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Yae Munakata is a secondary character first introduced as the ailing wife of folklorist Ryozo Munakata in Fatal Frame, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Miku's mother Miyuki. In Fatal Frame II she is reintroduced as the teenager Yae Kurosawa, a shrine maiden who ran away during the night of an important ritual in hopes of escaping her fate.
Fatal Frame II (Childhood)
Yae and her twin sister Sae were born in All God's Village, the only children of Ryokan Kurosawa, the acting Ceremony Master at the time of the Repentance. Although Yae was born second, she was considered the elder and stronger twin based on the belief system of the village. Given the social status of twins in the village, it is likely that the twins had very few friends except each other growing up. Their diaries, notes, and official artwork suggest, however, that they were both close with the Tachibana twins, Itsuki and Mutsuki.
When Yae and Sae were 14 years old, Itsuki and Mutsuki performed the Crimson Sacrifice Ritual, but their Ceremony was unsuccessful. The responsibility then fell on Yae and her sister to perform the ritual one year later. It is unknown how much the twins were told about the ritual beforehand. Since their father was the Ceremony Master and their friend a Remaining, however, they probably knew what the ritual entailed. Yae was vehemently opposed to the ritual, believing it cruel and unnecessary. She voiced her concerns to her father, and he tried to reassure her, but Yae was unconvinced. With the help of Itsuki, who was also opposed to the ritual, she made plans to run away with Sae, despite the fact that her sister wanted to stay.
Despite the initial warm welcome given to the visitors, Yae and Sae believed their father was planning on using the men as Kusabi sacrifices. In an attempt to save him, the twins took Seijiro a map showing a side door leading out of the house and the Hammer Key to unlock that door. They warned him that the Hidden Ceremony was approaching and told him to leave during the night. Seijiro sent Ryozo away, but stayed behind himself, and was ultimately sacrificed. Before leaving, Ryozo whispered to Yae that he would return for her and Sae on the night of the ceremony. She tensed up but said nothing.
When the time came, Itsuki led the girls into the forest and showed them the path out of the village. He told them to go ahead of him and warned them not to look back. Yae followed the forest path without looking back while Sae struggled to keep up, begging Yae to not leave her. Not wanting to escape, Sae slipped and fell on purpose, believing Yae would stop for her, both would be caught and ultimately be forced to perform the ritual. The two were never reunited; Yae became hopelessly lost in the forest, and Sae was captured by the villagers.
By the time Yae found her way back, the Repentance had already occurred, and the village was gone. All that remained was the Torii gate entrance. Due to grief, shock, and possibly the Repentance itself, Yae lost all her memories. When Ryozo arrived, he found Yae weeping at the gate, repeating, "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry." Fulfilling his promise to Itsuki, Ryozo took Yae with him and took care of her.
Mikoto. The part of Yae's spirit that remained in Minakami Village was released when Mio Amakura, possessed by Yae, performed a successful Crimson Sacrifice Ritual with her sister Mayu.
Fatal Frame (Adulthood)
Later in her life, Yae's health declined, and the family moved into Himuro Mansion, where Ryozo could continue his work as a folklorist. The family lived there without incident, and Yae was beginning to grow stronger, until Mikoto found a strange camera. She gave the camera to her father. Yae's curiosity over the camera got the best of her, and she began taking pictures all over the mansion with it. Before long, she realized it wasn't an ordinary camera. Images that weren't there before began to appear in the photos. The camera's power over her grew, until she no longer needed the camera to see the spirits. For a long time, she kept the camera from Mikoto to protect her, but eventually relented and let her use it. Mikoto took the camera out with her, and she and her friends disappeared.
Yae was horrified. She was convinced that ghosts must have been responsible for taking the children away, and she blamed herself. She wrote a suicide note to her husband, and then hanged herself in the Cherry Atrium of the mansion. Her husband found her body shortly before his own death. Yae never learned that Mikoto was really alive.
In the Promise Ending for Fatal Frame II, Sae and Yae are reunited in Minakami Village. The fragmented memories of Yae from her younger self had lingered on at the entrance of Minakami Village, until Mio and Mayu Amakura ventured into the village. When Mio crossed the Torii gate leading into the village, Yae's spirit attached itself to her. Likewise, when Mio crossed the Torii gate leading to the Hellish Abyss, Yae's spirit detached from her in order to reunite with the spirit of Sae. She apologizes for leaving her sister. The twins join hands and are at last able to become one. Unfortunately, this ending is not considered canon. For more information, see Fatal Frame II Endings.
File Photos of Yae
Fatal Frame II
- Yae is one of the few secondary characters to appear in the Fatal Frame Series twice.
- Yae Munakata looks so similar to Miyuki Hinasaki that a lot of fans confuse the two during Miku's flashback where she discovered her mother's body.
- Yae is Mafuyu and Miku's great-grandmother.
- Ultimately Yae shares a similar demise to that of her twin sister Sae. Both died by hanging.
- Yae is one of only a few characters who were directly affected by the adverse side-effects of the Camera Obscura.
- Kurosawa is the last name of famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, whom Fatal Frame creator Keisuke Kikuchi has mentioned is one of his favorite directors.
- As of the time of this writing, there is no evidence to suggest that Yae is in any way related to Rei Kurosawa, the heroine of Fatal Frame III.
- The kimono Yae wore as a young girl is an unlockable outfit for Mio Amakura in Fatal Frame II.
- In the official guidebook for Fatal Frame, Yae is mentioned - like her granddaughter, Miyuki - to have been weak and sickly since childhood. However, no hint to this effect is given in Fatal Frame II, and by Minakami tradition the first-born twin (Sae) is the weak twin, the second-born twin (Yae) the strong twin.
- For other members of the Kurosawa family, see Kurosawa Family.
- For other members of the Munakata family, see Munakata Family.
- For other twin pairs, see Twins.
- For other suicides in the Fatal Frame Series, see Suicide.
- For other rituals in Fatal Frame II, see Fatal Frame II Rituals.
- For articles related to Yae Kurosawa, see Related Articles:Yae Kurosawa.
- For images related to Yae Kurosawa, see Images of Yae Kurosawa.
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