The most popular large-scale maps in Korea by the end of 1800s
Produced in consideration of convenience in usage and replication, Jeong’s maps gradually fulfilled the demand for accurate maps, which had persisted since the late 1700s, and became the most popular large-scale maps in Korea by the end of 1800s. In addition, his large-scale maps were scaled down to produce small and medium-sized maps for various purposes. In the mid-1800s, they were printed and entered into mass circulation as Haejwa jeondo (map of Korea), a medium-sized woodblock painted version of the large-scale maps. As a result, a significant number of manuscript copies of the maps produced by Jeong Sang-gi remain extant in the collections of public and private organizations including 23 copies held at the National Library of Korea and others at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies.
In 1693, a Korean fisherman named Ahn Yong-bok was abducted by the Japanese. After being returned to Korea, Ahn voluntarily traveled to Japan in 1696 to resolve the injustice that he suffered. During his stay in Japan, Ahn declared that Usando (Dokdo Island) is situated to the east of Ulleungdo Island, which is in the middle of the sea route towards Japan, and verified that the Japanese refer to Usando as Matsushima.
Ahn’s declaration was recorded in the Yeongjo Sillok (The Annals of King Yeongjo) and further spread among the people, later being included in Seongho Saseol by Joseon silhak scholar Yi Ik, who was a long-time friend of cartographer Jeong Sang-gi. Based on his confidence in Ahn’s statement as recorded in Seongho Saseol, the mapmaker drew Usando (Dokdo Island) to the east of Ulleungdo Island in a smaller size.