As if 2022 didn’t already have enough bad omens, an ancient Japanese mythology has reared its dreadful head. The Sessho-seki death stone, which was thought to imprison the spirit of a vengeful demon from the outer world, has cracked in half.
The Sessho-seki stone, a gigantic volcanic rock supposed to instantly kill anyone who touches it, is firmly rooted in Japanese mythology and is said to be the transformed corpse of the fabled Tamamo-no-Mae. Tamamo-no-Mae was a beautiful woman whose spirit was possessed by the nine-tailed fox, or kitsune, a demon spirit notorious for deception and treachery through disguise.
Tamamo-no-Mae, who was known to answer any question asked of her, was involved in a scheme to seduce and assassinate Emperor Toba, who became ill as a result. Two mythological warriors uncovered and hunted the fox spirit, and as a last resort, the spirit lodged itself into the Sessho-seki stone, which produced a poisonous gas that killed anybody who touched it.
The spirit was said to haunt the rock, which was designated as a local historical landmark in 1957, until a Buddhist priest performed rites that eventually put the spirit to rest.
It has since been claimed that the killing stone has broken in two, most likely due to natural erosion. According to the Guardian, fissures in the volcanic rock were discovered several years ago, perhaps allowing water through and allowing it to deteriorate from the inside.
That hasn’t prevented superstitions from raging, with travelers flocking to the demonic rock claiming to have “seen something they shouldn’t have.”
We can’t blame them – with the way this year has been going, an evil fox-demon roaming rampant would be expected.