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Conflict over Productions of Ulleung Island and Response between Joseon and Japan in the 1880s and 1890s

Park, Han-min 1

1동북아역사재단

Accredited

ABSTRACT

After the opening of the port in 1876, the Joseon government found that the Japanese secretly sailed to Ulleung Island(Ulleungdo) to collect products there. The Joseon government sent an official document to the Japanese one to protest against illegal travel by the Japanese people and demand an investigation and crackdown on violators. The Japanese government imposed a ban on people from Ulleungdo and dispatched Higaki Naoe(檜垣直枝), an official of the Home Ministry, to the Island to evict the Japanese. In this paper, we reviewed the process of return of the Japanese who crossed into Ulleungdo and their situation on the way home, focusing on official reports and newspaper articles. The newspaper article contained various information related to Higaki and Japanese workers who sailed to Ulleungdo. After the Japanese eviction measures, disputes arose over the right to own and dispose of timbers from Ulleungdo, which were taken out to Japan before the outbreak of the Gapsin Revolution in 1884. It was a lawsuit between an American trading company that signed a contract with Kim Ok-kyun and Japanese workers having sailed to Ulleungdo to collect wood. During the trial, information was known such as the regular dispatch of inspector by the Joseon government and the ownership of products in Ulleungdo by the Joseon dynasty. Since the late 1880s, the number of Japanese who entered the Joseon coast increased, and so did the number of conflicts with Koreans. The Joseon government asked Japan to investigate and punish the illegal activities of the Japanese people based on the Regulations under which Japanese Trade is to be Conducted in Korea(朝日通商章程). On the one hand, officials were dispatched to strengthen the management and supervision of Ulleungdo. At this time, it is also noteworthy that there is a marine products company(海産會社) that introduced new fishing technology and tried to generate profits in coastal fishing by hiring foreigners. However, the Joseon government abolished the company due to considerable problems in the operation process. In this article, the activities of the marine products company were examined based on official documents and articles in Japanese newspapers at the time. Through this analysis, from the late 1880s to the early mid-1890s, it was possible to confirm the Joseon government’s involvement in development of Ulleungdo and coastal fishing.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.