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New Article on Usando & Haejang Bamboo

March 13th, 2007 . by Gerry-Bevers

The Japanese newspaper, “San-in Chuo Shimpo,” has posted a new article concerning Usando and haejang bamboo. Here is the link to the article:


The article mentions the 1694 inspection of Ulleungdo talked about in the Ulleungdo Sajeok, of which a file copy was recently provided to us by myCoree, a fairly frequent commenter on this blog. The pdf file copy of the Korean document can be found here: Ulleungdo Sajeok

I cannot read the Japanese article, but I assume it is making the logical connection between the 1711? Korea map posted below, which shows an island off Ulleungdo’s east shore labeled��%?Ƀ’�??�++�? �ޞ���’?�’��(“the so-called Usando, fields of haejang bamboo”), and the�1694 Korean inspection report, which talks about a small�island two kilometers off of Ulleungdo’s east shore that is covered with haejang bamboo (�?+�-?�?’ʼ?ɳ+�?%ģ?Ŝ?�?ģ?�’?�’?�?�ޞ���’?�??�’?�-?ģ?�??).

The map and the report seem to corroborate each other. In other words, the map gives us the name of the island�that had fields of haejang bamboo off Ulleungdo’s east shore, and the 1694 report gives us the distance to the island (2 kilometers) off of Ulleungdo’s east shore�that had�fields of haejang bamboo. Together they essentially tell us that Usando was a�small�island two kilometers off Ulleungdo’s east shore and was covered in haejang bamboo. In other words, Usando was Ulleungdo’s neighboring island of Jukdo, which is about 2.2 kilometers off Ulleungdo’s east shore, not Dokdo (Liancourt Rocks), which is essentially two large rocks that are 92 kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo and do not have the soil to grow bamboo. Korean historians claim that “Usando” was the old name for “Dokdo” (Liancourt Rocks), but the 1694 report and the 1711? map, used together,�seem to refute that claim.

Update: Thanks to two Occidentalism commenters, Infimum and Pacifist, here is a rough translation of the above Japanese article:

Concerning Japan’s and Korea’s competing territorial claims on Takeshima (Korean name: Dokdo), Takashi Sugihara, vice-chairman of the�Takeshima Dispute Research Committee, has found a Korean historical record that�supports the assertion made by Mr. Gerry Bevers, an American English teacher in Korea, that old maps debunk Korea’s claim on the island.

The record is called �’?�T��?�?’�?? (Ulleungdo Sajeok) and was written in 1694 by�an official sent by the Chosun dynasty to survey Ulleungdo, which is an island 92 kilometers�away�from Takeshima.�The record�says, �??There is a small island five ri to the�east that is not so high and not so big that is covered with�haejang bamboo.”

One�Chosun�ri was equivalent to 400 meters, so five ri was two kilometers. The small island corresponds with the location of Jukdo, which is located�two kilometeres�east of Ulleungdo,�where we learn that haejang bamboo grew.

Mr. Bevers, who�studies the�Takeshima issue, found an old map in Seoul National University’s Gyujanggak museum that shows “Usando” (an old Korean name for Dokdo) and “fields of haejang bamboo”�written on a small island east of Ulleungdo. He supported Japan’s claim by pointing out�that the�island�was not Takeshima because�Takeshima�is a rock formation without bamboo.

Vice chairman Sugihara said, �??There is no doubt that the small island Mr. Bevers indicated�was Jukdo, as well. Through the investigation, the Chosun dynasty grasped the geography of Ulleungdo�quite accurately, and it is apparent that the island called Usando had bamboo on its surface, which means that Usando was not Takeshima.”

A Korean historical study foundation refuted our article that introduced the study results by Mr. Bevers by�saying, �??The map was made only by hearsay,�?? and denied the reliablity of the map. On his Web site, Mr. Bevers refuted the group’s claim by saying that�they were just trying to evade the issue.

My post on the Korea history group that deputed the accuracy of the map can be found with the�following link:

“Korean History Group Responds to Japanese Article on Usando”

Also, here is a link to Toron Talker, who also writes (in Japanese)�about the 1694 report and the 1711? map:


Here�is the section of the 1711? Korean map that shows the small island off of Ulleungdo’s east coast that is labeled with “the so-called Usando, fields of haejang bamboo”:

12 Responses to “New Article on Usando & Haejang Bamboo”

  1. comment number 1 by: ponta

    The map and the report seem to corroborate each other.

    That is correct. In fact the article says a Japanese researcher found out the report that corroborate what Gerry claimed.

  2. comment number 2 by: infimum

    A quick and dirty translation. Feel free to improve upon it.

    Regarding Takeshima (Korean name: Dokto) whose possession both Japan and South Korea claims, Takashi Sugihara, vice chairman of the Society for the issue of Takeshima in Shimane, found a Korean document that backs up Mr. Gerry Bevers’ (an American English teacher) assertion that the Korean claim has been refuted based on the [aforementioned: infimum] old maps.

    The document is 蔚陵島事蹟 made in 1694 in which a general description of Ulleungdo
    [鬱陵島], 92 kilometers away from Takeshima, was written by an emissary sent by the Chosun Dynasty. It is written that “there is an island 5 ri east [of Ulleungdo], and it is not big and covered with 海長竹.”

    Korean ri is about 400 meters. 5 ri is about 2 kilometers. According to the description, the island can be taken to be 竹嶼 situated 2 kilometers east of Ulleungdo and it can be observed that the kind of bamboo called 海長 grew.

    Mr. Bevers pointed out that the old map stored at Seoul National University’s
    Gyujanggak museum has 于山島, a Korean old name for Dokto, and 海長竹田 written on the
    small island east of Ulleungdo and that 于山島 is not Dokto, a lump of rocks where bomboos do not grow. He supported Japan’s claim.

    Mr. Sugihara said, “the island that Mr. Bevers pointed out should also be 竹嶼. The
    Chosun Dynasty knew the exact location of Ulleungdo based on investigations. It is obvious that the island called 于山島 had bamboos. This should support the claim
    that 于山島 is not Dokto.”

    In response to the our newspaper’s article that introduced Mr. Bevers’ conclusion,
    a Korean history foundation denied the credibility of the old map, which the
    group said “was written based on hearsay.” Mr. Bevers said on his homepage, “the
    foundation’s denial is just to replace the point under discussion.”

  3. comment number 3 by: pacifist

    The sub-chief of a study group of Takeshima issue, Takashi Sugihara, found Korean historical records to support the assertion by Mr. Gary Bevers, American English teacher in Korea, who asserted that the old map disproved the Korean theory about Takeshima/Dokdo.

    The records were named as 蔚陵島事蹟, written in 1694 by a messenger who was sent from Chosun dynasty to Ulleungdo, the island 92km apart from Takeshima/Dokdo, to investigate the island. It says “there is a small island at 5-ri east, it is not so high and not so big and 海長竹 covered all the aspect of the island”.

    Chosun’s “ri” meant 400m, so 5-ri is 2km. So the small island is correspondent with Jukdo from the location, which locates at 2km east of Ullengdo and one can learn that a bamboo called 海長 grew there.

    Mr. Bevers, who is studying Takeshima issue, found that depictions of Usando (old name of Dokdo) and “海長竹田” on the old map which was stored at Seoul University’s 奎章閣 and he pointed out that Usando was not Takeshima/Dokdo, the rock formation without bamboos, and supported Japan’s theory.

    Sugihara sub-chief says, “There is no doubt that the small island Mr. Bevers indicated is Jukdo as well. The Chosun dynasty grasped the geography of Ulleungdo almost accurately through the investigation, and it is apparent that the island called Usando had bamboos on its surface and it supported that Usando was not Takeshima/Dokdo”.


    Korean historical study foundation refuted our article that introduced the study result by Mr. Bevers, saying “the map was made only by hear-say” and denying the reliablity of the map. Mr. Bevers refuted this as evasion of the point in his homepage.

  4. comment number 4 by: pacifist

    American English teacher in Korea
    should be
    American teacher of English in Korea
    BTW, I didn’t know infimum already translated it in English. Sorry, but you can understand well if you read both.

  5. comment number 5 by: myCoree

    I think you are too hasty. You had better translate all the relevant things of the survey. As far as I know, Park Seok-chang(朴錫昌) surveyed Ulleungdo at 1711, Jang Han-sang(張漢相) at 1694. You are trying to match the two separate things even before you confirm the accurate relation between the two. It’s too early to say anything. It will not be late to talk about it after a proper translation in advance.

  6. comment number 6 by: Kaneganese

    Thank you infimum and pacifist for translating the article into English.

    The 蔚陵島事蹟 transcript you showed us dates 壬寅 which means the year 1722 or later. And it still have exactly the same sentences.
    So, now we have
    1694 report 蔚陵島事蹟 by 張漢相,
    1711? map(thanks to Northeast Asian History Foundation who somehow knew the year of the map) and
    1722(or later) copy of 張漢相’s report by his grandson
    all confirm the fact that 于山島 is the island with a lot of specific bamboo(海長竹) which is just 4km east to 鬱陵島, that is almost certainly today’s Jukdo.

  7. comment number 7 by: Kaneganese

    all confirm the fact

    all strongly suggest

  8. comment number 8 by: Kaneganese


  9. comment number 9 by: toadface

    I agree with MyCoree. You are playing connect the dots with two separtate documents and shouldn’t come to any conclusions based on this alone.

    Gerry as I mentioned the map you posted earlier is evidently a copy of earlier maps showing incorrect islands on the South side of Ulleungdo. Thus we know the map was not made completely on a survey but through at the very least copying earlier Ulleungdo maps.

    What we’ve confirmed here is that there was bamboo on Jukdo Islet.

  10. comment number 10 by: pacifist


    What we’ve confirmed here is that there was bamboo on Jukdo Islet.

    And that Jukdo islet (so-called Usando) was not Takeshima/Dokdo.

  11. comment number 11 by: Gerry-Bevers

    Can someone help me out with a translation of the following passage:


    Isn’t the above passage saying that Ulleungdo was once called “竹島” because it produced bamboo, that it was once called “Sambongdo” because it had three peaks, and that Usan (于山), Uleung (羽陵), Ulleung (蔚陵), Muleung (武陵), and Eujuk 蟻竹 are all just alternative pronunciations?

    Anyway, the passage came from the 東典考, an 19th century text. HERE is a link to where I found the passage.

  12. comment number 12 by: Kaneganese

    You are right about what the passage says. And the document looks very interesting.
    By the way, I think 蟻 should be 磯. And “Eujuk 蟻竹” doesn’t sound like others.