the southeast that he judged to be less than one third the size of Ulleungdo. Later in the report, he summarized his observation by saying that he had looked toward "that country's (Japan's) territory" and saw no "imposing islands," which suggests that he did not consider the small, distant island he saw to the southeast to be "imposing." Here is what he wrote:


On a day the rain stopped and the fog lifted, we went into the mountains and climbed the central peak. Two tall peaks to the north and south were facing us. These were the so-called Sambong (三峯 - "Three Peaks"). The winding shape of the Dae Gwan Ryeong (大關嶺 - a mountain range on the east coast of the Korean peninsula) was visible to the west. Looking toward the east, there was one island far off to the southeast. The size was less than one-third that of Ulleungdo. It was only about 300 ri away.

(Later in the summary of the report)


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

The island referred to as being visible to the southeast of Ulleungdo was almost certainly Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo), which is ninety-two kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo. That means that Ulleungdo Inspector Jang Han-sang considered Liancourt Rocks to be part of Japanese territory.


  1. Koran antique maps mostly before 1711, they draw Usando (inside) and Ulluengdo(outside) with unconfirmed/strange figure like thsee maps.But. it is only this map which describes bit detailed Ulluengdo desing in 17th Century.
    It have a mountain design on Ululengdo as if someome sketched Ulluengdo figure.

  2. I think the last sentence was written on the last day of inspection. From the record, Jang climbed central peak twice. First day, it was so clear that he got lucky to have witnessed Takeshima from Ulleungdo.


    But as for the last day, it was much foggier on the ocean than the other day, so he simply couldn't see any "imposing " islands on the ocean.


    I'm not perfectly sure if he really recognized Takeshima/Dokdo as either countries territory, but it is clear that he didn't consider that the island was Usandos in "(世宗実録)地理誌"/"輿地勝覧(東国輿地勝覧)". And confirming so many trace of Japanese on Ulleungdo, he considered Ulleungdo as their frontier against Japanese invasion and tried to warn Joseon government.


    This matches with other description by old Joseon maps and documents. Joseon people considered that the east of Ulleungdo, it was where Japanese territory and they are free to come and go.

    自此以(=Ulleungdo)東方日本 (17th C "八道全図")

    鬱陵之東 島嶼相望 接于倭境 ("1714 補闕正吳")

    The point is, if Korean really considered Takeshima/Dokdo as the "attached island" of Ulleungdo or not. If Jang really considered Takeshima/Dokdo so, as Korean claim now, he must have had gone and inspected the island, since it was his duty and purpose of inspection, to see and report if there were any trace of "Japanese invasion" during his long (2 weeks!!) stay on Ulleungdo, but he didn't.

    Moreover, the government of Joseon simply ignored Jang's description of Takeshima/Dokdo and decided to label Jukdo as Usando, excluding Takeshima, on the official maps since then. In other word, Joseon government did relinquished the right to claim the island in concern as their territory at this point.

  3. Hi, Kaneganese.

    The report only mentioned Jang climbing Ulleungdo's central peak one time. Why would he make the difficult climb a second time, especially on a foggy day?

    Here is my translation of the sentence you posted, along with the sentence following it:

    回船之日、自中峯霞氣、漸廣及於海中 大如東山不知何物浮沈數度超出半空向八

    On the day of the return voyage, clouds and fog came down from the central peak and gradually spread to the sea. Some mysterious object as big as a hill surfaced and submerged halfway out of the sea several times before disappearing.

    Actually, in the above translation, I do not understand the meaning of 向八 at the end of the sentence, and do not understand how they translated that as "disappeared"; therefore, I just borrowed that part of the translation from the translation from Steve's site.

    Anyway, it reads like Jang may have seen a whale off the coast of Ulleungdo.

    In the last part of the report, Jang seemed to be summarizing his observations and speculating on the Japanese threat, which was most probably the reason he was sent to Ulleungdo in the first place.

    Jang had already said that he saw a remote island to the southeast of Ulleungdo that he judged to be less than one third the size of Ulleungdo, so when he said in his summary that Japanese territory was distant and hazy and that he could see no imposing (large) islands, he was effectively saying that the (unimposing) island he saw to the southeast of Ulleungdo was Japanese territory.

  4. As to "向八", I also can't understand "八" in the sentence 霽雨靄捲之日八登中峯.
    Is there anybody who knows why the author wrote "八" (eight) here? Does it have another meaning?

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BTW, I almost agree with Kaneganese but as to Jang's climbing central peaks, I can't believe he climbed the peaks twice.

    As a whole, the climate was severe.

    自二十日、  至十月初三日、留住之間、恒雨少日

    From the 20th until the 3rd October, during whole their stay, it was 恒雨 (always raining) with 少日 (a few sunshines).

    And even on 28th and 29th September they had snow (or drizzle?).

    So the day Jang climbed the peaks, the day rain stopped and fog disppeared (霽雨靄捲之日), may have not been a very fine weather.
    So if he really saw Liancourt Rocks that day, he was a very lucky guy.

    On the day he left Ullengdo was bad weather - 則雨勢霏徴、日又昏黒 (it was raining hard and it was dark). So as Gerry suggested, Jang may not have thought to climb the peaks again if he was lucky enough to see Liancourt Rocks previously.

    He may have really climbed the peaks but he may have written the same occasion in different way.
    However, if this was the case, there is a illogicality here.

    He once reported to 備辺司 that he saw an island at southeast which was smaller than 1/3 of Ulleungdo and was located at ca. 300-ri, and then he reported that when he searched for Japanese islands he could not see anything.

    Isn't there a possibility that he made up about the island according to hearsay as he couldn't see anything because of bad weather?

  5. Hi all,
    I haven't visited this site for a while and I'm glad you guys are still doing great job.

    Is this "Paldo Jeondo" the only Korean document that talks about Dokdo? because I don't recall seeing any other one. And is it really Dokdo/Takeshima that he saw from the mountain? not Jukdo?
    I heard Dokdo/Takeshima can be seen for only few days a year from Ulluengdo due to the weather conditions.

  6. Anonymous26/5/09 22:00



  7. You are right, Chaamiey.

    I just copied the Chinese from that I got from Steve's blog, which was a mistake. It should be 入山.

  8. Yeah, that's right.
    Then how about 向八? Another misprinting?

  9. Anyone know who, where, when this book and map published?
    山海諸図P13 朝鮮地図
    P15 中原朝鮮日本交界図

    Usan-Northeast of Ullengdo with small-single island and narrow-wide shape.(Jukdo-Boussole Rock)

  10. Anonymous27/5/09 20:55



  11. Anonymous28/5/09 00:30

    Lee Sang Tae : Historical evidence of Korean sovereignty over Dokdo

    Given the facts that no sign of the Musanbu in Hamgyeoung-do can be found, that the military base for Chungcheong-do has been situated in the Haemi-hyeun area, and that the area north of the Amnok (Yalu) and Tumen Rivers is described in an unclearly manner , we can surmise that this map was likely produced during the 17 the century.
    Nevertheless, the contradictory nature of this map is made evident by the fact that while the area of Gyeonggi-do traditionally known as Geumcheon-hyeon only began to be referred to as Siheung-gun during the 19th century, the latter appellation is nonetheless used herein.






    As English explanation above shows, this map was not made in 17th century but made in 19th century.

    Before Jang Han Sang found Ulleung-do is located in the border with Japan, Korean side never knew the fact that East of Ulleung is Japan.


    Pacifist さま
    Chaamiey さま






  12. Thanks, guys

    You are doing great job.

    And Gerry, I think you are right. I guess I had confused with Pak's version.

  13. Anonymous29/5/09 21:53




    山中風雨大作、非電震聲 而動如崩山之狀。



  14. Anonymous31/5/09 10:37







    回船之日~ は、いわば日記風の記録、の最後の部分で、
    所謂竹田~ から、最後のまとめの部分、論文で言えば Conclusion の部分が始まるのだと思っています。

  15. Anonymous31/5/09 18:55












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