There was a scene Tanjiro practiced swordplay in a mountain and slashed a big rock.
It actually exists in real life although the story is a fiction.
I went to the location this time, so I introduce you the place with its history!
Access to Rock of Demon Slayer (Ittoseki)
Yagyu Village, where rock of Demon Slayer exists, is located in the northeastern part of Nara Prefecture.
It is about 15-16 km away from the city center of Nara.
There is no train service, so you will need to take a bus or cab for transportation.
By bus, it takes about one hour from JR Nara Station or Kintetsu Nara Station.
The fare is about $6.5 (950 yen).
Take a bus bound for Yagyu (100), Ishiuchi (94), or Ochi Nakamura (102) at platform 16 at the west exit of JR Nara Station or platform 4 at Kintetsu Nara Station.
It will take 45 to 60 minutes to arrive at the Yagyu bus stop, where you will get off.
Take right on the road in front of the bus stop and turn right at the Imagawa Bridge on Route 369.
Walk for about 5 minutes and you will arrive at the municipal parking lot.
Walk up the stone steps right next to the parking lot and follow the signs to Ittoseki(一刀石).
This Ittoseki is the model of the boulder in Demon Slayer.
Amanoiwatate Shrine (Training Ground for Yagyu Clan)
After climbing the stone steps beside the municipal parking lot and following the signs on the mountain path for about 15 minutes, I first arrived at the Amanoiwatate Shrine.
The area around this shrine is said to be the training ground of the Yagyu clan.
Beyond the torii gate is a large stone.
It is a very splendid stone.
There are three giant stones, Mae-fuseiwa, Mae-tateiwa, and Ato-tateiwa, which are the sacred stones of Amanoishitate Shrine.
I mistook this stone for Ittoseki of Demon Slayer and took a picture of it, and almost went back.
The actual Ittoseki was located further ahead.
This stone is said to have fallen down to this place when Amano-Tajikarao-no-mikoto pulled open Ama-no-Iwato (the Gate of Heavenly Rock) in Takamanohara (the Plain of Heaven) with too much force.
This stone was the door stone of Ama-no-Iwato, which is derived from Japanese mythology.
There are various theories about the location of Takamagahara, such as Chiba and Ibaraki, as well as Kyushu, but in any case, it seems that Amano-Tajikarao-no-mikoto must have been a man of great strength to throw the door all the way down here with so much force.
To be honest, I was already very satisfied just by seeing this rock.
Model of Rock which Tanjiro of Demon Slayer Slashed
Now that I had taken a picture of the Ittoseki, I was ready to go back, but then I saw a sign.
It said “Ittouseki 65m”.
If I hadn’t noticed, I would have gone back without care!
So I walked a few dozen meters further and found Ittoiseki!
Oh, yes, the boulder that appeared in Demon Slayer was like this.
Well, it might have been more rounded boulder.
It is said that this rock had been slashed by Muneyoshi Yagyu (Sesshusai), the founder of Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.
Yagyu Shinkage Ryu is one of the famous ancient sword styles in the Sengoku period.
When he fought against a Tengu (Japanese Yoakai) he thought he could slash the Tengu but it was a rock.
Just slashing split the rock?
Looks like both Muneyoshi Yagyu and Amano-Tajikarao-no-mikoto were very strong and powerful.
In practical terms, it may be deduced that the Ittoseki was broken by the impact of the fall from the Toiwa Mountain, or that the water that permeated the crevices of the stone froze and expanded in winter, causing the stone to crack.
I think the most famous member of the Yagyu family is probably Yagyu Jubei.
He was the eldest son of Munenori Yagyu, the fifth son of Muneyoshi Yagyu.
Munenori Yagyu was recognized by Tokugawa Ieyasu and became the instructor of swordsmanship for Tokugawa Hidetada and Tokugawa Iemitsu.
And the eldest son of Munenori was Jubei Yagyu.
Yagyu Shinkage Ryu was created by Muneyoshi Yagyu as a sword of peace to protect people during the Sengoku period, when the main focus of swordsmanship was to kill others.
Muneyoshi passed down his teachings as “Katsujin Ken,” a sword that does not kill, but rather protect people.
The oath not to kill in Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin) may have been based on this Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.
Incidentally, in front of the Ittoiseki, there was also a stand for iphone and a plastic imitation sword.
I was brought back to reality at once but it is useful for taking commemorative photos, isn’t it.
Why this Rock Ittoseki is Model of Demon Slayer?
Actually, there are a few other models of Rock of Demon Slayer in Japan.
Especially, Ryu no Wariishi (竜の割石) in Nagano Prefecture is famous.
Rather, if I just take the shape into consideration, this Ryu no Wariishi is closer to the rock appeared in Demon Slayer than Ittoseki.
Still, I presume that the author would use Ittoseki as a model.
Because Yagyu clan in Yagyu Village is famous as strong samurai family.
They practiced sword in the mountain where ittoseki is located.
Plus, when Tanjiro slushed Sabito, he turned into rock with a crack.
This is like a story of Muneyoshi slushed Tengu but it was a rock after all.
Background is similar although the shape itself may not be so close.
If you wanna enjoy historical samurai place at the same time, I recommend you Yagyu Village in Nara Prefecture where Ittoseki exists.
The village is calm and peaceful, so I wanted to stay a couple of days if time permits.
Other than Ittoseki, there were graves of Yagyu family, Yagyu cafe and Masakizakakenzen Dojo where you can experience Yagyu Shinkage Ryu.
I actually didn’t know well about this place other than Yagyu family before I visit but I could learn the history of Yagyu deeper.
If you have a chance to visit Nara Prefecture, I recommend you to drop by this Yagyu Village, too as it is about an hour-ride by bus from the center of Nara city.
491 Yagyushimocho, Nara-shi, Nara