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Mt. Bandai, once known as "the Fuji of the North" for its then-conical shape, erupted spectacularly on July 15th, 1888. Not only did this eruption result in one of the mountain’s peaks completely crumbling away, the resulting avalanche completely covered villages and dammed up rivers, reforming the landscape of that area in the north of Fukushima Prefecture and creating hundreds of new lakes and ponds. The above boulder is part of that earthen avalanche. 477 people were killed. The surrounding region is now the popular Ura-Bandai area, and one of its most popular features are the multi-hued ponds of Goshikinuma, where the volcanic sediment makes each pond’s waters shine with a different vibrant color.
The boulder itself was announced as a national monument in 1941, and can still be seen in a town near Mt. Bandai, its height now reduced by half via erosion.