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Hinamizawa (in Japanese: 雛見沢) is a dangerous small Japanese township and the main setting of the visual novel series Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni (or When They Cry in the English translation of the visual novels).
This village is well-known for carrying an unusual disease called the Hinamizawa Syndrome, which was originally mistaken for their god Oyashiro-sama's curse.
Those infected with the disease were driven paranoid and insane by the disease which would then often culminate with them killing themselves by clawing their throats out.
As a result of this pandemic, the village of Hinamizawa was often destroyed by Tokyo in many story arcs throughout the series as a means of keeping the disease from spreading throughout Japan.
It is revealed later on that there was never a curse in the first place, and that it was only fabricated to prevent anyone from leaving the village so that the disease could remain in one place.
- Hinamizawa is based on the real world Japanese village of Shirakawa-go (in Japanese:白川郷 Shirakawa-go). Shirakawa-go's population is actually smaller than Hinamizawa's, having only about 1,864 people (as of 2009) compared to Hinamizawa's 2000. Shirakawa-go is located in Gifu Prefecture, high in the mountains. Like Hinamizawa, most of it is dense forest.