Exhibition Room #2
Exhibition Room #2 (1F)
History of Dokdo
Ulleungdo and Dokdo, which were incorporated into Korean history as the territory of Usanguk in 512 CE, are still very much a living part of our history today. Occasionally, the two islands faced crises due to foreign invasion and illegal claims of sovereignty by the Japanese government. Fortunately, however, the Korean government and the Korean people were able to work together and establish the country’s sovereignty over Ulleungdo and Dokdo. Inside Exhibition Hall #2, visitors can learn the dynamic history of Dokdo Island.
1The maritime kingdom of Usanguk
Usanguk, incorporated into the Silla Kingdom in 512 CE, has maintained its status as a small independent country until the Goryeo Dynasty. At the Dokdo Museum, visitors can learn about the maritime kingdom of Usanguk up until its dissolution at the hands of Yeojin invaders from Northeast Asia and Japanese pirates during the Goryeo Dynasty.
2Joseon’s repatriation policy and Dokdo
Upon its foundation, the Joseon Dynasty tried to keep its citizens safe and protect its sovereign territory with a strict repatriation policy. Ulleungdo and Dokdo were no exceptions - their people were relocated to mainland Korea. At the Dokdo Museum, visitors can learn about the perception of Dokdo Island under Joseon’s repatriation policy.
3Ulleungdo Island dispute
Japan took advantage of Joseon’s repatriation policy, and frequently plundered the islands of Ulleungdo and Dokdo. The conflict came to a head with the Ulleungdo Dispute, a diplomatic dispute over sovereignty over the two islands. Subsequently, the Japanese government recognized Ulleungdo and Dokdo as the sovereign territories of Joseon, and at the same time, prohibited any venturing of its citizens into the two islands.
4Joseon’s island patrol policy
The Joseon government strengthened its sovereignty over Ulleungdo and Dokdo by periodically dispatching officials to investigate whether the Japanese were illegally entering the two islands, and to implement a patrol policy.
5Redevelopment of Ulleungdo Island
The Joseon government strengthened its effective control over Ulleungdo by relocating residents to the Island. There, the relocated residents started redeveloping the Island. Also, King Gojong included Ulleungdo and Dokdo as the 27th local regions under Gangwon-do’s control, clearly declaring the two islands as Joseon’s sovereign territory.
6Japanese invasion of Dokdo Island
Driven by Japan’s imperialistic ambitions, Shimane Prefecture secretly incorporated Dokdo Island into Japanese territory. Accordingly, Japanese government documents, books, and old maps published at the same time marked Dokdo as Japan’s sovereign territory, which was in clear contradiction to Joseon’s rightful claims to the Island.
7Dokdo Island after liberation
Upon liberation, the Allied Powers regarded Dokdo as a territory occupied illegitimately by Japan and instructed it to return the Island to Korea. However, with aggressive lobbying efforts in the United States, Japan convinced the Allied Powers to omit the return of Dokdo from the Treaty of San Francisco.
8Dokdo Volunteer Garrison
Taking advantage of the chaos caused by the outbreak of the Korean War, Japan attempted to stake its claim over Dokdo once again. In response, Ulleungdo residents formed the Dokdo Volunteer Garrison, and stationed it on Dokdo to protect the Island from Japanese forces.
Visitors can search for and examine key relics that can prove our country’s sovereignty over Dokdo Island at the Dokdo Museum.
Inside Exhibition Hall #2 (1F)
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