Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2013


Dokdo Island (or Tokdo in Korean; Takeshima in Japanese; Liancourt Rocks in French/English) consists of a group of disputed islets in the sea between Korea and Japan. Although South Koreacurrently controls the islets Japan has claimed the contested territory. While Korean claim is based on its historical records dating from the sixth century, Japanese takes the records of the seventeenth century, the era of its colonial rule over Korea (1910-45), and the U.S. document at the end of WWII. More recently, the U.S. Library of Congress faced much challenge from within and without both academia and popular media as it tried to make a change in the current library subject heading concerning the disputed territory as of 2008. How have the controversial archival records on the island constructed subjective and contradictory historical interpretations and imagination? What kind of geographical and historical narratives do these changing maps of the island reflect? This poster session introduces the changing cartographical practices over the disputed borderland between Japan and Korea, and brings to light the genealogy of the controversy over the name and citizenship of the island in the context of the rise of colonialism, imperialism, and Cold War in twentieth-century East Asia.

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