Thursday, July 13, 2017

Japanese sacred island where women are banned gets Unesco world heritage listing

"A sacred island in south-west Japan that bans women and where male visitors must strip naked before going ashore has been declared a Unesco world heritage site.

"Okinoshima, located midway between the south-western main island of Kyushu and the Korean peninsula, was once the site of rituals to pray for maritime safety and a centre for relations with China and Korea that stretch back as far as the fourth century.

"The reason for the ban on women has never been publicly stated, but one theory – which extends to other aspects of Japanese culture – cites the Shinto belief that menstrual blood is impure."

Japanese sacred island where women are banned gets Unesco world heritage listing - Okinoshima, located midway between the south-western main island of Kyushu and the Korean peninsula, is home to a 17th century shrine. By Justin McCurry, 9 July 2017 Guardian

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