The Blinded Maiden plays an integral role in the rituals of the Himuro Mansion, and is a counterpoint to the Rope Shrine Maiden.
Her main duties include:
- Lending strength to the Blinding Mask, during the Blinding Ritual.
- Choosing the next Rope Shrine Maiden and Blind Maiden during the Demon Tag Ritual.
- Acting as a way to distract or blind the forces behind the Hell Gate.
All female children aged 7 years, 9 months and 25 days, in the direct and branch families of the Himuro clan were obligated to gather at the Himuro Mansion once every 10 years. On December 26th, the children would participate in the Demon Tag Ritual in the Hell Mouth room, presided over by the adult Blinded Maiden.
During this game, the very first child caught by the Blinded Maiden was selected to become the next Blinded Maiden in 10 years. Being caught first was thought to indicate that the child was the most obvious, attractive, and noticeable to the "Demon", while the child herself was the most blind and oblivious to the demon.
Life and Preparation
A selected maiden's life and preparation from the time of selection as a child until she becomes the next Blinded Maiden is unknown. No specific rooms in the Himuro mansion were discovered and named as belonging to her, nor are there mentions of young maidens being taught or kept within the mansion in preparation for the Blinding Ritual.
It is generally assumed that chosen Blinded Maidens carried out their lives outside of the mansion, until it was time for their role. In cut scenes of the Blinding Ritual, the Blinded Maiden appears to be wearing a normal, if formal, kimono.
Once grown, and the time for the next set of rituals arrived, the girl who had been previously selected would be taken to the Blinding Room, where the Blinding Ritual would be carried out. This would occur some time before November 26. During this ritual, the girl would be blinded using the Blinding Mask, fully becoming the new Blinded Maiden.
Demon Tag Selection
After her blinding, on November 26th, the new Blinded Maiden would be taken to the Hell Mouth room where she would then preside over the Demon Tag Ritual. Still wearing the Blinded Mask as a blindfold, she would act as the "Oni" or "Demon" during the game, and catch all of the girls in the new batch of gathered children. She would be responsible for selecting the next Blinded Maiden and Rope Shrine Maiden during this ritual.
Hell Mouth Gate
On December 13th, the date of the Strangling Ritual, the Himuro family head would use the Blinded Mask, anointed with the Blinded Maiden's blood, as a key to open the door in the Hell Mouth room, allowing the priests and family to enter the underground tunnels and proceed to the Rope Altar.
Life after Blinding
Little is known of a Blinded Maiden's life or role after the completion of the ritual season. Previous Blinded Maidens are not seen haunting the mansion during the game, though Mafuyu Hinasaki indirectly mentions encountering the ghost of a different Blinded Maiden in one of the his notebooks. Whether the Maidens remain in the mansion, are killed, or are permitted to go home, is a mystery. It is possible Blinded Maidens lived in the Hell Mouth room until the next ritual cycle, acting as a distraction for the forces behind the Hell Gate. We at least know that Blinded Maidens were still alive and present in the mansion at the time of the Strangling Ritual, and received some medical care after the Blinded Mask was removed. The fate of the previous cycle's Blinded Maiden is also unknown.