On March 5th, 2022, you have felt an ominous chill. If you were left wondering why, that's because on that day Japan's famous "Killing Stone", the Sessho-seki (殺生石) in Tochigi prefecture broke.

According to some interpretations of folklore, the stone was believed to have imprisoned the nine-tailed fox demoness, Tamamo-no-Mae (and even been her transmuted corpse), and superstition said that those who came into direct contact with the stone would be cursed, haunted, and even doomed to death. As you can imagine, the breaking of the stone caused worry that the nine-tailed fox demoness was now free to unleash her wickedness on the world.

One company in Japan seems to have greatly benefited from the liberation of the nine-tailed fox demoness, however. That company would be Japanese instant noodle king Nissin, and in particular, their Donbei brand. The brand tweeted out that thanks to the breaking of the Killing Stone, their "Saikyou Donbei" (Strongest Donbei) noodles skyrocketed in sales!

The demoness-blessed noodles in question:

(c) grape Japan

Now why would that be? It all comes back to some convenient timing and Japanese naming. One of Donbei's popular instant noodle flavors is kitsune udon, which is udon noodles topped with aburaage, which are sweet, deep-fried tofu pouches--pictured below.

The kitsune udon gets its name from a folktale that says that foxes enjoy aburaage--as "kitsune" means "fox" in Japanese. With Donbei releasing their Saikyou Donbei Kitsune Udon on March 28th, just weeks after the stone's breaking, you can see why they feel indebted to the legendary nine-tailed fox spirit as they've been interpreted as an offering to her. Donbei announced in the Tweet that they would dedicate the noodles to the them as a token of gratitude.

Many on Twitter were pleased by the turn of events, with some even speculating eating the noodles might bring good luck now:

"Wonderful! I am sure the nine-tailed fox spirit will be pleased."

"This is truly the "strongest" (saikyou) dedication!"

"That was great timing."

By - grape Japan editorial staff.