Officially called Sessho-seki, this volcanic stone is rumored to contain the mythical Tamomo-no-Mae, also known as the Nine-Tailed Fox.
Now, with frequent downpours eroding the soil, the rock has cracked, sending people into a state of frenzy as they fear the demon has broken free, according to nypost.com.
Sessho-seki is a volcanic rock located in the Nasu Mountains, in the Tochigi Prefecture area. The area is famous for its sulphurous hot springs.
The stone is considered cursed, and Japanese legend has it that anyone who comes into contact with the rock will die. However, this legend is probably related to the fact that next to the artifact there is a source of hydrogen sulfide, which periodically erupted.
According to legend, the stone swallowed an evil demon that looked like a beautiful woman who tried to kill Emperor Toba, who ruled Japan from 1107 to 1123. Since 1957, the stone has been a popular tourist attraction.
According to reports from local sources, the stone did indeed begin to crack a couple of years ago, probably due to weathering.
Now the local authorities are deciding what to do next with the mythical stone and whether it is possible to return it to its original form.