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Historical Maps and Documents

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Historical maps
Joseon paldo jido(Map of Eight Provinces)
  • Korea, 15th century, 91cmX137cm, Housed in the National Institute of Korean History
  • This map, which is representative of the maps produced during early Joseon, is very similar to the Dongguk jido(, Map of Korea)drawn by jeong Cheok. The fact that it was manufactured on silk using high quality pigments confirms that it was produced by the government. Red ships are drawn to mark the location of naval forces, over 500 islands along the coastal lines are included, and mountain ranges and rivers are well described. Meanwhile, the road networks are marked using red lines. Here again Ulleungdo is included, as is Dokdo, west of its larger neighbor.
Paldo-chongdo (Map of the Eight Provinces)
  • Korea, 1530 26cm x 34.6cm, Dokdo Museum
  • This Map of the Eight Provinces of Joseon is included in the volume of maps attached to Sinjeung-dongguk-yeoji-seungnam (Augmented Survey of the Geography of Korea). The map is wider on the east-west axis and shorter on the north-south than the actual shape of the Peninsula. Dokdo is noted as Usando, and is shown as being located in the middle of the sea east of Gangwon Province. This is the oldest existing printed map showing the location of Dokdo (Usando).
Joseon Jeondo(Carte de la Coree)
  • Korea, Kim Daegeon, 1846, 59cm X 100cm, Housed in the Institute of Korean Catholic History
  • The original Carte de la Coree produced by Father Kim Daegeon() in 1846 has been housed in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. A copy of the Carte de la Coree was introduced in Korea in 1978.
    This map was produced to inform the routes which French missionaries in China could utilize to enter Joseon. Kim managed to convey the map to a French Councilor in Beijing named De Montigny before he was arrested. In this map, Dokdo is clearly rendered as lying on the outside of Ulleungdo. Ulleungdo was described as "Oulengto" and Dokdo as "Ousan", indicating Usan(ߣ).
    Thus, we can see that Father Kim clearly intended to inform the Western world of the fact that Dokdo belongs to Korea.
Haejwa jeondo
  • Korea, Author unknown Late 19th century, 58.0cmX100.7cm, Housed in the Korea University Museum
  • This is a colored wooden map. The borders and history of Joseon, beginning with Gojoseon, as well as the history of Ulleungdo, Tsushima Island, Jejudo, and Heuksando, have been recorded in the map's blank spaces. Ulleungdo is clearly depicted on this map. A small-scale rendering of Usando(Dokdo) is also visible to the east of Ulleungdo.
Sangoku Setsujozu(A Map of Three Adjoining Countries)
  • Japan, Hayashi Shihei(), 1785, 49cmX70cm, Housed in the National Assembly Library of Korea
  • This is one of the maps made by Hayashi Shihei, a renowned japanese military scholar in 1785 and appended to Sangoku Tsuran Zusetsu(An Illustrated General Survey of Three Countries). The three countries in the title refers to Joseon Korea, Ryukyu(Okinawa) and Ezo(Hokaido) which are presented in this map by using three different colors with Japan located at the center. There are in the middle of the sea between Korea and Japan two islands, one big and the other small, that are painted with the same color as that of Korea. The larger island in the left is marked with a name Takeshima() along with a note saying, "Korean Territory" and "From the island one can see both Oki islands and Joseon(ث̸)."
SCAPIN 677(Governmental and Adiministrative Separation of Certain Outlying Areas from Japan)
  • United States, General Headquarters Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, 1946, Housed in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
  • The Japanese administrative regions were delineated by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers(SCAP) in SCAPIN 677. According to Article 3 of this directive, Ulleungdo, Liancourt Rocks(Take Island: Dokdo), and Quelpart(Jejudo) were clearly left outside of these japanese administrative areas. As such, Ulleungdo and Dokdo were considered by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to lie outside of the Japanese administrative areas, thus inferring that the two islands in fact belonged to Korea.
Historical documents
Conquest of Usanguk Samguk sagi(Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms)
  • KoreaKim Busik(ݣ)1145(23rd Year of King Injong, Goryeo)21.2cmX32.2cmHoused in the Gyujanggak Institute for korean studies, Seoul National University
  • This entry records the historical fact that General Isabu conquered Usanguk and incorporated into Silla in 512(13th year of King Jijeung). Usanguk was a maritime kingdom that ruled over the islands of Ulleungdo and Usando(Dokdo). Desiring to conquer Usanguk, General Isabu arrived along the coast of Usanguk armed with a large number of wooden lions. Upon his arrival off the shores of Usanguk, Isabu began to threaten the island's inhabitants, eventually forcing them to surrender.
Biography of Isabu Contained in the Samguk sagi(Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms)
  • KoreaKim Busik(ݣ)1145(23rd Year of King Injong, Goryeo)21.2cmX32.2cmHoused in the Gyujanggak Institute for korean StuiesSeoul National University
  • Samguk sagi(߲, Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms)is the name given to the compilation of the historical records of the Three kingdoms of Korea: Goguryeo, Baekje, and silla. The compilation of this oldest known record of Korean history by scholars such as Kim busik was completed in 1145. It is known as the oldest existing Korean history.
    This article, included in the yeoljeon(, Biographies) section of Samguk sagi details the personal history of General Isabu, who conquered Usanguk and incorporated Dokdo into Silla proper.
Sejong sillok jiriji(Geography section of the Annals of king Sejong)(copy of the original manuscript)
  • Korea Chunchugwan(ν, Office for Annals Compilation)145423.0cmX36.5cmHoused in the National Library of Korea
  • The Sejong sillok jiriji(), which was prepared in 1454(2nd year of King Tanjong)and included as an appendix to the Sejong sillok(, Annals of King Sejong, was in fact an amended version of the Sinchan paldo jiriji(Գ, New Compilation of the Geography of the Eight Provinces)compiled by Maeng Saseong and others on the orders of King Sejong. While this work mainly consists of human geography-related information at the national level, one can also find historical evidence in the entry for Uljin-hyeon in the Gangwon-do section of Vol.153 which clearly reveals that Usando in fact referred to Dokdo and belonged to Korea:
    The islands of Usan and Mureung are located immediately off the east coast of the Uljin-hyeon. The two are so close to one another, that on a clear day, one is easily visible from the other. During the Silla era, these islands were collectively referred to as Usanguk.
Onshu Shicho Goki(Records on Observations in Oki Province)
  • JapanSaito Hosen()17th century16.2cmX23.6cmHoused in the National Library of Korea
  • Onshu Shicho Goki is a compilation of observations of Onshu (present-day Oki Islands) as recorded in the two months from August 1667 by Saito Hosen() a local official of Matsue-han(˰; the current capital of the present-day Shimane Prefecture) in the Izumo region(; part of the present-day Shimane Prefecture) upon the instructions of the Lord of Matsue-han. Onshu Shicho Goki refers to Ulleungdo as Takeshima () and Dokdo as Matsushima (). In diplomatic papers sent to the Korean government in 1954, the Japanese government stated that the Onshu Shicho Goki was the first Japanese document to record the existence of Dokdo, and constituted evidence that Dokdo was part of Japanese territory. However, Onshu Shicho Goki is no longer to be found anywhere on the websites of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Shimane Prefecture - most likely because of the fact that Onshu Shicho Goki clearly limits the northwest boundary of Japan to the Oki Islands. Onshu lies in the middle of the northern sea and is also known as Oki Islands (). Miho-no-seki of Unshu is 35-ri to the south, and Akasaki of Hakushu is 40-ri to the southeast. Yu-no-tsu of Sekishu is 58-ri to the southwest, but from north to east there is no place to go. If you go northwest for two days and one night, you will get to Matsushima(). Takeshima() is one more day away. These two islands are uninhabited, and looking at Goryeo from these islands is just like looking at Oki from Unshu. So then, the northwest limit of Japan is this Shu. Izumo, Hakushu and Sekishu are all regions in present-day Shimane Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture, the direction and distance of which were recorded in Onshu Shicho Goki from the standpoint of Saito Hosen who was on Oki Island. Saito Hosen states that, so then, the northwest limit of Japan is this Shu, and here, this Shu or here can only be interpreted as referring to his current location on the Oki Islands. It is therefore quite clear that not only Saito Hosen but also the authorities of Izumo and Matsue-han knew that Dokdo was indeed Korean territory. As such, Onshu Shicho Goki is a very important historical document that clearly refutes Japans false claims over Dokdo.
Imperial Ordinance No.41
  • KoreaUijeongbu(ݤ)190027.5cmX33.4cmHoused in the Gyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies, Seoul National University
  • The Imperial Ordinances is a compilation of the imperial ordinances issued from November 1984 to August 1910. Imperial Ordinance No.41, whose main purpose was to announce, "the renaming of Ulleungdo as Uldo and the upgrading of the dogam to gunsu level,"is included in Book 9:
    Article 1. As of October 25, 1900, the name of Ulleungdo shall be changed to Uldo and the position of dogam upgraded to that of gunsu(county magistrate),
    Article 2. The Jurisdiction of this newly established Uldo-gun shall include 'all of Ulleung, Jukdo and Seokdo'.
    Here Jukdo refers to the island of Jukseodo located next to Ulleungdo, and Seokdo to Dokdo. In the Korean dialect, the term 'Dokdo' was also pronounced as 'Dokseom';thus, the transliteration of 'Seokdo' becomes 'Dokdo' and conversely 'Dokdo' becomes 'Seokde'. This imperial ordinance extablishing Uldo-gun effectively palced Dokdo under the jurisdiction of this new entity.
Daehan Empire Official Gazette No.1716, Establishment of Uldo-gun
  • Korea1900Housed in the National Library of Korea
  • Notification No.1716 of the Daehan Empire Official Gazette includes Imperial Ordinance No.41. This document dealt with the establishment of Uldo-gun and the jurisdiction of this newly established Uldo-gun as including all of Ulleung, Jukdo and Seokdo. In the Korean dialect, the term 'dol' is also sometimes pronounced 'dok', and 'Dolseom' 'Dokseom'; thus, as a result, the transliteration of 'seokdo' becomes 'Dokdo', and conversely 'Dokdo' becomes 'Seokdo'. Therefore, Seokdo in this document clearly indicates Dokdo. As such, Korea obviously defined Dokdo as its territory in this Imperial Ordinance and Official Gazette.
Shimane Prefecture Notice No.40
  • Korea1900Housed in the National Library of Korea
  • Notification No.1716 of the Daehan Empire Official Gazette includes Imperial Ordinance No.41. This document dealt with the establishment of Uldo-gun and the jurisdiction of this newly established Uldo-gun as including all of Ulleung, Jukdo and Seokdo. In the Korean dialect, the term 'dol' is also sometimes pronounced 'dok', and 'Dolseom' 'Dokseom'; thus, as a result, the transliteration of 'seokdo' becomes 'Dokdo', and conversely 'Dokdo' becomes 'Seokdo'. Therefore, Seokdo in this document clearly indicates Dokdo. As such, Korea obviously defined Dokdo as its territory in this Imperial Ordinance and Official Gazette.
Hwangseong sinmun(Capital Gazette)
  • KoreaMay9 1906Housed in the National Institute of Korean History
  • After having illegally incorporated Dokdo into Shimane Prefecture, Japan proceeded to dispatch a large-scale survey team to Dokdo. Although the survey team had originally intended to return to Oki Island following their inspection of Dokdo, a heavy storm forced them to seek shelter on Ulleungdo, where they met the magistrate of Ulleung-gun Sim Heungtaek. Having been informed during this meeting about Japan's illegal seizure of Dokdo, Sim filed an emergency report with the governor of Gangwon-do. The governor of Gangwon-do in turn submitted an emergency report to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The illegality of the japanese action was also pointed out by the Hwangseong sinmun.