The National Museum of Prehistory welcomed in June a delegation from the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, which plans to collect relevant materials and information to lay the groundwork for holding a special Taiwan-focused exhibition in 2019.
Both parties expressed a high degree of willingness to conduct future exchanges, as well as the hope that they could jointly build up the research capabilities of both museums and help the Japanese people gain a better understanding of the history and culture of Taiwan.
To this end, staff from the Okinawa museum first made a special visit on June 6 and 7 to Taitung's National Museum of Prehistory to learn about the prehistory and indigenous cultures of Taiwan, as well as to find and borrow items for their exhibition.
The delegation also traveled to Changbin to learn more about the "Navigating 30,000 Years Ago: Crossing the Kuroshio" project, a joint endeavor between the prehistory museum and Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science to confirm the viability of a prehistoric marine route between Taiwan and Okinawa.
The delegation met with Professor Yosuke Kaifu, who is heading up the "Crossing the Kuroshio" project, and the rowers, bringing with them the best wishes of the people of Okinawa. Later, they went on to visit Basian Cave, Taiwan's most significant Paleolithic era site, as part of the preparations for their own exhibition.
National Museum of Prehistory Director Lee Yu-fen (李玉芬) commented that she hopes her museum can be a window on Taiwan, and that the ocean is not a barrier between lands, but rather a pathway that links them. It was through the ocean that some of Taiwan's earliest residents were able to reach out and connect with the world.