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

Discovery Learning 1

What important event occurred in 1900?[Teacher Notes]

The Joseon government changed the country’s name to the Great Han Empire in 1897. Japanese people had resided in Ulleungdo, and they illegally deforested the island and fished in the surrounding seas. Bae Gye-ju, Ulleungdo’s mayor, reported his findings to the Ministry of Home Affairs on several occasions.
Upon reviewing these reports, the Minister of Home Affairs Lee Gun-ha decided that a detailed analysis of the situation in Ulleungdo was necessary. He received permission to dispatch an inspector. The Great Han Empire government dispatched Inspector Woo Yong-jung to Ulleungdo in June of 1900 for research.
Woo Yongjung notified the residents of Ulleungdo: 1) Do not log trees for shipbuilding; 2) Purchase ships for shipping and trade; 3) Ulleungdo goods are only to be transported by Ulleungdo ships, etc.
The “Ulleungdo Japanese Residence Incident” contained detailed accounts of the “residency” and “logging” conflicts between Korea and Japan before and after 1900. Based on Woo Yong-jung’s reports, the Great Han Empire government demanded of the Japanese government that the illegal Japanese residents on Ulleungdo leave the island.
In response, the Japanese government tried on several occasions to legalize the residents in Ulleungdo. When the Great Han Empire government strongly refused, the Embassy of Japan in Korea admitted that having “the Japanese residents in Ulleungdo is contrary to treaty provisions.” On this basis, the Great Han Empire government declared “The Imperial Ordinance No. 41 of the Great Han Empire.”
The Imperial Ordinance No. 41 of the Great Han Empire
Ulleungdo was renamed Uldo and the position of mayor was raised to governor.
Section 1 Rename Ulleungdo to Uldo and place it under the jurisdiction of Gangwon-do; raise the position of mayor to governor; Rank Uldo as a county of the fifth-rank.
Section 2 The county office will be established in Taeha and its jurisdiction will include all of the Ulleungdo, Jukdo, and Seokdo.
Discovery Learning 1
1. The following text summarizes the above sections in a simplified format. Fill in the blanks with the correct information.[Answer]
Originally, (❶ ) was part of Uljin County (also known as Pyeonghae County), and the (❷ ) was its administrator. In 1900, Ulleungdo’s name was changed to Uldo and the administrative district raised to Uldo County. The decision was made to administer the area and a (❸ ) was designated. Upon being raised to county status, Uldo was classified as a fifth rank county. The county office was designated to be in today’s West Ulleung County, Taeha-ri, Taeha-dong. Uldo County’s jurisdiction included all of the Ulleungdo, Jukdo, and (❹ ). Jukdo refers to the island located northeast of Ulleungdo, and (❺ ) refers to Dokdo.

Japan illegally annexed Dokdo in 1905![Teacher Notes]

Upon the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in 1894, Japan ratified the first Korea-Japan Protectorate Treaty in February 1904.
“Under the advice of Yamaza Enjirō, the Director of Political Affairs, the Japanese fisherman and entrepreneur named Nakai Yōzaburō submitted a request for ‘formal annexation and effective management’ of Dokdo in September 1904.”[note 049]
The Japanese government decided the following on January 28, 1905.
〈Japan’s Decision〉
… In regards to the case of the uninhabited island brought forth by the Minister of Home Affairs. … In 1903, a man named Nakai Yōzaburō moved to the aforementioned island and engaged in fishing, and as these facts are irrevocably clear according to relevant documents, the island is to be annexed into the Japanese domain in accordance with the international law of occupation. …
After receiving an official order from the Minister of Home Affairs, the Governor of Shimane Prefecture declared the “Shimane Prefecture Notice No. 40” on February 22, 1905, effectively paving the way for an illegal annexation of Dokdo. Right under our noses…
On January 28, 1905, Japan renamed Dokdo as “Takeshima” to start the illegal annexation and placed it under the jurisdiction of the Oki Islands in Shimane Prefecture.
Officials from Shimane Prefecture surveyed Dokdo on March 28, 1906, and on their return journey, they notified Sim Heung-taek that Japan had occupied Dokdo.
Sim Heung-taek filed a report to the Gangwon-do administration office on March 29. And so this news was alerted to the government of the Great Han Empire.
The head of the State Council immediately denied Japan’s claims. The minister ordered a re-investigation of the situation on May 20, 1906.
However, the Great Han Empire did not have an embassy in Japan, and so was unable to deliver documents to the Japanese government. The Great Han Empire eventually came under Japanese occupation in 1910.
〈Shimane Prefecture Notice No. 40〉
N 37°9′30″, E 131°55′, The island located 85 nautical miles (157 kilometers) northwest of the Oki Islands is to be named ‘Takeshima’ and placed in the jurisdiction the of Oki Islands in Shimane Prefecture.
※ Liancodo – Liancourt Rocks, also known as Dokdo.

[note 049]
Liancourt Rocks, also known as Dokdo.
Teacher Notes
Detailed information, background, and explanation of “‘The Imperial Ordinance No. 41 of the Great Han Empire” are covered in this chapter.
❶ Gangwon-do, ❷ mayor, ❸ governor, ❹ Seokdo, ❺ Seokdo
Teacher Notes
The content regarding Japan’s illegal annexation was organized into a monologue. Students will gain a natural understanding of the content by reading the text bubbles. Key elements are distinguished by different backgrounds. It is preferable to have students grasp the overall context of Japan’s illegal annexation rather than simply memorize the information.
[note 049] Liancodo
Liancourt Rocks, also known as Dokdo.
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