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Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region

Located 60 km off the western coast of Kyushu island, the island of Okinoshima is an exceptional example of the tradition of worship of a sacred island. The archaeological sites that have been preserved on the island are virtually intact, and provide a chronological record of how the rituals performed there changed from the 4th to the 9th centuries AD. In these rituals, votive objects were deposited as offerings at different sites on the island. Many of them are of exquisite workmanship and had been brought from overseas, providing evidence of intense exchanges between the Japanese archipelago, the Korean Peninsula and the Asian continent. Integrated within the Grand Shrine of Munakata, the island of Okinoshima is considered sacred to this day.

Criteria for inclusion as a World Heritage Site

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iiTo exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design. All
iiiTo bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared. All

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About the source: UNESCO

Within UNESCO's broad remit, this specialised agency of the UN works towards international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage, designating venues of exceptional value as World Heritage Sites.