Yonaki Ishi or Night-crying Stones

 In Japanese folklore, tales are told of yonaki-ishi or night-crying stones. These stones cry loudly at night and it is believe to be because they are possessed by a spirit, usually of someone who has been murdered and is seeking revenge. 

'Night-crying Stone at Sayo Mountain Pass- - Utagawa Hiroshige, 1944.

In one story, a pregnant woman is murdered by a bandit. She dies, but her baby survives. In an attempt to protect the baby, the woman's spirit enters a rock and proceeds to cry each night because of a desire to seek vengeance on her killer. 

Yonakinoishi from the book Konjaku Hyakki Shui - Toriyama Sekien, 1780.


The most famous night-crying stone can be found in Kakegawa.

Image of a night-crying stone from 1929 book about Japanese geography and folk culture (via Wikipedia)

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