In "The History of Koyro"(918 - 1392 A.D.), Ulleungdo was recognized as one island, even though it was referred to by various names, including Usan-guk, U-leungdo, and Mu-leungdo. In other words, there was never any mention of Ulleungdo having any neighboring islands, except for one passage that mentioned that Ulleungdo had once been two islands, called Usan and Mu-leung. That story, however, was reported as hearsay. It was not until 1412, during the Chosun Dynasty (1392 - 1910 A.D.), that Ulleungdo seemed to split into a main island and a neighboring island, as the following passage in Volume 23 of the Records of King Taejong suggests.
The above passage is a quite interesting because it is saying that there are two islands, Mu-leungdo and a "main island," which implies that Mu-leungdo is the smaller of the two. Since the passage is discussing people from Yusanguk-do, it is safe to assume that the "main island" is Yusanguk-do, which seems to be a misspelling of Usan-guk. The description of the main island seems to fit the description of present-day Ulleungdo, which would mean that Yusanguk-do would have been present-day Ulluengdo, and Mu-leungdo would have been a smaller, neighboring island.
Source: 「太宗實錄」 卷 二十三, 太宗 十二年 四月 己巳條
April 15, 1412
命議政府議處流山國島人 江原道觀察使報云 流山國島人 白加勿等十二名 求泊高城 於羅津言曰 予等生長武陵 其島內人戶十一 男女共六十餘 今移居本島 是島自東至西自南至北 皆二息 周 回八息 無牛馬水田 唯種豆一斗出二十石 或三十石 麥一石出五十餘石 竹如大椽 海錯果木皆在焉 竊慮此人等逃還 姑分置于通州高城扞[杆]城
의정부(議政府)에 명하여 유산국도(流山國島) 사람을 처리하는 방법을 의논하였다. 강원도 관찰사가 보고하였다. “유산국도(流山國島) 사람 백가물(百加勿) 등 12명이 고성(高城) 어라진(於羅津)에 와서 정박하여 말하기를, ‘우리들은 무릉도(武陵島)에서 생장하였는데, 그 섬 안의 인호(人戶)가 11호이고, 남녀가 모두 60여 명인데, 지금은 본도(本島)로 옮겨 와 살고 있습니다. 이 섬이 동에서 서까지 남에서 북까지가 모두 2식(息) 거리이고, 둘레가 8식(息) 거리입니다. 우마(牛馬)와 논이 없으나, 오직 콩 한 말만 심으면 20석 혹은 30석이 나고, 보리 1석을 심으면 50여 석이 납니다. 대[竹]가 큰 서까래 같고, 해착(海錯)과 과목(果木)이 모두 있습니다.’고 하였습니다. 이 사람들이 도망하여 갈까 염려하여, 아직 통주(通州)·고성(高城)·간성(扞城)에 나누어 두었습니다.”
In accordance with Uijongbu orders, methods for dealing with the people of Yusanguk-do were discussed. The governor of Kangwon Province reported, "Twelve people from Yusanguk-do, including Baek Ga-mul, came and anchored at Eorajin in Koseong and said the following:
"We grew up on Mu-leungdo, where 11 families lived with a total of more than sixty men and women. Now we have moved to the main island and are living there. The island's distances from east to west and north to south are each two shik (60 ri), and its circumference is eight shik (240 ri). There are no cows or horses or rice paddies on the island, but if we plant just one mal of beans, we harvest twenty to thirty seok. If we plant one seok of barley, we harvest more than fifty seok. The bamboo are as big as rafters, and there are all kinds of sea products and fruit trees."
Fearing that they may try to run away, they were divided up and put at Tongju, Koseong, and Ganseong, where they are still.
So the question now is which neighboring island of Ulleungdo could have supported eleven families with a total of 60 people, which was the number of people reported to have been living on Mu-leungdo?
Ulleungdo has two neighboring islands, Jukdo and Kwaneumdo. Jukdo is the larger of the two with a total area of about 210,803 square meters (approximately 52 acres), which makes it the more likely candidate for being the Mu-leungdo referred to in the above passage. To see some good pictures of Jukdo, click here.
Some Koreans may try to claim that one of the two islands mentioned above was Dokdo (Takeshima), but that would be nearly impossible since Dokdo (Takeshima) does not have the water or the soil to grow the crops needed to support sixty people. Besides, Dokdo (Takeshima) is ninety-two kilometers southeast of Ulleungdo, which would hardly make it a neighboring island. To see a Korean video documentary detailing Korea's claims on Dokdo (Takeshima), click here. The video documentary is obviously extremely biased and distorts and omits many of the facts related to Ulleungdo and Dokdo, which I will address in future posts.
Anyway, if, as the above passage in the Records of King Taejong suggests, Yusanguk-do was present-day Ulleungdo, and Mu-leungdo was present-day Jukdo, then that would mean that Yusanguk-do was west of Mu-leungdo since present-day Ulleungdo is west of present-day Jukdo, which would explain why this 1530 map shows Usando (于山島 - 우산도) west of Ulleungdo (鬱陵島 - 울릉도). At any rate, it seems obvious to me that neither of the islands mentioned above could have been Dokdo (Takeshima).
By the way, for some reason, the Web site "Cyber Dokdo" forgot to translate the above passage in its chronological "History of Dokdo." You can check out the site here.