To Home
To Top
Chechemeni's Adventure
Contact Us
Online Shop
Bahari Series

News from Studio UMI Inc.

2020 Studio UMI On Line

Vimeo On Demand by Studio UMI

Studio UMI on Vimeo

YouTube Channel of Studio UMI

2016-2019 Filming the project
gHolistic Reenactment Project of the Voyage 30,000 years agoh
(National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan)

Studio UMI, as an official filming team of the project of gHolistic Reenactment Project of the Voyage 30,000 years agoh, covered whole activities of the project --- constructions and test voyage by reed bundle rafts (Yonaguni Island in Okinawa, 2016), bamboo rafts (Taiwan 2017-2018 ), dugout canoe(Japan 2017-2018), and the final experimental voyage by the dugout canoe named gSugimeh from Taiwan to Yonaguni Island in 2019.

October, 2013 Lien Polowat in the Oceanic Culture Museum

The Oceanic Culture Museum, which had undergone renovation for two years, had re-opened on October 12, and the permanent exhibition of the Carolinian traditional voyaging canoe Lien Polowat has started. After the sailing from Polowat to Guam in June, Lien Polowat was dismantled and shipped to Okinawa, and was reassembled in August by the sailors who had also carved the canoe. The Master Navigator Teo Onopey and the seven sailors Aidel Martin, Mariano Benito, Akilino Micky, Andrew Afin, Selvio Ainam, Joel Mario and Siano Rickima showed lashing technique to the visitors when the museum was temporary opened during the summer vacation. Mikey, the late Manny Sikaufs son, and Ward Kranz of TASI, Mario Benito and Kyoko Miyazawa helped their work. Now you can see the beautiful shape of Lien Polowat and watch the videos featuring the construction and the sailing of Lien Polowat in the museum.

June, 2013 Lien Polowat sailed about 500 miles from Polowat to Guam

Carolinian traditional voyaging canoe Lien Polowat left Polowat on June 13, stayed one night at an inhabited island Pik on June 14, left Pik on June 15 and arrived at Guam on June 18. Teo Onopey, the Pwo-ordained Master Navigator and the Chief of Polowat, decided the departure date by observing the weather in traditional way and successfully avoided bad weather. Lien Polowat showed great performance on the open sea, and proved the renowned skills and knowledge of Polowat seafarers. Chief Teo Onopey and the other eight crews Aidel Martin, Mariano Benito, Akilino Micky, Andrew Afin, Selvio Ainam, Joel Mario, Siano Rickima, and Kyoko Miyazawa as a cameraman sailed with the late Manny Sikau in their hearts. Ward Kranz, Kayoko Kushima of TASI (Traditions About Seafaring Islands) collaborated with Studio UMI and contributed a lot in many ways since the beginning of the project. Osamu Monden and Yoshinori Sugiura got on board the chase boat Nien Chuuk and filmed Lien Polowat sailing gracefully and fast around Pik. Mario Benito collaborated with the filming team and contributed as a great bridge between Japanese and Polowat Community. Dr.Larry Cunningham, who had introduced Studio UMI to Manny in 2005, had been encouraging the project members from the States. Studio UMI appreciates for all who had helped the project.

January, 2013 Filming gGreat Voyagersh in Aitutaki, Cook Islands

October, 2012 Carolinian traditional voyaging canoe Lien Polowat launched

Lien Polowat was successfully launched by the master navigator and carver Manny Sikau and Teo Onopey together with the carvers, women and children of Polowat who had contributed to the construction. Manny performed traditional ritual at the launching, and all Polowat community celebrated by sharing food. Manny named the canoe Lien Polowat (beautiful lady of Polowat) to remember all women who had provided food and supported the carvers in many ways during the construction and to express gratitude for them.

March, 2012 Filming the whole process of building Carolinian voyaging canoe started

The Oceanic Culture Museum assigned Studio UMI to coordinate a project of constructing a new Carolinian voyaging canoe on Polowat for the museumfs permanent exhibition and to film the whole process of the canoe construction. Studio UMI and Manny Sikau, the Pwo-ordained Navigator from Polowat, made an agreement to build the canoe in traditional way without any electric power, and only with traditional materials such as coconut fiber ropes, sap from breadfruit, coral lime and local woods. On March 15, the ritual was held by Manny in front of the breadfruit tree that would be a main hull. Chief of Polowat Teo Onopey and many experienced carvers and young carvers will work together.

October, 2010 Upacara Ngaseuk of Baduy in Indonesia

Studio UMI visited Indonesia to research a traditional rice planting ceremony “Upacara Ngaseuk” in Kanekes village, Banten Province.

April, 2010 Making a Marshallese traditional canoe

Studio UMI visited Majuro, Marshall Islands, and started making a TV program ,featuring activities of local NGO "WAM" (Waan Aelon in Majel = Canoes of Marshall Islands). Helped by the master canoe builder, Tiem Clement, we completed the traditional canoe called Korkor. We sailed to Enemanit Island with WAM's members, the trainees, and the director Alson J.Kelen. We witnessed Biorock installed in the underwater of Enemanit.

April, 2010 Yap Day on Guam

Kyoko Miyazawa filmed Yapese traditional dances performed at the site of Yap Day on Guam.

October, 2009 Yap Canoe Festival in Micronesia

Kyoko Miyazawa visited Yap to film the first annual Yap Canoe Festival held in 23-25 October.

March, 2009 Whale Shark, gentle giant in Donsol

Studio UMI made a documentary on “Whale Shark Interaction Tour” in Donsol, Philippines, for NHK's documentary program “Asian Smile”.

October, 2008 Circum-Philippine Sea Small Boat Symposium in Guam

Kyoko Miyazawa and Osamu Monden presented the footage of “Canoes in Daily Life of Ifalik, Micronesia: Torch Fishing for Flying Fish and Kite Fishing”. Also enjoyed “Guam Micronesian Island” Fair at Ypao Beach and mingled with Chamorro artists, TASI's members etc.

August, 2008 Canoes in Madagascar

Osamu Monden and Taku Iida(National Museum of Ethnology) visited Madagascar to research traditional canoes and houses.

May-July,2008 Brilliant Season with Flying fish

Studio UMI filmed traditional fishing activities for flying fish and local believes and legends related to flying fish for NHKfs documentary program. In Lan Yu Island in Taiwan, we followed Austronesian ingenious people Tao whose life are so much depended on flying fish. In Ifalik in Yap State, Micronesia, we covered the traditional torch fishing for flying fish in which islanders use many pieces of torches made of coconut fronds from single outrigger canoes. In West Sulawesi, in Indonesia, we followed Mandar fishermen to Makassar Strait by double outrigger sailing canoe called sandeq and covered their fishing technique using unique fish trap made of bamboo, coconut leaves and seaweed. And in South Sulawesi(Galesong) in Indonesia, we covered the whole process of catching flying fishfs eggs for export.

June, 2007

The English version DVD of documentary film “Chechemenifs adventure” now on sale !

Documentary film “Chechemeni's adventure” features a 3,000 km canoe expedition from Satawal Island to Okinawa done in 1975 by Chechemeni, a Calolinian traditional canoe, and 6 courageous sailors including famous captain, Reppwanglug. Traditional Seafaring Society (TSS) of Guam University helped us to translate English subtitles. See & Order.

Feburary, 2007 GM fish and aquaculture of coral
Studio UMI filmed genetically modified fish, Medaka, in Taiwan, and net-fishing as an alternative to dynamite fishing and successful coral culture and its trade in Indonesia. The related documentary “Where Do the Ornamental Fish Come From?” in DVD “Asia's Ocean 1 Poison and Bombs” is available from Online shop on this web.

June, 2006 Pwo Ceremony in Micronesia
Studio UMI visited Polowat(Puluwat) Island in Micronesia to film traditional Pwo ceremony.
The Pwo ceremony recognized 13 men as a master navigator.
See “Extra No.01 Traditional Navigation in Micronesia”.

Feburary, 2006 Sabani building started
Osamu Monden filmed a whole process of building “sabani”, a traditional wooden boat of Okinawa.
See “Bahari Series No.03”.

August, 2005 Fisherman draws his own world
Studio UMI started to make an animation with more than 1,000 pieces of pencil sketches drawn by former fisherman in Okinawa, Hisao Yamashiro. The animation tells a story of Okinawan fishermen's activities in 1950's, especially about their long voyage to South East Asia and diving for shells. See “Bahari Series No.03”.

May, 2005 Surprising islands in Dubai
Studio UMI filmed an under construction site of “The Palm” (Palm Jumeirah and Palm Deira) in Dubai with an assistance of Nakheel.

March, 2005 Documentary film gExpedition to K2h revived
Documentary film featuring Japanese first and successful expedition to K2 (1997) in the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan was revived in the format of DVD and now on sale(only Japanese version is available from Online shop).

April, 2004 When a fisherman throws bomb---Dynamite fishing in Indonesia
Kyoko Miyazawa followed Indonesian fishermen and filmed dynamite fishing operation which was done for Indonesian local consumption and cyanide fishing operation for ornamental fish. You can watch this documentary DVD “Asia's Ocean 1 Poison and Bombs” that is available from Online shop on this web.

September, 2003 Dolphin hunters in Papua New Guinea
Osamu Monden encountered a school of dolphin that came to the seashore while his stay in New Ireland Island in Papua New Guinea, and filmed villager's dolphin hunting. See “Bahari Series No.01”.

May, 2003 “Bahari”\new challenge to create something
Studio UMI started producing an independent documentary DVD series named “Bahari: A Look at People, Ocean and Forests”.

March, 2002 One month with Moken
Team of Studio UMI filmed a life of Moken, a so called sea nomad or sea gypsy, in Mergui Archipelagos in Myanmar. At the same time, underwater fishing for sea cucumber by Myanmar's fishermen was also documented.

August, 2001 Sandeq Race 2001
Studio UMI filmed “Sandeq Race 2001”, the longest, hardest and fastest race for traditional fishing boats done by Mandar fishermen. This documentation includes the preparation of “sandeq”, religious rites for safe race, villager's daily life, fishing operation with sandeq, besides the race itself.

May, 2001 Dhow Race in Dubai
Kyoko Miyazawa filmed a traditional dhow sailing race in Dubai called “Sir Bu Naair Dhow Race”.

November, 2000 Dhow in Indian Ocean
Michinoku Traditional Wooden Boat Museum published a beautiful photo collection which is full of precious photographs of dhow and Arabian seafarers taken by Osamu Monden since 1978.
For more information,please contact to

November, 1998 Voyage with Dhow
Osamu Monden's reportage book “Umi no rakuda” (camel of sea) was republished. This book tells his voyages in Indian Ocean on board an Arabian sailing vessel, dhow, from Mombasa to Dubai in 1978.
For more information,please contact to