|Japanese name||放生 蓮|
|Romaji name||Hōjō Ren|
|Eye color||Dark Green|
|Family||Dr. Kunihiko Asou (ancestor)|
|Appearances||Fatal Frame V: Maiden of Black Water|
|Voice actor (JPN)||Tatsuhisa Suzuki|
|Voice actor (ENG)||Joseph May|
|“||I was right to bring them back. But what will happen when the mountain loses its Pillars?||”|
Ren Hojo is the only playable male character in Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water.
Ren Hojo is an author who has known Yuri Kozukata for a long time.
He's quite mischievous, and for that reason, he's scolded by his assistant, Rui Kagamiya.
After hearing of a custom involving burial photos, he heads out to Hikami-yama to resarch for his new book.
He is also Dr. Kunihiko Asou's descendant. Ren also looks very similar to him.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
Ren Hojo had this recurring dream where he is playing with a girl with white hair and red eyes, who later on is found out to be Shiragiku. In his dream, he sees that she is pulling him into a hiding spot, and there she shares to him that she doesn't have much time to live and that the people in the village had said that she only has 7 years. In Mt. Kagiroi, the young miko was chosen to be a sacrifice for Mt. Hikami to appease the Black Moisture on the day of the festival. Here, Ren watches as "he" holds a knife in his hand and begs that the girl do "not look at him" over and over until Shiragiku falls into the box to become an eternal flower for Mt. Hikami.
Ren Hojo is mostly accompanied by his assistant: Rui Kagamiya. They venture off to Mt. Hikami looking for clues as to
what happened to the guest house where the album for the mourning pictures was retrieved by Hisoka Kurosawa and Yuri as he requested. There they find out that the cause of all the mysterious deaths in the mountain is because of a Miko who leads them to their end. As it was rumored, Mt. Hikami is where all people of the region go to when they feel closer to death, and by stepping into the cursed mountain, they are bound to be pulled closer and closer to their demise.
Progressing through the game, it is revealed that this dream that Ren kept on seeing are actually memories of the creator of the camera obscura: Dr. Kunihiko Asou, and might be a possible ancestor of his due to his uncanny resemblance to the said doctor.
The dream had haunted Ren over and over due to the uncertainty if he ever did or did not kill the girl. As he continued his investigation about the mourning pictures (The key in knowing where his friend Kazuya Sakaki had disappeared off to) taken from Mt. Hikami, he later ends up tracing the footsteps of Dr. Asou when he last visited the mountain. Through the game, he learns that Dr. Asou took various pictures all over Mt. Hikami, capturing all the duties of Mikos from the entrance of the mountain, where people can choose the Miko that they want to guide them, to the waterfalls where people are cleansed, to the graveyard where the bridesgroom of the post-mortem marriage are buried till they get to the edge of the lake where the Mikos proceed to being sacrifices. After which, Ren proceeded to go to the house of commitment to finally choose between two brides: Ouse Kurosawa, the bride that Dr. Asou took picture of, or Shiragiku, the girl he met at Mt. Kagiroi and made a promise of.
If the player chooses Ouse Kurosawa as the bride and approaches her, the player will be able to see a flashback where Dr. Asou's spirit will finally be able to be not only reunited with Ouse, but also tell her that he loves her. Ouse in turn tells him that the moment she met him, she knew how he felt for her but still she waited that he finally confesses to her himself.
But if the player chooses to take a picture of her instead of approaching her, Ouse will say that: "So, you came to break ties with me. When you took a picture of me, you took a piece of my soul with you. It was so hard... so hard... But... I was glad. I will return to that darkness. Take that final picture. And leave it, before it closes forever". This leaves the player with taking a picture of Ouse as the "Waiting Bride".
If the player chooses Shiragiku, the young Dr. Asou's spirit will then be reunited to her, with her exclaiming that she knew he would come back to her as they promised. She then shows the young Asou the box where her physical body is kept and he stares at it with fear. As the game had explained, chaos is released whenever the bridesgroom have a change of heart at the sight of the dead bride. Here the endings branch out to two possibilities:
If the player lets Shiragiku kill them near her box, the player will then be pulled into the box and back to Mt. Kagiroi. Shiragiku tells the young Asou how she was feeling lonely all those years because she was different from all the other mikos, given that she had white hair and red eyes. She tells him how difficult it was to have friends then, but since the day she met Asou, she knows in her heart that she'll never be lonely again. With this, Shiragiku eventually had a change of heart telling Asou that she must stay, and that she lives forever, while Asou needs to die a slow death before finally pushing him back to the present where Ren's alive and realizes that the shrine that Shiragiku and Asou once played in had come into ruins all those years. Ren then goes back to the Kurosawa Antiques shop to look after Rui and finally getting over his shyness in looking women in the eye.
If the player kills Shiragiku, they'll be able to see the flashback of her and young Asou meet under the cherry blossoms trees with her saying that since she is a special miko, she will last as a sacrifice forever. With this, seeing young Asou for one last time, she says that she will be happy with that memory alone and asks Ren to forget about her already.
Regardless what ending he has, he later appeared in post-credit when Rui wake up. He told her that he will never leave her again. This post-credit scene will be available if player obtain Yuri good ending.
- The name Ren means "lotus" (蓮) (ren).
- Ren's surname Hojo means "release" (放) (hō) and "life, living" (生) (jo).