Okinoshima: The Shosoin of the Sea

The tiny island of Okinoshima is considered to enshrine the Munakata deities, three sisters who control the Genkai Sea between Kyushu and the Korean peninsula, an essential crossing between Japan and the continent in ancient times. Simon Kaner is on the International Expert Panel for the bid to have the sacred island of Okinoshima and associated sites of the Munkata region inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage. Okinoshima is Japan’s candidate for inscription in 2017 (each country can nominate just one site from its Tentative List each year). In preparation for this, many detailed research papers were commissioned by the Fukuoka Prefecture World Heritage Promotion Committee (all available online in both English and Japanese). In 2016 we organised a special session at the 8th World Archaeology Congress. An accessible introductory volume Okinoshima: the outstanding value of Japan’s sacred heritage – a World Heritage nomination by Simon Kaner, Natasha Hutcheson and Nishitani Tadashi will be published by Springer Briefs in 2017.