Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Takeshima/Dokdo---1725 document

The following is my translation of the 1725 document. This document seems to suggest that the Tokugawa shogunate left Ulleungdo as ‘両属地 (a place which belongs to two countries)’ that is like a buffer area.
In October of Genroku (元禄) 8 (1695), Tenryuin-kou(天龍院公) (Sou Yoshizane, 宗義眞*) stayed in Edo to serve for the Shogunate. He consulted with the Administrator, Abe Bungo-no-kami (阿部豊後守), saying, “While former lord has been negotiating on Takeshima (Ulleungdo) for three years by sending envoys, that country never hear what we say insisting that Takeshima is the land of their country. What shall we do?”
In the next January of Hei-Shi year (Genroku 9, 1696), Bungo-no-kami said, “Whereas the land of Takeshima belongs to Inaba (因幡), our people have never lived there. When Taitoku-kun (台徳君) (Tokugawa Hidetada, 徳川秀忠**) was the ruler, fishermen of Yonago village (米子村) wished to fish at the island, and he (= Taitoku-kun) allowed it. Its geographic distance is about 160 ri from Inaba (因幡) and about 40 ri from Chosun. There seems to be no doubt that it has been the border of their place. If a country used forces, why it should not be obtained. However, it is not a good plan to lose friendship with a neighboring country because of the useless island. In addition, since we did not take the island from them, we cannot say that we will return it to them. We should just prohibit fishermen from going there for fishery. Opinions in our country at present are different from those of previous time. It is better to avoid conflict than to fight each other without halt. Admonish them with this opinion.”
In October of this year, that country (= Chosun) send envoys, 卞同知 and 宋判事. Also, in the summer of this year, eleven Chosun people came to Inaba province and brought the issue to the Shogunate. The Shogunate ordered to expel them (= 11 people from Chosun). Accordingly, Tenryuin-kou (天龍院公) admonished the two envoys with the opinion of the Shogunate, and orderd his old retainer to record the two events.
*) Sou Yoshizane (宗 義眞, 1639-1702): Lord of Tsushima (1657-1692). ‘Tenryuin (天龍院)’ is his Buddhist name (法名, houmyou) which was given to him by a Buddhist monk after his death.
**) Tokugawa Hidetada (徳川 秀忠, 1579-1632): The 2nd shogun (1605-1623) of the Tokugawa shogunate. His Buddhist name is Taitokuin (台徳院).aki at occidentalism

you say that the Japanese fishermen to Ulleungdo were given “voyages passage given to those travelling to foreign countries.” They were given both exclusive rights to fish in Ulleungdo and also written passports (往来手形 ourai-tegata)The latter was required by all travelling Japanese. The Tokugawa shogunate kept a strict watch over the comings and goings of people within Japan. That was their method for maintaining peace in Japan.

As for present-day Takeshima, even after Japan accepted the Korean claim to Ulleungdo and ceased to go there, the fishermen still went to Takeshima for the abalone and seagrass, and eventually sea lions. Proof that they went to Takeshima (Matsushima) is that the Japanese maps of Takeshima (Matsushima) keeps becoming more accurate through the ages, unlike maps in Korea which one has a difficult time being convinced that it even represents Dokto.

As for Ahn Yong-bon, his statement is so full of untruths it’s laughable. He broke the Korean law forbidding its people to go over to Ulleungdo, and he was trying to lie his way out of being executed. He claimed to have met lords of Tottori and Tsushima, and even claimed that the latter begged him not to tell the shogunate about having ceded Usan, since the shogunate would punish him by ordering the death of his son as punishment. Both lords were in Edo (Tokyo) at the time and could not possibly have met Ahn. Furthermore, the son of the Tsushima lord had passed away the year before, and so the lord would not beg Ahn to save his son’s life.two ents at marmot

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