Korean Finally "Discovers" 1905 Japanese Newspaper Article

Korea's Maeil Economics newspaper reports in a February 9, 2010 article that a Korean professor has discovered a 1905 Japanese newspaper article reporting Japan's incorporation of Takeshima (Dokdo). The Korean article, entitled "Japanese Empire, Dokdo's Seizure Announced Domestically through Newspaper," quotes Professor Kim Mun-gil (金文吉) of Busan Foreign Language University (see photo) as saying the following:

"Recently, I have discovered evident in Japan's Shimane Prefecture Library that the Japanese government tried to inform its people, by way of newspaper, of its incorporation of Dokdo as Japanese territory."

"최근 일본 시마네현 도서관에서 일본정부가 독도를 일본영토로 한다는 사실을 신문을 통해 국민들에게 알리려고 했다는 증거를 발견했다."

The 1905 Japanese newspaper article that the Korean professor has only "recently discovered" is the same article that we wrote about on this blog in 2007. If he had only come HERE and read our post three years ago, the professor could have "discovered" the article much sooner.

Koreans have been claiming for years that the Japanese government in 1905 tried to keep the incorporation of Takeshima a secret, supposedly because Japan did not want the world to know that she was stealing Korean land. Now, in an article that is trying to make some kind of news out of the fact that the Japanese article referred to Takeshima as "Oki's new island," Koreans are inadvertently admitting that the incorporation of Takeshima was made public in 1905.

By the way, the 1905 Japanese article was entitled "Oki's New Island" (隠岐の新島), not "Japan's New Island." The title only meant to say that Takeshima was officially put under the jurisdiction of Oki County, not that it was a new Japanese island, which is what the Korean article seems to be trying to imply.

Land, especially a few barren rock islets, can be considered a part of a country's territory without being put under the administration of a local government. For example, the United States and other countries have what are now called "unincorporated, unorganized territories." Before its incorporation in 1905, Takeshima seems to have been considered such a territory by Japan, as this 1877 letter from an official of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests. Here is an excerpt from the 1877 letter:
Many records say that “Argonaut,” which is the Western name for Takeshima (Ulleungdo), does not exist, and that “Dagelet,” which refers to Matsushima, is actually Takeshima (Ulleungdo). So what we call "Matsushima” (Liancourt Rocks) is called “Hornet Rocks” by Westerners. Foreign maps show Hornet Rocks to be Japanese territory, but there is still no agreement among countries concerning the other two islands.
Japan has many old maps showing Takeshima as Japanese territory, but Korea has none showing it as Korean territory. Takeshima before 1905 appears to have been considered unincorporated Japanese territory, but in 1905, it was formally incorporated, as is evident by the 1905 Japanese article mentioned above.

Thanks, Kaneganese, for pointing out the Korean article.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. A commenter named "Dude," who has apparently deleted his comment, claimed, with many expletives, that Dokdo was Korean territory. His comment reminded of a poem I wrote a while back entitled "Dokdo," which can be found HERE. The refrain in the poem can be translated as follows:

    Dokdo is our land.
    Even though we have no documents or maps,
    It is absolutely our land.

    Koreans have no documents or maps to prove that Takeshima (Dokdo) was historically Korean territory. They seem to want us to simply take their word for it.

  3. Mr Bevers, I totally disagree with your opinion regarding the issue of "public announcement"

    The question I have raised before on this page is as follows.


    How public is public enough?

    Well, in the case of Dokdo Island there was confusion with regard to territorial ownership of the islets before Japan seized the islets. Not only that, many Japanese records treat the islets as attached to Chosun's Ulleungdo before Japan annexed the islets in 1905. When you consider Japan unilaterally extended her territory about 160 kms onto the doorstep of Chosun's Ulleungdo, at least Korea should have been given notification at a government level.

    That said, Japan's announcement should have extended beyond local and domestic media. In other words an formal declaration of territorial expansion to the degree other interested sovereigns could contest, would have been appropriate. This was the case when Japan incorporated the Bonin Islands (both the U.S. and England were formally notified)

    Shimane's 1905 "public announcement" of Dokdo was the same as her "public announcement" of Marcus Island just a few years earlier. Marcus Island was "announced" by tiny ads yet no other foreign nation was aware. Because of this, America and Japan almost went to war over Marcus Island. In both cases Jutaro Komura was involved so he knew full well tiny ads in newspaper ads were "legal" yet would not attract the interest of foreign nations.

    In 1905 there was no radio nor television. Really what Koreans had access to what few local rags that printed snippets of detail regarding Japanese activities on Dokdo in 1905? To think the Korean government would have been cognizant of Japan's annexation based on a few paragraphs in local gazettes is silly Mr Bevers.

    The document you posted by Watanabe Kuoki you have posted here ad nauseum as proof of sovereignty over Dokdo has been debunked several times. In reality this record shows only one Japanese official was citing a British map showing Hornet Rocks as Japanese. However others thought Dokdo was what Japanese called Matsushima and attached to Ulleungdo and .


    The Korean professor is onto something however. What researchers are now coming to know is Japan's 1905 annexation of Dokdo was expansionist land-grab inseparable from Japan colonization of the Korean peninsula. Shimane's so-called "announcement" of Dokdo's annexation discribes the islets as a "New Island" meaning Dokdo was not part of Japan before 1905. This record is supported by Oki Island's "announcement" of Oki Region's "Expansion" These records are a death sentence for Japan's MOFA's false claims of Dokdo Takeshima being an "inherent part of Japan.

    BTW it's worthy to note, Shimane's "announcement" makes absolutely no mention of either Liancourt Rocks, Matsushima, Liancoto, Dokdo or any other confirmed names the islets were referred to at this time.


  4. Here the url showing Japan's Illegal Expansion again here.


  5. 山陰新聞 隠岐の新島




  6. Steve my dear bearded frog,
    A country should occupy the island before other countries do and should control it effectively after that in order to own an ownerless island. It is not always necessary to advertise it worldwide. Did USA notify other countries that they incorporated Hawaii? Japan occupied the island before any other countries did and effectively controlled it for many years after that (until 1945), which is enough to show that Japan owns the island. Korea only came after that and occupied it forcefully, which is apparently a "unlawful occupation".

  7. Pacifist, please don't call me "dear". Assuming you are a man, it sounds very queer and I don't roll that way pal.

    Territorial land acquisitions must be first "open and public", As I've said above, open and public in this case would mean an announcement that would be beyond a local level to the degree other sovereign nations could be aware and thus contest. Japan's annexation was not.

    Second, territorial annexations must be "natural and peaceful" meaning it must be a non invasive expansion of a country's territory. Max Huber stated this. However, Japan expanded her boundary for militarily posturing for Russia's Baltic fleet during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 1905. Japan's annexation of Dokdo was an integral part of the colonization of Korea Pacifist. Thus it was not natural nor peaceful.

    Please read these links.


    You should listen to what Jon Van Dyke has to say about the military nature of Japan's annexation of Dokdo Pacifist. He has educational credentials from both Yale and Harvard.


    On the other hand Pacifist you are......erm nobody.

    Jon Van Dyke's statements are at the 1:00 mark and they are translated in Japanese for the convenience of any right wing Takeshima lobbyist such as yourself.



  8. Part 1 of 2

    Steve (dokdo-takeshima),

    No country objected to Japan's 1905 incorporation of Takeshima (Dokdo), including Korea. We know for sure that Korea was told about Japan's incorporation of Takeshima in 1906 because there are Korean documents and newspaper articles to prove it, yet Korea still did not protest Korea's incorporation of Takeshima. Koreans did not even know where Takeshima (Dokdo) was.

    When the magistrate of Uldo County (Ulleungdo) was told about Japan's incorporation of Takeshima in 1906, he did not protest to the Japanese and even thanked them for a sea lion carcass the Japanese gave him as a gift. The meeting was described in an April 1, 1906 Japanese newspaper article HERE, which was written by one of the Japanese reporters at the meeting. Here is an excerpt from the article:

    When he visited the county head of Ulleungdo, Department Head Jinzai (神西) said, "I'm an official from Shimane Prefecture of the Japanese Empire. Your island and Takeshima, which is under our jurisdiction, are near each other. Also, many Japanese are staying on your island, so we hope you will watch over them. If we had planned on coming here, we would have brought you a suitable gift, but because we happened to come here for refuge, we do not have one. Fortunately, we have a sea lion here we caught at Takeshima. We would like to give this to you as a gift, and we would consider it very fortunate if you would accept it."

    The county head answered, "Concerning the Japanese people who are staying on this island, I will do what it takes to protect them. I will also accept your gift of the sea lion. If it tastes good, I hope you will give me another one sometime."

    However, the Ulleungdo County Magistrate later reported to his superiors that Dokdo was part of his county, even though he did not know where it was. He told his surperiors that "Dokdo" (Takeshima) was forty kilometers (100 ri) away, which he probably assumed was close enough to make it part of his county, but Takeshima (Dokdo) was actually about ninety kilometers away. The Dokdo magistrate probably just misunderstood the distance that the Japanese told him, not realizing that the Japanese were using kilometers rather than Korean distances.

  9. Part 2 of 2

    Steve (Dokdo-Takeshima),

    In 1906, Korean officials and Korean newspapers did not even know where "Dokdo" (Takeshima) was or anything about it because they reported the same erroneous distance that the Ulleungdo Magistrate reported and they believed that the island was inhabitable and had families living on it, probably because they misread the Ulleungdo magistrate's report.

    Korean officials did not seem to believe the Japanese would have incorporated Korean territory and ordered the Ulleungdo magistrate to investigate the situation and report back.

    The reports about "Dokdo" in Korean newspapers must have caught the eye of Japan's Resident-General in Korea because he asked the Korea's Interior Ministry to clarify what islands belonged to Ulleungdo. In its response, Korea's Interior Ministry did not name "Dokdo" as one of the islands and even gave the area of Uldo County (Ulleungdo and its neighboring islands) as stretching 24 kilometers from east to west and 16 kilometers north to south, whch means that Takeshima (Dokdo) was clearly ouside the boundaries since it is 90 kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo. Here is the July 13, 1906 Korean newspaper article that reported the Korean Interior Ministry's response to the Japanese Resident General:

    Facts on Arrangement of Uldo County

    The Resident-General sent an official letter to the Interior Ministry asking it to clarify what islands belonged to Ulleungdo, which is under the administration of Samcheok County in Gangwon Province, and the year and month the county office was established. The response was that the post of Ulleungdo Administrator was established on May 20, 1898, and then on October 25, 1900, the government decided to post a county magistrate with the county office being at Daehadong (台霞洞). It said the islands under the authority of the said county were Jukdo (竹島) and Seokdo (石島), and that it was sixty ri (24 km) from east to west and forty ri (16 km) from north to south for a total of 200 ri.

    Why didn't the Korean Interior Ministry mention "Dokdo" when it had just been informed of Dokdo a few months earlier? Why did the boundaries in the Interior Ministry's response exclude Dokdo? The answer is obvious. Dokdo was not considered a part of Ulleungdo County.

    The Ulleungdo County magistrate obviously conducted the survey of Dokdo he was ordered to conduct, most certainly found that not only was Dokdo much farther away than he had assumed, but also that it was little more than a very small grouping of uninhabitable, barren rocks. Nothing that Koreans would have been interested in at the time.

    Again, Korean had no old maps of Dokdo (Takeshima) or any records that Koreans had traveled there before Japanese started taking them there from Ulleungdo on Japanese fishing boats at the turn of the early 20th century.


    Before you can claim that the Japanese stole Dokdo from Korea, you first have to show that Dokdo belonged to Korea. How could Japan steal an island from Korea when the Korean government did not even know where the island was? Can you show me even one old Korean map that shows Dokdo?

    1. Gerry, I am Sam Ahn. Wrote a reply to this.


  10. Perfect! Thanks Gerry.

    Additionally, Kaneganese once proved that Korea in those days could claim to Japanese government, so it is apparent that Korea didn't claim - although they could do so if they wanted.

  11. Arggh, geez, another classic Gerry Bevers “debate” that ignores the facts. From there he focuses on minute inconsistencies and then digresses into a hypothetical debate about what Korea should have done to protest Japan’s annexation.

    Mr Bevers, are you still desperately clinging to the notion that Koreans who governed over Ulleungdo and Dokdo didn’t know where Dokdo was?

    Documents prove Koreans knew where Dokdo was hundreds of years before the turn of the century. More importantly fishing records from the turn of the 20th Century show Koreans were well aware of Dokdo in 1900 at the time of Ordinaance 41.

    You can read the Black Dragon Fishing Manuals here.


    Based on historical records, to say Koreans who governed over Ulleungdo didn’t know of Dokdo is pure rubbish.

    Shim Heung Take didn’t quote the exact distance. So what? Historical records show both Koreans and Japanese wrongly quoted the distance to Dokdo from Ulleungdo. It doesn’t diminish Korea’s documented objections to Japan’s annexation one iota.


    Why didn’t Chosun contest more to Japan’s annexation? We will never know, but they did, through local and national government, media and even by private individuals. As long as Japan had control of Korea’s Foreign Affairs it’s not fair to say Korea’s ability to formally protest was unhampered.

    Let’s see, whose opinion do I trust? Some wacky English teacher who hates Korea and Shimane Prefecture's anonymous right-wing Japanese lobbyists or a Ivy League educated Professor of International Law with 40 years experience…? Hmmm that’s tough guys but I gotta go with the Professor, not you Mr Bevers et al.


    I agree with Harvard/Yale grad Professor Jon Van Dyke above and anyone in their right mind will concur. Japan’s annexation of Dokdo was inseparable from the colonization of Korea and thus also illegal.

  12. Steve (Dokdo-Takeshima),

    You are the one ignoring the facts.

    The facts are as follows:

    * Korea has no old maps of "Dokdo," which is something you do not even dispute.

    * Korea has no documents showing that Koreans ever traveled there before Japanese started taking them there on Japanese fishing boats in the early 1900s.

    * Only two times in Korean history was a distance island reported being visible from Ulleungdo and both times it was suggested that the island was part of Japanese territory. Koreans did not know the distance to the island or its size.

    * Korean government officials did not know the distance to Dokdo in April 1906 or any details of the island.

    * The Korean Ministry of Interior excluded Dokdo from the islands making up Ulleungdo County in its 1906 report to the Japanese Resident General and defined the boundaries of Ulleungdo County as excluding Dokdo.

    * Korea's Interior Ministry could have protested Japan's incorporation of Takeshima (Dokdo) in 1906, but did not. Japan only acted on Korea's behalf in foreign affairs. She did not have control of Korea's Interior Ministry.

    The Black Dragon Manual was a Japanese manual, not Korean. Of course, Japanese fishmen could find Takeshima. Show me a Korean manual or map. You cannot do it, which is why you are forced to write such BS.

    Jon Van Dyke is a Korean-loving goofball, who either does not know the history or chooses to ignore it. That is why Koreans always invite him to their Dokdo pep rallies.

    On your site, have you talked about Korea's Interior Ministry excluding Dokdo from the territory of Ulleungdo County in 1906?

  13. Mr Bevers, I’m speechless.

    For you to call a man with Ivy League credentials and decades of experience in the field of international law “a goofball” really makes you the fool here. Not only does it expose your lack of expertise in international law, it shows you have zero class. You are way out of your league old man, so you should really learn when to shut your pie hole.

    Korean’s have no maps of Dokdo. This really depends on your interpretation of Chosun maps. Looking at the source of Chosun original maps and knowing they were based on the Ulleungdo Sajok it is plausible one of the islands drawn to the Southeast was Dokdo.

    Both times the Koreans viewed Dokdo Mr Bevers they excluded the islets from Japanese territory. You are dead wrong again.

    You can read both records here.


    At any rate, what does that matter Mr Bevers. For the purpose of historical research what we are really interested in here is whether of not Koreans were aware of Dokdo. We know they were and really I don’t get why you are harping on this issue.

    Not only that Mr Bevers, but by your own admission the Koreans were also actively involved on Dokdo at the time of Japan’s 1905 annexation, this would mean the islets were not terra nullius or no mans land at all.

    The Korean ministry did not exclude Dokdo from Korea in their reply at all. Gerry they merely recited Korea’s Ordinance 41 which included Ulleungdo, Jukdo Islet and Seokdo (Dokdo) By your interpretation Seokdo is…? What great theory have you dreamed up this time Mr Bevers, you’ve already changed your story about 4 times now.

    BTW Mr Bevers, Japan formally excluded Dokdo from their territory and ceded the islets to Korea.


  14. Response to Steve (Dokdo-Takeshima)

    Part 1 of 2

    We are talking about Korean history, not International Law, and Van Dyke knows very little, if anything about Korean history. He just assumes, for example, that Koreans are telling the truth when they say that Dokdo was made a part of Ulleungdo (Uldo) County in 1900, even though there is no evidence to support such a claim. Can he read the old Korean documents or even speak Korean?

    The two times in Korea history that an island was reported to be visible from Ulleungdo, Koreans suggested it was Japanese territory.

    The following quotes are from the Ulleungdo Sajeok, which descibes a 1694 inspection of Ulleungdo:

    Looking toward the east, there was one island far off to the southeast. The size was only about one-third of Ulleungdo. It was only about 300 ri [120 kilometers] away.

    東望海中有一島 杳在辰方 而其大滿蔚島三分之一 不過三百餘里.

    (Then in the conclusion of the report, while summarying the threat from Japan, the following was written:)

    There is an entrance to the valley, at the stream and upon looking for a strategy to drive away the enemy, this could be a place where one person could defeat a hundred men. Their boats (Japanese) can’t be grouped together for an extended time. Also if there are any strong winds or waves, even maintaining the boats would be difficult. Climbing up to the top of the mountain and looking closely toward their (Japan’s) country, it is dark and distant and there are no prominent islands, thus the distance to their country (mainland Japan) cannot be determined. The topography of the island (Ulleungdo) is like a rice cooking pot placed between us (Korea) and them (Japan).


    Notice that an island judged to be about one third the size of Ulleungdo was reported being visible about 120 kilometers to the southeast of Ulleungdo. That island was probably Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo). We know that the Koreans did not go to the rocks because Liancourt Rocks is actually only about 1/390 the size of Ulleungdo, not 1/3, and it is about 90 kilometers away, not 120 kilometers.

    So, after reporting seeing an unnamed island in the distance to the southeast of Ulleungdo, the report later talks about climbing on of Ulleungdo's mountains looking out toward Japanese territory and seeing "no significant islands." In other words, the Koreans were saying they could see Japanese territory, but there were no islands of significants. Since they had already reported seeing an island off in the distance, that suggests that the Koreans did not consider an island only one third the size of Ulleungdo to be a threat.

    The second mention of being able to see Japanese territory from Ulleungdo was in 1714. Korean fisherman told a Korean government official the following:

    "Visible to the east of Ulleung is an island (or islands) on the border of Japan."

    鬱陵之東 島嶼相望 接于倭境

    接于倭境 means "on the Japanese border," which means they considered the island to be Japanese.

    Again, Koreans did not travel to the island. They only reported it being visible from Ulleungdo.

    You are wrong, Steve. It does matter. Yes, Koreans may have been aware of Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) in 1714, but they recognized it as Japanese territory.

  15. Response to Steve, Part 2 of 2

    Yes, Japanese fishermen were carrying Koreans on Japanese fishing boats to Liancourt Rock (Dokdo) in the early 1900s, which was the first record of Koreans ever traveling there. And the Black Dragon Manual your linked to says that Koreans started out by using the Japanese name for Liancourt Rocks. It was not until later that Koreans came up with the name "Dokdo."

    If the Korean Ministry of Interior was simply quoting the 1900 "Ordinance 41" in their 1906 response to the Japanese Resident-General, then that means the 1900 proclamation excluded "Dokdo" because in its reply, the Korean ministry defined the area of Ulleungdo county as being 24 kilometers east-to-west and 16 kilometers north-to-south. That means that "Dokdo" was excluded because it is about 90 kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo. Likewise, the means that "Seokdo" could not have been a reference to "Dokdo. That boundary, by the way, was not just the area for the main island because the main island is only about 10-by-10 kilometers.

    I believe that "Seokdo," which means "rock island" or "rock islets," was a reference to the rock islets around Ulleungdo. It was used as a catchall phrase in the Korean proclamation making Ulleungdo a county. In other words, the Korean proclamation described Ulleungdo County as follows:

    ARTICLE 2: The county office will be located at Taehadong (太霞洞), and will have jurisdiction over the whole island of Ulleungdo (鬱陵全島), Jukdo (竹島), and the rock islets (石島).

    "Jukdo" was named because it was Ulleungdo's largest neighboring island, but instead of naming all the other islets around Ulleungdo, Koreans simply used "Seokdo" (rock islets) as a catchall phrase to include them all. For example, "Gwaneumdo," which is Ulleungdo's second largest neighboring island, was included as being a part of the county with the catchall phrase, "and rock islets" (Seokdo).

    Stop being silly, Steve. Japan never ceded "Dokdo" to Korea.

  16. Mr Bevers, listen again to Professor Van Dyke at the above link.

    I agree with his analysis of the Dokdo dispute. First he rightly looks at Japan’s claim to Dokdo in a legal context itself, separate from the historical argument. From there Professor Van Dyke condemns Japan’s claim to Dokdo because it is inseparable from Japanese colonial rule and aggression. Being a graduate of both Yale and Harvard, with 40 years in international law, his legal opinion really matters most here.

    So really Professor Van Dyke’s condemnation of Japan’s claim has nothing to do with the translation or interpretation of historical documents, just international law and the military nature of Japan’s annexation of Dokdo.

    Both of your translations above are wrong Mr Bevers. The 1711 record you translated into English omitted a critical character. Let me explain.

    The quote in question reads as follows.

    鬱陵之東 島嶼相望 接于倭境

    Translated correctly this really means “"Visible to the east of Ulleung is an island (or islands) that border on (adjacent to) the limits of Japan.

    Your problem lies in the translation of “接于倭境”

    接于 means “border on” or “adjacent to”
    倭境 means wae-gyeong or the limits of Japan.

    What this record shows is the Chosun coastal residents knew is that Japan’s limits lie beyond Dokdo. It simply does not say Dokdo was attached to Japanese territory as you have been misleading people to say. Here Dokdo Island is described as a separate object from the border of Japan.

    Koreans did have an idea where Japan was and much like Japanese, they perceived Japan to be nowhere even near Ulleungdo or Dokdo. One clear example is this map of Japan and Korea from the mid 17th Century.


    This perception of distance was shared by Japan when they formally excluded Ulleungdo from Japanese territory. The Shognate stated:

    “..Takeshima is said to belong to Inbashu, but the Japanese people have never lived there. At the time of Itokukun, Tokugawa Iemitsu the third Shogun, the merchants of Yonagomura wanted to go there for fishing, and permission was given. Geographically, the island located at 160 ri (640 kms) from Inbashu, whereas it is only about 40 ri (160 kms) from Choson. Therefore, it is undoubtedly Choson’s territory. The country could settle the matter by military power, but is not our policy to impair the good-neighborly relations over a us less, small island. From the beginning, that island was never taken from Choson by force, and it does not make sense [for Choson] to turn it over to us. The only thing to do is to prohibit permanently the Japanese people from going there for fishing. Therefore, this should be communicated to Choson. …”


    The Ulleungdo Saejok you have misinterpreted proves Dokdo was separate from Japan because of a simply fact. Jang Han Sang said he saw Dokdo and ballparked the distance. In his summary he stated he didn’t know how far away Japan was. So it’s simple whether you translate his quote as “eye catching islands” or “caught my eye” is really moot.

    On another note, Jang Han Sang did not use standard ri in his report. The distance he uses to measure various landmarks around Ulleungdo tells us he used a 200 meter ri. This means he perceived Dokdo to be only around 60kms away. It’s not plausible he thought Japan was about half the distance to Ulleungdo at it was to Korea. Koreans were full aware Ulleungdo was much closer to Chosun territory.

    So you see Mr Bevers, upon citing related Japanese and Korean territorial perceptions, neither the Japanese nor Koreans would have thought Dokdo was Japanese.

  17. Gerry the reply to the Japanese Resident General shows us two things.

    First the dimensions given were of Ulleungdo Island NOT of Uldo County. We know this because the size given matches the size of Ulleungdo on old Chosun maps. Thus, Korea’s Ministry of the Interior’s reply has zero to do with the identity of Seokdo (Dokdo) in Chosun’s Ordinance 41 of 1900. The issue of Ullengdo’s outlying islands was not dealt with in detail in this report.

    Second the size of Ulleungdo Island reported by Korea’s Ministry of the Interior shows they really had no idea about the geography of Ulleungdo even at this time. In reality the maps they were referring to were hundreds of years old, showed Ulleungdo to be over two times too large and had numerous non-existent islands drawn around Ulleungdo.

    Your “catchall islands phrase” doesn’t wash Gerry. This is just some lame theory you dreamed up and I really don’t see any historical basis. Gwaneumdo is not a rock islet, however in historical records Dokdo Island is frequently described as “rocky” or as a “rock islet”


    It makes no sense whatever, that Chosun would issue a declaration that a rock about 80 meters from Ulleungdo’s shore is part of the county, especially given the fact Jukdo Islet was already mentioned, and is much further away.

  18. Steve (dokdo-takeshima),

    Japan's incorporation of Takeshima (Dokdo) in 1905 had nothing to do with Japan's colonization of Korea in 1910. As I wrote above, Korea knew of Japan's incorporation of Takeshima and had the ability to protest it, but did not, even when Japan gave them the opportunity by asking them to define the islands of Ulleungdo. Again, Korea knew about "Dokdo" in 1906, but they did not mention the name "Dokdo" in their report.

    In the 1714 passage, a Korean official was warning that Korea should strengthen its defenses along the east coast facing Ulleungdo since Japanese territory was very close to there. As an example of how close, he said that an island on the border of Japan was visiable from Ulleungdo.

    接境 means "border"
    倭境 means "Japanese border
    于 means "on"
    Therefore, 接于倭境 means "on the Japanese border."

    The phrase "Japanese border" would not have been used if there were no islands to represent it. In other words, if the Korean official had wanted to say the island represented the Korea border, he would have said "our border" (我境), not "Japanese border" (倭境).

    "Takeshima" was the Japanese name for Ulleungdo, not Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo). It was only when the Japanese incorporated Liancourt Rocks in 1905 that they adopted the name "Takeshima" for the rocks. Japan ceded Ulleungdo to Korea, not Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo).

    In the record of the 1694 inspection (Ulleungdo Sajeok), Koreans reported seeing an unnamed island in the distance that they judged to be about 1/3rd the size of Ulleungdo. If the island had been considered a part of Ulleungdo then the Koreans should have know that the island was only 1/390th the size of Ulleungdo, not 1/3rd. They would probably also have had a name for it.

    Then, in the summary of the report, they said they had looked at Japanese territory and it was dark and distant with no "eye-catching" islands. That means they did not consider the island they had seen, which was only 1/3 the size of Ulleungdo, to be "eye-catching."

    The fact that the Koreans in 1694 descibed Ulleungdo, not the island visible in the distance, as being between Korea and Japan is more evidence that Koreans considered Ulleungdo, not the distant, unnamed island, to be the midpoint between the two countries.

    The dimensions the Korean Interior Ministry gave the Japanese in 1906 was for "said county," not for just the main island of Ulleungdo. Again, the main island, by itself, is only about 10x10 kilometers.

    By the way, your reasoning is faulty because you are simply "assuming" that the distances on the old maps did not include Jukdo and Ulleungdo's surrounding "rock islets" (Seokdo).

  19. WTF???

    接境 means "border"
    倭境 means "Japanese border
    于 means "on"
    Therefore, 接于倭境 means "on the Japanese border." ????

    Mr Bevers what kind of messed up translation is that? The islands border on a border? Even with that nonsensical interpretation, Dokdo Island is described as separate from the border of Japan and not one in the same. Thus Dokdo is separate from Japan, very simple..

    The character “接” doesn’t mean border, as a noun. It means adjacent to or next to or close to. In fact the Korean translation means 접해있다. This translation is supported by publications. In this case the term is used as border on, or adjacent to the limits of Japan.

    In the usage of territorial reference 접해있다 means to border on something or be adjacent to. You can see this dictionary definition here. I’ve explained this to you many times before but either you are stubborn or just have a serious memory problem.


    You can see the correct translation in this book, on this link.


    Jang Han Sang said the distance to Dokdo was 300 ri, about 60kms in this case. He later said he didn’t know how far away Japan was. Thus Dokdo was not Japanese territory. Quit trying to baffle readers with unrelated B.S.

    The Japanese issued an explicit travel ban on both Ulleungdo and Dokdo in 1837. The related color-coded maps that show the territories of Japan and Korea clearly show Korea, Ulleungdo and Dokdo as red and Japan as non-coloured. The Shogunate’s decree extended to all Japanese. In fact he had the residents of these coastal areas sign a document promising to stay off of both islands. That’s as good as cessation of territory as you will find in reference to a couple of rocks hundreds of clicks from Japanese territory.


    Korea’s Ministry of the Interior didn’t quote the area of Uldo County Mr Bevers. They gave the area of Ulleungdo according to old Chosun maps. Even the Dae Han Ji Ji used maps that referenced the 1711 inspection map made almost 200 years earlier. The Ministry of the Interior gave the dimensions of Ulleungdo exactly the same as old Korean maps Mr Bevers. By your bizarre translation the Koreans pulled some arbitrary dimension of their arse and deemed it the limit of Uldo. This is a self-supported rubbish translation you dreamed up in a feeble attempt to say Koreans exlcluded Dokdo from Uldo County. As always, upon closer examination your translations fall apart Mr Bevers.

  20. Steve,

    Your problem is that your Korean is not good enough to recognized bullshit when you see it. You have even admitted that your Korean sucks, and you depend on your Korean wife:

    Steve wrote:

    Mr Cho I must stress these days there are more Japanese working with foreigners promoting Takeshima is Japanese and they are doing it in English while working with idiots like Gerry Bevers. Like after WW2 Korea isn’t getting its message out there about Dokdo.

    That being said, Mr Lovmo’s site is up and running and I’ve been working on my own to try to gather information and translate it but to be honest my lack of ability in Korean language makes it impossible to gather images on some of these Korean National Archives Websites because they are totally in Korean.

    Even Koreans admit that the translation of the 1714 passage you link to is wrong.

    In his 2007 book, "History of Dokdo, Ulleungdo" (독도, 울릉도의 역사), Kim Ho-dong (김호동) translated the 1714 passage exactly as I translated it:

    The island visible to the east of Ulleungdo is on the Japanese border.

    울릉도의 동쪽의 섬이 서로 보이는데 왜경에 접해 있다.

    In a footnote, Mr. Kim said the translation you linked to, which is the translation of the National Institute of Korean History, is wrong. Here is what he wrote:


    However, the National Institute of Korean History is mistranslating it as, "I listened carefully to the people in the ports, who said, "Pyeonghae and Uljin are the closest to Ulleungdo, and there are no obstructions, whatsoever, along the sea route. To the east of Ulleungdo, a series of islands connect to the Japanese border."

    그런데 국편의 최근 번역에는 이것을 "浦人의 말을 상세히 듣건대, '平海, 蔚珍와 거리가 가장 가까와서 뱃길에 조금도 장애가 없고, 울릉도 동쪽에는 섬이 서로 잇달아 倭境에 접해 있다'고 하었습니다"라고 잘못 번역하고 있다.

    The National Institute of Korean History mistranslated "visible island" as "a series of islands." Why did the Koreans come up with such a crazy translation? Because they know the 1714 passage said "Dokdo" was Japanese territory.

    Here is the translation of 접경 (接境) in Yahoo!'s Korea-English dictionary.

    접경(接境) - a border; a boundary; a frontier (국경)
    ~하다 border (on); abut (on)

    So, 접경 (接境) means "border," and 접왜경 (接倭境) means "Japanese border."

    Again, if the Koreans had wanted to say the island was on the Korean border, they would have said 我境 (아경), but they said "Japanese border."

  21. 英祖実録 1769年11月 29日に、「鬱陵島地近倭境」とあります。

  22. First Gerry, it does not say 접경 “接境” it simply says “接” You have entered an extra character.

    The phrase here is 接于倭境.

    By your own admission the word border here is used twice. One meaning the border of Japan. However, the translation you give above only uses the word border once Mr Bevers. You have omitted a word.

    Even the translation you use above does not come to your erroneous interpretation Mr Bevers. Lets look at it again.

    “..To the east of Ulleungdo, a series of islands connect to the Japanese border."

    First this translation does not agree with yours at all. They too have translated 접해 있다 However it does not at all imply the islands East of Ulleungdo are part of Japan’s limit. The two objects are described as separate and not one in the same. For example a bridge or a tunnel could connect Windsor to Detroit but it would not make the bridge part of Detroit at all. Do you understand Mr Bevers?

    Mr Kim didn’t say “connect” either he still stated “접해 있다”. The connect part was your slick little entry.

    Also the people of 18th Century Asia (or the world for that matter) had no concept of linear nautical boundaries. It’s even more ridiculous to assume the people of Korea’s coastal regions even had a concept of exactly how far away Japan even was. It pure nonsense to think Korean fishermen thought an island they could see from Ulleungdo was the boundary of Japan when even the Korean government didn’t even know the exact distance to Japan. The Koreans knew Japan was out there beyond Dokdo but they were not sure how far.

    The better usage for “접해 있다” as I’ve shown above means “borders on” or is “adjacent to”

    Why would I need to have great Korean translation ability Mr Bevers? My wife is a Korean and an English linguistics major. By the looks of your poor translations, maybe you should scare yourself up a Korean wife fluent in English/Korean too.

    The last time you talked about this record you pulled so many weird translations out of your arse it was was a comedy. I think you even used “on a tangent with the Japanese border”. You also said you would contact “your expert” so obviously you are over your head.

    Any person familiar with language knows simply plugging in literal translations is a poor way to interpret documents. You must consider the usage of the word in question. The usage of “접해 있다” with regard to territories and land is “borders on” not connects to. The Korean professor

    Well, if you want an expert, talk to a Korean familiar with the usage of 접해 있다 and you’ll see, as usual you are wrong Mr Bevers.

  23. Steve (Dokdo-Takeshima) wrote:

    First Gerry, it does not say 접경 “接境” it simply says “接” You have entered an extra character.

    The phrase here is 接于倭境.

    You have just proven that you (or is it your wife?) know nothing about Chinese writing.

    I wrote 접(接) twice to try to teach you a little about Chinese writing.

    1) 접경(接境) = on a border
    2) 접왜경(接倭境) = on the Japanese border
    3) 접우왜경(接于倭境) = same as 2

    The difference between 1 and 3 is that 于(on) is only implied in 1; and instead of just "border" (境), it is "Japanese border" (倭境) in 2.

    "Border (接) on (于) the Japanese border (倭境)" means "on the Japanese border." You do not have to say "border" twice, and it would not be very good English if you did.

    The border of one country does not come up to the edge of another country's island. In other words, if there were no Takeshima (Dokdo), the Japanese border would not come up to the edge of the Korean island of Ulleungdo, and the Korean border would not come up to the edge of Japan's Oki Island. Therefore, when you use 接境 in regard to an island, it simply means the island is the border of the country being talked about, which means the island would belong to the country being talked about.

    Since the 1714 passage said the island visible from Ulleungdo was on the Japanese border, then that means the passage was saying the island was Japanese.

    If I were you, Steve, I would find a new translator.

  24. You are teaching me about Chinese writing by deliberately inserting extra characters and then linking me to a false translation? Thanks Mr Bevers, but I prefer to stay within the actual text of the document in question.

    Here is how you got into trouble Mr Bevers. You stated.
    접경(接境) = on a border, this is wrong.

    The translation does not say (接境) "on a border", it says to "border on" something else, in this case Dokdo "bordered on" was "adjcent to" or "led to" "connected to?" the limits of Japan.

    I can say my house borders on the street. It does not put my house on the street Mr Bevers.
    Mexico borders on the U.S. but is Mexico part of the U.S?
    South Korea borders on North Korea but is ROK part of DPRK?
    The Olympic Bridge in Seoul connects to or leads to the North side but it does not make them one in the same.
    The parking lot is adjacent to the building. Is the parking lot part of the building? No.

    In other words Dokdo was leading to the westermost region of Japan but not in their zone. I can see how you added an extra character changed the meaning Mr Bevers. By adding the second character you changed the English translation.

    After all of these definitions you have tossed around after incorrectly saying both characters denote border, your actual translation only uses the word once. So your English translation runs contrary to the Hanja because your English interpretation eliminates one character.

    When you last used this incorrect translation Mr Bevers, you conceded you were over your head you can read your own words at the link below. So you should take your own advice and hire a Korean and study the Korean language usage more.


    The perspective of this record comes from Korean residents who had never even voyaged to Japan and had no real idea even how far away Japan was. These people had no concepts of linear boundaries or limits. As I've said the Koreans knew somewhere our beyond Dokdo lay Japan's Oki and other islands.

    Mr Bevers, anyone can see what you are trying to do here. You are being slick with your translation in a feeble attempt to imply Dokdo and Japan's limits were one in the same. However, it doesn't work. Dokdo and the limits of Japan clearly stated as separate objects and thus Dokdo was perceived as West of the limits of Japanese territory.


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