|Master Navigator and Chief Teo (on chair) with crew of Lief Polowat and FSM Ambassador to Japan, John Fritz, (second from left, standing) along with Japanese hosts.|
Master Navigator and Chief, Teo Onopey and his crew of Lien Polowat arrived in Narita on August 12, 2013 and were welcomed by Ambassador Fritz. At a dinner hosted by Nomura Co., which is in charge of this project, the crew bowed their heads for a short period in memory of the late Master Navigator, Manny Sikau, by whom this whole voyage began.
Lien Polowat, which means the Lady of Polowat, was constructed by the request of the Government of Japan to be displayed at the Oceanic Culture Museum on Okinawa. Although the late Sikau passed away before the launching of the vessel, his cousin, Chief Teo completed the voyage from Polowat to Guam, a distance of roughly 800 kilometers, in just 4 days.
The vessel was then dismantled in Guam and shipped to Okinawa where it would be reassembled by the crew and placed on display. The Oceanic Culture Museum underwent renovation in 2011 and is expected to open in October 2013.
This year will mark the 25th year of diplomatic relationship between FSM and Japan. The addition of Lien Polowat, which symbolizes the sophisticated culture and tradition of the islands, adds another chapter to the strong and amicable bond between the two countries.
Lien Polowat will be the third Waseres (sea faring canoe) from FSM that has arrived in Japan. The two others are Chechemeni, which is now displayed at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, and Pesau, which is currently displayed at Sonoda Women’s University in Hyogo Prefecture.