A mythological “killing stone” believed to contain the evil spirit of a nine-tailed fox was found split open, causing a frenzy of superstition and horror as locals and internet users believe that an evil spirit has escaped.
The “killing stone,” known as Sessho-seki in Japanese, is a boulder located near volcanic mountains in Nasu, Japan. In 1957, the stone was registered as a historical site and became a popular sightseeing spot for tourists.
According to Japanese mythology, the stone contained the spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae, an evil nine-tailed fox with the ability to transform into a beautiful woman. After attempting to kill Emperor Toba in a secret plot, her spirit was banished and trapped within the Sessho-seki stone.
The “killing stone”’s name refers to a legend that says the stone continues to emit poisonous gas, thus killing anyone who comes into contact with it.
After seeing that the stone had split into two almost equal parts, tourists were horrified and uploaded photos of the stone on social media, leading many internet users and locals to believe that the evil spirit had managed to escape.
Twitter user @Lily0727K described seeing the split rock in a post, explaining how the rope surrounding the rock had become detached and was laying on the ground. Another Twitter user commented that the split rock looks like “a broken fox.”
Local authorities and the Nasu Town Tourist Information Center confirmed that the rock had split sometime this month but indicated that it had already contained a crack, suggesting that the split was a result of cold temperatures and rain.
Local and national government officials will hold a meeting to discuss next steps to address the split stone. A Nasu tourism official told Japanese newspaper Shimotsuke Shimbun that he hopes to see the stone restored back to its original state.