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The nature of Gensokyo? Tone of Touhou?


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Oh yeah, it is that time of the year again...

That part when I start questioning myself why I like Touhou. When I got into this, I did not know too much about the tone and nature of the universe everything is placed in. Due to the light-hearted nature of fanon content. I thought this is actually quite a nice place to live in, without too many worries. However, as I started reading more and more about the nature of the Gensokyo and the way humans are treated, I started to question everything I knew up to that point. Let's just say that if I woke up in Gensokyo one day, I would either just wish to die quickly (since "spirited away" people are free real estate and any youkai can eat them), or if I were able to find the Human Village/Hakurei Shrine out of sheer luck, I would just wish to GTFO as I do not want to become a mere cattle, only used for having my fear harvested by some demonic creatures just to maintain a so-called "status quo". At least this is how I understood things until now. Basically, it turned from a light-hearted land of adventure into basically a dictatorship of the youkai who need the humans as fuel simply for maintaining their own existence. But this might go deeper, exploring the very purpose of why Gensokyo was created and what is the whole purpose of maintaining a status quo. Both questions seem to already have answers, but it is always interesting to analyze more and create theories that could expand on it.


Meanwhile, there is also this fragment from the big file I have analyzed recently, trying to bring an explanation to the way things work in Gensokyo:

Quote

1) The actual truth about Gensokyo
For those who have been into Touhou you too might have come to the conclusion that the human village was nothing more than a place for youkai to farm human fear to sustain their existence. This isn't something new, and is even said in Touhou itself. If you simply leave it at that, yeah it does look pretty bad for the human villagers of Gensokyo. Why would you wanna be okay with this situation? Forced to remain in some settlement with no hope of escape and purely at the mercy of these monsters? 
Well something to be aware of is this is only one viewpoint, and a rather shortsighted one. Why does the Hakurei Barrier exist in the first place? Why is it *called* the Hakurei Barrier? Going back to the beginning, the barrier was erected in response to the declining belief in the supernatural. This was a collaborative effort between the humans AND youkai. The land of Gensokyo has existed as a haunted region of dangerous youkai for centuries long before, and it was various human exorcists and superhumans that went to the region in order to deal with the threat terrorizing the country. In time, those humans began to settle in the region, and they even began to have an actual relationship with the youkai. This has to be the case, because how else would the collaborative effort that was the Hakurei Barrier, which required multiple people to set it up? With this in mind, it's pretty clear that the humans that lived in 1885 when the barrier was erected, they agreed to having this kind of set up. But why would they? Aren't the youkai just being a parasite on the humans who live there? This comes to the next point. 

2) The actual power dynamic between humans and youkai
Youkai are stronger physically and spiritually than humans. A human can very easily be killed by a youkai, however at the same time, youkai need humans to exist and believe in them so that they don't die. Now if you just leave it at that, it's pretty clear that the youkai are just parasites, but here is another thing to remember: Humans also have an advantage over youkai. BECAUSE youkai require human belief, the youkai cannot kill the humans. In other words, humans actually have something over youkai as well, their belief. Not only that, but because youkai require belief, it is things based on belief that can defeat youkai. Why is something as mundane as fried soybeans able to defeat an Oni? Because of belief. Humans do not actually have the short end of the stick. If anything it can be argued that humans have the greatest advantage. However, even if this is true, this doesn't actually prove anything right? The youkai are still parasites right? They take from humans their belief, but give nothing in return, right? 

3) The actual relationship between humans and youkai
Humans give belief, and youkai give protection. In a later chapter of Forbidden Scrollery, it was learned about all of the support that youkai give to human villagers. A typhoon was passing overhead in Gensokyo, however the typhoon's strength was much notably lighter over the human village. The reason for this is because of the Tengu. The Tengu protected the human village from the dangerous wind and rain, and as so the villagers merely felt the weather as a regular shower. In the rivers the Kappa were protecting the village from flooding caused by the typhoon. However, when Kosuzu attempted to deliver a book to Reimu during the typhoon, as soon as she left the village she felt the typhoon's true strength and was subsequently injured and knocked out. Kosuzu was saved and nursed back to health by Aya, who is a tengu. Kosuzu never learned who saved her though, because her having her life saved by a tengu is a secret. Why? Because it could cause issues for the status quo. Humans are to fear youkai, so being saved by one would cause complications. Now it's pretty clear that Kosuzu had her life saved because of her position of as the book keeper of Suzuran, and the book store holding many books beneficial to youkai. However, even if she did not have that position, more than likely she'd still be saved. This is the kind of relationship youkai have with the human villagers. They protect them from all kinds of harm. And what was described was only just natural disasters. Who knows what other threats the youkai have been protecting the humans from. 

I am not fully sure if this text is accurate or it is just coping, but it sure brings some interesting points that seem to make the situation look less bad than the impression I was left with.

 

As for the "demons" themselves, I have been asking numerous times why do they look like cute young girls. What initially brought me into Touhou was the characters. Out of any possible anime/Japanese game kind of series, this one caught my attention since it felt different. A nice balance between cute and badass, without the general horny element of modern Japanese media. Besides a meta reason like "this is just a Japanese thing", I was looking for a different, more in-universe reason. Sadly, only much later did I start getting into the actual materials about them, and try make some (to be fair, quite summary) research about their mythological inspiration. I suspect everything is just a trap, made to caught unaware people off-guard (an in terms of meta, turn a frightening beast of mythology into a "waifu"). Another idea I have come up with was expressed in a previous topic. I will just bring it here: I've been thinking of something among these lines a while ago. Maybe it is related to faith and fear that determines how the youkai/god will look like. Which can also be connected to their physical appearance and design choice. Right here, I'd spawn a bit of a headcanon: in the old days, people used to fear the youkai. Therefore, this fear turned them into the frightening, mythology-accurate forms we know of from Japanese traditions. However, as times changed, people have started to become less fearful of them, especially in the outside world following the increasing implementation of science, and therefore the youkai have started to lose their frightening factor and so started to look more like cute girls, while still somehow retaining their powers more or less. I am not very sure if any of this makes sense, but this is what I could come up as a random theory at 3 AM.

 

I wish I might be wrong about some of the points I have brought earlier, especially in the first paragraph. I feels like a real shock going from one tone that seems to have been promoted in the fandom, then collide it with the realities of canon. This is also a place where cultural differences and cultural shock come into play, as the realities of Japanese culture and religion are a great unknown to me. There are a lot of things that very different from the culture and traditions I was brought up into, and there are things I might never be able to understand. I also find it ironic how shocked and in a poor mood I can get be knowing a thing I like can be dark. Which is strange, especially because I absolutely love Warhammer 40,000. And that universe is very known as the poster-child (and creator) of the concept of grimdark to begin with.

But yeah, this is me going again through a weird period of questioning myself why do I actually like this series and what makes it so lovable for me. Last time it happened last year, and back then it shattered m original image of Touhou. 

Edited by CountVonNumenor
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5 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

Let's just say that if I woke up in Gensokyo one day, I would either just wish to die quickly (since "spirited away" people are free real estate and any youkai can eat them), or if I were able to find the Human Village/Hakurei Shrine out of sheer luck, I would just wish to GTFO as I do not want to become a mere cattle, only used for having my fear harvested by some demonic creatures just to maintain a so-called "status quo". At least this is how I understood things until now. Basically, it turned from a light-hearted land of adventure into basically a dictatorship of the youkai who need the humans as fuel simply for maintaining their own existence. But this might go deeper, exploring the very purpose of why Gensokyo was created and what is the whole purpose of maintaining a status quo. Both questions seem to already have answers, but it is always interesting to analyze more and create theories that could expand on it.

Alright, if you woke up in Gensokyo one day, (yeah.... it's free real estate for yokai) for the human village you might turn into a everyday Joe in there or leave with Reimu. Your fear are also going to be harvested and overall gonna be watched by yokai (Although they won't kill you if you identify as a villager) Hence, Gensokyo is dangerous for humans which is the home of monster. About the "status quo", it is true that they need to maintain the balance like yin and yang, if the humans exist yokai can gather faith and if they don't they're not going to live long as that's one of the reasons gods from the outside migrated to Gensokyo.

Going back to the topic, in the human village, you are going to be favored by gods and demigods. I.e Harvest gods, Tengu, Kapa, sages. Sages will since they were once human who have meditated a long time and likely to protect the village from danger, Tengu and Kapas are also here to aid the village as they're going for the "status quo" or friendship 'cause I only see those three types to be actually paying some mind to the village.

The very purpose why Gensokyo is created is mainly due to the sages thinking "this could be a jolly good place for yokai to live in" but I've my own lore: back from the beginning of this land, yokai are very common around Japan, They were being archived by japaneses, Akyuu is one of 'em as there were war between humans and yokai the emperor sets out eighty thousand men to hunt down one of the evil yokai of japan and that's didn't work. (Although two of 'em are personally screwed by the emperors touchy subjects) and legendary samurai and bowman to took out two of 'em. That would make yokai hatred and fear grow and will seize a land in the mountrain and call it home and later set up a barrier while human resides in making the former hatred disappear. Another theory is yokai saw the human populations drastically improved and thought to themselves that they too should make a home to live and kappas, sages, and most likely oni encouraged and there Gensokyo.

 

Very nice channel, who detailed cover all of japan be it history, economy, health, folklore and so on.

 

Now time to answer this question with my views.

7 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

As for the "demons" themselves, I have been asking numerous times why do they look like cute young girls. What initially brought me into Touhou was the characters. Out of any possible anime/Japanese game kind of series, this one caught my attention since it felt different. A nice balance between cute and badass, without the general horny element of modern Japanese media. Besides a meta reason like "this is just a Japanese thing", I was looking for a different, more in-universe reason. Sadly, only much later did I start getting into the actual materials about them, and try make some (to be fair, quite summary) research about their mythological inspiration. I suspect everything is just a trap, made to caught unaware people off-guard (an in terms of meta, turn a frightening beast of mythology into a "waifu"). Another idea I have come up with was expressed in a previous topic. I will just bring it here: I've been thinking of something among these lines a while ago. Maybe it is related to faith and fear that determines how the youkai/god will look like. Which can also be connected to their physical appearance and design choice. Right here, I'd spawn a bit of a headcanon: in the old days, people used to fear the youkai. Therefore, this fear turned them into the frightening, mythology-accurate forms we know of from Japanese traditions. However, as times changed, people have started to become less fearful of them, especially in the outside world following the increasing implementation of science, and therefore the youkai have started to lose their frightening factor and so started to look more like cute girls, while still somehow retaining their powers more or less. I am not very sure if any of this makes sense, but this is what I could come up as a random theory at 3 AM.

As you said, they might be based on our belief, we've always see these monsters as non humanoid figures, demonic being and all the eldritch horrors but why do they look like young women? and if anything they should look tad bit older than their in game portrait. Maybe things works differently in Gensokyo? or those who are in effect of the great Hukrei Barrier; if you may, compare those portraits in game starting from pc-98 era to latest window entry, Reimu, Marisa, Alice looks like they have aged in Pc-98 and thus mature looking but go to the window era one by one and they appear to be younger; this might be the artists' different artstyle but if we take account to it, then, how time works in Gensokyo is truly enticing. Oh, and with faith yokai got tamer and became young looking women?

Another thing to add is, they're simply trying to look for prey, "why take a form of a man when you can be a woman and hunt those pesky men" but this would spark discussion as there're nearly full of woman yokai and not a single sight of a man can be seen. (I'm aware there're average joe that isn't important to the plot but still) It's too good to be true and this isn't logical enough as yokai can take up any form they like but why is Korindou a male? Okay, to my last theory; human are intelligent and they improved over time as opposed to yokai, there aren't many smart cookies. So, they take the form of human and can take notes down of human behavior, trading with humans etc.... it's easier to take other forms and their original form (I.e Suika travel in mist form, and possibly of screen original forms of our beloved Touhous)

But

the main reason is that humans are in perfect balance in strength, wisdom, wit, pride while most of the specimen has only one great deeming quality and can't master it enough. Humans can't fly but they invented planes, humans can't swim, they made scuba gears and all kinds of machinery. Even if the humans' tech, strength, are inferior then yokais, they have the mind and are willing to improve and that my friend is why yokai in Gensokyo (prefer to) looks like young woman. (Young 'cause they inherited the female mind of us and are sensitive about how they look and their age but there're a few who doesn't care: Mamizou and the onis since they don't care about that, bring sake, strength, pride and your beliefs to the table Human)

 

7 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

I wish I might be wrong about some of the points I have brought earlier, especially in the first paragraph. I feels like a real shock going from one tone that seems to have been promoted in the fandom, then collide it with the realities of canon. This is also a place where cultural differences and cultural shock come into play, as the realities of Japanese culture and religion are a great unknown to me. There are a lot of things that very different from the culture and traditions I was brought up into, and there are things I might never be able to understand. I also find it ironic how shocked and in a poor mood I can get be knowing a thing I like can be dark. Which is strange, especially because I absolutely love Warhammer 40,000. And that universe is very known as the poster-child (and creator) of the concept of grimdark to begin with.

But yeah, this is me going again through a weird period of questioning myself why do I actually like this series and what makes it so lovable for me. Last time it happened last year, and back then it shattered m original image of Touhou. 

Well, you can't have everything good like yin and yang there must also be the shocking horrors as the tone changes light-hearted from fandom to somewhat grimdark but also chill that will not be afraid to get serious once in a while like in Touhou 17 that brought my shock factor to maximum as I saw two faction fighting for power and double plot twist as both sides were not good but one is tamer than the other. (And I read a new eagle boss in the Extra scenario and got so hyped) 

Oh yes, the cultural difference play so much since most of the character are from mythologies from Japan, China, Greek and possibly others too. Anyways, it's always nice for me to learn culture and religion of other countries and yes, History sparks on my mind. Reality is often harsh as I said if you have good there must also be the bad; the essence of "Giving You A Brief History Of The Origin In Fairy Tales" are going to work especially if you're not hoping for it. Gensokyo looks very friendly in the first glance isn't? but as the true origins were revealed and there goes the perfect fantasy world, don't get your view on Gensokyo get altered as everything have balance and it isn't all rainbows and candies neither the bloody gore stuff that the yokai are always fighting and humans are always 100% eaten. It's in the middle, remember that Numenor. 

Aye, I did say I'll give you my opinions on your threads and this is a very good topic that you've brought up. Yeah, last time I wasn't there so your image got shattered to piece. At the end of the day, if a character and music from a franchise (doesn't have to be the same) speaks to your soul directly and you're having a good time and memories because of 'em, then, I'm positive that I've answered your last question.

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Truly is Yin & Yang. 

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4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

Alright, if you woke up in Gensokyo one day, (yeah.... it's free real estate for yokai) for the human village you might turn into a everyday Joe in there or leave with Reimu.

This actually raised me a question. My guess is that in Gensokyo those who are spirited away are usually Japanese/Shinto believers I would assume. I am making such an assumption based on the focus of Touhou being predominantly on the area of Japan, with references to China and Korea. Any other parts of the world seem to be only briefly brought in, mostly as references (Hecatia is a bit of an exception, being probably the only character inspired by a religious entity from the Western world, more exactly the goddess Hekate of the ancient Greeks). Here comes the question: what does happen if someone from outside the Shinto/East-Asian world is brought into Gensokyo? More on that a little later. 

As for the humans that are sent there, here is an interesting part from the "Humans" article of the wiki, particularly the "Outsiders" subchapter:
 

Quote

The term "Outsider" refers to anyone from the Outside World who managed to get across the Hakurei Border and enter Gensokyo. Since youkai are rare in the Outside World (albeit not unheard of), most outsiders are human. Thus the term, "Outsider", typically refers to humans when used by natives of Gensokyo. While magic and other supernatural abilities are supposed to be almost extinct outside of Gensokyo, there are few exception like Sanae Kochiya, Sumireko Usami, and Maribel Hearn showing that some humans of the Outside World might still possess some kind of innate or acquired ability.

According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Outsiders in Gensokyo are also referred to as "Spirited-Away" humans. It is stated in Yukari Yakumo's Perfect Cherry Blossom profile that outsiders generally end up in Gensokyo thanks to fluctuations in the border caused by her. Since the frequency of encountering them is considered to be "low", it might mean that outsiders don't end up in Gensokyo very often, but it could also be due to the fact that most of them get killed by youkai, reducing the potential number of outsiders effectively encounterable. The majority of outsiders that end up in Gensokyo seem to have little knowledge of technology (thus it seems that mechanics, computer programmers, and rocket scientists do not end up in Gensokyo very often). Because of this, any technology they bring into Gensokyo, such as mobile phones, can not be reproduced. However, outsiders still bring knowledge into Gensokyo that's otherwise unattainable, and thus are valued for that.

Unlike natives of Gensokyo, outsiders are not protected by the contract that came as a result of the Vampire Incident. In fact, the unbreakable devil's contract specifically stipulates that the vampires get outsiders to feed on in exchange for not attacking Gensokyo's native residents. Although Perfect Memento's wording implies the contract only applies to vampires, Yukari mentions to herself that "youkai may attack humans but do not eat them recklessly. Humans from the town are generally not for their eating under the contract" in Cage in Lunatic Runagate Chapter 5, showing the contract (or at least, a contract) extends to all youkai and prevents consumption, not attacking.

In addition, most outsiders do not realize youkai are youkai, with the exception of ghosts. This is possibly because most ghosts tend to not be as anthropomorphic as many of Gensokyo's youkai. The implication would be that to an outsider, a youkai looks just like a human with a funny hat or animal ears. Unfortunately, these two factors results in many outsiders that end up in Gensokyo being eaten by youkai. Sometimes immediately, or sometimes after the youkai lose interest in them.

Sanctuary can be found in the Human Village or the Hakurei Shrine. At the Hakurei Shrine, outsiders may be returned to the normal world, or they rarely choose to stay in the village (though the number of outsiders choosing to stay has been increasing lately). It is not stated if they count as natives of Gensokyo protected by the contract after reaching the village, but it's possible, as Yukari stated "from the town", and an outsider that takes up residence in the village is technically "from the town" from then on. Sanae Kochiya, being transported in along with Kanako Yasaka (and probably as well as being a living god), obviously was an exception to this.

 

 From this fragment, there are some interesting points that can be abstracted. 

  • it seems like outsiders entering Gensokyo might also happen by accident, given fluctuations in how strong the Hakurei Barrier is
  • finding "outsiders" in Gensokyo is a rather rare sight, as most of them are either eaten or leave as soon as they get the chance
  • there seems to be a selection of those who end up in Gensokyo - people with little knowledge in technology (so no engineers, scientists, IT programmers etc)
  • just like you have also pointed out, the Villagers are protected under a contract that came to be following the Vampire Incident
  • youkai are hard to distinguish from human beings due to their appearance, and for outsiders only stuff like ghosts seem to be the obvious
  • it is not fully clear if the outsiders, once becoming part of the Village folk, are also protected by the contract, but it is possible
  • there are special cases of outsiders who accommodated to the new world of Gensokyo (but I would personally put it on "because protagonist character" like in the case of Sane & Moriya gang, or how Maribel, Renko and Sumireko have not been eaten by any youkai despite being outsiders)

Perfect Memento in Strict Sense actually does have an interesting fragment, especially since it reflects the way inhabitants of Gensokyo might see outside people getting in:

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4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

Going back to the topic, in the human village, you are going to be favored by gods and demigods. I.e Harvest gods, Tengu, Kapa, sages. Sages will since they were once human who have meditated a long time and likely to protect the village from danger, Tengu and Kapas are also here to aid the village as they're going for the "status quo" or friendship 'cause I only see those three types to be actually paying some mind to the village.

Here is the question I have been talking about to be asked later. If you are not a Shinto believer and decide to remain in Gensokyo, how will things work out? Gods cannot get power from your belief if you are a believer of any other religion. Are there people in Gensokyo who are not Shinto believers? I know there are some atheists like Sakuya and Nitori apparently, but there does not seem to be sign of any other religion going on like Christianity or Islam. In a way, it would be interesting if ancient, forgotten religions of Europe and their gods would find a place in Gensokyo. Since the land was created to preserve these beliefs in a world that has gone in the direction of science of progress, therefore starting to stray away from religion, mystical and mythical entities have found a place to live there. And so I was thinking if others have found their place there. Hecatia already got to Gensokyo, wonder if other members of the Greek, Roman or any other ancient pantheon would fins their place. Or maybe Gensokyo was founded too late, and those old religious entities lost their powers/disappeared before having any chance to find their place in Gensokyo. As for the people who get there and are not Shinto, do they end up converting their religion from anything they used to be up to that point once they see gods are actually real and live in the same land as them? Or there is some form of religious toleration for anyone? It would be funny if a Christian got in Gensokyo, and their faith would be strong enough to actually create an entity. (Oh wait, I think I am not confusing it with the power of the Warp and belief in Warhammer 40.000, and the creation of miracles/Living Saints and other Imperial stuff in that universe...)

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

The very purpose why Gensokyo is created is mainly due to the sages thinking "this could be a jolly good place for yokai to live in" but I've my own lore: back from the beginning of this land, yokai are very common around Japan, They were being archived by japaneses, Akyuu is one of 'em as there were war between humans and yokai the emperor sets out eighty thousand men to hunt down one of the evil yokai of japan and that's didn't work. (Although two of 'em are personally screwed by the emperors touchy subjects) and legendary samurai and bowman to took out two of 'em. That would make yokai hatred and fear grow and will seize a land in the mountrain and call it home and later set up a barrier while human resides in making the former hatred disappear. Another theory is yokai saw the human populations drastically improved and thought to themselves that they too should make a home to live and kappas, sages, and most likely oni encouraged and there Gensokyo.

I always like seeing personal interpretations of how things work or ended up getting in the state they are nowadays. Especially when you are given enough creative liberty and the chance to fill in the gaps with your judgement. Also the theory is interesting. 

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

Very nice channel, who detailed cover all of japan be it history, economy, health, folklore and so on.

I have actually been watching Linfamy for a few years now. I have found him thanks to a video on Heian Japan, and from then on I got extremely curious to learn more about the early history, culture and mythology of Japan. I new literally nothing about East Asia up to that point, and this was a very entertaining way of learning new things. 

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

As you said, they might be based on our belief, we've always see these monsters as non humanoid figures, demonic being and all the eldritch horrors but why do they look like young women? and if anything they should look tad bit older than their in game portrait. Maybe things works differently in Gensokyo? or those who are in effect of the great Hukrei Barrier; if you may, compare those portraits in game starting from pc-98 era to latest window entry, Reimu, Marisa, Alice looks like they have aged in Pc-98 and thus mature looking but go to the window era one by one and they appear to be younger; this might be the artists' different artstyle but if we take account to it, then, how time works in Gensokyo is truly enticing. Oh, and with faith yokai got tamer and became young looking women?

Ah, the flowing of time in Gensokyo. One topic that keeps bugging everyone up since it does not seem to make any sense. I remember Surnist made a very good video on the topic long ago (I really miss him posting stuff - it's been 11 months already without a new video...) 

As for different artists, it is funny, but also confusing how depending on the artist, characters seem to be getting younger as time goes on. Just look at Youmu and how she is portrayed in any official manga. From her first appearance in PCB, artists who worked on canon material seem to be drawing her younger and younger looking. Or how if you show someone an image of Akyuu, they will not believe you when you say she is 27. They will tell you she looks like being 17 at most due to the way portraits are drawn. It would be interesting to know if the Contract might actually be what ended up in "taming" the youkai, and turning them into the pretty girls we have canonically (or downright attractive/seductive if you go by fanart). And since they could no longer feed on the population of the village, their powers might have diminished as the main source of power has remained in scaring people instead of eating them. Also, perhaps they also became a bit more sociable following this "taming", as even those who are regarded to have the "Worst" relations with humans seem to be only acting if you mistreat them (or destroy their flowers - I mean, didn't Eiki tell Yuuka in PoFV to basically "do your job and scare more humans"?). So maybe this is why they might have ended up looking the way they do nowadays? It could be either this, or I might be falling again into the trap of moe. Short answer would be that perhaps a diminishing in power would have lead to this aspect of theirs, and it is interesting if they are still able to transform into their original youkai form.

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

It's too good to be true and this isn't logical enough as yokai can take up any form they like but why is Korindou a male?

Rinnosuke is a peculiar case. Besides he is like one of the few named males we know of, he is also a half-youkai. How does this even work? Was one of the parents a human and the other a youkai, is it a duality thing like with half-human-half-phantoms, or an incomplete transformation into a youkai?

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

they have the mind and are willing to improve and that my friend is why yokai in Gensokyo (prefer to) looks like young woman. (Young 'cause they inherited the female mind of us and are sensitive about how they look and their age but there're a few who doesn't care: Mamizou and the onis since they don't care about that, bring sake, strength, pride and your beliefs to the table Human)

This is an interesting part. I did not manage to fully understand it though, especially the part of picking the aspect of a young woman. From my limited knowledge of Japanese mythology, I know youkai turning into attractive women was a thing, which I remember was quite common especially with Kitsune (the case of Tamamo no Mae always comes to my mind) and whatever the name of the creature that inspired Yamame is. As for Mamizou, isn't she a shape-shifter? Her ability could be a neat explanation for what is going on, but I am not sure if it limits just to her, or can be applied to any youkai. 

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

Well, you can't have everything good like yin and yang there must also be the shocking horrors as the tone changes light-hearted from fandom to somewhat grimdark but also chill that will not be afraid to get serious once in a while like in Touhou 17 that brought my shock factor to maximum as I saw two faction fighting for power and double plot twist as both sides were not good but one is tamer than the other. (And I read a new eagle boss in the Extra scenario and got so hyped) 

I was never too shocked by the conflict from Touhou 17. I actually found it rather interesting, especially when you see none of the parts is perfectly clear. it very much reflects real wars in my vision. No side is perfect and has its own fair share of flaws and things that might put dirt on their reputation. The world is not perfect, as we cannot say there are saints and demons among people, just different shades of grey at times. 

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

Oh yes, the cultural difference play so much since most of the character are from mythologies from Japan, China, Greek and possibly others too. Anyways, it's always nice for me to learn culture and religion of other countries and yes, History sparks on my mind. Reality is often harsh as I said if you have good there must also be the bad; the essence of "Giving You A Brief History Of The Origin In Fairy Tales" are going to work especially if you're not hoping for it. Gensokyo looks very friendly in the first glance isn't? but as the true origins were revealed and there goes the perfect fantasy world, don't get your view on Gensokyo get altered as everything have balance and it isn't all rainbows and candies neither the bloody gore stuff that the yokai are always fighting and humans are always 100% eaten. It's in the middle, remember that Numenor. 

I think you might have a bit of an advantage, as you are from Burma and therefore not so far geographically from the world Touhou revolves around (at least much closer than I am anyway). In a way, it would be basically as if I were talking about the culture, myths and folklore of the Slavs, a people I am relatively used to as a Romanian and which live in the same geographic area. Oh, and having some common elements of culture with them that might have developed in the early stages of the creation of the Romanians as a group of people, somewhere in the 6th-5th century AD. Indeed, reality can be harsh, and in the case of Touhou, I would explain it through an initial exposure to the fanon its greatly altered vision of Gensokyo, followed only very late by actual exploration of canon. Things seem to be going nicely there, at least from the perspective of the protagonists because yeah, protagonists, but things might be completely different when it comes to the life of your average villager (who still lives the same way as his ancestors did 100 years ago). To me, it is not shocking the origins of these characters (I am quite fine with the original versions of tales), it is just that something that from the outside that seems to be about cutesy and wholesome actually starts getting darker and darker the more you get into it, something you would not really expect from what seemed, again, to be all cutesy and wholesome. Sometimes, fanon feels like a completely parallel universe when it comes to this and the tone chosen. Perhaps an initial exposure to canon, only then followed by fanon would have helped quite a lot, especially with a warning at the beginning that "things are not really all bright as they might seem". I guess I may not be fully able to understand the way Gensokyo (and Japanese traditions) works, because what they see as nothing special, and very much part of their culture might be shocking for someone coming from another culture, with a different set of values and things of the kind. 

 

4 hours ago, Gou the frog said:

Aye, I did say I'll give you my opinions on your threads and this is a very good topic that you've brought up. Yeah, last time I wasn't there so your image got shattered to piece. At the end of the day, if a character and music from a franchise (doesn't have to be the same) speaks to your soul directly and you're having a good time and memories because of 'em, then, I'm positive that I've answered your last question.

Last time the shattering happened, I was not here either. Instead, it all happened through a post on r/touhou, which I can link if you wanna see the reaction back then. As for a new answer on "Would you live in Gensokyo", now that I am in the post-crisis clarity, it would be the following: If I were given the chance, I would still go back home. It might be difficult for me to integrate into a new world based on different customs, traditions and myths, and where I cannot communicate to anyone due to language barriers (unless I get to Suzunaan in the Human Village, since apparently Kosuzu can decipher any language), But if I were to stay, I would have to learn the language, possibly change my religion due to possible incompatibilities with the local system, as well as getting used to the realization gods and monsters are real, and not just a concept as I used to believe in the world I came from. But if I were to overcome these barriers, guess the only thing I could do would be living a simple life in the village, taking up drawing or perhaps writing. All of this if you even make it up to the Human Village to begin with. 

 

Here is the thread I have mentioned on m original reaction from last year: 

 

Edited by CountVonNumenor
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3 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

This actually raised me a question. My guess is that in Gensokyo those who are spirited away are usually Japanese/Shinto believers I would assume. I am making such an assumption based on the focus of Touhou being predominantly on the area of Japan, with references to China and Korea. Any other parts of the world seem to be only briefly brought in, mostly as references (Hecatia is a bit of an exception, being probably the only character inspired by a religious entity from the Western world, more exactly the goddess Hekate of the ancient Greeks). Here comes the question: what does happen if someone from outside the Shinto/East-Asian world is brought into Gensokyo? More on that a little later. 

It appears to be case, as they're usually Japanese/Shinto believers but if someone from another religion got brought in Gensokyo, they don't have to change the religion although it's going to be very hard for them. Another thing is that can also happen: Converting to the local religion either Taoism, Shintoism or Buddhism, in which case they're not going to be happy. The next thing you're gonna know is either Conversion, Confusion or Cast away from Gensokyo via the barrier. So, in short, even if you're not a Shito Believer and also an Atheist, you're in for a ride. (Shito Believers are playing dark souls in the hardest difficulty and non believers are playing with a driving wheel as it's a tad bit inconvenient)

3 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

Here is the question I have been talking about to be asked later. If you are not a Shinto believer and decide to remain in Gensokyo, how will things work out? Gods cannot get power from your belief if you are a believer of any other religion. Are there people in Gensokyo who are not Shinto believers? I know there are some atheists like Sakuya and Nitori apparently, but there does not seem to be sign of any other religion going on like Christianity or Islam. In a way, it would be interesting if ancient, forgotten religions of Europe and their gods would find a place in Gensokyo. Since the land was created to preserve these beliefs in a world that has gone in the direction of science of progress, therefore starting to stray away from religion, mystical and mythical entities have found a place to live there. And so I was thinking if others have found their place there. Hecatia already got to Gensokyo, wonder if other members of the Greek, Roman or any other ancient pantheon would fins their place. Or maybe Gensokyo was founded too late, and those old religious entities lost their powers/disappeared before having any chance to find their place in Gensokyo. As for the people who get there and are not Shinto, do they end up converting their religion from anything they used to be up to that point once they see gods are actually real and live in the same land as them? Or there is some form of religious toleration for anyone? It would be funny if a Christian got in Gensokyo, and their faith would be strong enough to actually create an entity. (Oh wait, I think I am not confusing it with the power of the Warp and belief in Warhammer 40.000, and the creation of miracles/Living Saints and other Imperial stuff in that universe...)

Let's say a Islam or a Christian ends up in Gensokyo gods can gather faith since they do believe in god albeit faintly and just like your statement in the latter part, It is somewhat possible to create a new deity solely based on the faith of those whom are dedicated enough; I would be blown away myself if I saw a mexician god sharing tacos with a Shinto god. I'm quite fond of the idea, imagine those ancient gods from different religion gather in Genoskyo as they were forgotten and some of their power were weakened due to that. I wonder if those gods would come all the way form their respective part of the place to Japan, gensokyo although it might not be easy as there are japanses gods that guard the seas and the sky making 'em difficult to come in; I have one thing that can make the travel easier, if the commoners show great virtue (And donaations) for the gods the trip will be more smooth sailing also applied to the gods as well, (I have a hunch, what if the Hukurei shrine's donation box is very well donated? who knows, The god itself might show up)

 

3 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

I have actually been watching Linfamy for a few years now. I have found him thanks to a video on Heian Japan, and from then on I got extremely curious to learn more about the early history, culture and mythology of Japan. I new literally nothing about East Asia up to that point, and this was a very entertaining way of learning new things. 

I too have watched him for years but I'm afraid I'm missing out on the western side of the world thus wanting a good channel that covers the detailed aspect of western cultures, mythologies, and most importantly history. (I also need to find one for the Chinese since I've found an interesting shitpost containing history of Chinese: One time, a chinese commoner thought "So, I've heard of this 'Bible' book and he took that "book" and spread Christianity all over China hence, making the English and one other country that I dont' remember try to aid the guy but the punchline is he has never seen a Bible in his entire life and had caused the Chinese emperor and the self-proclaimed Christin of China into battle and have a body count so huge that can compare WW2 if not higher; that was history for China while the other were busy claiming lands)

3 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

From this fragment, there are some interesting points that can be abstracted. 

  • it seems like outsiders entering Gensokyo might also happen by accident, given fluctuations in how strong the Hakurei Barrier is
  • finding "outsiders" in Gensokyo is a rather rare sight, as most of them are either eaten or leave as soon as they get the chance
  • there seems to be a selection of those who end up in Gensokyo - people with little knowledge in technology (so no engineers, scientists, IT programmers etc)
  • just like you have also pointed out, the Villagers are protected under a contract that came to be following the Vampire Incident
  • youkai are hard to distinguish from human beings due to their appearance, and for outsiders only stuff like ghosts seem to be the obvious
  • it is not fully clear if the outsiders, once becoming part of the Village folk, are also protected by the contract, but it is possible
  • there are special cases of outsiders who accommodated to the new world of Gensokyo (but I would personally put it on "because protagonist character" like in the case of Sane & Moriya gang, or how Maribel, Renko and Sumireko have not been eaten by any youkai despite being outsiders)

This does covered the outsider aspect of Gensokyo but there're now more things that wish to see more manga about the daily life of fairies and human villagers and also souls any kind of souls works (long as it isn't the Moriya Shrine and Eintei for the 27th time). 

 

4 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

Ah, the flowing of time in Gensokyo. One topic that keeps bugging everyone up since it does not seem to make any sense. I remember Surnist made a very good video on the topic long ago (I really miss him posting stuff - it's been 11 months already without a new video...) 

As for different artists, it is funny, but also confusing how depending on the artist, characters seem to be getting younger as time goes on. Just look at Youmu and how she is portrayed in any official manga. From her first appearance in PCB, artists who worked on canon material seem to be drawing her younger and younger looking. Or how if you show someone an image of Akyuu, they will not believe you when you say she is 27. They will tell you she looks like being 17 at most due to the way portraits are drawn. It would be interesting to know if the Contract might actually be what ended up in "taming" the youkai, and turning them into the pretty girls we have canonically (or downright attractive/seductive if you go by fanart). And since they could no longer feed on the population of the village, their powers might have diminished as the main source of power has remained in scaring people instead of eating them. Also, perhaps they also became a bit more sociable following this "taming", as even those who are regarded to have the "Worst" relations with humans seem to be only acting if you mistreat them (or destroy their flowers - I mean, didn't Eiki tell Yuuka in PoFV to basically "do your job and scare more humans"?). So maybe this is why they might have ended up looking the way they do nowadays? It could be either this, or I might be falling again into the trap of moe. Short answer would be that perhaps a diminishing in power would have lead to this aspect of theirs, and it is interesting if they are still able to transform into their original youkai form.

Surnist! I also miss him but fret not as he doesn't upload often and maybe, he's planning a big old topic into a video) 

Alright, now to the artists, it's somewhat strange as Zun have a clear path in making the manga and thus, I must say he just accept the multiple designs and said Beer and having characters appear young. I wish to see their original form or at least a shadow to satisfy my cat frog.

4 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

Rinnosuke is a peculiar case. Besides he is like one of the few named males we know of, he is also a half-youkai. How does this even work? Was one of the parents a human and the other a youkai, is it a duality thing like with half-human-half-phantoms, or an incomplete transformation into a youkai?

Ah, yes "Meet the Halves": honestly I've no idea how that works? As you said, Human and Yokai Parents for him? It's very possible since they have those relationship in Gensokyo, one even got a god whom likes frog. As always, we will know once the Hukurei God is reavealed. 

 

4 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

This is an interesting part. I did not manage to fully understand it though, especially the part of picking the aspect of a young woman. From my limited knowledge of Japanese mythology, I know youkai turning into attractive women was a thing, which I remember was quite common especially with Kitsune (the case of Tamamo no Mae always comes to my mind) and whatever the name of the creature that inspired Yamame is. As for Mamizou, isn't she a shape-shifter? Her ability could be a neat explanation for what is going on, but I am not sure if it limits just to her, or can be applied to any youkai. 

It is very much a thing that's set in Japanese Mythology as they take the form of a woman to seduce and used the men whom had likely peak their interest. (She is a shape-shifter as it's one of the sub abilities for yokai and Tanuki are basically better at them but her main ability isn't shape-shifting it's the "MASSIVE BALLS") For the question of limitation for shape-shifting? No, it isn't exclusive to only her, most of yokai can do that easily and sages too, heck my frog Ogama can also do that hence, I call it fireball of Skyrim but actually easier as it is one of the common skill among yokai

 

4 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

I was never too shocked by the conflict from Touhou 17. I actually found it rather interesting, especially when you see none of the parts is perfectly clear. it very much reflects real wars in my vision. No side is perfect and has its own fair share of flaws and things that might put dirt on their reputation. The world is not perfect, as we cannot say there are saints and demons among people, just different shades of grey at times. 

Yeah, it does reflect to real war in my vision also. Even, Zun said that it's It's darker than usual. Hey, I like your view G.

4 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

I think you might have a bit of an advantage, as you are from Burma and therefore not so far geographically from the world Touhou revolves around (at least much closer than I am anyway). In a way, it would be basically as if I were talking about the culture, myths and folklore of the Slavs, a people I am relatively used to as a Romanian and which live in the same geographic area. Oh, and having some common elements of culture with them that might have developed in the early stages of the creation of the Romanians as a group of people, somewhere in the 6th-5th century AD. Indeed, reality can be harsh, and in the case of Touhou, I would explain it through an initial exposure to the fanon its greatly altered vision of Gensokyo, followed only very late by actual exploration of canon. Things seem to be going nicely there, at least from the perspective of the protagonists because yeah, protagonists, but things might be completely different when it comes to the life of your average villager (who still lives the same way as his ancestors did 100 years ago). To me, it is not shocking the origins of these characters (I am quite fine with the original versions of tales), it is just that something that from the outside that seems to be about cutesy and wholesome actually starts getting darker and darker the more you get into it, something you would not really expect from what seemed, again, to be all cutesy and wholesome. Sometimes, fanon feels like a completely parallel universe when it comes to this and the tone chosen. Perhaps an initial exposure to canon, only then followed by fanon would have helped quite a lot, especially with a warning at the beginning that "things are not really all bright as they might seem". I guess I may not be fully able to understand the way Gensokyo (and Japanese traditions) works, because what they see as nothing special, and very much part of their culture might be shocking for someone coming from another culture, with a different set of values and things of the kind. 

I do have the high ground here (Just a bit) Yes, Indeed it's quite hard to keep track of the things here and I'm hanging on 'cause I got into mythology of Japan when I was only 5 (Ah, those were the days, fairy tales from Japan were up in Burmese Television, sadly it has shut down.) Oh, I diagnose you with some Japanese History, as long ago they were very lazy (Also borrowed Katakan from China) and they've seen a lot of.... interesting stuff along the way so, they evolved to much harder working ones. (too hard) And yeah most of weird topics and now popular.... squid (Oden with these taste heavenly) "stuff" has also originated from Japan hence, this might be the reason for things that aren't weird for 'em but very weird for us outside of Japan.

4 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

Last time the shattering happened, I was not here either. Instead, it all happened through a post on r/touhou, which I can link if you wanna see the reaction back then. As for a new answer on "Would you live in Gensokyo", now that I am in the post-crisis clarity, it would be the following: If I were given the chance, I would still go back home. It might be difficult for me to integrate into a new world based on different customs, traditions and myths, and where I cannot communicate to anyone due to language barriers (unless I get to Suzunaan in the Human Village, since apparently Kosuzu can decipher any language), But if I were to stay, I would have to learn the language, possibly change my religion due to possible incompatibilities with the local system, as well as getting used to the realization gods and monsters are real, and not just a concept as I used to believe in the world I came from. But if I were to overcome these barriers, guess the only thing I could do would be living a simple life in the village, taking up drawing or perhaps writing. All of this if you even make it up to the Human Village to begin with. 

 

Here is the thread I have mentioned on m original reaction from last year: 

I've read your post and it's very enticing, I saw one of the people to not read Tv troupes as they highly exaggerated Fanon depictions and I've read one of 'em and couldn't be more right. Yeah, this has been very wonderful read through brother.   

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Time for a follow up question, what will happen? After the yokai and gods can't gather anymore faith? Does that lead to the downfall of Gensokyo? Will the yokai once again visit the human world or hell? 

Either way, this is not going to end well for them as getting less faith mean the disappearance of gods and yokai hence leading to only myths for the children story book. But consider this, what if the yokai that faded away reincarnate as a human in the outside world, will this make the fantasy land actually fantasy? Or how would they gain the balance back in Gensokyo? As of now, I only have 2 ideas:

1. If they were once again human, there would be a gap in Gensokyo place which makes it fading place like the former hell. The tone will change slowly as there would be only so much yokai left in Gensokyo. All and all, that would be interesting to be developed in theory; Meanwhile, the human that die are replaced with yokai but only evils ones as there might be yet another war between the two factions. So, what do you think about that? 

2. The Hakurei Barrier allow the yokai to dip in and out since there're less faith for the god. Human to Yokai ratio is very much in a difference so, yokai disguised themselves as humans and breed on the humans to get the yokai population going (Pardon, as this is a brainstorm of mine) That way, they keep in balance with Gensokyo while they can also choose to gain faith from the outside world. 

Now then, another question: What is the future of Gensokyo when they're more village folks than yokais? Will they get eaten? (Not likely, since there's the seal) Or get warned by the fellow denizens of Gensokyo, will they be cast away form Gensokyo? Well, what if the humans simply leave Gensokyo and go on with their journey? That will surely touch the atmosphere around the land. 

We need to think harder, to what actually happen in the ancient periods of Japan, why and how did the yokai find out about Gensokyo, the land of fantasy and choose to live there? I want to add a bit of on my previous post, maybe the uproar of Gensokyo breached to the western side of myths and attracted those there to here. And usually, those ancients fight each other and agree on terms as there're quite a handful of Western ones here in Gensokyo: Vampires, Hog-goblins, Western Dragons? (Not sure on the last one) as this might change the overall Japanese yet harsh tone of earlier Gensokyo in Foundation.

(Aye, I don't know if my words makes sense at all since that's something that I came up while watching Yakuza Isshin)

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Posted (edited)

Another thing come across my mind, it's something about the fairies, and souls floating around Gensokyo, fairies are trademark of gensokyo as they represent the nature of Gensokyo in some way; If the fairies are gathered around in max quantity, there's something going on and if they're none there's also something on. So, going back to the your first reply, what will happen if they're fond of you? Do you get an instant villager card and a warranty to not get attack by yokai. As for the souls, (Ghosts, Vengeful Spirits, so on and so forth) without 'em Gensokyo would be missing something as they boost the fear harvesting and also stand on par with the yokai, human and fairies to set the overall balance of Gensokyo and the tone as mentioned in your title.

One more thing, I'm recently aware that the outside world and Hakurei Shrine has some sort of connection as Someone in the comments (reply) of (3) JOURNEY TO GENSOKYO - Visiting Shimo-Suwa in Central Japan - YouTube (I haven't read the manga and books so I don't know if this is accurate)

 

One said the following: 

Quote

Weird fan theory: but I think ZUN has a canonical location for the Hakerei shrine picked out. In one of the books Reimu finds a bottle of modern sake which somebody had donated to the outside world side of the shrine. My personal guess is ZUN himself made a similar pilgrimage to this one, left the bottle at the site, and wrote about Reimu finding it. Ofcourse if he told the fans where exactly the spot is some poor shrine somewhere will get inundated with fans. (Not sure how the clergy would feel about that - what's the difference between a fan and a worshipper anyway? Plus, Ikai is a place in Shinto.)

 

Edited by Gou the frog

Truly is Yin & Yang. 

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Alright, time to reply again. Since I first posted this thread, it looks like someone else came with a similar topic on r/touhou, which I will use in this comment as parts of it might be useful. So let's start...

 

On 5/18/2022 at 6:08 PM, Gou the frog said:

It appears to be case, as they're usually Japanese/Shinto believers but if someone from another religion got brought in Gensokyo, they don't have to change the religion although it's going to be very hard for them. Another thing is that can also happen: Converting to the local religion either Taoism, Shintoism or Buddhism, in which case they're not going to be happy. The next thing you're gonna know is either Conversion, Confusion or Cast away from Gensokyo via the barrier. So, in short, even if you're not a Shinto Believer and also an Atheist, you're in for a ride. (Shinto Believers are playing dark souls in the hardest difficulty and non believers are playing with a driving wheel as it's a tad bit inconvenient)

So you basically say that if a Christian got spirited away to Gensokyo, it would be more advantageous for them to remain in the Christian faith? The odd part is given by the fact it seems like the Village is made out of just Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist believers, while a new, monotheistic religion like Christianity, Judaism or Islam would be seen as strange. There are barely any believers in Gensokyo (despite in the outside world those being the most spread religions of the world), you may not have a shrine or any other place where to conduct your religious practices (though Christian hermits of the past did not need an entire church, but a simple cave was enough to live in), and the history of Christianity of Japanese land is a little complicated. Knowing Gensokyo was sealed in the 1880s, it would be just a little over 250 years since Christianity was initially outlawed in Japan and persecutions took place. And since the villagers might still be living at the level of the late 1800s, they might either be completely ignorant of this weird, monotheistic religion, or still remember it as "that religion that used tp be outlawed and persecuted long ago".

Also yeah, old days of the Touhou universe, especially before the creation of Gensokyo, really do seem to have that Dar Souls vibe to them.

 

On 5/18/2022 at 6:08 PM, Gou the frog said:

Let's say a Islam or a Christian ends up in Gensokyo gods can gather faith since they do believe in god albeit faintly and just like your statement in the latter part, It is somewhat possible to create a new deity solely based on the faith of those whom are dedicated enough; I would be blown away myself if I saw a mexician god sharing tacos with a Shinto god.

This might be funny to see. Do we actually have any Christian in Gensokyo? Besides the theorized connection of Yumemi with that faith ad the symbolism related to the cross. Also in Wild and Horned Hermit, Kasen did mention Christianity, more exactly the story behind Easter and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here is the fragment: 

012.png

(from WaHH Chapter 44, page 12)

Though I guess there should not so much trouble for a Christian to integrate, as the religion would be seen as exotic by the Japanese, I guess. 

 

On 5/18/2022 at 6:08 PM, Gou the frog said:

This does covered the outsider aspect of Gensokyo but there're now more things that wish to see more manga about the daily life of fairies and human villagers and also souls any kind of souls works (long as it isn't the Moriya Shrine and Eintei for the 27th time). 

Here's the thing, and why I guess Gensokyo does not look so dark at a first glance. We tend to see the stories from the perspectiv of the protagonists and other relevant characters, who are already part of the higher strata of society. We basically see the events from the point of view of  shrine maiden who is already quite connected to what is happening, her magician friend, a number of youkai (who are already basically the ruling class of Gensokyo) and so on. Basically, it would be as if, in our real world, we would have a view of the world written from the perspective of the aristocracy/the rich - the world is a nice place, without struggle, and not really so dark. In the case of Gensokyo, I guess we are missing the point of view of the lower society strata, and especially that of the humans who live in that land? Because we basically already see the story through the eyes of the youkai, the "special ones". 


From here, I will start using some of the quotes and replies from the thread I have been talking about at the beginning. Sample 1:

Quote

Gensokyo is usually peaceful and life can be good if you're a villager or a strong entity in your own right, it's probably paradise. But other than that, it's a realm of monsters that are on a fine line between being potential killers and pleasant acquaintances if you're not part of their villager/strong person circle. Not to mention the antipathy about it and how a "kill 10 people" style deed can be seen as passable depending on what position you occupy within the world. It's not necessarily well regarded but they wouldn't go down in horror either. Morality in Gensokyo is just... fickle. It's not grimdark, it's not "edgy " it's just that, fickle, less than inconvenient. Fanon sometimes exaggerates it, but the main gist is that it's a realistic depiction of a world somewhat screwed up by who the beings in it are. There's everydayness, there's happiness/fun, comfort, good food, good booze and friends. But it's possible that none of that is for you. No, you're the poor bastard they could have killed in Muenzuka or the Forest of Magic. Gensokyo is a world of wonder and fantasy with all the natural dangers inherent in such a place. It's a great place to live as long as you can survive and interact with others in some way. Just keep in mind that except for very young youkai (the majority of the population in Gensokyo), everyone you talk to might almost with 50/50 certainty have at least one marked life.

 

On 5/18/2022 at 6:08 PM, Gou the frog said:

I too have watched him for years but I'm afraid I'm missing out on the western side of the world thus wanting a good channel that covers the detailed aspect of western cultures, mythologies, and most importantly history. (I also need to find one for the Chinese since I've found an interesting shitpost containing history of Chinese: One time, a chinese commoner thought "So, I've heard of this 'Bible' book and he took that "book" and spread Christianity all over China hence, making the English and one other country that I dont' remember try to aid the guy but the punchline is he has never seen a Bible in his entire life and had caused the Chinese emperor and the self-proclaimed Christin of China into battle and have a body count so huge that can compare WW2 if not higher; that was history for China while the other were busy claiming lands)

If in this part you were talking about the Taiping Rebellion, that sure was quite an interesting chapter in Chinese history. One of the biggest civil wars to take place (and one of the bloodiest conflict in human history), and all of this coming from the result of the Opium Wars + 1 dude who thought himself to be the brother of Christ. Since the Chinese more than likely were not familiar with Christianity, they might have taken it for real, though I would also imagine that the stagnation and problems of the late Qing era society contributed to the turmoil and later violence (for almost 100 years afterwards China has been quite a mess...). 

 

On 5/18/2022 at 6:08 PM, Gou the frog said:

It is very much a thing that's set in Japanese Mythology as they take the form of a woman to seduce and used the men whom had likely peak their interest. (She is a shape-shifter as it's one of the sub abilities for yokai and Tanuki are basically better at them but her main ability isn't shape-shifting it's the "MASSIVE BALLS") For the question of limitation for shape-shifting? No, it isn't exclusive to only her, most of yokai can do that easily and sages too, heck my frog Ogama can also do that hence, I call it fireball of Skyrim but actually easier as it is one of the common skill among yokai

I knew that the male Tanuki were the ones with such a massive "gift". It took me very long to learn there apparently exist female Tanuki too, and Mamizou would be one of those (so no balls in here). But interesting to know shape-shifting is basically a basic ability for a youkai. And Touhou has shown it quite well. Speaking of shifting things in this series, I have two more quotes:

Spoiler

Well you see, most of those "Magic girls" are sugarcoated depictions of Japanese Yokai in the form of cute girls. Yokai are essentially the various different monsters, ghosts, demons, spirits and other supernatural beings that appear in Japanese mythology. Obviously, the Western audience might not know the stories behind thse characters and what they are when they appear in the games, printworks, etc, but upon a little research you come to know that the underlying context behind the world of Touhou (Gensokyo) is kinda messed up to begin with. For instance, the humans residing in Gensokyo are pretty much like caged animals in a zoo. The only reason they are kept alive by the Yokai is because Yokai need human fear to exist. They constantly live in fear not knowing anything about what the world outside of Gensokyo is like.

Now that I look at it, Touhou really does look like extreme sugar-coating in terms of "what this is supposed to be vs how it is depicted in the media". Which is very easy to lead into the creation of a false perception in regards to how things work and what this is supposed to be. 
 

Spoiler

Because as simple as touhou seems, it’s very realistic in terms of character environment and circumstances. Also, a majority of the cast are Youkai, literal demons that devour humans, monsters of unfathomable power, and every songle one of them is in a power struggle over who gains dominance in the human village. The only one standing and regulating them are the sages and Hakurei shrine maiden, and it’s not a pretty sight. In some official works Reimu has actually been shown to kill, and there are darker tidbits here and there. Marisa slowly losing her humanity, Flandre eating human meat pastries, etc etc.

It’s one of the reasons why people are so passionate about this series. It’s both light hearted and dark, has so many genres and wacky subjects mushed together. Add in the amazing music and near absolutely free fanwork guidelines and the amount of things you can create from this is amazing. Sci fi, fantasy, drama, horror, psychological, cosmic horror, historical fiction, comedy, action, all these are genres that fit Touhou.

Not to mention most of the youkai girls don’t act like your regular anime girls. They are just as terrifying as their legends describe them, and their personality alone shows it. Ex:Suika may seem like a cute little drunkard, and you’d be right. But she can also be one of the cleverest, wisest and most violent beings as shown in other works.

If only we could be more aware of this part... Generally, unless you know the backstories of the characters, it is very easy to fall into the trap of "this is just another anime thing with cute anime girls". Their physical appearance does not help at all. Heck, you cannot even classify them as "monster-girls" as some do simply because there is no visible monster element. Either the 2hus have become masters of disguise, or they have been so tamed by the creation of Gensokyo they have lost their savage side, only appearances and reputation still keeping them alive. Or maybe it is somewhere in the middle. Anyway, fanon really seems to be swinging into the direction of turning it into a cute, wholesome., light-hearted advanture-filled story where only the main characters exist or are relevant (therefore myths like "there are no men in Gensokyo", "everything is nice for everyone in there" and so on). Bonus quote:

Quote

Yeah, the majority of Touhou doujins are yuri, comedy, or just bog-standard hentai.

If only we had more sources of explaining the lore, characters and setting, just to make it clear for people what is the general idea of Touhou and not just act like a herd of horny weebs going into Touhou as if it was not just an anime with cute girls. Oh wait, do we have any channel going into hard lore or essay video formats on the theme? [sarcasm galore]

 

1 hour ago, Gou the frog said:

Time for a follow up question, what will happen? After the yokai and gods can't gather anymore faith? Does that lead to the downfall of Gensokyo? Will the yokai once again visit the human world or hell? 

That would make for an interesting story. What would happen if the people of Gensokyo, basically the last bastion for a lot of Youkai, lost their faith in those mythical creatures. Would they just vanish? Would they adapt to the modern world and convert into something modern people believe in? I might be wrong here or cannot remember it correctly, but I think it was Kanako who said she would convert herself into a goddess of science and progress just because people nowadays believe in the power of science, and that would bring her more faith. I would actually read such a story.

 

1 hour ago, Gou the frog said:

Well, what if the humans simply leave Gensokyo and go on with their journey? That will surely touch the atmosphere around the land. 

I know the Human Villagers are aware of "outsiders", but I really wonder how aware they actually are about the outside world itself and how it is. They basically live in medieval/pre-industrial conditions, when life and the concept of "world" for many did not span too much outside their village and community. It reminds me of what i was reading here in Romania about the beginning of the modern age, when most of the people were living in small rural communities. For them, the village was basically most of their life, and found it hard at the beginning to understand how big the world actually is, together with its technology. This example might be from historical fiction, but the story "Hanul Ancuței" by Mihail Sadoveanu has a story about a Moldavian shepherd at the middle of the 19th century travelling to what would be Germany nowadays to sell his sheep. Those he was telling the story of his journey to could not believe him about travelling by train ("that chariots pulled on iron by an invisible horse of fire") or could not comprehends the customs of the Germans, saying they prefer the peaceful life of their small community. 

 

1 hour ago, Gou the frog said:

We need to think harder, to what actually happen in the ancient periods of Japan, why and how did the yokai find out about Gensokyo, the land of fantasy and choose to live there? I want to add a bit of on my previous post, maybe the uproar of Gensokyo breached to the western side of myths and attracted those there to here. And usually, those ancients fight each other and agree on terms as there're quite a handful of Western ones here in Gensokyo: Vampires, Hog-goblins, Western Dragons? (Not sure on the last one) as this might change the overall Japanese yet harsh tone of earlier Gensokyo in Foundation.

I am not very sure about the existence of a European Dragon. If it for anything, Meiling would be more likely connected to the Chinese breed of dragons. However, we do have a Greek goddess in Gensokyo (Hecatia Lapislazuli, modelled after the ancient goddess Hecate). Also not sure of confirmed or just fanon, the Greek god Apollo appeared too, the more as a mention of being one of the suns killed by Chang'e's husband. It would be funny though to the see the bunch of Mount Olympus though gathering at some point in Gensokyo, together with the Mexican god you were talking about and whatever entity a Christian could spawn with enough faith. 

 

50 minutes ago, Gou the frog said:

Another thing come across my mind, it's something about the fairies, and souls floating around Gensokyo, fairies are trademark of gensokyo as they represent the nature of Gensokyo in some way; If the fairies are gathered around in max quantity, there's something going on and if they're none there's also something on. So, going back to the your first reply, what will happen if they're fond of you? Do you get an instant villager card and a warranty to not get attack by yokai. As for the souls, (Ghosts, Vengeful Spirits, so on and so forth) without 'em Gensokyo would be missing something as they boost the fear harvesting and also stand on par with the yokai, human and fairies to set the overall balance of Gensokyo and the tone as mentioned in your title.

One more thing, I'm recently aware that the outside world and Hakurei Shrine has some sort of connection as Someone in the comments (reply) of (3) JOURNEY TO GENSOKYO - Visiting Shimo-Suwa in Central Japan - YouTube (I haven't read the manga and books so I don't know if this is accurate)

I remember seeing that video at the beginning of 2021. It was quite an interesting travel video, and made me want to go visit Shimo-Suwa at one point in my life if I ever get the chance. Well, one more excuse to go in a visit to Japan, I guess...

 

I wonder how much we have deviated from the content with which I started the thread, but this is becoming interesting in itself too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Gou the frog you might like this part. Digging a bit through Touhou written stuff, I have found some in-universe explanations for game mechanics and other gimmicks. I wonder if I could find something in regards to the use of Bombs, Lives and Continues, and how are those translated in-universe. I knew I read somehwere about the matter, but I cannot find the source anymore. 

unknown.png

How the "Spellcard Rules" work - oh wait, was I right in saying the creation of the barrier tamed them and turned them from the abominable monsters of old into the cute looking girls we like so much 


unknown.png

What an incident is

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On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

So you basically say that if a Christian got spirited away to Gensokyo, it would be more advantageous for them to remain in the Christian faith? The odd part is given by the fact it seems like the Village is made out of just Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist believers, while a new, monotheistic religion like Christianity, Judaism or Islam would be seen as strange. There are barely any believers in Gensokyo (despite in the outside world those being the most spread religions of the world), you may not have a shrine or any other place where to conduct your religious practices (though Christian hermits of the past did not need an entire church, but a simple cave was enough to live in), and the history of Christianity of Japanese land is a little complicated. Knowing Gensokyo was sealed in the 1880s, it would be just a little over 250 years since Christianity was initially outlawed in Japan and persecutions took place. And since the villagers might still be living at the level of the late 1800s, they might either be completely ignorant of this weird, monotheistic religion, or still remember it as "that religion that used tp be outlawed and persecuted long ago".

I believe so, it's more advantageous for them to remain in their beliefs, taking reference from my religion. As you said, it might seems strange for the residents of Gensokyo exposed to Islam and Judaism; It would be out of place but it works for them. Another thing, to channel the act of your religious practice, you first need a place, caves, forests and some other shelter. (You see this place has everything to create a new god via faith) Hmm... I wonder what will happened when Greek gods and various ancient ones finally sets in the world of Touhou spreading new religions and creating a lot of plot points. (There're some here already)

(Unrelated: It would be funny to see an European Legendary creature (Ship) arrives in Gensokyo mid Ashikaga (Muromachi) Period introducing Jesus and Christianity. And Dutch joins the party after Gensokyo was sakoku)

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

Also yeah, old days of the Touhou universe, especially before the creation of Gensokyo, really do seem to have that Dar Souls vibe to them.

But aye, it does feel like it. The Pc-98 Touhou era was very good and those yin yang balls has the same purpose as Humanities (S rank lore attached to an item)

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

This might be funny to see. Do we actually have any Christian in Gensokyo? Besides the theorized connection of Yumemi with that faith ad the symbolism related to the cross. Also in Wild and Horned Hermit, Kasen did mention Christianity, more exactly the story behind Easter and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here is the fragment: 

 

 

(from WaHH Chapter 44, page 12)

Though I guess there should not so much trouble for a Christian to integrate, as the religion would be seen as exotic by the Japanese, I guess. 

Wow, I'm falling behind the discussion ah, you got me fired up so, I'll read the manga some time later. It's very refreshing to see points and yeah, I imagine it would be easier for Christian to integrate. 

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

Here's the thing, and why I guess Gensokyo does not look so dark at a first glance. We tend to see the stories from the perspectiv of the protagonists and other relevant characters, who are already part of the higher strata of society. We basically see the events from the point of view of  shrine maiden who is already quite connected to what is happening, her magician friend, a number of youkai (who are already basically the ruling class of Gensokyo) and so on. Basically, it would be as if, in our real world, we would have a view of the world written from the perspective of the aristocracy/the rich - the world is a nice place, without struggle, and not really so dark. In the case of Gensokyo, I guess we are missing the point of view of the lower society strata, and especially that of the humans who live in that land? Because we basically already see the story through the eyes of the youkai, the "special ones". 

 

That's is indeed true. It would be very interesting to the lower society perspective with Zun publishing prints works and albums. All right, we'll see it when the time comes.

 

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

If in this part you were talking about the Taiping Rebellion, that sure was quite an interesting chapter in Chinese history. One of the biggest civil wars to take place (and one of the bloodiest conflict in human history), and all of this coming from the result of the Opium Wars + 1 dude who thought himself to be the brother of Christ. Since the Chinese more than likely were not familiar with Christianity, they might have taken it for real, though I would also imagine that the stagnation and problems of the late Qing era society contributed to the turmoil and later violence (for almost 100 years afterwards China has been quite a mess...). 

 Spot on good sir! Finally, I've met a lad who knows what I'm talking about. History saves the day, Qing dynasty is the best one to study, at least for me even though most of their demise is often caused by internal chaos. (Possible Touhou character inspired from this event?)

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

I knew that the male Tanuki were the ones with such a massive "gift". It took me very long to learn there apparently exist female Tanuki too, and Mamizou would be one of those (so no balls in here). But interesting to know shape-shifting is basically a basic ability for a youkai. And Touhou has shown it quite well. Speaking of shifting things in this series, I have two more quotes:

Quite so, I first thought that female Tanuki were also given massive "gift" but yeah, maybe it was because common sense is missing in land of Gensokyo. There're a lot of unique abilities for youkias, it would be none the wiser for us to decide who is the "strongest" in term of spell cards as we haven't seen a lot of their skills. I.E Oni can do shadow teleportation. (Wait, Sukia already has that in the form of mist; you get the point)

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

Now that I look at it, Touhou really does look like extreme sugar-coating in terms of "what this is supposed to be vs how it is depicted in the media". Which is very easy to lead into the creation of a false perception in regards to how things work and what this is supposed to be. 

(Well, that's Touhou for you being created by a tipsy japanese man)

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

If only we could be more aware of this part... Generally, unless you know the backstories of the characters, it is very easy to fall into the trap of "this is just another anime thing with cute anime girls". Their physical appearance does not help at all. Heck, you cannot even classify them as "monster-girls" as some do simply because there is no visible monster element. Either the 2hus have become masters of disguise, or they have been so tamed by the creation of Gensokyo they have lost their savage side, only appearances and reputation still keeping them alive. Or maybe it is somewhere in the middle. Anyway, fanon really seems to be swinging into the direction of turning it into a cute, wholesome., light-hearted advanture-filled story where only the main characters exist or are relevant (therefore myths like "there are no men in Gensokyo", "everything is nice for everyone in there" and so on). Bonus quote:

anon doesn't really help in that regards. This is quite confusing for newcomers as there're no clear appearance to determine Touhous as moster girls or yokais. (Fancy Pants!, and hats did not make things easier either) I'm fond of your point especially the one that is in the middle. Also, fanon does two things:

They either make Touhou too edgy and grim dark with shadow covering eyes or it's a very nice place and there're no male human aside from you Isaeki harem looking protag who gender is mostly male. Now that reminds me of this MMD covering the life of a villager who has gone mad and had broken thee balance and peace of Gensokyo. Either ways, If you want to make a thread about "Diamond in the rough" and "this" or just simply I'll sent my regards in massage.

Spoiler

 

This does show some "accurate" depiction of Gensokyo showing what will happen when a vilager breaks the balance of Gensokyo. But it rasied me a question: Are they going to get exiled or executed depending on their action or just straight up be a slave for yokai?

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

If only we had more sources of explaining the lore, characters and setting, just to make it clear for people what is the general idea of Touhou and not just act like a herd of horny weebs going into Touhou as if it was not just an anime with cute girls. Oh wait, do we have any channel going into hard lore or essay video formats on the theme? [sarcasm galore]

One of the reasons that the info in Touhou is vague is because Zun let fans to create their own theories and stories. There is or rather was a reddit post that had caught my attention a few months ago explaining "Zun Psychology" discussing about why he decided to keep the lore and character vague" (The thread might be nuked by those ungrateful "Redditors" whom has reported as "non Touhou content" (even if it's covering its creator and characters) 

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

That would make for an interesting story. What would happen if the people of Gensokyo, basically the last bastion for a lot of Youkai, lost their faith in those mythical creatures. Would they just vanish? Would they adapt to the modern world and convert into something modern people believe in? I might be wrong here or cannot remember it correctly, but I think it was Kanako who said she would convert herself into a goddess of science and progress just because people nowadays believe in the power of science, and that would bring her more faith. I would actually read such a story.

It's very interesting to think about, are there gonna be spellcard rule or what will happen to the future of our beloved gods. One way is that one will witness those yokai even if they lost faith for 'em. Just like hell, but here is the problem. People not believing those thing existent automatically get a get out of jail card? Or it's the other way around? Ho, It would be amusing to read such a story about Kanako becoming the goddness of science. (Let's hope there's no fan-made mecha anime although, I would enjoy it.)

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

I know the Human Villagers are aware of "outsiders", but I really wonder how aware they actually are about the outside world itself and how it is. They basically live in medieval/pre-industrial conditions, when life and the concept of "world" for many did not span too much outside their village and community. It reminds me of what i was reading here in Romania about the beginning of the modern age, when most of the people were living in small rural communities. For them, the village was basically most of their life, and found it hard at the beginning to understand how big the world actually is, together with its technology. This example might be from historical fiction, but the story "Hanul Ancuței" by Mihail Sadoveanu has a story about a Moldavian shepherd at the middle of the 19th century travelling to what would be Germany nowadays to sell his sheep. Those he was telling the story of his journey to could not believe him about travelling by train ("that chariots pulled on iron by an invisible horse of fire") or could not comprehends the customs of the Germans, saying they prefer the peaceful life of their small community. 

Aye, I feel the same way about 'em being born in a town and experiencing arcade in another city of my country, Yangon (Rangoon) It was fun and I had my first chicken nugget in another city. (Mawlamyine) So yeah, I felt like a Moldavian shepherd never seeing a roller-coaster. 

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

I am not very sure about the existence of a European Dragon. If it for anything, Meiling would be more likely connected to the Chinese breed of dragons. However, we do have a Greek goddess in Gensokyo (Hecatia Lapislazuli, modelled after the ancient goddess Hecate). Also not sure of confirmed or just fanon, the Greek god Apollo appeared too, the more as a mention of being one of the suns killed by Chang'e's husband. It would be funny though to the see the bunch of Mount Olympus though gathering at some point in Gensokyo, together with the Mexican god you were talking about and whatever entity a Christian could spawn with enough faith. 

Neither I am, but your point on Meiling is truly correct she would be much closer dragons wait, Sayano's a smoke dragon too. Aye, I do want to see an European Dragon in Gensokyo as it would be truly amazing. So, moving on to greeks, I've heard of that with Apollo appearing and one of suns causing Chang'e's husband death. (Huh? Hon yi is also Junko husband am I right? What? are there two guys named exactly named Hon yi? Another point to add to your thread in OVMJ's reply)Yeah, I'm intruged by your idea of gods (Oh boy, there're gonna a lot of 'em featuring Asian and Western ones) gathering at some spot (Hot spring?) in Gensokyo all and all having a party? You just gave me an idea to draw. 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

I remember seeing that video at the beginning of 2021. It was quite an interesting travel video, and made me want to go visit Shimo-Suwa at one point in my life if I ever get the chance. Well, one more excuse to go in a visit to Japan, I guess...

One day, we' might even be hanging out on Shimo-Suwa (A dream in a bucket list "Meet A Good Old Friend In your Favorite Spot in Japan Especially One You've Considered a brother" I'm not even joking this's on my bucket list)

 

On 5/21/2022 at 10:50 PM, CountVonNumenor said:

I wonder how much we have deviated from the content with which I started the thread, but this is becoming interesting in itself too.

No worries lad, having a long discussion with you have also deepen my bond with Touhou and I've also gained happiness in return. Aye, this is becoming interesting indeed, pardon me for taking two weeks and a full day to reply Numenor"

 

On 5/30/2022 at 12:14 AM, CountVonNumenor said:

you might like this part. Digging a bit through Touhou written stuff, I have found some in-universe explanations for game mechanics and other gimmicks. I wonder if I could find something in regards to the use of Bombs, Lives and Continues, and how are those translated in-universe. I knew I read somehwere about the matter, but I cannot find the source anymore. 

You're never short on content aren't ya? I'm bloody interested in this stuff. This shall widen my view of Touhou. In return I present you the "history of Japan I guess." (You might already watched this but nonetheless, to refresh our nerdy history minds.)

Spoiler

 

 

On 5/30/2022 at 12:14 AM, CountVonNumenor said:

How the "Spellcard Rules" work - oh wait, was I right in saying the creation of the barrier tamed them and turned them from the abominable monsters of old into the cute looking girls we like so much 

Aye, you have a brilliant point Von, this might be one of the causes of why they look like cute looking girls we adore a great deal.

 

On 5/30/2022 at 12:14 AM, CountVonNumenor said:

What an incident is

Nothing out of ordinary for the ones in Gensokyo, they had worse such as defending foreign people form moon, let a lose a dull bird of atom and so on.

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Truly is Yin & Yang. 

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1 hour ago, Gou the frog said:

They either make Touhou too edgy and grim dark with shadow covering eyes or it's a very nice place and there're no male human aside from you Isaeki harem looking protag who gender is mostly male. Now that reminds me of this MMD covering the life of a villager who has gone mad and had broken thee balance and peace of Gensokyo. Either ways, If you want to make a thread about "Diamond in the rough" and "this" or just simply I'll sent my regards in massage.

Ah, yes. From this, I can understand 2 things:

1) the isekai harem protagonist part reminds me a lot about the idea of "John 2hu"
2) I heave heard of Invincible ever since Moriya Salesman brought it to YouTube. However, I have also heard a lot of negative opinions about the animation itself.

 

1 hour ago, Gou the frog said:

One of the reasons that the info in Touhou is vague is because Zun let fans to create their own theories and stories. There is or rather was a reddit post that had caught my attention a few months ago explaining "Zun Psychology" discussing about why he decided to keep the lore and character vague" (The thread might be nuked by those ungrateful "Redditors" whom has reported as "non Touhou content" (even if it's covering its creator and characters) 

It would be quite a shame if that thread is indeed gone. The whole premise sounded like something that was really worth exploring. 

 

1 hour ago, Gou the frog said:

(Huh? Hon yi is also Junko husband am I right? What? are there two guys named exactly named Hon yi? Another point to add to your thread in OVMJ's reply)

The story, from what I managed to understand, is as it follows. I don't know how much of it is canon, and how much is fanon. Apparently, after Hou Yi killed Junko's son and husband, he took her as his wife. However, through some court plotting, Junko ended up killing him. And from then on, she kept the grudge on Chang'e, even if she was not directly involved. 

This whole thing goes into one of the version of the  story of Chang'e and Hou Yi. It is he version in which she took the immortality elixir in order to escape from her husband, and in the end he became some sort of kind or something (can't remember exactly the details), or he just ended up killed by someone. Anyway, it is the version of the story in which Chang'e taking the elixir was not out of sacrifice. 

On a different note, why is Junko usually associated with the Xia dynasty of China (second millennium BCE)?

 

1 hour ago, Gou the frog said:

You're never short on content aren't ya? I'm bloody interested in this stuff. This shall widen my view of Touhou. In return I present you the "history of Japan I guess." (You might already watched this but nonetheless, to refresh our nerdy history minds.)

I have watched this video long ago. I really like it though, just as the one about the history of the entire world, I guess.

Quote

 

Spoiler

(And so they made a religion out of it)
in reference to this video from last year that made me want to watch bill wurtz again 

 

 

Also feel free to reply whenever you feel like it, as I have a few other threads going on and some more in planning.

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22 hours ago, CountVonNumenor said:

It would be quite a shame if that thread is indeed gone. The whole premise sounded like something that was really worth exploring. 

 It seems that my memory was not that good; but as you can see this might be what I talked about. (Although I screwed up and this has became another topic but yeah, the one explaining about that is somewhere on the bottom)

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Hear me out, What if the land structure of Gensokyo changed way before it was sealed? Will the denizens be cut in half or will there be more? Another thought came along with this, instead of mountains what if it was located underwater? It would be troublesome for the yokai to live in but I believe the sages will move it to land. Going to the structure:

So, they're going to be just beside an emperor or another human property which is not going to end up good depending on the mood of both sides and from there, we can assume the ambience starts to change in Gensokyo transforming it to Early Edo Japan with samurai yokai, priests and a lot of roughs also, more shrine? But as usual, this setting might affect the balance and freedom of the land. 

What do you think about this? And what would "change" if things starts to become like an ancient world. (It's already one, but more ancient)

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  • 3 months later...

Reactivating this thread after quite some time with an interesting text I wanna quote:

Quote

I found this a pretty interesting topic, so I went ahead and did a bit of research regarding relavent/concurrent works from ZUN, writing the below analysis. It may take 1-3 minutes to read. You are probably not the only one feeling like so. Remember Reimu's popularity drop when she killed the fortune teller? That was just a part of this Forbidden Scrollery making people unhappy.

From a retrospective point of view, that was the start of ZUN's attempt of completely turning to the Japanese folklore side of Touhou, scrapping the western side and reducing the fantasy content. And folklore... simply put, they are not the most pleasant thing to read, across the whole world. Many of them include an extreme amount of gore and/or sexual content. Even if Japanese folklore is on the milder side of them, when ZUN made his initial attempt at making Japanese folklore mini-incidents instead of characters, many of that scary or unpleasant sides are exposed without a well planned cover. Japanese folklore are also unique in the way that they really love anticlimactic endings, bringing up intense atmosphere yet ending in a somewhat "silly" reveal of the truth. This may make you feel uncanny and un-fun, which is totally understandable, but as you said, this also makes Forbidden Scrollery the most unique official manga as it introduces Japanese folklore in the most original way possible.

Similar styles can be seen in the middle part of Horned Hermit where he introduced the fox youkai disguising as Marisa. Same applies for HSiFS and DDC, where the character casts are almost entirely Japanese folklore based. But stg games being stg games, there were not a lot of plots to screw up on so you can't really feel the uncanny folklore style in the games.

Moving on from the era opened by Forbidden Scrollery, ZUN might have scrapped the idea of a full turn to the Japanese folklores. In WBaWC and UM, ZUN returned to creating characters from relatively abstract concepts like the turtle dragon (Yachie), or completely abstract like the physical market (Chimata). The novels also returned to the earlier template of writing a character based on a folklore character/youkai (Kasen vs. Miyoi), or replicating the Japanese folklore's anticlimactic atmosphere (Silent Sinner vs. Foul detective Satori) (I know it hasn't finished yet, but I'm sure an anticlimactic ending is on the way). Why did ZUN attempt on writing the unique forbidden scroll? We may never know. Maybe it's his grandmother's deteriorating health pushing him to preserve more of his culture's folklore, maybe it's something else. Such things are always interesting to think about.

The characters were never a weakness in ZUN's ability, though, so you have the well defined Kosuzu, which is pretty nice. If you want to read Forbidden Scrollery just because of her, I suggest taking a different perspective. Read it as a middle-aged man's appreciation of his culture's folklore stories with Touhou character as sides, and you may find it more interesting.

It comes from this thread, which was a discussion about FS 

 

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