Ross.King at ubc.ca
Thu Oct 11 10:24:27 EDT 2012
It is indeed a 'Lone Island', but etymologically the "tok" is a native Korean dialect version of the word for 'rock' (tol)--the "tok" shape shows up in various Korean dialects.
So originally this was almost certainly just "toksŏm" "Rock Island" (which it also is), subsequently hanja-ified by translating sŏm to Sino-Korean TO and leaving "tok" as a phonogram with a hanja with suitable semantics.
While they are at it, let's hope somebody thinks to point out the difference in the names for the place. Korean Tokdo means "Lone Island," which it is. Takeshima, which means "bamboo Island," and which it is not, would suggest no one had been there from Japan, or knew what it looked like.
Sent from my iPad
On Oct 10, 2012, at 8:42 PM, "gkl1 at columbia.edu" <gkl1 at columbia.edu> wrote:
> Thanks to Yoo Kwang-On, we get frequent updates on the Tokto
> situation. Seoul keeps hitting the issue, and in P'yongyang they've
> also been pushing in their own famous style. A week or so ago the NY
> Times (finally!) had a piece on the island squabble, but it wasn't
> anywhere near as good as the one the Washington Post put out a day or
> two ago.
> Now wouldn't it be great for morale on both sides of the DMZ and/or
> the East China Sea and for all us in the Korean and China fields if
> they joined in giving a unified, world-wide plea on the issue? The
> basic facts are held in common.
> Today, the Republic of China (Taiwan) bought a full page add in the
> New York Times on the Diaoyu problem, laying out a well produced and
> documented statement with an excellent, convincing mix of historical
> and legal facts. On Sept. 28, the PRC had bought a TWO-page add in the
> Times with pretty much the same facts but without the sophistication
> and clarity of the Taiwan presentation, which did not mention that
> both Taiwan and the PRC claimed the island. It's great, because
> whatever happens in the future between the two Chinese republics, the
> Daiyu islands will end up in China.
> Now, if the ROK and the DPRK could put together on Tokto a cogent
> statement with the presentational excellence of the Taiwan display,
> and buy a Times page or two, wouldn't that wake up a lot of folks in
> the Korean peninsula and around the world! The fact is, the USA was
> involved in both the Diaoyutai and Tokto issues after the Pacific War
> and are not without some responsibility for the tragic mis-allocation
> of these islands. Americans in general should be made more aware of
> the facts. And yet, the US government keeps hiding behind a so-called
> neutral stance.
> Gari Ledyard
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