Dugout Canoe Aims to Reproduce Ancient Voyage to Japan

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, July 7 (Jiji Press)--A dugout canoe left the eastern coast of Taiwan for the southwestern Japan island of Yonaguni Sunday afternoon, in a project to reproduce a journey that brought early settlers to the Japanese archipelago over 30,000 years ago.

The canoe, powered by five veteran paddlers--four men and one woman--needs to cover the distance of at least some 200 kilometers before reaching the Okinawa Prefecture island.

It is scheduled to arrive at the island in about a day and a half if things go smoothly, according to Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science, which leads the project. The trip may be canceled depending on weather and ocean conditions.

The canoe is about 7.5 meters long and up to 70 centimeters wide and weighs an estimated 350 kilometers. It is being accompanied by another ship to ensure its safety.

The trip relies on the stars and other natural phenomena for guidance without using maps, compasses and watches, though the canoe is loaded with water and food.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press