Japan Team Plans Another Experiment to Reproduce Ancient Voyage

Society Culture

Tokyo, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese team pursuing a multiyear project to figure out how humans came to the Japanese archipelago 30,000 years ago is planning another experiment next summer with a new approach: a dugout canoe.

In the project, which started in 2016, the team has tested a straw boat and a bamboo raft to reproduce how people may have traveled from Taiwan to Japan, but to no avail.

The team, led by the National Museum of Nature and Science, is now pinning hopes on a dugout canoe, which is currently being built for a voyage from Taiwan to the southern Japan island of Yonaguni, Okinawa Prefecture.

Financially, the team has already procured north of 30 million yen, the target it set for online fundraising to pay for costs not covered by the team's research expenses, such as those to prepare additional boats for safety and to film the experiment for the record. Contributions to the fundraising effort will be accepted until Friday.

"We want to come as close as possible to an answer to the big mystery of how our ancestors succeeded with the great voyage," said Yosuke Kaifu, a museum official who represents the team.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press