|This article is about a character in Higurashi When They Cry.|
He is a doctor at the Hinamizawa clinic and is a very respectable man, except for his perversion.
On his days off, he is also the manager of the Hinamizawa Fighters, and is taken care of and very well respected by the villagers.
The doctor at Irie Clinic, the only clinic in the village. He is also the coach of the little league baseball team called "Hinamizawa Fighters." He seems to have a very mild demeanor, but apparently has a thing for maids.
Irie has short hair and wears glasses with black rims. He frequently wears a lab coat over a black shirt and yellow tie, and his casual wear consists of a yellow shirt.
Irie is generally very aloof and has an obsession with maids. When it comes to helping others, he acts very serious and firm.
Irie runs the Irie Clinic in Hinamizawa. He also manages the Hinamizawa Fighters baseball team, recruiting Satoshi Houjou in 1982 in an attempt to alleviate the stress from his home situation. As the only doctor in the village, Irie is often called for checkups in house calls and at the school.
Matsuribayashi reveals that
In 1982, when Satoshi killed his aunt on the night of the Watanagashi Festival, Irie discovered he had terminal symptoms a few days later and brought him to the clinic. Satoshi has remained in the clinic's basement since then, his disappearance believed to be a result of the curse. Irie has been trying to cure him as well, his findings contributing even more to Satoko's own cure.
- Satoko Houjou (patient, friend)
- Satoshi Houjou (student, friend)
- Shion Sonozaki (assistant)
- Miyo Takano (employee, coworker, superior)
- Jirou Tomitake (colleague, friend)
Satoko is a frequent patient at Irie's clinic, and Irie sometimes jokes about making her wear maid outfits. Despite this, Irie genuinely cares for Satoko and wants to adopt her since she lives alone with Rika, however he is unable to due to being single; in this era, kids can only be adopted by a couple.
Irie recruited Satoshi onto the Hinamizawa Fighters baseball team in 1982 to help alleviate his stress from his family situation. Satoshi frequently confided in Irie about his problems, and though Irie encouraged him to do his best, the boy quit the team and got part-time jobs after a while.
Role in the Story
Irie is first introduced. As the coach of Hinamizawa's baseball team and the director of the Irie Clinic, he is shown to be very close to Keiichi's friends and all the other residents of Hinamizawa. He is also shown to be especially fond of Satoko. He later meets Keiichi at Satoko's house. After holding back his anger from seeing Teppei Houjou, he drives Keiichi back home, explaining the Houjou family's history, and how it affected Satoko and her brother.
After Watanagashi, Keiichi comes to the clinic, and in his state of confusion, confesses to Irie about murdering Teppei. At first Irie thinks he's delusional, but after listening to Keiichi's account of what happened, Irie believes Keiichi and thanks him for saving Satoko while crying. Keiichi then reveals to Irie that some people, including Satoko, witnessed Teppei alive after the incident, and starts telling Irie a contradictory version of the events. Irie, now convinced that Keiichi's gone crazy, leaves the room and asks his staff to prepare black tea with sedatives in order to get Keiichi's mental state examined. He is interrupted by another staff member, who tells him that Takano was found dead in the mountains. Irie, shocked by the recent deaths of "Risa" and Takano, swears that he won't let this become part of the curse. He is again interrupted, this time by a phone call from Ooishi. Keiichi, who was eavesdropping on the whole conversation, takes this opportunity to escape from the clinic, and curses Irie while crying. A few days later, Irie is found dead by police, having committed suicide from overdosing on sleeping pills.
During Toshiki Inugai's kidnapping case in 1978, Irie is contacted by the kidnappers, as he was the closest doctor. Irie examines Toshiki and finds that he has scars from old surgeries. Toshiki, having faked pain in order to get outside help, tries to get Irie to contact the authorities.
In 1982, Shion meets with Irie under the guise of Mion and becomes the ghost manager of the Hinamizawa Fighters. Shion learns from Irie about Satoshi's home situation and he wants to leave the team to take better care of Satoko.
The night of the festival that year, Irie is called in by Ooishi to examine the fourth year curse's victim, whose face was smashed beyond recognition. Irie recognizes the victim as Satoshi's aunt but lies, claiming he doesn't know who it is and leaves. A few days later, Shion reveals to Irie that she's Mion's twin, and Irie is shocked. Ooishi suddenly appears and interrupts their conversation, and Irie helps Shion get away from him by telling the detective they're getting team supplies.
Irie heads to Angel Mort to join the club's dessert eating competition.
On the night of Watanagashi, Irie is summoned by the police to inspect Tomitake's corpse. Irie looks at the scene and mutters that it was impossible, and then asks Ooishi where Takano is. Ooishi wonders if Takano could have caused Tomitake's death since she's a nurse and has access to all sorts of drugs, and Irie insists that it's not the case.
Irie finishes a checkup with Satoko after giving her a shot and tells Rika in private that she may never regress below the L3 stage. Irie swears to cure Satoko someday. Satoko finishes her test with Takano, and Irie tells the girl she can go back to two shots a day.
Rika decides to get Tomitake and Takano as allies to prevent her eventual death and asks Irie where she could find them, and he directs her to the Furude Shrine. Later, Irie does a presentation for Tomitake and other board members regarding the clinic's research. After the meeting, Irie talks to Takano and Tomitake about the L5 stage, which patients like Satoko have reached before. Tomitake and Takano then tell him that Rika was afraid of someone killing her. Irie schedules her for an emergency checkup the next day.
Rika tells Irie that Teppei's returned, and he and Takano wonder what to do to help Satoko. Irie decides he doesn't want to stand by and watch Satoko suffer anymore and asks Takano for her input. Takano leaves the room to consider her options. Rika asks Irie if Satoko will be fine at Teppei's house because of her condition, and Irie says she should be good for a week since he gave her a set of new needles. Takano returns and says they can't use the Mountain Dogs to take action since the police suspect Teppei of murder and are watching him.
Keiichi and the club decide to protest the child consultation center, and Irie helps them. When Satoko comes back to school and suffers a breakdown, Irie helps calm her down by giving her an injection since she hasn't been taking her medicine properly. Irie continues to support the protests, which are ultimately successful.
On the night of Watanagashi, Takano instigates her plan where she kills Tomitake by injecting him with H173 and then fakes her own death with a burnt corpse. Irie is summoned by the police to look at Tomitake's corpse. Irie knows that Tomitake was killed with H173 but can't believe it since every sample of it was supposed to be destroyed. Irie then worries that something bad may have happened to Takano since she's also part of Tokyo and then asks Ooishi where she is. Irie lies that he doesn't know how Tomitake died while internally struggling with what to do since he can't contact Tokyo.
Rika asks Irie about the deaths of the two, and the doctor assures her that Tokyo is looking into it. Later, Okonogi lies to Rika that Irie is the mastermind, claiming that he did it as revenge for the clinic's budget being reduced. Rika however doesn't buy it.
Rika explains the truth of everything to her friends, including Irie's background and his research into parasitic diseases like Hinamizawa Syndrome. Takano and the Mountain Dogs carry out the Great Hinamizawa Disaster however, and Irie commits suicide through sleeping pills.
The Connecting Fragments section shows Irie's past in becoming a doctor and his research in finding a cure for Hinamizawa Syndrome. His joining of Tokyo and involvement in Satoshi's disappearance in 1982 is also shown.
At school, Rika asks Irie if there is any gain to be had from killing the queen carrier, and he can't think of anyone who would want to do so. If Rika died then they would have to kill all 2000 villagers in Hinamizawa. Rika considers that Takano and the Mountain Dogs might want to kill her since they have a three-year deadline to eradicate Hinamizawa Syndrome, the reason being so that Takano can shake things up. Irie refuses to believe that Takano could pull off such a thing and gives Rika an emergency test to ensure she's not suffering from symptoms. The results come negative, and so Irie begins to believe in Rika's words.
Rika speaks to Tomitake and Irie regarding her suspicions about Takano and convinces them to be on their guard. Ooishi and Akasaka overhear them and join in on the secret. Irie promises to tell Ooishi everything about the series of mysterious deaths and assures him that the Sonozakis aren't behind them.
At the clinic, Irie and Takano discuss their personal lives and reasons for pursuing research. Irie learns of Takano's relationship with her grandfather and realizes how sad she really is. Later, Irie speaks with Akasaka at Rika's shack and relays everything he learned, including that Takano may want to enact the emergency manual in memory of her grandfather. He also explains the Bloodhounds. Akasaka arranges with Irie a method for sending secret phone messages should the worst happen. Irie has another meeting with Akasaka a few days later and tells him about Rika's plan, where they'll fake Rika's death and claim she was dead for more than 48 hours. The Mountain Dogs have also increased their activity in anticipation of something happening the night of the festival.
Takano hears that Rika's been found dead by the police, which she can't believe since Irie claimed she was alright after visiting her. Takano confirms this with Irie later. Takano however becomes suspicious of him and has some Dogs observe him. Later, Irie sees the Mountain Dogs dragging a captured Tomitake into the clinic, and he fears that his own position has been compromised. Irie sends the phone message to Rika's shack, warning Akasaka that it's an emergency, and then runs outside and tries to escape the clinic in his car. Some Mountain Dogs give chase and run Irie off the road, sending him rolling down a cliff.
Irie survives the crash, but some Dogs chase after him. He gets rescued by Shion and Kasai, and Irie asks them to take him to the Sonozaki estate to join the club. The Mountain Dogs follow them using a tracker shot onto Irie's coat beforehand. Irie explains the situation to everyone, including that they need to rescue Tomitake, and secretly tells Shion that Satoshi is being kept in the clinic's basement. The group escapes the estate using the Sonozaki secret passage, and Shion removes the tracker on Irie's coat, which the club intends to use to create a diversion.
Irie, Akasaka, Kasai, and Shion go to the clinic to rescue Tomitake. They sneak inside and Irie pulls out a floor plan, saying they need to take care of the Dogs inside the security room. They do so, but another Dog appears and takes Shion hostage. Irie pulls a pen out of his pocket and pretends to inject the Dog with something, distracting him with a rant about how he's been infected with an advanced strain of Hinamizawa Syndrome and must act like a maid to get the antidote; the Dog is knocked out thanks to Akasaka and Kasai's intervention.
Shion sees the state of Satoshi in the basement, and Irie assures her that he's doing everything he can to cure him. He promises that Shion will be allowed to visit Satoshi in the clinic. The Bloodhounds are soon called to secure the clinic.
In the epilogue, the Irie Clinic is allowed to stay open after much pleading from the villagers, as they now consider Irie one of them. Irie publishes a report about the influence of the brain on human behavior and credits both Takano and her late grandfather in it.
Irie is introduced as the coach of the Hinamizawa Fighters. He and Keiichi make a promise to never make Satoko cry. At school, Irie tells Keiichi about Satoko's former situation with her family and brother.
Irie helps Keiichi and the club protest the child consultation center.
In one of Rika's loops, the Mountain Dogs are arrested by the Bloodhounds. Irie guides some Bloodhounds through the clinic, where Satoshi still sleeps comatosely. Irie explains the boy's situation and then explains H173, pulling out its case.
Post-Matsuribayashi, Irie continues to do research into a cure for Hinamizawa Syndrome. In 1984, during one of Satoko's checkups he informs her that her Hinamizawa Syndrome is gone. Irie speaks to Rika privately about his theory that the root cause of the syndrome changed, which he noticed a year ago in other villagers.
A few years later, Irie pays for Rika and Satoko's tuition for St. Lucia Academy.
In the original OVA, Irie commits suicide with a gun after the village is placed on lockdown. In the visual novel version, he goes missing instead.
When Tomoe is found unconscious in a phone booth by Ooishi, she is brought to the clinic where Irie greets her and says he gave her a small injection.
- In the original story, Irie was planned to be the mastermind, however several factors went into changing it:
- He seemed too similar to the character Muska from Castle in the Sky.
- Irie was to become a cruel person to contrast his maid obsession, and there was going to be a scene where Irie has Satoshi's brain encased in formaldehyde, but BT thought it was too horrible.
- After the initial writing of Tatarigoroshi, Ryukishi07 felt that Satoko didn't have any real allies and so rewrote Irie to be her friend through and through.
- "作品紹介 — ひぐらしのなく頃に" on the Official 07th Expansion website https://07th-expansion.net/hig_gensaku
- Meakashi Day 6
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Famous Scene Investigation File 100 Q & A #85
- 07th Expansion All Character Settings Collection Page 94 (Irie bio)
- Final Thoughts on Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Page 342-343