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History

Three Kingdoms Period

13th reign year of Silla’s King Jijeung
In the 6th lunar month of the 13th year of Silla King Jijeung’s reign, Isabu, then governor of Haseula (present-day Gangneung), conquered Usan-guk (the State of Usan). Samguksagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) describes Usan-guk as an island due east of Myeongju, which is also known as Ulleungdo. Samgukyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) makes similar references to Ureung Island.

* Source: “Sillabongi” (Records of Silla) 4 on the 13th year of the reign of Silla’s Jijeung Maripgan (King Jijeung) from Samguksagi (History of the Three Kingdoms), Vol. 4; Article on Isabu from “Yeoljeon” (Biographies) 4 in Samguksagi, Vol .44; and “Jicheol-nowang” (King Jijeung) in Samgukyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), Vol. 1.

Goryeo

930 (13th year of King Taejo’s reign)
In the 8th lunar month, two emissaries from Ureung Island paid tribute to Goryeo in the form of local specialties, and received the official ranks of Jeongwi and Jeongjo, respectively.

* Source: “Taejosega” (Records of King Taejo) 1 from Goryeosa (History of Goryeo), Vol. 1.

1018 (9th year of King Hyeonjong’s reign)
In the 11th lunar month, Yi Won-gu was dispatched to Usan-guk along with farming tools to assist in planting crops after the region suffered repeated attacks by the Jurchen from the northeast regions.

* Source: “Hyeonjongsega” (Records of King Hyeongjong) 1 from Goryeosa, Vol. 4.

1019 (10th year of King Hyeonjong’s reign)
In the 7th lunar month, the Goryeo government had to send back the people of Usan-guk seeking refuge on the mainland from repeated attacks on their island by the Jurchen.

* Source: “Hyeonjongsega” (Records of King Hyeongjong) 1 from Goryeosa, Vol. 4.

1022 (13th year of King Hyeonjong’s reign)
In the 7th lunar month, the Jurchen invaded Usan-guk and the people who fled resettled in Yeju. (the area under the jurisdiction of the local administrative body Bangeosa in Yeju, governing Pyeonghae, Yeongdeok and Yeongyang at the time; present-day Yeongdeok-gun)

* Source: “Hyeonjongsega” (Records of King Hyeongjong) 2 from Goryeosa, Vol. 4.

1032 (1st year of King Deokjong’s reign)
In the 11th lunar month, the Lord of Ureung sent his son, Bueoingdarang, as an emissary to pay tribute to Goryeo in the form of local goods.

* Source: “Deokjongsega” (Records of King Deokjong) from Goryeosa, vol. 5.

1141 (19th year of King Injong’s reign)
In the 7th lunar month, Myeongju Province Inspector Lee Yang Sil sent his representative to Ulleungdo with instructions to gather unique leaves and fruit seeds as a gift for the king.

* Source: “Injongsega” (Records of King Injong) 3 from Goryeosa, vol. 17.

1157 (11th year of King Uijong’s reign)
King Uijong sent Myeongju Province Inspector Kim Yu Rip to investigate the possibility of establishing a settlement on Ureung Island. Kim reported that the island was too rocky to be habitable, leading the King to abandon the resettlement plan.

* Source: “Uijongsega” (Records of King Uijong) 2 from Goryeosa, vol. 18.

1243 (30th year of King Gojong’s reign)
Choe I began to resettle people on Ulleungdo during the long period of resisting Mongol invasion. However, the resettlement policy was abandoned because many people drowned in the process.

* Source: Article on Choe Chung-heon and Choe I in the Treason section of “Yeoljeon”(Biographies) 3, from Goryeosa, vol. 129.

1246 (33rd year of King Gojong’s reign)
National Academy professor Gwon Hyeong-yun and civil official Sa Jeong-sun were jointly appointed as Governors of Ulleungdo.

* Source: “Gojongsega” (Records of King Gojong) 2 from Goryeosa, vol. 23.

1273 (14th year of King Wonjong’s reign)
Yuan (China) sent Li Shu to Goryeo demanding access to big trees, so King Wonjong appointed Security Council Commissioner Heo Gong as Lumber Inspector for Ulleungdo to accompany Li Shu to the island. Before long, lumbering by Yuan China on Ulleungdo was stopped at the request of Goryeo.

* Source: Article on Jo I and Li Shu in the Treason section of “Yeoljeon” (Biographies) 4, “Wonjongsega”(Records of King Wonjong) 3, Book 130 from Goryeosa, vol. 27.

1346 (2nd year of King Chungmok’s reign)
Representatives of Ureung Island from the eastern frontier visited Goryeo.

* Source: “Chungmokwangsega” (Records of King Chungmok) from Goryeosa, vol. 37.

1379 (5th year of King U’s reign)
In the 7th lunar month, people from Japan arrived on Mureung Island (present-day Dokdo) and stayed for 15 days before heading home.

* Source: Article 1 on Sin U (King U) in the Treason section of “Yeoljeon”(Biographies) 6 from Goryeosa, vol. 134.

Joseon

1403 (3rd year of King Taejong’s reign)
In the 8th lunar month, following the advice of Gangneung’s provincial governor, King Taejong ordered residents of Mureung Island (present-day Dokdo) to move to the mainland.

* Source: Taejongsillok (Annals of King Taejong), vol. 6

1407 (7th year of King Taejong’s reign)
In the 3rd lunar month, Lord So Sadashige of the Japanese island Takeshima (Daemado) returned Joseon captives and paid tribute to Joseon with local goods. He petitioned King Taejong for permission to send settlers to Mureung Island (present-day Dokdo), but the king denied his request.

* Source: Taejongsillok (Annals of King Taejong), vol. 13

1416 (16th year of King Taejong’s reign)
In the 9th lunar month, former Local Commander Kim In-u from Samhcheok was appointed Governor of Mureung and its vicinity to relocate people who had settled on the island illegally.

* Source: Taejongsillok (Annals of King Taejong), vol.32

1417 (17th year of King Taejong’s reign)
In the 11th lunar month, the Lord of Ureung sent his son, Bueoingdarang, as an emissary to pay tribute to Goryeo in the form of local goods.

* Source: “Deokjongsega (Records of King Deokjong)” from Goryeosa, vol. 5.

1425 (7th year of King Sejong’s reign)
In the 10th lunar month, Governor Kim In-u captured and evicted 20 civilians from Usan-Mureung Islands and relocated them to a remote village in Chungcheong Province, giving them a tax abatement for three years for financial support.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vol. 30

1429 (11th year of King Sejong’s reign) start
In the 12th lunar month, Agricultural Minister Yi An-gyeong was sent to Gangwon Province on an information gathering mission to learn the whereabouts of an island said to be called Yodo.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vol. 46

1430 (12th year of King Sejong’s reign)
- Armed with information gathered by Yi An-gyeong on his trip in search of Yodo, the Governor of Hamgil Province was dispatched to find Yodo and to study the island’s topography and the life of its inhabitants.
- In April, General Hong Sa-seok and Jeon Nong-yun traveled to Gangwon Province and Sin In-son to Hamgil Province to find Yodo.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vols. 47, 48

1432 (14th year of King Sejong’s reign)
The following is an excerpt from Sinchan paldo jirijji (New Geographical Description of the Eight Provinces) published in 1432: “Usan and Mureung are located in the sea due east of Uljin-hyeon. The two islands can be seen from each other on a clear day.” The same information also appeared in the Sejongsillok jiriji (Geography Section of the Annals of King Sejong) published in 1454 (2nd year of King Danjong’s reign).

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vol. 153

1436 (18th year of King Sejong’s reign)
In the leap month of the 6th lunar month, Yu Gye-mun, Governor of Gangwon Province, proposed the establishment of a settlement on Usan near Mureung and the assignment of a local commander and a magistrate there but his request was denied.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vol. 73

1438 (20th year of King Sejong’s reign)
In the 4th lunar month, former military officers Nam Hoe and Jo Min were appointed as Mureung Investigators. In July, they returned from the island along with 66 settlers and local goods.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vols. 81, 82

1438 (20th year of King Sejong’s reign)
In the 7th lunar month, the provincial governor of Gangwon was dispatched on another exploratory mission in search of Yodo.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vol. 82

1445 (27th year of King Sejong’s reign)
In 8th lunar month, King Sejong announced that he would award a prize to the explorer who found Yodo. Nam Hoe also went to look for Yodo, but all attempts failed.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Sejong), vol. 82

1451 (1st year of King Munjong’s reign)
The following is an excerpt from Goryeosa (History of Goryeo) published in 1451: ‘Ulleungdo is located in the sea due east of Uljin-hyeon. … It is said that Usan and Mureung are two separate islands and as they are not far apart they can be seen from each other on a clear day.’

* Source: Article on Uljin-hyeon, Eastern Frontier, in “Geography 3” from Goryeosa vol. 58

1472 (3rd year of King Seongjong’s reign)
- In the 2nd lunar month, the Ministry of War petitioned for permission to search for Sambongdo (Dokdo). In the 4th lunar month, Sambong Investigator Park Jong-won set out on his expedition.
- In the 6th lunar month, the provincial governor of Gangwon filed a report indicating that the expedition set sail at Port Uljin on 28th day of the 5th lunar month, and encountered a gale. The strong winds forced Park Jong-won to harbor at Ganseong-gun. Three other ships, including military official Gwak Yeong-gang’s boat, made land on Mureung Island and explored the island before returning to Ugye-hyeon in Gangneung on the 6th day of the 6th lunar month.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Seongjong), vols. 15, 17 and 19

1473 (4th year of King Seongjong’s reign)
In the 1st lunar month, Jeong Nan-jong, the Governor of Yeongan, was dispatched on an information gathering mission with regard to Sambongdo and Yodo.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Seongjong), vol. 26

1476 (7th year of King Seongjong’s reign)
- In the 6th lunar month, in response to claims made by Kim Han-gyeong and other officials that they had visited Sambongdo, King Seongjong ordered Governor Yi Geuk-yun of Yeongan to send an expedition to search for the island.
- Yi sent Kim Ja-ju, who made land on the island in the 9th lunar month and returned in the 10th lunar month, having made a sketch of the island.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Seongjong), vol. 72

1479 (10th year of King Seongjong’s reign)
In the leap month of the 10th lunar month, Investigator Jo Wi from Yeongan reported that 21 explorers, including Kim Han-gyeong and Kim Ja-ju, set sail for Sambongdo on the 27th day of the 10th lunar month. However, they failed to locate the island.

* Source: Sejongsillok (Annals of King Seongjong), vol. 110

1480 (11th year of King Seongjong’s reign)
In the 2nd lunar month, General Jeong Seok-hui and military training officer Park Jong-won were sent into exile for trying to avoid the position of Sambongdo Investigator. In the 5th lunar month, King Seongjong ordered Investigator Shim An-in to suspend the expeditions to Sambongdo.

* Source: Seongjongsillok (Annals of King Seongjong), vols.114, 117

1481 (12th year of King Seongjong’s reign), Vol. 114-117
The following was published in Dongguk yeoji seungnam (Survey of the Geography of Korea): ‘There are Usando and Ulleungdo (or Mureung and Ulleung Islands) in Sancheon-jo, Uljin-hyeon in Gangwon Province. The two islands are in the sea due east of Uljin-hyeon. On a clear day, scenery such as trees and plants can be seen from each other and if the wind is calm, it takes two days to reach there. It is also said that Usan and Ulleung were once one island.’ This passage also appeared in Sinjeung dongguk yeoji seungnam (Augmented Survey of the Geography of Korea) published in 1530 (25th year of King Jungjong’s reign).

* Source: Sancheon-jo, Uljin-hyeon in Gangwon Province in Sinjeung dongguk yeoji seungnam (Augmented Survey of the Geography of Korea), Vol. 45

1614 (6th year of King Gwanghaegun’s reign)
- In the 6th lunar month, Joseon received a petition from the Lord of Japanese island Tsushima for a guide to Uijukdo (Ulleungdo) in order to explore the topography of the island, but the government denied his request.
- In the 9th lunar month, Joseon received the Lord of Tsushima’s request for a permit to establish residence on Ulleungdo, but this request was also denied.

* Source: Gwanghaegun ilgi (Daily Records of King Gwanghaegun), Vol. 82; and, an article on Ulleungdo from “Japjo” (Miscellaneous Articles) in Byeollyejibyo (Record of Korean-Japanese Relations), Vol. 17.

1693 (19th year of King Sukjong’s reign)
-In the 3rd lunar month, a quarrel between roughly 40 fishermen from Dongnae (present-day Busan), Ulsan, and some Japanese fishermen broke out on Ulleungdo. In the course of the dispute, the Japanese fishermen took An Yong-bok and another Korean fisherman named Park Eo-dun to the Japanese island of Oki against their will. Upon arriving, An appeared before the Lord of Oki Island to protest his abduction by force. He then met Lord of Hokishu (present-day Tottori Prefecture) and asserted Korean ownership of Ulleungdo and demanded a complete halt to illegal fishing and trespassing on the island by Japanese fishermen. At the request of the Lord of Hokishu, the Tokugawa Shogunate prepared a letter to that effect for An. (This fishing rights dispute is commonly referred to as An’s first journey to Japan).

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 26, 30; Article on Ulleungdo from “Japjo (Miscellaneous Articles)” in Byeollyejibyo (Record of Korean-Japanese Relations), vol. 17.; “Article on Facts about Ulleungdo” from Oju yeonmun jangjeon sango (Collection of Writings on Various Topics by Oju Yi Gyu-gyeong) vol. 35; “Border Region” from Yeonam jeonseo (Collected Writings of Yeonam Sin Gyeong-jun) vol. 7

-In the 11th lunar month, the Lord of Tsushima repatriated An Yong-bok and Park Eo-dun after charging them with unlawful entry into Japanese territory. The Lord of Tsushima sent them with a letter, in which he referred to Ulleungdo as Jukdo and claimed sovereignty over it, demanding that Korea stop fishing in the waters around the island.
- In the 12th lunar month, Protocol Officer Hong Jung-ha paid an official visit to the Japanese settlement (waegwan) in Dongnae and met with Japanese envoy Tachibana Masachige.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 26; Article on Ulleungdo from “Japjo (Miscellaneous Articles)” in Byeollyejibyo (Record of Korean-Japanese Relations), vol. 17; “Article on Facts about Ulleungdo” from Oju yeonmun jangjeon sango (Collection of Writings on Various Topics by Oju Yi Gyu-gyeong) vol. 35; “Border Region” from Yeonam jeonseo (Collected Writings of Yeonam Sin Gyeong-jun) vol. 7

1694 (20th year of King Sukjong’s reign)
- In the 8th lunar month, Japanese envoy Tachibana repeated his request that Joseon delete the reference to Ulleungdo from the letter. Because of Tachibana’s repeated requests led to the Korean government decided to take stronger measures with Japan. Yu Jip-il, the newly appointed Protocol Officer, was sent to the Japanese settlement in Dongnae, carrying a reworded letter. At the same time, the Korean government sent Investigator Jang Han-sang from Samcheok to Ulleungdo to complete a full investigation into the matter. Yu Jip-il questioned An Yong-bok about the events and delivered a strong rebuke to Japanese envoy Tachibana for Japan’s wrongful conduct. He also delivered a second letter which stated:“Ulleungdo and Jukdo are names for the same island, and Ulleungdo belongs to Korea.” Jang Han-sang departed from Ulleungdo on the 19th day of the 9th lunar month and arrived in Samcheok in Gangwon province on the 6th day of the 10th lunar month, having been delayed by the inadequate marine transportation system. As a result of this incident, rather than settle the island, the Korean government decided to establish a system of periodic military patrols in the waters around the island, a system known as the Government Patrol System. In the meantime, Jang Han-sang observed Dokdo, located southeast of Ulleungdo.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 27; Article on Ulleungdo from “Japjo (Miscellaneous Articles)” in Byeollyejibyo (Record of Korean-Japanese Relations), vol. 17.; Ulleungdo sajeok (Records of Expedition to Ulleungdo).

1696 (22nd year of King Sukjong’s reign)
- In the 1st lunar month, the Tokugawa Shogunate prohibited Japanese nationals from entering the waters around Ulleungdo.
- In the 8th lunar month, An Yong-bok paid a second visit to Japan, this time accompanied by other crewmen, including Yi In-seong of Pyeongsanpo (presently part of North Korea), traveling through Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Following their arrival on the Japanese island of Hokishu, An Yong-bok referred to himself as the Tax Officer for Ulleung and Jasan Islands, and appeared before the Lord of Hokishu to protest Japan’s continued encroachment on Korean territory. The Lord of Hokishu punished those who trespassed on the island, and reaffirmed Korean ownership of Dokdo in his statement that “the two islands belong to Joseon, so if the Japanese, including the Lord of Tsushima, encroach upon the islands, they will be heavily punished.” An Yong-bok withdrew his request to take the case to the Tokugawa Shogunate, and returned to Yangyang in Gangwon province.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 30.

1697 (23rd year of King Sukjong’s reign)
- In the 1st lunar month, a Japanese envoy from Tsushima, following an order of the Tokugawa Shogunate, came to confirm Jukdo as Joseon’s territory, and indicated that Japanese would be banned from the island.
- In the 3rd lunar month, in recognition of An Yong-bok’s achievement, the Korean government stayed his pending execution on charges of causing an international dispute without government authorization and converted his sentence to life in exile.
- In the 4th lunar month, Joseon decided to increase patrols of the waters around the island to once every three years.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 31; Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat) (13th day of the 4th lunar year in the 23rd year of King Sukjong’s reign); Article on Ulleungdo from “Japjo (Miscellaneous Articles)” in Byeollyejibyo (Record of Korean-Japanese Relations), vol. 17.

1699 (25th year of King Sukjong’s reign)
In the 7th lunar month, having patrolled Ulleungdo under the Government Patrol System, Local Commander Jeon Hoe-il from Wolsong dedicated a map of the island along with a gift of its local products to the king. His voyage was the first under the newly implemented system, since Joseon had been unable to send a patrol during the 24th year of King Sukjong’s reign due to a bad harvest in Yeongdong province.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 33.

1699 (25th year of King Sukjong’s reign)
In the 5th lunar month, Local Commander Yi Jun-myeong of Samcheok, having patrolled Ulleungdo, presented a map of Ulleungdo along with a gift of the island’s local products to the king.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 36.

1705 (31st year of King Sukjong’s reign)
On the 16th day of the 6th lunar month, several military officers, including Hwang Ni-geon, from Pyeonghae and other regions, drowned on their way back from patrolling Ulleungdo. The Korean government held funeral services for them.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 42.

1708 (34th year of King Sukjong’s reign)
In the 2nd lunar month, Officer Kim Man-chae petitioned to establish a settlement on Ulleungdo, but the proposal was denied.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 46.

1717 (43rd year of King Sukjong’s reign)
In the 3rd lunar month, Yi Man-gyeon, the provincial governor of Gangwon, asked that the government patrol of Ulleungdo be suspended for the year due to a bad harvest and his request was approved by the government.

* Source: Sukjongsillok (Annals of King Sukjong), vol. 59.

1726 (2nd year of King Yeongjo’s reign)
In the 10th lunar month, a Confucian scholar from Gangwon named Yi Seung-su petitioned to establish a settlement on Ulleungdo and begin farming the land, but the proposal was denied.

* Source: Yeongjosillok (Annals of King Yeongjo) vol. 1.

1735 (11th year of King Yeongjo’s reign)
In the 1st lunar month, Governor of Gangwon Province Jo Choe-su sought permission to suspend the Government Patrol System for the year due to a bad harvest but the request was denied

* Source: Yeongjosillok (Annals of King Yeongjo) vol. 40.

1769 (45th year of King Yeongjo’s reign)
In the 10th lunar month, at the suggestion of Chief High State Councilor Hong Bong-han, the Korean government decided to publish a collection of historical documents on Ulleungdo in book form. King Yeongjo ordered the Chief Official for Production and Technology Won In-son to work with a former local commander of Samcheok in preparing sketches of the topography and local specialties of Ulleungdo to be included in the publication

* Source: Yeongjosillok (Annals of King Yeongjo) vol. 113.

1775 (51st year of King Yeongjo’s reign)
The first map of the region to include longitude and latitude was the “Nihon yochi rotei zenzu” (Complete Map of Japan) by Nagakubo Sekisui in which Ulleungdo was identified as “Takesima” or “Isotakesima” and Dokdo was identified as “Matsusima.” To the left of Ulleungdo, the map states, “Looking at Goryeo (Korea) from this island is the same as looking at Onshu (present-day Oki Island) from the Izumo region.” Following this logic, it can be inferred that at the time Japan clearly considered Ulleungdo and Dokdo to be part of Korea.

* Source: Nihon yochi rotei zenzu (Complete Map of Japan)

1785 (9th year of King Jeongjo’s reign)
In both “Sangoku setsujozu” (Map of the Boundary Between China, Korea and Japan) and “Chosen koku zenzu” (Map of the Eight Provinces of Joseon), which accompany the Japanese book Sangoku tsuran zusetsu (An Illustrated General Survey of Three Countries) by Hayashi Shihei, Ulleungdo and Dokdo are identified as Joseon territory.

* Source: Sangoku tsuran zusetsu

1787 (11th year of King Jeongjo’s reign)
On the 14th day of the 7th lunar month, Ulsan fishermen were arrested at Samcheok Wharf on their way back from gathering abalones, juniper trees, and bamboo on Ulleungdo.

* Source: Jeongjosillok (Annals of King Jeongjo) vol. 24.

1794 (18th year of King Jeongjo’s reign)
In the 6th lunar month, Governor of Gangwon Province Sim Jin-hyeon filed a report to the Korean government following his patrol of Ulleungdo. Local Commander Han Chang-guk from Wolseong left Ulleungdo on the 21st day of the 4th lunar month and returned to Joseon on the 8th day of the 5th lunar month. On the 26th day of the 4th lunar month, during his stay in Ulleungdo, he also visited Gajido (Dokdo).

* Source: Jeongjosillok (Annals of King Jeongjo) vol. 40.

1848 (14th year of King Heonjong’s reign)
On the 17th day of the 4th lunar month, the American whaling vessel Cherokee spotted Dokdo at 37º 25′ north latitude, 132º 00′ east longitude.
1849 (15th year of King Heonjong’s reign)
- On the 27th day of the 1st lunar month, the crew of the French whaling ship Liancourt identified Dokdo as being at 37º 2′ north latitude, 131º 46′ east longitude, and named the island “Liancourt Rocks” after the ship. From that time on, Liancourt Rocks was used for all mention of Dokdo in the French Navy’s coastal piloting and nautical charts, and thus the island came to be known by that name in the Western world.
- On the 18th day of the 3rd lunar month, the crew of the American whaling ship William Thompson spotted Dokdo at 37º 19′ north latitude, 133º 9′ east longitude, and the account written by the crew on the first sighting of the island was that they had spotted “three rocks.” This description calls to mind Sambongdo, another name believed to have been attributed to Dokdo during King Seongjong’s reign in the 15th century.
1854 (5th year of King Cheoljong’s reign)
On April 6 according to the Russian Orthodox Calendar, the Olivutsa, one of four Russian warships under the command of Admiral Putiatin on his journey to the Far East, reported sighting Dokdo in the course of her sail from Manila to the Tartar Strait. The Russians named Seodo (West Island) “Olivutsa” after the vessel that spotted it, while Dongdo (East Island) was named “Menelai” after the warship’s original name. At the time, the Russians considered Dokdo to be Joseon territory. A detailed survey of Dokdo was presented in the January 1855 issue of the Russian Navy’s official magazine, alongside observations of Ulleungdo made by the crew of the Bastok, and a survey of the East Sea coastline conducted by the crew of the Pallada.

* Source: Ship’s Log of the Olivutsa (1854), Russia Navy’s official magazine (1854), and Chosen tokaiganzu (The Map of the East Coast of Joseon) published by the Japanese Navy Ministry’s Hydrographic Office (1876).

1855 (6th year of King Cheoljong’s reign)
On the 25th day of the 4th lunar month, the British fleet reported having sighted Dokdo, and the crew named the island the Hornet Rocks after a British naval vessel.

* Source: The Nautical Magazine (UK, 1856), Coast Pilot published by the French Navy (1856 Edition, Vol. 11)

1870 (7th year of King Gojong’s reign)
In the 12th lunar month of 1869, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials who had been sent to Joseon on a secret surveying mission returned home. They submitted their report entitled “A Confidential Inquiry into the Particulars of Korean Foreign Relations” in the 4th lunar month of 1870. This report laid out in detail the entire historical background as to how Jukdo (Ulleungdo) and Songdo (Dokdo) became part of Korea.

* Source: “A Confidential Inquiry into the Particulars of Korean Foreign Relations”

1875 (12th year of King Gojong’s reign)
In the 11th lunar month, the Advisory Bureau of the Japanese Army published “The Complete Map of Joseon.” This Japanese Army map clearly identifies Dokdo as Matsushima (Songdo), reflecting Japan’s understanding that Dokdo, along with Takeshima (Jukdo or Ulleungdo), were Korean territory.

* Source: The Complete Map of Joseon by the Advisory Bureau of the Japanese Army

1876 (13th year of King Gojong’s reign)
- The Japanese Navy published “Chosen tokaiganzu” (The Map of the East Coast of Joseon). Made for strategic purposes, it was based on an earlier map that had been completed by the Russian Navy in 1857. Dokdo was identified as a coastal island off Joseon alongside Ulleungdo.
- On the 16th day of the 10th lunar month, as part of a nationwide initiative to complete an official land registry and produce modern maps, Shimane Prefecture sent an inquiry to the Japanese Home Affairs Ministry asking if Jukdo (Ulleungdo) and Songdo (Dokdo) should be included in the map of Shimane Prefecture. After an extensive five-month review of the document attached to the inquiry submitted by Shimane Prefecture, as well as diplomatic documents exchanged between Japan and Joseon, the Home Affairs Ministry concluded that Jukdo and Songdo were Joseon territory that had no connection to Japan.
Further, a Japanese man named Heigaku Mutoh petitioned the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry for permission to develop Matsushima (Songdo) in the 4th lunar month of 1878. In the 9th lunar month, Japan’s Navy Ministry deployed a warship to survey Matsushima only to discover that the island was none other than Ulleungdo. Based on this finding, the Japanese government denied the request.

* Source: Chosen tokaiganzu (The Map of the East Coast of Joseon). (Hydrographic Office, Japan’s Navy Ministry, 1876)

1877 (14th year of King Gojong’s reign)
- On the 17th day of the 3rd lunar month, despite the Navy Ministry’s ruling that Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and another island (Matsushima or Dokdo) had no connection to Japan, the Home Affairs Ministry raised the issue with Dajokan (The Great Council of State) stating that “disposition of territory is a matter of great importance.” The Ministry presented the Great Council with a memorandum and enclosed documents.
- On the 20th day of the 3rd lunar month, the Dajokan issued the following directive: “As per your inquiry, note that our country has nothing to do with another island beside Takeshima.” The Great Council sent the directive to the Home Affairs Ministry on the 29th day of the 3rd lunar month. On the 9th day of the 4th lunar month, the Ministry forwarded the Dajokan’s directive to Shimane Prefecture.

* Source: Compilation of Official Documents, Home Affairs Ministry Section 1

1881 (18th year of King Gojong’s reign)
Seven Japanese nationals were caught logging on Ulleungdo. Governor of Gangwon Province Im Han-su notified the central government of the offense and asked that appropriate measures be taken. On the 22nd day of the 5th lunar month, Joseon’s Office for Extraordinary State Affairs ordered that diplomatic papers be prepared and filed with Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, and appointed military officer Yi Gyu-won to lead the investigation into the situation on the island as Royal Inspector of Ulleungdo.

* Source: Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat), (22nd day of the 5th lunar month in the 18th year of King Gojong’s reign); Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection) (22nd day of the 5th lunar month in the 18th year of King Gojong’s reign); Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong), Vol.18.

1881 (18th year of King Gojong’s reign)
In July, Seisei Kitazawa prepared Takeshima kosho (A Study of Historical Evidence on Takeshima) as part of research commissioned by the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry. He submitted a summary of his findings titled Takeshima hanto shyozokuko (Summary of Study on Takeshima) to the Ministry. In 1880, the Japanese government sent a warship on an exploratory mission to Ulleungdo, and in the meantime, instructed Kitazawa to continue his research on the history of Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Kitazawa’s study concluded that in 1699 Matsushima (Songdo) was referred to as Takeshima (Jukdo) or Ulleungdo, and the island was not Japan’s territory. The report also made brief mention of Dokdo as follows: “Besides Ulleungdo, there is another island called Takeshima (Jukdo) which is a very small islet.”

* Source: Takeshima kosho (A Study of Historical Evidence on Takeshima) Vol. 1, 2, 3; Takeshima hanto shyozokuko (Summary of Study on Takeshima)

1882 (19th year of Gojong’s reign)
On the 7th day of the 4th lunar month, Yi Gyu-won, the incoming Royal Inspector for Ulleungdo appeared before the king to bid farewell before leaving on his mission. King Gojong asked him to pay special attention to Usando, Songdo and Jukdo, and to make a map of Ulleungdo. In addition, the king asked Yi to conduct a detailed survey to explore the possibility of building a settlement on the island.

* Source: Seungjeongwon-ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat) (7th day of the 4th lunar month in the 19th year of King Gojong’s reign); Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection) (7th day of the 4th lunar month in the 19th year of King Gojong’s reign); Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong), vol. 19

1882 (19th year of King Gojong’s reign)
On the 5th day of the 6th lunar month, Yi Gyu-won returned to brief the king on the outcome of his investigation. Following his arrival at Ulleungdo on the 30th day of the 4th lunar month, he had conducted his mission from the 2nd day of the 5th lunar month to the 10th lunar month and had returned to the port of Gusanpo in Pyeonghae, Gangwon Province on the 13th day of the 5th lunar month. He advised the king that it was feasible to build a settlement on the island and identified Rari-dong as a suitable site. While exploring the region, Yi reported that he had spotted a host of illegal logging activities by Japanese as well as a Japanese marker referring to the island as Matsushima (Jukdo). Yi’s discovery prompted the Korean government to file a complaint with the Japanese Minister to Korea and Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

* Source: Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat) (5th day of the 6th lunar month in the 19th year of King Gojong’s reign); Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection) (5th day of the 6th lunar month in the 19th year of King Gojong’s reign); Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong), Vol. 19; Abridged version of Yi Gyu-won’s Ulleungdo geomchal ilgi (Daily Records of the Ulleungdo Inspection)

On the 20th day of the 8th lunar month, following the advice of Chief High State Councillor Hong Sun-mok, the position of Ulleungdo Chief was established to oversee the island. Royal Inspector Yi Gyu-won recommended Jeon Seok-gyu, a resident of Ulleungdo who hailed from Hamyang, South Gyeongsang Province, for the post.

* Source: Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat) (20th day of the 8th lunar month in the 19th year of King Gojong’s reign); Bibyeonsa deungnok (Records of the Border Defense Council) (20th day of the 8th lunar month in the 19th year of King Gojong’s reign); Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong) Vol. 19; Ulleungdo geomchal ilgi (Daily Records of the Ulleungdo Inspection) by Yi Gyu-won.

1883 (20th year of King Gojong’s reign)
On the 16th day of the 3rd lunar month, Kim Ok-gyun was appointed Commissioner for Development of the Southeastern Islands and Whaling.

* Source: Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong) Vol. 20, 21.

1883 (20th year of King Gojong’s reign)
In the 4th lunar month, the Hydrographic Office of the Japanese Navy Ministry published the Territorial Hydrograph Chronicles. Information about Dokdo appeared in the second volume of the chronicles titled “The General Situation of Joseon,” clearly reflecting Japan’s view that Dokdo was Joseon territory.

* Source: Territorial Hydrograph Chronicles Vol. 2 published by the Navy Ministry of Japan in the 4th lunar month of 1883.

1883 (20th year of King Gojong’s reign)
- In the 4th lunar month, the first official settlers, 16 households comprising 54 people migrated to Ulleungdo
- Later in the 7th lunar mont,h the government of Joseon investigated how well these first settlers were managing on the island.

* Source: Record dated the 4th month of the 9th year of reign title Guangxu of Qing China, from 鬱陵島開拓時船格糧米雜物容入假量成冊; Record dated the 7th month the 9th year of reign title Guangxu of Qing China, from 江原道鬱陵島新入民戶人口姓

1884 (21st year of King Gojong’s reign)
On the 11th day of the 1st lunar month, Kim Ok-gyun, Commissioner for Development of the Southeastern Islands reported to Joseon’s central government that Ulleungdo Chief Jeon Seok-gyu had been colluding with the Japanese to sell timber from the island to Japan. The government issued an order for Jeon’s arrest.

* Source: Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat) (the 11th day of the 1st lunar month of the 21st year of King Gojong’s reign); Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection) (the 11th day of the 1st lunar month of the 21st year of King Gojong’s reign); Bibyeonsa deungnok (Records of the Border Defense Council) (the 6th day of the 1st lunar month of the 21st year of King Gojong’s reign); Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong) vol. 21

1884 (21st year of King Gojong’s reign)
- On the 15th day of the 3rd lunar month, Joseon’s Office of Military and Domestic Affairs proposed that a government office be established on Ulleungdo and that people should be encouraged to settle on the island to cultivate the land. Joseon’s central government approved the proposal, advised the Governor of Gangwon Province to take the necessary steps, and charged the local commander of Samcheok with the additional responsibility of Royal Inspector of Ulleungdo.
- On the 30th day of the 6th lunar month, the Office of Military and Domestic Affairs assigned the Governor of Pyeonghae the additional responsibility of serving as Royal Inspector of Ulleungdo.

* Source: Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat) (15th day of 3rd lunar month, 21st year of King Gojong’s reign; Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection) (15th day of the 3rd lunar month and the 30th day of the 6th lunar month of the 21st year of King Gojong’s reign); Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong), vol. 39

1888 (25th year of King Gojong’s reign)
On the 6th day of the 2nd lunar month, Joseon’s central government agreed to reinstate the position of the Chief of Ulleungdo upon the advice of the Ministry of Home Affairs. At that time a fort was established in Port Wolseong in Pyeonghae and the Joseon government dispatched a local commander to the fort in Wolseong and assigned him the additional responsibility of carrying out occasional inspections of Ulleungdo as Chief the island.

* Source: Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat) (7th day of 2nd lunar month of the 25th year of King Gojong’s reign); Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection) (7th day of the 2nd lunar month of the 25th year of King Gojong’s reign); Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong) vol. 25 (6th day of the 2nd lunar month)

1894 (31st year of King Gojong’s reign)
On the 27th day of the 12th lunar month, having cleared sufficient land for farming, the Joseon government ceased providing supplies for the boats patrolling Ulleungdo for good.

* Source: 27th day of the 12th lunar month, Gojongsillok (Annals of King Gojong), vol. 32; Gwanbo (Official Gazette), 27th day of the 12th lunar month of the 503rd year since dynasty’s foundation (1894).

1895 (32nd year of King Gojong’s reign, 504th year since dynasty’s foundation)
- On the 29th day of the 1st lunar month, having suspended the Government Patrol System, Joseon’s central government appointed a separate officer to serve as Chief of Ulleungdo, a post previously held by the Local Commander of Wolseong, on the advice of Interior Minister Bak Yeong-hyo. Joseon continued to send ships to the island several times a year to check on the settlers’ progress.
- On the 16th day of the 8th lunar month, based on the advice of Interior Minister Bak Jeong-yang, Joseon’s central government elevated the position of Chief of Ulleungdo to that of Provost.
- On the 20th day of the 9th lunar month, Joseon named Ulleungdo resident Bae Gye-ju to the post of Provost of Ulleungdo, an official rank of Level 7~9 within the bureaucratic hierarchy.

* Source: 29th day of the 1st lunar month, 32nd year of King Gojong’s reign, Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat); 29th day of the 1st lunar month, 32nd year of King Gojong’s reign, Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection); Gwanbo (Official Gazette), Issue No. 139 (29th day of the 1st lunar month of the 504th year since dynasty’s foundation)

1898 (Great Han Empire, 2nd year of Gwangmu. Note: In 1896, Gojong proclaimed the country the Great Han Empire and took the title Emperor; in dating thereafter, his reign came to be referred to as Gwangmu.)
- On the 29th day of the 1st lunar month, having suspended the Government Patrol System, Joseon’s central government appointed a separate officer to serve as Chief of Ulleungdo, a post previously held by the Local Commander of Wolseong, on the advice of Interior Minister Bak Yeong-hyo. Joseon continued to send ships to the island several times a year to check on the settlers’ progress.
- On the 16th day of the 8th lunar month, based on the advice of Interior Minister Bak Jeong-yang, Joseon’s central government elevated the position of Chief of Ulleungdo to that of Provost.
- On the 20th day of the 9th lunar month, Joseon named Ulleungdo resident Bae Gye-ju to the post of Provost of Ulleungdo, an official rank of Level 7~9 within the bureaucratic hierarchy.

* Source: 29th day of the 1st lunar month, 32nd year of King Gojong’s reign, Seungjeongwon ilgi (The Diaries of the Royal Secretariat); 29th day of the 1st lunar month, 32nd year of King Gojong’s reign, Ilseongnok (Record of Daily Reflection); Gwanbo (Official Gazette), Issue No. 139 (29th day of the 1st lunar month of the 504th year since dynasty’s foundation)

1899 (Great Han Empire, 3rd year of Gwangmu)
On December 19, on the advice of Interior Minister Lee Geon-ha, in response to concerns over illegal logging and harassment by the Japanese, the Joseon central government dispatched an inspector, U Yong-jeong, to Ulleungdo.

* Source: Gojongsillok (Annals of Emperor Gojong) vol.39; Gwanbo (Official Gazette) Issue No. 1448 dated December 19th, 3rd year of reign title Gwangmu

1900 (Great Han Empire, 4th year of reign title Gwangmu)
- On May 31, a joint Korean-Japanese team of inspectors, which included U Yong-jeong and Akatsuka Seihou, Consular Attaché of the Japanese Consulate in Busan, traveled to Ulleungdo to investigate reports of misconduct, illegal logging, and unlawful taxation by Japanese. The team also inspected the overall condition of life on the island.
- On June 15, U Yong-jeong filed an official report to the Joseon central government suggesting prompt removal of Japanese from the island as well as the reorganization of Ulleungdo’s governing body.
- On Oct. 27, Joseon issued Imperial Ordinance No. 41, thereby changing the name of Ulleungdo to Uldo and changing the role of its provost to that of a county magistrate. As a result, the island became the 27th county of Gangwon Province. Under the Ordinance, the county office was established in Taehadong and the new county magistrate of Uldo had authority over the entire island, Jukdo (Daetseom) and Seokdo (Dokdo).
The incumbent Provost, Bae Gye-ju, became the first County Magistrate of Uldo. The central government divided Ulleung County into Nam-myeon and Buk-myeon, with Dokdo belonging to Nam-myeon of Ulleng County for administrative purposes.

* Source: Uldo-gi (Record of Uldo) and a report written by U Yong-jeong; Gojongsillok (Annals of Emperor Gojong) vol. 40; Gwanbo (Official Gazette) Issue No. 1716 dated October 27 of the 4th year of reign title Gwangmu.

1904 (Great Han Empire, 8th year of reign title Gwangmu)
- On February 10, Japan declared war on Russia.
- On February 23, Joseon was forced to sign the first Korea-Japan Protocol Agreement, which gave Japan the right to occupy and expropriate Korean territory in support of its war against Russia
- On August 22, Joseon was forced to sign the Korea-Japan Agreement, which authorized Japan to install financial and foreign affairs advisers within the Joseon government.
- On September 1, Japan completed construction of watchtowers to look out for Russian warships in the East Sea. The watchtowers, two in the southeast and two in the northeast with seven men assigned to each tower, went into operation on September 2.
- On September 24, the Japanese warship Nitaka-maru sailed for Dokdo on a mission to assess the feasibility of building a watchtower on the island. The Niitaka-maru reported that a watchtower could be constructed on the Liancourt Rocks and went on to mention that Koreans referred to the island as Dokdo whereas Japanese fishermen used the name Riankoshima.
- On November 20, the Japanese battleship Tsushima-maru made land at Dokdo and work began on a survey of Liancourt Rocks (Dokdo) to assess the feasibility of installing a telegraph relay station and running underwater cables around the island.

* Source: Gwanbo (Official Gazette) special edition dated May of the 8th year of Gwangmu; 極秘明治三十七八年海戰史 (Secret Naval Battle History of Meiji Year 37 and 38); 軍艦新高戰時日誌 (Daily War Records of Battleship Nitaka); 島根縣誌 (Records of Shimane Prefecture) (1923); 隱岐島誌 (Records of Honkishu) (1933); and, 軍艦對馬戰時日誌 (Daily War Records of Battleship Tsushima

1905 (Great Han Empire, 9th year of reign title Gwangmu)
- On January 28, Japan approved the petition filed by Nakai Yosaburo and unilaterally declared Dokdo uninhabited. Japan’s government announced that the island would be called Takeshima and would be incorporated as part of Oki Island, part of Shimane Prefecture.
- On February 22, the Japanese government drafted a document known as the Shimane Prefecture Notice 40, in which it claimed that Japan had met all the conditions of international law for acquiring and occupying a presently uninhabited land. However, there is no evidence that this ordinance was ever made public.
- On May 17, Japan entered Dokdo as government-owned property in the official land register of Shimane Prefecture.
- On June 13, a Japanese warship sailed for Dokdo on a mission to assess the feasibility of building a watchtower there.
- On July 16, a northern watchtower was built on Ulleungdo and went into operation on August 16 with 11 guards in place.
- On August 19, construction on a watchtower on Dokdo was completed and the post went into operation that same day, with four guards and two other employees.
- On September 5, the Treaty of Portsmouth (the Russo-Japanese treaty) was signed, under which foreign powers recognized Japan’s rights over Korea.
- On October 8, Japan finished laying underwater cable between the northern and southern watchtowers on Ulleungdo.
- On November 9, Japan finished laying underwater cable between Dokdo and Matsue in Shimane Prefecture.
- On November 17, Japan forced Joseon to sign the second Korea-Japan Agreement, ceding control of Korea’s foreign affairs to Japan.

* Source: Shimane Prefecture Notice No. 40」(for circulation) from 秋鹿村役場本; 橋立戰時日誌; 極秘明治三十七八年海戰史 (Secret Naval Battle History of Meiji Year 37 and 38).

1906 (Great Han Empire, 10th year of reign title Gwangmu)
- On February 1, the Great Han Empire fell under the control of the Japanese Resident-General upon the establishment of the Residence-General and its 12 regional offices.
- On March 28, the 4th day of the 3rd lunar month, several Japanese government officials traveled to Uldo and informed Sim Heung-taek, Governor of Uldo, that they had come to inspect the island as it belonged to Japan. Governor Sim responded by sending an urgent letter to Yi Myeong-nae, Chuncheon County Magistrate and acting Governor of Gangwon Province, informing him of the presence of the Japanese officers on Dokdo. Magistrate Yi alerted the Interior Ministry and the State Council. Interior Minister Yi Ji-yong replied that he was shocked to hear of Japan’s claims to Dokdo, calling them nonsensical. State Council Minister Bak Je-sun stated that Japan’s claims to Dokdo were unfounded and he ordered that a close eye be kept on the situation in Dokdo and the movements of the Japanese there.
- On September 24, Uldo County was incorporated into the administrative district of Gyeongsangnam-do Province from Gangwon Province.

* Source: April 29 of the 10th year of reign title Gwangmu, special edition on Ordinance No. 3, Gakgwanchaldoan (各觀察道案) vol. 1; Guhanguk Gwanbo (Old Korea Official Gazette) Issue No. 3570, Supplement dated Friday, September 28th of the 10th year of reign title Gwangmu on Imperial Ordinance No. 4.

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