Has a Fox Demon Spirit Been Released After Japan’s Mythic ‘Killing Stone’ Split in Half?

The split 'Killing Stone' Sessho-seki.

Japan's 1,000-year-old 'Killing Stone,' which is said to contain an ancient demon, has cracked open. (Image: Miyuki Meinaka via Wikimedia Commons)

Japan’s 1,000-year-old “Killing Stone,” which is said to contain an ancient demon, has cracked open. This mysterious ancient rock is said to have an evil demon trapped inside. It has split into two after allegedly housing the terrifying spirit for almost a thousand years. 

Where is the ‘killing stone’ located?

This killing stone in Japan is known as Sessho-seki. It is located in the mountainous region of Tochigi, north of Tokyo, Japan, near a hot spring and set into volcanic mountains. According to mythology, the volcanic rock contains the nine-tailed fox known as Tamomo no Mae. It is one of the most powerful yōkai that has ever lived. Her magical abilities were matched only by her trickiness and lust for power. 

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It was believed that a Buddhist monk destroyed the rock many years ago and exorcised the spirit, scattering it all over Japan. But because the stone was found split in two by a tourist, it was said that the evil spirit may have been resurrected and released a poisonous gas, being a bad omen to the locals.

The entrance to the sessho-seki tourist site and shrine.
The entrance to the Sessho-seki tourist site and shrine. (Image: katorisi via Wikimedia Commons)

Now the ‘killing stone’ is destroyed, will it release a demon?

This mystical landmark has become famous, with many people visiting it. On March 5, 2022, the stone was found split in half. It is believed that once someone comes in contact with the stone, it may kill them. Believers were stressed, as they knew that the stone breaking in half could indicate that something terrible would happen. The stone is also believed to be the transformed corpse of a beautiful woman who was exposed to be the nine-tailed fox that worked for an evil daimyo who once planned to kill the Japanese Emperor, Toba. 

On the other hand, the stone may have been broken from being exposed to water and freezing temperatures. The chairman of the Nasu Kogen Yumoto Guide Club said: “It’s natural, so it can’t be helped, but it’s a shame because it’s a symbol of the local area”. (Yomiuri).

A depiction of the fox demon Tamomo no Mae at the site of the death stone.
‘The Death Stone of Nasu Moor.’ (Image: Yoshitoshi via Wikimedia Commons)

The stone’s area is surrounded by volcanic rock and poisonous gases, such as hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide. Nearby, you will see the shrine dedicated to a nine-tailed fox, which is part of the local’s attempt to gratify the spirit of the beautiful woman. Despite the famous myth, the place is still as peaceful as ever, and people like to go there for the fascinating Japanese spirit and the usual tourist spot they have always known.

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