Lonely Planet Writer

Japanese scientists to replicate 30,000-year-old sea voyage

Researchers in Tokyo plan to set sail from Okinawa Prefecture this July using a primitive boat as part of a project to explain how Japanese ancestors managed to cross the sea to the archipelago some 30,000 years ago.

Off the coast of Yonaguni-jima, Japan.
Off the coast of Yonaguni-jima, Japan. Image by Nao Iizuka / CC BY 2.0

It is believed that humans first arrived in Japan in the southwest islands, but no relics of Old Stone Age boats have ever been discovered. Scientists at Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science began working on a project to explore the mystery of the voyage three years ago, calling on adventurists and experts in maritime history. The team plans to build and trial various vessels using local plant materials, such as bamboo and cattail, before deciding which boat to use for the trip. The first of the planned sailings will take them between islands Yonaguni-jima and Iriomote-jima.

Read more: the-japan-news.com