Dokdo is a Korean island pride of Korea-Dokdo

Dokdo is Korean Island - History

Dokdo, Korean Island: Proofs & Facts

History of Dokdo

In year 512 A.D, in 13th year of king Jizeung's reign of the Silla Dynasty, Dokdo and Uleungdo were incorporated into the Silla territory. There is a record that a general named Yi Sa-bu of the Silla Dynasty period conquered Uleungdo and repatriated it to the Silla Dynasty, and the Dynasty received goods unique only to Uleungdo yearly as a tribute.

General Yi Sa-bu was a key figure who conquered Uleungdo, where its residents were wild and tough in nature. To subdue the residents, he came up with an ingenious idea to outsmart them. He transported masses of caged scarecrows near the island and threatened to unleash them upon the residents of the island. According to historical accounts the general’s warning to the residents was: "Unless you surrender, I will let all these wild lions run into and kill you." By his imminent threat, the residents of the island surrendered and agreed to pay yearly tributes.

Records of c indicate that Dokdo and Uleungdo are located to the east of Uljin County and in the middle of the east sea. On clear sunny days Dokdo can be seen from Uleungdo with a naked eye because of Dokdo’s proximity to Uleungdo. Dokdo is also called by another name, Usanguk.

According to another record of the Joseon Dynasty, when the residents of Dokdo were asked to relocated to Uleungdo in 1439, the 21th year of king Sejong's reign, they refused.

During king Seongjong's reign, Dokdo was called Sambongdo, and during king Sukjong's reign it was called Jasando. It was also called Gajido during king Jeongjo's reign.

Yet another Joseon Dynasty record mentions a fishing dispute that arose where the Joseon government intervened and prohibited Japanese fishermen from fishing around Dokdo. When the Japanese fishermen were revealed fishing in the coastal sea of Dokdo and Uleungdo in 1693, the 19th year of king Sukjong's reign, a Korean fisherman named An Yong-Bok voluntarily went to Japan to protest the encroachment.

When Japanese fishermen again appeared fished in the coastal sea of Dokdo and Uleungdo, the Joseon Dynasty protested quite adamantly and received an official apology from the Japanese in year 1876, during 18th year of king Gojong's reign. During the Joseon Dynasty, Dokdo was clearly acknowledged as a territory of Joseon and geographical administration belonging to the dynasty thereto.

When Korea was liberated from Japanese rule in August 15, 1945, the Korean government began extensive academic research on Dokdo commencing in January, 1952. President Lee Seung-Man through a presidential declaration, declared Korea’s sovereign dominion over the coastal sea of Dokdo and its peace line.

On April 20, 1953, Hong Sun-Chil and other 33 men organized a voluntary force of Dokdo and expelled the Japanese who illegally settled there and kept up watch duty until 1956, eventually returning to their post on Uleung police station.

On August 15, 1954, for the first time a lighthouse was built in Dokdo. The location of the light house was marked on a 1:3000 scale map and informed about it to numerous foreign countries. The map has been known to be commissioned on December, 1961 and finished on February, 1962.

The Korean History Society also published A Research on Uleungdo and Dokdo in 1978 and additional topographical maps ranging from 1:1000 scale and 1:5000 scale were also commissioned.

Going all the way back to Silla dynasty, Joseon Dynasty and now the modern times, Dokdo has been clearly indicated by numerous authoritative sources to be a Korean territory. Credible sources include king Jizeung’s record in 13th year of his reign in 512 A.D., Japanese topographer Hayashi Shihei’s (b.1738-d.1793) reference to Dokdo as being Korean territory and Samguktonglamdoseol written in 1785 also verifies the fact.

The name of Dokdo


Usanguk, (previously Uleungdo), was name given by its island residents before the control of territory was reverted back to Silla state in the early 6th century (512). The name, Usanguk is recorded in the historical documents of the Silla Dynasty.

When the name Usanguk was changed to the name Uleungdo, the name Usan was given to annexed island (Dokdo). Joseon Dynasty often mentioned these island pairs as Usando and Uleungdo located in the middle of the east sea near Uljin County.

Dokdo was called interchangeably as Sambongdo, Usando and Gajido, during the Joseon Dynasty and it was described with the name Usan or alternatively Uleungdo in textbook circa 1899. In 1900, Dokdo was later incorporated into Gangwon province by command of king Gojong.

The name Dokdo was first used in 1906 by magistrate of Uleung County, Shim Hong-Taek, and according to the administrative reorganization of the district in 1914, Dokdo was reassigned to North Gyeongsang province and remains until today. The meaning of Dokdo doesn't mean 'lonely island' or 'desolate island', but its true meaning is 'dolseom’ (stone or rock island). Still, the residents in Dokdo pronounce the island as 'dokseom' or 'dolseom'.

Japanese calls Dokdo 'dakesima' or 'massima'. Foreign explorers had various names for Dokdo also. French whaleboat named it as Liancourt Rock coming after the ship's name upon firs discovering the island in 1849. British warship also named Dokdo Hornet Rock after the ship's name and registered in their sea map in 1885.

Historical Map < click

Dokdo, Korean Island: Proofs & Facts