Were you wondering why things weren’t exactly going to plan in 2022? Well…
Some slightly foreboding news here – an ancient Japanese stone said to contain the essence of an evil spirit that kills anyone who comes into contact with it was found split in two last week, releasing the demon into the world of the living.
Japanese social media has been awash with bad omens and predictions this week after Sessho-seki, or killing stone, was discovered to have cracked in half. According to the mythology reported by the Guardian, the stone contains the transformed corpse of Tamamo-no-Mae, a beautiful woman who had been part of a secret plot hatched by a feudal warlord to kill Emperor Toba, who ruled Japan from 1107-1123.
Legend has it that her true identity was an evil nine-tailed fox whose spirit was imprisoned in a hunk of lava by a warrior, thus creating the killing stone found in the sulphurous area of Tochigi prefecture near Tokyo.
The boulder’s split is roughly in two halves. Local media say cracks had appeared in the rock, which has been registered as a historical site, several years ago, allowing the potential for rainwater to weaken its structure.
Twitter user @Lily0727K claimed to be the person who first discovered the stone split in two and had a slightly more superstitious view. In a translated Twitter post that has over 186,000 likes, she said: “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.
“I searched through tweets and looked at photos that appeared to have been taken within the last day or two,” she continued, “but none of the rocks were broken. I’m really starting to get scared.”
Meanwhile, the head of a local volunteer guide group that operates tours in the area said it was a “shame” the boulder had split because it was a symbol of the area but concluded that it was purely a natural event. Local officials will now discuss the fate of the stone and whether it can be resorted to its original form, but is it now too late to reseal its fiendish tenant? Only time will tell.