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This article is about a character in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

Teppei Houjou (北条 鉄平 Hōjō Teppei) is Satoko Houjou's abusive uncle who had abandoned Hinamizawa after the fourth year of Oyashiro-sama's curse. He first appears in Tatarigoroshi.

Profile

Satoko and Satoshi's uncle. When his brother and sister-in-law passed away, he decided to take them in. He has a bullheaded, very bad temper, and spends his days violently assaulting Satoko and Satoshi while drinking and gambling.

(Translated from Teppei's profile on the 07th Expansion website.)

Satoko's uncouth uncle who has recently returned to nearby Okinomiya.

(From the Gou website)

Appearance

Teppei has blonde hair and wears a red Hawaiian shirt. He's always seen with a cigarette in his mouth. A tiger tattoo is said to be on his back.

Personality

Teppei is very vulgar, greedy and abusive. He hangs out with thug friends a lot and gambles and drinks all day, often using Satoko as an errand girl. He is prone to verbal and physical abuse, but he is smart enough not to let any visible bruises show on his victims. Teppei is also depraved, at one point considering that Satoko could satisfy him sexually if she were older.

Background

After Satoko and Satoshi's parents died in 1980, Mr. Houjou's brother Teppei and his wife Tamae became their legal guardians. The Houjou family was treated poorly by the villagers because their parents supported the dam project, and Teppei was no exception. Teppei abused Satoko and Satoshi a lot by hitting them and taking away meals, and he was also constantly fighting with his wife since they were on bad terms. Though Satoko's friends tried to help her by placing a call to child protective services, 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.[2]

On the fourth year of Oyashiro-sama's curse in 1982, Tamae was murdered while Satoshi disappeared. Fearing for his life, Teppei fled to Okinomiya to live with his lover Rina Mamiya. The two of them would start making money through gambling and badger games.

Relationships

Overview

Satoko Houjou

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,[3] but this is denied in a later Minagoroshi TIP that shows his inner thoughts, where he considers Satoko too young to satisfy him.[4]

Rina Mamiya

Teppei and Rina became lovers sometime after the death of the former's wife in 1982 and moved in together at an apartment in Okinomiya. The two make money through gambling and badger games/marriage fraud scams, which involve Rina getting in bed with someone with a lot of money and Teppei catching them in the act, blackmailing and threatening the catch for money.

Although they often make gross public displays of affection, they yell vulgarities at each other a lot. Rina is also not entirely faithful to Teppei and won't hesitate to abandon him if she ever finds someone better, something she's even said in front of his face.[5]

Role in the Story

Tatarigoroshi

Teppei makes his first appearance, where he returns to Hinamizawa and becomes Satoko's legal guardian again. According to Mion he had a falling out with his lover and came back to the village, running into Satoko on the way and forcing her to come live with him. Teppei abuses Satoko throughout the arc by hitting her, making her do housework and running errands for him. The club tries to rescue her by informing Chie and later child protective services, however Teppei and Satoko deny that any abuse is happening, and Satoko has a breakdown at school the next day because of Teppei's punishment.

Keiichi finally decides to kill Teppei and on the night of the Watanagashi Festival sends a fake call to his house asking that he come to the police station to pick up Satoko. Keiichi lies in wait in a forest and eventually sees Teppei driving by on a moped, lunging out and killing him with a bat. Keiichi buries his corpse and disposes of the moped in Onigafuchi Swamp.

Keiichi returns to school the next day expecting Satoko's problems to be fixed however she claims that Teppei is still home. Keiichi is convinced he might be going crazy and goes to see Doctor Irie, soon confessing that he killed Teppei. Keiichi is unsure if he really killed him or not, and Irie raises the possibility he may have killed someone else. He also mentions that the real Teppei has a tiger tattoo on his back. Keiichi leaves to dig up his corpse to check, but Ooishi and the police are waiting for him there. They encourage Keiichi to dig and later finish the job for him, but they discover nothing.

Keiichi becomes convinced that Teppei came back to life and goes to Satoko's house with the intent to kill him again. Inside her house he finds dinner made for two, confirming his suspicions that Teppei was present there the night before. He then discovers Satoko burning alive inside of her bathtub, who says Teppei told her to take a bath and not get out until she counts to 10,000.

In the credits, it is said that Teppei has gone missing.

Meakashi

Teppei does not appear however his sprite is shown for the first time when Shion talks about him.

The credits say that as of 2004, Teppei resides in Tokyo.

Tsumihoroboshi

Teppei appears with Rina in a cafe at Okinomiya and takes payment from some men, exploding at them when they don't pay the extra interest. As the men sign a loan agreement, Teppei plots with Rina to scam some money out of her new boyfriend in Hinamizawa, Rena's father. Unbeknownst to them, Rena herself was listening in on their conversation by happenstance. Rena later hears from Shion and Kasai about the badger games Teppei and Rina have been putting on.

Teppei heads to Rena's house and threatens her father as part of the plan; he demands to know where Rina is, but unbeknownst to him she had been killed by Rena earlier. Rena appears and convinces Teppei that she can take him to Rina, claiming it was on her behalf, and lures him to the junkyard. Teppei is killed there when Rena slams a hatchet into his head.

Rena chops up Rina and Teppei's corpses and plans to dispose of them, but the club discovers them before she can. They decide to help her with the disposal, burying them in the middle of a forest. Mion later uses her Sonozaki connections to move the corpses somewhere else after learning that a development project was being planned in the forest.

Minagoroshi

Rika sees that Teppei has returned to Hinamizawa and become Satoko's legal guardian again. She mentions that in previous worlds she let out her hatred of him but that only resulted in Teppei becoming even more abusive towards Satoko. Rika informs the Irie Clinic of what's going on, and Takano mentions that the police are watching Teppei because they suspect his involvement in his lover Rina being murdered earlier; the police believe Teppei will be claimed for the fifth year of Oyashiro-sama's curse.

Rika tells Chie about what's going on and she goes to talk with Teppei, but he swears at her and claims that Satoko is too sick to go to school. Rika and the club later recruit villagers all over Hinamizawa and protest the child consultation center, demanding that they save Satoko. Teppei is soon unable to carry out his regular abusive acts because of surveillance by the school and the center, which infuriates him. As the club continues their protest, Teppei realizes that he can't control Satoko forever and plans to skip town after gaining some money. He believes Satoko is hiding the bankbooks for his deceased brother's wealth and threatens to destroy Satoshi's room to find them.

The child consultation center complies with the club's demands and calls Teppei's house to check up on Satoko one more time. He hands the phone over to her and then whispers that they are a "happy family", and promises not to touch Satoshi's room if she cooperates. However, Satoko calls for help instead and Teppei gets angry. She jumps on him and Teppei moves to hit her but the police suddenly bang on his door, having surrounded his house beforehand. Teppei is ultimately arrested.

Trivia

  • Teppei's sprites are labeled as "tetu" (tetsu) in the game's files. This may refer to how the first character in his first name (鉄) can be pronounced as "tetsu".

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "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
  2. Tatarigoroshi Day 8.
  3. Tatarigoroshi TIP 11: :Statistics from the Ministry of Health and Welfare
  4. Minagoroshi TIP 5: Wet Blanket
  5. Tsumihoroboshi Day 6
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