Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What is the history of Ulleungdo? (Ch. 2)

News of Ulleungdo during Koryo (918 - 1392 A.D.)

After Silla forces defeat the people of Usan-guk (Ulleungdo) in 512 A.D, 418 years pass without any news from Ulleungdo. Finally, in 930 A.D., according to "The History of Koryo" (published in 1451 A.D.), emissaries from Ulleungdo arrive with tributes. Here is the relevant passage:

August 930 A.D ("고려사" 1권 세가 태조13년 8월 병오일)

丙午芋陵島遣白吉土豆貢方物拜白吉爲正位土豆爲正朝.

우릉도에서 백길과 토두를 보내 방물을 바쳤다. 백길에게
정위, 토두에게 정조 품계를 각각 주었다.

Baek Gil and To Du were sent from U-leungdo with tribute. Baek Gil was given the court ranking of "Jeong-ui," and To Du the rank of "Jeong-jo."
Comment: Since court rankings were given to the two Ulleungdo emissaries, I am guessing that this may have been their first visit after the new state of Koryo was formed. By the way, notice that Ulleungdo is written as 芋陵島 (우릉도). The 芋(우) in 우릉도 (芋陵島), and the 于(우) in 우산국 (于山國) are pronounced the same and can both mean "big." (I will distinguishing between 울릉도 and 우릉도 by writing the first as "Ulleungdo" and the second as "U-leungdo"; nevertheless, both names will be referring to the same place.)

Here is more news from Ulleungdo, as told in "The History of Koryo."

November 1018 A.D. ("고려사" 4권 세가 현종 9년 11월 병인일)

以于山國被東北女眞所寇廢農業遣李元龜賜農器.

우산국이 동북 여진의 침략을 받아 농사를 짓지 못하였으므로 이원구를 그 곳에 파견하여 농기구를 주었다.

After being attacked by the northeastern Jurchen, Usan-guk was unable to plant crops, so Lee Won-gu was dispatched to supply farming implements.


July 1019 A.D. ("고려사" 4권 세가 현종 10년 7월 기묘일)

己卯于山國民戶曾被女眞虜掠來奔者悉令歸之.

우산국 백성들로서 일찍이 여진의 침략을 받고 망명하여 왔던 자들을 모두 고향으로 돌아가게 하였다.

Having been attacked by the Jurchen, the people of Usan-guk came seeking asylum, but all were sent back to their homeland.


July 1022 A.D. ("고려사" 4권 세가 현종 13년 7월 병자일)

秋七月丙子都兵馬使奏: "于山國民被女眞虜掠逃來者處之禮州官給資糧永爲編戶." 從之

도병마사가 여진에게서 약탈을 당하고 도망하여 온 우산국 백성들을 예주에 배치하고 관가에서 그들에게 식량을 주어 영구히 그 지방에 편호로 할 것을 청하니 왕이 이 제의를 좇았다.

The Dobyeongmasa housed, at Yeju, the Usan-guk people fleeing the pillaging of the Jurchen and gave them food from government supply. It also proposed that the refugees be allowed to permanently settle in the area. The king accepted the proposal.
Comment: Notice that Ulleungdo is referred to as Usan-guk in the three passages above.


November 1032 A.D. ("고려사" 5권 세가 덕종 1년 11월)

十一月丙子羽陵城主遣子夫於仍多郞來獻土物.

우릉성주가 자기의 아들 부어잉다랑을 파견하여 토산물을 바쳤다.

The Lord of U-leung dispatched his son, Bueoingdalang, and paid tribute with local products.
Comment: Notice that U-leung in "The Lord of U-leung" is written as 羽陵 (우릉).

July 1141 A.D. ("고려사" 17권 세가 인종 19년 7월 기해일)

秋七月己亥溟州道監倉使李陽實遣人入蔚陵島取菓核木葉異常者以獻.

명주도 감창사 이양실이 울릉도에 사람을 보내 이상한 과실 종자와 나뭇잎을 가져다가 왕에게 바쳤다.

The Myeongju-do (Myeongju = Kangneung) inspector, Lee Yang-sil, sent someone to Ulleungdo, and this person brought back strange fruit seeds and leaves, which were given to the king.


May 1157 A.D. ("고려사" 18권 세가 의종 11년 5월 병자일)

王聞: 東海中有羽陵島地廣土肥舊有州縣可以居民. 遣溟州道監倉殿中內給事金柔立往視. 柔立回奏: "土多巖石民不可居." 遂寢其議.

왕이 동해 가운데 있는 우릉도는 지역이 넓고 땅이 비옥하며 예날에는 주, 현을 두었던 적이 있어서 백성들이 살 만하다는 말을 듣고 명주도 감창 전중내급사 김유립을 시켜 가 보게 하였다. 유립이 돌아와서 그곳에는 암석들이 많아서 백성들이 살 수 없다고 하였으므로 그 의논이 그만 잠잠하여졌다.

The king heard that the land of Ulleungdo, in the middle of the East Sea, was broad and fertile, and that in the past there were villages there (주 and 현), so he ordered Kim Yu-rip, the Jeonjungnaegeupsa inspector from Myeongju-do, to go and see. Yu-rip returned and said that the place was too rocky for people to live. The discussion died down.


1243 A.D. ("고려사" 128권 42열전 반역 최충헌전 부 최우 고종 30년)

東海中有島名蔚陵地膏沃多珍木海錯以水程遠絶往來者久怡遣人視之有屋基破礎宛然於是移東郡民實之後以風濤險惡人多溺死罷其居民.

또 동해 중에 울릉도라는 섬이 있는데 땅이 비옥하고 진귀한 나무들과 해산물이 많이 산출되나 수로가 원격하여 왕래하는 사람이 끊어진 지 오래이다. 최이가 사람을 보내서 시찰한즉 과연 집터와 주춧돌이 완연히 있었으므로 동부지방의 군 주민들을 이주시켰다. 그 후 풍랑과 파도가 험악해서 익사자가 많다는 이유로 이민을 중지하였다.

Also, in the East Sea there is an island named Ulleungdo, where the land is fertile and where there are rare and precious trees and many marine products. However, since the sea route is remote, it has been a long time since people have traveled there. When Choi-I sent people to inspect the island, they found, as expected, building sites and foundation stones, which caused Choi-I to sent villagers from the eastern region to settle there. Later, because of the heavy seas and dangerous waves, many people drowned, so emigration was stopped.


May 1246 A.D. ("고려사" 23권 세가 고종 33년 5월 깁신일)

甲申以國學學諭權衡允及第史挺純爲蔚陵島安撫使.

국학학유 권형윤과 급제 사정순을 울릉도 안무사로 임명하였다.

"Gukhakhakyu" Kwon Hyeong-yun and "Geupje" Sa Jeong-sun were appointed as Ulleungdo overseers.


July 1259 A.D. ("고려사" 25권 25세가 원종 1년 7월 경오일)

北界別抄都領郞將李陽著率兵將移于椒島麾下 曰: "請下陸而 ." 遂殺陽著及京兵浮海而逃. 蔚珍縣令朴淳船載妻 臧獲幷家財將適蔚陵城中人知之會淳入城被拘留舟人以其所載遁去.

울진 현령 박순이 처자와 노비 및 가산을 배에 싣고 울릉도에 가려고 하였다. 성안 사람들이 이것을 알고 마침 성안에 들어 온 박순을 붙잡아 두었는데 뱃사람들은 배에 실은 가산을 가지고 도망하여 갔다.

The Uljin village leader, Bak Sun, loaded his wife, his servants, and his household possessions on a boat and was preparing to go to Ulleungdo. People in the fortress heard about this and captured Bak Sun when he finally came into the fortress. The sailors ran away with the possessions loaded on the boat.


February 1273 A.D. ("고려사" 27권 원종 14년 2월 계축일)

以簽書樞密院事許珙爲蔚陵島斫木使伴李樞以行王奏請罷蔚陵斫木 洪茶丘麾下五百人衣服平三別抄後濟州人物勿令出陸依舊安業帝皆從之.

첨서 추밀원사 허공을 울릉도 작목사로 임명하여 이추와 함께 가게 하였다 왕이 황제에게 보고하여 울릉도에서 나무를 찍는 일과 홍다구의 부하 5백 명의 의복을 마련하는 것을 축감해 달라는 것과 삼별초를 평정한 후 제주의 주민들은 육지에 나오지 말고 예전대로 자기 생업에 안착하게 하여 줄 것을 요청하였더니 황제가 그 제의를 좇았다.

In addition, the "Chumiwonsa" appointed Heo Kong as the "woodcutting supervisor" of Ulleungdo and sent him with Lee Chu. The king reported to the emperor and asked that the cutting of the wood on Ulleungdo and that the clothing for the 500 subordinates of Hong Da-gu be reduced and that after the "Sambyeolcho" troops were suppressed, that the residents of Jeju not come to the mainland, but be allowed to safely return to their former occupations. The emperor accepted the request.


("고려사" 130권 43열전 반역 조이 부 이추)

未幾元遣樞又索材木樞欲入蔚陵島斫木王以大將軍姜渭輔爲伴行樞以三品秩卑言曰:
"三品如狗耳吾不可與同行!" 乃以簽書樞密事許珙代之王請于元遂罷之.

얼마 안 지나서 원나라에서 또 이추를 보내서 재목을 요구했으며 이추는 울릉도로 건너가서 재목을 베고자 했으므로 왕은 대장군 강위보를 동행시켰더니 이추는 3품 관질은 낮다 하여 "3품이란 개 같은 것인데 어찌 데리고 다니겠느냐?"라고 하였으므로 청서 추밀사 허공을 대신 보냈다. 왕이 원나라에 청하여 드디어 이추를 파면시켰다.

Shortly afterwards, the Yuan sent Lee Chu again and demanded wood. Since Lee Chu was intending to cross over to Ulleungdo to cut wood, the king ordered General Kang Wui-bo to accompany him, but Lee Chu complained that a third-level official was too low saying, "I am the same level as a third-level official, so how can he escort me?" Therefore, the king sent "Cheongseo" councilor Heo Kong, instead. The king sent a request to the Yuan, and Lee Chu was finally dismissed.


March 1346 A.D. ("고려사" 37권 37세가 충목왕 2년 3월 을사일)

戊申東界芋陵島人來朝.

동계의 우릉도 사람이 내조하였다.

People of U-leungdo, of the Eastern Frontier, visited Korea.


July 1379 A.D. ("고려사" 134권 47열전 우왕 2년 7월 신우일 )

七月倭寇樂安郡. 遣永寧君王彬如北元賀郊祀改元. 前判三司事孫洪亮卒贈謚靖平. 李子庸還自日本九州節度使源了俊歸被虜人二百三十餘口獻槍劒及馬. 倭入武陵島留半月而去.

왜(倭)가 무릉도(武陵島)에 들어와 보름이나 머물다가 돌아갔다.
Japanese came to Mu-leungdo, stayed for 15 days, and then returned (to Japan).


("고려사" 58권 12지 3지리 동계 울진현)

蔚珍縣, 本高勾麗于珍也縣, 【一云古亏伊郡】 新羅景德王, 改今名, 爲郡, 高麗, 降爲縣置令, 有鬱陵島, 【在縣正東海中, 新羅時, 稱于山國, 一云武陵, 一云羽陵, 地方百里, 智證王十二年, 來降, 太祖十三年, 其島人, 使白吉士豆, 献方物, 毅宗十一年, 王, 聞鬱陵地廣土肥, 舊有州縣, 可以居民, 遣溟州道監倉金柔立, 往視, 柔立, 回奏云, 島中, 有大山, 從山頂, 向東行至海一萬余步, 向西行一萬三千余步, 向南行一萬五千余步, 向北行八千余步, 有村落基址七所, 有石佛·鐵鍾·石塔, 多生柴胡·蒿本·石南草, 然多岩石, 民不可居, 遂寢其議, 一云, 于山·武陵, 本二島, 相距不遠, 風日淸明, 則可望見】

울진현은 본래 고구려의 우진야현(于珍也縣) 【우이군(亏伊郡)이라고도 하였다】 신라 경덕왕(景德王)이 지금 이름으로 고쳐 군(郡)으로 삼았고 고려에서 내려 현(縣)을 삼아 영(令)을 두었다. 울릉도(鬱陵島)가 있다. 【현(縣)의 정동쪽 바다 가운데에 있다. 신라 때 우산국(于山國)이라 칭하고 무릉(武陵) 또는 우릉(羽陵)이라고도 하였다. 넓이가 100리(里)이며 지증왕(智證王) 12년에 항복하여 왔다. 태조(太祖) 13년에 그 섬 사람 백길사두(白吉士豆)로 하여금 방물(方物)을 바치게 하였다. 의종(毅宗) 11년에 왕이 울릉도(鬱陵島)는 땅이 넓고 토지가 비옥하여 옛적에 주현(州縣)을 두었으며 사람이 살 수 있다는 말을 듣고 명주도 감창(溟州道監倉) 김유립(金柔立)을 보내어 가서 보게 하니 김유립(金柔立)이 돌아와 아뢰기를, “섬 가운데 큰 산(山)이 있어 산정(山頂)으로부터 동쪽으로 향해 가면 바다에까지 10,000여 보(步)가 되고 서쪽으로 향해 가면 13,000여 보(步)가 되고 남쪽으로 향해 가면 15,000여 보(步)가 되며 북쪽으로 향해 가면 8,000여 보(步)가 되며 촌락(村落)의 기지(基址)가 7개소 있으며 석불(石佛)·철종(鐵鐘)·석탑(石塔)이 있으며 시호(柴胡)·호본(蒿本)·석남초(石南草)가 많이 나서 있으나 그러나 바위가 많아 사람이 살 수 없다.”고 하니 드디어 그 의론을 중지하였다. 혹은 말하기를, “우산도(于山島)와 무릉도(武陵島)는 본래 두 섬으로 서로 거리가 멀지 않아 바람이 불지 않고 날씨가 맑으면 바라볼 수 있다”고 한다.】

Uljin-hyeon was originally Ujinya-hyeon in Goguryeo. It was also called Ui-gun. Silla King Gyeong Deok changed it to its present name and considered it a "gun." In Koryo, it was treated as a "hyeon" and set up a village leader position.

There is an island called Ulleungdo. It is due east of the hyeon (Uljin) in the middle of the ocean. During the time of Silla, it was called Usan-guk, Mu-leung, and U-leung. It has an area of 100 "ri." In the twelfth year of King Ji-jeung, it came and surrendered. In the thirteenth year of Taejo, Ulleungdo residents Baek Gil and Sa Du brought tribute. In the eleventh year of Ui-jeong, the king heard that the land of Ulleungdo was fertile and wide, that there had once been villages there, and that people could live there, so he sent Myeongju-do inspector Kim Yu-rip to see. Kim Yu-rip returned and said, "There is a big mountain in the middle of the island, and if you walk from its summit east to the sea, it is more than 10,000 paces. If you head west, it is more than 13,000 paces. If you head south, it is more than 15,000 paces. And if you head north, it is more than 8,000 paces. There are seven places with remains of villages. There is a stone Buddha, an iron bell, and a stone pagoda. There is much dropwort (柴胡 - 시호), mugwort (蒿本 - 호본), and moorwort (石南草 - 석남초), but there are too many rocks for people to live there. The discussion was finally stopped. Also, it is said that Usan and Muleung were originally two islands that were close enough to each other that they could be seen on a clear, windy day.

Comment: The passage begins by explaining the history of Uljin and that it was considered a "hyeon" during Koryo, which meant that it had administrative authority. It says that the island of Ulleung was also called Usan-guk, Mu-leung, and U-leung, which means that Usan-guk was just another name for Ulleungdo and not a country that stretched ninety-two kilometers east to include Dokdo/Takeshima.

The passage also mentions Kim Yu-rip's inspection trip to Ulleungdo, which was described as having a big mountain in the middle of the island. Kim gave the distances from the summit of the mountain to each of the four shores. The east shore was 10,000 paces (보) away and west was 13,000, which add up to 23,000 paces. The south shore was 15,000 paces away and the north was 8,000, which also add up to 23,000 paces. Therefore, the east-west span of the island was 23,000 paces, and the north-south span was also 23,000 paces. Supposedly, one "ri" equals 350 "보," which equals 420 meters.

Using the above figures, the east-west span of Ulleungdo would be about 66 "ri" (23,000 "bo" divided by 350 "bo"), which would be about 28 kilometers (66 "ri" times 0.42 km). Since the north-south span is also 23,000 paces, it would also be 28 kilometers. However, today we know that the east-west span of Ulleungdo is only 10 kilometers, and the north-south span is only 9.5 kilometers, which is almost one-third the distance reported by Kim Yu-rip.
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There seem to be two possible reasons for the discrepancy. One is that it takes more paces to walk down a mountain than it takes to walk on a straight plane. And the second explanation is that there was a shorter measurement for a "bo" than the 1.2 meter stride we know about. While I think that walking down a mountain would require more paces than walking on level ground, I also think that a 1.2 meter stride is way too big, especially when walking down a mountain. I can reach a 1.2 meter stride (from heel to toe) on flat ground if I really stretch, but I would not be able to do that while walking down a mountain.

The passage also says that there were remnants of seven villages, which suggests that people no longer lived on the island. Everyone was probably chased away or killed during the Jurchen invasions.

Finally, the passage says, "It is said that Usan and Muleung were originally two islands that were close enough to each other that they could be seen on a clear, windy day."I am not sure if Kim Yu-rip actually made the comment, or if the writer of the history added the comment, but either way, it is phrased as "it is said...," which implies that Kim Yu-rip did not see the two islands.
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If Kim Yu-rip actually made the comment, then he would have been quoting from some text published previous to his visit, which would exclude any records from the Chosun Dynasty since Kim Yu-rip's time was before the Chosun Dynasty. If it were the writer of the history that added the comment, then he could have been quoting from the Records of King Sejong since "The History of Kogyo" was completed in 1451, one year after the end of King Sejong's reign. Anyway, the quote about the two islands being visible on a clear day in "The History of Koryo" and the quote in "The Records of King Sejong" are slightly different. Let's compare them:

"History of Koryo"

一云, 于山·武陵, 本二島, 相距不遠, 風日淸明, 則可望見

일운, 우산무릉 본이도 상거불원 풍일청명 칙가망견

It is said that Usan and Muleung were originally two islands that were close enough to each other that they could be seen on a clear, windy day.


"Records of King Sejong"

于山武陵二島 在縣正東海中 二島相去不遠 風日淸明 則可望見 新羅時 稱于山國 一云鬱陵島

우산무릉이도 재현정동해중 이도상거불원 풍일청명 칙가망견 실라시 칭우산국 일은 울릉도

The two islands of Usan and Mu-leung are due east of the present "hyeon" (Uljin), and the distance between them is close enough that they are visible on a clear, windy day. In the time of Silla, they were called Unsan-guk or Ulleungdo.

The first difference I notice between the two passages is that the quote from "The Records of King Sejong" has the phrase "在縣正東海中," which means "due east of the present hyeong (Uljin) in the middle of the ocean," but the "The History of Koryo" leaves that out, at least when referring to the two islands that are supposedly visible to each other. That is an important omission because it makes it more difficult to claim that the passage was referring to the distance between Uljin and the two islands, rather than between the two islands, themselves. However, since Ulleungdo, not Usan and Mu-leung, was mentioned as being due east of Uljin in the first part of the passage from "The History of Koryo," the reference to two separate islands at the end of the passage seems to be referring to a situation that no longer exists. In fact, "The History of Koryo" passage seems to be saying, "It is said that [Ulleungdo used to be two islands,] Usan and Mu-leung, ...." In other words, the passage is referring to the two islands as hearsay or mythology, not fact.
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The second difference I notice in the two passages is that the passage in "The History of Koryo" uses the phrase "本二島" (본이도) while the passage in "The Records of King Sejong" uses just "二島" (이도). The Korean translation I have translates 本二島 as "본래 두 섬으로," which means "was originally two islands which...." If that translation is correct, then it is implying that the two islands merged sometime in the past, which is impossible, and would make the story a kind of mythology. However, 本二島 can also be translated as "these two islands," which would better satisfy the Korean argument, but still would not explain why the passage started out by talking about only one island, Ulleungdo, not two separate islands.
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Koreans claim that the references to Usan and Mu-leungdo being "visible on a clear, windy day" mean that Usan is referring to Dokdo/Takeshima since that is the only island far enough away that would be visible on especially clear days. They say that it would not be talking about one of Ulleungdo's neighboring islands, such as Jukdo, since those islands are close enough to be seen even on cloudy days. However, that reasoning ignores the fact that both passages are talking about only one island, Ulleungdo, or maybe Ulleungdo and an immediate neighboring island.
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The passage in "The History of Koryo," starts out by referring to only Ulleungdo and gives Usan-guk, U-leung, and Mu-leung as alternative names for Ulleungdo, not as separate islands. Likewise, the passage in "The Records of King Sejong" ends by saying that in the time of Silla "the two islands" were called Usan-guk or Ulleungdo, which implies only one island and maybe an immediate neighboring island, not an island 92 kilometers away.
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I think the two references to the islands being "visible on a clear, windy day" are confusing and inconclusive. In future posts, I hope to clear up that confusion.

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