TOKYO >> A dugout canoe, part of a project aimed at tracking how ancient Japanese migrated from Taiwan about 30,000 years ago, arrived at Yonagunijima island in Okinawa Prefecture at noon July 9.
The canoe’s five-member team, comprising four men and a woman, landed at Namahama beach after rowing continuously for about 45 hours to cover more than 124 miles.
The experimental voyage explored how ancient travelers trekked to Japan from Taiwan, which was contiguous with the continent at the time, by crossing a stretch of water where huge a current, called the Kuroshio current, flows toward the north.
The team chose to build a dugout canoe for the journey, a vehicle that was technically feasible to build at the time and has the ability to move quickly across the water.
The canoe departed from the eastern coast of Taiwan at 2:38 p.m. on July 7. The team navigated their way using the position of the sun and stars and did not rely on maps, compasses or watches.
The project is run by Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science and other organizations.