Joint Research Projects

Comparison of traditional wooden boat building and sailing techniques of East Asia

Goeku Shipyard in Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture

Goeku Shipyard in Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture

Fuqingwo Shipyard in the suburbs of Fuzhou, Fujian, China

Fuqingwo Shipyard in the suburbs of Fuzhou, Fujian, China

Under this project, researchers with knowledge and expertise on traditional wooden boats are working together to carry out a comparative study of the techniques for building and sailing such boats in Japan, China, and other East Asian countries. This study also examines various related aspects in the East Asian region, including folk implements, the transfer of relevant techniques, and the historical background. Regional studies in Japan are centered on the Hokuriku area and Okinawa Prefecture, where traditional methods of assembling ship materials were used long before the introduction of iron nails. In addition, Fuzhou and Quanzhou in Fujian Province were selected for field research in China because wooden boat building techniques employed there are closely associated with those in Okinawa. The Zhoushan Islands in Zhejiang Province with a thriving boat building industry will also be studied. South Korea and Taiwan may also be investigated depending on progress made in these researches.

In addition to reviewing the results of past studies, this project is will focus on the process of building wooden boats and folk implements used by shipbuilders in China. In terms of sailing techniques, the influence of Chinese sculls and rigs on Japan will be identified. This group will collaborate with local universities, research institutes, and museums for these field studies. It will aim at identifying the characteristics of boat building techniques in both Japan and China, in turn clarifying the development of wooden boats in Japan in the East Asian context.

  Name Specialty Affiliation
PL KON Masaaki Mingu studies Kanagawa University
PM ARAKAKI Yumeno Folklore WuFeng University
PM DEGUCHI Akiko Folk geography Konan University
PM DEGUCHI Masato Photographic recording GmbH ASSIST
PM GOEKU Yuki Shipbuilding Goeku Shipyard
PM HIROSE Naoki Archaeology
Himi City Museum
PM MAEDA Isshu Folklore Uruma City Marine history Museum
PM OGUMA Makoto Folklore Kanagawa University
PM ORINO Hidefumi Mingu studies
Seto Inland Sea Folk History Museum
(The Kagawa Museum Annex)
PM Wang Lei Folklore Tokyo National Museum

PL-Project leader PM-Project member 

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MEXT Approved Joint Use / Research Center

Kanagawa University
International Center for Folk Culture Studies