Reproductions for an ancient Tule-Reed Boat
by Jin Ishikawa
My name is Jin and I was born and raised in Japan.
I call myself an adventurer of accomplishing my dreams.
I’ve had an adventurous experience of sailing away with a tule-reed boat across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with no modernisms. Within my experience of life standing on the edge of a precipice in a reed boat, I have learned the way of an ancient plane sailing that people discovered thousands years ago. During the journey the breeze and currents make the boat waft I had thought about the power of nature, human will, and what humans desire in thriving for freedom in life.
As I was thinking of the power of nature, I wondered if it could make other living creatures coexist and co-prosper with human life. As a matter of fact, there were some other living creatures such as microorganisms clinging to the bottom of the moist reed boat while the boat was floating to an unknown land hundreds and thousands of miles away.
I believe that the reed boat plays an important role of helping to create new biological systems that migrate to a new life. The ancient style of a reed boat carried not only microorganisms but also delivered the message of how humans contribute to the world as mediators between the past and future.
Therefore, I call the tule-reed boat a “Letter from the sea”.
I am responsible and in charge of delivering this letter to all in the world starting in California. This project to rebuild a 65 foot ancient tule-reed boat will be supported by the people who have a sympathetic response in being interested in the origin of the reed boat.
Please contact me at
Thank you for your time to read it as a “Letter from the sea”.
OCEAN TRIBE JIN ISHIKAWA
Crossing the Pacific Ocean by Reed Boat
Through the common element of the Pacific Ocean, in North and South America, Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and greater Asia,we all share very similar myths, cultures and heritages.
Have you heard of the Ocean Highway before? For a while it seemed like a fairy tale, but no longer! The North Pacific has a big current that turns clockwise. In the South Pacific, it goes counter-clockwise. And the trade winds and the westerlies blow alongside them.
In ancient times our ancestors traded and communicated with each other through this Ocean Highway of currents and winds that traverse and connect the islands of the Pacific Ocean.
At this point you may start to see the relevance of the reed boat, as it was the common means of transportation for all of our distant ancestors.
And thus, by reviving the practice of traveling by reed boat, we may start to recover some of the ancient wisdom, which we have amputated and forgotten in our modern civilization.
We hope to prove that it is possible to voyage through open oceans by reed boat, and in doing so to resurrect the ancient wisdom of the ocean.
In other words, we believe that by traveling by reed boat we may tap into the resonant and accumulated wisdom, which human beings have been weaving for generations and generations.
This ancient wisdom coexists with nature.
So if one says that “humanity is a part of nature”, then it follows that the civilization which we have built is also a part of nature.
Thus through our project, we believe that we can create a connection between ancient wisdom and technology, and then voyage into a future that holds still more potential.
“Reed boat school” (workshop)
In the workshop “Reed boat school”, conducted by Jin Ishikawa, you can build a reed boat yourself !
The reed boat is the most primitive kind of boat, and it is made of reed stalks packed into bundles. In a one to two day workshop, we are able to build a boat ranging from 12 to 18 feet (approximately 3.5 to 5.5 meters), which can accommodate up to two passengers.
Participants in the workshop can be any age,from 10 to 100 years old, and people with disabilities are of course also welcome!
The participants may try out the boat they make on any water they prefer, be it the sea, a river, a lake,or simply a pool!
Through this experience we hope that you may be able to enjoy a conversation with nature, as our ancestors did in the primordial era.
After a few days the boat will be returned with thankfulness back to the soil, where it will finish its life-cycle as a boat and the materials will decompose naturally without harming the environment.
The prime purpose of building a reed boat is to come closer to the wisdom of the ancients, the wisdom of nature itself.
We hope to share with you the pleasure of making something with one’s own hands and to learn together about nature.
If this all sounds good to you please contact Jin Ishikawa for more details.
Representative Director of “ONE OCAEN”.
Representative of “Kamuna Reed Ship project”.
1987-1989: Backpack journey in North America, South India, and East Africa.
1990-1991: Crossed Sahara desert alone with a camel. 2700km. 6 months.
1992: Lived in Point Barrow, far north town in Alaska, with the Inuit. Participated in the building of umiaq (boat used by both Yupik and Inuit).
1994: Journeyed by dugout canoe for 2 months, 800km, through the Orinoco river, in the Colombian jungle. Worked as a tourist guide in Machu Picchu for 2 years.
1995: Traveled around Lake Titicaca by reed boat for 4 months. Joined UN official project “Expedition Mata Rangi” as a member.
1996: Built Mata RangiⅠ (first reed ship) in Rapanui Island (Easter island).
1998-1999: Built Mata RangiⅡ (second reed ship) in Alica, Chile. Voyaged to Marquesas Islands for 88 days, 8000 km.
2000 – 2002: Built Mata Rangi Ⅲ(third reed ship) in Barcelona. Voyaged to Cape Verde Islands for 60 days, 3000 km.
2002: Founded “Kamuna Project”. Started “Reed boat school”.
2005: Built a reed ship “Kamuna”. Traveled from Kouchi prefecture to the Izu islands in Japan for 13 days, 1000 km as a captain of reed ship.
2012 – 2013: Journeyed around Japan by yacht.
2013: Held “Reed boat school” in Korea. It was the first reed boat school in a foreign country.
2014: Founded an association “ONE OCEAN”.
Jin Ishikawa has built 200 reed boats and experienced more than 15000 km reed ships navigation.Currently, he is planning to explore anew, traveling from the west coastof the US to Hawaii by reed ship.