Based on the mythology of the Sessho-seki or ‘killing stone,’ it is said to contain the spirit of a beautiful woman, Tamamo-no-Mae.
After a famous volcanic rock locally known as a ‘killing stone‘ was found split in two in Japan, superstitious believers have taken to social media to share their worries about a legendary evil spirit being freed. Ancient Japanese and Chinese folklore know this spirit as a nine-tailed fox that shapeshifts into the form of a beautiful and mystical woman.
Based on the mythology of the Sessho-seki or ‘killing stone,’ it is said to contain the spirit of a famous and fearsome courtesan called Tamamo-no-Mae. Tamamo-no-Mae was known in China during the Shang dynasty, in Maghada of Tianzu (the historical East Asian name for India), and Japan in its Edo period after having ended several emperors in an impressive reign of terror across Asia in her time.
Tamamo-no-Mae eventually became the most favoured courtesan of Emperor Toba of Japan because of her beauty and intelligence, and she formulated a plot to kill the emperor with the help of a feudal landlord. Her plan was foiled by the royal astrologer who exposed who she really was, and she fled for her life.
Legend says that the fox spirit then embedded herself into a stone in Tochigi near Tokyo. It is believed that the rock was destroyed many years ago and the spirit was exorcised by a Buddhist monk, who later scattered pieces of the rock across Japan. However, many people believe that the spirit’s home is still on the slopes of the volcano, Mount Nasu. Superstition has it that it would prove fatal to anyone who comes in contact with the stone.
Visitors who spotted the split stone shared the story of their terrifying moments online. “I came alone to Sessho-seki, where the legend of the nine-tailed fox remains. The big rock in the middle wrapped around with a rope is that …It was supposed to be, but the rock was split in half and the rope was also detached. If it’s a manga, it’s a pattern that the seal is broken and it’s possessed by the nine-tailed fox, and I feel like I’ve seen something that shouldn’t be seen,” reads the translation of the tweet in Japanese.
According to local reports, the stone could have split in half after rainwater got into its cracks that appeared several years ago, leading it to break. Local and national government officials will decide what happens to the stone now, as per The Guardian report citing The Shimotsuke Shimbun newspaper. One of the officials was quoted as saying that he would like it returned to its original form.
Perhaps Tamamo-no-Mae should make her way to Russia instead.
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