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This article is about a location in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Overview

The Furude Shrine (古手神社 Furude Jinja) is where the Watanagashi Festival is held every year and where The Three Families hold their village meetings. Rika Furude and Satoko Houjou also live there.

Description

The Furude Shrine is situated on a hill with a large stone staircase leading up to it, and at certain places in the shrine one can get a good view of the entire Hinamizawa village. Behind the grounds is a ritual storehouse (祭具殿 saiguden) where many tools used for the Watanagashi are stored. Far beyond the shrine is a rope bridge that leads into a forest.

There is also an assembly hall used mostly for village meetings and at other times karaoke and calligraphy practice.[1] Behind the assembly hall is a two-story shack: the first story contains a disaster prevention storehouse[2] while the second story is where Rika and Satoko live together.[3]

The shrine grounds were inspired by the Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine[4] and the ritual warehouse was inspired by the Iijimahachiman Shrine, both in Shirakawa-go.[5]

History

The Furude Shrine was maintained by the Furude family, as they acted as messengers for the god Oyashiro-sama. Research suggested that the shrine itself was Oyashiro-sama, as part of his name can be read as "yashiro" or "shrine"; attaching the "O" character thus means Oyashiro-sama's name is "lord honorable shrine."[6] For years the shrine was the site for the Watanagashi, a ritual devoted to Oyashiro-sama's worship which was rumored to involve humans being dissected, tortured and finally consumed by the half-demon villagers. In the modern era, the Watanagashi has become a fun festival, with food stalls and games being set up on the shrine grounds. During the dam conflict, the shrine's assembly hall was used as a base for the Onigafuchi Guardians to meet up, as they believed that being in the presence of their guardian deity would reinforce their opposition to the dam project.[1]

The ritual storehouse (祭具殿 saiguden) is where the Furude family stores ancient scrolls and many tools and implements used for the Watanagashi. The storehouse has two sets of doors so that people cannot see into the storehouse when the first one is opened.[7] Many of the tools stored inside are cruel instruments of torture, a remnant of Hinamizawa's gory past. There is also a statue of Oyashiro-sama inside the storehouse, which had its arm broken off when Satoko accidentally fell into the storehouse from the roof at a younger age.[2]

Only certain members of the Three Families are allowed to enter the storehouse, and even then only the head of the Furude family is allowed to read the scrolls that tell of Oyashiro-sama's past. Matsuribayashi's TIP reveals that an ancient sword called the Onigari-no-ryuuou is sealed inside the storehouse, which was used by Rika's ancestor Ouka Furude to slay a demon lord, which was her mother Hanyuu in disguise and the true identity of Oyashiro-sama. The sword is sealed inside of the statue of Oyashiro-sama, with its head to split open when the Onigari-no-ryuuou needs to be wielded again.

References

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