Witch's epitaph

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The witch's epitaph is the central riddle of Umineko no Naku Koro ni. The epitaph appears in the main hall of the Ushiromiya family mansion, adjacent to the large portrait of the witch Beatrice. The riddle is outwardly a guide to reach the Golden Land, where Kinzo Ushiromiya supposedly hid his gold fortune. During the course of the games, the epitaph is interpreted instead to be a detailed account of how to perform the ritual to revive Beatrice. According to rumor, Kinzo put the portrait and epitaph on display as an elaborate means of determining the next family head. The epitaph is first solved by Lion Ushiromiya on November 29, 1984.

The Epitaph

English Japanese

Behold the sweetfish river running through my beloved hometown.
You who seek the Golden Land, follow its path downstream in search of the key.

As you travel down it, you will see a village.
In that village, look for the shore the two will tell you of.
There sleeps the key to the Golden Land.

The one who obtains the key must then travel to the Golden Land in accordance with these rules.

On the first twilight, offer the six chosen by the key as sacrifices.
On the second twilight, those who remain shall tear apart the two who are close.
On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my noble name.
On the fourth twilight, gouge the head and kill.
On the fifth twilight, gouge the chest and kill.
On the sixth twilight, gouge the stomach and kill.
On the seventh twilight, gouge the knee and kill.
On the eighth twilight, gouge the leg and kill.
On the ninth twilight, the witch shall revive, and none shall be left alive.
On the tenth twilight, the journey shall end, and you shall reach the capital where the gold dwells.

The witch shall praise the wise and bestow four treasures.
One shall be all the gold from the Golden Land.
One shall be the resurrection of all the dead souls.
One shall be the resurrection of the love that was lost.
One shall be to put the witch to sleep for all time.

Sleep peacefully, my most beloved witch, Beatrice.

Behold the sweetfish river running through my beloved home of old.
You who seek the Golden Land, follow its path downstream in search of the key.

As you travel down it, you will see a village.
In that village, look for the shore the two speak of.
There the key to the Golden Land sleeps.

You who laid hand upon the key must journey as follows to the Golden land

On the first twilight, sacrifice the six chosen by the key.
On the second twilight, those who remain shall tear apart the two who are close.
On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my noble name.
On the fourth twilight, gouge the head and kill.
On the fifth twilight, gouge the chest and kill.
On the sixth twilight, gouge the stomach and kill.
On the seventh twilight, gouge the knee and kill.
On the eighth twilight, gouge the leg and kill.
On the ninth twilight, the witch revives, and none shall be left alive.
On the tenth twilight, the journey ends, and you shall reach the Home of the Gold.

The witch shall praise the wise and bestow four treasures.
One shall be all of the Golden Land's gold.
One resurrects all the dead people's souls.
One even revives all the love they possessed.
And one for the witch to eternally rest.

Rest in peace, my beloved witch, Beatrice.

懐かしき、故郷を貫く鮎の川。
黄金郷を目指す者よ、これを下りて鍵を探せ。

川を下れば、やがて里あり。
その里にて二人が口にし岸を探れ。
そこに黄金郷への鍵が眠る。

鍵を手にせし者は、以下に従いて黄金郷へ旅立つべし。

第一の晩に、鍵の選びし六人を生贄に捧げよ。
第二の晩に、残されし者は寄り添う二人を引き裂け。
第三の晩に、残されし者は誉れ高き我が名を讃えよ。
第四の晩に、頭をえぐりて殺せ。
第五の晩に、胸をえぐりて殺せ。
第六の晩に、腹をえぐりて殺せ。
第七の晩に、膝をえぐりて殺せ。
第八の晩に、足をえぐりて殺せ。
第九の晩に、魔女は蘇り、誰も生き残れはしない。
第十の晩に、旅は終わり、黄金の郷に至るだろう。

魔女は賢者を讃え、四つの宝を授けるだろう。
一つは、黄金郷の全ての黄金。
一つは、全ての死者の魂を蘇らせ。
一つは、失った愛すらも蘇らせる。
一つは、魔女を永遠に眠りにつかせよう。

安らかに眠れ、我が最愛の魔女ベアトリーチェ。

The Solution

The solution to the riddle is revealed in Requiem of the Golden Witch. Behold the sweetfish river running through my beloved hometown. refers to Kinzo's hometown in Taiwan, Taishou. During the occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese lived in Taipei. The Danshui Line is a railroad that goes from Taipei to Danshui Harbor.

You who seek the Golden Land, follow its path downstream in search of the key refers to the railroad line. "Follow its path downstream" means follow the Danshui Line.

As you travel down it, you will see a village refers to a station on the Danshui Line, Sekihai Station. Sekihai Station was once called Kirigan Station, which has the Japanese character for "village" as part of its name.

In that village, look for the shore the two will tell you of refers to Kirigan Station again. Kirigan Station has the character for "shore" in its name. The "two" refer to the namesake of Kirigan Station, also called Kirigan, which has two characters for "mouth" in it.

There sleeps the key to the Golden Land refers to multiple things. The "key" refers to six things in particular.

On the first twilight, offer the six chosen by the key as sacrifices refers the same key as above. The Taiwanese pronunciation of Kirigan is Qilian which, when romanized, is six letters long. Those six letters are removed from a larger set of letters. This comes from the one discrepancy within the riddle, On the tenth twilight, the journey shall end, and you shall reach the capital where the gold dwells., in which the Golden Land is instead referred to as the capital. Golden Land, in romanized Japanese, is Ougon Kyou, which can also mean Golden Capital. The character for "kyou" in Golden Land can be read as "kei", which is a number equal to one quadrillion. When divided by ten (tenth twilight), only one quadrillion is left. By removing the letters of "Qilian" from quadrillion, you are left with the letters u,d,r,l, and o. What's important is that there are five letters left. The word "kill" is used five times over the course of the next section of the epitaph. On the relief adorning the chapel on Rokkenjima, on a relief, there is a statement written in English, "You will be blessed only at a probability of a quadrillion to one". Each letter of quadrillion has a key attached to the back and can be removed from the relief. For the first twilight, one must remove from the relief, the letters of Qilian.

On the second twilight, those who remain shall tear apart the two who are close refers to the "d" and "r" in quadrillion which are the closest remaining letters. The first "l" must be the one that is removed from the relief as you "tear apart those who are close" by moving the r one keyhole to the right.

On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my noble name refers to rearranging the letters remaining on the relief while maintaining their positions. If done correctly, the phrase "lord u" is spelled.

"On the fourth twilight, gouge the head and kill.

On the fifth twilight, gouge the chest and kill.

On the sixth twilight, gouge the stomach and kill.

On the seventh twilight, gouge the knee and kill.

On the eighth twilight, gouge the leg and kill" all refers to the relief. You "gouge and kill" by turning a key from left to right before removing it.

Once all the letters have been removed, the lion statue outside the chapel will turn to face a different direction. The lion now faces another lion which faces another and so on. Follow the lions to the back of the chapel. There is now an entrance to a staircase leading to an underground VIP room wherein the gold is stored.

Trivia