The splitting of a rock in Japan has unleashed a storm of superstition on social media. The legend surrounding the Sessho-seki, or killing stone, says that the boulder harbors an evil spirit. On Sunday, the rock was found split open in two in Nasu, Japan, sparking fear and anxiety among locals and social media users alike who believe the split portends the evil spirit’s escape.
In Japanese mythology, the Sessho-seki is a stone that kills anyone who comes into contact with it. The stone supposedly harbors the ghost of an evil nine-tailed fox, who took the form of a beautiful woman named Tamamo-no-Mae and conspired to assassinate Emperor Toba. After Tamamo-no-Mae was defeated, her mind is believed to be trapped in the Sessho-seki.
Located near volcanic mountains in Nasu, the stone was registered as a historic site in 1957, according to The Guardian. But visitors to the popular landmark this weekend were shocked to find the rock split in two. The rope that was once tied around the murder stone lay on the floor.
“I feel like I saw something that shouldn’t be seen,” wrote one Twitter user while sharing a photo of the rock, which has garnered more than 1.8 lakh ‘likes’.
— Lillian (@Lily0727K) March 5, 2022
While the incident has startled many and sparked conspiracy theories, local authorities have pointed out that the stone had a crack and may have split open as a result of cold weather. Japanese news website Yomiuri Shimbun contacted the Nasu Town tourist information center, which confirmed the rock’s split, saying it may have cracked from rain and freezing temperatures.
“It’s natural so nothing can be done about it, but it’s a shame as it’s a symbol of the local environment,” said one resident.
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