About us

About the Japan Driftological Society

Because Japan is surrounded by the sea, since ancient times, a variety of objects have drifted to its shores.

In 1898, folklorist Kunio Yanagida found a coconut on the beach at Irago. He was deeply moved, and told the writer Shimazaki Toson. This gave rise to one of Japan’s most famous poems, envisaging the coconut’s origin on “some nameless island, far away.”

Even now, while information can travel the world at once, drifted objects take a leisurely “path through the oceans,” just as they did in Yanagida’s day.

If we look at drifted objects closely, we find they contain many messages. Environmental issues, folklore, natural science, creative writing, art… Seen from different perspectives, drifted objects are full of interest.

Throughout Japan, many people are interested in drifted objects and other “beached items.” Likewise, many people enjoy beachcombing. The Japan Driftological Society would like to help people exchange information on drifted objects from all perspectives. The Society is a venue for 21st-century study arising from “grass-roots” networking. Accordingly, rather than prescribing a framework for such diverse interests and studies, the Society aims to freely encompass all fields.

Of course, some people live far from the sea, and hardly ever have time to go beachcombing. That’s no problem – everyone interested is very welcome to join!

[Translation: Emma Longhorn]