Dokdo – Takeshima NOT Historically Japanese Territory

Korean Researcher Presents Document Proving Dokdo Not Historically Part of Oki Region
A picture of Ms Yu Mi Rim dokdo takeshima liancourt 독도 たけしま 獨島 竹島On November 7, 2009 the Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported a Korean researcher named Ms Mi-rim Yu had discovered an important piece of historical data related to the Dokdo – Takeshima dispute. The record created quite a stir causing Japan’s Takeshima lobby movement to, once again, go into defense mode. To the left is a newspaper photograph of Ms. Yu presenting some other critical pieces of historical related to the Dokdo – Takeshima dispute.

“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.

In 1905, were Dokdo Island and Ulleungdo thought to be historically Japanese territory by Oki Islanders as Japan’s MOFA insists?
Images of The Oki Shinbo’s March 15th 1905, Edition Announcing Japan’s Annexation of Dokdo

Above: Images of The Oki Shinbo’s March 15th 1905, Edition Announcing Japan’s Annexation of Dokdo in these records, the “acquisition” of Dokdo is described as a “territorial expansion” of Oki District proving the islands were not thought to be part of Oki Region before the Japanese military seized the islands during the Russo Japanese War of 1904 – 1905
The Japanese Kanji and English Translation of the March 15th, 1905 Oki Shinbo.
隠岐新報 明治三十八年三月十五日発行 第十六号

隠岐の西北八十五浬を距る海洋に存在する島嶼を竹島と命名し隠岐の新領土として隠岐島司の管轄に属せしめられぬ、吾人豈太白を浮べて祝せざるを得んや、抑も竹島の地たる姉妹二つの島嶼、数多の小島嶼以て點々包囲せられ、其面積の如き未だ詳にせずと雖も、棲居敢て凌ぎ得ざるにあらずといふ、而して陸産としては殆んど利するものなきも、海産に於ては海獣其他漁利鮮なからずと聞く、由來我島民中夙に同島に航して獲たる所のもの少なからず、事実上隠岐の領土に属し居りしは既に久し、然るに公然之を認められざりしは遺憾の感ありしに、今や公認の令に接するを得たる上は我島民たるもの大に期する所なかるべからず、然れども同島固と狭小なり、産物の濫採は永久の利を得る所以にあらざれば一時の利を競ふて無限の利を顧みざるが如きことなきを要す、當局者たる者亦大に此點に留意する所なかるべからず、兎に角隠岐の地籍に新領の上るは何れの町村の所属となるにせよ、確かに隠岐の一大幸福たり、吾人は快感禁じ難く玆に一言を陳じて隠岐境土の膨張を祝す、 (弱魚)

The 16th of issue, Oki new report, March 15, 1905
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)…”

An Analysis of the Oki Shinbo’s March 15th Announcement of Oki Region’s Expansion (膨張)
Several important points can be gleaned from this document all of which damage Japan’s false claim to Dokdo Takeshima. Let’s analyze this data in detail.

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)

The use of two simple Kanji characters are very damaging to Japan’s current claim to Dokdo. The characters “膨張” are clearly translated as “expansion” NOT an incorporation or affirmation of inherent territory. From this we know Japan’s 1905 annexation was a essentially a land grab. We can conclude Dokdo Island was not part of Japan before 1905.

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.

On a final note, the webmaster would like to congratulate Ms Yu on presenting this valuable historical record. In addition all of us at would like to thank her for sending the images of the original record for all of us to see. Keep up the good work Ms Yu!