The Epitaph of the Rokkenjima witch may be one of the most puzzling riddles in
Umineko no Naku Koro ni. The characters make many attempts to solve it, but the
truth remains a mystery. To help English-speaking readers delve into the many
hidden meanings contained in this riddle, we have created this section to explain the
original wording of the riddle.
This section may contain mild spoilers from Episodes 1-3.
More will be added here in the future!
The Epitaph (Japanese)
The Epitaph (English)
Behold the sweetfish river running through my beloved hometown.
You who seek the Golden Land, follow its path downstream in search of the key.
As you travel down it, you will see a village.
In that village, look for the shore the two will tell you of.
There sleeps the key to the Golden Land.
The one who obtains the key must then travel to the Golden Land in accordance with these rules.
On the first twilight, offer the six chosen by the key as sacrifices.
On the second twilight, those who remain shall tear apart the two who are close.
On the third twilight, those who remain shall praise my noble name.
On the fourth twilight, gouge the head and kill.
On the fifth twilight, gouge the chest and kill.
On the sixth twilight, gouge the stomach and kill.
On the seventh twilight, gouge the knee and kill.
On the eighth twilight, gouge the leg and kill.
On the ninth twilight, the witch shall revive, and none shall be left alive.
On the tenth twilight, the journey shall end, and you shall reach the capital where the gold dwells.
The witch shall praise the wise and bestow four treasures.
One shall be all the gold from the Golden Land.
One shall be the resurrection of all the dead souls.
One shall be the resurrection of the love that was lost.
One shall be to put the witch to sleep for all time.
Sleep peacefully, my most beloved witch, Beatrice.
The Golden Land
The word we translated into Golden Land (黄金郷 Ougon Kyou) literally means gold city or gold country, and can refer, for example, to the fabled city of El Dorado.
The Sweetfish River
This term is also discussed in the Episode 1 Grimoire. We originally translated it as 'bountiful',
as the term sweetfish river implies in Japanese, but changed it to this more literal meaning.
Sweetfish are also called ayu, which is the Japanese word for them, and they can live in both
saltwater and freshwater like salmon.
Maria's name is written in kanji like this: 真里亞. The middle character happens to be the same
one used for 'village' in the first half of the epitaph.