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HotarubiLogoedited
This article is about a location in
Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni.
HotarubiLogoedited

Hirasaka (平坂) is the main setting of Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni. It is a fictional rural Japanese village that is also a gateway to Hell.

Description[]

At the entrance to the village is a wash basin next to six Jizo statues. People who enter the village are expected to stop there and wash their hands, to cleanse themselves of impurities. A community center was built in the village sometime after the Tohoku earthquake containing resources such as food and electricity. In The First and the Last Gift, Lambdadelta notes how similar the location is to Hinamizawa.

Two suns

Two suns bare down heat upon Hell

Hell is environmentally similar to Hirasaka, but the differences are in the wildlife, the agriculture, and the strange phenomena, closely resembling that of Buddhist mythology. The most obvious difference between regular Hirasaka and Hell is the presence of two suns in the sky. Hell seems to be isolated from the rest of the world, given that radios no longer work. A mist river resembling the Sanzu River permeates the landscape, blocking off some areas from access. Going near or entering this fog will induce headaches. Human-faced flies called gakiban swarm around, attacking humans and devouring food supplies. Lifeforms who eat the food that grows in Hell will become wild beasts.

Trees and bushes will transform their leaves to become razor sharp, harming anyone who walks through them. Cutting the leaves will release a foul stench. Apparitions of naked women can appear in these forests calling for help, enticing would-be saviors and causing them to hurt themselves. Giant demons, or Oni, can be seen roaming the landscape and will crush unsuspecting people.

Piles of corpses can be found scattered around. Guardians of hell can revive these corpses, forcing them to fight and kill each other repeatedly. Some corpses can become datsuebas, attacking the living and stripping their clothes off so they can be cleansed. Humans who have become demons can transform and grow to grotesque sizes, however they will regain their normal forms when under the protection of special charms within houses. These charms can also ward off the various horrors of Hell.

Hells cauldron

The landscape of Hell's Cauldron

At the mountain is a place called Hell’s Cauldron, where the deceased are tortured by demons. They are torn apart, stabbed, and crushed eternally. A massive, multi faced demon resembling an asura stands watch over the area, shining light from its eyes intermittently.

History[]

Hirasaka used to be written as 比良坂, exactly the same way as Yomotsu-Hirasaka, the slope leading to Hell in Japanese mythology.[1] Hirasaka was regarded as a sacred place where only ascetics could freely travel. Those who were unbelievers would be transported to Hell overnight if they entered the village. The villagers maintained strict religious precepts to prevent others from going to hell, however as the times changed, many people left the village because they grew tired of these precepts.

Much of Hell's history has been documented in a picture book titled "Tales of Hell", supposedly an account of a man named Yohei who was sent to Hell and escaped after praying for his parents and revering them. It is indeed possible to escape Hell through prayer, which seem to manifest as bright, glowing fireflies.

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • Higurashi When They Cry featured a district of Okinomiya called Hirasaka, with supplementary material for the series suggesting that version of Hirasaka was also known as a gateway between the human and demon world.

References[]

  1. Hotarubi Volume 4 Chapter 16
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