|Also Known As||Satoko Hatake|
|Birthday||June 24, 1972|
|Height||137 cm (4'6")|
|Portrayed By||Mika Kanai|
Satoko Houjou (北条 沙都子 Hōjō Satoko?) is a major character in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and serves as the protagonist of the anime-exclusive arcs Yakusamashi-hen and Satokowashi-hen. Satoko is an orphaned member of the Houjou family that is widely despised in Hinamizawa.
Satoko is one of the foremost victims of Hinamizawa Syndrome. As a result of her parents' feud with the Sonozaki family, Satoko was the subject of widespread abuse throughout Hinamizawa. Her abuse at the hands of the villagers combined with her frequent fights with her parents accelerated the symptoms of Hinamizawa Syndrome. Eventually, Satoko came to the conclusion that both of her parents hated her and became paranoid that the two were planning on killing her on their trip away from Hinamizawa. On the day of the Watanagashi Festival, 1980, Satoko became consumed with her paranoid delusions and pushed both of her parents off of a cliff. Following this, Satoko was admitted to the Irie Clinic as a terminal victim to Hinamizawa Syndrome. Initially, she was to be dissected in order for the Irie Institution to study the pathogen inside her brain. Instead, Kyousuke Irie tested the experimental C-103 medicine on Satoko with positive results, returning Satoko to a stable condition. In order to maintain that condition, Satoko must take several shots of C-103 every day as well as come into the Irie Clinic every week for checkups.
After her parents' death, Satoko's aunt and uncle took custody of both her and her brother Satoshi, relegating them to a single room in their house. This worsened Satoko's symptoms as she was frequently abused by her aunt. Several of Satoko's classmates attempted to help her by contacting the Child Welfare Office and reporting the abuse, however this only resulted in further cruelty. On the night of the Watanagashi Festival, 1982, her brother Satoshi succumbed to Hinamizawa Syndrome and beat their aunt to death with a baseball bat. Shortly afterwards, Satoshi disappeared. Fearing for his life, their uncle left the village. Having lost most of her family members, Satoko moved in with Rika Furude and lived together with her for a year.
Satoko appears as a very young girl with warm eyes and blonde hair. Depending on the adaptation, Satoko's eye color varies from orangish to a reddish violet. She typically wears a green school uniform with a yellow tie and black leggings. She also wears a black headband. While working at Angel Mort, Satoko wears a blue maid outfit.
Despite her bleak past, Satoko generally maintains an energetic and playful attitude. She takes great pride in her ability to build various traps, which she often uses to prank her friends. Satoko is fairly intelligent; aside from her aforementioned traps, Satoko demonstrates a great capacity for critical thinking during the events of Tsumihoroboshi-hen.
Satoko serves as the primary focus of Tatarigoroshi-hen and acts as a muse for Keiichi's actions during the story. She ends up pushing Keiichi off of a bridge, knocking him out and saving him from the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
Satoko plays a fairly minor role in Meakashi-hen as she rarely actually appears in the story, instead she is mentioned several times by Shion and Satoshi. Satoko is tricked into going to the Sonozaki household where she is strapped to a cross and stabbed to death.
Satoko's abuse at her uncle's hands becomes a major plot point of Minagoroshi-hen and acts as a turning point in Rika's determination to either solve the mystery of Watangashi or give up.
Satoko's love for traps becomes a major part of an escape plan in Matsuribayashi-hen; while escaping from the Yamainu, Satoko sets up several traps on a mountain that manage to incapacitate several of the Yamainu soldiers.
In the "perfect world" of Saikoroshi-hen, Satoko never kills her parents but instead learns to accept and love them. She is much more educated than in her usual appearance and lacks the close relationship she usually has with Rika Furude, Mion Sonozaki, and Rena Ryuuguu.
In the anime exclusive Nekodamashi-hen, Satoko is revealed to have similar looping abilities to Rika Furude. She uses these powers to try and provide a happy ending for Rika but refuses to let Rika's happy ending involve leaving Hinamizawa.
The anime exclusive Satokowashi-hen shows how Satoko got her looping abilities; after the events of Matsuribayashi-hen, Rika attempted to leave Hinamizawa by joining St. Lucia Academy. Satoko becomes greatly upset after learning this and attempts to prevent Rika from leaving Hinamizawa by any means possible. When she interacts with a horn in the Saiguden, she encounters the being Eua, who grants her the ability to travel through fragments. Satoko vows to use this ability to keep Rika in Hinamizawa.
- Satoko has great difficulty distinguishing between broccoli and cauliflower. Many speculate that this is due to colorblindness.
- Satoko hates pumpkins.
- Shion Sonozaki once made Satoko eat a full course pumpkin meal.
- Satoko has the highest number of individual sprites in the original sound novels at 64 sprites.