Thu, Jun 20, 2019 - Page 15 News List

Aboriginal canoe sets out on voyage to Japan for research

A group of Taiwanese and Japanese researchers pose beside an Amis canoe at Wushihbi Port in Taitung County’s Changbin Township on May 26.

Photo: CNA

An Aboriginal Amis canoe is set to sail from Taiwan’s Taitung County to Japan’s Yonaguni Island some time between Monday and July 13. Organized by Taiwan’s National Museum of Prehistory and Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science (NMNS), the voyage is part of the NMNS’ research on people’s movement from Taiwan to Japan in ancient times.

According to archaeologists, some of the early inhabitants of Japan most likely traveled from Taiwan to the Ryukyu Islands on similar wooden vessels during the Paleolithic, about 30,000 years ago. The canoe will have to cross the Kuroshio Current (the Black Current) and travel around 205km to Yonaguni Island, Japan’s westernmost island in Okinawa Prefecture.

The research team failed to complete a voyage on an Amis bamboo raft last year and the year before that, because the boats used were not strong enough for the big waves. This time around, a canoe made of cedar will be used in the adventure, which is expected to take 2 to 3 days.

(Eddy Chang, Taipei Times)






1. canoe n.

獨木舟 (du2 mu4 zhou1)

2. voyage n.

航行 (hang2 xing2)

3. archaeologist n.


(kao2 gu3 xue2 jia1)

4. Paleolithic n.


(jiu4 shi2 qi4 shi2 dai4)

5. current n.


(chao2 liu2; yang2 liu2)

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