TOKYO (Sept. 15, 2005) -- On a remote, wooded island 470 miles offthe coast of Chile, Japanese explorer Daisuke Takahashi believes he hasfound the location of the hut where Scottish privateer AlexanderSelkirk, who likely inspired the Daniel Defoe classic "RobinsonCrusoe," lived during the four years and four months he was marooned onthe island 300 years ago.
Intrigued by the question of how a lone man could adapt to survivein such an unfamiliar environment, Takahashi wanted to find where andhow Selkirk lived while stranded on the South Pacific island now knownas Robinson Crusoe from 1704 to 1709. Aided by an islander'srecollection of a dwelling high up on an abandoned trail, Takahashi andhis international team, funded by the National Geographic Society'sExpeditions Council, began excavations. The most telling evidence thatTakahashi found to link Selkirk to the site was a small blue tip fromcopper navigational dividers, a tool commonly used by sailors of theperiod and almost certainly belonging to Selkirk.
The story of Takahashi's discovery is chronicled in the October 2005issue of National Geographic magazine, which is published in 27local-language editions, including Spanish and Japanese.
Takahashi, 38, graduated with a bachelor's degree in politicalscience from Tokyo's Meiji University in 1990 and worked in advertisingfor over a decade while also pursuing his love for exploration. Aprofessional author and explorer since 2003, he has taken part innumerous expeditions around the world, including to the Sahara Desert,Amazon rain forest, Galápagos Islands, Antarctica, Yemen, Oman, Israel,Russia's Sakhalin Island, Australia, Micronesia and Tahiti.
Takahashi is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in Londonand The Explorers Club in New York. He is the author of the book "InSearch of Robinson Crusoe."
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