An Introduction to Dokdo –
About This Website, by Steven J. Barber, Webmaster
As a Canadian expat, a large part of my ten years in Korea has been dedicated to studying the Dokdo – Takeshima Island (sometimes referred to as “Liancourt Rocks) dispute between Japan and Korea. This website contains data amassed over hundreds of hours spent on historical websites/databases and numerous trips to both Dokdo and Ulleungdo Island. I won’t pretend to be without an opinion on this matter. After reading a few pages it’s quite obvious this website favors the Republic of Korea’s just claim to Dokdo Island.

To the right: webmaster, Steven J. Barber with a ROK Security Police Officer on Dokdo’s East Island with Hole Rock in the background. These days, thousands of Korean tourists flock to Dokdo Island since strict laws against visiting the islets have been relaxed.

That said, although this website supports Korea, the Dokdo dispute is not a personal nor emotional issue to me. I do not have bad feelings toward Japan or their people. However, I strongly disapprove of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Shimane Prefecture’s handling of the Dokdo Takeshima problem. The original wartime records presented are not meant to vilify the people of today’s modern Japan, they are for historical context only. is a Team Effort
This website is not just a result of my hard work but rather a joint effort from people of different walks of life and nationalities.’s data comes from American, Canadian, Japanese and Korean netizens. Many are brilliant researchers who simply lack the ability to convey this data in English, so I would like to personally thank them for their support and hard work. This is why I try not to refer to as “my website” but rather a forum for Koreans and to have their case presented in an academic, rational manner. Wherever possible, images of the primary historical maps and records are included to support the opinions given.

Above left: Some of those involved with (left to right) Long-time Ulleungdo resident Mr Jinn Seong, webmaster Steven J. Barber, ROK Dokdo Police Guard Chu Ho, and Canadian web designer Ryan Saley. Above right: Dokdo-Takeshima website team poses with Dokdo Island’s only permanent residents Mr Kim Seong Do and his wife Kim Shin Yeol in front of their house on Dokdo’s West Island.
Authors of Dokdo-Related Publications and Supporters of this Website
Computer Programmer~Web Designer Ryan Saley

A Canadian expat currently living in Seoul, Korea, Ryan Saley is involved with from the ground up. With over 20 years experience in the field of computers, Ryan’s technical support in web design and programming were indispensible in creating this website. Mr Saley also helped gather the numerous images and video found on’s media pages while doing on-site research of the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute.

To the right Ryan Saley stands on Dokdo’s East Islet beneath the military watchtower while visiting the Dokdo in May 2009. (click image) Many of Ryan’s photographs of Dokdo and Ulleungdo Island can be seen on the galleries at this link. ( image gallery ) A dedicated supporter of Korea’s claim to Dokdo, Mr Saley is committed to improving the content of this website as well as ensuring it remains up and running in the future.

Japanese Professor~Hosaka Yuji

Hosaka Yuju was born in Tokyo, Japan. He gradated from the University of Tokyo in 1979 and moved to Seoul to research relations between South Korea and Japan in 1988. Professor Hosaka obtained an M.A. and Ph. D. at the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Korea University. After residing in South Korea for 15 years, he became a naturalized South Korean in 2003. He later received the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Award in 2005.

Professor Hosaka Yuji is currently, a professor of the College of Liberal Arts at Sejong University (Japanology). Professor Hosaka has written numerous publication related to the Dokdo – Takeshima dispute such as ‘There’s No Dokdo Even On Ancient Japanese Maps’ (2005. Jaeum & Moeum Publishing) and the article ‘A Study on the Legitimacy of the Peace Line’.

American Professor ~ Jon M. Van Dyke

Professor of Law, Carlsmith Ball Faculty Scholar, Regents’ Medalist for Excellence in Research, Presidential Citation for Excellence in Teaching. Jon M. Van Dyke’s educational background includes BA, cum laude, Yale University, 1964 and JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1967. Professor Van Dyke has extensive knowledge and background in areas of expertise related to the Dokdo Takeshima dispute such as colonial era land annexations (ie Hawaii) Maritime Boundary Disputes, International Law and Laws of the Sea.

Some of Professor Jon M Van Dyke’s Dokdo Takeshima related information can be found on his article found at this ( link ) and at the one minute mark on this Dokdo video on our video page ( link )

Korean Maritime Institute Researcher ~ Ms. Yu Mi Rim

Ms. Yu Mi Rim works at the Korea Maritime Institute of Marine Research Center and deals with territorial issues. She has been researching the Dokdo Takeshima dispute for a long time and still Ms. Yu remains a dedicated researcher. Recently, with a historical record related to Japan’s Oki Islands she proved without a doubt Japan has no historical title to Dokdo. This record also showed Japan’s 1905 annexation of Dokdo was a territorial expansion of Japan’s previous boundary. ( see link )

Ms. Yu has also done historical research related to post WWII and Dokdo Island and hopefully we will present some of her research on this time era in the future.

American School Teacher~Mark Lovmo

Mark Lovmo, a teacher at a Minneapolis primary school, is now operating an independent Web site about Dokdo, which is also claimed by Japan. His website can be found at this ( link ) Often referred to as “The Original Dokdo Man”, Mr Lovmo was one of the first westerners to study the historical background and origins of the Dokdo – Takeshima problem.

Mr Lovmo also wrote ‘A Timeline of American Actions Regarding Dokdo’ which detail Post WWII Allied Command policy on Dokdo. Having discovered many confidential documents, his article remains one of the best-researched writings detailing Post WWII, U.S. Government-Military policy related to Dokdo – Takeshima.

Japanese Authors: Professor Hideki Kajimura, Professor Kazuo Hori, and Professor Shojin Sato

The Japanese researchers listed above must be commended for having the integrity to confront their own government’s false claims toward Dokdo Takeshima Island. It was through their published articles found in various editions of ‘The Korean Observer’, that researchers were able to source original Japanese wartime documents from Japan’s National Archives. These maps and records were instrumental in proving Japan’s current claim to Dokdo Takeshima and her annexation of the Korean peninsula were inseparable. ( link )

Special Thanks to….
All of us would like to thank everyone who contributed to this website whether it was in the form of translation or research data. gives thanks to North Gyeongsan Province for granting us permission to visit Dokdo Island for an extended period. Also we would like to express our appreciation to all of Ulleungdo residents, especially Mr Jin Seong and Kim Nam Hee for their help in our research. Related to more recent contributions, we express our gratitude to Yeongnam University for research data and look forward to working with them further.