Friday October 19, 2018

Japan’s men-only Ancient Religious Site Okinoshima (Fukuoka) up for World Heritage status

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Japan's men-only Ancient Religious Site Okinoshima (Fukuoka) up for World Heritage status, Wikimedia
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Tokyo May 6, 2017: A Unesco advisory body has recommended adding Japan’s island of Okinoshima, a men-only ancient religious site in Fukuoka prefecture, to its World Heritage list, cultural authorities announced on Saturday.

The advisory body, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), notified Japan of its decision late Friday night, The Japan Times quoted the authorities as saying.

It is likely to be endorsed at a meeting of the Unesco World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland, in July.

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If approved as recommended, the island, which is part of the prefecture’s Munakata region, will be the 17th set of Japanese cultural assets to be granted World Heritage status.

Including natural heritage items and sites, the addition will see the total number of Japanese assets on the list rise to 21.

Okinoshima still follow strict taboos from ancient times, including the controversial ban on women from entering the island, reports The Japan Times.

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Men setting foot on the island are first required to strip all clothes and perform a cleansing ritual.

It was also the site of numerous rituals involving prayers for the safety of ships and successful exchanges with the people of the Korean Peninsula and China between the fourth and ninth centuries.

Some 80,000 artefact brought as gifts from overseas have been uncovered on the island, including gold rings from the Korean Peninsula and glass cup fragments believed to have come from Persia.

These items have all been designated as national treasures. (IANS)

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Japan Sees Unexpected Cherry Blossoms

Japan was this year hit by a series of typhoons

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Cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms bloom unexpectedly in Japan. Flickr

Some of Japan’s famed cherry blossoms, also known as sakura, have bloomed unexpectedly this autumn, according to weather experts.

The famous pink and white flowers are typically visible for about two weeks in the spring – a phenomenon tourists from around the world come to witness, the BBC reported.

But more than 300 people have reported cherry blossoms in their neighbourhood in October, according to meteorological company Weathernews.

cherry blossoms
Sakura Flowers. Flickr

The experts have said a series of typhoons could have contributed to the phenomenon.

“This has happened in the past, but I don’t remember seeing something of this scale,” Hiroyuki Wada, a tree doctor at the Flower Association of Japan told public broadcaster NHK on Thursday.

Japan was this year hit by a series of typhoons, including Typhoon Jebi – the strongest storm to hit the country in a quarter of a century.

Also Read: Japanese Major Canon Unveils its First Full-Frame Mirror less Camera

Typhoon Jebi killed at least 10 people and caused widespread destruction.