It is also very important to clarify that these fishermen were directly from Oki islands and they were supplied food and water from a ship from Oki islands, because some records mentioned that Japanese fishermen (hunters) went to Liancourt Rocks from Ulleungdo and pro-Korean scholars used to claim that "Japanese unlawfully stayed in Ulleungdo and went to Dokdo from Ulleungdo". But such a claim was not true.
The report also referred to Nakai Yozaburo (as Nakae Yozaburo) who made the petition to incorporate Liancourt Rocks. Nakai was the leader of the fishermen mentioned above.
Also, for more information about the inspection by Hashidate, please read the following:
臭 無シ 清濁及ヒ色 稍黄褐色僅微ノ浮遊殘渣
鹽素 多量 石炭 僅微
安母尼亜 多量 硫酸 稍多量
亜硝酸 無シ 硝酸 無シ
有機物 多量 摘要 飲料不適
Thanks to readers who helped me to read the old Chinese characters in the original document.
June 15th, 1905. The Report about the Inspection of Takeshima (Liancourt
Rocks) presented by the captain
Masayoshi of the Naval Ship Hashidate Fukui
As I was ordered, we departed Takeshiki on June 12th 1905 and reached and
wandered at one nautical mile off east edge of the east islet of Takeshima (Liancourt
Rocks) at 2pm on the 13th. Soon we lowered a boat and dispatched the
chief navigator Lieutenant Kokura (or Ogura) and his attendant Lieutenant Junior
Grade Morita and made them investigate whether the installation of watchtower is
adequate or not. The party included a group of engineers and mechanics who were
dispatched by the Sasebo Naval Defense Office. To follow is the summary of the
investigation by the officers we dispatched.
● Takeshima (Liancourt Rocks) is a barren small island which comprises two rock islets. The rock islet at west is bigger and higher (410 feet above sea level), but the
circumference forms a precipitous cliff and it is impossible to climb. There
is no flat space at the summit of the islet with towering steep rock peaks,
there is no hope to install a watchtower there.
The islet at east is slightly shorter than the former (it was measured as 325 feet). However, the slope is slightly gentle so that one can manage to climb up. There is a
slightly flat place just like a dish up there, it would be possible to build a house if we did a bit of construction work.
● The uploading and transport of building materials to the summit will be barely able. As to the uploading point, there is a good point as I showed a sketch on another sheet of paper. The two islets of both east and west are on a line along with four rocks
between them, the length of the line would be about one-ren (185 m) and the
depth of water on the reef between the islets would be 2 or 3 –hiro (3 or 4.5 m)
which would be easy for small boats to pass. The four rocks between the islets
work as if they were a breakwater and they form a little cove with a process of
the east islet which is protruding to west. One can moor boats there, although
it would be difficult when westerlies blow.
This little cove is the one and only uploading point, actually there are several barns which were made by hunters (fishermen) and more than thirty people live in the barns
Something like a derrick would be convenient to transport materials to the summit, and it may be good to use a rope ladder to climb the cliffs.
●There is a little stream running down from the summit of the west islet but one cannot
drink it because it contains a lot of salt. After the examination by a naval surgeon, the water is not fit to drink at all as the examination result shows which was written on another sheet of paper.
●I believe that cultivation of vegetables for side dishes for watchtower officials would be impossible because the land is sterile and pebbly without soil and we have a few rain here.
The above are from what the officials we dispatched observed. During the dispatch we tried to make our ship go around the islands with keeping one nautical mile off from the
islands and found no reef there. However, there was a vein of reef running from
northeast side of the east islet and its length seems to be 2-ren (370 m) by eye
It is a hunting season of seals at present at these islands. The number of hunters (maybe fishermen rather than hunters) is 35 or 36. They have rifles and nets to catch
seals. It is worth seeing theｍ catching such an abundant seals. I caught some of the hunters and had a conversation with them while we stayed there for a short time, it was worth mentioning. To follow is the summary of the information.
These islands are one of the largest hunting grounds of seals. The hunters (fishermen) reside at this place from mid-April until mid-July by the lunar calendar and engage in hunting day after day.
The main products made from seals are skin and oil. They are sent to
district, which makes \4,000 or \5,000 of money per year. Osaka
The man who directs the hunters now is a man named Nakae [sic] Yozaburo from Oki county. According to him, he would try to make some of the hunters pass this winter at
the islands if there would be volunteers.
They get a little of abalones in addition to seals.
As to the climate, although they feel terrible heat during the daytime in summer, they
feel coolness in the morning and in the evening. The hottest month is June by
the old calendar. It is moist but they have very few rain compared to the mainland.
The tide around the islands seems to be directed to northeast and flows rapidly. There is a great range of tides. The difference between the tidemarks is about four feet
(a reporter says that although it seems that four feet is too much but it was
hunters’ opinion so we have to keep it untouched).
They have neither firewood nor water in these islands. So they keep communicating with a sailing boat to Oki county once or twice in a month in order to be supplied
food, firewood, water and another things.
(Another sheet of paper)
Analysis of water
Odour: none. Turbidity and colour: slight yellowish brown, a little floating
Clorine: much. Lime: a little.
Ammonia: much. Sulfuric acid: relatively much.
Nitrous acid: none. Nitric acid: none.
Organic matter: much.
Summary: Not fit to drink.