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Ryozo Munakata is a secondary character in the games Fatal Frame and Fatal Frame II, and is also mentioned in Fatal Frame III. He is a famous folklorist who wrote a book concerning the rituals of the Himuro Mansion which inspired Junsei Takamine to work on his latest novel.
Childhood (Events from Fatal Frame II)
When Ryozo was a child, he visited Minakami Village while travelling the country with his father on at least one occasion. It was his experiences in Minakami Village as a boy that made him want to become a folklorist. While visiting, he became close friends with Itsuki and Mutsuki Tachibana. They became so close during their time together, that Itsuki confided to him that he feared a secret ceremony that took place in the village. After leaving the village, Itsuki and Ryozo kept in touch through letters.
As time passed, Ryozo pursued his desire by becoming apprentice of the travelling folklorist Seijiro Makabe. One day, Ryozo received a letter from Itsuki asking him to come to the village to retrieve Yae and Sae on the day of the ritual. This was the final letter he ever received from Itsuki. Due to his concern about his friends' well-being, and his master's genuine interest in the area, both quickly set off towards Minakami Village. When they arrived, they were given a warm greeting by Ryokan Kurosawa and his twin daughters, Yae and Sae. Yae seemed to show some interest in Ryozo, as she flashed him a flirtatious look upon their introduction.
Ryozo focused on tracking down Itsuki and Mutsuki while Seijiro researched the rituals of the village. When he inquired about the Tachibana twins, he was told that they had died of an illness. He couldn't bring himself to believe these stories and continued his investigation anyway. Upon looking through Itsuki's diaries, Ryozo learned two things: the village was hiding something about his friend's whereabouts, and Itsuki was secretly looking for a way to escape the village.
One day during his search for Itsuki, Ryozo came across Itsuki's little sister, Chitose, in one of the corridors of the Tachibana House. Prior to Ryozo's arrival to the village, Itsuki had given the key to his room to her, telling her to hold onto it and give it to Ryozo when he arrived. Unfortunately, Ryozo never received the key because Chitose ran away and hid, too frightened to give it to him.
Shortly afterwards, Ryozo received a letter from Seijiro, brought to him by the Kurosawa twins. The letter requested that he leave the village and return home ahead of him. Before the Kurosawa twins left his company, he whispered to Yae that he'd come back for them on the day of the ceremony. She tensed up and pretended not to hear him. Before leaving the village, he also wrote a final letter for Itsuki, promising to come back for and take care of the Kurosawa twins once they escaped the village. Ryozo never saw his master again.
When the day of the ceremony came, Ryozo returned to retrieve the Kurosawa twins. What he found upon his arrival was Yae alone and sobbing in front of the Torii gate that marked the entrance to Minakami Village. The village was nowhere to be found and Yae had no recollection of what had occurred. As promised, he took Yae into his own care. Some time later, Ryozo and Yae married. Eventually, they had a daughter whom they named Mikoto. He went on to become a folklorist just like he always wanted to be.
Adulthood (Events from Fatal Frame)Himuro Mansion, the epicenter from which all of the legends seemed to originate. He didn't, however, want to be too far from Yae, whom had fallen into poor health. He decided that it would be in his family's best interest to take up residence in the mansion itself. That way he could do research on the rituals performed there and remain close to Yae. After some effort convincing the local officials to let them live there, the Munakata family moved into Himuro Mansion.
Soon after settling in, Ryozo's research progressed far faster than he could have ever hoped for. He spent most of his days exploring the mansion, gathering information, and trying to figure out what really happened in the Himuro Family rituals. During his research, he studied particular areas like the Moon Shrine and the Demon Mouth.
One day, while playing Demon Tag, Mikoto found a strange camera in the mansion. She brought it to her father whom examined it. Ryozo asked where precisely she had found it, but all she would say is that a girl in a white kimono gave it to her. He concluded that there wasn't anything remarkable about it. The next day, Ryozo and his family took a walk in the mountains around the mansion. Yae took the camera Mikoto found and spent most of the day taking pictures with it. This would mark the end of the happy times for Ryozo's family.
Yae spent the next few days in a delirium, wandering the mansion taking pictures with Mikoto's camera. When asked what she was taking pictures of she would only reply, "I can see them." As the days went on, Yae became increasingly ill.
Nine days after going for a walk in the mountains, Mikoto and her friends went missing while playing Demon Tag in the mansion. Yae and Ryozo searched the mansion, but could find no trace of them. Three days after Mikoto's disappearance, Yae hung herself in the Cherry Atrium while Ryozo wasn't around. He discovered her lifeless body hanging from the tree. The game does not mention what he did after discovering her body.
Ryozo blamed the camera for Yae's death and the mansion for Mikoto's disappearance. He came to the conclusion that something horribly wrong was happening in the mansion and he had to figure out how to fix it. He obtained the Mask of Reflection and then the Blinding Mask. After that, he made his way down to the Demon Mouth with a piece of the Holy Mirror in hand. As he opened up the door inside of the Demon Mouth (which led to the Banned Path) with the Blinding Mask, he was pulled inside by Kirie. The doors slammed shut behind him. Ryozo likely died instantly, as his corpse shows him still clutching the piece of the Holy Mirror.
- Ryozo Munakata is one of the few secondary characters to appear in the Fatal Frame Series twice.
- When he escaped from All God's Village, Ryozo took with him the writings of Seijiro Makabe. These 'writings' are found in the Zero: Akaichou Japanese Guidebook.
- According to Mio's notes, Ryozo recorded the legends of Minakami Village in his writings.
- Ryozo is Miku and Mafuyu's great-grandfather.
- Ryozo's final moments are captured in an unused game file.
- For other members of the Munakata Family, see Munakata Family.
- For other folklorists in the Fatal Frame Series, see Folklorist.
- For information on other spirited aways, see Spirited Aways.
- For articles related to Ryozo Munakata, see Related Articles:Ryozo Munakata.
- For images related to Ryozo Munakata, see Images of Ryozo Munakata.
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