An Yong-bok

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An Yong-bok
Hangul 안용복
Hanja 安龍福
Revised Romanization An Yong-bok
McCune–Reischauer An Yong-pok

An Yong-bok (fl. 1692 - 1697) was a Korean fisherman in 17th century of Joseon Dynasty famous for his travels to Japan. His activities were instrumental in determining fishery rights in the waters of Ulleung Island and the Liancourt Rocks, two islands in the Sea of Japan.

Capture and activities in Japan[edit]

The An Yong-bok incident occurred in the spring of 1693 when Korean fishermen from Busan and Ulsan clashed with other fisherman from Otani and Murakawa at Ulleung-do.

An Yong-bok and Pak Eo-dun (박어둔) were captured and taken to the Yonago in the Tottri clan (modern-day Yonago city and Tottori Prefecture).

The pair was detained at a house in Yonago for two months, while this case was investigated by the Tottori clan. The shogunate ordered his subjects to send them to the magistrate at Nagasaki, an area controlled by the Tsushima clan. An Yong-bok was held hostage by the lord of Tsushima clan (So Yoshitsugu) again. When An Yong-bok was repatriated to Korea, the Tokugawa Shogunate demanded the prohibition of Koreans going to Ulleung-do.[1] This led to diplomatic friction between Japan and Korea.

After An Yong-bok was repatriated to Korea, he testified that "the Kanpaku (Imperial regent) of the Tokugawa Shogunate made a note that confirmed Ulleungdo as Korean territory and he was in possession of the note until he was seized en route to Korea by the lord of Nagasaki, upon which the note was confiscated and he was held on the grounds of trespassing onto Japanese territory."[citation needed]

Korean scholars consider this testimony a fact.[2] Japanese scholars, however, insist that this testimony is primarily Ahn's claim without supporting evidence because he did not go to Edo, the capitol of the Shogunate, and the Shogunate demanded Koreans be prohibited from going to Ulleung-do.[3][4]

As a result of diplomatic negotiation; in the January of 1696 a senior statesmen of the shogunate issued the following instructions to the lord of Tsuhima clan (translated into English):

  1. Ulleungdo (Takeshima) is about 160-ri (640 km) from Oki, but only about 40-ri (160 km) from Korea; therefore, it can be considered that Japanese Takeshima is same island as Korean Ulleungdo.[5]
  2. Japanese are forbidden henceforth to make passage to Takeshima for the Japan-Korea friendship because the island is useless.[6]
  3. The lord of Tsushima should communicate this to Korea.

Though the Tottori clan reported to the shogunate that "Takeshima does not belong to Inaba state (因幡) nor Hoki state (伯耆). There are no other islands belonging to the two states including Takeshima (Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (Liancourt Rocks),"[7] the shogunate did not order a prohibition of Japanese going to Matsushima (Liancourt Rocks). In the diplomatic negotiation between Japan (Tsushima clan) and the Chosun government, they never discussed the Liancourt Rocks.[citation needed]

In 1696, Ahn visited Japan again. According to a Japanese record found in May 2005, the Bafuku is the investigation on An Yong-bok who arrived in Hokishu in May 1696 via the Oki Islands. The document has a total of 15 pages. The fifth page records Anyongbok's statement that Jasando (Usando) is Matsushima (松島) The last page records the eight provinces of Korea. The document specifically states that Takeshima (竹島 Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (松島 Liancourt Rocks) are part of the Gangwon Province (江原道).[8]

The principal retainer of the Shogunate directed the Tottori clan to send him away because only the Tsushima clan has the right to determine matters of diplomacy with Joseon.[9] According to the Sukjong Sillok, Ahn testified as follows after he was banished by the Tottori clan and returned to Joseon.

I sailed to Ulleung-do and the Usando again with the company of sixteen fishermen, disguised as a naval officer, and clashed again with the Japanese at Ulleung-do. The Japanese said they were living on Matsushima and strayed onto Takeshima (Ullungdo) while fishing and would return. I fulminated at this, demanding to know why the Japanese were living on a Korean island. Upon arriving in Japan, I stated to the lord of the Tottori clan that "though it was confiscated by the Tsushima clan, I had held the Tokugawa Shogunate's edict that both islands were Korean possessions before visit. When I declared my intention to appeal to the Kanpaku, for the Shogunates edict to be upheld, the lord of Tsushima clan came to Tottori and entreated me to stop.

—Ahn[10][11]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ [?馬藩政史料 (?元表書札方)?日記 元?六年六月三日?] "向後?不?候?二堅堅朝鮮表江被仰遣候?二御?元江被申越候?二と相模守申付候"
  2. ^ See Japanese government reconfirms Dokdo and Uleungdo as Korean territories at the end of 17th century on the Cyber Dokdo site.
  3. ^ See 鳥取藩政資料からみた竹島問題Shimane Prefectural Government, Accessed 24 July 2008
  4. ^ See Ahn Yong-bok's statement This is an image of the Japanese 1695 documents recording Ahn Yong-bok's statement. In this chart of Korea's eight provinces (highlighted in blue) he declared Takeshima (竹島 Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (松島 Dokdo) as part of Korea's Gangwon Province.
  5. ^ (Japanese) "道程ノ儀相尋候ヘハ伯耆ヨリハ百六十里程有之 朝鮮ヘハ四十里程有之由ニ候 然ハ朝鮮國ノ蔚陵島ニテモ可有之候哉" See 公文??像. 明治十年三月 公文? ?務省之部一 日本海?竹島外一島地籍編纂方伺 一?. Archived 2009-10-25.
  6. ^ (Japanese) "?取ニ?リ候?ニテ無益島ニ候處此儀ムスホホレ年?ノ通交絶申候モ如何ニ候 御威光或ハ武威ヲ以テ申勝ニイタシ候テモ筋モナキ事申募リ候儀ハ不入事ニ候 竹島ノ儀元シカト不仕事ニ候 例年不?候" See 公文??像. 明治十年三月 公文? ?務省之部一 日本海?竹島外一島地籍編纂方伺 一?. Archived 2009-10-25.
  7. ^ Shimane Prefecture site on TakeshimaShimane Prefectural Government, Accessed 24 July 2008
  8. ^ This is an image of the Japanese 1695 documents recording An Yong-bok's statement. In this chart of Korea's eight provinces (highlighted in blue), he declared Takeshima (竹島 Ulleungdo) and Matsushima (松島 Dokdo) as part of Korea's Gangwan Province (江原道) (original URL (check page 26 image 13 of 23)), General facts of Dokdo, Accessed 24 July 2008
  9. ^ 老中より「朝鮮国通用之儀」は対馬以外では取り上げない「御大法」であるので、国外へ追い返すよう指示が伝えられ、朝鮮人、鳥取より退去。Shimane Prefectural Government, Accessed 24 July 2008
  10. ^ New Destroyer to Be Named `An Yong-bok', Korean Times, March 28, 2005.
  11. ^ Japan Twice Admitted Korean Sovereignty Over Dokdo, Digital Chosun Ilbo, March 4, 2005.

External links[edit]