Did You Know There Is Japanese Museum of Stones With Faces?

There are stones that look like Elvis, E.T., Nemo, and Donkey Kong.

Can you see it? Photo courtesy Kotaku
Can you see it? Elvis stone on view at the museum. Photo courtesy Kotaku

Joining the Icelandic Phallological Museum, Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets, the Museum of Broken Relationships, and the Ramen Museum in the cannon of strange museums is the Rocks that Look Like Faces Museum in Chichibu, Japan.

Scary faces. Photo courtesy Kotaku

Scary faces. Photo courtesy Kotaku.

Japanese has a word for rocks or stones that look like faces, jinmenseki, and just outside Tokyo there is a museum dedicated to them which contains over 1700 examples. From celebrity lookalikes like Elvis to happy, sad, or even stones that appear to be ghosts, the Chinsekikan (Hall of Curious Rocks) has something of interest for every geological or anthropomorphized natural phenomena fan, This is Colossal reports.

There also stones on view which bear a resemblance to E.T., Nemo, Donkey Kong, Mikhail Gorbachev, and even Jesus.

The only rule for the collection was that the faces should be naturally occurring. Photo courtesy Kotaku

The only rule for the collection was that the faces should be naturally occurring. Photo courtesy Kotaku.

The museum is now run by Yoshiko Hayama, the wife of the late founder Shozo Hayama, who passed away in 2010. Shozo amassed stones for 50 years prior to his death, with the only requisite that their peculiar features were made by nature, and never handmade.

Some of the objects on view have been named endearing things that translate into English as “ghost stone” and
“human face stone.” The huge number of rocks and stones on view means that not all of them have been named, but some lucky visitors have been granted permission to name some stones while attending the museum.

Advice on tourist sites suggests getting in touch with the museum before making a trip to see it, as it is “often closed for personal reasons.”


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