|Released||August 10, 2002|
|Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Chronology|
Tatarigoroshi-hen (祟殺し編 Curse Killing Chapter?) is the third arc of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series. It is primarily told from the perspective of Keiichi Maebara and follows the troubled Houjou family and Oyashiro-sama's curse. Its corresponding answer arc is Minagoroshi-hen.
Keiichi and Satoko develop a brother-sister type of relationship as he becomes closer to her and begins to emulate her lost brother Satoshi. Keiichi asks Rena and Mion about Satoshi's disappearance, which causes Rena to have a obsessive episode about the curse of Oyashiro-sama. Mion later explains how it makes Satoko uncomfortable to talk about Satoshi's disappearance and that the mention of Oyashiro-sama causes Rena to go into a fit. Having offended several people with his questions, Keiichi gets a strange feeling that the happy days in Hinamizawa are coming to an end.
The next day, Satoko doesn't show up to school. That day, Ooishi Kuraudo meets with Keiichi for the first time. Keichii gets a strange feeling of hatred for Ooishi despite having never met him before. After a small greeting, Ooishi asks Keiichi to find Satoko and bring her to him for questioning. Ooishi acts in a brusque manner while talking to Keiichi and ends up hurting Keiichi and drawing the attention of Irie. Irie takes Keiichi to the nurse's office and informs him that Ooishi has been harassing Satoko for some time. Irie explains the death of Satoko's aunt and the disappearance of her uncle and tells Keiichi that Ooishi is "Oyashiro-sama's servant."
Three days after Satoko was first absent, Tomita and Okamura confront Keiichi with rumors they heard regarding Satoko. Tomita claims that Satoko visited the Tomita family tofu shop and purchased an expensive silken tofu, contrary to Satoko's usual buying habits of cheap hard tofu. Okamura claims that Satoko's uncle, Teppei Houjou, has returned to Hinamizawa. Following this revelation, Satoko comes to school, visibly weaker than she was before. Keiichi, Mion and Rena deduce that Satoko is locked inside her uncle's house and is being forced into labor by him. Satoko skips club activity that day. Keiichi, worried about Satoko's well-being, visits her uncle's house to check up on her. Once he sees her, Keiichi is shocked to see several bruises on Satoko's body, which she claims are from falling down the stairs. Keiichi spends that night thinking of ways to sneak Satoko out of her house.
The next morning, Keiichi is late for school and takes a walk to the dam construction site, where he meets Jirou Tomitake. Jirou asks for directions to the Furude Shrine and Keiichi decides to take him there. At the shrine, Jirou meets up with Miyo Takano and they discuss the curse of Oyashiro-sama. After a little prodding, Miyo reveals to Keiichi who she believes will be the curse's victim this year.
Keiichi, after much deliberation, finally decides he is going to kill Satoko's uncle under the guise of Oyashiro-sama's curse. Since he needs Satoko's house to be empty, Keiichi calls Mion the night before the festival to ask her to take Satoko to the festival. Mion, somewhat drunk, begins to cry, saying that Satoshi had called her and made the same request on the same day the year he disappeared. Keiichi is puzzled by this but persists with his question until Mion accepts. On the night of Watanagashi, Keiichi digs a hole in the forest and calls Satoko's uncle, claiming that Satoko had been taken in by the police. Keiichi assaults Satoko's uncle as he drives on his moped to the police station and bludgeons him to death with Satoshi's baseball bat. A heavy rain begins to pour and Keiichi quickly becomes exhausted as he buries the body and disposes of both the bat and the moped. As he bikes back to his house, Keiichi collapses in front of a car in the middle of the road. The driver of the car, Miyo Takano, gets out and offers to help Keiichi return to his house. Keiichi is under the impression that Takano knows about the murder and refers to her as the "female demon" for that night of Watanagashi. Before he enters his house, Keiichi curses Takano for meeting him.
The next day, Keiichi arrives at school late but is excited to see that everyone, including Satoko, is at school. However, once he greets his friends, he learns that they believed him to have attended the Watanagashi Festival with them. Each of Keiichi's friends recount specific events from the Festival, as they occured in Watanagashi-hen, although this time Keiichi apparently refused Shion's request to leave the Festival and spy on Jiro and Miyo. Furthermore, Satoko herself claims that she left the festival early because she worried about her uncle's approval and was, in fact, abused by her uncle that night and the following morning. Keiichi, unnerved by this revelation, makes up an excuse about a headache and is coerced by Rena into visiting the Irie Clinic. Before going, Keiichi checks Satoshi's locker and discovers that the baseball bat is still gone, meaning that Keiichi must have taken it. At the clinic, Keiichi confides in Irie his murder of Satoko's uncle and his confusion with what actually happened the night prior. Irie nods along and ostensibly believes Keiichi, even shedding a tear when Keiichi says that he killed Satoko's uncle in order to save her. Keiichi also learns that Takano died in an oil drum deep in the mountains. However, once Irie steps out of the room, he calls on his aides to prepare a drugged tea to put Keiichi to sleep. Shocked, Keiichi escapes the clinic and bikes to the site where he buried Satoko's uncle to confirm his beliefs about what happened, cursing Irie for betraying him. In the middle of exhuming the body, Keiichi is greeted by Ooishi and other police officers who then take up the digging effort. The officers continue to dig until they realize that there isn't anything buried where Keiichi is digging. The police leave Keiichi in the middle of the muddy forest, alone. Keiichi curses Ooishi for tormenting him and ending his "happy days."
The next day, Keiichi decides that, even if Satoko's uncle survived, he'll kill him again and again until he stays dead. Keiichi takes a hatchet from his shed and bikes over to Satoko's house and silently enters in search of Satoko's uncle. However, Keiichi is shocked to find that Satoko's uncle isn't around and Satoko herself is lying in a boiling bathtub, her skin bright red. Keiichi quickly takes her to the clinic only to find it surroudned by police cars. By eavesdropping Keiichi learns that Irie committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills and Ooishi has gone missing. Keiichi and Satoko instead opt to get some clothes for Satoko from Rika's house. As they approach the shrine, Keiichi confides in Satoko his crime and the bizarre result of his curses as well as his confusing reality. Satoko seems to believe him until he confesses to murdering her uncle. The mention of her uncle causes her to become angry with Keiichi and she runs towards the Furude Shrine. Once she gets there, however, she and Keiichi discover Rika's mutilated body being pecked at by crows. Satoko accuses Keiichi of the murder, pointing to the hatchet he is still carrying as the weapon and she runs off towards a bridge. Keiichi follows her, desperate to convince her that she's innocent. While on the bridge, Satoko comes to the conclusion that Keiichi is innocent, but is also haunted by some demon. Satoko screams about how Oyashiro-sama's curse has taken everything away from her and she pushes Keiichi into the rushing stream below. As he falls, Keiichi wishes for one final curse, and curses the entirety of Hinamizawa.
Keiichi wakes up the next day, having survived his fall albeit with moderate injury. He staggers back to the clinic but gets distracted when he passes his school. He notices a number of trucks and brightly colored bags outside of the school. Keiichi is approached by one of the uniformed men walking around and learns that the trucks and the men are from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. As he is loaded into a truck and taken to the clinic, Keiichi learns that a sudden, massive gas, a mixture of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide, flowed into Hinamizawa and killed all of its residents overnight. As he is loaded onto a stretcher, Keiichi realizes his wish caused the annihilation of Hinamizawa. Before he is taken into the clinic, Keiichi closes his eyes and wishes for his own death.
It is revealed in the reporter's lost tape that Keiichi survived well past the day he wished to die. He became known as the sole survivor of the Hinamizawa disaster and, although many tried to reach him, Keiichi never gave a single interview. He attempted suicide on August 28, 1983 and died later that November from a high fever. Hinamizawa itself was sealed off and no one was allowed to enter the village agian.
- Keiichi Maebara
- Mion Sonozaki
- Shion Sonozaki
- Rena Ryuuguu
- Satoko Houjou
- Teppei Houjou
- Rika Furude
- Kyousuke Irie
- Rumiko Chie
Deaths and Disappearances
- Teppei Houjou, beaten to death June 19, 1983 with a baseball bat by Keiichi while he was heading to the Okinomiya police station.
- Jirou Tomitake, died of blood loss after clawing out his own throat June 19, 1983 on the night of the Watanagashi.
- Miyo Takano, killed and burned in an oil drum in the Gifu Mountains June 19, 1983 on the night of the Watanagashi.
- Kyousuke Irie, committed suicide June 21, 1983 with sleeping pills in the clinic.
- Rika Furude, found disemboweled June 21, 1983 in front of the Furude shrine.
- Rumiko Chie, died June 22, 1983 in an accident during the evacuation after the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
- Kouichi Kameda, also died June 22, 1983 in an accident during the evacuation after the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
- Tatsuyoshi Kasai, died August 11, 1983 in the hospital where he was admitted.
- Shion Sonozaki, killed herself August 27, 1983 in the hospital where she was admitted.
- Keiichi Maebara, died November 30, 1983 of a high fever of unknown cause in the hospital he was admitted to.
- Everyone in Hinamizawa not listed otherwise, died June 21-22 1983 of gas poisoning during Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
- Some people who used to live in Hinamizawa, started showing erratic behavior right after Great Hinamizawa Disaster. Some died mysteriously in hospitals, while others started dying in other strange ways.
- Satoshi Houjou, disappeared June 1982, one year before the story.
- Kuraudo Ooishi, went missing June 20, 1983 during an investigation.
- Katsuya Kumagai, went missing June 20, 1983 during an investigation.
- Satoko Houjou, went missing June 22, 1983 in the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
- Around twenty Hinamizawa residents, went missing June 21-22, 1983 in the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
The frog in the well was happy.
Because he wasn't interested in the outside world.