Dokdo Island, along with Ulleungdo Island, was incorporated into Korean history and culture as the territory of Usanguk in 512 CE (13th year of King Jijeung’s reign, Silla Kingdom). It is a sovereign territory of the Republic of Korea. Despite being a small island at the easternmost end of Korea, Dokdo’s political, economic, military, and cultural importance, as well as the value of its waters (the East Sea), have shed new light on the island’s significance internationally.
Japan saw value in Dokdo early on during its imperialistic expansion across Asia, and thus, illegally annexed it into its territory. Even when it surrendered to the Allied Powers in 1945, Japan continued to seek ways to control the island. To this day, Japan is staking its claim over Dokdo, disputing Korea’s rightful sovereignty over the island.
As the only “territory museum” in Korea, the Dokdo Museum is laying a foundation to reinforce Korea’s sovereignty over Dokdo Island from an evidence standpoint by organizing historical materials that can refute Japan’s illegitimate claims. Also, by excavating, collecting, and researching materials related to Dokdo and the Sea of Korea, and by showcasing and promoting its findings, the Dokdo Museum is raising awareness of our sovereignty over Dokdo Island and our pride as a nation. Thus, we look forward to your continued interest and support going forward.