The mysterious stone, “Ittoseki” passes down the legend of battle between a master of swordplay and a Tengu

The stone, Ittoseki is located at Amanotateiwa Shrine in Yagyu, Nara. This stone is known as a strangely shaped rock that passes down the legend of battle between Yagyu Sekishusai, a master of swordplay, and a Tengu (Japanese long-nosed goblin). It is said that the stone appeared the moment when Sekishusai killed the Tengu.

2021-02-10   Visit: Parks & Nature, Nara,


Ittoseki and the description.

A large, mysterious stone in Iwayato, Yagyu

The stone is clearly split into two and looks like as if it was easily cut by knife. It’s hard to imagine that someone brought a cutting machine for this into the deep parts of the mountain. I question why this large stone is here and how it was cut.

Amanotateishi Shrine

The faith of an large, ancient stone and Amanotateishi Shrine.

The rock called, “Ittoseki” is located at Amanotateishi Shrine. Amanotateishi Shrine is located in the back of Iwayato Mountain and enshrines a large rock as a substitute for a God. A faith of this stone is rooted in the local area. There are three different shapes of rocks enshrined, and these are referred to as, Amanotateishi Shrine. Proceeding a little further, you’ll find another large sone called “Ittoseki”.

tea farm and the mountains



The legend of Tengu and Ittoseki

It is said that the stone appeared the moment when Sekishusai killed the Tengu. Tengu is a Japanese long-nosed goblin, a kind of ghost. It is believed that they dwell somewhere deep in mountains where humans don’t live. They wear ‘geta’ shoes, have long red noses, wings, and hold a fan in their hands. This is where the Yagyu family used to practice their swordplay. When you go up the hill, you’ll see mountains, tea farms, and a simple Torii gate in front of the forest. Sekishusai is said to have practiced his swordplay against a Tengu in the back of Iwayato for three years. The solemn atmosphere in the silent forest looks very mysterious, and it feels like a Tengu could appear at any time.


789 Iwayato,Yagyu-ji, Yagyucho, Nara city, Nara

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Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.


Address 789 Iwayato,Yagyu-ji, Yagyucho, Nara city, Nara
Access Take a bus from JR Nara or Kintetsu Nara station. 50 min ride on the Nara Kotsu bus bound for “Oojicho”. 15 min walk from the stop “Yagyu”.