Okinoshima Alone Set to Make World Cultural Heritage List


Tokyo, May 5 (Jiji Press)—A UNESCO advisory body has made a recommendation to put the island of Okinoshima, an ancient religious site in Japan, on the World Heritage list, the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency said Friday.

But the International Council on Monuments and Sites, or ICOMOS, rejected the Japanese government's request for inscription in the heritage list of other religious monuments in the Munakata region of Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

Okinoshima's listing is likely to be endorsed at a meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland, in July. The endorsement will mark the seventeenth inclusion of a Japanese asset in the UNESCO cultural heritage list and the twenty-first in the overall list including natural heritage sites.

The Japanese government had requested the screening by ICOMOS of its request for heritage listing of a set of religious sites in the region on the two remote islands of Okinoshima and Ōshima, both lie between the Korean Peninsula and Kyūshū, one of the four major islands of Japan, and in Kyūshū-side areas in the cities of Munakana and Fukutsu.

On Okinoshima sits Okitsu-miya Shrine, part of Munakata Grand Shrine. Meanwhile, Ōshima has Nakatsu-miya Shrine and a district in Munakata on mainland Kyūshū Hetsu-miya Shrine, both of which are also part of the grand shrine. Among the remaining assets is the Shinbaru-Nuyama tumulus complex, burial ground for the Munakata clan, which presided over the religious rituals in the region.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

World Heritage UNESCO Jiji Press Fukuoka