|This article is about a character in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.|
The mayor of Hinamizawa Village.
In the past, he was militant in his campaign against the dam, but now he is a good-natured old man.
(Translated from Entergram's Higurashi Hou website.)
Kiichirou is not given a sprite in the original visual novels. Console ports and anime adaptations show him as an old man with gray hair who wears a green shirt and khakis.
The manga features him wearing a kimono.
Kiichirou appears as a kindly old man, but when it comes to official village business he can become very intense and cold. His rage was especially prevalent during the dam war. Despite this, Kiichirou is intimidated easily when alone and comes across as cowardly in this regard.
Kiichirou is the head of the Kimiyoshi family, which alongside the Sonozaki and Furude families form the Three Families, a triumvirate that has governed Hinamizawa ever since its days as Onigafuchi Village. Usage of the character 鬼 in names is apparently a right reserved for only the leaders of the Kimiyoshi and Sonozaki families. (...) Incidentally, it's thought that the first character the[sic] mayor Kiichirou's name, 喜, originally meant 'demon,' which can also be read as 'ki.' (...) The characters for 'Kimiyoshi,' 公由, are likely a split-up version of 鬼. If you write it in reverse and top to bottom, as 由公, it clearly resembles the character 鬼.
The Kimiyoshis used to be the strongest of the Three Families and were always elected as mayors, but over time their power weakened. This tradition still continues into the modern day, but this is mainly because there are no rival candidates that appear. Kiichirou also leads the regular village meetings, though if a substitute for the Sonozaki head is present then they lead in his stead.
During the dam war, Kiichirou and the Kimiyoshi family took the position of leaders of the Onigafuchi Guardians, the organization the villagers formed to oppose the dam project. The Kimiyoshis did anti-dam acts that could generate good publicity for their cause while the Sonozakis did more shady things.
- Oryou Sonozaki (co-leader)
- Rika Furude (co-leader, friend, ward)
- Mion Sonozaki (friend)
- Shion Sonozaki (friend)
Kiichirou is reported to have gone missing the night after the Watanagashi Festival, with the entire village searching for him. Keiichi has a series of phone conversations with Shion and learns that she confessed to him about their trespassing into the ritual storehouse the night of the festival. Kiichirou promised Shion he would take care of it, leading her to think he was made a victim of Oyashiro-sama's curse. Keiichi later learns from Ooishi that Kiichirou and Rika had replaced the lock to the storehouse with a lighter one prior to Keiichi and Shion's trespassing. The villagers thus blamed the Three Family heads for making it easy for outsiders to break in.
In a later conversation, Ooishi reveals that Kiichirou was suffering from hemorrhoids and was secretly going to a doctor. On the day he disappeared, the mayor had gone off to an appointment in the morning and came back late to a village meeting when his train got delayed; in other words, Kiichirou spent the entire day without contacting anybody until the meeting, which contradicts what Shion said. Keiichi also learns that Shion went missing at around the same time, casting doubt on his prior phone calls.
Keiichi confronts "Shion" over the phone and asks when she confessed to Kiichirou, realizing that the only chance she could've had to talk to him was before he disappeared or immediately after. Shion's maniacal laughter after this reveal confirms his suspicions.
Convinced that Mion had been taking Shion's place the entire time, Keiichi and Rena go to her house to confront her and learn the truth: Mion was present when Kiichirou and Rika were planning to replace the lock, and though Mion didn't agree with it she confirmed that Kiichirou would take responsibility as head of one of the Three Families should anything bad happen. After trespassers entered the ritual warehouse, Mion saw fit to punish those who had enabled it to happen in the first place and captured Kiichirou and Rika, soon killing them.
The police raid the Sonozaki estate and find that Kiichirou's corpse, alongside Rika and several others, were thrown into a coal tar pit at the bottom of a well in the underground torture chamber. They determine that they were tortured before they were killed.
Akasaka goes undercover on a tour of Hinamizawa in 1978 and meets Kiichirou when he visits the shrine.
At a flashback to a village meeting, Kiichirou expresses his concerns over fundraising for the anti-dam movement; they made a large donation to the mass media, and he thinks it's unwise to increase the prices on their bulletins again when they had enough trouble convincing villagers to accept it the first time. Mion speaks on behalf of Oryou and says the price increase will go through if they need to raise more money for the mass media, with Kiichirou staying silent in response.
The meeting hall then learns that the Minister of Construction's son was kidnapped and that someone from Public Safety had come to the village to investigate. Akasaka obtains the minutes of this meeting and realizes that Kiichirou most likely knew who he was all along.
In 1982, Kiichirou attends a village meeting with Oryou and others and learns that Oyashiro-sama's curse has claimed a fourth victim, with the police trying to identify the body.
In 1983, on the morning after the Watanagashi Festival, Kiichirou calls the Sonozaki house and tells Mion to pass a message to Oryou that they will be having an emergency meeting that day concerning the fifth year curse's victims, who were found last night. Unbeknownst to him, Mion is actually Shion in disguise, who had killed Oryou and locked the real Mion inside the torture chamber.
Shion heads to the meeting and lies to Kiichirou that Oryou is not feeling well, but soon realizes she has to lead the meeting as per the rules. Kiichirou tells her to relax as he'll lead the meeting, though he wants to know what Oryou's said about yesterday's incident.
The meeting begins. After congratulating everyone for helping make Watanagashi great again this year, Kiichirou explains that the bodies of Tomitake and Takano were found by the police; Tomitake's body was found on the road while Takano's burnt corpse was found in Gifu. Kiichirou looks to Shion for her input, and she says Oryou believes it was Oyashiro-sama's curse, caused by those two breaking into the ritual warehouse. The meeting attendees reach an uproar, and Kiichirou quiets them down. Shion says that two more were responsible for breaking into the warehouse, Shion Sonozaki and Keiichi Maeabara, and suggests that Shion has already been given punishment. The impostor Mion expects Kiichirou to have a sad expression upon learning Shion was demoned away, however she becomes greatly disturbed when he doesn't even show emotion.
The meeting ends and Shion asks Kiichirou to come to the Sonozaki house, claiming that Oryou needs to tell him something in person. They have tea at her house soon after, with the impostor asking Kiichirou to recall the incident the previous year where Shion ripped out her fingernails for getting friendly with the Houjou family. After being told that Shion is locked up in the torture chamber, Kiichirou fears that her punishment for trespassing will be much worse than last year. He promises that he will ensure she isn't punished too harshly so long as she's showing repentance for what she's done.
The impostor asks if Shion will be protected from demoning away like Satoshi was last year, and Kiichirou's tone changes when he starts insulting the Houjous and says only cursed people like them will be demoned away. He then reveals that Shion's punishment of tearing out three fingernails was for Kasai, Yoshiroh, and Shion herself, not for Satoshi. Shion starts breaking down and demands to know why Satoshi was demoned away when he had nothing to do with the dam project, and a confused Kiichirou says that the curse falling on the Houjous wasn't really decided by the Three Families, and then he tries to retract his prior insults. An enraged Shion knocks out the mayor using her stun gun.
Kiichirou gets tied up and chained to a device in the torture chamber, with a collar around his neck that threatens to hang and choke him to death if the chain is pulled up. After leaving him to suffer for over an hour on his tiptoes, Shion loosens the chain and interrogates the mayor for what he knows about Satoshi's disappearance. Kiichirou knows nothing, not even if he's dead or alive, though he mentions a rumor that the police saw a similar person to Satoshi leaving for Tokyo on a train. Shion doubts this rumor, finding it weird that the Three Families would let someone live after making them disappear and moves to tighten Kiichirou's chain, and he swears he isn't trying to anger her. Kiichirou then tells Shion not to expect Satoshi to be alive and brings up the apparent culprit behind the fourth year curse, a drug addict, and suggests it was a decoy planted by Oryou to stop the police from continuing their investigation. He says the kidnapping of the Minister of Construction's grandson was masterminded by by Oryou as well. Kiichirou doesn't know who was responsible for Satoshi's disappearance, as they never question Oryou's orders; and reminds Shion about the underground well, implying that it was used to dispose of Satoshi's body.
Shion ultimately lets Kiichirou die, having gained all the info she could from him and blaming him for contributing to the system of Oyashiro-sama's curse. After leaving him to stand on his tiptoes all night and die, Shion checks on him and stabs him to ensure he's dead, later throwing him into the well. The police recover his corpse after raiding the Sonozaki estate.
Kiichirou heads a committee for festival preparations, with Keiichi and his dad joining. Keiichi soon begins a movement rallying villagers to convince the child consultation center to save Satoko, and he learns that if he can convince the village council to join them then they'll have a better chance of winning.
Keiichi interrupts a festival meeting and asks Kiichirou to offer Satoko his support, but the mayor thinks the group's constant protests are doing enough as it is. Keiichi compares their fight to the dam war, and Kiichirou says they don't need to fight the government anymore since it's been resolved. Shion reveals that the village council has actually been sucking up to the government in exchange for Watanagashi funding, which shocks Kiichirou.
The mayor once again explains that the government views Hinamizawa as a dangerous bunch, and they need to rebuild their image of a peaceful village. He still refuses to add fuel to the fire that is Keiichi's center protests when Rena points out a framed letter on the wall: an article written by Kiichirou himself during the dam war about how the government trampled on their rights, so the villagers fought back with all they had. Kiichirou grumpily stays quiet in response
The other elderly council members soon voice their support for Keiichi's cause, and Kiichirou starts to come around. After hearing the story behind Satoko's uncle coming back, Kiichirou decides that the village council will give Satoko their support, but only if Keiichi can convince Oryou to go along with it as well. Irie says it's not enough and tells Kiichirou and the other elders to join the protests under a reunited Onigafuchi Guardians. Kiichirou promises to do so and will join Keiichi in convincing Oryou.
The next day, Kiichirou explains the situation to Oryou, that the village council wants to forgive Satoko and end her ostracization. Oryou refuses, and after a lengthy debate Kiichirou happily reports to Keiichi that Oryou has given her approval. Kiichirou later calls the center to inform them that the village council is supporting Keiichi and asks them to take Satoko into custody as soon as possible. He gets rejected, and so Kiichirou plans with the others to protest the center once more. Kiichirou prepares a megaphone and announces to the center the reformation of the Onigafuchi Defense Alliance. The protest is ultimately successful.
Kiichirou dies in the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.