|This article is about a character in Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni.|
Chiharu Nakamura (中村千春 Nakamura Chiharu) is a resident of Hirasaka.
Chiharu has long hair in a hime cut, colored blue on the cover of volume 3. She has a blank stare most of the time. In her demon form, Chiharu has empty eyes and a massive body and limbs in proportion to her head. She also grows sharp teeth.
In The First and the Last Gift, Chiharu is self-described as skeptical of her parents' fortune-telling beliefs and easily depressed, finding some happiness in moving to Hirasaka despite the weird customs it has. Her annoyance at the constant nagging by the villagers got to the point where she started ignoring them, and they eventually left her alone. Presently Chiharu is an emotionless girl with a blank stare most of the time.
The First and the Last Gift shows that Chiharu's family; consisting of herself, her parents and two brothers for a total of five; moved to Hirasaka in 1982 because a fortune teller said it was prophesized. One year later, on a day her mother was out of the village with her friend, Chiharu's family wakes up to find themselves in a world with two suns. Chiharu explores the suddenly-abandoned village and meets Miyoko Takano, taking her back to hang out with her family.
When the Tadamura family go to Hirasaka and end up in the same world, they find Chiharu naked and bound in an abandoned house, her expression vacant. It is revealed that Chiharu and her family died when they went to Hell. Chiharu was appointed as a guardian of hell, becoming a demon and reviving the corpses of her family to make them kill each other over and over again.
Chiharu ruminates on her life and what led to her family moving to Hirasaka. She is woken up one day by her brother telling her to come outside, and she sees that there are now two suns outside. With Chiharu's mother gone on a trip and the Suzuki household nearby; consisting of old man Suzuki and his son; there are only six people within the village.
Chiharu searches the village for others and meets Miyoko Takano, who suddenly jumps out of hiding and aims her shotgun at her. A frightened Chiharu introduces herself and Takano lowers her gun. Chiharu says there's no sign of anybody else is in the village and offers Takano to come back to her home and stick with her family. Takano writes in her notebook about this meeting and Chiharu says that she saw some pretty fireflies last night. Takano is inspired to name her notebook "When the Fireflies Glow".
Takano hides a naked and bound Chiharu inside of a hatch in her safehouse, later abandoning it and leaving the Tadamuras to find Chiharu when they inspect the house. Though Chiharu's breathing, she doesn't say anything or react to any kind of stimulus; a blank expression rests on Chiharu's face. After freeing and clothing her, the group finds a notebook where the writer calls Chiharu a gift from heaven and says she befriended a woman named Miyoko. They determine the girl's name is Chiharu since she reacts a bit when they say it.
Tsunemasa's condition begins to worsen, and the group sees he must be getting into a similar state as Chiharu. Yue meanwhile has fun caring for Chiharu and doing up her hair. Yue and Terumi take Tsunemasa and Chiharu outside for some fresh air and leave her by herself when Tsunemasa suddenly runs away. The girls return to find Chiharu is missing, leaving behind the bow in her hair. They discover Chiharu some ways away watching a group of people fighting and killing each other. Yue grabs her and says they should go home when Chiharu develops a demonic expression and points into the sky, yelling at the corpses to live. The corpses reanimate and chase after the Tadamuras.
At home, Teruya explains that in Buddhist hell, the Sanjiva layer has a guardian of hell reviving the deceased and forcing them to fight and kill each other repeatedly. Chiharu must be one of these guardians, with the house's protective charm suppressing her demonic state. With Chiharu reviving the corpses so close to their house, they need to deal with her as soon as possible. At dawn, the group throws a blanket on Chiharu and try to drag her back to the house but she grows a massive arm and grabs Yukito, soon dropping him when Teruya stabs her arm. They restrain her again and drag her back to the house but Chiharu fights back, using her strength to grab onto the house's front doorframe. Chiharu knocks over the charm during her struggle and soon turns back to normal.
Yukito ties up Chiharu with rope. At night, demons starts getting near the house, and the group realizes that Chiharu destroyed the charm. The group is forced to abandon the house as Chiharu starts to transform again. After running some distance, they hear Chiharu calling out everyone's names. Because of the night time she's grown to a massive size, towering over them. She runs towards the group but is stalled by Takano shooting her with her shotgun.
At the Hirasaka Community Center, the group finds a news article talking about strange disappearances in Hirasaka dated 1983. Chiharu's family is shown to be among the disappearances, with an attached picture. They realize that Chiharu was reviving her family over and over again and making them kill each other.
- The Gekkan Action publication of Chapter 17 shows a different photo of Chiharu's family than the later tankobon version. In the original version, there are six members shown in Chiharu's family. The new version features four members and another photo above Chiharu's, listing Suzuki as the family name, possibly to provide a more direct connection to The First and the Last Gift.