|This article is about the character in Higurashi When They Cry. For other characters with the same name, see the disambiguation page.|
|This article is about a character in Higurashi When They Cry.|
This article or section contains untagged major spoilers for the original Higurashi When They Cry and possibly the console-exclusive arcs. Readers who have not completed the main story are advised not to proceed further.
Okonogi (小此木 Okonogi), also known as Tetsurou Okonogi (小此木 鉄郎 Okonogi Tetsurō), is the chief of the Mountain Dogs, a secret counterintelligence force allied with the Irie Clinic that masquerade as gardeners. He and his squad have been present behind the scenes of the story, though Okonogi is first properly introduced in Matsuribayashi.
President of Okonogi Gardening.
Occasionally, he can be seen doing some pruning at the Hinamizawa Branch School.
You would think he was just a landscaper, but he has a keen eye for detail.
He's not a bad person at heart, but he has a tough face and is often whined about by the younger students at school.
A gardener named Okonogi. He goes in and out of the Hinamizawa Branch School.
Okonogi has green hair tied into a ponytail and is always seen wearing a beige uniform over a white shirt and yellow tie. During briefing meetings he wears a green military uniform.
Okonogi used to have a Tokyo accent but spending time in Hinamizawa and getting to blend in with its villagers has given him a matching dialect.
Okonogi longs for combat and regrets that the kidnapping incident was the last time he got to fight. When he fought Ooishi and Akasaka he even wanted to kill them, but orders from his superiors meant he couldn't do that. Okonogi continued to train in the hopes he would someday have a fight that would satisfy him. His desire for battle is such that he will even disregard orders if it means he'll get to see the full extent of someone's skills.
Okonogi's weakness is in his dismissal of martial arts due to the systematic way people learn them, and as such he underestimates their practitioners.
Okonogi is a member of the Japanese Self-Defense Force with experience in combat training. He joined the secret organization Tokyo and became the head of the Mountain Dogs under the codename Phoenix 1, working with Miyo Takano and the Irie Institute with the job of keeping Hinamizawa Syndrome's existence secret from the public while capturing any terminal patients they find. The Mountain Dogs have a front company set up called Okonogi Gardeners that acts as their main base; they regularly do actual gardening around Hinamizawa to help them blend in.
In 1978 the government began plans in Hinamizawa to build a dam, which caused unrest among the villagers. Tokyo planned to forcibly cancel the project by having the Minister of Construction's son kidnapped, which the Mountain Dogs took care of. Okonogi and another member played the part of unaffiliated criminals and hid out with the Minister's son Toshiki Inugai in an abandoned house in the outskirts of the village. They began to face complications when Toshiki started complaining of abdominal pain, forcing them to call a doctor. Unbeknownst to them Toshiki was faking his predicament and knew he could pull it off since he had scars from a prior surgery. The police meanwhile investigated the kidnapping incident and sent Kuraudo Ooishi and Mamoru Akasaka to the kid's rescue. Okonogi fought them off and even wounded Akasaka by shooting him in the shoulder, though instead of finishing them off he abandoned the kid and ran away as part of his orders.
The kidnapping incident was successful in making the Minister of Construction cancel the dam project. The next year, in 1979, the Mountain Dogs captured the culprit behind the dam construction foreman's murder, as he was a terminal patient. In 1980, they covered up the deaths of Satoko Houjou's parents, who were killed by her when she pushed them off of a cliff. This similarity with the previous year's incident created the phenomenon known as Oyashiro-sama's curse. In 1981, the Mountain Dogs killed Rika Furude's parents and covered them up as yet more victims of the curse; Rika's father was poisoned while Rika's mother was kept inside the clinic and dissected, with her disappearance covered up as a suicide. In 1982 the Mountain Dogs are implied to have also covered up for Satoshi Houjou when he murdered his aunt and came down with terminal symptoms not long after.
Okonogi and Akasaka first met in 1978 when the latter was investigating the kidnapping incident, though to Akasaka he was just a criminal. Okonogi never thought too highly of him and wanted to kill him when they fought, but he wasn't allowed to as part of his orders.
When Okonogi re-encounters a Mountain Dog-disguised Akasaka in 1983, even in his confusion Okonogi recognized Akasaka's excellent physique and thought about recruiting him. Seeing how much Akasaka had grown in five years, Okonogi immediately decides he wants to fight him fairly but underestimates his karate prowess. After being thoroughly wrecked by Akasaka, Okonogi becomes determined to take revenge.
Though Okonogi and Mion never interact until the end of Matsuribayashi, Okonogi was greatly impressed by her commanding skills as the club was always one step ahead of the Mountain Dogs in the endgame. When Okonogi finally meets Mion in person and spars with her, he compliments her skill and thinks she's much superior to her in every way.
Role in the Story
In many arcs, Okonogi and the Mountain Dogs assist Takano in carrying out the Great Hinamizawa Disaster.
Unbeknownst to the reader, Okonogi was one of the kidnappers of the Minister of Construction's grandson. He fights with Akasaka and shoots him in the shoulder, soon running away and leaving the kid behind.
The Okonogi Gardeners do work around the village.
The Mountain Dogs begin increased protection of Rika when she explains to the clinic that she's afraid of someone out to kill her. Okonogi is mentioned later when Takano plans to meet with him to concoct a plan for saving Satoko from her uncle, however Rika warns them that a decision must be made now.
On the night of the Watanagashi Festival, Okonogi and the rest of the Mountain Dogs betray Tomitake when Takano reveals her plan to wipe out Hinamizawa. Okonogi and other Dogs tackle Tomitake and knock him out, with Okonogi ordered to increase observation on Rika and Irie due to how she predicted hers and Tomitake's deaths. Rika is unaware of their goals however and asks Okonogi what they plan to do after hearing that Takano has died, with Okonogi promising that he'll continue protecting her. Rika repeats what Ooishi told her of Takano not actually being dead and that she may be the culprit, and Okonogi rebukes her.
A few days later, Rika stays home from school and Okonogi calls her house to check on her, who tells him that she has a cold. Okonogi tells her that Tokyo's been investigating Tomitake and Takano's deaths and lies that Irie is the culprit behind them. As Okonogi hangs up, Rika contemplates this revelation and decides that it doesn't make sense.
After seeing that Rika has called officers from the Okinomiya police department to come to her house, Okonogi and the Mountain Dogs realize that Rika's losing trust in them. They begin carrying out Takano's plan anyway, with a group being sent to sabotage communications into and out of the village. This group is noticed by Ooishi and Kumagai, and they lie that they're part of Okonogi Electrics. Meanwhile, Okonogi orders another group to enter Rika's house and capture her after dealing with the officers situated inside. Rika and the rest of club however start to escape, but Okonogi and the rest of the Mountain Dogs capture them.
The Connecting Fragments section shows Okonogi and the Mountain Dogs' involvement with Oyashiro-sama's curse.
Takano calls Okonogi and tells the Dogs to begin observing Rika, moving up their schedule. He sends a team to begin sabotaging telephone communications in the village and later takes a call from Nomura. When asked by Irie, Okonogi says they're observing Rika for the event that someone will kill her for the fifth year of the curse.
The plan is disrupted when the Dogs get a report that Rika was confirmed dead by Okinomiya PD; they assumed Rika was sick inside her house as said by Irie and saw no other change in her situation. Okonogi doesn't want to invade her house unless Major Takano orders it, but he sends more observers. After learning that the Watanagashi Festival is coincidentally starting up that night, Okonogi starts to become aware they're facing a smart enemy. He also realizes that Tomitake betrayed them and sends Dogs to check his hotel room.
Knowing that Takano's plan is going off the rails, Okonogi tries to keep things under control and sends orders to find who Tomitake's reporting to. He also learns the Bloodhounds were given a standby order, meaning they were ready to show up and cause trouble.
Okonogi finally orders the Skylark squad to capture Tomitake after finding his address. Irie meanwhile tries to escape the clinic by car and Okonogi gives an order to get him off the road by shooting his tires. The Mountain Dogs then invade the Sonozaki residence where the club is hiding and break into the underground chamber using explosives, planning to disguise the explosion noise by syncing it with the Watanagashi fireworks. The Mountain Dogs succeed in retrieving Rika and bring her outside, where Okonogi speaks to her. He prepares for Rika to get knocked out through injection, but then he and his group see Akasaka disguised as a Mountain Dog. Akasaka dispatches the other Dogs and Okonogi realizes that he's the same man he fought in the kidnapping incident years ago. Okonogi tells the other Dogs to stand down so he can fight Akasaka one-on-one, but he underestimates him and winds up defeated in spirit when Akasaka proves superior. Okonogi and the Dogs soon retreat.
Tomitake is captured and kept in the clinic while the Mountain Dogs plan a new form of attack: they will ambush the club at the mountain connected to the Sonozaki chamber's secret tunnel before they can get to Okinomiya. As a massive group of Mountain Dogs are sent to the mountain, they all start falling victim to Satoko's traps, with Okonogi hearing their cries of anguish over the radio. After hearing that another club group has helped Tomitake escape the clinic, Okonogi begins to realize that their defeat is at hand. Okonogi and his Phoenix group finally head to the mountain themselves, where Okonogi commends Mion for her commanding skill. Ignoring Takano's orders to subdue them, Okonogi once again disarms himself and tells everyone to stand back, soon fighting Mion one-to-one. Mion successfully defeats Okonogi and throws him to the ground several times. After being impressed by Mion's skills, Okonogi runs off into the woods when the Bloodhounds start coming down.
He runs into Takano and tells her of the situation, then announces to the other Mountain Dogs that they are to disarm and surrender themselves to the Bloodhounds. Okonogi tells Takano that nobody in Tokyo ever actually cared about her queen carrier theory, they just wanted to see how many people would believe it. Now that her plan is in shambles, Okonogi hands Takano a gun loaded with a single bullet and tells her to commit suicide, as Tokyo is going to blame her for their defeat either way. Takano refuses to do it, and then Okonogi points his own gun at her while explaining that Nomura was the one who really set her up. Okonogi then fires a warning shot, which alerts the Bloodhounds to their position. As Takano runs away, the Mountain Dogs are finally arrested.
The credits show that Okonogi has been very cooperative with the incident's investigation and caused the disciplinary committee to be open to bargaining with him. Some suspicion is raised regarding his background but this is seemingly cleared up.
In the repeated June 1983 scenario, Okonogi and the Mountain Dogs are arrested by the Bloodhounds in many subsequent worlds due to Takano's change of heart.
Years after the events of Matsuribayashi, in 1987, Okonogi and Skylark 13 are seen boarding an airplane, with Okonogi having an apparent look of determination.
- While designing Okonogi, Ryukishi07 envisioned a Die Hard antagonist.
- Okonogi's first name of Tetsurou is not actually given in the original visual novels. His full name is shown in the 07th Expansion All Character Settings Collection, published 5 years after the namesake character's first appearance in Alliance of the Golden Witch, and later used officially in places such as 07th Expansion's main Higurashi site and in the credits of Higurashi: When They Cry - GOU.
- Okonogi's sprites are recycled for Teruhiko Oda in the PC version of Hinamizawa Bus Stop.
- Multiple characters with similar names and appearances to Okonogi have appeared in Ryukishi07's later works.
- "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 Chapter 23
- Minagoroshi Day 25.
- Matsuribayashi Chapter 15
- Matsuribayashi Chapter 21. Narration: The reason Okonogi ridiculed martial arts as sports was because they were all hard-headed and only used set moves. This is how you strike in karate. This is how you punch in boxing. This is how you throw in judo. It's easy to learn, and that's why it's easy to win!
- Matsuribayashi Chapter 21
- 07th Expansion All Character Settings Collection