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Enrichment


Usando (Dokdo) After the An Yong-bok Incident – Increased Knowledge

Comprehensive Study of Civilization, Revised and Expanded
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Due to the An Yong-bok Incident, the Joseon government gained detailed knowledge about not only Ulleungdo but Dokdo, as well. This has been reflected in the historical archives. Knowledge about Usando from The Annals of King Sejong and New and Expanded Complete Conspectus of the Territory of the Eastern Country led to Reference Documents on the Eastern Country, Essentials of Governance, and Comprehensive Study of Civilization, Revised and Expanded, among others. These records indicate that Usando was called Songdo (Matsushima) by Japan and further cemented the fact that Usando and Dokdo are one and the same. The following texts contain the same information.

Reference Documents on the Eastern Country (1770)Essentials of GovernanceComprehensive Study of Civilization, Revised and Expanded (1908)
State Geographical Survey recorded “Ulleung and Usan are part of the State of Usan, and Usan is referred to as Songdo by foreigners.”State Geographical Survey recorded “Ulleung and Usan are part of the State of Usan, and Usan is referred to as Songdo by foreigners.”State Geographical Survey recorded “Ulleung and Usan are part of the State of Usan, and Usan is referred to as Songdo by foreigners.”

Section Summary

1. The first documented reference to Dokdo in a Korean historical document is in Samguk Saki[三国史記, The History of Three Kingdoms]. Ulleungdo and Dokdo are described as being in the same domain as Usan. Dokdo appears as Usando in these historical records. By the late Joseon period, a wealth of information about Usando (Dokdo), and the fact that Usando was called Matsushima by Japanese, was known in Joseon.
2. An Yong-bok was an important contributor to the establishment of sovereignty over Dokdo in the late Joseon period. He went to Japan on two separate occasions, in 1693 and in 1696, to advocate Joseon’s sovereignty over Dokdo. His first journey to Japan was an involuntary one, as he was captured while fishing near Ulleungdo. As the An Yong-bok Incident became widely known, the Joseon government gained increasing interest in Ulleungdo. Japan conducted surveys to determine which country was closer to Ulleungdo and Dokdo, and in 1696 the Japanese government issued the Takeshima border crossing prohibition to restrict Japanese fishermen from fishing near Ulleungdo.
3. Although Usando (Dokdo) appears numerous times in historical Korean maps, its location was often inaccurate. As both islands are shown in historical maps, people of the time were well aware of them. However, it is difficult to believe that Usando is the current Jukdo. Although Japan insists that Usando is the modern-day Jukdo, this island is very close to Ulleungdo and visible even on foggy days. Thus, it is improbable that its location would be mistaken on maps. Maps from the late Joseon period correctly show Dokdo’s location and size. Several historical Japanese maps portray Ulleungdo and Dokdo close to the Joseon mainland, and the islands and the mainland are depicted in the same color.

Glossary of Terms

Search Policy, An Yong-bok Incident, Jukdo (Ulleungdo) border crossing prohibition, Takeshima, Matsushima, “The Great Three Kingdoms Map,” Jukdo

 
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