Dugout Canoe Successfully Reproduces Ancient Voyage to Japan

Society Culture

Yonaguni, Okinawa Pref., July 9 (Jiji Press)--A dugout canoe arrived at the island of Yonaguni in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, on Tuesday, two days after its departure from Taiwan, successfully reproducing a voyage made by early settlers over 30,000 years ago.

After crossing the strong Kuroshio current, the canoe reached the island shortly past 11:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. GMT). The direct distance between the departure and arrival points was about 200 kilometers.

Upon their arrival, the canoe's five crew members joyfully hugged and shook hands with people who had waited for them on a beach on the island.

The five included Koji Hara, a 47-year-old sea-kayaking guide from Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, Sung Yuan-kai, 64, a former competitive sea kayaker from Taiwan, and Michiko Tanaka, a 46-year-old corporate employee from Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, who was the only female member.

"I was moved by the five members, who have overcome a variety of dramas," said Yosuke Kaifu, a 50-year-old official of Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science, one of the organizers of the ancient voyage reproduction project.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press