• Dokdo in the East Sea
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  • Junior High School Version
Critical Thinking[Teacher Notes]
Treasure Island is a widely-read adventure novel by the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. The novel is about the journey of a boy named Jim who finds the treasure map of a notorious pirate captain. The most important element of the novel is the treasure map. Without the treasure map, Jim would not be able to locate the treasure island. Even if by chance he found the island, he would not have known the location of the treasure.
Maps provide guidance and important information about unknown places. Throughout history, countries have compiled maps of their land and verified their territories. Maps were even compiled in situations in which one country planned to invade another. A close look at the ancient Korean maps shows how ancestors viewed Korean territory. In addition, a look at Japanese maps, compiled for the purposes of invasion, provide key information as to how Japanese viewed Korean territory.
1. When did Japan compile maps about Korea?[Answer]
2. How much of the Korean mainland was featured in Japanese maps?[Answer]
3. When did Japan start to identify Dokdo as Japanese territory?[Answer]

Teacher Notes
“Critical Thinking” introduces the novel Treasure Island and explains the importance of maps. Maps reflect the views of the country’s homeland and the world. Therefore, by inspecting the maps of both Korea and Japan one can judge the accuracy of sovereignty claims.
1. It is unclear exactly when Japanese began creating maps about Korea. However, the earliest verified map was compiled in the seventh century by Gyōki, a Japanese Buddhist monk who walked throughout Japan. This was the first complete map of Japan, and Ulleungdo and Dokdo are labeled Ando, which signified that it was a place of rest for seagulls. It was recorded as being an uninhabited Silla territory.
2. A map containing a relatively detailed Korea had already been composed by the Imjin War. Kuki Yoshitaka and others compiled the “Map of Joseon” at the request of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This map includes Ulleungdo and Dokdo, and is considered to be the first Japanese map that labeled Dokdo as Korean territory.
3. A notice issued by the Shimane Prefecture government in 1905 claimed Japanese annexation of Dokdo. However, a Shimane Prefecture map from 1941 does not include Dokdo (Hoya Museum of Geography). In 2005, a Shimane Prefecture ordinance introduced a “Takeshima Day.” The Hoya Museum simultaneously introduced a 1939 Korean map of North Gyeongsang-do that includes Dokdo and Ulleungdo. From the period of Japanese colonial rule to 1950, world maps have usually labeled Dokdo as “Takeshima.” However, this name changed to Dokdo from 1970 to reflect Korean sovereignty. Dokdo being claimed as Japanese territory is a relatively recent phenomenon that began sometime in the 1950s.
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