Nice picture of Ulleungdo's Jukdo (Usando)

This site has some nice pictures of Ulleungdo, including this one of its neighboring island of Jukdo (Usando). According to THIS Korean article, during Japan's rule of Korea, more than twenty families lived on Jukdo, but today only one family (a father and son) lives there.


Koreans on Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo

In 1412, the governor of Korea's Gangwon province reported HERE that twelve people from Yusanguk-do (流山國島) sailed into and anchored at Eorajin (於羅津) in Goseong (高城). The governor said they said the following:

"We grew up on Muleungdo, where 11 families lived with a total of more than sixty men and women. Now we have moved to the main island and are living there. The island's distances from east to west and north to south are each two shik (60 ri), and its circumference is eight shik (240 ri). There are no cows or horses or rice paddies on the island, but if we plant just one mal of beans, we harvest twenty to thirty seok. If we plant one seok of barley, we harvest more than fifty seok. The bamboo are as big as rafters, and there are all kinds of sea products and fruit trees."

命議政府議處流山國島人。 江原道觀察使報云: “流山國島人白加勿等十二名, 求泊高城於羅津, 言曰: ‘予等生長武陵, 其島內人戶十一, 男女共六十餘, 今移居本島。 是島自東至西自南至北, 皆二息, 周回八息。 無牛馬水田, 唯種豆一斗出二十石或三十石, 麥一石出五十餘石; 竹如大椽; 海錯果木皆在焉。’ 竊慮此人等逃還, 姑分置于通州、高城、杆城。”
Notice that the people said they were from "Yusan-Guk Island," which was obviously an alternate spelling of "Usanguk Island." They said that more than sixty of them had grown up on Muleungdo (武陵島), but later moved to the "main island" (Usanguk Island). This was the first piece of evidence that Koreans lived on Ulleungdo's neighboring island.

Before the An Yong-bok incident in the 1690s, Korea's early maps of Ulleungdo generally showed Usando to be to the west of Ulleungdo, but after the An Yong-bok incident, Korean maps started mapping Usando as Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo. (See HERE.) These early maps tell us that for a certain period in the past Ulleungdo was called "Usando" and its neighboring island was called "Muleungdo" (Ulleungdo). The names later switched, however.

In a  September 2, 1416 record HERE, Korean official Bak Seup (朴習) said the following:

"When I was governor of Kangwon Province, I heard that Mu-leungdo had a circumference of seven sik and had a small island next to it. It had fifty kyeol of farmland and a narrow entryway that only allowed people to travel single file; they could not walk two abreast. A long time ago a man named Bak Ji-yong lead fifteen families to the island and lived there. I also heard that they would sometimes conspire with Japanese pirates and steal. There is a man in Samcheok who knows that island. Please ask him to go there and check."

庚寅/以金麟雨爲武陵等處安撫使。 戶曹參判朴習啓: “臣嘗爲江原道都觀察使, 聞武陵島周回七息, 傍有小島, 其田可五十餘結。 所入之路, 纔通一人, 不可竝行。 昔有方之用者率十五家入居, 時或假倭爲寇。 知其島者, 在三陟, 請使之往見。” 上可之, 乃召三陟人前萬戶金麟雨, 問武陵島事, 麟雨言: “三陟人李萬嘗往武陵而還, 詳知其島之事。” 卽召李萬。 麟雨又啓: “武陵島遙在海中, 人不相通, 故避軍役者, 或逃入焉。 若此島多接人, 則倭終必入寇, 因此而侵於江原道矣。” 上然之, 以麟雨爲武陵等處安撫使, 以萬爲伴人, 給兵船二隻、抄工二名、引海二名、火㷁火藥及糧, 往其島, 諭其頭目人以來。 賜麟雨及萬衣笠靴
Notice that the Korean official say that Muleungdo had a small neighboring island next to it that had fifty kyeol of farmland. He also said that the island had only a narrow entrance that only allowed people to travel in single file. This was obviously talking about Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo since there was only one path leading up onto the island. See the picture HERE. He also said that fifteen families used to live on the island, although it is unclear if he was referring to Ulleungdo or its neighboring island, but it did say that the neighboring island had a path leading up onto it, which suggests that people, at least, visited there and probably used it for farming.

An August 6, 1417 record HERE said, "Japanese pirates looted Usan and Muleung islands." (倭寇于山、武陵), which tells us that both islands had to have people living on them if they were looted.

In an August 30, 1479 record HERE, Korean official Kim Seung-gyeong (金升卿) told King Seongjong the following:
"Next to Sambongdo (三峯島 = Ulleungdo) there is a small island where two families, including that of Jeon Gun-ja (全君子), fled to and are living. If it looks like the people on the main island will refuse to assemble, we can take the two families on the small island before the people on Sambongdo realize it. Then we can appraise the situation before sending people to subjugate them. What do you think?",,,,

命召曾經政丞及府院君等, 御宣政殿, 引見, 又召永安道敬差官辛仲琚以入。 上曰: 三峯島人, 有拒敵官軍之勢, 欲與卿等議處置。” 左承旨金升卿啓曰: “三峯島旁有小島, 全君子等二戶, 逃居其中。 若募本道之人, 出其不意而往, 則可及三峯島人未覺之時, 取小島兩家矣。 然後審其形勢, 遣人討之何如? 鄭昌孫曰: “三峯島人, 無乃覺而來襲乎?” 上曰: “若然則官軍恐受辱矣。” 都承旨洪貴達啓曰: “五鎭人性, 本貪功, 賊若犯境, 欲使他境不知, 而自專其功, 若募以重賞, 必有取之者。” 辛仲琚言: “三峯水路, 五月九月風便海淸, 獨於此時可往。 若然則永安道, 道路遙隔, 今年九月, 似未及往也。” 昌孫曰: “若必入討, 則不可緩也。 若使彼人, 知我將討, 而有備, 則大不可也。” 上曰: “當大擧速討, 用戰卒一千五百若何?” 右副承旨蔡壽啓曰: “不須此數。 雖三四百可矣。 然北人皆用麻尙船, 蒼茫大海, 安可以麻尙船濟師哉? 且不識彼島地勢險夷, 居人多寡, 輕擧大軍, 以冒不測之險, 似未便。” 辛仲琚啓曰: “聞魚命山逃入時, 竊人哨麻船騎去矣。” 上曰: “水路幾日程, 其島泊船處有幾?” 仲琚對曰: “人言可二日程, 泊船處, 亦多有之。” 右承旨李瓊仝啓曰: “彼亦我國人, 安有拒敵官兵之理乎? 遣人招撫何如?” 上曰: “其人不事官役, 安業而居, 其肯來乎?” 洪貴達曰: “若招撫, 則非一端, 必開陳利害, 多方以誘之矣。 但今九月已迫, 戰艦諸事, 必不及辦, 待明年二三月遣之何如?” 上曰: “都承旨所言當矣。 此事終不可密, 今諭監司及節度使, 使備戰艦, 聲言大擧, 則彼或有歸服之理。” 僉曰: “上敎允當。”
In the above record, the Korean king and his officials were discussing ways to remove illegal settlers from "Sambongdo" (Ulleungdo), who they feared would not come peacefully. One official said there was a small, neighboring island with two families living on it. The small island was almost certainly Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo. The official suggested they take the small island first because it would give them a base near Ulleungdo where they would have time to appraise the situation.

A 1692 Japanese document HERE said that at about 5 o'clock in the morning of February 26, Japanese fishermen landed on a neighboring island of Ulleungdo called "Ika-shima" (イガ島). This 1724 Japanese map shows that "Ika-shima" (イガ島) was almost certainly Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo. On the island the Japanese found evidence that someone had been fishing for abalone there. On the morning of the next day (the 27th), the Japanese sailed on to the main island of Ulleungdo, where they met a Korean who told them the Koreans were at Ulleungdo fishing for abalone. This is evidence that both Koreans and Japanese were visiting and using Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo in 1692.

Today, Kim Gil-cheul (59) and his son live on the Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo. Mr. Kim has lived there for more than thirty years, in spite of there being no drinking water on the island. They have survived by collecting rain water. Mr. Kim said he moved to the island because he was hungry, and there were fields on the island where he could raise corn or potatoes. (See HERE ).

When Mr. Kim arrived on Jukdo, there were already three families living there. He said the other families on the island eventually left because the environment was so harsh, including the fact that they had to collect rain for their drinking water. According to a Japanese report HERE, a farmer was living on Jukdo even in 1930, and used a ladder to scale part of the path up onto the island. Also, according to this September 14, 2006 article from the Korean newspaper Silla Ilbo, at one time, four families with a total of thirty people lived on Jukdo. Here is the relevant portion of the Korean newspaper article:

죽도는 총면적 약6만 3000평으로 남북한 730m,동서쪽 400m로 울릉도 부속섬 106개중 가장 크며 도동 선착장에서 7km, 저동항에서 4km 북동쪽에 위치하고 있다. 죽도거주민은 한때 4가구 30명이 살았지만 지금은 김기철(67),유곤 한 부자가 거주하고 있으며 관광객 및 주민이 연간 2만명 정도가 다녀가는 울릉도 대표적인 관광의 섬이다.
Also, according to a March 9, 2001 article HERE, during Korea's colonial period, more than twenty families were said to have lived on Jukdo. Here is the relevant portion of the article:
저동항에서 동북쪽으로 십 리쯤 떨어진 바다에 떠 있는 207,869㎡(62,880평)의 작은 섬 죽도,일제시대에는 20여 호가 거주하였다고 하나 지금은 단 한 가구만이 거주할 뿐인 유인도.
About ten ri northeast of Jeodong Harbor, there is a small island on the sea called Jukdo [207, 869 sq. meters (62,880 pyeong). During Japanese rule, it is said that more than twenty families lived on the island, but now there is only one family.
In regard to the cliffs on Jukdo, , Kyoto Imperial University lecturer and geologist (京都帝大講師) Harumoto Atuo (春本篤夫氏は) went to Ulleungdo's Jukdo in 1930 (昭和五年) while he was conducting an on-site survey of Ulleungdo (欝陵島の実地調査を行った際). Here is what he said:
"Chukdo is an islet with a circumference of two kilometers and a height of 105 meters at the highest point. It is completely surrounded by 100-meter vertical cliffs, but there is one spot where it is possible to set up a ladder and use the crevices in the cliff to climb up. The top is flat, and there is a field. A farmer lives there with his family. People half-jokingly call him the magistrate of the land. "
When people tell you that no one lived on or could not have lived on Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo because the cliffs were too steep or because there was no drinking water, you now know that they are either ignorant of the facts or are trying to deceive you with lies.

By the way, the 1794 Korean document to which Non-anonymous (Toadface) keeps referring said the following about three islands called Bangbaedo (防牌島), Jukdo (竹島), and Ongdo (瓮島):
前有三島, 在北曰防牌島, 在中曰竹島, 在東曰瓮島。 三島相距, 不過百餘步, 島之周回, 各爲數十把, 險巖嵂屼, 難以登覽,

또 그 앞에 세 개의 섬이 있는데, 북쪽의 것은 방패도(防牌島), 가운데의 것은 죽도(竹島), 동쪽의 것은 옹도(瓮島)이며, 세 섬 사이의 거리는 1백여 보(步)에 불과하고 섬의 둘레는 각각 수십 파(把)씩 되는데, 험한 바위들이 하도 쭈뼛쭈뼛하여 올라가 보기가 어려웠습니다.

Also, there were three islands in front. Bangpaedo (防牌島) was the northern island, Jukdo (竹島) the middle, and Ongdo (翁島) was to the east. The distance between the three islands was only about 100 paces, and the circumference of each was tens of pa (把). The rocks were so steep and towering that climbing to the top and looking was (would be) difficult.
First, notice that the passage did not say the rocks "couldn't be climbed," as Non-Anonymous (Toadface) said HERE. Second, we do not know which rocks were being talked about since there were three islands involved. Third, it said that there was a hundred paces separating each of the three islands, which we know would not be true in the case of Jukdo since Jukdo is about two kilometers from the nearest island.

I warn people to take what Non-Anonymous (Toadface) says with a big grain of salt because, as I have shown above, he is either lying or is ignorant of the facts when he says or suggests that no one did or could live on Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo.

Usando was not Liancourt Rocks. It was the old name for Ulleungdo's neighboring island of Jukdo, and Koreans used to live there and still do.


1905 - "Trade Documents" by MOFA (外務省通商局編纂 通商彙纂)

「通商彙纂」 is the compiled book of the report of commerce, economy, and import/export sent by the Japanese consuls stationed to each countries. The 1905 edition of "Compiled Trade Documents" by MOFA tells us below. (link to 1902 edition)
1. The number of Japanese residents on the Ulleundo is fewer than that of 1902.
2. The variety of the occupation increased, including even officials and doctors.
3. The number of the people who stayed over is 260, which means more Japanese residents settle permanently on the island.
4. Almost 1/3 Japanese seemed to be seasonal residents since the number of the people increased from April to June.
5. The variety of the items of import.export increased.
6. It also mentioned about Takeshima(Liancourt Rocks) as "Lanko-toh" in the second part.
Though it is hard to tell "Uleundo residents" in this sentence include Korean or not, since there are absolutely no mention of Korean activity in this section, it is safe to say that those "Ulleundo residents" who hunted sea lions on "Lanko-toh" were not Korean but Japanese.
Link to the original document
Link to the Japanese version

The situation of Ulleundo 
Population, Business of Japanese, Iems of import /export 
(The report by consul at Pusan, 31st July, 1905)  
Section 1 - Population 
There were 85 households and 260(175.male and 85-female) people in the December of last year report. The number increased to 110 households and 366 population this June. The stats below show how the number increased from April to June.  
                      April   May   June  
Households      89      98       110  
Male               155    206       219  
Female              96    135       147  
Total                251    341      366  
Section 2 - Business of Japanese  
Next, the stats for the variety of occupations from April to June below show what kind of business Japanese are engaged or what kind of businesses are increasing. Note: not a small number of people engage in two or more businesses for one person.  
Business Name              April        May      June  
Officials                             3             3            3  
Doctor                                1             2            2
Importer                             8             8            8  
Exporter                             5             5            7 
Broker                              21            21         21  
Seller of China                   2              2           2  
Household goods Seller     0               1          1  
Oil dealer                            1              1           1  
Lumber dealer                    2               2           2  
Carpenter                            7             12          12  
Joiner                                  3               3            3  
Sawyer                              43             50          52  
Cooper                                0               0            1  
Blacksmith                          5               5            5  
Day labourer                       2               2            2  
Restaurant                           1               1            1  
Tofu maker                         2                2            2  
Farmer                                2                3            3  
Diver (潜水業)                   0                0            2  
Fishermen                          15             27           31  
Diver (海士)                        0             32           32  
Sailor                                   0              31          31  
Employee                            2                2             2  
Servant                                2                 1            1  
Dressmaker                         2                 2            2  
Laundry                               1                 1            1  
Handiworker                        1                 1            1  
Charcoal burner                   1                 1            1  
Postal Worker                      1                 1            1  
Section 3 - Import / Export Products of the Island
Next is the number to show the situation of imports/exports in comparison between this year and around the same period last year.  
Exports in April - June 1905 / Exports in  April - June 1904  
Items                      Unit          Quantity         Price       Quantity Change  
Soybeans              Koku (石)         214            1,605            470  /  256  
Zelkova timber     Sai (才)        62,118            3,727       38,382   / 23,726  
Dried abalone       Kin (斤)          4,770           4,770             *  /  4,770  
Sea lion skins       Kan (貫)          1,275           1,275              800  /  475  
Sea lion oil              To (斗)            414               538                20 / 394  
Sea lion lees             To(斗)            800               160                  *  / 800  
Sum                                                                 12,075  
Addition to that, there were exports of 1,500 Kan (貫) of firewood, 26 Kan and 800 Me(目=匁) of mushrooms、52 Kan of laver, 1 barrel of ●, 347 Hyou (俵) of salt, 16,387 Sai of Japanese hemlock lumber, 200 Kan of Korean coins, 800 Kan of Phellodendron, 850 Kan of dried squid and 800 Kan of Sealion meat.  
The Sealion called "トド(Todo)" lives on the island called "Lanko," which is located about 25 ri southeast of Ulleundo. From around last year, the residents of Ulleundo (鬱陵島民) started to hunt them. The hunting season is 6 months from April to September. It is said that about ten hunters or seamen on one fishing ship catche 5 sea lions on average in one day. Thus, there are about 30 people with 3 sets of fishing boats who engage in this business. The market price of the sea lion is 3 Yen (円) per one sealion on average.  
As for the haul of abalone, Yoshimura of Kumamoto (熊本) Prefecture engaged in diving with 2 diving equippment, and the catch was 300 Kin (斤) of fresh abalone per one diving gear on average. Another man, Hamaguti of Mie(三重) Prefecture. lead 32 divers (海士) and 10 sailors on 2 fishing boats and engaged in gathering abalones. The amount of abalone was more or less 530 Kin per one day on average. Fresh abalone are reduced in weight when they are dried, so the reduction of Kin was almost 9/10. It is said that 300-530 kin of fresh water dried into 30-53 Kin.  
The export to this island is from Pusan in most cases. Now, below is the import statistics of the goods this year (items, numbers and price) to show the comparison with the data of April to June last year.  
Imports from April to June 1905 / Imports form April to June 1904  
Item                        Quantity           Price            Quantity Change  
Polished rice               122               1,652                 470 / 256  
Glutinous rice                  1                   25                     0 / 0  
Sake                               17                    52                   10 / 7  
Shochu                           20                    83                    0 / 20  
Oil                                  18                     63                  20 / 2  
Sugar                             220                    25                140 / 80  
White Cotton                 575                  805                120 / 455  
Twill weave cotton          42                  252                    36 / 6  
Cotton thread                     5                    12                    *  /  5  
Cotton                                6                     12                    *  / 6  
Fabric(textiles)                 15                    30                     * / 15  
Iron                                   58                    19                   225 / 169  
Cigars                             280                    21                 1,010 / 780  
Matches                               1                     6                        1 / 0  
China                      unknown                   10                 500 / unknown  
Salt                                    70                   15                   450 / 380  
Soy source                           6                     9                        9 / 3  
Vermicelli                         10                    25                       *  / 10  
Sum 3,116  
Addition to this, during the period from June to December in 1904, there were 750 vacant bottles, 750 cigarette, 150 ropes, 100 bundle of tobaccos 350 Kin of Japanese cedar barks, 345 Kanmon(貫文) of Korean coins, 40 Tatamis, 5 Koku 6 To of Chinese rice, 13 Koku 2 To of Sake lees and 4 Shou of Acetic acid for the import.


1696 元禄九丙子年朝鮮舟着岸一巻之覚書 --島根県海士町の旧家・村上家2005年 5月、300年余り眠っていたある古文書が、同家の48代当主、助九郎さん(66)により公表された。「元禄九丙子年朝鮮舟着岸一巻之覚書」と表書きされ、16枚からなる古文書は、江戸中期の1696年、鳥取藩への渡航途中、隠岐に立ち寄った朝鮮人・安龍福を取り調べた調書だった--。 (山陰中央新報より抜粋 写真も)

実はこの文書と、朝鮮側の有名な安の証言記録である「肅宗実録 22年9月 25日 戊寅 条」の記録は、1696年5月に起こった同じ出来事(安龍福二度目の日本渡海)をそれぞれの国で記録したものです。その両記録をつき合わせることで、新たに重要な事実が判明しました。


"5月15日、竹島を出港、同じ日に松島へ着く。" 原文 読み下し文

「肅宗実録 22年9月 25日 戊寅 条」では、
"遂以翌曉, 拕舟入子山島"  原文






1882「高宗実録 19年4月7日条」
敎曰 或稱芋山島 或稱松竹島 皆輿地勝覽所載也 而又稱松島竹島與芋山島爲三島統稱鬱陵島矣

Lies, Half-truths, & Dokdo Video, Part 8



(Gerry の投稿の翻訳です。原文はここ:1864 Japanese Map shows 2 similar islands


この地図は、1800年代の日本において、竹島と松島の位置が混乱していた事のよい実例であると思われます。日本人は、長い間(江戸時代を通じて)鬱陵島を"竹島"と呼び、現在の竹島/Liancourt Rocksを"松島"と呼んできました。しかし、1800年代のいつの頃か、松島と言う名称が鬱陵島を示す言葉としても使われるようになりました。例えば、1882年には、日本人によって1869年に建立された碑が鬱陵島で発見されており、それによるとこの島は日本の"松島"である、としています。







(Gerry の投稿の翻訳です。原文はここ : 1793 Korean Record: "Songdo another name for Ulleungdo" )



以前、私は赤の部分をこう訳しました。(Lies, Half-truths, & Dokdo Video, Part 8 : An Yong-bok, Usando, & Matsushima (Songdo))




"松島"は、韓国語で"Songdo"と発音します。1793年のこの記録から、韓国人は松島を竹島(Liancourt Rocks)でも、さらに鬱陵島の隣接島とでさえも思っていなかった事になります。


Oki & Matsushima Same Color on 1881 Japanese Map

Today I noticed on an 1881 Japanese map (大日本府県分轄図), which I previously posted HERE, that Japan's Oki Island (隱岐) and Matsushima (松島) are marked in the same brown color, but Takeshima (竹島) is not marked. A region near Oki Island on the Japanese coast is also outlined in the same brown color as Oki and Matsushima. If the 1881 mapmaker believed Takeshima to be Korea's Ulleungdo and Matsushima to be Liancourt Rocks, then that would probably explain why he marked Matsushima as Japanese, but did not mark Takeshima. (Mr. Tanaka Kunitaka talks about the map HERE.)

The positions of the islands on the map suggest that its Takeshima was the mismapped Ulleungdo (Argonaut), and Matsushima was the real Ulleungdo, so the mapmaker seems to have colored in the islands based on their names and not on their positions. The real Liancourt Rocks do not seem to appear on the map.



1696 Ahn Yong-bok's second visit to Japan: Part II

Secondly, we will take a look at the next stage (the stage to the mainland Houki county).

They arrived at Akasaki of Houki county on 4th of June. Tottori feudal clan sent a magistrate concerning ships, Yamazaki Shume (山崎主馬), to Akasaki on the 6th. He met the Koreans’ ship at Nagaobana on the way to Akasaki, and led them to Aoya (today’s Aoya of Tottori city) and let them moor the ship there. It was reported to the lord of the Houki county on the 13th of June. The examiner Yoshida Heima was sent and his report was informed to Okubo-Kaganokami (the superior official of the shogunate).

1) From “御在府日記(Superior’s diary during staying in Edo 1696)”:

As we’ve heard that the men who came through Oki county have a complaint concerning Takeshima, we ordered Hirai Kinzaemon to hear from them but it was difficult because there is no interpreter.

Tsuji Ban-an (a Confucian scholar) arrived at Aoya, he invited
Anhichan (Ahn Yong-bok) and another one to the Sen-nenji temple and interviewed them. But Kinzaemon heard from Ban-an that it seemed that they didn’t complain about Takeshima, and came back.

2) From "竹島紀事" (Takeshima Kiji):


Koreans arrived at Akasaki of Houki county on the
4th. They wanted to go to Inaba county (east area of Tottori), so we
retained them but there was no approval. We put watchmen at an inlet called Aoya of Inaba but as there was so much difficulty in communication that we couldn’t understand the details of their want. As So Jiro (the lord of Tsushima) would send his retainers, you have to consult with them. However, whatever would be their want, they should go to Nagasaki and talk to the magistrate’s office of Nagasaki, we ordered this.
Then if they don’t want to go to Nagasaki, tell them to go home because we have a law not to argue diplomatic problems outside of Nagasaki.

We ordered the above. That’s all.

23rd of June

This memorandum was passed from Okubo-Kaganokami to Yoshida Heima on 23rd. According to this order, the feudal clan of Tsushima decided to dispatch three persons, Suzuki Gonpei, Abiru Sobei and an interpreter Moro-oka Sukeza-emon. However, the feudal lord So worried about their negligence – they had not informed to Chosun yet the shogunate’s decision to ban to visit Takeshima. If Chosun would misunderstand that the shogunate agreed to Ahn Yong-bok’s request and banned to visit Takeshima, it would not only be a future trouble but also a big trouble to Tsushima because they would be excluded from the negotiations between Chosun and the shogunate. So, So Yoshizane (宗義真) dispatched a messenger Kashima Gonpachi to Edo, who explained the situation of Tsushima to Okubo Kaganokami and Abe Bungonokami of the shogunate. After the conference in the shogunate, they abandoned their plan to send the Koreans to Nagasaki to investigate and decided to send them back soon. To follow is a letter from Okubo Kaganokami to Matsudaira Houki-nokami, the lord of Houki county (from “竹島紀事”):

Dear sirs,

Concerning the Koreans who went to Inshu (Inaba
county), we ordered you before to send them to Nagasaki after interpreters from
So Jiro (of Tsushima) arrived and consulted with them, but businesee concerning
Chosun should have been told to the lord of Tsushima, So Gyobu-no-taifu (So
Yoshizane), first. So you don’t need to make interpreters ask them or to send
them to Nagaski. It is a law that no counties except Tsushima can handle the matters concerning Chosun. We informed this to the judicial officer. If they disagree on this decision, then tell them to get back to their country and turn them away. This is what we think about this matter.

Sincerely yours,

To Matsudaira Houki-no-kami

From Okubo Kaganokami

24th of July

To follow is from “通航一覧” (Vol.137, Part of Chosun country #113: Takeshima):

In the summer of this year (1696), 11 Koreans came to Inaba county
and they wanted to appeal to the Shogun, but they were finally deported by the
order of the shogunate.

Ahn Yong-bok and other Koreans returned to Chosun on 29th of August, they were caught and sent to Seoul. Then they were examined by the office of defence. To follow is from the Korean document “粛宗実録” (edited in 1728; vol.30) [Continued from the former part]:

He couldn’t bear it. He rode on the ship and
directly went to Houki county. As he called himself tentatively a “tax official
of both Ulleungdo and Usando (
)” and sent a messenger, the mainland
welcomed them with people and horses. He wore blue clothes (official uniform), a
black cloth hat, and a pair of shoes. He was on the palanquin, with others
riding on horses. They went onto the mainland.

He roused the chief of island (feudal lord of Tottori), they sat face to face and he told to the lord. Many sat on the lower floor.

The lord asked the reason of his visit and he replied,
“Apparently, I received a contract concerning the two islands the other day but
the lord of Tsushima robbed me of the contract, Japanese forged
another document and dispatched several persons to invade and get them
illegally. I’d like to appeal to kanpaku (Chief Adviser), telling about their

The lord permitted him to do so, he (Ahn) was to present a petition
as a messenger when the father of the
lord of Tsushima came to Houki county and asked them not to petition, saying “if
the petition is presented, my son would be definitely sentenced to death”. So he
couldn’t appeal to kanpaku.

However, the 15 Japanese who crossed the border the
other day were punished. Then the lord said, “If there were criminals who
crossed the border after the two islands belonged to your country, or if the
lord (of Tsushima) invaded them, I would make
a sovereign letter and send the officials to punish them”. The lord proposed that they would give them food and make the Japanese
guards escort them home but he declined as he left the room. The others
also declined the proposal. The Korean officials requested to wait for several days until they decide how to treat them.

As the text explains, Ahn pretended as he was a Korean official. At first, people of Tottori were deceived by his disguise. The Koreans were invited to the castle town of Tottori (the capitol of the local government) on 21st of June and were entertained with all sorts of delicacies but it was not the shogunate’s order. The shogunate (Okubo Kaganokami) ordered the Tottori feudal clan on 23rd of June to retain the Koreans in the ship without putting them on shore. Ahn’s misrepresentation of his identity tricked Tottori feudal clan and it was a mistake to have treated them as a diplomatic mission. Ahn’s statement above may have fancied from his experience during his stay in Tottori.

There are many inconsistencies in his statement in the Korean document:

(1) Ahn Yong-bok stated that he met with the feudal lord of Tottori and that they talked about the contract about the two islands. But actually, he didn’t meet with the feudal lord, Ikeda Tsunakiyo, because the lord was absent in June 1696. He had been to Edo (Tokyo) and came back to Tottori on 19th of July.

(2) Ahn told about the contract about the two islands but such a contract didn’t exist. He was a criminal who crossed the border in 1693, he couldn’t have such a chance to meet with powerful persons.

(3) Ahn told that the father of the lord of Tsushima, So Yoshizane(宗義信), pleaded with Ahn not to petition to save his son, but Ahn couldn’t meet with him because he had been in Edo (Tokyo) at that time. And his son, So Yoshitsugu(宗義倫), had died long before Ahn came – he died of illness on 27th of September 1694. So Yoshizane couldn’t plead with Ahn to save his “dead” son from death penalty.

(4) Ahn disguised as a tax official of Ulleungdo and Usando. If he believed that Usando was Matsushima, then the island should be inhabitable island because uninhabited island won’t produce the need of tax. It is natural to think that the Matsushima in Ahn Yong-bok’s imagination was not the Liancourt rocks.

(5) Ahn told about 15 Japanese who crossed the border, but there is no record of such Japanese. Since the shogunate decided to ban to go to Ulleungdo in January 1696, no Japanese ships went there in 1696.

After reading both of Korean and Japanese documents, it is clear that Ahn Yong-bok was a liar. He didn’t meet powerful persons in Japan, he didn’t make Japan (the shogunate) admit Ulleungdo and Usando (or Matsushima) to be Korean territory. He may have believed that Matsushima was Usando but he didn’t have exact knowledge about Matsushima. His wrong impression that Matsushima was Usando remained later in the Korean documents and it made Korean people misunderstand the truth concerning the Liancourt rocks.

1696 Ahn Yong-bok's second visit to Japan: Part I

Ahn Yong-bok was to be severely punished as a criminal in 1693 but he could survive because of the political change in the Chosun government. He came to Japan again in May-June 1696 with other 10 Koreans, it was five months later than Japan banned Japanese fishermen to make a voyage to Takeshima (Ulleungdo).

He later became a hero in Korea because Korean people believed that he made Japan admit that Ulleungdo and Liancourt rocks to be Korean territory. But if you consider it after reading all the documents written in Japan and Chosun, you would notice that his reputation is groundless.

At first, we will take a look at the first stage of this incident (the stage until Ahn reached Oki island) as part I:

1) From “Ikeda archives” which was written in November 1722, the 7th year of Kyoho:

A ship came to Oki island in June 1696 (the 9th year of Genroku). As the
officials under the local administrator Goto Kakuemon, Nakase Dan-emon and
Yamamoto Sei-emon, asked them, it revealed that 32 Korean ships had went to
Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and 11 people of them came over here on one ship. They
said that they came here because they had an entreaty to Houki county. The two
officials hired an express messenger and sent the information to their

(*:More accurately, it was 18th of May
according to other records.

2) From the Korean document “粛宗実録” (vol.30) which was edited in 1728:

During the investigation by the
office of defence, Ahn Yong-bok told as follows. He went to
to see his mother
and happened to see a Buddhist priest
and others, with
whom Ahn told about Ulleungdo. Being told that there were lots of sea products
at Ulleungdo, the priest and others were interested in the island, so they rode
on the ship and prepared to go there. When they arrived at the island, the main
three peaks were rising into the sky in the shape of triangle. It needed two
days to go from southern part of the island to northern part. It needed the same
to go from the eastern part to western part. There were lots of various trees in
mountain district. There were hawks, craws, cats and Japanese ships too. People
on the ship were afraid of them. Ahn said (to Japanese), “Ulleungdo is our
border. Why do you Japanese cross the border? We will tie up all of you!” When
he cried this out at the head of the ship*, the Japanese said “We are living at
Matsushima, we happened to come here to catch fish and we are going back to the
place where we live”. Ahn said, “ Matsushima is Usando (Josando), this also
belongs to our country. Why can you live there?” At dawn on the next day, they
pulled a boat and went to Usando (Josando). Japanese were boiling fish glue in
the pots in line. Ahn broke them down with his cane and scolded them loudly.
Japanese took the equipments and loaded them onto their ship, put up a sail and
were gone. They rode the ship and chased the Japanese but met a strong wind and
drifted ashore to Oki island. The chief of the island asked them why they went
there. So he said, “When I came here before, there was a document written by the
Chief Adviser (kanpaku) that says Ulleungdo and Josando are Chosun’s boundary.
But it is not strict in this country about it and now they crossed the border
again. Why did they do this? Please tell this to Houki county”, but there was no
reply for a while.

(*head of the ship: the word
has another meaning “boatman”, so some scholars interpreted this sentence as
“when he went forward and cried out to the

Notice: There are some inconsistencies here.

(1) He said that he met Japanese at Ulleungdo in May 1696 and scolded them. But in reality, the shogunate banned Japanese fishermen to go to Ulleungdo in January the same year and it is apparent from the record that there were no Japanese fishermen who went there in 1696. So this part of his story seems to be a made-up story to impress Korean officials who investigated him.

(2) His story of Usando is full of inconsistency too. If Usando was Liancourt rocks (Matsushima in those days) as he insisted, how Japanese fishermen could live on the small rock island? How Japanese fishermen boiled pots in line on the narrow rock island? And how Ahn’s boat could visit the island 92km away at dawn? It usually took one day to get there.

(3) He said that there was a document written by the Chief Adviser (kanpaku) when he had come to Japan before. His last visit was 1693 when he was arrested, brought to Japan and deported as a criminal. There was no chance for him to claim about the territory or to make Japanese powerful person to write a document. Of course, there was no such document found in Japan.

3) One-volume Memorandum concerning the Korean boat that came alongside the pier in the 9th year of Genroku (1696). [This document was found in May 2005 at Oki island. It was a part of the record of the investigation of Ahn Yong-bok in Oki island.]

The man who was called Ahn Yong-bok said that Takeshima is called Take-no-shima (island of bamboo). And he said that there is an island called Ulleungdo which is Take-no-shima in the 東莱府 of Gangwon province in Chosun. He also said that it was drawn in the map of eight provinces (八道ノ図).

He said that there is an island called Usan in the same province and that this
island is called as Matsushima, and that it was also drawn in the map of eight
provinces (

They left Takeshima on 15th May,
reached Matsushima on the same day, departed Matsushima on 16th and
reached Nishimura-iso in the island of Oki in the morning of 18th.

He said that the distance between Takeshima and
Chosun is 30-ri and the distance between Takeshima and Matsushima is 50-ri.

Notice: This document shows that Ahn really believed that Matsushima was Usando. But there are inconsistencies in this document too.

(1) If Usando was Matsushima (Liancourt rocks), he sailed from Ulleungdo and got to Liancourt rocks on the same day while he needed two days from Liancourt rocks to Oki island. But they couldn’t reach Liancourt rocks from Ulleungdo on the same day in those days, it usually took one day. If he reached “Matsushima” on the same day and needed 2 days from “Matsushima” to Oki island, that “Matsushima” should be a near island to Ulleungdo, not Liancourt rocks.

(2) And as to the distance, the distance from Ulleungdo to Korean mainland (115km) is greater than the distance from Ulleungdo to Liancourt rocks (92km) which is 23-ri. His estimate of the distance between Ulleungdo and Liancourt rocks is more than twice, it’s almost the distance between Ullengdo and Oki island.

(3) As for the map of eight provinces (八道ノ図), it was actually only a list written by a Japanese official, not a map. And the Japanese writing written under Gangwondo reads “此道ノ中ニ竹島松島有之 (Takeshima and Matsushima locate in the route to this area)”, it doesn’t say that these two islands belong to Gangwondo of Chosun.


1864 Japanese Map shows 2 similar islands

The following is a cutout from a 1864 Japanese map (増訂大日本輿地全図) that shows two very similar islands. Notice that the two islands on the map not only have similar shapes, but each also have a smaller neighboring island off their northeastern shores.

I believe the above map is a good example of the confusion that existed in Japan in the 1800s in regard to the locations of the islands of Takeshima (竹島) and Matsushima (松島). The Japanese had traditionally used the name "Takeshima" to refer to the Korean island of Ulleungdo and the name "Matsushima" to refer to Liancourt Rocks, but by sometime in the 1800s, Matsushima was also being used to refer to Ulleungdo. In 1882, for example, a Japanese marker dated 1869 was found on Ulleungdo that proclaimed the island to be the Japanese island of Matsushima.

A variety of factors most likely caused the name confusion mentioned above, but inaccurate Western maps and a Japanese travel ban to Ulleungdo (Takeshima) were probably the main causes. However, another factor contributing to the confusion may have been that some Koreans, at least, also referred to Ulleungdo as Matsushima (松島), which is pronounced as "Songdo" in Korean. Here is an excerpt from a 1793 Korean document:

The attendant said that according to the Yejo record, "Songdo" was another
name for Ulleungdo and its surrounding islands, which was the old kingdom of
The Japanese mapmaker seemed to have known that Takeshima was farther from Japan than Matsushima, but the fact that the two islands were drawn with similar shapes suggests there was still name confusion.


1793 Oct 1 "Songdo another name for Ulleungdo"

Today I was looking again at the 1793 passage about "Songdo" (松島) from Korea's "Ilseong-rok" records and realized that my previous translation of the passage was probably a mistranslation. Here is the complete 1793 passage:

I had previously translated the part marked in red as follows:

The attendant observed that in the Yejo record, Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Songdo was part of the country of Usan.
I think the above translation is wrong because I think 蔚陵外島 should be translated as "Ulleung and its surrounding islands." If I am right, then the translation should be corrected as follows:

The attendant said that according to the Yejo record, "Songdo" was another name for Ulleungdo and its surrounding islands," which was the old kingdom of Usan.
"Songdo" is the Korean pronunciation of 松島, which the Japanese pronounce as "Matsushima." It appears from this 1793 record that Koreans believed Songdo/Matsushima (松島) to be Ulleungdo, not Liancourt Rocks or not even a neighboring island of Ulleungdo.

I am not sure how to translate the remaining portion of the passage, so if anyone has a translation, please let me know.