In the news: Kentoshi ships to reenact ancient voyages

Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan.26), 2019)
A kentoshi ship, the kind of vessels used for Japanese missions to China during the Tang dynasty, will stage a comeback of sorts in May, traveling part of the same route to China the ships took during the seventh to ninth centuries.
The planning committee for the Kentoshi-sen Saigen Project (Kentoshi ship rebirth project), organized by the Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation with support from The Yomiuri Shimbun and other entities, announced Friday that a replica of one of the sailing vessels will leave Osaka Port on May 15 and follow the actual route that ancient kentoshi vessels took. It will arrive at Kure Port in Hiroshima Prefecture on May 19 and at Fukue Port in Nagasaki Prefecture’s Goto Islands on May 22.
For safety reasons, the vessel will then be shipped to Shanghai.
A series of events are planned following its arrival in China at the end of May, including a port entry ceremony around June 12–“Japan Day” at the Shanghai Expo, which will open in May.
To mark the 1,300th anniversary of the relocation of Japan’s capital to Heijo-kyo in Nara Prefecture, a number of symposiums about kentoshi are scheduled for April 24 and 25 at Kasuga Taisha shrine in Nara.
Tsuguhiko Kadokawa, head of the Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation and the man behind the project, said it was important to use this occasion to highlight that kentoshi had achieved diplomatic and cultural interchange without war.
Hitoshi Uchiyama, president of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, said, “I would like to express my respect for everybody involved in this grand project.”

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