This concept is used in Windaria and an early episode of Pokémon (Episode 20: "The Ghost of Maiden's Peak").

Did it come from a Japanese legend I'm not familiar with, did it come from the Windaria novel, or is it just a Kunihiko Yuyama thing?

  • Or maybe is it related to The Thinker statue? – nhahtdh Feb 1 '13 at 21:13
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    Wherever it comes from, the principle is quite easy. A women waits for her man to return, she waits so intense, barerly moving because she might miss seeing him approaching from the horizon till eventually she becomes as inactive as the very stones she's standing on. – Robin Castlin Feb 2 '13 at 9:18

Stone legends are indeed pretty common just as TurkeyFried stated. Most of these are based on loyalty towards a person (most common in anime is waiting for a loved one).

It is said that the petrifaction version originates from Vietnam

Hòn Vọng Phu (Statue of Husband Waiting)

But nowadays in TV shows and such they give their own meaning to it and reasoning.

You can check this out for some more examples of this phenomena.

  • Do you have a source that asserts that the Vietnamese legend is related to anything in Japan? I kind of doubt that it is. – senshin May 1 '14 at 0:22

Stone legends can be found in various cultures, not just Japan. For example, Australia has The Three Sisters, Puerto Rico has The Stone Dog and you can even find this trope in Inca culture. Someone's love remaining eternal through petrifaction is just a common (and effective) storytelling trope.

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