|A straw boat researchers used in August 2014 in waters Yonagunijima island in Okinawa Prefecture (Provided by the National Museum of Nature and Science)|
Researchers trying to figure out early migration to the Japanese archipelago are building a primitive straw boat to test their theory of a sea-borne route.
A team of anthropologists and adventurers will embark on the first phase of a sea voyage this summer between outlying islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
The National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo's Taito Ward announced on Feb. 9 that the team will navigate the 75-kilometer stretch between Yonagunijima island and Iriomotejima island.
With total project costs for this year and the next estimated at around 50 million yen ($435,000), the team began an online fund-raising campaign the same day.
Descendants of modern humans born in Africa 200,000 years ago are believed to have reached the Japanese archipelago 38,000 years ago.
There were three possible routes, according to Yosuke Kaifu, a museum researcher with expertise in biological anthropology who heads the team.[...] The Asahi Shimbun
Actualización: Straw boat re-created in preparation for ancient trip - The Asahi Shimbun
A miniaturized prototype of a primitive straw boat has been created ahead of an attempted re-enactment of an ocean voyage believed to have been made 30,000 years ago.
The boat, made of two kinds of plants grown in Okinawa Prefecture, was built in about six hours from March 15-16 by a 26-member team consisting of marine explorers, anthropologists, archaeologists and other experts.
The team is trying to determine which route humans took when they reached the Japanese archipelago about 38,000 years ago.
There were three possible routes, including the so-called Okinawa route, which crosses from Taiwan. The experts believe this was the course taken. The first leg of the experimental project is scheduled for July with a boat moving between Yonagunijima island,... (Video)