|Romaji name||saki nawa no gi shiki|
|Other names||Gates of the Underworld Ceremony|
|Participants||Rope Shrine Maiden|
|Frequency||Every 10 years on December 13|
|Purpose||Bind the Hell Gate|
The Strangling Ritual is a ritual in Fatal Frame used to keep the Hell Gate closed, preventing the Malice and evil spirits from passing through the gate and bring disaster. It is always performed on December 13th, approximately 10 years after the prior sacrifice. The ritual involves the Rope Shrine Maiden being sacrificed and the ropes, saturated with her blood, are then used to bind the Hell Gate shut until the next ritual must be performed.
It starts out by a game called Demon Tag-- a game where children must run away from the "Demon". The first child to be caught will become the "Demon" in the next game of tag that would performed ten years later, while the last child captured will become the next Rope Shrine Maiden. The one caught and chosen to be the next maiden is then taken from her family and cut off from the outside world for roughly 10 years.
When it is time for the ritual, the Rope Shrine Maiden is taken from her cell to the Moon Well to purify herself in the moonlight. She then enters the basement through a door that only she is allowed to use, located at the bottom of the Moon Well. The rest of the Himuro family must use the Demon Mouth entrance to access the basement. Both of these paths cross and lead to the Rope Altar.
From the Rope Alter, the Himuro Family Master leads the maiden, the priests, and the rest of the Himuro family down, while the priests walk alongside the maiden. In the chamber there is a large pedestal with five wheels, which ropes are attached to and pulled by. Laceration Ropes are tied to each limb and around the neck- used to signify the five head families in the area- and are then pulled in a full circle until the sacrifice is strangled to death and their limbs break off.
The sacred blood of the maiden stains the rope, thus creating and it is used to seal off the Hell Gate. The sealing of the Hell Gate is performed during the The Ceremony of Ropes.
The last Strangling Ritual, performed on December 13th, 1837, failed and caused The Calamity. As a result, the Malice escaped and 1,347 souls were lost.