• Kyodo

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A Tokyo-based citizens’ group plans to embark on a 1,000-km voyage from Cape Ashizuri in Kochi Prefecture to the Izu Islands on a reproduced ancient reed boat to promote environmental awareness.

The group plans to reproduce the ancient boat by bundling together reed stalks and papyrus, project members said Saturday.

The boat will leave the Shimizu fishing port in Tosashimizu, Kochi Prefecture, on May 8 and head for the Izu Islands by catching the Black Current, they said.

Adventurer Jin Ishikawa, 37, who had tried to cross the Atlantic on a reed boat in the past, will serve as captain for about seven to 10 crew members.

Reed boats are believed to be the earliest ships built by humans and are still being used by Peruvians living around Lake Titicaca.

The group, which ultimately plans to cross the Pacific on a reed boat, considers the upcoming voyage a preliminary step.

“Reed boats can exist in harmony with nature and they let you experience the feelings of our ancestors,” Ishikawa said.

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