The "Torako ishi" 虎子石 (The Stone of Tora.)
The Stone of Tora is associated with a courtesan named "Tora Gozen" – Legend says that her parents where having trouble conceiving so they prayed to the goddess Benzaiten for a child, to which they where given a pebble and a promise that a child would soon be born! As the child grew, the pebble was placed by her bedside and also grew along with her, into a large bolder! - The child grew up and later met "Soga Juro" and his stubborn younger brother "Soga Goro" - [Protagonists from Soga Monogatari. – An epic revenge tale of two brothers out to avenge their father.] At one point In their story, the Soga brothers were attacked near Toras house while trying to lift her stone, her stone shielded them from their enemies weapons. – [note: the mending to the gash in the stone And the dent on the side] - There's a saying associated with the rock that goes something like: "She does love handsome men, if he’s her kind of guy he can lift her very easily, but for others she’s a heavyweight" – it seems juro was able to lift the stone and be sheilded from the villians attacks. – As such, The Tiger stone is also sometimes called "Juro's substitute stone."
– Juro and Tora would later fall in love, but sadly by the end of the story, both brothers die. [They are successful in their revenge at least!!] but Poor Tora is left alone to mourn: Soon, Tora decides to become a wayward nun and prays for the brothers, until the day she dies. The tears she sheds after the death of Juro are often called "Toragaame" or “Tora’s rain" the stone itself is also associated with rainfall in Oiso.
There after; Toras stone became a talisman for pregnancy, protection and a landmark as one of Ōisos power spots! - Today, The Tiger stone is kept at Enryaku-ji Temple and is now brought out annually once a year for the local "Tiger Stone festival" which takes place on the closest weekend to May 28th! - [supposedly the anniversary date of Juro's Death & Revenge.] - It's believed that if you touch (or pet.) the boulder: you will be lucky, have a safe childbirth, or it will give you the guts to fulfill your grandest dreams! – go get em tiger!!
Sticker Art by @Samkalensky (yo, thats me!) - Part of my Night parade of 100 Demons - Yokai & Japanese folklore sticker collection, weather-resistant 4" Glossy sticker. Check my shop & follow @samkalensky for many more! - Inspired by the Ukiyo-e by Utagawa Yoshikazu (1850-1870)