Hieda no Akyuu
Hieda no Akyuu
çieda no akʲɯː (♫)
Hieda no Akyu, Akyu Hieda, Akyuu Hieda
Akyuu from Forbidden Scrollery Volume 4.
More Character Titles
Not forgetting things seen once
12 (first appearance)
Human Village; Hieda house
- "In Gensokyo, youkai are the enemies of humanity. This rule must be upheld as an undeniable truth. If we don't, everything would fall apart at once. Our entire society is built on a delicate balance."— Hieda no Akyuu to Kosuzu Motoori (Forbidden Scrollery Chapter 19)
Hieda no Akyuu (稗田 阿求) is the main protagonist of Perfect Memento in Strict Sense and the current "Child of Miare" (御阿礼の子), who is born in the Hieda family once in every 120 to 180 years with the ability to "not forget anything she sees" and records Gensokyo's history. She seems to like red tea and FM Synthesis music.
Akyuu first appeared as the main protagonist of Perfect Memento in Strict Sense along with the spinoff manga Memorizable Gensokyo. She starred in her own Akyu's Untouched Score series, which is a collection of tracks from the PC-98 games. She appears in Symposium of Post-mysticism recording all the events and appeared in Forbidden Scrollery as a secondary character. Additionally, she's appeared in various cameos in other mangas such as Silent Sinner in Blue, Oriental Sacred Place and Wild and Horned Hermit.
Hieda is the ninth in a long chain of reincarnations of the "Child of Miare". Because of this, her memory goes back over 1200 years despite her young age. Historically, the role of the Children of Miare has been to collect and compile information on the various youkai and youkai hunters living in Gensokyo, as well as to compile historical articles, which are published as part of the Gensokyo Chronicle.
Akyuu is physically only ten years old at the time Perfect Memento in Strict Sense was published, and doesn't have a very long lifespan, presumably because of the reincarnation process, she is also physically weak likely due to this. Despite being fated to live a short life, however, she seems to be doing just fine, and she's apparently been getting better overtime.
Akyuu, like the Children of Miare before her, has a flawless memory. Anything she sees or hears is permanently stored in her memory and this power,  combined with her consistent reincarnation, makes her a perfect candidate to record a comprehensive account of Gensokyo’s history. However, her flawless recollection applies only to her current life, as she possesses a distinct personality from her predecessors and only possesses fragments of their memories. Of note is that the youkai request Akyuu to describe them as being stronger than they actually are,  thus many things may be grossly exaggerated. The descriptions that she writes also contain Akyuu's own monologues and considerations. Thus, one must be aware that they are prone to misconceptions, lack of proper research, or outright lies (not necessarily from Akyuu, but from her sources). However, despite how the contents are written by someone who is not omnipotent, it is still information from someone who sees it as her duty to properly record Gensokyo's history, thus there is likely at least some truth to most of it.
She is usually kind, easy going and even receptive with other people despite her status (as she talks with youkai as Aya Shameimaru in Forbidden Scrollery or Yukari Yakumo in Memorizable Gensokyo in her own mansion). However, is well aware of the power balance of Gensokyo and does not hesitate to lecture people like Kosuzu Motoori on it, in a way Kosuzu herself complains about saying she is always treated as a child. 
- Not forgetting things seen once
As an incarnation of the Child of Miare, Akyuu has the same photographic memory attributed to her ancestor Hieda no Are. Although less an innate ability and more a secret art, she also possesses a means of reincarnation. In a footnote in the Bunbunmaru newspaper article of her birth, she states that only those memories related to the Gensokyo Chronicle are preserved between incarnations, and she states in her monologue that her memories from ancient times are very unclear. She does, however, retain even some memories of her distant ancestor Are.
It seems that her means of reincarnation requires several years of preparation in advance of her death, including bargaining with the Yama to perform work in the afterlife.  The Children of Miare have short lifespans, seldom living beyond the age of thirty. As a result, Hieda does not get to spend much of her existence as an ordinary human. However, she has recently been able to befriend youkai that live long enough to meet her in multiple lives, so this doesn't seem to cause her much distress. 
Her full name is Hieda no Akyuu (稗田 阿求); note that it's romanised correctly with two u's.
"Hieda" (稗田) means "millet field". The "Miare" (御阿礼) in "Child of Miare" presumably refers to Hieda no Are (稗田 阿礼), the oral historian credited with helping compile the Kojiki, Japan's first written historical record. The (unwritten) hiragana character no (の) used here indicates a "belonging", thus the English equivalent of her name would be "Akyuu of the Hieda". In ancient Japan times, it was common for aristocrats with a clan's name to have no between their clan's name and first name.
The name "Akyuu" (阿求) has two points to note:
The former character "a" (阿) is a letter working as diminutive/pejorative. This hanzi was imported into Japan and borrowed limitedly to indicate a prefix "o (お)" as a variant of the similar prefix o (御) — only used before female name. So it should be now seen a suffix "-san" or "-chan".
The latter character "kyuu" (求) means "to seek/request/want" literally, but it should be seen as a pun on the Japanese word for "nine" (九 kyuu) since she is the ninth Child of Miare. ZUN romanised her name with only one u in the titles of Akyu's Untouched Score, which is technically incorrect. As seen in the Colophon of Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, the names of Akyuu's previous incarnations as Children of Miare (Aichi, Ani, Ami, Ayo, Ago, Amu, Anana and Aya) are all puns on numbers, with Are standing for zero (零 rei).
Then put them together, her name is together "little girl in the ninth generation of Hieda clan".
Akyuu has purple hair, purple eyes and wears a light pink flower-shaped ornament in her hair, which matches the flowers on her sleeves. Her outfit resembles a "wa lolita" type or a Japanese-esque maid outfit. It has yellow flower-patterned sleeves, a green vest, and a shortened hakama skirt separated by a red, white laced obi. She uses glasses to read.
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Akyuu wrote the in-universe book Perfect Memento in Strict Sense that shows articles of various characters from Embodiment of Scarlet Devil to Phantasmagoria of Flower View. In them, she shows actual facts about the characters, and sometimes shows speculation.
- Memorizable Gensokyo
In addition to being the in-universe author of Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Akyuu also appears in the side manga Memorizable Gensokyo. Akyuu is first visited by Yukari Yakumo, who seeks to read and edit the Gensokyo Chronicle before it is published. Later on, Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame stop by to see it as well.
- Symposium of Post-mysticism
Additionally, Akyuu wrote the in-universe book Symposium of Post-mysticism. What was included was a symposium that Akyuu arranged, to which Marisa Kirisame, Kanako Yasaka, Byakuren Hijiri, and Toyosatomimi no Miko attended. Akyuu recorded their discussions in the background, and sometimes made a few comments. She also showed articles of various characters from Mountain of Faith to Ten Desires and added newspapers from Bunbunmaru Newspaper and Kakashi Spirit News that Reimu Hakurei threw in at the end of the symposium.
- Forbidden Scrollery
Akyuu frequently appears in Forbidden Scrollery, appearing older than her previous appearances. In Chapters 1 and 2, Akyuu appears to be taking interest in the rare demon books that the Suzunaan has in stock. In Chapter 6, she aids the people of the Human Village by planting a trap for a supposed sake-drinking youkai. Starting in chapter 40, she begins writing murder mysteries under the pen name "Agatha Chris Q.", a play on Agatha Christie (author of the novel And Then There Were None, from which the name "U.N. Owen" used on the title of Flandre Scarlet's boss theme was taken) and her own name.
- Akyu's Untouched Score
Keine's article in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense states that Keine Kamishirasawa has a close relation with the Hieda family, and Keine uses their records for her lessons. It also reveals Akyuu is not a student at Keine's school. Keine's powers to erase and create history don't affect the Hieda Family's Gensokyo Chronicle.
Akyuu and Yukari Yakumo "first met" in Memorizable Gensokyo, though their mannerisms imply that they've known each other in Akyuu's previous lives (possibly as early as Hieda no Aichi 1,200 years ago). Akyuu looks up to Yukari, referring to her as "The Sage of the Youkai" with solemn awe and respect, and she readily allows Yukari to proofread and edit the latest edition of the Gensokyo Chronicle. However, Akyuu's written article on Yukari in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense shows she's aware one can't always trust Yukari's word, and that Yukari's logic isn't the same as a human's.
The Hakurei clan and Hieda clan appear to have some relations, as the Hakurei Shrine volunteered to hold a party in 1994 when Hieda no Akyuu was born in the Bunbunmaru newspaper article of her birth. It is unknown if Reimu Hakurei was present at or born before this time (the earliest known year in the Windows canon that Reimu's been depicted was 2001 or 2002 in Curiosities of Lotus Asia Chapter 22, but Reimu's age at that time isn't stated). Reimu's dialogue in Memorizable Gensokyo shows that she's been to the Hieda Residence before and is familiar with it, but has not met Akyuu in person prior to the events of that story.
Due to their shared interest in books, Akyuu and Kosuzu Motoori appear to be close friends - Akyuu frequently visits Suzunaan to borrow books, both from the Outside World  and youma books  and the two speak far more casually when in each others' company. Akyuu is aware that Kosuzu's continued dabbling in demon books could potentially turn her into a youkai, but does not actively try to stop her, only warning Kosuzu that becoming a youkai would make her life difficult. She also tries to keep Kosuzu in the humans' path telling her, in a way Kosuzu finds annoying , that youkai are still their enemies and that that's the truth more beneficial for them.
Perfect Memento in Strict Sense inside cover featuring Hieda no Akyuu silhouette
Akyuu on the Vol. 4 cover of Forbidden Scrollery
Akyuu in the Forest of Magic in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Akyuu at the Garden of the Sun in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Akyuu at the Road of Reconsideration in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Akyuu in Memorizable Gensokyo
Akyuu in Curiosities of Lotus Asia
Akyuu cameo in Oriental Sacred Place
- Aya's newspaper article on Akyuu's birth states, "With her, there are now nine generations of the Children of Miare (Girl of Are, Boy of Are)." It thus appears that one or more of Akyuu's previous incarnations were male.
- Memorizable Gensokyo and Forbidden Scrollery show that Akyuu has several female human servants and a pet cat.
- Hieda no Aichi first started writing the Gensokyo Chronicles at age 18.
- A footnote in Symposium of Post-mysticism reveals that Akyuu is fond of Choujuu Gigaku's music, implying that she's attended at least one of their concerts.
- Akyuu bears much resemblance to Akiko Isshiki from the manga "Kamakura Monogatari". (Comparison)
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense/Bunbunmaru Newspaper
- Strange Creators of Outer World - Who's Who of Humans & Youkai in Gensokyo: Hieda no Akyuu
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense – Bunbunmaru Newspaper
- Memorizable Gensokyo
- Forbidden Scrollery – She's always like that! Treating people like kids. Our ages aren't even that far apart! - Kosuzu Motoori (Chapter 48)
- ZUN; Harukawa, Moe (November 21, 2017). Forbidden Scrollery. 1. Translated by Nibley, Alethea; Nibley, Athena (trade paperback ed.). New York City, NY, USA: Yen Press. p. 8. ISBN 9780316511896.
- ZUN; Harukawa, Moe (February 19, 2019). Forbidden Scrollery. 6. Translated by Nibley, Alethea; Nibley, Athena (digital download ed.). New York City, NY, USA: Yen Press. p. 161. ISBN 9780316512091. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- Forbidden Scrollery - Chapter 6
- Forbidden Scrollery - Chapter 1
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