|This article is about an object in Higurashi When They Cry.|
The Onigari-no-ryuuou (鬼狩柳桜, lit. "Demon-hunting willow cherry") is an ancient sword sealed inside the ritual warehouse of the Furude Shrine that was used to slay a demon lord.
According to Matsuribayashi's TIP, the Onigari-no-ryuuou was bestowed from Heaven to Ouka Furude, the first half-human-half-demon, to slay her mother Hanyuu who was masquerading as a demon god. The sword was shaped like a willow branch with its tip splitting three ways, each point representing Heaven, Earth, and unity between people.
After the deed was done, the Onigari-no-ryuuou was sealed inside of a statue of Oyashiro-sama inside the Furude Shrine's ritual warehouse. The statue's head is supposed to shatter and reveal the sword when faith in Oyashiro-sama dissipates and the world of man attempts to pass blame onto others once more.
Role in the Story
The sword's existence and its origins are explained in the only TIP, "The forbidden treasure: Onigari-no-ryuuou".
Higurashi Gou and Sotsu
The Onigari-no-ryuuou is featured again. In Watadamashi-hen, Keiichi repairs the statue of Oyashiro-sama after his group breaks it, where it is shown there is an empty slot where the sword should be. This suspicion is confirmed in Nekodamashi-hen, where Hanyuu informs Rika that the sword can kill those who live in time loops. Kagurashi-hen shows Satoko also learning about the sword and revealing it in the statue, which has now materialized, and stealing it but accidentally leaving behind a fragment. Rika herself heads to the shrine later and finds this fragment.
Kagurashi-hen culminates in Rika and Satoko battlling, where Rika attempts to use the sword fragment to kill Satoko and uses it to obtain a superpowered shrine maiden form. Satoko uses the rest of the sword itself to gain her own super form. Their battle results in the sword and fragment recombining into one.
"Ryuuou" is Hanyuu's personal sword that she keeps in Onigafuchi Swamp.
- Main article: Ryuun-Ohc
This console-exclusive arc provides a possible explanation for the Onigari-no-ryuuou's existence.
The Onigari-no-ryuuou was a simple katana wielded by Yeasomul and had the artificial intelligence Ryuun-Ohc (later nicknamed "Ryuuou") inhabiting it. It could grow three prongs when an incantation was spoken, for use in killing Putus and demonified Ryuun.
Hanyuu bestowed Ouka with the weapon since it was the only thing that could kill a Ryuun like her for good. After Ouka reluctantly killed her mother with it, the sword remained in its three-pronged form, seemingly a message to never use it again. Ouka cast the sword into Onigafuchi Swamp afterwards.
- Hanyuu can wield the sword in Higurashi Daybreak.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Mei features the Onigari-no-ryuuou being wielded by various SSR units.
- The Onigari-no-ryuuou appears to be inspired by a real-life sword called the shichishito, or seven-branched sword.