Fundraising for ancient Ryukyuan sailing experiment reaches 20 million yen

Fundraising for ancient Ryukyuan sailing experiment reaches 20 million yen

In October 2015, the team conducted a test sailing journey with an ancient boat in Yonaguni Island.


April 6, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

An online fundraising campaign in support of a project organized by the National Museum of Nature and Science (NMNS) reached its goal of 20 million yen on April 4. The project, which is called a “Full Verification of 30,000-year-old Navigation”, aims to verify that humans from the Asian continent moved to the Ryukyuan Archipelago 30,000 years ago. The fundraising will continue until April 12 as planned.

The project is conducted through collaboration with each municipality in Yaeyama as well as the prefectural museums. The project leader and group leader of the History of Humanity Research Group from the NMNS, Yousuke Kaifu, described his joy at being involved. “I’m very happy to be able to stand at the starting line of the project. The generous support made us feel confident about what we are trying to do,” he said. Kaifu continued, “We would like to further promote the project . As the project is certainly fascinating, it should be popular.”

Under the plan, the team will try to sail to Yonaguni from Taiwan, where the island was connected 30,000 years ago. The journey is planned to be carried out in July, 2017. The team will have an experiment in which they will make a boat in Yonaguni to sail to Iriomote Island. They are also looking for oarsmans for the sailing.

In February, the team started a crowdfunding campaign in which people can provide financial support online, and the team also called for support from groups connected to Yaeyama in and out of the prefecture. The project team’s ultimate fundraising goal is to raise 50 million yen and will continue to call for support.

For more details, please call 03 (5834) 7032.

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)

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