Higurashi Ch. 4 Himatsubushi Spoiler-Free General

Yeah, I agree with that. It probably shifted to that gag reel pretty quickly because it wasn’t really needed.

Definitely. The implications for if we’re going with a human culprit theory are already discussed a bit, mainly that a lot of the things were planned and that the incidents are in fact linked together in a way. While I was reading, however, I went down the route of non-human a bit though, because I just couldn’t believe that Rika could predict as much as she did. This eventually changed once Akasaka and Ooishi talked about it, since I didn’t even think about the explanation that it must mean that everything was long hand planned. So, let’s say we have a non-human theory. Then we could obviously say that Rika is the reincarnation of Oyashiro-sama and has omniscience thanks to that. However, I came up with a third possible explanation: What if this is quite literally a story and Rika is both a character in the story and someone outside the story? And what if both are linked together in a way? This would explain how she can know stuff that happens in the future while still not really being able to influence it. And, to be honest, I’m not sure where I would put that explanation on the human <-> non-human scale. It could certainly be a natural thing, as interactive stories aren’t unheard off, but I still feel that I’m basically bullshitting my way out of giving a serious explanation. To put it in words that are familiar to some, (Umineko Episode 4 spoilers)it feels like I’m coming up with a Small Bombs theory.


That sounds very interesting… I’d love to hear you elaborate on this further sometime.

Hmm, okay, I’ve been thinking for a while, and there’s something I don’t understand. So, going with the human theory, we’re assuming that a lot of the murders were planned back in 1978, the Great Hinamizawa Disaster probably included. Then there’s however a very big question: Why did it not happen in Onikakushi? I can explain away Watanagashi for myself since a lot of influential people died in that chapter as well, so it is easy to assume that the true perpetrator died. But what about Onikakushi? I hope that someone of you has an idea for that.

There’s really not that much to elaborate on. I was basically looking for possible explanations for Rika’s apparent omniscience, and the answer I came up with was that she’s not experiencing this for the first time. Now how this multiple experience is caused, there’s multiple possibilities I guess, as you could go with the science fiction explanation of a timeloop as well; I just went with the explanation of this being a story and Rika being a protagonist who can influence the story to some degree (basically dialogue choices), which is why she said what she said.


A spontaneous idea: Hinamizawa is viewed as a singular, unifited entity with regards to the murders, right? I mean, that’s what the whole “You’d get away with a murder in broad daylight.” segment was about.

Assuming that the Great Hinamizawa Disaster does not occur after all arcs (I don’t think it does, given the table above- unless we consider that some mechanism behind the scenes delays the Disaster by several days), then we can reasonably assume that there’s a deliberate intent in the triggering of the Disaster.

…So perhaps the fact that the Great Hinamizawa Disaster occurred means that there’s a second “faction”, so to speak, which is fighting against the Hinamizawa entity. That likely entails stopping the curses from occurring, which is the most severe manifestation of Hinamizawa’s unity in the story. So the “perpetrator” we’re looking for, the acting force behind the curses, is the opponent of some other “faction”, which could be anything from a single person to some organization.

In Tatarigoroshi and Himatsubushi, this “second faction” wins against the perpetrators of the curse. How? I think that they fail to find the actual perpetrator. However, they likely believe in the person theory- so how do they ensure that they kill the culprit? They kill all of Hinamizawa.

For whichever reason, and assuming that the GHD always happens on the same day if it happens, the Disaster is not triggered in Onikakushi and Watanagashi.

Alternatively, I would consider Takano playing a role (i.e. she kills the whole village to evade the wrath she draws upon herself by entering the shrine storehouse), but that is disproven by the fact that the Disaster does not occur in Watanagashi and the fact that (although I believe that she altered dental records and ran away) her corpse is found in the mountains.


Hmm, if we go down this route, then I’d assume that by the end of the question arcs, we should know that second faction/person that caused the GHD. And it would be unlikely for this to be someone who died in the disaster. With that in mind, there really aren’t that many options. Just with this premise alone, the only possible perpetrators would be Shion, her bodyguard, Ooishi (as he only disappeared), Takano (since we assume her death is faked), Satoshi (we don’t really know anything about his whereabouts), and technically Keiichi himself qualifies as well.

And even from those we can rule out several. Ooishi strikes me as someone with a sense of justice, I don’t think he’d be able to kill an entire village. Shion’s bodyguard really is too much of an extra that I doubt he’d have such a central role. And if it’s actually Keiichi himself, then we’d have to seriously ask the question why he doesn’t know anything, so I doubt this option as well. So this leaves us with Shion, Takano, and Satoshi. So, who’d be the most likely of those to resort to killing the entire village? For both Shion and Satoshi we’d have to ask if they’re really willing to kill their family; only Takano doesn’t seem to have much emotional connection to anyone in Hinamizawa. But please point out if I forgot someone.


After much prodding, I guess I have to start discussing this chapter, especially considering I’ve been active for the past three bookclubs (while barely anybody else was).

But the problem is, well, there really isn’t much to discuss. I loved Akasaka’s story, yes. I loved the intensity of many scenes; the mahjong fight, the confrontation with the kidnappers; figuring out Rika’s “other” self. I also loved the conclusion we had at the end, what with Akasaka coming to the sudden realization that everything could have changed, and that Rika could have just been giving him a call for help. It goes to show that, simply, hindsight is 20/20. But with whatever circumstances we are given, we have to keep a level head and make the best decision we can. Maybe we’ll regret it, maybe we won’t; only the future will be able to tell. This links well with the only choice given in the game: in hindsight, the choice doesn’t really matter. But if we could go back and see the choice, then it seems to open a whole realm of possibilities. (and yes, I did go back and try both choices :stuck_out_tongue: )

There are a lot of unanswered questions in Higurashi, many of which I personally have no answer to. But nearly all of them can be discussed fairly equally without even having read Himatsubushi. Sure, we learn that Oryou has the power to very casually kidnap the grandson of a VIP, but I’m sure those were things that most readers would have figured out by now. The chapter, however, throws only one wrench into the system:

So we all know Rika-chama is clairvoyant, at least, for all the mysteries surrounding the watanagashi. But the question remains: was it through Oyashiro-sama that she learned that? Or was it through the rest of the humans, during the village meetings?

Naturally, the first one is kind of a cheat code. Once we subscribe to the whole “oyashiro-sama” bit, that takes away all mysteries in the game and lets us just say “Oh you silly oyashiro-sama, killing and kidnapping people again”. And with the second one, we can only assume that everything was planned out by some of, if not all the villagers (which includes the death of Akasaka’s wife, unfortunately), and Rika just happened to overhear everything. Whichever one we choose, however, we are left with only one option: to deduce whether our choice matches up with what happened in all the previous stories.

Does the story have enough proof at this point to prove or disprove either theory? Frankly, I can’t tell. And I don’t really want to go to the effort of deductive reasoning as it honestly feels like a game of trial and error; I’d much rather go through it from an inductive line of reasoning but the story doesn’t really provide that to me. But hey, if it does have enough proof, and someone can show that, then I guess they’ve beaten the game.

The only thing I can provide is a gut feeling that, well, the world of Higurashi isn’t all black-and-white. Maybe there is something supernatural going on? Perhaps it doesn’t have to do with the killing (as I believe the deaths, great disaster aside, are all human-induced), but maybe the world itself is affected by the whims of a mystical being. Is it Oyashiro-sama? Is it a divine being? Is it a storyteller? Or is it a witch?

I don’t know. And to be honest, I’m okay in not knowing. Because as long as my gut feeling is correct, I’m going to enjoy the ride. After all, the world of either black or white is kind of boring, isn’t it? :mii:


It could be someone who’s now dead as well. Perhaps the mechanism for the disaster to occur was set up/primed in a previous year, and it was prevented in Watanagashi (we don’t know what happened in Onikakushi). For a few reasons, though, I really doubt that is the case. I guess I’ll have to set aside the “GHD was committed by second faction” theory for now.

As I agree with @Pepe on the fact that Himatsubushi isn’t as meaty as the other Question Arcs, I’d like to ask you all if you have any theories about the culprit or the curse that spans the entirety of Higurashi so far. They don’t necessarily have to be related to Himatsubushi directly, but I’d like to hear what people are saying at this point.

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So I went through the discussion topics of the earlier chapters to try to summarize all questions that either haven’t been answered by a theory from us or that haven’t gotten a satisfying answer from us. Now, I am aware that some of these questions probably can’t even be answered by us, but it’s still useful to have them all around in one place. Oh, and I’m going to borrow the color we used in certain other places on this forum to denote open questions.

What really is the meaning behind the opening poem in each chapter?

Who is the mastermind behind Oyashiro-sama’s curse and what is the motive for it?

What really are those sounds that shouldn’t exist (extra step behind Keiichi, that sound in the toolshed in Watanagashi, etc.)?

What is Tomitake’s true identity?

In Onikakushi, what caused Keiichi’s suicide?

Why did someone almost run over Keiichi in Onikakushi?

Why was part of Keiichi’s note destroyed, why was the syringe taken away?

If Keiichi is crazy at any parts of the story, at which parts is he crazy?

In Watanagashi, which scene is with Mion, which is with Shion?

At the end of Watanagashi, who stabbed Keiichi?

Why did Shion commit suicide?

In Watanagashi, why did Rika have a syringe on her?

There are several characters who we could assume to have Dissociative Identity Disorder. Who, if any of those, actually has that disorder?

Now that we know more, who are the cats and the dogs in Keiichi’s confession to Rika and her reassurance to him?

Why did Teppei not die?

Why did Irie die?

How was the Great Hinamizawa Disaster caused?

How did Keiichi survive the GHD?

So there you have it. Those are all the open questions I could come up with. I am also aware that some of those (actually most of those) were discussed earlier, and as a result there might not be much new stuff that one could bring to the table for those, I just chose to write all of them. If one of you has a new idea for one of those, or an idea in general, feel free to tackle one of those questions.

One thing I’d especially like us in the podcast to talk about, is the TIPs in each chapter. Now some of those essentially boil down to “This TIP gives us information X.”, but there are some that are more cryptic in nature, and thus talking about those might bring us to new revelations. So I’d like us to look through the TIPs again and figure out which of them are of that more cryptic nature. I’ll certainly do the same as part of my preparation.


Do you think I Should be thinking these over and saving my answers for the podcast or should I be answering them here now?

By all means, answer as best you can now! We want to get discussion happening here that we can reference and possibly expand upon in the podcast.

In case any of you aren’t familiar, don’t forget that blue text is used for theories on our wonderful site!

If Keiichi is crazy at any parts of the story, at which parts is he crazy?

Keiichi is only crazy during Onikakushi.

In Onikakushi, what caused Keiichi’s suicide?

The same thing that caused his insanity during that arc in the first place. Additionally I believe the syringe contained some kind of antidote for this.

Why did someone almost run over Keiichi in Onikakushi?

That person didn’t actually swerve to try and hit Keiichi, that was one of his delusions! I can think of multiple ways that scene could have really played out if you think about it like that.

Why was part of Keiichi’s note destroyed, why was the syringe taken away?

The mastermind was still alive. They took it, as it might get in the way of their plans in future years or because the antidote’s presence might make it possible to discover what really caused Keiichi’s suicide.

In Watanagashi, why did Rika have a syringe on her?

The syringe contained the same substance as the one seen in Onikakushi. She thought that Mion was having happen to her what happened to Keiichi in Onikakushi, so she was planning to try to inject Mion with it.

Why did Teppei not die?

He did. His body was moved to the other hole by Mion and Shion. Someone else abused Satoko in his place and her damaged mind perceived them as being her uncle.

How was the Great Hinamizawa Disaster caused?

The bike being thrown in the marsh is what caused the volcanic activity.

What really are those sounds that shouldn’t exist (extra step behind Keiichi, that sound in the toolshed in Watanagashi, etc.)?

The story is repeatedly setting up a dichotomy between the incident “being just the work of humans” and “being all fantasy”. In addition this is not being used as if it is a major theme like it was in Umineko.

This is a misdirection. There are fantasy elements, they are just not related to the solutions of the incidents themselves!

The sounds that should not exist are one of these elements.

Who is the mastermind behind Oyashiro-sama’s curse and what is the motive for it?

Motive? You have me stumped there, but I’m pretty confident that I can say who the mastermind is at least.

Takano is the only introduced character who I can honestly see as the mastermind right now.

How did Keiichi survive the GHD?

Keiichi remained unconscious for an unnatural amount of time. That’s our hint.

Takano (or anyone for that matter) was still alive, knew about the disaster that was coming and went down to Keiichi, placing a mask on him and injecting him with a knockout drug to keep him asleep. When the location he fell to was safe she merely went back and put him there again.


Finally, the game begins. I have some responses to your Onikakushi theories keep the things moving~

You’ll need to be more specific. Is he crazy for the entire chapter? When does he become crazy?

How do you explain Tomitake’s death then?

Do you claim the same for the van being spotted again later in the chapter?

Here’s another.

At the very least you’ve offered an explanation to something nobody was able to explain in the Tatarigoroshi discussions. But it’s still a very half-baked theory. What motive could one possibly have for doing that? Moreover, How could they know a disaster caused by a motorbike was coming?


I’ve read on to Meakashi, so in fear of blurting out accidental spoilers, I shall mostly refrain from participating in this Tea Party.

I’m loving what I see so far, though!

@VyseGolbez holy hell that’s amazing work

How about… From very early on in the story Keiichi was afflicted with something which leads to greatly increased paranoia and causes minor hallucinations while paranoid. In addition it creates a powerful desire to kill oneself after remaining in the body for a certain amount of time.

Tomitake was inflicted with the same “thing” as Keiichi but before him, with timing such that he entered the suicidal phase just after the festival.

I claim it is the same van, and that it was really parked in that place.

One at a time:

What motive could one possibly have for doing that?

Takano was leaving town along that river (knowing about the incident that would soon occur) while transporting the various items that she had used to perpetuate the killings. They saw Keiichi there, and decided to save him on a whim, possibly because they thought it might be amusing.

How could they know a disaster caused by a motorbike was coming?

After deducing Keiichi had killed someone, Takano decided to investigate things herself. There was a town superstition about tossing “artificial” things in the swamp, and Takano’s research meant that she knew the practical reason that it had likely stemmed from. As she retraced Keiichi’s steps she realized where he had discarded the bike.


When listing all these questions, I somehow forgot the main question opened up by this part:

How did Rika predict all the incidents from 1979 to 1982 and her own murder?

Now for your theories:

Why was Keiichi only inflicted with this condition in Onikakushi? Furthermore, How was he inflicted with that? Through some culprit, or something natural?

Oh yeah, when going back through the podcasts and the chapters, I noticed something odd. Back in the Watanagashi discussion, we assumed that Rika was killed because Mion/Shion learned about Keiichi confessing everything to her through that phonecall. However, that doesn’t fit with the timing. The call at Keiichi’s house happened at 10 PM. Rika and Satoko didn’t touch their dinner though, therefore, they would have already been missing when Keiichi got the call from Mion/Shion. What I am proposing here is basically this: Mion/Shion (whichever sister did the killing, as that was open to debate) learned of Keiichi telling everything through Rika. She then decided to move the conversation with Keiichi in a direction that would cause him to tell her the same thing, most likely so that he would assume that Rika getting killed was his fault; so basically to torture him on a psychological level.

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[quote="pictoshark, post:22, topic:46]From very early on in the story Keiichi was afflicted with something which leads to greatly increased paranoia and causes minor hallucinations while paranoid. In addition it creates a powerful desire to kill oneself after remaining in the body for a certain amount of time.

Tomitake was inflicted with the same “thing” as Keiichi but before him, with timing such that he entered the suicidal phase just after the festival.[/quote]

This implies that Tomitake would have also suffered from symptoms akin to Keiichi’s leading up to his death. Does he seem to be highly paranoid in any of the chapters?

Think of my silly hypothetical as a really big multiplier to any paranoia that someone might feel.

It is possible that Tomitake never went through any scenarios that would cause him to feel even slightly paranoid in the lead up to his death.

The repeated looping of slightly different events is occurring in universe. This is one of the few fantasy elements in this story. In addition, Rena is in some kind of unique position where she is capable of keeping her memories between the loops.

He seemed to have joined the club at a much later date in Onikakushi than he did in the other arcs, right? Maybe that’s connected?

It delights me that more and more people are agreeing with this crazy theory because, hey, it just makes sense :hauu:

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Oh yeah, there’s another question that opens up through that though: How was the GHD caused in Himatsubushi?

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I remember the TIP What’s in the Box? hitting me pretty hard the first time I read Higurashi. It was the first time I ever ran into a VN doing these sorts of shenanigans and the commentary it makes as a result blew my mind a little.

It’s still one of my favorite Himatsubushi scenes even now. I love its message.