竹島問題の歴史

14.6.07

1906 Apr 8 - "Diary of My Trip to Takeshima" # 3

The following is an April 8, 1906 San-in Shimbun article that talks about a man's first visit to Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks). (Click on the article to enlarge.)

"Diary of My Trip to Takeshima" # 3
by an Anonymous Traveller


I spent three days looking up at the sky, but, unfortunately, I found a wind that was definitely a whirlwind. The west wind blew stronger on the 24th, but as soon as the clouds went to the east, it changed to a northwest wind and then to a northeast wind before ending. Such a change in wind direction may always occur, but I noticed it because I was watching so closely while hoping everyday that I could see the moon from the island. [Direct translation: "since I was hoping to complain to the moon on the island"] Anyway after this, the wind will stop, and the weather will be fine. I felt relieved. There was no need to read the telegram from the weather station. At 6:30 p.m. on the 26th, we set off from Saigo (Oki) and sailed north for Takeshima.

▲ 27th: At daybreak, I jumped for joy wondering if something in the distance would be Takeshima. At 6:30 a.m., when we were as close as 4.5 ri (18 km) away, we recognized that this was certainly our objective. Although I haven't been here before, I could imagine the office manager saying, "Look at this proudly." The way the two islands stuck out on the horizon was like an ornament of two sails on the big ocean. I thought I would like to see it from various angles while sitting and worshiping it. In the meantime, three big sharks appeared and together tried to attack our ship, which impressed us very much. They came a close as four or five ken (7.28 - 9.1 m) before leaving while we were yelling, "Sharks, sharks!"

▲ Nakai, who had good experience with sea lions, was at the bow. As soon as he said, "There is a sea lion," many people soon gathered at the bow and produced telescopes. It was a mess. It seemed as if thousands of brown-colored sea lions were looking at us. They were saying, "There, and there too!" Obviously there were thousands of them crowded like maggots. As our ship came close to them, the sea lions uttered strange sounds like a long howl of dogs and dived into the sea one by one. The submerged sea lions raised their heads out of the water and were swimming around, howling continuously. They looked like swimmers at a seaside swimming area swimming competitively.

▲ We arrived at Takeshima at 8:30 am on the 27th. Oki Maru was moved to a place where waves were not high. It anchored about ten cho (1090m) away from the island. The sailors said the depth was about twenty-six hiro (about 40 m). Someone, maybe a fisherman from Oki, tried to use bait to fish for squid and soon caught a big fish of about one shaku (about 30 cm), which attracted the interest of the passengers.They said there were plenty of such fish here. When the ship was getting ready to move, we saw a baby whale swimming in the water. It was interesting.

▲ Nakai said that he would be the first person to land. It was a pity that I missed the fishing boat while I was looking expectantly for either whales or dolphins. I envied Omodaka and Nakai, who were rowing away with a fisherman.

▲ I couldn't stand staring at it, so I asked another fisherman to take me out on a lighter boat (called tenma), and we left the Oki Maru. A soft wind came from the direction of Kan-on-jima (觀音島), causing waves to splash at the portside. The sound of oars and the waves mixed together. We chased after the first boat, but the fiherman got in trouble because of the ebb tide.

(Translated by Pacifist)





4 comments:

  1. Translation:

    Diary of voyage to Takeshima #3
    by anonymous traveller

    I spent three days looking at the sky and unfortunately I found these days' wind was definitely a whirlwind. West wind was blowing more strongly on the 24th, as soon as clouds went to east, it changed to north-west wind, then north-east one and ended. Such a change of wind's direction can always occur but I could observe it minutely since I wished everyday I could see the moon on the island. (*direct translation: since I was to complain to the moon on the island)
    Anyway after this, wind must stop. Weather will be fine. I felt relieved, there is no need to listen to the telegram from the weather station. At 6:30pm on the 26th we set off Saigo (Oki) and sailed for north - Takeshima.

    ▲27th:
    At daybreak I jumped for joy wondering that something over there would be Takeshima. At 6:30am when we went close as 4.5-ri (18km), we recognised that this must be certainly our object. Although I haven't been here before, I could imagine that the office manager saying "Look at this" proudly. The way two islands stick out onto the horizon like two sails looks like an ornament on the big ocean. I thought I would like to see it from various aspects and to sit and worship it. In the meantime, three big sharks appeared and tried to attack our ship together, which impressed us very much. They came close to us as 4 or 5 ken (7.28 - 9.1m), then left while we were saying "Sharks, sharks!"
    ▲ Nakai who had good experience with sea lions was at the bow. As soon as he said "there is a sea lion", many people soon gathered at the bow and produced telescopes, it was a mess. It seemed as thousands of sea lions in brown colour looked at us. They were saying "there, and there too!". Obviously there were thousands of them crowded like maggots. As our ship came close to them, the sea lions uttered strange sound like a long howl of dogs and fell into the sea one by one. The fallen sea lions raised their heads upon the sea surface and swimming to here and there, howling continuously, which looked like swimmers at a sea bathing place were swimming competitively.
    ▲ When we arrived at Takeshima, it was 8:30am on the 27th. Oki Maru was moved to the place where waves were not high. When it seemed to be 10-cho (1090m) apart from the island, it anchored. The sailors said that the depth was about 26-hiro (about 40m). Someone, maybe a fisherman from Oki, tried to fish with a bait for squids and soon he caught a big fish of 1-shaku (about 30cm), and passengers had a special interest.
    They say there are plenty of such fish here. When the ship was going to move, we saw a child whale swim fluttering, it was interesting.
    ▲Nakai was saying that he would be the first person to arrive. It was a pity that I missed a fish boat while I looked (at sea) expectedly whether whales or dolphins would visit us. I envied that Omodaka and Nakai who were rowing apart with a fisherman.
    ▲I couldn't stand staring at it, I asked another fisherman and rode on a lighter (called tenma) and left Oki Maru. Soft wind came from the direction of Kan-on-jima (観音島), ripples splashed at the port side, the sound of oars and ripples were mixed together. We were after the first boat, but the fiherman was in trouble because of ebb tide.

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  2. Gerry,

    I don't know what Kan-on-jima is.
    (I wrote Kan-on-jima here because small charcters beside the Chinese characters read as so but I'm not so sure.)Anyway, it is the same spelling as Kannonn-jima 観音島, but the small island beside Ulleungdo is far from Takeshima...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pacifist, there is a map of Takeshima in the 1934 Asahi article and the the rock between west and east island was labelled as 観音岩. It still doesn't fit the discription, though.

    June 29 Asahi article
    http://www.geocities.jp/tanaka_kunitaka9/newspaper/19340629.jpg

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gerry,

    The title has a misspelling, as you may notice...

    ReplyDelete