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This article is about a character in Higurashi When They Cry.
Overview

Satoko Houjou (北条 沙都子 Houjou Satoko) is one of the main characters of Higurashi When They Cry. She is a member of the Hinamizawa after-school games club and a master at setting traps.

Profile

A girl who is Keiichi's junior.

She is usually very polite, but because she is still young she sometimes has difficulty with grammar. However, behind her innocent exterior lies a personality that loves setting traps for other people. You could call her a trickster. She tries her utmost to snare Keiichi, but she has only limited success. Although the result of failure is easily imaginable, Satoko doesn’t like to lose, and she doesn’t learn from experience. That is why she keeps confronting him, with all due consequences. Even when she realizes her skills are insufficient, her smile never wavers.

(Edited from the MangaGamer store page, which is translated from the 07th Expansion website.)

A junior student to Keiichi and Rena and Hinamizawa's best trapmaster. Her talents are unleashed to her heart's content during club activities and are feared even by the likes of Mion.

She's a sore loser and speaks in an odd ladylike tone.

She has a tendency to be impudent, yet she is still rather young and sometimes bursts out crying after being teased by Keiichi and Mion.

(Translated from the 2006 website and Kai website)

A young student at Keiichi and Rena's school. She tries to talk like a well-educated rich girl, but her grammar isn't as good as it could be. She hates to lose and can be a bit of a brat, but since she's still young, sometimes Keiichi and Mion will make her cry when they tease her. The town's master of traps, a talent she puts to good use in her after-school "club" activities. Even Mion fears her.

(Taken from the Gou website.)

Appearance

Also see Satoko Houjou/Image Gallery and Satoko Houjou/Sprites

Satoko appears as an athletic pre-pubescent girl, with spiky blonde hair worn in a short bob; held back with her signature black headband. Her eye-color ranges from a shade of dark magenta to purple across multiple adaptations. She often sports a merry or mischievous expression and her pointy canine teeth can be seen accentuating her smug grins and hearty laughs. Teppei Houjou muses to himself in Minagoroshi about how she greatly resembled her deceased mother, who was said to be a very attractive woman.

When she feels rather disturbed or upset, the light in her eyes disappears and her face turns uncharacteristically glum; which was a common sight in her younger years back when she underwent frequent abuse from her legal guardians. In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Sotsu, Satoko's irises occasionally assume a red-blazing tone after being bestowed with the power to travel between Fragments by Eua, and she begins to sport masks of indifference or malicious mirth when she is seen scheming.

When all the girls wear swimsuits to the pool in Hajisarashi-hen, Keiichi Maebara gushes about how Satoko has a very promising silhouette in her swimsuit and would grow up to be a very curvaceous woman. True to his prediction, Satoko is considerably well endowed in all adaptations which feature her as an adult. In Gou and Sotsu, she is somewhat tall as a teenager.

Outfits

  • Uniform
    At school, she dons a light green one-piece sailor dress with a white collar and yellow scarf, complete with black stockings and brown leather shoes with bows as her uniform.
  • Casual Wear
    Her casual ensemble consists of a sleeveless carnation pink button down shirt, folded hem denim shorts, a white belt, purple and white sneakers and white socks.
  • Others
    She is also seen in her navy blue one-piece school swimsuit when the club engages in water-based activities or for punishment games. In Hajisarashi-hen,she wears a one-piece navy-blue swimsuit. For PE activities, she wears the classic PE uniform consisting of dark blue bloomers and a matching white T-shirt with puffed sleeves along with white sneakers and socks. In the anime, her PE outfit has a deep red color scheme instead. For her punishment games, Satoko is often made to wear an array of maid outfits amongst others, which have unique variations in every adaptation.
  • Gou & Sotsu
    In Gou, Satoko's middle school uniform features a short-sleeved dark blue on white sailor uniform matching that of Rika Furude's, along with a navy blue scarf tied into a tie. In the winter, she opts for a long-sleeved blouse of the same uniform and wears a matching navy-blue sweater vest.
    She also wears the St. Lucia Academy high school uniform much like Shion Sonozaki, with her short-sleeved blouse untucked, and sometimes swaps her black stockings out for black knee-length socks.

Personality

Satoko is a mischievous, haughty brat true to her age and loves to play pranks on others using her traps; with Keiichi Maebara being her favorite victim. She is often obstinate and hates being talked down to. She tries to speak like a refined lady, yet this comes off as brash and haphazard, due to her poor usage of Keigo. At times, Satoko will cry whenever someone makes fun of her; although this can be a tactical way to earn others' sympathy—Rena Ryuugu's in particular.

Satoko is rather smart despite her dislike towards academics and her capabilities are apparent in her trap-making prowess, which is held in high regard by Mion Sonozaki, and in Matsuribayashi is even praised by the Bloodhounds after they manage to take out the entire gamut of offending Mountain Dogs. Satoko once tells Keiichi that success in trap-making heavily depends one's ability to observe and predict the opponent's behavior by gauging their psychology. She is rather crafty and prefers to rely on trickery to excel in club games and hence, makes a great strategist.

Satoko is implied to be color-blind like her brother since she has trouble telling the difference between broccoli and cauliflower and doesn't know which colors they are.[3][4] She is often made fun of for this.

Deep down, Satoko longs to be a strong girl because of her old family situation. She used to cry all the time back when her brother was still with her, and ever since his disappearance she has struggled to improve herself. She has learned to cook, clean and take care of herself ever since she was orphaned and began to live alone with Rika. However she takes this need for independence too far and refuses to ask for help from others or show signs of weakness even in dire situations such as when she was taken away by Teppei in Tatarigoroshi and Minagoroshi, or stabbed to death by Shion Sonozaki in Meakashi. Satoko also cares a great deal for her friends—especially Rika Furude, Keiichi and Shion Sonozaki, the latter two whom she considers as big-brother and big-sister figures.

  In Gou and Sotsu,

a darker side of Satoko's personality is shown; one much more cruel, sadistic, ruthless, selfish, and calculating. In Satokowashi, Satoko is portrayed as an egotistical and rude girl who acts disrespectful towards everyone in St. Lucia Academy because she hates their formal manners and demand for excelling academic performance. Due to feeling betrayed by Rika when she didn't keep her promise of continuing to be best friends with Satoko at St. Lucia, Satoko ends up striking a deal with Eua to loop so as to keep Rika with her forever, ultimately dragging Rika back to June 1983 by pulling a brutal murder-suicide with a falling chandelier and desiring to crush Rika's hope of breaking the loop. Using her craftiness to her advantage, Satoko memorized all the Fragments she's been in and created plans to kill herself and Rika so as to keep the time looping, especially by learning how to use a gun. She is also rather unflinching when it comes to killing herself, as seen in Oniakashi-hen Part 3 where she calmly slits her throat with no hesitation.

Similarly to Frederica Bernkastel, an alternative version of Satoko was inadvertently created due to Satoko's looping, completely intent on keeping Rika in Hinamizawa. This Satoko is referred as a "witch" by Eua and herself. She is manipulative when quietly pulling the strings and has a lack of remorse due to her belief that her actions are meaningless as a result of looping. Whenever she has second thoughts to what she's doing, the witch Satoko falls back to feeling that it isn't her fault by blaming Rika for her own actions. In Tatariakashi, she kills Teppei despite his niceness and reformation, and kills her human self when she attempts to prevent this very murder and openly rejects her human side because of her emotional drive, calling the human Satoko as just the remnants of an old Fragment that shouldn't exist anymore. She also beats Keiichi to near-death, previously viewing him as a brother figure, to use for her plan in convincing Ooishi the curse is occurring. At the end of Kagurashi, her witch self seemingly disappears and her human self returns.

  Click here to hide spoilers.


Background

Satoko and Satoshi's mother was always getting divorced and remarried; Houjou is the fourth surname Satoko's had after Hatake (), Yoshizawa (吉澤), and Matsuura (松浦).[5] Satoko never liked any of her stepfathers and conflated the different things they did, thinking they were always abusing her.[6] This reached a point where in 1977[7] she called child protective services and faked a child abuse call after an argument with her stepfather Mr. Houjou, even self-inflicting wounds.[8] Mr. Houjou cleared things up with the social worker that came by and accepted that he may have went too far and resolved to improve their relationship.

During the Hinamizawa Dam Project, her parents supported the plan and led a group of dam supporters, which earned the ire of the other Hinamizawa villagers. The Three Families declared the Houjous enemies of the village, and they were harassed greatly. Even Satoko and Satoshi faced harassment despite not being involved with the dam project in any way. At another point in time, Satoko climbed onto the ritual warehouse at the Furude Shrine and fell inside, damaging the statue of Oyashiro-sama inside. Rika took the blame for it, and Satoko's felt like she was cursed ever since.

In 1980, around the time of the Watanagashi Festival, Satoko went on vacation with her parents to a park in Shirakawa and watched them die when they fell off of a cliff.

  Matsuribayashi reveals that

Satoko developed terminal symptoms of Hinamizawa Syndrome, stemming from her dislike of her parents. Mr. Houjou was acting super-nice to Satoko after the fake abuse call, and Satoko started to see herself as a nuisance to her parents and thought they wanted to kill her. When they went to the observation platform at the park, Satoko pushed her parents off and killed them. Satoko had no memory of the event, but the detective Kuraudo Ooishi started interrogating her to try and fine answers. Satoko's condition was discovered by the Irie Clinic, who at first wanted to dissect her since she was reacting differently to Hinamizawa Syndrome compared to their prior test subject. They got Ooishi to stop hounding Satoko by sending the Mountain Dogs to dispose of one of her parents bodies and blame it on the curse to throw off investigation. Irie saved Satoko from dissection and administered an experimental cure that successfully brought Satoko's symptoms down. Satoko was unaware of her predicament however, and in exchange for financial compensation she started going to weekly clinic checkups while taking several shots daily.   Click here to hide spoilers.


Because Satoko's parents died on the day of the Watanagashi Festival and the mother's body was never found, the villagers believed that Oyashiro-sama's curse struck. Despite this, the mistreatment of the Houjou family by the village continued. Satoko and Satoshi were taken to live with their uncle Teppei and his wife and were abused both physically and verbally, having their meals taken away at times. Satoshi did his best to protect Satoko from abuse and acted as a shield for her. Mion formed the after-school games club in 1982 in an attempt to reduce the time Satoko and Satoshi had to spend at home.[9] They also called child protective services to save the Houjou siblings, but they were very wary because of the prior fake abuse call. The center believed nothing was wrong after some investigation; there was no evidence the kids were being abused since Teppei never left any bruises on them, nor was there any recordings or eyewitness reports. By Japanese law, the situation also couldn't be called abuse unless someone admitted to it.[10] After this call, the abuse intensified. Later that year, their aunt was found murdered while Satoshi disappeared, believed to have been the victims for the fourth year of the curse.

Teppei abandoned Hinamizawa, fearing for his life. Satoko moved in with Rika at the Furude Shrine to live with her in a former disaster shelter on the Furude Shrine grounds, allowed to stay there on Rika's request.[11] Satoko blamed herself for Satoshi's disappearance and believed he ran away because of her always clinging to him. Ever since, Satoko improved herself and wanted to be stronger and ready for when Satoshi came home.

In Higurashi: When They Cry - GOU, Satoko attends St. Lucia Academy with Rika several years after Takano's defeat. She starts to fail in her grades and struggles to maintain her friendship with Rika, soon meeting a strange entity when she returns to Hinamizawa on a trip in 1988. Satoko is given the power of time-looping and tries to make Rika forget her dream of going to St. Lucia. After experiencing Rika's journey through the Fragments herself, Satoko decides to torment Rika throughout many loops in an attempt to make her stay in Hinamizawa.

Relationships

Overview

The Club

Family

Other

Satoshi Houjou

Satoko depended on Satoshi for a long time. Satoshi was said to be unreliable, and Satoko nagged him a lot.[12] Satoshi cares about Satoko a lot and even sacrifices his free time to help her.[13]

Satoshi's disappearance encourages Satoko to become a stronger person, however she goes about this the wrong way and thinks that withstanding abuse is what will improve things.

Keiichi Maebara

In many arcs, Satoko sees Keiichi as a surrogate older brother and develops a strong bond with him.

Rika Furude

Satoko and Rika weren't good friends at first, with Rika always trying to treat Satoko nicely despite the latter finding her annoying.[14] Satoko is ignored by the villagers while Rika is beloved by everyone, and she'll often get people to help Satoko indirectly by helping her out herself. After Satoshi's disappearance and Teppei's abandonment, Satoko begins living with Rika, and she starts to see her as her best friend. Satoko is sometimes hurt that Rika will do things without telling her, as seen in Matsuribayashi when Rika invites Akasaka over as part of her plan.

In Higurashi Gou, Satoko's devotion towards Rika is at a point where she promises to join her in attending St. Lucia despite knowing she couldn't keep up academically. Seeing Rika hanging out with other friends and seemingly abandoning Satoko leads her to brand Rika a traitor and liar. Satoko sees fit to preserve her friendship with Rika by trying to make her stay in Hinamizawa using time-looping, even if it means breaking Rika's spirit.

Teppei Houjou

Teppei was Satoko's uncle and became her legal guardian after the deaths of her parents. In arcs where he returns to the village, Teppei treats Satoko very poorly and keeps her home all day to do chores for him, not even letting her go to school. He yells at and hits her, and intensifies the punishment after the club's failed attempts to get child protective services involved. A TIP in Tatarigoroshi implies that he even raped her,[15] but this is denied in a later Minagoroshi TIP that shows his inner thoughts, where he considers Satoko too young to satisfy him.[16]

In Higurashi Gou, Teppei starts remembering previous Fragments when Satoko becomes a looper and attempts to make amends with her, promising to be a better guardian. Satoko is reluctant to take him up on his offer however.

Mion Sonozaki

At first, Satoko seemed to be uncomfortable with Mion at school because of the Sonozaki family being responsible for the Houjou's ostracizing.[14] After the formation of the games club, Satoko and Mion form a good friendship.

Shion Sonozaki

Shion dislikes Satoko at first, believing she's been keeping Satoshi to herself during their time with their aunt and uncle. When Satoshi made a parting request to Shion to take care of Satoko before his disappearance, Shion starts acting like a surrogate older sister as Satoko's "Nee-nee". Shion has proven to be dangerously protective of Satoko, as seen in Minagoroshi where she considers killing Teppei when he returns and takes Satoko back.

Rena Ryuugu

Satoko is sometimes a target for Rena's kyute mode. Satoko will use this to her advantage during club games and leap into Rena's arms when cornered, prompting her to punish the other club members. Similar to Shion, Rena can be very protective of Satoko.

Miyo Takano

Takano works at the Irie Clinic and regularly meets Satoko. She's one of the few adults who regularly speaks to Satoko and shares a love of stuffed animals.[17]

Higurashi Gou suggests that Satoko and Takano's relationship is close enough to where Takano can remember previous Fragments once Satoko becomes a looper.

Role in the Story

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Question Arcs

Onikakushi

Satoko is introduced when she sets a trap for Keiichi on the school's classroom door and is established as a crafty and arrogant yet whiny young girl. Two days later, Satoko plays with Keiichi in his induction into the games club through a game of Old Bachelor. During zombie tag the next day, Keiichi tries to trick Satoko by having Tomita and Okamura tell her that her parents are at the school gate. The day after that, the club plays Tycoon. Satoko's punishment during a loss is to act like a younger sister.

When Keiichi speaks with Ooishi about the victims that Oyashiro-sama's curse has claimed every year, he learns that the dam-supporting couple who fell off a cliff in the second year were Satoko's parents, who was with them at the time. The victims of the fourth year curse were also related to Satoko: her step-aunt and her older brother Satoshi.

In the manga, when Keiichi, Rena, and Mion die, Satoko bawls her eyes out the next day. Rika comforts her and says they'll see them again.


Watanagashi

Satoko plays in a games tournament at a toy store in Okinomiya.

After the Watanagashi Festival, Keiichi and the club think Rika and Satoko have gone missing when nobody picks up the phone at their shack. They get the entire village to search for them at night while Keiichi, Rena and Mion do some detective work. They find the girls' bikes missing from their shack, with no apparent signs of anyone inside. Keiichi climbs up a ladder to try and get the second story windows open when Mion suddenly rants that Satoko was cursed by Oyashiro-sama. She bemoans that Satoko's family have all died or gone missing because of the curse and believes that Rika also went missing because of her. Rena gets the key to the shack and opens it up, but they don't find anything of note.

The next day, Rika and Satoko are officially declared to have gone missing. Rena speaks to Keiichi in private and reveals she found something out during her investigation of the shack: there were signs that Satoko and Rika were making dinner and planning to eat that night, but there were fresh leftovers in the fridge. The soy sauce bottle they had was empty, so Rena deduced that Rika went off to get more soy sauce from a neighbor, then Satoko was called and told that Rika already ate, so she wrapped up their dinner and followed suit. During a phone call with Shion, Keiichi starts to believe Rika and Satoko were killed because he trespassed in the ritual warehouse on the Watanagashi.

Keiichi and Rena determine that Mion was responsible for the girls' disappearance. They confront her at the Sonozaki residence, and she confirms she did indeed torture and kill them in the underground torture chamber and threw them down the well. The police raid the place later and recover their corpses.


Tatarigoroshi

The club holds a bento-making competition. Home-alone, Keiichi attempts to cook dinner by himself that night and almost burns his house down, with Satoko and Rika arriving in time to save him. Satoko sends Keiichi and Rika out of the kitchen so she can cook dinner instead. Seeing that Satoko is actually enjoying herself, Rika explains to Keiichi that Satoko used to call her brother Satoshi Nii-nii and might be seeing some of him in Keiichi. The three eat dinner soon where Satoshi is brought up, but Satoko seems to have moved on from his absence and is cheerful. Keiichi realizes that Satoko really is a good girl and gives her headpats.

Various TIPs show the club falling victim to Satoko's traps, which she's spread all throughout a mountain.

The next day, Keiichi and Satoko go shopping for ingredients. Keiichi starts to see himself as a replacement for Satoshi and resolves to do his best. They begin to cook dinner but Keiichi gets a call from his parents that they'll be home sooner than expected; Satoko is happy that she won't have to make dinner for Keiichi anymore. She prepares to go home by herself and Keiichi wants to escort her. He accidentally calls himself Nii-nii and realizes how insensitive that is, but Satoko doesn't seem to mind. Keiichi is convinced that deep down, Satoko still needed her brother. Satoko wonders if Rika asked Keiichi to do this, saying that she's strangely considerate of her. Satoko starts actively calling Keiichi Nii-nii more often, however.

The next day, Satoko calls Keiichi for help in a baseball game. Satoko shows off her cunning and sports skills by tricking the rival batter Kameda into underestimating her and winning the game with a home run. Keiichi talks with the coach Irie and learns that Satoshi was "transferred." Irie also tells him about Satoko's parents dying in an accident three years ago when they fell off a cliff, and Satoko saw it with her own eyes. Irie wants to seriously adopt Satoko as his daughter and feels sorry for her but can't since he's single. Both of them wish the best for Satoko and promise never to make her cry. Later, Keiichi asks Rena and Mion about Satoshi and learns that his parents were the leaders of a group that supported the dam project, and because they died on the day of the Watanagashi, the villagers believed it was Oyashiro-sama's curse. Rena and Mion always say that Satoshi got transferred whenever anyone brings him up to protect Satoko's feelings.

The day after, Satoko suddenly doesn't come to school. Ooishi visits later and asks for Satoko, but is turned away when she doesn't show. Irie tells Keiichi in private that after the deaths of Satoko and Satoshi's parents, they started living with their abusive aunt and uncle. Teppei and his wife fought a lot, and they scolded the siblings for the most minor things and took away their meals at times. After the aunt's death and Satoshi's disappearance, Ooishi started hounding Satoko.

Three days later, Satoko still hasn't returned to school. Keiichi hears a rumor that Teppei returned to the village and took Satoko back to live with him. When Satoko finally shows up to school, Keiichi runs over and sees that she's clearly trying to hide her true feelings under her regular robust self. Satoko says she was using her time away from school to clean her house. Keiichi tells the other club members in private about the rumors, and Mion reveals she already knew about it; Teppei took Satoko back the day of the barbecue. After school they try to get Satoko to play club games but she declines and heads home.

They think about calling child protective services, but Mion says they tried that two years ago. The center took statements from both Satoko and Satoshi and their guardians, deciding to wait and see at the end. Teppei was smart enough not to let any signs of abuse show on the kids, and they were fed and taken care of enough. In the end the center found no proof of abuse, and it only got worse after they stopped watching. Keiichi desperately thinks of ways to save Satoko and considers having Irie or someone else take care of her, or hide her in one of their houses. Keiichi goes to Satoko's house later that day and sees Irie giving Satoko a ride home from the store, who was ordered by Teppei to go and buy stuff like beer and cigarettes. Keiichi helps Satoko with the groceries and notices that she has bruises all over her, which she claims she got from falling down the stairs. Keiichi is enraged but Irie stops him. Satoko accepts Keiichi as her new Nii-nii and promises to endure until tomorrow, bidding him farewell.

Satoko doesn't come to school again the next day. The group realizes that Satoko is withstanding the abuse because she believes it will bring Satoshi back. They finally tell Chie about Satoko's situation, and she promises to do something. The next day, Satoko comes back to school and says that a probation officer came by, but she and Teppei said there were some misunderstandings and sent them away, still denying that abuse is happenig. Rika tells Keiichi in private that Satoko's father was actually her step-father and that this was actually the third time abuse has been reported for Satoko. She disliked her stepfather and tried to fake abuse, later calling the center about it. The stepfather admitted to going too far in some places and agreed to have counseling. The center later found that Satoko played other sorts of pranks on her other stepfathers and was very rebellious; when abuse was called in for real last year, their wait-and-see approach was to check if Satoko was lying again.

TatarigoroshiCG (5).png

The club gathers for lunch, with Satoko seeming like her usual happy self. Keiichi gives her another headpat when she suddenly smacks him away and starts freaking out. She throws up and starts profusely apologizing while running to hide in the corner. Keiichi walks up to try and calm her down but Rena pulls him back and consoles her instead. Chie enters the room after hearing the commotion and Satoko suddenly stops and acts like nothing is wrong. Keiichi becomes determined to kill Teppei. That night, he calls Mion and asks her to take Satoko to the festival and hears that the previous year, Satoshi said a similar thing to her. Satoshi might've killed his aunt and was planning to buy Satoko a big teddy bear for her birthday only to disappear the day of, a few days after the festival.

Keiichi kills Teppei and buries his corpse. He goes to school the next day and expects Satoko's mood to have improved, but she seems sad like before. Satoko tries to go home after school and Keiichi tries convincing to play club games with them again, saying she should've had fun at the festival. Satoko says she never went to the festival, and Rena tells Keiichi that she left on the way there since her uncle was waiting at home. Satoko cries, feeling happy that Keiichi was able to have so much fun at the festival and regrets that she just can't play games with her friends anymore. Keiichi says that Teppei shouldn't have come home last night, and Satoko claims that he was still at home and tormented her, and even yelled at her that morning. Satoko cries even more and runs out into the hallway.

Keiichi believes that Teppei somehow came back to life, so the next day he procures an axe and heads to Satoko's house with the intent of killing Teppei again. He finds signs that there were definitely two people eating and living there recently, and then finds Satoko roasting alive inside her bathtub. Keiichi pulls her out and treats her heatstroke, hearing her counting all the while. Satoko regains her strength and says that Teppei told her to take a hot bath and not get out until she counts to 10,000. Keiichi wraps up Satoko in a towel and takes her to the Irie Clinic to get her treated. When they get there, they find many police cars surrounding the place. Keiichi overhears an officer saying that Irie's apparently committed suicide through sleeping pills. Satoko cries when she hears this and Keiichi apologizes, having wished Irie to die after getting into a fight with him yesterday. Satoko says it's not his fault and that Irie was an adult, so surely he gave up his life for a good reason.

Satoko gets tired of standing outside with just a towel and asks Keiichi to bring her to Rika's shack so she can get some clothes. As they walk to the shrine, Satoko apologizes for getting angry at Keiichi earlier when they talked about the festival, and Keiichi says he didn't actually go. He says that footsteps have been following him for a few days, and that he definitely didn't go to the festival but can't comprehend why everyone says he did. Satoko believes him, but then Keiichi says he also met Takano and Ooishi earlier and wished for them to die, and now both them have also died or gone missing just like Irie. Satoko is surprised to hear this but laughs, thinking it a joke. Keiichi also brings up Teppei but Satoko asks to not talk about him right now. He confesses that he killed him the night of the festival and ignores Satoko's pleas, and she tells him to stay home and rest; the shock from learning of Irie's suicide must have made him upset.

Keiichi and Satoko finally reach the Furude Shrine, where they find Rika's mutilated corpse being feasted upon by crows. Both of them retch at the horrible sight, and that's when Satoko notices the axe Keiichi's been carrying with him. She backs away and calls him a murderer as Keiichi swears that that's not what it looks like. Satoko accuses Keiichi of killing Takano, Ooishi, Irie, Teppei and Rika and runs off. Keiichi chases her, trying to clear up the misunderstanding, and they end up at a bridge. Satoko tells Keiichi to stop moving and says she really did like him. Keiichi swears again he didn't kill Rika, but Satoko sees no reason to trust him since he can't even trust his own memories. Keiichi throws the axe over the side and disarms himself, but Satoko still doesn't trust him and tells him to turn around.

Keiichi faces the other way, and Satoko walks up to his back while explaining that maybe something evil possessed Keiichi. Several years ago, during a hide and seek game, Satoko climbed onto the ritual warehouse of the Furude Shrine and fell inside, breaking off one of the arms of the Oyashiro-sama statue located inside. Rika took the blame for the incident, and ever since Satoko felt like she was cursed by Oyashiro-sama. She repeats something she heard about how Oyashiro-sama's curse takes away the people someone loves before killing the target last. Satoko's entire family fell victim to the curse, but she regained her happy days when Keiichi appeared and believes that Rena and Mion will be targeted next after him.

Keiichi tries to calm her down and claims there is no curse, but Satoko suddenly pushes him off of the bridge. Keiichi narrowly grabs the edge of the bridge and Satoko tries to shake him off, calling him a murderer and asking him to return her family, not wanting to lose to the curse. Keiichi says that in the end all he wanted was make Satoko happy, but she thinks the thing possessing him is still pretending to be Keiichi and finally pushes him off into the river below.

In the credits, Satoko is stated to have gone missing during the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai

Meakashi

In 1982, Shion dresses up as Mion and goes to school pretending to be her. She sees Satoko dropping her bento box and crying for Satoshi. Angered, Shion suddenly starts assaulting Satoko, throwing her around the room and hitting her while blaming her for Satoshi's suffering. Rika jumps in to defend her and begs "Mion" to stop, but she keeps trying to attack Satoko. Satoshi and Rena finally arrive. Satoshi grabs Shion and asks what they did to deserve this suffering, getting angry when Shion assumes that Satoko's just a burden to him. Rena defuses the situation and gets Shion to apologize to Satoko. Later, on the night of the Watanagashi, Satoshi calls Shion thinking she's Mion and says he'll leave Satoko to her. At school, Rika tries to cheer up Satoko and says that her suffering should end that day; Satoko's aunt is killed that night.

In 1983, Shion disguises as Mion and kills Rika when the latter goes to her house and attacks. Satoko calls the Sonozaki main house and asks "Mion" if Rika is there. Shion says that Rika's eating dinner with her and asks Satoko to come too.

Satoko comes to the house and is captured by Shion, who restrains her in the underground torture chamber. Satoko is distraught over seeing Shion dispose of Rika's corpse and can't believe that Rika attacked her first. Shion accuses Satoko of not doing anything to save Satoshi and stabs her in the arm, ignoring the imprisoned Mion's pleas from the other room. Shion stabs Satoko's arm some more as she cries for her Nii-nii, with Shion saying that this exact thing is what she only ever did when Satoshi was still here. She calls Satoko a leech and moves to her other arm, with Satoko no longer screaming as loudly. Satoko admits that she cornered Satoshi and depended on him a lot, regretting that she wasn't strong enough to help him. Satoko professes that when Satoshi comes back, she'll show him what a strong girl she's become and won't cry anymore. Shion doesn't take her seriously and continues stabbing Satoko, but instead of screaming she keeps saying that she won't cry and asks if Satoshi is watching her, finally silently dying.

Shion imagines Satoko and Satoshi's ghosts reuniting and remembers Satoshi's promise of leaving Satoko to her; Shion didn't believe in Satoshi, but Satoko did and was rewarded for it in her final moments. Shion disposes of Satoko's corpse by throwing it in the well.

After Shion's death, she envisions a world where she attends school with Satoko and the club happily.


Tsumihoroboshi

Satoko plays with the club in a water gun fight and loses. Two days later, she joins fellow losers Mion and Rika in wearing punishment game outfits at Angel Mort, with Satoko wearing a maid costume.

A few days later, the club plays games without Rena when she goes home early. They want to play mahjong but are missing some tiles, so they instead go to the junkyard to have a treasure hunt. When they get there, they discover the chopped-up corpses of Rina and Teppei, who Rena killed prior and was attempting to dispose of. Rena confesses her murders to the club and that she did it because she believed it was right, seeing as how last year Satoshi supposedly did the same thing. She blames the club for not doing anything to help Satoshi last year. Satoko knows she's partly responsible, having realized on the day Satoshi disappeared and accepts that Satoshi may not be coming back. Keiichi gets the club to unite and confess their sins to each other, treating each other like family. Satoko soon assists in hiding Rina and Teppei's corpses where nobody can find them.

A few days later, after Rena scolds Keiichi for his sin of shooting at little kids in his old town, Keiichi is overcome with guilt and confesses to Satoko and the others what he did. Satoko thinks Keiichi doesn't need to do anything since he already atoned for his sin. She admits to having her fair share of embarrassing moments and crimes but doesn't tell anyone about them because there's no point. Satoko assures that Keiichi that so long as he's a good person now, his past shouldn't matter. Keiichi suddenly remembers the events of Onikakushi, and Rika comforts him. Satoko is confused as to their conversation but is flattered to hear that Keiichi fought for her.

A few days later, Rena takes the school hostage and spreads gasoline everywhere, threatening to blow it up if the police doesn't meet her demands. Keiichi speaks to a tied up Satoko and Rika and asks them not to hate Rena if they die since she's not in her right mind. Rika reminds Satoko that once a demon acts out, it cannot be stopped; after a moment of reflection, Satoko places her faith in Rena. Keiichi asks Satoko where she would hide a timer for a bomb since she's the trap expert, and Satoko thinks that it could be in the hallway.

Keiichi goes to the hallway but finds a decoy timer wire and is attacked by Rena. As Rika distracts her, Keiichi returns to the classroom and asks Satoko where the real bomb timer is. Satoko says the real timer is on the roof. After Keiichi sets her free, she throws Satoshi's baseball bat to him. As he heads to the roof, Satoko helps stall Rena by setting several traps against her but is hit by one of her own buckets and dazed, allowing Rena to move past her. Satoko frees the rest of the students and gets them outside the school, where they watch Keiichi and Rena duel on the roof.

The final TIP "The Demon's Script" reveals that the Great Hinamizawa Disaster occurred afterwards, however Satoko's fate after Rika's death is unclear.


Minagoroshi

Satoko gets a shot at the clinic and does her regular test with Takano, getting stuck on finding the difference between broccoli and cauliflower. During this, Irie secretly talks with Rika and tells her that Satoko's condition will never regress below the L3 stage. Later, Satoko plays with the club at a games store in Okinomiya. At school, Shion brings a special lunch for Satoko made of squash and tries to act as a responsible Nee-nee.

When Satoko doesn't come back home, Rika frantically runs around the village and asks people if they've seen her, fearing for the worst. Rika goes to the Houjou residence and confirms that Teppei has returned and taken Satoko back to live with him, with Satoko's cheek red and swollen from being slapped. Rika begs Satoko to come back with her and leave Teppei, but she's afraid of causing trouble for her and says this is the way things will be. Teppei shows up and yells for Satoko to get back inside. Rika comments to herself that in a previous world she let out her rage on Teppei, but it only caused him to pay it back to Satoko. Rika runs away crying.

Satoko doesn't come to school. Rika tells Chie and the club about Satoko's situation. She doesn't want to call child protective services since they won't do anything once they learn of Satoko's prior fake abuse call, and Teppei and Satoko will just deny the abuse even if they got involved. Chie goes to Teppei's house later and hears that Satoko is "sick". The club racks their brains to find a solution to save her, and Shion considers just going out and killing Teppei. She attempts to leave but Keiichi stops her.

A social worker checks out the situation at the Houjou residence and concludes that no abuse is happening. Keiichi is still determined to save Satoko, having remembered the events of Tatarigoroshi and how she broke after just a few days with Teppei. The club decides to protest the child consultation center to get them to take action but are denied. Over the course of several days, the club continues protesting and gets more people involved, but the center's answer is still the same.

Satoko returns to school after three days and insists that nothing is wrong. Keiichi remembers Satoko's breakdown in his "imaginary" world and asks to pat her head, slowly reaching his hand out. Satoko starts crying as the class assures her that they're doing their best to save her. Satoko says they don't need to do anything for her and doesn't want any more social workers coming over, giving a silent response when the others ask if Teppei hit her. Rena tells her that she needs to reach her hand out since everyone else is doing the same, but Satoko keeps saying their help is unnecessary.

Various TIPS show that in the meantime, Teppei gets increasingly frustrated with Chie's constant calls checking up on him and tries to find the bankbooks left behind by his deceased brother so he can get some money. He thinks Satoko may be hiding them in Satoshi's room but when he tries to step inside, Satoko stops him and won't let him pass. Teppei is forced not to hit her otherwise he'll have a problem.

Suddenly, Satoko freaks out when the principal enters the room. She yells that her uncle has arrived and the club surrounds her, but they soon realize she's afraid of the principal. When Satoko keeps panicking and saying that Teppei has come to take her home, Rika asks if she took her shot. Satoko starts crying for her Nii-nii and the club brings her to the nurse's office. After calming her down, the rest of the club wonders why Satoko thought the principal was her uncle. Rika says that people tend to sense something they don't like when they can't see it and assume it's the worst-case scenario, and Satoko has a disease that makes her unable to correct those assumptions. Rika tells Keiichi in private about Satoko's illness that she's had for a few years and requires two shots daily for it. Satoko forgot to take her shot that morning, resulting in her emotional instability.

The club continues protesting the child consultation center. Keiichi learns that the Houjou family had been ostracized for a long time because of the dam conflict and goes to convince the Three Families to forgive Satoko. Oryou and Kiichirou ultimately lend their assistance. The mass protest of the child consultation center reaches a fever pitch, and the social workers are finally convinced to give Satoko's home a call. Meanwhile, Teppei was once again trying to search Satoshi's room and starts beating up Satoko when she doesn't tell him where the bankbook is. The phone rings, and Teppei picks up to hear that a social worker is coming to the house. He claims that nothing is wrong and reluctantly hands it over to Satoko when the social workers ask to talk to her. Teppei persuades Satoko to say that nothing is wrong and promises not to go into Satoshi's room again, otherwise he'll destroy it.

Satoko says that nothing is wrong, and Keiichi takes the other end to tell her that Oryou's sorry about the way the Sonozakis treated her. Rika then gets on and says that nobody in Hinamizawa will ignore Satoko ever again or treat her coldly. Satoko can't believe such a thing will happen, and Rika says she couldn't believe it either. Rika always believed that Satoko being taken away by Teppei was an unbreakable fate, but Keiichi proceeded to break that. Satoko says she needs to be stronger and Rika tells her that she is not as strong as Satoshi. Satoko is just crying and waiting for Satoshi to come home instead of fighting back like he did when their aunt was alive. Rika asks Satoko to imagine what kind of face Satoshi was putting on when he stood up against their aunt and tells her to look at Teppei's own face behind her; this is what Satoshi encountered. Rika finally says that unless Satoko understands how Satoshi felt when protecting her, he will never come back.

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Rika hands the phone back to the social worker, and Satoko yells for help. Teppei smacks Satoko aside but she jumps onto him, disorienting him. Immediately after, the police knock on the door and call for Teppei's arrest having surrounded the house prior due to suspecting him of Rina's murder. Teppei is arrested and Satoko talks with some officers, with the club checking on her condition. Satoko asks if Rika saw her courage, and the girl replies she did. They tearfully hug, and afterwards Irie takes her to the clinic to tend her wounds. Satoko attends the Watanagashi Festival with everyone the next night and is met with genuine concern from other villagers, who are happy to see she's okay.

A few days later, the club notices that Rika appears to be troubled by something, and she says she's going to be killed later. They think it's a joke, but Rika stays home from school one day claiming to have a cold. Satoko tells Rika to take care of herself and says that a world without Rika would be a sad one. After school, the club heads to Rika's house to cheer her up and notice all the police officers walking around everywhere. Rika says that she's definitely going to be killed and Satoko says that it's her turn to do something for her friends; she points out that Rika doesn't have the courage to fight despite telling Satoko to have courage earlier.

Rika tells everyone the truth, that she's being targeted by the same person who killed Tomitake and Takano. most likely someone from the organization Tokyo. She explains the history of Hinamizawa Syndrome and that this disease was the basis for the Oyashiro-sama faith. Satoko's weekly visits to the Irie Clinic have actually been helping them collect research data for Hinamizawa Syndrome, which Satoko has had terminal symptoms of for most of her life; her shots keep her symptoms under control. Satoko starts to freak out and cries, wondering why only she's a terminal patient if the entire village is infected, with Rika trying to assure her that it was just an accident. Satoko says she's lying but the rest of the club members comfort her and place their faith in Rika's story. Satoko calms down, and they begin formulating a plan against the Mountain Dogs. They realize that Takano may be the real mastermind and faked her death before framing Irie.

The club stays in Rika's shack the entire day, wit Satoko setting up some traps. Late that night, the Mountain Dogs attempt to break into Rika's shack and set off some firecrackers, thinking they're under fire. The club escapes and runs through the woods with the goal of meeting up at the Sonozaki main house. When Rika trips, Satoko runs back for her and knocks out a Dog by kicking him and distracts other Dogs by throwing pocket sand at them..Seeing the Dogs pointing guns at Satoko, Rika gets in front of her and defends her, knowing that her own survival is integral to Takano's plan. The rest of the club comes back to knock out the armed Dogs and save Satoko and Rika, and they continue running.

The club battles some more Dogs who emerge from a van and plan to steal it, however they fail to notice Takano staying behind in it, who shoots and kills Keiichi. The rest of the club is soon restrained by the Mountain Dogs and executed one-by-one by Takano. After watching Shion get shot, Satoko cries and Takano tells her that she could turn Satoko in to Tokyo for a bounty, but they'd dissect her brain as she lived. She gives Satoko the choice of dying now or later, and when she doesn't answer Takano gives her a familiar question: is cauliflower or broccoli green? Satoko is about to answer cauliflower but then changes to broccoli and is shot dead immediately after.

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The Mountain Dogs dispose of the club members' corpses as Takano dissects Rika alive. The spirits of the deceased club members watch, with Satoko especially saddened that she couldn't save Rika in the end. They then notice Hanyuu and treat her as their new friend despite her horned appearance and resolve to make a miracle happen next time.


Matsuribayashi

The Connecting Fragments section details Satoko's relationship with her parents, her succumbing to Hinamizawa Syndrome and killing them, and her treatment by the Irie Clinic. The clinic considered dissecting Satoko since she was still L5, but Irie doesn't want to do that and instead proposes an experimental cure. He isn't sure if it'll work due to the risks involved, but Rika assures him that it will work. The treatment turns out to be successful, with Satoko having to take three shots daily.

Hanyuu takes a physical form and introduces herself at school as Rika's distant relative. Satoko is confused that Rika even had relatives, but readily accepts Hanyuu as her new friend and plays club gamse with her. Rika later tells the club of her idea for a comic book, which is really her explaining the secrets of Hinamizawa, and gets their advice for helping the protagonist survive. Satoko says that if it were real, her trap mountain would be effective against the Mountain Dogs.

Rika gets Akasaka's help and has him hide out at the shack while she plans to hide at Mion's house. Rika wonders how she'll explain this to Satoko and goes upstairs to find her already packing things up and ready to go. Satoko knew that Rika's comic wasn't just fiction and is a bit shocked that Rika didn't immediately tell her best friend what was going on. Satoko introduces herself to Akasaka and shows him her trap map, marking a wiretapping shack used by the Mountain Dogs with a trap set up that will alert Rika's home if anyone goes near it.

Satoko and Rika stay home from school claiming to be sick and meet the club at Mion's house to form a strategy. They realize that Rika's death is the basis for the Emergency Manual, so they decide to fake her death with Ooishi's help. The group hides out in the Sonozaki torture chamber and watch on the security cameras as Mountain Dogs begin surrounding the area, having figured out what they're up to. The club escapes through the secret passage and ends up the trap mountain. The Mountain Dogs follow them to the mountain, with many of them falling victim to Satoko's traps. One member, Skylark 13 chases after Satoko and ends up in a wide field. Satoko promises that if Skylark 13 can go 5 steps without setting off a trap, she will surrender. Skylark 13 considers his options and decides to walk backwards, but winds up defeated like the rest.

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Takano ultimately surrenders to the Bloodhounds, and Satoko attends the Watanagashi Festival with the rest of the club.

HIGURASHI GOU AND SOTSU SPOILER WARNING
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This article or section contains untagged spoilers for all of Higurashi: When They Cry - GOU and SOTSU. Readers who have not finished both series anime are advised not to proceed further.


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