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| Kimiyoshi Kiichirō|
|Age||probably middle 60s|
|Portrayed By|| |
Kimiyoshi Kiichirō is a character in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series. He is the chief of Hinamizawa village, and head of the Kimiyoshi House. His status as village chief is more like a symbolic title, since the Sonozaki House, lead by Sonozaki Oryō, are the true power in Hinamizawa. He also seemingly led the anti-dam movement during the Hinamizawa Dam Conflict, when Oryō was actually in control behind the scenes. He is murdered by Sonozaki Shion in both Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, and is killed in the Great Hinamizawa Disaster in Tatarigoroshi-hen, Minagoroshi-hen, and Yakusamashi-hen.
According to Onigafuchi tradition, the Kimiyoshi family is always best among the three main families, and would automatically become in charge of the village, whenever a leader is needed. However Kiichirō is more of a figure head, as the Sonozaki family's Sonozaki Oryō is actually in charge of the village. When the Japanese government threatened to build a dam that would submerge the entire village under water, war broke out between the villagers and the pro-dam activists. Even though Oryō really led the anti-dam movement, it was Chief Kimiyoshi who was chosen to be the Chairman of the Onigafuchi Defense Alliance.
In Himatsubushi-hen, even though almost the entire village knew that the young Akasaka Mamoru was a public security officer who came to Hinamizawa in June of Shouwa 53 (1978) to investigate the kidnapping of Inugai Toshiki (and thus making the villagers suspects), Kiichirō kindly welcomed him as he entered the Defense Alliance's headqurters at the Furude Shrine.
In both Watanagashi-hen and Meakashi-hen, Kiichirō is kidnapped and murdered by Sonozaki Shion. While Shion was disguised as her twin sister Mion (whom Shion locked up in the Sonozaki family's underground saiguden), she attended the village board meeting at Furude Shrine in regards to the mysterious deaths of Tomitake Jirō and Takano Miyo. She also announced that their deaths were the work of Oyashiro-sama's curse, because they entered the forbidden Saiguden during the Watanagashi Festival. After hearing this new information, all of the elders became horrifyingly enraged, including Chief Kimiyoshi himself. She also told them that both Maebara Keiichi and Sonozaki Shion have entered the Saiguden. After "Mion" mentions that Shion had already disappeared, Kiichirō coldly asks about Keiichi's current position, not showing any sign of concern for Shion's safety.
Disturbed by Kimiyoshi's lack of concern for Shion, "Mion" lied to him that Oryō (whom she already murdered) wanted to talk to him at Sonozaki Estate, so that she could find closure by talking to him about how he felt about Shion's fate as a "victim" of Oyashiro-sama's curse. At the Estate, Kimiyoshi finally expressed his concern for Shion by assuring "Mion" that he believed Shion shouldn't be "Demoned Away", if she was sincerely sorry for her actions, and that he would personally vouge for her. Although his words made her feel better, Kimiyoshi also added that Shion had a better chance of being forgiven than "that accursed Hōjō brat", since she is a member of the Sonozaki family, and that Hōjōs are doomed to be cursed for being pro-dam activists during the Dam Conflict.Kiichirō produced this statement, based on his deluded belief that most of the villagers still hated the Hōjō family, and that the Sonozaki family were behind the mysterious deaths and disappearances. Confused by his comment, "Mion" inquired that the Sonozakis should have already forgiven Satoshi, whom she openly had a crush on, when they had three of Shion's fingernails ripped off to forgive the three people who covered for her after she ran away from her boarding school. She believed that those three people were Kasai Tatsuyoshi, Uncle Yoshirō, and Hōjō Satoshi. However, Kimiyoshi told "Mion" that he heard somewhere that Shion's painful sacrifice was to forgive Kasai, Yoshirō, and Shion herself (not Satoshi).
Enraged, "Mion" tazed Kimiyoshi into unconsciousness, and locked him up in the Sonozaki family's secret underground saiguden. Later that night, members of the Kimyoshi family noticed that Kiichirō hadn't returned home after the board meeting, and started to call other villagers about his whereabouts, including the Sonozaki residence where, unknown to them, Shion was keeping him captive at. "Mion" told the Kimiyoshi residence that Oryō wanted them to assemble the village youth squad to go search for him.
Kiichirō was kept in the torture chamber of the underground saiguden while hanging from a chained leather collar that's connected to a pulley, just barely standing on his toes, and with his hands tied tightly behind his back. Shion interrogated him about Satoshi, and she told him that everytime he would answer, she would losen the chain that hung his neck by one link. However, she soon realized that the old man couldn't even talk due to strain on his neck, so she losened the chain anyways. When he finally managed to stand, Kimiyoshi answered that he didn't know what happened to Satoshi, and he heard a rumor that he ran away by train. Unhappy with his answer, Shion told him that she had been in close contact with Detective Ōishi, and lied that he never told her about the rumor. Kimiyoshi starts to panic after she accuses him of lying, and threatens to tighten his chain.
She then asked him if he thought Satoshi was alive or dead, which he answered that he found it difficult to believe that he was still alive. She tells him that the police believed that Satoshi was the culprit for his aunt's death, and that the "drug addict" was just a scapegoat. Kimiyoshi agreed, and suggested that whoever made him disappear made up the "drug addict" to prevent the police from investigating Satoshi. He also believed that Oryō was the only likely candidate to be capable of Satoshi's disappearance, and that she was behind the kidnapping of Inugai Toshiki in Shouwa 53 (1978). When asked who he thought carried out Satoshi's "Demon abduction", he answered that didn't know, but Oryō might have had his body disposed in the underground saiguden's hidden well, which led Shion to believe that she found Satoshi's resting place.
Shion later tightens his chain sometime after the interrogation, and left him there to barely stand on his toes. Kiichirō finally dies from hanging himself while Satoko (who was also kidnapped) watched from afar. He stood on his toes for two days, and eventually lost his strength to stand any longer. Shion disposed of his body by throwing it into the hidden well, and it was discovered by the police days later.
In Watanagashi-hen, Keiichi had been receiving phone calls from Shion during the time when she was killing people. Shion manipulated Keiichi to believe that they both are being targeted by the Sonozaki family, because they entered the forbidden Saiguden with Takano and Tomitake during the Watanagashi Festival. However, it was village chief Kimiyoshi who was the first to disappear, due to being kidnapped by Shion herself. Shion claimed that Kimiyoshi disappeared because she confessed to him about tresspassing into the Saiguden, and that the "culprits" were going to kill them both after killing anyone that they confessed to. Keiichi soon realizes that Furude Rika, whom he already opened up to, might be in danger, and later goes searching for her at her house with the help of a search group. After a long and unsuccessful search, neither Rika nor Satoko(both were living together and were victims of Shion) were found.
Keiichi later comes in contact with Detective Ōishi, who tells him about a different reason behind the disappearances of Kimiyoshi Kiichirō and Furude Rika. There was a rumor spreading among the villagers that Oyashiro-sama punished them for changing the lock on the Saiguden to a simple one, which allowed people to break in. After her parents' deaths in Shouwa 56 (1981), Rika became the new head of the Furude family, and priestess of Furude Shrine. However, she couldn't manage to access the Saiguden at the time, because it was secured by a big heavy bolt with several complicated locks. So she asked for help from Chief Kimiyoshi, Rika's current legal guardian, by replacing the bolt with a simpler lock.
Ōishi also had information that proved that Shion's confession was inconsistent with Kimiyoshi's plans on the day he disappeared. Kimiyoshi had gone to an early morning appointment with a proctologist at a university hospital in Shishibone, and kept his appointment a secret from the other villagers, probably due to embarrassment. His examination finished around 1 PM, and he ate lunch at the hospital while spending his time reading magazines; Ōishi learned this from a receipt in his wallet that was found at his home. He planed to go back to the village early for the evening board meeting, but his train was delayed due to an accident. According to his family, he finally reached the board meeting with little time to spare, and was last seen on his way home. This means that there was no time for Shion to possibly to tell him anything.
He is often shown to be a very kind towards villagers and outsiders alike (like Akasaka Mamoru in Himatsubushi-hen.) In Meakashi-hen and Minagoroshi-hen, he has uncharacteristically shown aggressive hatred towards the Hōjō family, due to the family’s betrayal as pro-dam activists during the Dam Conflict, and later became scapegoats. However, it is later revealed in Minagoroshi-hen that he and many elders of the village no longer had bitter feelings towards the Hōjōs. He, like many village elders, believed that the Sonozaki family or “someone” in the village were behind the series of mysterious deaths, and that “they” were targeting enemies of the village. That means that the village elders feared that anyone who speaks up against the village values will become scapegoats, and that this “someone” will later attack the scapegoats. So Kimiyoshi and many elders of the village often behave as though they hated the Hōjō family, and to show great devotion toward Oyashiro-sama as to remain safe from persecution.
However, his beliefs are also revealed to incorrect, and that this “someone” never existed to begin with. Every member of the Sonozaki family, including Sonozaki Oryō, also no longer hates the Hōjōs. After the Dam Conflict ended, Oryō told the villagers that no one is to harass the Hōjō family anymore, but also not interact with any of them. Even though Oryō no longer hates the Hōjōs, she too is afraid that the villagers will label her as a scapegoat, and thus lose her power over the village.
Kiichirō's appearance is shown to be somewhat different through out the Higurashi media. In the anime adaptation, he wears an untucked "paris green" colored dress shirt with a bolo tie around his neck, and a pair of dark colored dress pants and shoes. In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Matsuri, his appearance is similar to his anime counterpart, except his shirt is tucked under long khaki pants with a belt. In the manga adaptation, he wears a male kimono.
He is always shown to be an old man with a balding scalp with long unkempt gray hair, bushy gray eyebrows, and a crooked nose.
- In Watanagashi-hen, Satoko reveals that Kiichirō sometimes teaches the arts of Kendo and Syuji to fellow villagers. This means that he has good physical strength, even in his old age.
- His house is located somewhere outside of Hinamizawa, but not very far away.
- In Watanagashi-hen it was revealed that Kimiyoshi is suffering from hemorrhoids.
- In Tatarigoroshi-hen, it was revealed that he became Rika's legal guardian sometime after her parents' death in Shouwa 56 (1981).