[Specialists’ Views on Dokdo]Dokdo - Our Ground, Our Life
[Specialists’ Views on Dokdo]Dokdo - Our Ground, Our Life
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  • 승인 2007.07.27 11:55
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   Dokdo and Ulleungdo are our ground, and part of the life of our nation, and have become part of our history to Korean fishermen. Dokdo has been a place of fishing combined with other livelihood, and not an ownerless land. I will show that the cultural characteristics of Dokdo as a child of Ulleungdo indicate it was a residential area for Korean fishermen through their folk knowledge of the local ocean environment. Especially, this article focuses on the view formed by the folklore of Korean fishermen and residents in Ulleungdo, and semantic classification and category on wind, a tide, and submarine space by the residents.
   Residents often used astronomical navigation when they went to Dokdo about 30 years ago. Before leaving, they waited for Samtaeseong (Capella) to rise at dawn. They observed the stars every two hours for about six hours until Samtaeseong would rise in the surrounding area of Dokdo. Coming back to Ulleungdo, they noticed Bukduchilseong (the Great Bear).
   There are many kinds of wind in Dokdo. "Dongsae" blows from the east. The tide is low when dongsae blows. "Jeongsae" indicates the wind blows from the northeast, "Ingampung" between the northeast and the east, "Buksae" or "Bukcheongpung" during which the tide is high, from the north, "Danggal" from the west, "Cheongpung" from the northwest, and "Danggalcheongpung" from between northwest and west.
   "Danggalcheongpung" is an arid wind which has little humidity as "it dries a man's liver." "Cheongpung" usually blows in winter, but sometimes in spring. Many fish are said to be caught during this period. The wind blowing from the south is "Jeonggalbaram," and the wind from the southwest is "Galbaram." When the latter blows in summer, fish are rarely caught. Sometimes, "Satbaram" blows in summer. Besides, "Cheojingalbaram" is from the southeast, and "Uljin" from between the east and southwest. The word "Cheojida" indicates the wind blowing under atmospheric pressure, and it is also known as the wind blowing from another direction. Residents regard it as a bad wind. Fishermen find the moonflower-shaped cloud by the sun under atmospheric pressure to be a sign that this pressure is being generated. In three or four days, while clouds are being scattered, strong winds are coming. "Waksae" may be called a sudden wind from the southeast. "Wuljin" and "Waksae" are kinds of harmful wind. When "Danggal" and "Galbaram" blow abruptly, they do considerable damage in the east of Ulleungdo. The wind from the southwest is the best in Ulleungdo. Fishermen use the west wind to go to Dokdo. Many fish are caught when the wind from the southwest, blows It may be thought of as a harmless wind.
   Fishermen in Ulleungdo call a rocky reef with seaweed popular with local fish a "Geol." It is a mountain under the sea, and is commonly said to be "the shape of a water wave." Many fish are gathered in it. When measured how deep it is by putting a rope into the sea, the east of "Geol" is high and the west is low.
  Fishermen used the knowledge and experience of the sea orally inherited by their ancestors. They said they did "sangareumhanda" (grasped the topography by the great mountain) "with Dokdo in the center." It is difficult to locate your boat in relation to the "Geol" in the midst of the sea. First, find out the location of a boat by looking for the shape of the mountain of Dongdo or Seodo. Fishermen see if they arrive at "Geol" by considering these factors and the location of a boat. Most fish are caught in the place where the boat approaches the nearest corners of the mountains of Dongdo and Seodo. The distance must be within a stone's throw from each mountain. Most fishermen know where "Goel" is, but few know the place which the most fish inhabit. Different fish are in different "Geol." Fishermen check the locations of their own boats when they approach Dokdo from Dodong, then fishing after selecting the starting point of "Geol." They measure the depth of water by lowering a rope under the water.
   It is characteristic to exercise an exclusive right against other fishing boats within their own space of 15 meters, as the residents of Ulleungdo don't have a defined communal fishing industry but do recognize this fishing zone. A dualism of private and public possessions exists in the basic feature of a fishing community, which maintains a natural economy of industrial capitalism. The communal rights to exercise what has been inherited traditionally is replaced by the unincorporated, a fishing community, when it produces and distributes together on the one hand, and gives a right only to people who invest designated funds on the other hand.
   In summary, what has been described is ethnographic data which to do with semantic classification and category of residents on wind, a tide, and submarine space formed by the folklore of Korean fishermen and residents in Ulleungdo. Through this data, we can see that Dokdo is a place of Korean life and culture that has formed and been established during a period of long history, and is a space to display a traditional cultural activity on the basis of that information, and it is not an ownerless land or an uninhabited island at all.  

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