Anybody familiar with the Japanese legend Sessho-seki or the “killing stone,” should be alarmed following reports earlier this week the volcanic rock has recently split in two. Legend has it that the rock holds the spirit Tamamo-no Mae, a nine-tailed, deadly and immortal fox, responsible for the demise of ancient dynasties across Asia.
The volcanic rock is located in Nasu, a town known for its sulphuric hot springs, located in the Tochigi prefecture about a two-hour train ride away from Tokyo. Tourists love the area, and the stone is often used as a tourist attraction.
Visitors to the site in recent years were however less thrilled by the fractured stone.
“I feel like I’ve seen something I shouldn’t see,”A Japanese tweet was read along with a photo showing the sulphuric rocks split in half. “I’m getting really scared.”
According to mythology from ancient Japan, Tamamo-no-Mae appeared first in China in 1000 B.C. She was a beautiful woman. She was made the queen of the Shang Dynasty emperor and, through her seduction, led him to misrule his subjects. Her tricks ultimately led to the demise of the Shang Dynasty.
Magadha was an ancient kingdom in India that she reappeared as a wife to a prince. She tricked him into killing thousands.
Tamamo no-Mae finally made her way to Japan. She served in ancient Kyoto’s Imperial Court, and the emperor eventually fell in love with her. Due to her influence, the Emperor grew increasingly sick until a mystic recognized her and drove her out Kyoto.
The Imperial Court sent an army to Nasu with 80,000 soldiers to combat the rumour that a nine-tailed Fox was abducting young girls and women in the Nasu district.
Kazusa Hirotsune, a samurai named Kazusa Hirotsune defeated her and made her body a toxic rock which killed all who were near it.
Hundreds of years later, around 1300, a monk approached the rock after purifying his body and soul in the nearby hot springs, chanted a powerful sutra, and divided the rock, weakening its deadly powers.
Many stones from Japan have been called Sessho-seki. However, the one in Nasu today has been identified as the primary one. In 1957, it was registered as a historic site with a shrine to the nine-tailedfox.
Future of the fractured “killing stone”Japanese officials are discussing this issue, although locals hope the stone will be preserved and kept in Nasu. Guardian reported.