|Demon Tag Ritual|
|Romaji name||oni asobi no gi shiki|
|Participants||7 year old girls & Blinded Maiden|
|Frequency||Every 10 years on November 26|
|Purpose||To select the new Blinded Maiden and Rope Shrine Maiden|
The Demon Tag Ritual, also known as the Blind Demon Ritual, is a smaller ritual in Fatal Frame, performed in preparation for the Blinding and Strangling Ritual to be performed ten years later. It is performed on November 26th of the year. Like the Blinding Ritual, this ceremony also requires the participation of the Blinded Maiden and Blinding Mask.
Girls of the minimum age of 7 years, 9 months, and 25 days are gathered at the mansion into an undisclosed location to play the game. Flashbacks indicate the game is held in the Demon Mouth room. The newly Blinded Maiden is also present wearing the Blinding Mask as a blindfold.
There is some confusion over how the actual ritual is carried out, and the actual game played during it. RyozaMunakata Research Scrap 7 states "...The Blinding Ritual and the Demon Tag Ritual are performed by the Himuro family master..." however, the "demon" in the Demon Tag is the Blinded Maiden, who is wearing the Blinding Mask as a blindfold.
The confusion over whether the game played during the ritual is demon tag or Kagome Kagome comes from multiple in-game sources. While the name of the ritual is literally "Demon Tag Ritual," there are repeated references to the Kagome Kagome game. Upon occasion, the ritual is referred to as the "Blind Demon Ritual" instead of "Demon Tag Ritual", making it possible that both games are played, in separate rituals (though the Blind Demon Ritual may be another name for the Blinding Ritual, instead of the Demon Tag Ritual).
During demon tag, the "it" or the "demon" chases and catches the others in a normal game of tag, though in this case, the demon (Blinded) cannot see.
During Kagome Kagome a blindfolded "demon" is in the center as the other players circle around them, chanting a song. When the song ends, the demon must guess who is behind them based on who they heard singing. In game references to Kagome Kagome include: The dolls on the doll room altar are playing Kagome Kagome, Miku awakens to children circling her chanting the Kagome Kagome song, and a vision in the Demon Mouth room has children and the Blinded Maiden behind Miku chanting the Kagome Kagome song, implying the ritual is held in the Demon Mouth room. Ryoza Munakata Research Scrap 5 can be read to imply that the Demon Tag Ritual takes place within the circular, roped off area of the Demon Mouth room, making it more likely that they're playing Kagome Kagome, than a full game of tag.
Regardless of what game is played: At an undisclosed time prior to the Demon Tag Ritual, the girl chosen as the new Blinded Maiden undergoes the Blinding Ceremony, where her eyes are gouged out using the Blinding Mask. The Demon Tag ritual begins when all female children in the family of the appropriate age are gathered on November 26th, once every 10 years, presumably in the Demon Mouth room, to play the game with the new Blinded Maiden acting as "it" or the "demon". The game is played until all the participants are caught by the Blinded Maiden.
Roles are given to the girls that get caught by the Blinded Maiden in a specific order.
Blinded Maiden - The first girl caught is prepared to be the next Blinded Maiden in the next future Demon Tag Ritual. She is thought to have the worst spiritual powers, or to be "blind" to the demons of the Hell Mouth. Her literal and spiritual blindness are used to dull the demon's senses, making it safe to open the doors and enter the Hell Mouth, and prevent unintentional leaks. While the first girl caught becomes the next Blinded Maiden, it is unknown what happens to her immediately after the ritual, or in the time between the ritual and when she becomes the next Blinded.
Rope Shrine Maiden - The last girl caught is prepared to be the next Rope Shrine Maiden. She is thought to have the highest 'Holy Power' because she was able to evade the 'demon' (Blinded) for the longest time. The next Rope Shrine Maiden is removed from her family and kept in seclusion for the next 10 years, preparing her for the Strangling Ritual.
The fate of the Blinded Maiden after she fills her purpose in the Demon Tag Ritual is unknown. The Blinding Mask she wears must be removed from her face and used as a key to enter the Banned Path by December 13th when the Strangling Ritual is performed. What happens to the Blinded Maiden for the 18 days between the Demon Tag Ritual and the Strangling Ritual is unknown. It is also unknown if the Blinded Maiden is permitted to live, is sacrificed herself, or dies from the shock or blood loss caused by the Blinding Mask's removal, or how any of those scenarios may be carried out.
Only the most-recent Blinded Maiden appears in the game, wearing a bandage over her ruined eyes, implying she was still alive at the time of The Calamity, over two weeks after the Demon Tag Ritual, and that someone had provided her with medical aftercare once the Blinding Mask was removed.
- This version of the game may be similar to the Western game Blind Man's Bluff, in which the person that is the 'demon', or "it" (in this case Blinded Maiden), is blindfolded and must catch those trying to avoid them.