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| image            =[[File:Wahh_gensokyo.PNG]]
| image            =[[File:Wahh_gensokyo.PNG]]
| caption          =Gensokyo as illustrated in [[Wild and Horned Hermit]] Chapter 25
| caption          =Gensokyo as illustrated in [[Wild and Horned Hermit]] Chapter 25
                 
* ''<small>Note that Gensokyo is not actually surrounded by a dome.</small>
| creator          =
| creator          =
| location        =Said to be located around the [[wikipedia:Yatsugatake Mountains|Yatsugatake Mountains]] in [[wikipedia:Japan|Japan]].
| location        =Said to be located around the [[wikipedia:Yatsugatake Mountains|Yatsugatake Mountains]] in [[wikipedia:Japan|Japan]].

Latest revision as of 05:25, 20 September 2022

For the game Touhou Gensoukyou, look for Lotus Land Story.
幻想郷 (げんそうきょう)
Gensokyo
Gensoukyou, Gensoukyo, Gensōkyō, Eastern Country
Wahh gensokyo.PNG
Gensokyo as illustrated in Wild and Horned Hermit Chapter 25 * Note that Gensokyo is not actually surrounded by a dome.
Location

Said to be located around the Yatsugatake Mountains in Japan.

Appearances
Official Games
Print Works
Music CDs
  • Mentioned in all the CDs
Other
"A cage, like for a bird or an insect, can't function if it's completely sealed off. You need at least the air to pass through. Without the sun, the flowers wouldn't bloom. Similarly, without new wind and sun constantly entering Gensokyo, the place would simply die off. Closing off Gensokyo means no longer accepting things. Do you really think Gensokyo could survive without visitors bringing in new ideas?"Hecatia Lapislazuli (Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia)

Gensokyo (幻想郷 gensoukyou[1], "Land of Illusions" or "Land of Fantasy") is the setting of Touhou Project. Its culture vaguely resembles that of feudal Japan, heavily embellished with folkloric elements.

General Information

Gensokyo was originally a desolate, haunted region of Japan ages ago. The youkai that lived there began to terrorize the surrounding lands, because of this, powerful and heroic humans were sent to exorcise and exterminate them. As time passed, the technology and population of humans increased greatly, which lead to an increase in human influence. Due to this, Yukari Yakumo implemented a plan roughly 500 years ago to restore the power of youkai in Gensokyo by creating a "Barrier that divides Reality and Fantasy" (the plan was called "妖怪拡張計画, "Youkai Expansion Project"). From that day, Gensokyo became a place where it brought in things that have become fantasy outside; in other words, things that were forgotten in the Outside World such as youkai, lost items, and such are transported into Gensokyo.[1] It's said that it's hard for things that have become fantasy to leave Gensokyo, but beings that are powerful enough possesses the ability to leave Gensokyo at their will. In 1885 A.D., Gensokyo was sealed off from the increasingly scientific world once again with the creation of a second barrier, which was called the Great Hakurei Barrier. There has been little contact with the outside world ever since. It's known that the language spoken in Gensokyo is modern Japanese[2].

Gensokyo is populated by youkai, humans, and animals. Some of its inhabitants went there to hide, to escape, to find shelter when no-one and nowhere else would accept them. Many of them just like the natural darkness.

Geography

Gensokyo, the area encompassed by the Great Hakurei Barrier, is a landlocked territory comprised mainly of forested mountains. Notable geographic features include the Youkai Mountain with communities of kappa at its base, tengu at its peak, and the Moriya Shrine at a lake near the top; the Forest of Magic; the Bamboo Forest of the Lost where Eientei is located; the Misty Lake next to the Scarlet Devil Mansion; the Human Village and adjacent Myouren Temple, which are assumed to be in a fertile valley; the Sanzu River separating Gensokyo from Higan; and the Hakurei Shrine at the east of Gensokyo.

Although passing through the Hakurei Barrier to the Outside World is normally impossible for weaker people, stronger entities can pass through. It's also significantly easier for Gensokyo denizens to access domains of gods, demons, and spirits which aren't strictly part of Gensokyo itself. These include Higan, the Netherworld, Makai, Heaven, Senkai and the Underworld.

The fourth chapter of Cage in Lunatic Runagate reveals that the Youkai Mountain preserves the original appearance of Mount Yatsugatake before Konohana-Sakuyahime, the goddess of Mount Fuji, tore it down out of jealousy. In the outside world today, the remnants of the mountain can be seen as the Yatsugatake mountain range in Yatsugatake-Chūshin Kōgen Quasi-National Park between Nagano and Yamanashi Prefectures, providing a possible indication of where Gensokyo would be located in Japan. Lake Suwa (諏訪湖 Suwa-ko) and Mount Moriya, which Suwako Moriya was named after, are located nearby.

Creatures

Creatures of all shapes and sizes inhabit the world of Gensokyo, most drawing inspiration from Japanese legends and folklore.

Humans are one of the major populations in Gensokyo. Youkai essentially make up the rest, though "youkai" tends to be an umbrella term, and essentially can be used to encompass everything non-human. Many youkai are sub-classified into other races, such as devils, magicians, vampires, fairies, kappa, oni, and many more.

Many types of spirits also inhabit the world, such as Ghosts, Poltergeists, Evil spirits, Divine spirits, a number of Tsukumogami, and apparitions.

Items

Many unusual items exist in Gensokyo, of which quite a few are based in Japanese mythology in one way or another. However, given Gensokyo's nature as a "land of that which is forgotten", even more modern items that have fallen out of style for a long time (such as the Game Boy) have occasionally turned up. Many of these "new" items appear near Muenzuka, and both Rinnosuke Morichika and Nazrin are said to have picked up various objects there.

In addition to the unusual items floating in, many goods are the same as those from old Japan. Goods like black tea and coffee are considered to be a luxury.[3]

Media

There are two known sources of media in Gensokyo: the Bunbunmaru Newspaper, written and edited by Aya Shameimaru; and the Kakashi Spirit News, by Hatate Himekaidou. The former seems to be far more popular, however, with its sometimes loose depictions of reality.

Timeline

Gensokyo exists roughly parallel to the real world. As the inhabitants of Gensokyo, however, have developed their spiritual lives instead of following the trend of technological advancements in the real world, Gensokyo itself can appear to be a Japan from hundreds of years ago.

Gensokyo's Appearances

Windows Games

Immaterial and Missing Power

There is a stage in Immaterial and Missing Power associated with Suika Ibuki, simply titled 'Gensokyo', appearing as a floor of mist through which Hakurei Shrine may be seen below. In the background, a giant moon hangs in the sky. It is the final stage in each character's scenario.

Gensokyo in other Canon works

PC-98

The setting of the PC-98 games was initially called The Eastern Country (東の国 Azuma no kuni). The name Gensokyo first appeared in Lotus Land Story as part of the game's title, Touhou Gensokyo, and it has garnered a few mentions in the Mystic Square Music Room[4], albeit most likely as a reference to the music of Lotus Land Story itself. However, ZUN has confirmed the Eastern Country in the PC-98 games to be the same world as Gensokyo as in the Windows games.[5]

The PC-98 world isn't as clearly defined, but it has some notable locations - including the Human Village and the Hakurei Shrine. Other worlds bordering the Eastern Country include Makai, the Fantasy World, Mugenkan and Reimaden, with their borders set behind the mountain which the Hakurei Shrine sits at the foot of. Oddly, there's also a modern American diner.[6]

Seihou

Note: This section is part of the Seihou Project by the Doujin circle "Shunsatsu sare do?".

It's never stated what kind of world Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame are from, as it's referred to as simply "the East" (). From there, it's presumed that VIVIT travelled down the Silk Road towards the Hakurei Shrine to find the Holy Grail, where she bumps into the said two characters.

It was shown that a large amount of vegetation existed in the East compared to the extinct vegetation on Seihou World's Earth's apart from cacti. In respect to this, Touhou's Dolls in Pseudo Paradise had a statement that may indicate that the Great Hakurei Barrier also existed during this game as it does in the Windows canon of the Touhou Project. It also has a statement that may indicate VIVIT saying "Oh, that girl... doesn't look like a human nor a youkai."

Uwabami Breakers

Note: This section is part of the game Uwabami Breakers by the Doujin circle The Drinking Party.

In Uwabami Breakers, Isami Asama heard a story that if you drink at the Twilight Bar Room until morning, you'd see "A mysterious world of curtain fire," referring to Gensokyo. Also, it's presumed that the Twilight Bar Room is located in the outside world.

Project Blank

Note: This section is part of Project Blank by the Doujin circle RebRank.

Gensokyo may have been referenced in Project Blank's first game Samidare, where C23 encounters Yuki and Mai in the 3rd area of the Extra stage, with normal enemies as bakebake and the background has a resemblance of a Shinto theme.

Further Reading

Notes

^  Though "Gensoukyou" or "Gensōkyō" are considered correct, it is spelled "Gensokyo" in Perfect Cherry Blossom's Phantasm Stage while "Gensoukyo" is used on The Grimoire of Marisa's back cover.

References