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Yuyuko Saigyouji

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西行寺 (さいぎょうじ)  幽々子 (ゆゆこ)
Yuyuko Saigyouji
saigʲoːd͡ʑi jɯjɯko (♫)
Yuyuko Saigyouzi
Yuyuko Saigyouji
Yuyuko Saigyouji in Ten Desires
Dreaming Ghost
More Character Titles
Species

Ghost

Abilities

Manipulation of death, Manipulation of departed souls

Age

Dead/Immortal (Existed for at least 1000 years)

Occupation

Departed spirit princess

Location

Hakugyokurou

Music Themes
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Appearances
Official Games
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Print Works
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Miscellaneous Works
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Other
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Yuyuko Saigyouji (西行寺 幽々子 Saigyouji Yuyuko) is the ghost "princess" head of Hakugyokurou in the Netherworld. She first appeared as the stage 6 boss in Perfect Cherry Blossom and appeared in several subsequent works as well.

General Information

Unlike many departed spirits, Yuyuko resembles a living human. She is very cheerful and friendly: Her playful, good-humored personality, otherworldly beauty, and courtesan charm can have a disarming effect. She often makes bizarre and apparently nonsensical remarks and sometimes seems to overlook the obvious, leading to her characterization as an airhead or a ditz. As an instance, in Bougetsushou, she toyed with Youmu as a daily occurrence even with Ran Yakumo present.

However, at other times she will reveal an extremely cunning and perceptive side and will also sometimes display an extraordinary level of knowledge. For instance, in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, she was the quickest one to identify the culprit as Tenshi Hinanawi when the incident was in the omen stage (Yukari Yakumo spoke of the dwindling of phantoms as Komachi Onozuka's negligence, but Yuyuko guessed correctly). Additionally, in Ten Desires, she obliquely informed the playable character about the location of the incident regarding the divine spirits. She is also known for her incredible appetite and seems to have a food-related metaphor for any situation: Yuyuko is truly "dead and loving it".

Character Basis

Name

Her surname Saigyouji (西行寺, lit. "West journey temple") obviously comes from her motif as a daughter of the famous Japanese poet Saigyō Hōshi (西行 法師) but adding an extra kanji ji () at the end. Her first name Yuyuko (幽々子) actually doesn't have much meaning but can be literally translated to "ghostly child" or "ghost ghost child". The -ko is a common suffix in Japanese that's used in female names which literally means "child". The symbol is used in the Japanese main title of Perfect Cherry Blossom (東方妖). "" is often confused as being a kanji, but it's actually a punctuation mark that indicates to repeat the previous letter, thus her name's equivalent to "幽幽子".

Design

In Perfect Cherry Blossom she has maroon eyes, short wavy pink hair and is surrounded by several small formless Phantoms. In all the games, she wears a light blue and white kimono with dark blue trim and white designs, and a blue mob cap on the front of which is a hitaikakushi with a red ghost insignia and a veil of the same color of the kimono behind her head. She uses dark shoes with blue ribbons attached. In Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, her hair's slightly longer than normal and her veil's more white than blue.

In Ten Desires, her hair's a paler shade of pink, her kimono's still a light pale blue and the ribbon around her waist, the one going down her kimono, and the bands and lacing on her arms and collar are black instead of white and blue. She now wears a transparent layer underneath, her mob cap lacks the veil it had in Perfect Cherry Blossom, Immaterial and Missing Power and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and her hitaikakushi's insignia has changed shape. Her black shoes doesn't have the usual blue ribbon now.

Throughout the games, the designs in her kimono change. In Perfect Cherry Blossom it has floral designs; in Immaterial and Missing Power, her designs are of butterflies and flowers; in Imperishable Night, the butterflies and flowers designs have been replaced with clouds and moon designs; and in Ten Desires, her designs are of ghosts.

The phantoms surrounding her sometimes carry an object. In Perfect Cherry Blossom, one of the phantoms around her carries a cherry blossom twig; in Imperishable Night, one carries a small blue lantern; and in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody onwards, they no longer carry anything.

In ZUN's E-mails, ZUN mentioned her and described she has a slightly tall height.

Ability

Ability to the extent of manipulating death

This is the ability to, without exception and without permitting any resistance, end the life of any living being, whether it be human or youkai. Clearly and simply, it is an unusually and dreadfully powerful ability. Although this ability is what drove her to commit suicide and become a Ghost, it seems that she has not forgotten this ability since then, and it seems that she can use this ability in a carefree manner (though she does not act carelessly in the usage of this ability). However, one might say whether she is able to end life only to the extent of fainting or she invites one to death gently is unclear. During her lifetime, the latter was true.

Ability to the extent of manipulating departed souls

It is the ability that enables her to manipulate ghosts and spirits, an ability she possessed even while she was alive. Although it is unclear what one is exactly able to accomplish with this ability, it seems to place Yuyuko on the role of the manager of the ghosts who stay for a while in the Netherworld. Because of this ability, she is able to let those from Hell stay eternally in the Netherworld.

Story

Perfect Cherry Blossom

During the events of Perfect Cherry Blossom, she made Youmu Konpaku find a way to make the Saigyou Ayakashi bloom to resurrect the corpse buried beneath it, apparently unaware that it was her own body. Forced to abandon her plan due to obstruction by Reimu and the gang, she resigned herself to continuing her existence as a ghost.

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Immaterial and Missing Power
Imperishable Night
Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
Touhou Hisoutensoku
Ten Desires

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Relationships

Youmu Konpaku

Youmu is Yuyuko's gardener, bodyguard and fencing instructor. Youmu is unquestioningly loyal to her master, though she has a hard time understanding Yuyuko's riddles.

Youki Konpaku

Youki is Youmu's predecessor, who taught Youmu all that she knows. He also knew the full story of Yuyuko's connection to the Saigyou Ayakashi even after Yuyuko herself had forgotten. Yuyuko found him harder to rely on than Youmu.

Yukari Yakumo

Yuyuko has been friends with Yukari since before her death, and is one of the few people who can see through her plans.

Minor Relationships

Saigyou Ayakashi (Youkai Tree in her Garden)

Refer to the Saigyou Ayakashi section

Lunasa, Lyrica, and Merlin Prismriver (Regular performers)

Spell Cards

Additional Information

Yuyuko's different color palettes from Touhou Hisoutensoku. The 2nd one corresponds to her second color palette in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, while the 3rd one corresponds to her Immaterial and Missing Power palette.
  • Excluding spin-off games, Yuyuko is the first and only character in the Touhou Project to first appear as a final boss, then later in another game as a stage 1 boss.
  • ZUN originally wanted to arrange her theme from Perfect Cherry Blossom and implement it into Ten Desires, but he ended up choosing against it because Yuyuko was only a stage 1 boss, hence why she has a unique theme in the game.
  • She has the highest number of spell cards as a Stage 1 boss, even more than that of the Stage 2 and Stage 3 bosses in Ten Desires.
  • The sixth palette from Touhou Hisoutensoku seems to resemble Hong Meiling.
  • Assuming that Yuyuko is the daughter of Saigyō Hōshi then she and Fujiwara no Mokou are actually distant relatives, since Saigyō is a descendant of Mokou's supposed father Fujiwara no Fuhito.

Fandom

  • Following Imperishable Night, Yuyuko became famous as a "hungry ghost" due to several "gluttonous" lines uttered during her scenario. She is often depicted in doujinshi as having an immense appetite and/or attempting to eat other characters, most notably Mystia and Youmu's ghost-half. However, due to her Hopeless Masquerade background presence, constantly eating rice balls, her gluttony has been strongly supported.
  • Yuyuko is for the most part drawn with a shapely figure, sometimes with a big of a belly in reference to her eating habits.
  • The symbol on Yuyuko's hitaikakushi resembles the Sega Dreamcast logo. Many fanworks make fun of this.
    • As of Ten Desires, it has changed however.
  • She is sometimes depicted in fan-works as having had brown or black hair when she was alive. This is because her Perfect Memento in Strict Sense entry mentions that she is said to have lighter hair color and skin tone since her death.
  • As soon as she appeared as a first boss, people started making comments that she has become 町人A (Chounin A) or "Merchant A," a typical designation in battles against small-fry enemies in RPG games, like "Merchant A," "Merchant B," etc.
  • It is never stated exactly how she committed suicide but some fan works often show her committing suicide with a knife (this is shown in the flash video True Blossom).
    • While generally not seen in fan works due to the difficulty of depicting it, another common fan theory is that Yuyuko used her ability to invoke death on herself.
      • Going along with the above, sometimes the Saigyou Ayakashi's trunk is sometimes shown in the aftermath as being stained in the blood spatter of said suicide
  • Some fanart depicts Yukari Yakumo as having been present when Yuyuko commited suicide, or right after she did. In some cases, Yukari is then shown grieving.
  • Most derivative works do not depict the phantoms around her, probably because it is bothersome to depict. However, since they have always been depicted in print works such as Silent Sinner in Blue, they are probably 100% necessary.
    • Some derivative works depict Yuyuko as having two "myons", presumably as being the phantoms, although there is a difference.
  • Various fanworks have the giant fan seen in some of Yuyuko's PCB spell cards appear as a sign of her readying to maim someone, often someone who made her angry (not an easy feat given her easygoing personality). Sometimes this is parodied by having her require wires or frameworks to hold up the fan, which are prone to collapsing.
    • One particular example would be Yuyuko in Colonel Aki's life of maid getting it out to be even cuter, which has the nickname "Death by Moe MkII".
  • Because the symbol doesn't exist in the proper Chinese language, her name is usually written as 西行寺幽幽子 in the Chinese community.

Official Profiles

Official Sources