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Q&A on Dokdo

What does the Inshū Shichō Gakki (Records on Observations in Oki Province), one of the earliest Japanese texts referring to Dokdo, say about the island?

Inshū Shichō Gakki (Records on Observations in Oki Province), 1667, is one of the earliest Japanese texts that mention Matsushima (the former Japanese name for Dokdo). It was written by Toyonobu Saitō, a local official of Izumo (eastern part of today’s Shimane prefecture), Japan. It describes Dokdo as follows:

Inshū Shichō Gakki
(Records on Observations in Oki Province)

Inshū Shichō Gakki

Translation

The two islands [Ulleungdo and Dokdo], which are uninhabited, are located towards Goryeo [Korea] in the same way that Unshu [eastern part of today’s Shimane prefecture] is located towards Inshu [Oki Islands].
Therefore, Inshu [Oki Islands] shall mark Japan’s northwesternmost boundary.


Original Text

此二島 無人之地 見高麗 如自雲州望隠州 然則日本之乾地 以此州為限矣.

The description above shows that the Oki Islands marked Japan’s northwesternmost boundary and that Dokdo was not included within the scope of Japan’s territory.

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