Killing Stone splitsBy RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind
I went through the whole two-year pandemic without even a cold. They revert it back to an epidemic last week, and this week I get sinusitis. My head feels like it is going to explode and writing makes me dizzy. Classic infected sinuses. But when I saw this news article I had to write about it. Maybe there is a connection to my sinusitis. Who knows.
News has come out that Japan’s ‘killing stone’ splits in two. Legend has it there is an evil spirit trapped in the Sessho-seki stone. Now we have to wonder, what happens now that the stone is broken?
According to the mythology, the Sessho-seki, or killing stone, the object contains the transformed corpse of Tamamo-no-Mae. Tamamo-no-Mae was a beautiful woman who had been part of a secret plot hatched by a feudal warlord to kill Emperor Toba, who reigned from 1107-1123. Legend says her true identity was an evil nine-tailed fox whose spirit is embedded in the hunk of lava, located in an area of Tochigi prefecture, near Tokyo, famous for its sulfurous hot springs.
The rock separation into two roughly equal parts, which occurred within the past few days, has spooked people, according to folklore, the stone continually spews poisonous gas – hence its name. While the stone was said to have been destroyed, and its spirit exorcised by a Buddhist monk who scattered its pieces across Japan, many Japanese prefer to believe that its home is on the slopes of Mount Nasu.
Others have speculated that the demon spirit of Tamamo-no-Mae had been resurrected. Local media said cracks had appeared in the rock several years ago, possibly allowing rainwater to seep inside and weaken its structure. The stone, which was registered as a local historical site in 1957, was mentioned in Matsuo Basho’s seminal work The Narrow Road to the Deep North and has inspired a Noh play, a novel, and an anime film.
Masaharu Sugawara, the head of a local guide group, told the Yomiuri Shimbun it was a shame the stone had split because it was a symbol of the area but agreed that nature had simply taken its course. Local and national government officials will meet to discuss the stone’s fate, according to the Shimotsuke Shimbun. The newspaper quoted a Nasu tourism official as saying he would like to see the Sessho-seki restored to its original form – presumably with its demonic inhabitant sealed within.
Now I am going to take a nap and take more medicine.