Superstitious social media users in Japan are panicking after a huge volcanic boulder said to have imprisoned a powerful demon has cracked in half.
The infamous, now-broken landmark in the Nasu prefecture of Japan is called Sessho-seki–which translates to "killing stone." The boulder dating back 1,000 years is aptly named from the belief anyone who comes in close contact with it, dies.
A Japanese Twitter user by the name of @Lily0727K shared a photo of the Sessho-seki in its current state and said of her unsettling discovery:
"I feel like I've seen something that shouldn't be seen."
This is what the ancient boulder used to look like, intact.
According to Japanese mythology, the stone was the transformed corpse of Tamamo-no-Mae–a beautiful woman who was exposed to be a nine-tailed demonic fox working for an evil daimyo [feudal war lord] who was planning to usurp Emperor Konoe's throne by killing him.
The targeted Emperor reigned from 1107 to 1123.
The demonic woman was slain by a warrior, and her corpse became the Sessho-seki sealed by a sacred rope called "Shimenawa."
Legend has it, the stone had been exorcised by a Buddhist monk.
And now, here we are.
The boulder was discovered in pieces and its sacred seal torn on March 5–likely from natural weathering and age.
Masaharu Sugawara–a Nasu Kogen Yumoto Guide Club chairman and a tourism volunteer–said of the split stone:
“It’s natural, so it can’t be helped, but it’s a shame because it’s a symbol of the local area."
However, locals are interpreting it as a bad omen and they are convinced that a 1,000-year-old female demoness is now on the loose.
As if we didn't have enough chaos in 2022, people are bracing for the worst yet to come.
One user was optimistic that Tamamo-no-Mae would wreak her havoc elsewhere.
According to Shimotsuke Shimbun, local and national authorities will revisit a conversation about restoring the Sessho-seki but have not officially made a formal decision.