|This article is about a character in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.|
This article or section contains untagged major spoilers for the original Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and possibly the console-exclusive arcs. Readers who have not completed the main story are advised not to proceed further.
Miyoko Tanashi (田無 美代子 Tanashi Miyoko) is the main antagonist of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Feeling that her grandfather's research went ignored, she sought to prove it to the world and become revered as a god, taking the name of Miyo Takano and masterminding the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
A girl who lost her parents in a traffic accident, went to an orphanage, and is now living with her father's teacher, Hifumi Takano.
(Translated from Entergram's Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou website.)
Miyoko's child self is not given a sprite in the original visual novels. Adaptations and ports show her as a young girl with blonde hair, which is carried over to her adult self.
As an adult, Miyoko wears a green jacket adorned with a green ribbon with a yellow four-leaf clover on it over a pink shirt and black pants. Her military outfit is entirely black with a black beret. The same green ribbon is adorned on it.
As a child, Miyoko loved to collect miniature flags from kids meals and aimed to get one from every country. After her experiences in the orphanage, she gained determination to do her best and started to challenge God, believing him to be unfair at times. After being taken in by Dr. Takano, Miyoko became engrossed with Hinamizawa Syndrome research and inherited the doctor's will to be akin to God, wanting her research to be known by the world.
As Miyo Takano, she seems to enjoy dissecting Hinamizawa Syndrome patients. She doesn't mind using terminal patients as guinea pigs and ending their lives prematurely since they're going to die anyway. Takano is very mocking of Oyashiro-sama due to the belief that his religion is no more than something brought about by parasites.
Miyoko was born to the Tanashi family, a fairly nondescript family. Miyoko's favorite pastime was going to the mall and would always ensure her parents would take her there if they were going out. One day, she went to a friend's house and came back to find her parents had gone out without her, later discovering that they got into a serious train accident. Her mother died in the accident and her father Takemitsu Tanashi survived, but he was missing a hand and didn't have long to live. Before he died, Takemitsu told a heartbroken Miyoko to call his former teacher Dr. Hifumi Takano.
Miyoko had no other relatives and was sent to an orphanage where she suffered from poor conditions and terrible punishments from the staff there. Not wanting to stay there any longer, she and some friends attempted to escape on a rainy night but only Miyoko managed to elude the staff's clutches. She came across a telephone booth and miraculously found a coin on the ground, enough for one phone call; Miyoko considered this act to be God challenging her. After remembering Dr. Takano's phone number from what her dad told her, Miyoko called him for help and was adopted by him soon after. She went to live with Dr. Takano at his study and became good friends with his friend Koizumi, a member of the Japanese army.
Miyoko became very interested in the doctor's research, especially his research into the parasitic virus Hinamizawa Syndrome and his theory about the queen carrier: a member of the Furude family whose existence was crucial to keeping the virus under control within Hinamizawa. If the queen carrier died then every villager would suffer terminal symptoms of the syndrome within 48 hours and cause chaos.
- "I am Miyoko Takano (高野 美代子). Hifumi Takano's granddaughter. ...Maybe it should be 'Miyo Takano' (高野 美代) instead. ...That's what my grandfather sometimes calls me. I want to succeed Hifumi's spirit. Since his name counts from one to three... I want us to share that "three" and be the fourth in his line. Today, my name changes. I wrote that new name in the mirror. Miyo Takano (高野 三四). What a wonderful name for the new me."
- — Miyoko Takano changing her name to Miyo Takano
Dr. Takano always hoped for people to talk about his research for years on end and immortalize him as a god, and Miyoko started to feel the same way. She changed her name to Miyo Takano in honor of him, following a similar naming pattern: "Hifumi" literally means 1-2-3, and Miyo's name would be 3-4. Dr. Takano needed funding to fully pursue research into the syndrome and presented his current findings to politicians of the SDF, but they rejected him and his queen carrier theory because it sounded like nonsense.
Seeing how devastated her grandfather was, the young Takano aimed to prove his research to the world. In school she began research into parasites and became a model student, growing up and later graduating from college. In the meantime Dr. Takano continued to do research as best he could but contracted dementia and attempted suicide by jumping from his hospital roof. He was placed on life support, with Miyo implied to have ended his life by pulling him off of it. Koizumi approached Takano, regretful that he couldn't properly support the doctor when he was still alive, and helped her become a part of the organization Tokyo, granting her the facilities and funding she needed to pursue Hinamizawa Syndrome research. Koizumi also revealed to her that the reason the doctor's research was denied was because Hinamizawa Syndrome was the likely cause for the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, and it would cause foreign relations problems if this knowledge was made public.
- "Someone told me it'd leave a bad impression if I asked for money to continue my grandfather's research; that people may think I'm trying to pull funds for a family matter. That's why I changed one of the characters in my last name."
- — Miyo explaining her relation with Hifumi to Tomitake
Miyo changed her surname to hide her relation with Hifumi: Hifumi's is written as 高野 while Miyo's is written as 鷹野. Despite how similar Takano's name was to Dr. Takano's most people never suspected they were related and assumed their similar names were a coincidence, or that she changed her name in respect of him. Takano made several allies because of Tokyo: Kyousuke Irie, a young and talented neurosurgeon who took an interest in the syndrome and signed on to try and find a treatment. They had the Irie Clinic built in Hinamizawa, giving them a base of operations. While Takano was the true leader of the clinic, she instead opted to become nurse while Irie was Director and proprietor of the clinic, as their syndrome research was top-secret. Jirou Tomitake would act as an auditor for them; he communicated between the clinic and Tokyo with orders and requests. Takano would later form a romantic relationship with him.
Tetsurou Okonogi and the Mountain Dogs were assigned to the clinic as a secret counterintelligence force: they kept the existence of the syndrome secret and captured terminal patients if they were ever found. Takano also formed an uneasy relationship with the Furude family and their daughter Rika, as she was the current queen carrier and researching her would be important to finding a cure for the syndrome.
In 1979, the clinic made great strides in their research when Takano found and captured a terminal patient of Hinamizawa Syndrome: a construction worker who alongside other workers ganged up on their boss and killed him, then hacked him to pieces. Because of the dam project going on at the time, the villagers began calling the strange death and disappearance punishment from their god Oyashiro-sama.
In 1980 Satoko Houjou became a terminal patient of the syndrome and killed her parents by pushing them off of a cliff. She was examined by the clinic and found to be a terminal patient, and as the Mountain Dogs covered up the deaths of the parents, Takano made preparations to dissect Satoko like they did with the construction worker. However, Irie instead developed the medicine C103 and successfully brought Satoko to the L3 stage, avoiding the need for dissecting and killing her while still collecting data for the syndrome due to Satoko constantly taking the medicine every day. In the mwantime, Takano developed the reagent H170, meant to induce terminal symptoms in Hinamizawa Syndrome patients.
In 1981 the Furude family suddenly decided they didn't want to cooperate with the clinic anymore, as they were getting suspicious. Takano was at a loss for what to do as they still had so much more to learn from the queen carrier. At that point the villagers believed that Oyashiro-sama's curse was real, having blamed it for the deaths and disappearances in 1979 and 1980. Takano realized that she could dispose of the Furude family and pass it off as the third year of the curse. She ordered the Mountain Dogs to take care of it, and as a result Mr. Furude was poisoned and killed, his death assumed by the villagers to be from illness while Mrs. Furude was captured in the clinic, her disappearance passed off as a suicide from drowning in Onigafuchi Swamp. Takano took pleasure in dissecting Mrs. Furude, the previous queen carrier.
In 1983 Koizumi dies. As a result, the Alphabet Project board has new anti-Koizumi members replacing many older members, and they had no interest in developing Hinamizawa Syndrome for warfare. They gave the Irie Clinic reduced funding and a time limit of three years to find a cure to the syndrome. Takano became depressed, feeling like she wouldn't be able to complete her grandfather's research in time and earn the recognition he deserved. A member from Tokyo, Nomura, then approached her and promised that if Takano could prove her queen carrier theory as legitimate then the government would have to take th syndrome seriously and give her funding. Takano becomes encouraged to carry out a massacre of Hinamizawa's villagers and begins preparing for this act.
- Hifumi Takano (adoptive grandfather)
- Koizumi (patron, close friend)
- Jirou Tomitake (lover)
- Tetsurou Okonogi (ally, subordinate)
- Nomura (ally)
- Kyousuke Irie (coworker, subordinate)
- Rika Furude (enemy)
- Hanyuu (enemy)
Role in the Story
Many arcs feature Takano carrying out the Great Hinamizawa Disaster behind the scenes, often faking her death using a burnt corpse in an oil drum. See Miyo Takano for her role in the story beforehand.
Due to Rika being killed by Shion and being found more than 48 hours after the fact, Takano's queen carrier theory was disproven, and thus she was unable to carry out the Great Hinamizawa Disaster. The credits show that other characters are living well past 1983.
Console ports include add a bad ending to Meakashi that is expanded upon by additions to the Connecting Fragments: after Rika's death, Takano has earned negative favor with Tokyo due to her theory being proven false. She drinks her sorrows away in a park and sees Mion and Keiichi together. Realizing that Mion and the Sonozaki family's customs were responsible for Shion murdering Rika and thereby ruining her plans, Takano suddenly develops L5 symptoms of Hinamizawa Syndrome and kills Keiichi. Takano later speaks to an unknown Tokyo member who's been watching her movements and is seemingly killed, as the higher-ups planned to erase everything related to the syndrome after the operation failed.
A secret ending features Frederica Bernkastel traveling to a Fragment of Miyoko's past and changing fate just a little bit, which results in Miyoko's parents surviving the accident.
- Higurashi Daybreak features a story mode where Miyoko time-travels to 1983 and Okonogi tries to help her.
- The name Miyoko could have also been comprised of the characters "three", "four" and "five" (三四五). Also, "four" is considered a highly inauspicious number in Japan since it is homophonous with the character for "death" (死). The impact of this superstition is so great in Japan to the point of inducing tetraphobia. For example, certain buildings label the fourth floor as "F" instead of 4.
- This could have multiple implications—with "four" representing the "death" of Miyoko Tanashi and the birth of Miyo Takano. However, it could also imply that Takano spelled her own demise by removing the "five" from her name.
- Ryukishi07's later works feature characters that are similar to Miyoko in appearance and name.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni features Lambdadelta, whose name is Greek for the number 34. The extra arc Memoirs of the ΛΔ implies that Lambda was responsible for granting Miyoko the powers to make her certain determination come true. However, in an interview with Ryukishi07, he confirmed that Lambdadelta and Takano's similarities are just merely red herrings rather than them having an actual connection with each other.
- Hotarubi no Tomoru Koro ni features Miyoko Takano, who is very similar to Takano in backstory and appearance. The prologue The First and the Last Gift shows that she was a piece created by Lambdadelta.
- Rose Guns Days features Meryl Tanashi, whose real Japanese name is Miyoko Tanashi.
- Ciconia no Naku Koro ni features Vier Dreissig, whose name in German can mean 34. She has a very similar appearance to Takano and has done similar things to her like faking her death with a burnt corpse and performing lobotomies.
- "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
- Matsuribayashi Connecting Fragments 18: Kyousuke Irie.
Takano: "Hee hee. It's not that difficult. I just have to find a Hinamizawa resident who is about to die, that's all."
Irie: "But... even if they're about to die, who would be brave enough to provide their body for research while still alive?"
Takano: "Don't worry about that. If they're dying anyway, we're just going to put them to sleep a little sooner. On paper, of course. Hee hee."
- Matsuribayashi Chapter 15.
- Matsuribayashi Chapter 3.
- Matsuribayashi Connecting Fragments 22: One, two, three, four
- Four in Japan and East Asia
- Interview with Ryukishi07 (2009)