Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Spirit of Majapahit expedition ship arrived in Naha harbor, Okinawa, Japan, on Sunday, after setting sail from Jakarta on May 11.

Upon arrival, the expedition team was greeted by Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Safri Burhanuddin, caretakers of the Majapahit Lovers Foundation, and staff of the Indonesian embassy in Japan, the ministry noted in a press statement.

"I cannot say much, but saying Alhamdulillah and Thank God. Their success in reaching Japan is amazing. This voyage demonstrates the bravery of our sailors," Burhanuddin, who is in charge of human resource coordination, affirmed.

The wooden ship, measuring 20 meters long and 4.5 meters wide, is a replica of a vessel belonging to the Majapahit kingdom, which was based in eastern Java, and ruled vast areas in Southeast Asia from 1293 to some 1500.

Departing from Jakarta, the ship first stopped in Pontianak (West Kalimantan) and then sailed to Brunei Darussalam, Manila (the Philippines), and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The 70-year-old captain Muhammad Amin Azis said the route from Kaohsiung to Okinawa was the toughest one during the journey.

"We were hit by five-meter-height waves, while the ship had several leaks," he revealed.

Chairman of the Majapahit Lovers Foundation, Sumarwoto Sentono, remarked that Okinawa was the first stopover in Japan and Tokyo will be the last destination where the ship will be displayed in a museum.

Traces of Majapahit sailors had been found in Okinawa in the past.

The findings of a Majapahit dagger in Okinawa and a 13th-century Imori ceramic in Trowulan, East Java, suggest possible links between the Majapahit Kingdom and the Japanese Empire.

Several Japanese archeologists and academicians believed that Japan and Majapahit had established relations during the glorious era of the largest kingdom in Indonesia.

The Spirit of Majapahit expedition is initiated by the office of the coordinating minister for maritime affairs to trace back and promote the nation's maritime culture.

Editor: Ade P Marboen
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