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Youjutsu (妖術, "youkai arts") refers to abilities used by youkai, or which have the same qualities as youkai. While often translated as "sorcery" or "black magic", in Gensokyo it can be used as an umbrella term for any kind of magic or supernatural power, whether inherent or learned.
- Main article: Magician
Magic (魔法 mahou, "sorcerous methods") is used by magicians. The character ma (魔) means "demon", and mahou—and the related terms madou (魔道, "way of sorcery") and majutsu (魔術, "sorcerous arts")—originally carried diabolical connotations, but in contemporary usage are no more sinister in nuance than the English word "magic". In Touhou Project, all of the above are synonymous and essentially refer to a sufficiently-analysed version of the powers wielded by youkai. Magic is a mystical science with many fields including alchemy and the binding of familiars, its practitioners always researching to increase their knowledge and power. Like youjutsu, the term can also be used generically to refer to any kind of supernatural power.
- Main article: Buddhism
Houjutsu (法術, "Dharmic arts") refers to supernatural abilities derived from Buddhist practice, such as the exorcism of evil spirits through the recitation of sutras. In the same way that youkai embody chaos and unrest, the Dharma embodies order and tranquility. Byakuren Hijiri used these techniques before learning youjutsu.
- Main article: Hermit
Senjutsu (仙術, "hermit's arts") are abilities used by hermits, commonly including such things as flight, teleportation, and the concealment of the hermits' dwellings. A hermit's superhuman body might itself be seen as one of these abilities.
Onmyoudou (陰陽道, "the Way of Yin and Yang") is a Japanese tradition of of divination and enchantment. Like Japanese spirituality in general, it is highly syncretistic, combining knowledge and rituals from Taoist alchemy, Feng shui, Buddhist sutras, Shinto kami-worship, and other sources. Practitioners are known as Onmyouji (陰陽師, "Master of Yin and Yang"), though any Shintoist, Buddhist or even youkai might dabble in its techniques. Onmyoudou is known for its use of ofuda amulets and shikigami.
Esoterica (秘術 hijutsu, "secret arts") are unique skills which are self-invented or understood only by a limited few. This term is used explicitly to refer to many shrine maiden techniques, to some of Sumireko and Okina's respective abilities, and to the "Astronomical Entombing" which Eirin performed in Imperishable Night. A character's signature ability often falls into this category.