A nautical chart specifying the waters between Korea and Japan as the Sea of Korea was recently found in Japan.
The chart, produced in 1646 by Sir Robert Dudley, the English explorer
and cartographer who created the 17th century maritime encyclopedia
Dell’Arcano del Mare, labels the body of water between the two countries
as “Mare di Corai,” meaning Sea of Korea. The waters south of the
Japanese island of Kagoshima receive the separate notation of “Mare de
Giappone,” or Sea of Japan.
“While we have found maps from the 19th and 18th centuries, this is the
first 17th century map we have discovered of the area in question,” said
Kim Mun-gil, emeritus professor at Busan University of Foreign Studies,
who discovered the chart at a Japanese cultural center affiliated with
the Japanese Ministry of Education.
“At the time the chart was drafted, Joseon was still a relatively closed
country, and thus the sources of information relating to geographical
names were likely the Japanese themselves,” continued Kim. “We can
understand the denotations as reflecting the perceptions of the Japanese
people with regards to the surrounding waters.”
The announcement by Kim came on April 15, less than a week before the
general assembly meeting of the International Hydrographic Organization
(IHO), which is scheduled to open in Monaco on April 23. Kim attested
that the cultural center where he found the map confirmed that the “Sea
of Japan” notation, officially registered by Japan with the IHO in the
1920s, came into use only after the 19th century.
In the ongoing debate as to the correct designation for the contested
body of water, the Korean government has stated the validity of the
“East Sea” notation and continues to seek support for parallel usage of
“East Sea” and “Sea of Japan” notations.
Sourced from Korea.net