07th Expansion Wiki
This article is about the story arc in Higurashi When They Cry. For the festival in that same series, see Watanagashi Festival.
This article is about a story arc in
Higurashi When They Cry.
Steam Extras

Watanagashi (綿流し編 Watanagashi-hen, lit. Cotton Drifting Chapter), also known as the Cotton Drifting Arc in the manga, is the second story arc and Question Arc of Higurashi When They Cry. It was released on December 29, 2002 at Comiket 63 and is followed by Tatarigoroshi.

The original release of Watanagashi includes the previous chapter.


~The Most Possibilities~

How was your taste of life in Hinamizawa?
A curse, or a conspiracy... I believe you have fully enjoyed everything and everyone seeming suspicious.
Here at last. It is no surprise attack, but a real, direct incident. Please enjoy it.

The difficulty is lower than Onikakushi, but is extremely vicious.

Plot Summary[]

Main article: Watanagashi/Summary

Keiichi Maebara enjoys life in Hinamizawa and has fun playing games with his friends at school. During a chance encounter he meets Shion Sonozaki, the supposed twin sister of Mion Sonozaki. Keiichi and Shion develop a friendship, and during the Watanagashi Festival they sneak into the ritual storehouse and learn about Hinamizawa's horrible past, soon setting off a chain of events and earning the wrath of Oyashiro-sama's curse.


New characters

Returning characters

Release History[]

Original Release (Comiket 63)[]

Watanagashi was first released for PC at Comiket 63 on December 29, 2002.

Comiket 64[]

Watanagashi was rereleased with Tatarigoroshi at Comiket 64 on August 15, 2003.

Comiket 66[]

Watanagashi was rereleased with Himatsubushi at Comiket 66 on August 13, 2004.

First English Release[]

MangaGamer translated the entire Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Question Arcs into English and released it on December 15, 2009. Changes include:

  • Porting from NSCripter to BGI.
  • The minigames that were included in previous versions would be removed from this version and subsequent releases.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou[]

This arc was rereleased with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou on August 17, 2014.

Second English Release[]

MangaGamer retranslated this arc and released it individually on November 13, 2015. Changes include:

  • Porting from NScripter to Unity.
  • New character art by Kurosaki.

2020 Demo[]

A new demo of Onikakushi and Watanagashi was released on July 15, 2020 for free download on 07th Expansion's demo page. Changes include:

  • Porting the arc from NScripter to PONScripter.
  • New music tracks composed by xaki.
  • Higher-definition sprites.


Watanagashi was released with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Hou+ on January 28, 2022.


Watanagashi has been featured in the following console games:

These ports add new character art, CGs, and voice acting. There is also some script changes made:

  • Many sexual jokes are changed or removed.
  • Many mentions of violence and drugs are toned down or removed, such as Takano's explanation of how the Watanagashi is a ritual for dissecting humans.
  • References to minors drinking alcohol are changed.
  • Some words or lines are changed to have different connotations.
    • For example, the phrase "kegare" (穢れ filth) is often changed to be "degrading" (格が落ちる) or "fujyou" (不浄 unclean).
    • References to the Sonozaki family being a yakuza (ヤクザ) group are changed to them being a "crime syndicate" (暴力団 bouryokudan)
  • Many pop culture and real-life references are changed and/or removed, including:
  • Some repeat information from Onikakushi like explaining the Watanagashi Festival and Tomitake's introduction are removed.
  • Mentions of Gifu Prefecture are changed and obfuscated to refer to an unnamed, neighboring prefecture.
  • Many references to war and politics are removed, such as Keiichi talking about people leaving out offerings of needles and knives to their ancestors and casualties of war, as well as discussion of Unit 731..
  • A scene where Keiichi is called by an unnamed male Kimiyoshi family member is changed to be an unnamed female Kimiyoshi member calling him, most likely Natsumi.


Drama CD[]

A drama CD adaptation of Watanagashi was released on December 22, 2005.


The manga adaptation of Watanagashi was illustrated by Yutori Houjyou and serialized in Square Enix's Gangan Wing magazine from June 2005 to May 2006. It was later collected into two volumes, and then as a single omnibus volume. Yen Press published them in English under the title "Cotton Drifting Arc".

Chapter Name Magazine Release Date
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 1 Gangan Wing June 2005 April 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 2 Gangan Wing July 2005 May 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 3 Gangan Wing August 2005 June 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 4 Gangan Wing September 2005 July 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 5 Gangan Wing October 2005 August 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 6 Gangan Wing November 2005 September 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 7 Gangan Wing December 2005 October 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 8 Gangan Wing January 2006 November 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 9 Gangan Wing February 2006 December 26, 2005
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 10 Gangan Wing March 2006 January 26, 2006
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 11 Gangan Wing April 2006 February 26, 2006
Watanagashi-hen Manga Chapter 12 Gangan Wing May 2006 March 26, 2006
Vol. Cover Release Date Chapters
1 WatanagashiVol1jp December 22, 2005 (JP)
May 31, 2009 (EN)
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
2 WatanagashiVol2jp June 22, 2006 (JP)
September 15, 2009 (EN)
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
N/A WatanagashiOmnibusCover December 22, 2008
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12

Anime (2006)[]

The 2006 Higurashi When They Cry anime by Studio DEEN adapted Watanagashi in Episodes 5 to 8.

  1. Jealousy (aired: May 2, 2006)
  2. Takano (aired: May 9, 2006)
  3. Lies (aired: May 16, 2006)
  4. Wish (aired: May 23, 2006)

Light Novel[]

The original light novel adaptation of Watanagashi consists of two volumes. It was originally published by Kodansha and republished by Seikaisha.

  1. Watanagashi Light Novel Volume 1 (Kodansha: October 2, 2007; Seikaisha: March 10, 2011)
  2. Watanagashi Light Novel Volume 2 (Kodansha: November 2, 2007; Seikaisha: April 8, 2011)

Novel versions of Watanagashi intended for junior students were published by Futabasha, consisting of two volumes. Both volumes released on December 16, 2020.


These are the credits as seen in the original Comiket release.

  • Supervision and screenplay: Ryukishi07
  • Partner in Crime: Yatazakura
  • Scripting: Yatazakura (main), 4U (intermission and TIPS), BT (group logo and installer)
  • Scripting software used: NScripter (Naoki Takahashi)
  • Technical advice: 4U and BT
  • Directing: Yatazakura
  • Graphics: Ryukishi07
  • Background locations: Kameya Mannen-dou, Yatazakura, Ryukishi07
  • “Eyes”: Tsubaki Naruse
  • Location scouting: Kameya Mannen-dou, Amamizu, Tokihi
  • Music and sound effects: Music Studio, Yumenoshima Development Office, Escateli~na, Koji Kusanagi
  • Renapan and Sphie Bomber minigames: BT
  • “07th Storming Party: homepage management: 4U (http://www.tk3.speed.co.jp/foryou/)
  • Test players (We’d like to thank you all for your cooperation!): yama2, uudy, O2G, Soraemon, Komiyamantarou, Tooru Mizukami, Denim, yosio, takuya, reshizou22, Minami, M. R. Works, Akihiko, K2@Yumemi, Iekano, Yoshinori Yano/Acha, Ayurin, Hitoshi, Shirushi, Shinichiro~, Kamiko Yatsuzuka, Haruka Kanata, Akira Katayama, Rag, Tsujizai A, Konoyaromania, Ken Kinoshita, Pogu, TWIN, arisawa23, Echigoya, U2, Ninnin, kei, Yuuichi Hashimoto, Yuuro, Ochifusutaku, qtk, Dondon, Akiri Aomon, Shikishiro Hirotaka., maze, Umineko, Kasha

External Links[]


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  • The "eyes" credit refers to the eyes picture that appears in the original version of this arc. It is actually an edited picture of Ryukishi's friend.[1] The scene is also an homage to a similar scene in Otogirisō.[2]


  1. 07th Expansion Toratsu Interview. Ryukishi07: It’s Naruse Tsubaki’s (なるせ椿) eyes, he is my real friend and we took a picture of his ____ with ____, edited with Photoshop, which was left on the hard disk. It was a good picture of a man’s face. I thought that it looked nice and cut eyes out of it *laughs* Without permission.
  2. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Famous Scene Investigation File 100