The Yomiuri ShimbunA dugout canoe on Tuesday reached its destination of Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture in a project aiming to figure out how Japanese people’s ancestors came from Taiwan to Japan about 30,000 years ago.
The project is being run by the National Museum of Nature and Science and other entities.
The team members who operated the canoe landed at Namahama beach on the island shortly before noon. The five team members, comprising four men and one woman, rowed without stopping for about 45 hours to cover more than 200 kilometers, bringing about the project’s success.
The purpose of this experimental voyage was to examine how the Japanese people’s ancestors came to the island from Taiwan, which was contiguous with the Eurasian continent at the time, by crossing the stretch of water where the huge Kuroshio current flows toward the north.
As no vessel has been excavated from ruins from that period of time, the project team chose to build a dugout canoe, which was technically feasible to build at the time and could move fast, and tried to reproduce a journey from about 30,000 years ago.
The canoe departed from the northern part of Taitung County at 2:38 p.m. on Sunday. The five rowers used neither a map, compass nor watch. Instead, they navigated the canoe using the position of the sun and stars among other indicators.Speech