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'. Subscribe