- Ceremony / fox fox mask / Kitsune / Nine-tailed fox / Shinto / Taiko drums / world peace
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The Killing Stone and the Nine-Tailed Fox
As we reported earlier this month, the "Killing Stone" (殺生石 sesshō-seki) in Nasu, Japan, believed to be the transmuted corpse of the wicked nine-tailed fox demoness, 玉藻御前 Tamamo-no-Mae, was found split in half some time around March 5th, 2022.
A depiction of the Nine-Tailed Fox
According to legend, mere contact with the stone is believed to be cursed, leading to hauntings and calamity. Therefore, there was great concern after the stone was discovered split open that the spirit of the nine-tailed fox (九尾狐 kyūbi no kitsune) was now free to wreak havoc throughout the world.
The Killing Stone in Nasu, before and after the split
Ceremony to Appease the Spirit and Pray for World Peace
On March 26th, 2022, in the aim of addressing this grave and unsettling state of affairs, the Nasu Tourist Association which has jurisdiction over the Killing Stone held what they called a "Ceremony to Appease the Spirit of the Nine-Tailed Fox at the Killing Stone in Nasu and Pray for World Peace" (「九尾狐 那須殺生石 慰霊祭並びに平和祈願祭」kyūbi no kitsune nasu seshōseki ireisai oyobi ni heiwa kigan sai)
According to their press release, the ceremony was held in the hope that the splitting of the Killing Stone, instead of being a sign of bad things to come, would instead be a good omen leading to the end of the novel coronavirus pandemic and restoring world peace. Thus through their prayers, they hoped to appeal to the better nature of the nine-tailed fox, as a divine beast originally auspicious in nature.
The ceremony was officiated by priests from the Nasu Yuzen shrine (那須温泉神社 nasu yuzen jinja), and featured drumming by the 白面金毛九尾狐太鼓 hakumen konmō kyūbi no kitsune taiko, literally "white masked golden haired nine-tailed fox taiko drummers."
Nine-Tailed Fox taiko drummers at a previous year's Fire Ceremony
As seen in a post by Twitter user makinot (@makinot119), who attended the ceremony, Kyūbī, a local mascot representing the nine-tailed fox, was also in attendance.
Social Media Campaign
If you currently live or plan to visit Japan before the end of May, you can participate in a social media campaign in which winners selected by lottery will receive awards such as pair tickets to ryokan accommodations in Nasu Kogen, leisure facilities in the Nasu area and Nasu Onsen hot spring resort.
To participate, visit one of the Nasu Tourist Association's social media accounts (QR codes below), follow them, then post a photo you took at the Killing Stone site, along with the hashtags #那須殺生石 (Killing Stone in Nasu) and #九尾の狐伝説那須から平和祈願 (praying for peace from the site of the legendary Nine-Tailed Fox in Nasu).