In case 2022 didn’t have enough terrible omens already, an ancient legend from Japanese culture has reared its dreaded head. The Sessho-seki killing stone, said to seal the spirit of a vengeful demon from the outside world, has split in half.
A large volcanic rock said to immediately kill anyone that touches it, the Sessho-seki stone, is deeply embedded in Japanese mythology and is said to be the transformed corpse of the mythological Tamamo-no-Mae. Tamamo-no-Mae was supposedly a beautiful woman whose spirit was possessed by the nine-tailed fox, or kitsune, a demon spirit known for trickery and deception using disguise. Known to answer any question asked of her, Tamamo-no-Mae was part of a plot to seduce and kill Emperor Toba, who fell sick as a result. The fox spirit was exposed and hunted by two mythological warriors, and the spirit embedded itself into the Sessho-seki stone as a last resort, which released a poisonous gas that killed anyone who touched it.
The spirit supposedly haunted the rock, which was registered as a local historical site in 1957, until a Buddhist priest performed rituals to finally make the spirit rest.
Now, it has been reported that the killing stone has split in two, likely as a result of natural erosion. According to the Guardian, the volcanic rock had been observed with cracks in several years ago, likely allowing water in, which helped erode it from the inside.
That hasn’t stopped superstitions running wild, with tourists that have flocked to the demonic rock saying they "feel like they have seen something they shouldn't".
Can’t say we blame them – with how this year is going already, an evil fox-demon running rampant would be par for the course.