When it was whole, the stone took pride of place on the slope of Mount Nasu. But now the gigantic ancient Japanese rock believed to contain a 1000 year old demon fox spirit has split in half.
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Some think a large stone in Japan that is perceived to contain the spirit of a thousand-year-old demonic fox has cracked in two.
A visitor to Mount Nasu, a picturesque area in Japan’s Tochigi prefecture an hour from Tokyo, photographed the Sesshoseki, which translates to “Killing Stone” in two pieces.
“I came alone to Sesshoseki, place of the nine-tailed fox legend. The big rock in the middle wrapped around with rope is where it was supposed to be, but the rock was split in half, and the rope detached,” Lilian, a Twitter user, shared a photo of the rock in two halves.
“If this were a manga, it would mean that the seal is broken by the nine-tailed fox. I feel like I’ve seen something that shouldn’t be seen.”
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The original message was retweeted over 84,000 times and generated Twitter discussion threads about paranormal occurrences in Japan.
“There were already signs that the fox might escape in February,” one Japanese Twitter user responded to the initial message, noting a photo of a blazing sunset over Mount Fuji with cloud formations that seemed to assume the appearance of a fox’s tail.
When it was whole, the stone took pride of place on the slope of Mount Nasu.
According to mythology, the “Killing Stone” contained the spirit of the evil fox Tamamo-no-Mae. The spirit’s tragic path of mayhem is traced in legends all over Asia. During the Muromachi and Edo periods, legends existed of a fox disguised as Da Ji, a Chinese courtesan, and reappearing as a favorite consort of Emperor Toba, Japan’s 74th Emperor.
Nine-tailed foxes are popular motifs in Japanese folklore and have featured on woodblock prints and other traditional Japanese artworks.
However, the stone could have fractured for less spectacular reasons. Locals dwelling near the stone informed Japanese news site Shimotsuki that fissures in the granite had been accumulating for years, crediting the boulder’s demise to wear and tear from the weather.