| Sonozaki Oryō|
|Age||Probably around 70s|
|Portrayed By|| |
Sonozaki Oryō (園崎 お魎) is a character in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni series, and is the current head of the Sonozaki family, mother of Sonozaki Akane, and grandmother of Sonozaki Mion and Sonozaki Shion.
As she is a family head, according to the tradition her name is chosen so that its part refers to a demon: ryō (魎, a kind of monster).
Oryō is the true power in Hinamizawa, although for appearances sake the Kimiyoshi family have been the town heads for generations. Politicians, political groups, even the child protective services group, look to her for direction and approval. She was forced to disinherit her daughter after she married outside the family, but is currently raising her granddaughter to inherit her position as head after her eventual death.
During the Dam War she was the head of the resistance, and it was her anger at the behavior the head of the Hōjō family showed, especially the disrespect he showed her, that fueled the town's negative attitude toward that family. However, despite the belief of some of the local people, neither she nor her family had anything to do with the deaths that have occurred each Watanagashi, or even the kidnapping of the Minister of Construction's grandson during the war. All these acts were committed by others, but because of their power the family, and Oryō in particular, has been seen as the ones at fault.
Although not addressed in the anime, she has come to decide that she will take the ill will for the things that have been done by the family in her time, as she doesn't have too much longer to live one way or another. Although she comes off quite harsh and even cruel in public, she has been known to show quite a bit of kindness behind the scenes. The problem is that as head of the family she must maintain that tough facade, and cannot compromise her position. She never intended for the treatment of the Hōjō parents to extend to their children, and certainly not for so long. She even approved of Shion's love of Hōjō Satoshi.
Although she cannot publicly forgive her daughter, in private they are quite close. Tradition dictates that she should have killed one of her granddaughters at birth, as twins were considered very bad luck, but didn't. It's true she treats Shion and Mion differently, but it's entirely possible this is to save face with the family, like so much she does. Despite her dislike for outsiders, she also arranged for land that belonged to the family for generations to go up for sale, in hope of attracting new people to the village to 'freshen the air'. It was this land that the Maebara Family purchased to build their house. She is also possibly grateful of Keiichi, as she admires his will, spirit and determination. She as even gone far enough in asking her daughter Sonozaki Akane in keeping an eye on him if something were to happen to her. She is also highly aware of Mion's feelings towards Keiichi, as she told Mion to go forward and tell Keiichi in Musubienishi-hen, as a little earlier she embarrassed Mion in front of Keiichi when telling him he should get ready if he wanted to get cozy with Mion.