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Rope Shrine Maiden
The Rope Shrine Maidens of Himuro Mansion were maidens chosen with the sacred duty of protecting the area from the unleashing of the Hell Gate. The maidens were chosen for their spiritual power based on a game of Demon Tag.
Using a Blind Demon, all of the female children of the Himuro Family above the age of 7 years, 9 months and 25 days would be assembled into a room. During this time, the Blind Demon would go around and try to catch them. The first child caught was raised to become the next Blind Demon; however, the last child caught was chosen to be the next Rope Shrine Maiden. It was believed that she was able to avoid the Blind Demon the longest because of her high spiritual power.
The chosen child was then taken to a cell, and separated from the outside world for a period of 3,669 days (approximately 10 years). During this time she could not see her family. Priests would attend to her, wearing masks to cover their faces at all times. In this way she would remain 'pure' and dedicated to her cause, and willing to die. When the 13th day of the 12 month approached (a decade later), the maiden would be taken to the Moon Shrine to cleanse and purify herself.
Once her purification was complete, the ceremony master and priests would take her to the Rope Shrine. It was here that she was tied by her neck, hands, and feet. These ropes were attached to wheels. As the wheels are turned, the Rope Shrine Maiden’s limbs were pulled off. The blood-soaked ropes used to kill her were then taken and bound around the Hell Gate to secure it again for another 10 years.
Known Rope Shrine Maidens
- Kirie Himuro
- Kizuna Himuro
- Long Arms' Daughter
- Tokitada Kyuki's Lover
- The Sacrifice (Ghost at the Moon Well)
- Former Shrine Maiden (before Kirie)
- Rope Hallway Shrine Maiden
- The first Rope Shrine Maiden (The one mummified in the Moon Shrine)
- It is not unheard of for servants or people who became too close to the Rope Shrine Maidens to be killed or ordered to commit Seppuku. These murders were thought just to keep the ritual a secret and keep the Calamity from occurring.
- In the Doll Room of the Himuro Mansion, there is a special doll dedicated to the Rope Shrine Maiden. It is set apart from all the other dolls in the same sense that the maiden herself is separated.
- The first Rope Shrine Maiden's mummified body is enshrined at the bottom of the Moon Well.