Hinashiro: investigating this mystery hotspot!!
Hinashiro. I first developed an interest in this town upon becoming acquainted with Mika Kishii, a student at Hinashiro High.
Every town comes with its own bizarre rumours and legends, but these are particularly abundant here in Hinashiro. Mika Kishii, with enough curiosity for two people, would never have overlooked it. She and her friends, Yukari Hasegawa and Chisato Itsushima, set out in order to figure out the truth behind the rumours. Nothing so far stated sounds out of the ordinary, though, does it? It is true that each generation has curious-minded boys and girls who are drawn to these sorts of tales.
In this case, however, the situation was a little different. What the girls were trying to verify was not a baseless, everyday rumour. Beginning with Hanako-san appearing at Hinashiro High, most of the rumours they investigated turned out, shockingly, to be true.
Here, I will provide a few of the rumours the girls checked out for reference.
I Park, a place where rumours say that spirit photos can be taken. There are terrible tales about the park's lake, too...
First of all was a rumour about I Park. Mika and her friends began investigating the park after one of Mika's acquaintances claimed to have taken a spirit photo there. As they investigated the park, girls learned that the car park above had once been the location of a site where executions by beheading were carried out. As the torii built to soothe their souls has been torn down, the spirits of those executed at the site had begun to wander the earth.
There was a rumour about a construction site, too. Amazingly, it turned out that a secret military base had been constructed underneath the construction site during the war, and the spirits there had continued the manufacture of a terrible weapon, unable to accept the reality that the war was over. Finally, this weapon went on a rampage, blowing up the entire base. Despite causing a stir over an old unexploded bomb, this was not the case. the explosion had undoubtedly been caused by "Kongo Teppei", the secret weapon of the old Japanese Army.
On another occasion, the girls accidentally opened a gate to the spirit realm whilst attempting to summon "Hanako-san" based on an incorrect rumour. This caused a terrible situation in which Hinashiro High became a gate bridging the land of the dead to the land of the living, with ghosts flooding the school. The sole reason why this failed to develop into true catastrophe was my own accurate advice.
A gate to the spirit realm was opened, and wandering ghosts began to spill forth into the world of the living.
But what led such a long series of bizarre phenomena to occur in this town? While it may be true that the girls' rash actions were factors in bringing several of these incidents into being, I can't help but feel as though there is another, different cause behind the cases.
The very name of Hinashiro itself appears to originate in the custom of hina-nagashi. Hina-nagashi is a ritual of ceremonial cleansing which spread to Japan, in which paper dolls (hina), taking the place of family members, are set adrift (nagashi) to repel misfortune. The name of Hinashiro is said to have come from the fact that many of these hina dolls washed up here.
This led to many legends being left behind in this town since olden times, serving since then as reliable companions for its people. In the modern day, however, as the buildings that serve as relics of a time gone by are being torn down one by one, these old legends are fated to disappear along with them.
By casting aside the old, people are instead able to live cultural lives, but at the same time lose their breathing room. Losing this freedom causes "evil" to be born within a person's heart.
I believe that it is this "evil" which has caused the many strange incidents that have occurred here. A great quantity of "evil" gathered here, having some sort of effect on the town of Hinashiro. Or at least, I can't help but think so...
The condo where Mika Kishii lives. Locals have nicknamed it "the pyramid palace" due to its unique exterior, and all who live in Hinashiro are familiar with it. It's peculiar enough that when I myself first glimpsed the building, I thought it to be some sort of ancient temple or huge grave marker rather than a residence.
This is a standard communal housing complex. As it stands right beside the pyramid condo, local residents refer to it by such names as "the pyramid palace's ramparts". Recently, there has been a string of suicides by children from the complex jumping to their deaths. Perhaps some sort of spiritual cause within the apartments themselves may be to blame?
The school attended by Mika Kishii and her friends. There has been a succession of suicides and more by its students, leading to some unpleasant rumours surrounding it for a time, but the newly-appointed headmaster has recently managed to clear the dark perceptions of the place. The current school building was rebuilt after the current headmaster took up his position, making it super hi-tech and fitted from top to bottom with the latest facilities.
As far as I can tell, however, the sinister air that I once sensed from the previous building has not let up one bit. If anything, it almost seems to have intensified.
The trendiest nightclub in Hinashiro currently. Events are held there on the weekends, and it teems with youths. According to my enquiries, a young man named Sumio Tohba whom Mika Kishii formerly courted was quite well-known at the club. I should like to check it out for myself at some point.
The other station in Hinashiro. Many young people can be spotted here, perhaps due to trains bound for Shimokita passing through. Rumours about Hinashiro Station, such as ghosts appearing there, are incessant, but no such tales are told about this place. It makes my occult researcher's heart ache.
You might call Shimokita a town for the youth. Consisting of a cramp of boutiques and fancy cafés, a middle-aged person such as myself would be quite out of place there. Mika Kishii is fond of the location, and seems to make a habit of visiting often. It appears as though she likes anywhere with a bustling atmosphere, however...