If you haven’t been following his blog, now is a good time to check in on blog.doublasbrooks.com to get an update on his efforts to study the construction of an Ukaibune, or Cormorant fishing boat.
But for the moment, at least as far as his blog updates are concerned, Mr. Brooks is taking a break from work and visiting Okinawa to see the sabani races.
Sabani are semi-dugout boats with thick cedar hull planking. While traditional Japanese boats have been disappearing, the sabani made a resurgence due to the interest of wooden boat sailing enthusiasts.
Mr. Brooks studied the construction of this traditional Okinawan boat through an apprenticeship back in 2009/2010. You can read about the boat and the apprenticeship in detail in his book on Japanese Wooden Boatbuilding. There is also a nice write up on the sabani on his website.
Mr. Brooks is only taking a 1-week break, so I imagine we’ll see an update on his blog soon about the ukaibune project. I don’t imagine it will be long before we see the completed boat engaged in cormorant fishing on the Nagara-gawa.