| Hōjō Satoko|
|Alternate Name||Hatake Satoko, Yoshizawa Satoko, Matsūra Satoko (due to previous fathers)|
|Birthday||June 24, 1972|
|Daybreak Weapon(s)|| |
|Catchphrase||Wa (〜わ), used at the end of almost all of her sentences|
|Portrayed By|| |
|Image Song||Suki Suki∞Nii-nii|
Hōjō Satoko is one of the main characters in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series. She is the younger sister of Hōjō Satoshi and the insinuator of the events that took place in Tatarigoroshi-hen, Tsukiotoshi-hen, and (to an extent) Minagoroshi-hen. She is also the main hero of the anime-exclusive arc Yakusamashi-hen.
Satoko never understood why her mother repeatedly married and divorced various men. In fact, she could never decide whether or not she actually liked her mother, since their relationship was far from perfect. Men kept appearing beside her mother one after another, and Satoko couldn't adjust to any of them. The only family member that she felt she truly trusted was her brother, Satoshi.
At some point, she started playing pranks on her step-fathers, and even filed a fake abuse report against Mr. Hōjō. Each step-father would act aggressive by bullying her in response to her behavior, but whenever she recounts the bullying, she would believe that her current step-father did all of it. Satoko's parents were supporters of the Dam Project in Hinamizawa and were shunned by all villagers. They were called "traitors" because most of the town was decidedly against the dam project, as it would flood Hinamizawa. Because of their parents' standing, Satoko and her older brother were distrusted by most of the village as well. Since Satoko was somewhat of a nuisance towards her parents, she believed that they would be better off without her, and would kill her at some point. This belief was the starting point of her entering the L5 terminal phase of the Hinamizawa Syndrome.
According to Irie's theory in Matsuribayashi-hen, on the day of the Watanagashi Festival on June 1980, Satoko's parents decided to take her out to Shirakawa Park to escape from the celebration of the villagers' victory over the dam project, and to support Mr. Hōjō's and Satoko's relationship. However, the parents' attempt to get closer to Satoko only worsened her suspicions and paranoia. When they took her to a viewing platform over a muddy river, she was certain that they were going to kill her right there. In what she considered as self-defense, she pushed them over the cliff. This theory however, was revealed to be false in Miotsukushi-hen. Satoko did have suspicions about her parents, but she overheard them at Shirakawa Park, talking about how much they love Satoko, and want to make up with her. Satoko was happy and rushed to hug her parents, but the corroded railing gave in, and Satoko's parents fell for their deaths, right before her eyes.
Satoko was later hospitalized at the Irie Clinic to be treated for her poor health, and was almost vivisected as a terminal subject in research of Hinamizawa Syndrome. She was saved thanks to Irie's development of C-130. Afterwards, she and Satoshi were taken in by their uncle and aunt, Hōjō Teppei and Tamae, respectively. Satoko was abused during that time and always clung to her brother. When the Watanagashi Festival came around, Tamae was murdered by Satoshi to protect his sister from the abuse. Satoshi then disappeared, Teppei fled to Okinomiya to live with his mistress and Satoko started living with her recently orphaned friend Furude Rika.
Satoko, despite her past, is an energetic and playful girl. She has a very distinctive laugh, 'vampire fangs' as Keiichi describes, and loves to set traps to play pranks on her friends (mostly on Maebara Keiichi). Her traps can be dangerous, however; in Matsuribayashi-hen, she set traps for the Yamainu, some of which proved fatal.
Like Ryūgū Rena, Satoko can be incredibly analytical and intuitive at times; in Tsumihoroboshi-hen when Rena held the school hostage, Satoko was able to completely map out the blueprint of the school and the location of the bomb in her head, as well as connect all of the various clues together, especially pieces of seemingly-useless information, such as what types of containers were used to hold the gasoline Rena used, the reason a students' ball went missing, how the drain canal runs and how and where the bomb was set up.
Satoko referred to Satoshi as "nii-nii" (にーにー, from 兄 ((ani, older brother)) ), a cute term for older brother, when he was around, and has since referred Keiichi as such, as well as calling Sonozaki Shion the female equivalent, "nee-nee" (ねーねー, from 姉 ((ane, older sister)) ), though in previous arcs, Shion, pretending to be Mion, had murdered Satoko. In Matsuribayashi-hen when Shion appears threatened, Satoko cries and tells Mion that Shion is her "nee-nee." In the manga version comic asides, Shion wants Satoko to call her "nee-nee."
In the world of Saikoroshi-hen, where no tragic events occur, this Satoko contrasts highly with the Satoko we all know. Since no tragic events happened, Satoko did not kill her parents, but rather had learned to accept them over time. She lives in a stable family with her brother Satoshi (whom she is also not as endearing towards) and has learned to speak very polished and formal Japanese, with also a more advanced vocabulary, unlike her normal self where her speech is quite rough. Her speech can also be particularly demanding and sharp when she is upset. Satoko is also very cold and uncaring towards Rika, and does not have much of a close relationship to Mion nor Rena; rather, she hangs out more with her peers, and is quite popular among her age group. Due to her attitude towards Rika, Rika regards her as an insensitive brat who doesn't care about anyone's pain. However, it is revealed later in the arc that her particular attitude towards Rika is mainly due to Rika shamelessly and constantly exploiting her male classmates, and Satoko, along with the others disappointed by Rika's actions, did not want to associate with her at all.
It is important to note that anything pertaining to Satoko in this world does not affect the Satoko of post-Matsuribayashi-hen in any way at all. The world of Saikoroshi-hen is the "perfect world" for everyone but Rika, and Rika begins to see how she has, in effect, made them all suffer each time she has lived her life. Rika is seen by many as spoiled and self-centered, and Satoko resents her for being a "princess."
AppearanceEditSatoko has blonde hair and, depending on the media, she has pinkish red violet eyes. She is a petite girl, though short like Rika, and has sharp canine teeth. She wears a black headband most of the time. On school days, Satoko wears a green dress with a yellow tie or bow, a white sailor collar and black tights with brown shoes. On her free days, she wears a pink, sleeveless collared shirt, blue shorts, a belt and pink sneakers.
When Satoko transforms into a magical girl she wears a playful yellow dress which is very decorated.The dress has many patterns and a large yellow bow on its back. The outfit is bright, with long socks and a yellow ribbon, yellow wristbands, yellow shoes with light sanding and a big bow at an angle on her head.
Satoshi is Satoko's older brother. Early on in the series, Satoko was completely dependent on Satoshi, thinking that Satoshi would always swing her way whenever her soiree went bad. However, when Satoshi disappeared, she blamed herself for always clinging to him. She vowed to become more independent from that point on. Satoko loves her brother, and Satoshi returns her feelings.
Satoko has a somewhat mixed relationship with Keiichi, as she likes to practice her trap-making skills on him, and Keiichi resents her for doing such things. Nonetheless, Satoko can trust Keiichi as Keiichi can Satoko when the odds are against them. Both of them have been shown to care about each other quite a lot, such as Keiichi wanting to defend her from her abusive uncle in the Minagoroshi-hen arc. Satoko often calls Keiichi "nii-nii", due to his resemblance to Satoshi, but the resemblance has also drawn a negative reaction from her due to the emotional trauma of his disappearance. Their relationship is overall the same as close siblings. Although, she rarely calls him "nii-nii" later on in the series, she still looks up to him as a second older-brother.
In both Tatarigoroshi-hen and Tsukiotoshi-hen, Keiichi killed Teppei for the sake of saving Satoko from his abuse. However, Satoko refused to believe that Keiichi killed her uncle to save her, and attempt to kill Keiichi by making him fall off a bridge.
Satoko's relationship with Shion had a rocky start. Shion initially hated Satoko for always clinging to the love of her life, Satoshi. Shion threw Satoko through a set of tables, lockers and then books at her in retaliation. Later in Meakashi-hen, after Satoshi's disappearance, Shion started killing those who she deemed responsible for his disappearance. She crucifies and stabs Satoko then remembers she promised Satoshi to protect Satoko. She promises at the end of the arc to Satoshi that she will not make the same mistake again. Later on in the series, Shion took care of Satoko. The two of them share a sisterly relationship from that point on, to which Satoko calls her "nee-nee." In the anime ending titles for the Matsuribayashi-hen arc, she clings to Shion.
After Satoshi's disappearance, Satoko and Rika began living together since they are both orphans. As a result, they became best friends and are extremely close. The only time this is not so is in Saikoroshi-hen, where both Rika's and Satoko's parents are alive and well. Since they are not orphans, they live with their parents and do not have the same close bond, or seemingly any bond at all. In that story, Satoko is happy with her family and Rika is seen as a spoiled brat who attracted and exploited all of the boys at school. In Saikoroshi-hen, Satoko bullies Rika. Rika enters the arc after being hit by a truck. She wakes up only to be told she was struck in the head by a ball thrown by Satoko. In this arc, Satoko continues to bully Rika. She steals a book Rika is reading in order to figure out how to get out of her current world and back to the world she secured in Matsuribayashi-hen. Enraged, Rika takes a chair to Satoko and threatens to beat her again if Satoko ever comes near her.
In the anime and particularly in the manga, Rika is confronted by Mion, Satoshi, and, as she is known in this arc, Reina in an attempt to cease the conflict. She is told by Mion that she had been a "princess" which earned the enmity of most girls near her age. However, Satoshi confesses that Satoko really does not want to fight Rika, but she is too stubborn to admit it. In this world, Mion, Satoshi, and Reina set up their game club to allow everyone to play together and become friends. In the manga, Satoko is depicted with her arms folded and glaring at Rika during the games, but the implication is that she will, eventually, accept Rika.
This is all a lesson for Rika: should she choose the world she won where everyone else suffered, or stay in a world where everyone else has a "perfect life?"
Takano was Satoko's nurse at the Irie Clinic, where Satoko was treated for Hinamizawa Syndrome after being taken in by her aunt and uncle. Because she was treated quickly and with experimental medicine, Satoko survived, but she requires daily shots to prevent a relapse. Since this incident, Satoko maintained friendly relationships with those at the Clinic, Takano included, and Takano valued Satoko as an important test-subject in the development of Crazy Medicine, though in Minagoroshi-hen, Takano kills her without hesitation.
It is also interesting to note that a young Tanashi Miyoko looked very similar to the Satoko of June 1983.
Irie was Satoko's doctor at the Clinic, as well as something of a foster father. Irie cares deeply for Satoko, and he has jokingly voiced a desire to marry Satoko when she is old enough, but this is more an expression of his wish to save her from her uncle than a romantic attraction to her. This does not stop him from "admiring" Satoko in her various "punishment game" outfits, however, and the anime and manga expand on this with his various attempts to dress her in "maid" costumes.
- The kanji of her name 沙--sa--都--to--子--ko means, literally, "sand-capital-child."
- It is suggested that Satoko has extraordinary strength for someone her age, as shown in Tatarigoroshi-hen when she shoved Keiichi twice across the room after he harmlessly petted her, and later even pushed him off of a bridge; however, another theory is this could be due to an adrenaline rush, rather than extraordinary strength.
- In the anime-only arc Yakusamashi-hen, it is shown that Satoko can detect sounds like a cat. She was able to hear a Yamainu member's leg graze a trap she set in the middle of the night.
- Originally, Satoko and Rika were supposed to appear on the cover of Meakashi-hen's fourth volume, but Yutori Hōjō (the artist of Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen) dropped this idea and changed the cover characters to Shion and Satoshi.
- Satoko has the highest number of individual sprites in the original sound novels; most other characters have twenty or fewer sprites, while Mion and Rena have around fifty apiece, and Satoko has sixty-four.
- Her casual sprite in the original Visual Novels show her wearing a satchel behind her hip.
- It has now been confirmed that Umineko's Lambdadelta and Satoko are strongly linked together. Lambdaelta is dubbed "Satoko Witch self." One of the reasons is the love that both feel for each other, Bernakastel and Lambdadelta/Rika and Satoko.
- She is voiced by Jennie Kwan in the American English dub, who is well known for voicing Suki from Avatar: The Last Air Bender.