• Dokdo in the East Sea
  • Educational material
  • Junior High School Version

Enrichment: Pre-modern Dokdo records[Teacher Notes]


Year (Era)Content
512 (13th year of King Jijeung, Silla era)Usan annexed by General Isabu.
1018 (9th year of Hyeonjong, Goryeo era)Devastation of Usan after an invasion by Jurchens. Goryeo government provides relief.
1407 (7th year of Taejong, Joseon era)Mureungdo residents ordered back to the mainland.
1454 (2nd year of Danjong, Joseon era)The Annals of King Sejong Geographical Records indicates that Usan and Mureung are both visible on a clear day.
1530 (25th year of Jungjong, Joseon era)New and Expanded Complete Conspectus of the Territory of the Eastern Country provides information relating to Usan and Mureung.
1693 (19th year of Sukjong, Joseon era)Fishermen from Gyeongsang-do and Jeolla-do sail to Ulleungdo. An Yong-bok and Park Eo-dun are captured by Japanese fishermen. This incident sparks a territorial dispute over Ulleungdo.
1696 (22nd year of Sukjong, Joseon era)An Yong-bok finds Japanese fishermen on Ulleungdo, and claims Ulleungdo and Songdo (Jasando) as Korean territory. He follows the Japanese fishermen back to Japan.
1697 (23rd year of Sukjong, Joseon era)The Japanese shogunate acknowledges Ulleungdo to be Joseon territory and prohibits Japanese transit to the island. The Joseon government decides to send regular patrols to Ulleungdo.
Summary
1. Usan was a kingdom that ruled Ulleungdo and Usando (Dokdo).
2. General Isabu annexed Usan to Silla in 512, as recorded in History of the Three Kingdoms.
3. The Annals of King Sejong Geographical Records states, “Usan and Mureungdo are close enough that the other is visible on a clear day.”
4. New and Expanded Complete Conspectus of the Territory of the Eastern Country contains detailed descriptions about Ulleungdo and Usando in the Gangwon-do, Uljin County section. Thus, Korean historical records show the two islands as being Korean territory.
 

 
Teacher Notes
Numerous historical sources indicate the Korean sovereignty over Dokdo. As seen in Dokdo Chronicle, Dokdo’s history can be traced back to the Silla era. In most historical texts, Dokdo is mentioned together with Ulleungdo. From the Goryeo period through the Joseon period, Dokdo’s sovereignty can be verified through the larger number of references in extant historical documents. Primary sources that preserve Dokdo records include History of the Three Kingdoms, History of Goryeo, The Annals of King Sejong Geographical Records, New and Expanded Complete Conspectus of the Territory of the Eastern Kingdom, Compilation of Reference Documents on the Eastern Country, Essentials of Governance, and other texts.
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