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Dokdo Museum Head Admits Maps Show “Jukdo, not Dokdo”

March 20th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

The following is my translation of a March 20 article from the “Daegu Ilbo” online newspaper:

Dokdo Museum Head: “It’s just Jukdo”

Japanese Media “Discovery of Old Map Refutes Dokdo Territorial Claims”

Japan’s Kyoto News  Agency and Tottori Prefecture’s “San-in Chuo Simpo” have recently reported, “Old Korean maps have been discovered that refute Korea’s territorial claims on Dokdo.” The “San-in Chuo Simpo” reported on its Web site on the 22nd of last month that American Gerry Bevers (51), who works as an English professor at a college in Seoul and studies the Dokdo problem, had contributed old maps that refuted Korea’s territorial claims on Dokdo. [See the Japanese article here and my post on the article here.]

The contributed data were pictures of three old maps of Ulleungdo that are stored in Seoul National University’s “Gyujanggak” museum. When contributing the old maps, Mr. Bevers said, “Dokdo was not written on any Korean documents or maps before the Japan government incorporated Takeshima in 1905.” He added, “The Korean side claims that the old name for Dokdo on old maps and in old documents was ‘Usanguk.'”

Takashi Tsukamoto, advisor at Japan’s National Diet Library, claimed, “This is a new discovery that only someone living in Korea can research.” He added, “Especially, the map with the writing “haejang bamboo fields” is enough proof to show that ‘Usan’ was not Dokdo.”

Concerning this, the Northeast Asian History Foundation submitted a statement that refuted the claims item by item. [You can see my post on their so-called “refutation” here.]

The Northeast Asian History Foundation said, “The contents of the maps indicated are all known by both domestic and Japanese scholars, but by saying that the date of the map is unknown and by showing only part of the maps, the Japanese side is scheming to make it seem as if the maps were newly discovered.

Dokdo Museum Director Lee Seung-jin said, “After confirming the three old maps, it is obvious to anyone that they showed Jukdo, not Dokdo; and even in our country’s academic circles, it is judged to be Jukdo. By not showing the complete map and by showing only an enlarged section, they are trying to cover up their forced claims.”

In our country, Dokdo has been called “Usando” (于山島, 1432) – “Sambongdo” (三峰島, 1476) – “Jasando” (子山島, 1696) – “Seokdo” (石島, Korean Imperial Edict 41), and Dokdo (獨島, 1904).

Ulleung = Reporter Lee Jae-hun [email protected]

Time of article submission: March 19, 2007; 20:09:48

Link to the Korean Article

Am I the only one who sees the contradiction in the above article?

Notice that the director of the Dokdo Museum admits that the Usando on the maps is “Jukdo, not Dokdo,” and added that anyone should be able to see that. He added, “Even in Korean academic circles, it is judged to be Jukdo.” However, then he seems to contradict himself by saying that the Japanese (and I) are schemingly making our “forced claims” by showing only a blow-up of the map instead of the full map. Here is my question:

If scholars in Korean academic circles and the director of the Dokdo Museum agree that the Usando on the maps are Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of “Jukdo, not Dokdo,” then how are Japanese claims and mine forced? And where is the scheming?

By the way, I am the one who blew up the maps and sent the selected portions to the Japanese newspaper–not to hide anything but–to show the maps close enough so that the writing on them could be easily read. Showing the full maps would have hidden the details, which is what many Korean Web sites on Dokdo seem to be doing. Also, if the map showing haejang bamboo was so well known among Korean scholars, then why couldn’t I find that map on any Korean Dokdo Web sites? That makes me suspect that it is the Korean Web sites that are trying to hide the facts and “force their claims.”

Here are the old Korean maps that I sent to the Japanese newspaper:

The above map is from the “Yeojido,” which is believed to have been made in the late 1700s. The map shows a red line drawn from Uljin, on the Korean mainland, to Ulleungdo and says that it was “two days from Uljin with a fair winds.” Since there was no red line drawn to Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Usando, we can assume that the neighboring island was Jukdo, not Dokdo, since Dokdo would have required, at least, another day’s travel time and a red line indicating that. Jukdo would not have required a red line since it is only 2.2 kilometers off of Ulleungdo’s east shore.

The above map is from the “Cheonggudo” (1834) and shows Usan (于山) as a neighboring island of Ulleungdo, about four kilometers off its east shore. We know that it was about four kilometers because the grid markers along the edge of the map represent distances of ten ri. One Korean ri was equal to 400 meters, which means that ten ri would have been 4,000 meters (four kilometers). The map shows Usan (于山) at about one grid space, or less, from Ulleungdo. That means that Usando was almost certainly Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo, which is about 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo’s east shore.

The above map is the “Ulleungdo Dohyeong,” which is stored in Seoul National University’s Gyujanggak museum. Though Gyujanggak‘s Web site says the date of the map is unknown, some Korean scholars and others say it was made in 1711. The map shows “Usando” off Ulleungdo’s east shore. On the island is written “fields of haejang bamboo” (海長竹田), which means that the Usando on the map could not have been Dokdo since Dokdo does not have the soil needed to grow haejang bamboo.

The above map is corroborated by an old Korean document that describes a 1694 inspection of Ulleungdo. Called Ulleungdo Sajeok, the document says that Ulleungdo had a small neighboring island two kilometers to the east that was covered in haejang bamboo. Here is the exact wording and my translation:


There is a small island about five ri (two kilometers) to the east that is not very high and not very big and has thickly growing haejang bamboo on one side.”

The small island was almost certainly Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo, which is about 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo’s east shore.

Links to More Posts on Takeshima/Dokdo (With Japanese translations)

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 1

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 2

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 3

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 4

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 4 Supplement

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 5

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 6

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Part 7

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 1

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 2

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 2 Supplement

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 3

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 4

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 5

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 6

Lies, Half-truths, and Dokdo Video, Maps 7

24 Responses to “Dokdo Museum Head Admits Maps Show “Jukdo, not Dokdo””

  1. comment number 1 by: infimum

    A couple of things.

    The main office of San-in Chuo Simpo is actually in Shimane prefecture.

    There is a new short article by Masao Shimojo at Takushoku University regarding the 1711 map.

  2. comment number 2 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Hi Infimum,

    The Korean article said “Tottori,” but it also said that I claimed that old Korean documents and maps said “Usanguk” instead of “Usando,” so the reporter very probably did make a mistake.

    Can you give me a summary of what the new article by Masao Shimojo says?

  3. comment number 3 by: infimum

    Not word for word translation. I omitted aforementioned parts and extracted the gist of his point.

    First he agrees that the map was written in 1711.

    He draws attention to the fact that the Koreans has taken Usando as referring to Dokdo based on the phrase 于山は倭の所謂松島(today’s Dokdo)なり [Japanese characters and parentheses added by MS: infimum] in 東国文献備考 written in 1770. The reason the phrase 所謂于山島 appears in the 1711 map is because Usando had some sort of special meaning.

    Why in the 1711 map is the island near Ulleungdo referred to as 所謂于山島, not simply as 于山島? That’s because 安龍福 who sneaked into Oki island in 1696 showed an interest in 于山島 by sating 松島(today’s Dokdo), that is 于山島.

    But 于山島 marked 所謂于山島 is not today’s Dokdo. In 東国地理誌, 東国輿地志, 春官志, and 輿地図書, all of which were written before 東国文献備考, 于山島 was 鬱陵島.

    But it came to refer to 松島(today’s Dokdo) due to 安龍福’s remark. That is recorded in 元禄九年丙子朝鮮舟着岸一巻覚書, which was found in Oki island. When editing 東国文献備考, 申景濬 uncritically accepted 安龍福’s remark and rewrote 于山は倭の所謂松島なり.

    But after 安龍福’s remark, 于山島 came to refer to 竹嶼 in maps. The oldest such map is the 1711 map. The same goes with 海東地図, 青邱図, 大韓全図, 大韓輿地図, etc. 安龍福’s remark became a seed for confusion in following years, but 于山島 in maps referred to 竹嶼, nothing to with Dokdo.

  4. comment number 4 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Thanks, Infimum.

  5. comment number 5 by: GarlicBreath

    forced claims

    You sure must be a powerful person Mr Bevers to “force” your claims about Korea.

  6. comment number 6 by: ponta

    But it came to refer to 松島(today’s Dokdo) due to 安龍福’s remark.

    I think Simojou is inaccurate here or the editor put it carelessly. Shimojou should have just said, “it came to refer to “Matsuhima” due to An yonbok’s remark, because Simojou himself insists that An’s Matsushima is not Takshshima/Dokdo.

    Anyway there is no doubt Gerry’s article has an “impact”.

    As for the Korean article, I am not sure if they are contradicting; I don’t understand why they think they are refuting Gerry’s claim in the first place ,by pointing out it is not complete map and the date is known.

    But I can see they are refuting themselves by admitting that “it is obvious to anyone that they showed Jukdo, not Dokdo; and even in our country’s academic circles, it is judged to be Jukdo” .

    Korean claims was that since Usand was Dokdo, Korean knew Dokdo from old times, but
    Usando is jukudo,
    Jukdo is not Dokdo, therefore,
    Usando is not Dokdo,
    Korean didn’t know Dokdo.

    It is that simple, No?

  7. comment number 7 by: Gerry-Bevers

    What I find strange is that after the details of the maps have been exposed, Korean scholars have suddenly started saying, “We already knew that.” Well, if they already knew that Usando was not Dokdo, then why didn’t they say anything about it before? By the way, the Seoul National University Web site still claims that the Usando on the third map is Dokdo.

  8. comment number 8 by: ponta

    What I find strange is that after the details of the maps have been exposed, Korean scholars have suddenly started saying, “We already knew that.” Well, if they already knew that Usando was not Dokdo, then why didn’t they say anything about it before?

    Isn’t that because if they told that, they would lose the ground that appeared to prove Koreans knew Dokdo because Korean knew Usando? No?
    Then why did they admit that they knew Usando
    is jukdo?
    Because the fact is cold and unimportant for them, Dokdo belongs to Korea no matter what because Koreans have more emotional attachment to it than Japanese. No?……to be honest I really want a more reasonable explanation.

  9. comment number 9 by: pacifist

    Simply they are comfused now.
    They blindly believed that Takeshima/Dokdo was theirs – it has been a confirmed idea because everyone in Korea says so, textbooks say so, teachers say so, and a popular song says so.
    The discovery of the theory that “Usando was not Dokdo” (Koreans didn’t know Dokdo) may have been a strong shock to them.
    After such a shock, they may show the reaction in the following process:
    (1) Surprise – they don’t utter a word for a while.
    (2) Excuse – they make a poor excuse to make the ends meet.
    (3) Noticing – some of them notice that their excuse is illogical.
    (4) Finding facts – some of them find that there are facts….
    So Gerry, you have almost done the former half of the process of releasing Korean people from the brainwash. Congrats!
    We will keep informing them the true information, they will notice the problem sooner or later.

  10. comment number 10 by: Kaneganese

    図星だったんですね。←I don’t know what to say in English, but I think it only means Gerry did excellent job which even three Japanese specialists couldn’t have done before.

    Did anyone know about 慶尚道 map of 大韓新地誌附図 which is attached to 1907 version of 大韓新地誌? (It has very interesting documents concerning to 慰安婦 issue as well. One of them clearly states the girl was told to become 慰安婦 by her parents.)

    It says that in 1907 version of 大韓新地誌, the map called 「大韓新地誌附図」 is attached and the Usando disappeared from Ulleundo. Instead, on the page of 慶尚道, there is also Ulleundo on the left bottom with a small island labelled “竹” next to the island. Interestingly (and of course), there is no 子山島, 石島 nor 獨島 on that map. According to Mr.toadface’s theory(which I don’t agree with.) , it means that Korean government “excluded” Takeshima from there territory. I know that there are sentence that says “于山島 ” locates to southeast to Ulleundo in 大韓新地誌 in 1907, but according to Dokdo Museum Director Lee Seung-jin, 于山島 meant Jukdo and Dokdo should not be called 于山島 in those days. And if it is true, the sentences of the text makes perfectly sense to me. the North-South limits of Korea as 130 degrees-35 minutes East longitude which is Ulleundo with 竹嶼(于山島).They just wrongfully stated the direction. That’s all. Especially, since everyone knew that Korean call the Takeshima as Dokdo in those days, they should state 獨島 instead of 于山島 in the text of 大韓新地誌 in 1907. In conclusion, saying Korean called Dokdo as Usando only until 1476 is stupid act because it killed all the possibility of Korean’s cognizant of Dokdo before 1905, though it still has nothing to do with sovereignty anyway.

  11. comment number 11 by: Gerry-Bevers


    I also believe that Usando was just another name for Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo and the “southeast” direction mentioned in the geography book was just an error, especially given the fact that the distance to the island was not mentioned.

    Also, I think the Seokdo (石島) mentioned in Korea’s 1900 Imperial Edict was just a reference to all the other rocky islets around Ulleungdo, not to any specific island. The Korean language regularly uses singular forms to refer to plural objects.

    The director of the Dokdo Museum, Lee Seung-jin, is in a kind of Catch-22 situation because he cannot say that the Usando mentioned in the 1907 geography book is Dokdo because Koreans have already claimed that the “Seokdo” (石島) mentioned in the 1900 Imperial Edict and “Dokdo” (獨島) are just dialectic variations. Of course, the problem with that claim is that Korea’s geography books at the time mentioned neither “Seokdo” nor “Dokdo,” which is why I think that Seokdo was just a reference to all the little rocky islets around Ulleungdo and why I think that Usando was just another name for Jukdo.

    By the way, thanks for the generous compliment.

  12. comment number 12 by: Kaneganese


    I’ve just finished the translation for the part you changed. I should have done this much earlier. I am really sorry.

    Considering Korean tend to recognize 観音島 not as a island but as a cape or just a 島項, your speculation that 石島 was just a reference to all the other rocky islets around Ulleungdo seems to be very convincing.






    韓国人は1900年の大韓帝国勅令第41号の中の“石島(ソクト)”が、現在の“独島”(Liancourt Rocks)である、と主張しますが、そうした主張を裏付ける証拠は何もありません。それに、“独島”が含まれているのに“観音島”に言及されていない理由も説明できないのです。韓国人は、聞いた人が彼らの主張をそのまま受け入れる事を期待しているだけのように、見えるのです。

  13. comment number 13 by: GTOMR

    To Mr.Gerry and Kaneganese,
    These days I thought of the name of 石島 came from or 雙燭石 or 燭臺巖 bcoz these name are quite resemble Chinese charactor and pronusation of”石島” and ”獨島”.

    石=Sok Stone.
    燭=Chok Candle.
    獨=Tok Isolated.

    On 1900,鬱陵島(3charactor) renamed 鬱島(2Charactor)by 大韓勅令#41.
    So it can assumed that 燭臺巖 or 雙燭石(3charactor) also renamed 石島(2charactor).This could be the origin of the name of 石島.I guess(sorry no evidence now)Officials call it 石島、and local so called 燭島(Chok do).

    Anyway,there are many times they use the chinese charactor of stone石 and candle燭 in this north east shore area as follows;

    ・外務省通商局編纂 通商彙纂(1902)
    See:Mr Tanaka Kunitaka’s website
    【三仙岩】雙燭石乃島(Twin candle stone island)

    ・鬱陵島検察使日記” and the map by李奎遠 (1882).
    【三仙岩】燭臺巖(Candle stick rock?)

    The name of “観音”島 is prominent in Japan’S articles and maps.On the other hand,Korean use 項島 and 島項.Both countries,sometime they call just the island ,some time they discribes as one combination of the north east shore and capes both 観音島 and 三仙岩.
    Most of the map refer this area because this area is important landmark to navigate for sailers.

    【N.E area】刻石立標(Standing stone with carving)

    【三仙岩】=仙遊台(hermit watching tower),雙布岩(Twin-towel?Rk?),and 牛角岩(Buffalo hone Rk.)
    【N.E.Area】”刻石立標” same as 輿地圖.

    ・『鬱陵島圖形』by 朴昌錫
    【on N.E area】”刻石立標” same as 輿地圖,

    ・Report of the inspector by 原春監司李致中 on 4/Jul/1876
    【観音島】=防碑島(=Monument Protect Is.=Protect”刻石立標”)

    ・『”鬱陵島検察使日記” and the map by李奎遠 1882
    【三仙岩】=燭臺巖(Candle tower rock)and 兄弟巖(brother rock)
    【観音島】=島項 形如臥牛(laying buffalo shape)

    Articles and Map by Japan’s side
    ・『文鳳堂雑纂』Late 18C
    【三仙岩】並小島高百五十間 廻四十間年三ツ共
      並小島高百五十間 廻四十間年三ツ共(三仙岩の画の横に記載)
    【N-E area】島岸殊に東北両岸に沿うて数個の峻岩分立し其中に四〇〇呎及至五〇〇呎の高さに達するものあり」
    In the north east of the cliff ,there are some tall rocks standing on the sea,around 400尺 or 500尺.
    ・Map in「朝鮮水路誌」1896
    【N-E area】there is the discription about Bousolle Is in the right side of Jukdo.But it seems that is 観音島 and the surrounding Rocks.For sailors,those rocks are important landmark to navigation. 観音 and 菩薩 is similar means.(Bodhisattva)

    【三仙岩】=一本立 amd 三本立
    【観音島】=観音崎(崎=Cape)from the sea, the strait between 観音島 and 鬱陵島 is narrow so they can see it as if it is just cape.
    【N.E shore】亭石浦

    ・『鬱陵島全図』韓国水産誌 1909
    項 comes from 項島 by Korean name,鼠 came from
    “mouse in Ullungdo?”(the island shape also looks like mouse ,some times laying buffalo (形如臥牛).
    I guess that Japanese wrote 鼠項島 one reason because ,it is similar name of 孔島(Hole rock in the N.W part of Ullungdo).For Japanese,項(Koh)and 孔(Koh)is similar and it makes them confuse the name.SO they add the 鼠 to 項島.
    【N.E shore】=亭石浦

    There are so many name using 石(Sok) and 燭(Chok)in the north shore.So it can assumed the 石島 comes from the name of 雙燭石 or 燭臺巖(巖=岩=Rock)

    But to conclude my theory,I need to check the details map of Ullungo published on 1883-1900.Does anyone have?

  14. comment number 14 by: pacifist


    I’m interested your theory that 石島 may meant surrounding rock islets. Certainly, we Japanese usually don’t use pleural forms as well as Koreans.
    So take a look at the original text again.
    The original text says 欝陵全島 and 竹島石島. Still there is no clue …

  15. comment number 15 by: Gerry-Bevers


    Except for the 1900 Imperial Edict’s mentioning of “Seokdo” (石島), there were no Korean maps or documents that mentioned either a “Seokdo” (石島) or “Dokdo” (獨島) around Ulleungdo, which suggests that there was no such island and that the 竹島石島 (Jukdo/Seokdo) reference in the 1900 edict should be translated as “Jukdo and other rocky islets.”

    Also, there is this 1899 Korean newspaper article on Ulleungdo to consider. Here is a translation of the first sentence in the article:

    Situation on Ulleungdo

    In the sea east of Uljin is an island named Ulleung. Of its six, small neighboring islands, Usando/Jukdo are/is the most prominent (崔著者).

    Notice that the article mentioned “six, small neighboring islands,” of which Usando/Jukdo was the most prominent. Since Usando/Jukdo was almost certainly just two names for the same island, then why were the other five smaller islands not mentioned in the 1900 Imperial Edict? Well, I think they were mentioned with the general term, Seokdo (石島 – rocky islets).

  16. comment number 16 by: pacifist


    I agree, there is a possiblity that 石島 were rock islets. I hope there will be other documents which would support this theory, such as a newspaper article which used the word as rock islets.

  17. comment number 17 by: Kaneganese


    All I know is Japanese map「鬱陵島地図」 in 1886. I downloaded it before, but I forgot where it from. Anyway, it says
    【観音島】観音崎 島項
    It is a good idea to arrange those findings chronologically. Thank you. By the way, as for 『鬱陵島圖形』by 朴昌錫, Prof. Shiojou said it might be made in 1711 in the article of Saninchuoushinpou. Maybe it is safe for us to say 1711c.a. now, I guess?

  18. comment number 18 by: GTOMR

    Thx Kaneganese-san,
    I think the Map you mentioned to say in 1886 is,”地図第四号「朝鮮国蔚陵島出張檜垣内務少書記官復命ノ件」”on page 11 and p12,.

    Although other Japanese maps of Ullungdo or Liancourt rocks are quite precise geography figure discriptions,this map is so poor geography shapes,bcoz this map is refered from Korean style map like 李圭遠 in 1882 and 鬱陵島圖形 by 朴昌錫 c.a.1711.The purpose of visiting Ullungdo wasn’t for geography survey,but for capture to send back Japanese residents in Ullungdo to Japan.

    In this Japanese map,they use “島項”,the korean style name,about the discription the rockly coast.
    But they call the strait or cape or island as
    観音崎,which is japanese style name.

  19. comment number 19 by: usinkorea


    If you ever wanted revenge for having your contract not renewed (and I’m not saying you were seeking revenge) – but if you ever just kind of wanted some pay back…

    …I would say the Japanese politicans and newspapers carrying your stuff would do that.

    I just hope you get out of Korea in one piece….(only an 80% wisecrack in that with 20% serious worry…)

  20. comment number 20 by: Gerry-Bevers


    I was surprised and upset by not being rehired at my old school, but I do not think I wanted revenge; I just wanted justice.

    Strangely enough, justice came indirectly. My not being rehired by my old school got me unexpected media attention, which also ended up getting more attention for my views on Dokdo/Takeshima, something I do not think the Dokdo nationalists who called my school expected or wanted. Maybe that will make the Dokdo nationalists think twice about using similar tactics in the future.

    My not being rehired has ended up being a good thing for me since not only have my views on Dokdo/Takeshima gotten more media attention, but my new salary is about 50 percent higher than my old salary. In such a situation, I have no reason or desire to hold a grudge against my old school, which has given me good recommendations. As far as I am concerned, the matter is finished. However, that does not mean that I will stop writing about Dokdo/Takeshima.

    Koreans need to know the truth about Dokdo/Takeshima and learn to accept the fact that the islets were not historically Korean territory. If Korean historians want to keep the trust of not only the peoples of other countries but also of fellow Koreans, then they must start being honest about Dokdo/Takeshima. The Internet and increasing interest in Korea will make it almost impossible for Korean historians to continue to hide the truth about the islets. For the same reasons, Korean historians also need to start being more honest about Korea’s colonial past.

  21. comment number 21 by: toadface

    Bravo Gerry, I couldn’t agree more.

    The truth about Japan’s colonial past should be brought to light. Especially with regard to the Dokdo issue. That’s why I’ve made these pages especially for this purpose.


    Yes……let’s all be honest!!

    More translations coming!!

  22. comment number 22 by: Gerry-Bevers


    And what do you have to say about Dokdo Museum’s Director admitting that the maps showed Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo, not Dokdo? It seems that even the head of Korea’s Dokdo Museum has enough sense to admit the obvious. Why can’t you?

    I do not follow your logic, Toadface. Don’t you first have to prove that Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) was Korean territory before trying to make the argument that Japan stole them from Korea to install telegraph lines? Actually, your maps are evidence against your argument since they show that Japan did not have to incorporate territory to install telegraph lines or watch towers. Ulleungdo is just one example.

    Liancourt Rocks were not incorporated to install watch towers or telegraph lines; it was incorporated because it was ownerless.

  23. comment number 23 by: pacifist

    Be honest and show us the evidence to prove Korea knew Takeshima/Dokdo before the 20th century. Thank you.

  24. […] to Gerry Bevers: You’re […]