Thursday, January 11, 2007

1899 Daehanjiji (大韓地誌)
(Click on first map to enlarge.)

While I am at it, I might as well refute the contents of the above page, to give an example of shooting oneself in the foot.
Now this guy claims that the eastern limit given in the 1899 Daehanjiji (大韓地誌), E130º35’ cannot be taken at face value because it just copied the Japanese sources, mainly the 1894 Chosun Waterway (= Chosun Sea Lane; 朝鮮水路誌). Let’s be nice here and refrain from ridiculing the Great Korean government who simply allowed the editors to rip off Imperial Japanese sources without being critical or the contents or never thought to ask the Russian, U.S, English,or French legations for a second opinion. Now this guy claims that the Japanese book inherited their positional errors regarding the boundaries of Chosun from the English Navy’s “China Sea Directory,” and ignores completely how the Japanese government ordered the 1880 Amagi mission for the purpose of determining exactly which island (Takeshima/Matsushima) Ulleungdo was. The Japanese government knew exactly what it was claiming. In a 1878 document (Regarding Matsushima: 松島之議), it is made clear that Japan was aware that 3 islands were mapped in the Sea of Japan, and that the closest one, the Hornet Rocks which later came to be called the Liancourt Rocks was considered to be Japanese territory by western countries. Japan intentionally left out Liancourt Rocks from the limits of Chosun territory in the Chosun Waterway.

The New Dahanjiji in 1907 claims the eastern limits to be 130º56’ (page 3, or #14), still to the west of the Liancourt Rocks. But let’s forgive the Korean geographers for their errors. You see, the eastern limit in the Chosun Waterway was defined by the eastern limit of the northern continental territory, so they forgot to check the eastern limit of Ulleungdo, which should be Usan. So let us see what they have to say about Ulleungdo in the individual sections, shall we? Page 41 (image #42). Hmm, so the book says that Ulleungdo (鬱島) stretches from N130º35’-45’ and E37º31’-34’. I’ll be polite and just convert that into E130º35’-45’ and N37º31’-34’. You know, it’s typical to confuse east and north when writing coordinates. What I personally find interesting is the passage on the left of the blue line, “former Ulleungdo, lies 300 ris offshore Uljin, also know as Ulleung or Mulleung (古鬱稜島*蔚珍東三百餘里*在**一名羽陵**亦曰武陵)” since Korean historical records say that “Ulleungdo was called Usanguk during the Silla period and also known as Mulleung or Ulleung (新羅時、称于山国、一伝武陵、一伝羽陵 – Book of Goryeo, 1451) and the Annal of King Sejong says that two islands of Usan and Mulleung are not far away from each other (于山武陵二島在県正東海中 二島相去不遠). HOWEVER, that isn’t relevant to this site’s claim that Usan is Liancourt located 92 km away from Ulleungdo, is it? I mean, it CAN’T be the SAME USAN they’re talking about. At least, let us applaud the Koreans for finally getting the direction of the Usando to coincide with the Liancourt Rocks/former Matsushima, 2 whole centuries after Ahn proclaimed Matsushima to be Usan, and thus, Korean territory.

But sadly, someone had to make that critical error. The 1907 Elementary Daehanjiji (初等大韓地誌) blows it by saying in its Overview that the eastern limit is 130º58’ while stating that Ulleungdo (慶尚北道鬱島郡鬱稜島) is the eastern-most limit of Korea, thus, closing the path for using the excuse, “We were defining our limit by the northern territory and forgot about Ulleungdo.” Let us forgive them for forgetting to correct the coordinates in the Overview, since they are clearly for the northern territorial boundary. Instead, let us see if they have changed the limits of Ulleungdo, on page 24 (#28). N130º35’-45’ and E37º31’-34’…. I see they have not only failed to change the coordinates to include the Liancourt Rocks here, but not even bothered to correct their typos. Very sloppy work.

Then, finally, this guy tries to attribute the flaws in the coordinates to the fictitious Argonaut Island. Excuse-moi, but the Koreans were citing the 1894 Chosun Waterways by Japan, were they not? Then, they must have known that Argonaut didn’t exist. Please, can someone point out Argonaut for me on the maps drawn by the Koreans at the top and middle of the page? I must be blind not to see any island mapped to the west of E130º. What’s more, the coordinates of the Liancourt Rocks are explicitly given in the Chosun Waterways as N37º14’ and E131º55’. If the Koreans had believed the Liancourt Rocks which Japan now called Takeshima to be a part of the Ulleung county, they would have stretched the coordinates to that value, no? Why don’t I even see a stray island drawn to the southeast of Ulleungdo at some distance?two cent at occidentalism

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