The sacred Japanese island, Okinoshima, was recently added to UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage Site list. While the island itself is certainly stunning, there’s one catch to UNESCO’s latest addition – women are not allowed to visit the sacred island for reasons that are not entirely understood.
Historically, Okinoshima is considered to be a kami within the Shinto faith. Kami is understood to be any god-like entity that is complex or awe-inspiring. They can found within nature, people, or even the afterlife.
Okinoshima’s geographical characteristics most likely contributed to it becoming a revered location for the Japanese people. Archeological evidence on the island reveals valuable information on the evolution of Shinto rituals through the years, helping scientists better understand the religion itself as well as its contribution to society.