Japanese island with one resident becomes world heritage site

A Shinto priest sweeping at an ancient shrine in Okinoshima, an island in Fukuoka prefecture, on Friday. Okinoshima, which is located between Japan and Korea, will be officially designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site next month, as it is one of t
PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

A Shinto priest sweeping at an ancient shrine in Okinoshima, an island in Fukuoka prefecture, on Friday. Okinoshima, which is located between Japan and Korea, will be officially designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site next month, as it is one of the few places in East Asia that preserves the sites of ancient maritime rituals.The island is currently inhabited by a solitary Shinto priest and the public cannot enter the island. On occasion, men are allowed on the island to participate in Shinto rituals, and only after a washing ritual in the ocean.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'Japanese island with one resident becomes world heritage site'. Print Edition | Subscribe