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A traditional ritual performed on Rougetsu Island.
About The Ritual
The Kiraigou was the ancient predecessor of the Rougetsu Kagura, and was performed on Rougetsu Island. Its use was discontinued many years ago, after the failure of Souetsu Yomotsuki's Mask of the Lunar Eclipse caused the first Day Without Suffering; as a result of the disaster, the Kiraigou became taboo and the islanders began to perform the Kagura instead.
In 1970, Shigeto Haibara resurrected the ritual with the help of Souya Yomotsuki, using the revelatory powers of the Camera Obscura to learn about forgotten aspects of the Kiraigou. Shigeto's own daughter, Sakuya, performed as the dancer. Souya believed that, by studying the Mask of the Lunar Eclipse made by his ancestor Souetsu, he could finally "complete" the mask, and prevent the Day Without Suffering from occurring again.
In the past, five young girls with a strong Lunar Melody would be selected by the Tsukimori Shrine Maidens to perform as Kanade. They would practise for a hundred days, and the chosen Utsuwa would meditate in the underground tunnels to be purified.
In 1970, with the Tsukimori tradition having died out, Shigeto Haibara and his son, You, selected five girls that were hospitalized at Rougetsu Hall to be used as the Kanade in the ritual. These girls were chosen since they had not yet "broken" (become susceptible to the deadliest part of the disease). Souya Yomotsuki set about making the Mask of the Lunar Eclipse for Sakuya, and five other masks for the Kanade in the ritual, all with mind-controlling properties which enabled the girls to play their designated musical instrument. The Haibaras set about restoring the old sheet music to be used in the ritual, known as the Lunar Melody or Tsukimori Song.
On the day of the ritual, the girls were taken from the performance of the Kagura and led down to the secret ritual area underneath the hospital.
When performed properly, the Kiraigou is intended to open the gate to the "Other World" at the moment of total eclipse. The reflection of the dark moon on the sea becomes a hole through which the souls of the dead depart, guided by the successful Utsuwa, who becomes the channel through which they all flow.
Failurebasement of Rougetsu Hall. The five girls, who had lost all their memories, were taken to the Moon-Reflection Cave to recover, and were discovered there two weeks later by the detective Choushiro Kirishima.
The tourist Kagura, which was being performed above at exactly the same time, also failed. The Utsuwa and Kanade in this ritual also collapsed; however, they all died.
Sakuya was kept in the basement, constantly monitored by her nurse and the guard stationed outside. The guard wanted to cut off Sakuya's face, as the island's tradition dictated that the faces of the dead must be removed lest they Bloom. He was denied, however, as Sakuya had not truly died, but lingered in a state between life and death.
In 1972, two years after the failed rituals Sakuya awoke and broke out of the basement. She circled the island, "infecting" those who saw her face with Blooming, and thus bringing about the second Day Without Suffering.
Her ghost continued to wander the island, and in 1980, on the date of the next lunar eclipse, she ascended to the Tsukuyomi Peninsula Lighthouse to be closer to the moon. There she was subdued with the Tsukimori Song and the repaired Mask of the Lunar Eclipse, and the ritual was completed, allowing the souls of the dead to cross over.
- In the English fan translation of the game, the Kiraigou is called the Ceremony of Passage.
- "帰来" (きらい, kirai) means "a returning".
- "迎" (ごう, gou) means "receive, welcome, greet"
Hence, "帰来迎" literally means 'The Receiving/Welcoming/Greeting of the Returned/Returning Ones'.
- Notably, the Haibaras' revival of the ritual lacked several of the components included in previous ceremonies (ie: the selection of the Kanade by the Tsukimori Shrine Maidens, and 100 days of meditation in the Rougetsu Tunnels). This was probably because some of these could no longer be carried out (for example, the Tsukimori Maidens had all died out, except for Ruka's mother), but it is possible that these eventually contributed to the failure of the ritual, since the ceremony might not be considered 'complete' without them.