“What exactly did Ms. Yu find that was so critical..?”
The newly released record was an editorial news article from Oki Island’s newsletter Oki Shin Bo dated March 15, 1905. This document records Oki Island’s reaction upon hearing the news the Japanese government had annexed Dokdo Island and was placing the islets under the jurisdiction of Oki County (Region) Through this record, we can finally understand the murky relationship the residents of Oki Island had with Ulleungdo and Dokdo before expansionist Meiji Japan seized Dokdo. Below is the record with a translation from a pro-Japanese, Takeshima website.
Expansion of the Oki Province’s Territory
“…The islet which is located 85 sea miles to the northwest of Oki is named as Takeshima and made under the jurisdiction of the governor of Oki islands as a new territory. I cannot help congratulating by reflecting Venus onto the glass and drinking it up all at once. To begin with, two sister islets which consist Takeshima are surrounded by the numerous tiny islets sporadically. and when it comes to the area, it is yet known precisely, though it is said that it’s not impossible to pitch a tent to tide over and live. Therefore, there are almost no profitable land products, but as for marine products, it is said that there are brilliant profit such as marine animals etc.. Originally, not a small number of the islanders of our Oki sailed to the islets for a long time, thus it has been de-facto territory of Oki from a long time ago. It had been lamentable that it was not recognized officially as Oki’s territory notwithstanding the fact. Now, on receiving the order of the official authorization, our islanders cannot help expecting very much. However, the islets is narrow from the start, so it is required not to compete for a short-term profit ignoring the infinite profit, since the excessive products harvesting doesn’t bring any everlasting profits. The authority person/ person in concerns should note this respect. Anyhow, it is one large blessedness that a new territory joined the cadastre of Oki, no matter to which town and village the islets belong. I cannot help feeling pleasant and am going to congratulate the expansion of Oki’s territory by making remarks on this situation. (Weak Fish)…”
Although the plethora of related maps and documents on this forum already disprove Japan’s ancient title to Dokdo Takeshima, this record once again drives home this point. Here Dokdo is described as a “new territory of Japan” The editorial document also clarifies Oki Island’s past historical relationship with Dokdo Island (and thus Ulleungdo as well) The editor of this article refers to Dokdo as a “de facto” territory of Oki district NOT as a part of Oki nor Japan. From this we can understand some Oki Islanders may have had a false sense of entitlement to Dokdo (and Ulleungdo) perhaps from their illicit clandestine voyages in the past. Oki Island, being somewhat isolated from the Japanese mainland, may not have felt compelled to honor the Shogunate’s strict voyage bans on the Ulleungdo – Dokdo region. (see link)
Although Oki District was a beneficiary of this “expansion”, Oki Islanders illicit voyages into the Ulleungdo Dokdo region were not the basis of the incorporation. Meiji Japan’s annexation of Dokdo Island came from the top down, from the Japanese Imperial Navy’s brass (Kimotsuki Kenko) to the hard-line expansionists of the Japanese Empire (Komura Jutaro), then prefecture and finally district offices. Not surprisingly between the governmental agencies, Oki Region was among the last to know about Japan’s seizure of Dokdo Island.