Taiwan, Japan launch new attempt to replicate ancient sea migration

Kyodo News
Date: July 7, 2019

[Photo courtesy of Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory]

Museums in Taiwan and Japan on Sunday launched a third attempt to replicate a hypothetical human migration from Taiwan to Okinawa about 30,000 years ago.

The voyage in a dugout canoe is one of multiple research projects signed in 2017 between Taiwan's National Museum of Prehistory and Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science.

[Photo courtesy of Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory]

The Taiwanese museum said in a statement that five paddlers — one Taiwanese and four Japanese including a woman — aboard the 7.6-meter-long wooden canoe made in Japan set off from Taitung County, southeastern Taiwan, at 1:30 p.m.

The plan is that the paddlers will not use any modern equipment such as a compass, watch or smartphone to navigate but instead rely on the stars and wind. If all goes well, the 205-kilometer journey to Yonaguni Island in southwestern Okinawa Prefecture is estimated to take under three days, it said.

Yosuke Kaifu, leader of the Japanese team, said Japanese archaeologists have found that early humans migrated to Japan via three routes.

One is from the Korean Peninsula across the Tsushima Strait about 38,000 years ago, another is from Eurasia across the Tsugaru Strait that separates the Japanese main islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, and yet another assumes the course of the Black Stream, which begins off the Philippines and flows northeastward past Japan, about 30,000 years ago.    [FULL  STORY]

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