Higurashi Ch. 4 Himatsubushi Full Series Spoilers General

Spoilers discussion topic for Chapter 4: Himatsubushi of Higurashi When They Cry. Chapter 4 refers to volumes 7 and 8 of the manga, and episodes 14 and 15 of the first anime series.

This topic is intended for people who have finished the entirety of Higurashi and wish to discuss this chapter in light of future events. For those who have yet to finish Higurashi in its entirety, please tread carefully, because there will be untagged spoilers! Please tag references to outside works with the [spoiler] tag, with adequate context provided in parenthesis.

For those who have yet to finish the series and wish to discuss the story up to this point, please visit our Spoiler-Free discussion topic.

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Lots of sneaky hints in here. It’s obviously full of commentary on the curse and how it’s a good excuse for people to go missing, but I really like how they made a big point of the town covering for each other. Kinda like how Keiichi’s friends (and possibly more people) covered for him when he killed Teppei~

And looool I love how much Tomitake’s shadiness is lampshaded, I really hope the newbies pick up on it. Akasaka is just following exactly the same steps as him, trying to fit in as a nature photographer as a convenient cover. Rika sees through his shit right away. But surprisingly, they don’t gang up on him. I guess it really goes to show that Hinamizawa aren’t that bad, I guess.

I guess I’d like to ask everyone. What do you think of Akasaka as a character? Like him? Hate him?


To @Aspirety’s point, wow, perhaps it’s because I haven’t gotten up to the bit where Tomitake’s real identity is discussed in my current read-through, but those parallels blew right by me. It’s really funny to consider Himatsubushi wasn’t even meant to exist originally when it feels like such a great bookend to the question arcs.

I enjoyed this arc so much more than I was expecting. Ryukishi really can do totally different things throughout the story and still draw you in every time. I adore Akasaka, have since the anime. I’m not sure what it is, I’m really glad Rika has a father-figure like him and he’s obviously such an important piece. Maybe it’s just refreshing to have someone both so genuinely good and also well-grounded in the cast at last. Akasaka is a very reassuring presence. I guess it’s also because up to this point adults have seemed almost directly pitched against helping the kids - I always felt very frustrated and upset watching the question arcs in the anime at how useless they were even when they seemed to want to help. It’s great to see an adult who might finally be able to help the kids out, and the general census seems to be that when Akasaka does deliver on that promise, it’s immensely satisfying.

I have to wonder whether he was even meant to be in the series if this arc wasn’t originally going to exist. Another thing I really appreciate about his presence is that it shows us another side of Rika. As someone who grows up knowing she’s going to lose her father and doesn’t seem particularly close to him, Rika definitely latches on to Akasaka as that presence in her life instead in my eyes. Through him, we see a much more vulnerable, childlike side to her. The side that still wants to believe, wants to be helped and protected. She deals with so much alone, in that Hanyuu can’t really help her physically, constantly trying to work out how to help her friends and avert tragedy, and in her relationship with Akasaka we see the side of her that’s tired and just wants to lean on someone else and be the child she never got to be. It’s a very valuable development, and it feels so good to see him finally give her that breakthrough in the final arc, the last piece of luck she so needed and deserved. As the readers, we so want to help Rika, to stop seeing her suffer, and through Akasaka we finally get that. It’s very refreshing after all the suffering Ryukishi puts us through, haha.


That’s a good post right there. Couldn’t have said it better.

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You know, I never paid much attention to Akasaka, so I don’t really have any real thoughts on him, thus I’m pretty neutral about him. But I do agree with @rika’s point about how Rika shows her more vulnerable side with him, though I wouldn’t really say that he’s like a father figure to her, but more of a friend. I think she was also drawn to him cause he wasn’t from the village, which makes for an interesting parallel to Keiichi too. You know, with her being tired of the village’s happenings, the people’s beliefs in Oyashiro-sama and most importantly, having to repeat it all for 100 years, so Akasaka truly is a breath of fresh air. Why she revealed to him what will happen to her, the reason for that may also be that, you know, sometimes some certain people feel a little bit better by sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings with a stranger, somebody who doesn’t know them well and cause of that won’t really know enough to think to judge them or whatever, so that’s why Rika felt a little liberated that there was somebody who would just listen to her, without asking her any questions, but just be there to listen.


Not the best chapter probably, but a very good one nonetheless. It not only gives a unique perspective on the village but I started really solving the mystery while reading this chapter. Especially that bit about Tomitake and Akasaka’s likeness. As soon as Rika said that he’s a second Tomitake it hit me that Tomitake uses photography as a cover and it’s such a simple yet great cover too, love it. Also, we learn that Hinamizawa Disaster always happens (which is not really the case of course) and Rika always dies and if we link those points together and keep in mind the fact that Tomitake is shady we are starting to get closer to the truth, especially if we remember Takano from Tatarigoroshi.
Yeah, this was the chapter that allowed me to throw away my foolish theories that I had before and think up something coherent that made actual sense. So, contrary to the fact that this chapter is considered a bonus chapter, I think it is a great point to look at the mystery in Higurashi as a whole and it gives the reader a much better chance to solve it too. Looking forward to the podcast and what newcomers will think about this chapter and the mystery as a whole.
Edit: (about Akasaka) I think Akasaka is a very good choice for a one-shot protagonist. He’s not only much more of a reliable narrator then Keiichi but he also has a great personality and I can very much understand why Rika clung to him for help. She saw in him a potential ally, a savior maybe partially because he had a reliable presence even then. Like she might have felt that he was a future badass or something. Everything else was said pretty well by posters above me.


Akasaka’s really adorable. His interactions with Rika are so childlike. You can really tell when he interacts with her that he wants with all of his heart to be a father, which makes the death of his wife all the more heartbreaking.

Speaking of his wife, she reminded me a lot of (Umineko EP7 spoilers) Yasu. I say this because both of them talk about the “eternity” they have waiting for their respective love interests to return to them. And for both of them, if their respective love interest returned to them sooner, their deaths could have probably been prevented. We know for certain that Yukie’s death is able to be prevented, as we later see in Matsuribayashi.

Anyways, I’m glad we had this chapter. It was a really nice break from all the new information we’ve gotten to this point. It’s a nice time to sit back, relax, and try to get your facts straight while gaining some hints to help you. I really like how we get to see Rika’s true personality here, which isn’t something we explicitly see before this point. We get to see this part of her in full form here, especially in the “go back to Tokyo” moment, which a really creepy moment. If I were Akasaka, I would be terrified. Rika knows everything in this chapter, all the way from the dam project never being completed to the Great Hinamizawa Disaster (as well as the series of mysterious deaths/disappearances that will happen during future Watanagashi festivals).

So here’s my question to all of you. If you were Rika and knew everything she knows, would you even bother warning Akasaka? Keep in mind that at this point Rika doesn’t know of the badass Akasaka will become in Matsuribayashi yet. For all she knows, Akasaka probably thinks she’s crazy, and will continue to think she’s crazy in all timelines.


It wasn’t like she had anywhere else to turn. It was less a well thought out plan and more a desperate cry for help to one of the few people capable of doing so.


Personally, I think based on the responses here, forgive me if I’m wrong, everyone seems to operate under the Umineko assumptions, i.e. Each ‘world’ Rika enters plays out the events before and after the fifth Watanagashi festival has a different ending. However, it’s never mentioned that that is the case.

(Umineko spoilers)

While in Umineko, it was understandable that each arc HAD to be different, since Yasu was writing a fantastic mystery (or a mysterious fantasy, whichever is you cup of tea, no puns intended), she couldn’t possibly write a same set of events in each iteration of the Rokkenjima Massacre. However, if you were to put it in the Higurashi perspective, it’s not impossible at all for the same events to repeat. If we now put it in that perspective, it means it’s possible Rika has already gone through a world where she unwittingly let Akasaka go about with his snooping, and later suffer consequences we all can imagine. It’s also possible that Rika might have let him meet the same end after hearing about his wife’s untimely death, hence her severing of the phone lines.

Furthermore, we may extrapolate that Rika revealing her knowledge of the events to come might also have been part of a means by which she tries to convince Akasaka that she knows every future to come as well, with her cutting the phone lines and seeing through Akasaka’s apparent reason for staying in Hinamizawa. It’s possible that she first opens up to Akasaka alone because she can be sure Akasaka won’t fall prey to the Hinamizawa syndrome and is thus not susceptible to completely irrational conclusions. While she can’t convey the same to Ooishi because she knows his first idea will ne to dismiss her for the psych ward, or to any of her friends, all of them falling prey to the Hinamizawa syndrome (of course this later is refuted, but at present she still can’t convey the same due to her seemingly endless wait for a miracle), or even to Irie, Takano or Tomitake, all of whom die before the incident can take place, and all directly or indirectly responsible for her parents’ deaths.

Personally, I feel Akasaka is an Author’s Device for conveying what we as readers would have done in Hinamizawa should we have been trying to solve the mystery, subject to more than a few character constraints, of course. And of course, this may apply to all first-person perspectives in Higurashi. I suppose that’s the beauty of the first-person perspective, where the characters in a touching story such as this can actually resonate with the readers. On the other hand, Umineko may have done the same with Ange, but I won’t say more on the matter since it’s not exactly relevant.

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It does strike me that Rika was very bad at warning Akasaka about his wife’s doom. Surely there’s more compelling ways to convince Akasaka to go back to Tokyo than “because I said so”. If only she spoke a little differently…

It also makes me think that even if he did go back, his wife would never have the accident in the first place, so he would save his wife’s life without ever knowing he did and without ever knowing that Rika helped.

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Actually, in the world of Minagoroshi, Akasaka did go back because Rika told him to, and he believes that Rika saved his wife’s life, because his wife liked to go up to the roof of the hospital while he was away, and there was a loose tile or something on the stairs, which caused someone else to fall and get seriously injured.

Ohh so that’s how it worked out, I forgot about that detail.

Still, Rika could learn a lot about persuasion :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, can’t argue with that!

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