çidʑiɽi bʲakɯɽeɴ (♫)
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Byakuren Hijiri in Antinomy of Common Flowers
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Magic (specialized in magic that increases her physical abilities)
Over 1200 years old .
|"Hmph, you should have said that from the start. After all, I'll beat anyone who's a friend to youkai!" "Humans haven't changed since my days in the temple. How weak and rash you are! Now, namusan ―― !" — Reimu Hakurei and Byakuren Hijiri (Undefined Fantastic Object Stage 6.)
Byakuren Hijiri (聖 白蓮 Hijiri Byakuren) is a Buddhist nun and magician who was sealed away by humans because of her kindness towards youkai in the outside world. During the events of Undefined Fantastic Object, the youkai she has saved reappear to break her free from the seal. She is now the head priest at the Myouren Temple, which is populated mostly by youkai.
Byakuren first appeared as the final boss of Undefined Fantastic Object, later appearing as a playable character in Hopeless Masquerade and Urban Legend in Limbo. She was a target for Stage 12 of Double Spoiler and the Final Day of Impossible Spell Card.
Byakuren possesses the typical behavior of a Buddhist nun due to being one for much of her human years. She's infinitely tolerant and never seems to get angry. She preaches and shows unconditional love for both humans and youkai. Prior to being sealed, she had protected youkai from humans out of her own fear and selfishness. Eventually, she grew to genuinely love the youkai she was protecting and formed ideals of Human and Youkai co-existence. She doesn't drink alcohol or eat meat, and because of this, she finds it difficult to befriend humans since the bulk of social mingling in Gensokyo is done via drinking parties. During the events of Symposium of Post-mysticism, she displayed some humility in stating she was still in training as a Buddhist.
Byakuren was once a Buddhist miracle-worker, but after her brother's death turned to youkai-derived magic to retain her youth. Though she is called a saint, these powers are ultimately demonic in nature. Her current specialty is magic that increases her physical abilities, including strength, speed, and sensory perception. In Undefined Fantastic Object, the spell card Superhuman "Byakuren Hijiri" demonstrates these powers, increasing Byakuren's speed of movement so greatly that she can even outrun Reimu's Dream Seal. Likewise, the fighting games show an extensive use of these abilities in several of her attacks and spell cards.
Byakuren is the chief priest at the Myouren Temple, where her main goal is to bring peace to both humans and youkai. As the chief priest, she teaches the dharma to anyone willing to listen. She also manages funerals and the graveyard. Once a month, she performs an "overnight sutra-chanting live concert", where she sings a song in monotone while keeping rhythm with a wooden fish. The event attracts both youkai and humans.
- Sorcerer's Sutra Scroll
Created while Byakuren was in Makai, the Sorcerer's Sutra Scroll is unique to her. The sutras Byakuren needs to use her power are written on them. It has an automatic mode, which will cause it to recite spells on its own. Compared to a regular paper scroll, the amount the Sorcerer's Sutra Scroll holds is limitless. It is also said that this scroll won't deteriorate over time. Lastly, because it has a "will" of its own, no one except for Byakuren can handle it.
Byakuren wields Vajra that she could either use as a sword or throw it like Danmaku.
During the events of Urban Legend in Limbo, Byakuren gains a motorcycle as a result of the Urban Legend incident. She mostly used to ram her opponents with it, however, she also used it as a transportation device as seen in her Urban Legend in Limbo's credits sequence.
Once a human, Byakuren was a nun who worked with her younger brother, Myouren Hijiri. However, when her brother died, she began to fear death. This fear prompted her to search for some way to maintain her youth. Eventually she did find it; however, its origin was not in the Buddhist art she had dedicated her life to, but rather a kind of black magic.
No longer fully "human", she soon came to fear losing her power. Because of the nature of the world, the magic that she wielded would only be lost if humanity came to reject it as a whole; and because of that, she needed to ensure the prosperity and longevity of youkai. Thus, she came to honor and protect the youkai for her own benefit while simultaneously pretending to exterminate those youkai. People came to look up to her and the threat of youkai lessened. However, after some time, Byakuren started to realize the struggle youkai faced in her time. So rather than protecting them out of her own selfishness, she began to honestly consider the youkai as beings that needed to be helped.
At one time, Byakuren was sent to exterminate the phantom on the seas, Minamitsu Murasa, who had gained much infamy for sinking ships. Rather than vanquish Murasa as she had been sent to do, Byakuren confronted the spirit as a normal human, and Murasa easily capsized her ship. However, Byakuren rose from the sea, riding atop a shining ship like the one Murasa had fallen from. By granting Murasa this ship, she freed the spirit from the cursed oceans and earned her gratitude.
The temple that she lived in was in the mountains; a temple to the god Bishamonten. In order to gain the trust of the youkai living on the mountain, she decided to appoint a youkai to serve under the god. This youkai was Shou Toramaru. Shou excelled at her duties, and it is implied that in doing so, Byakuren came to be liked by the youkai living around the area.
Eventually, her desire to help youkai rather than exterminate them was exposed to humans such as with her encounter with Murasa. She was ostracized for being a "demon in human form", and eventually was sealed away into the depths of Makai, forever locked in Hokkai.
Myouren Hijiri, Byakuren's younger brother, was a real Buddhist priest born in Shinano Province, which is ZUN's hometown, and trained at Chougosonshi Temple (朝護孫子寺) on Mount Shigi (信貴山). He appears in several stories, but the most significant one is Shigisan Engi, which is one of the most popular emakimono. In its third volume, there is an unnamed Buddhist priestess who wants to meet Myouren, who is her younger brother. She is the inspiration for Byakuren. The priestess is looking for Myouren because she is worried about him not coming back, so she stays at Toudaiji, where Myouren had made the vows for priesthood. Daibutsu tells her in a dream that there is a purple cloud over the side of the mountain southwest from where she is. She goes there the next morning, and finally she is able to meet and live together with him.
Byakuren Hijiri (聖 白蓮) is her name. Hijiri (聖) can mean "Saint", "Virtuous Monk" or "Itinerant Monk" whilst Byakuren (白蓮) can mean "White Lotus" or "Purity". So it literally can be read as "Saint of the White Lotus" or "White Lotus Saint"; drawing upon the cultural reading of the white lotus as a symbol of purity – "Pure and Saintly" or "Saint of Purity". It may also be drawing upon the modern definition of Hijiri (聖, meaning a world-trekking Buddhist monk) – "Roaming Monk of the White Lotus" or "The Pure and Itinerant Monk".
In Undefined Fantastic Object's official art, Byakuren has long, wavy, light brown hair that fades to purple at the top, with hazel or light brown eyes. She wears a black and white dress with long strips of black fabric going across the middle and white fabric across the arms. Along with this dress, she wears a long cape. She also holds a giant, magical scroll called the Sorcerer's Sutra Scroll. The gradient in her hair has been confirmed by ZUN to be a natural colour during an interview with Yamu's blog on 2009/09/24
From Hopeless Masquerade onward, she wears a wide-brimmed hat and shiny green beads.
Occasionally, in Urban Legend in Limbo and Antimony of Common Flowers, Byakuren donned a biker gear that is very similar to her usual outfit, consisting of a latex bodysuit with a zipper in the chest. Underneath the zipper are the similar strips of black fabric that were in the middle of her dress, a pair of high-heeled boots and a green neckerchief that replaces her green beads.
- Undefined Fantastic Object
In Undefined Fantastic Object, she is unsealed thanks to the combined efforts of Shou Toramaru's group of youkai and the heroine. Her fate depends on which heroine is chosen by the player, but in canon, she settles down near the Human Village with the intentions of building a temple there. By Sanae Kochiya's request – the shrine maiden had vouched for Byakuren's character – Kanako Yasaka and Suwako Moriya constructed it for her relatively quickly.
- Hopeless Masquerade
Byakuren defeats various religious leader, such as Mononobe no Futo, Reimu Hakurei or Toyosatomimi no Miko, fighting for the attention of the Human Village. After defeating Mamizou Futatsuiwa thinking she was Reimu, Mamizou suggests that the lost of hope is not something normal. After that, she encounters Hata no Kokoro, who explains her emotions are berserk because she lost her Mask of Hope. Seeing how she was and the fact that Kokoro called her a thief, Byakuren fights her. After the fight, she suggests Kokoro staying in the temple to learn how to control her emotions.
- Impossible Spell Card
After apparently reading the newspaper by the tengu about a mischief-making amanojaku, she becomes one of the many strong youkai and humans to try and stop Seija Kijin in the final day. She uses spell cards that are considered impossible to dodge.
- Urban Legend in Limbo
After fighting Ichirin and confiscating her Occult Ball, Byakuren suspects of their danger and decides to go all through Gensokyo confiscating them fighting. Afterwards, she meets Toyosatomimi no Miko, who was also collecting the balls. However, Miko explains that she does that for investigating and thinking what to do with them. Byakuren then tells her that she is doing it to sealing the urban legends. Miko, after commenting how ridiculous she thinks that plan is, fights Byakuren to obtain the last Occult Balls. After reuniting all of them, Byakuren decides to save them in a Buddha statue. When she turns around, the statue disappears and the balls come back to her.
- Antinomy of Common Flowers
In Antinomy of Common Flowers, Byakuren teams up with Toyosatomimi no Miko to investigate and resolve the Perfect Posession incident. They also receive assistance from Ichirin Kumoi and Mononobe no Futo.
Miko brings Byakuren along to the Concert Stage of the Sun where they encounter Yukari Yakumo, who claims she is also resolving the Perfect Posession incident. Miko is hesitant to share the results of her investigation, but Byakuren trusts Yukari and shares what she learned about forced Perfect Posession. In return, Yukari tells the superhuman duo that the mastermind behind Perfect Posession will appear when the concert begins.
- Violet Detector
- Symposium of post Mysticism
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- Forbidden Scrollery
In chapter 34, Reimu appears at the Myouren Temple to interrogate Byakuren about the ongoing rumor that is spreading, one about the end of the world occurring before the end of the year. Byakuren refutes it claiming that the legend it's based on says the end of the world would be in 5 or 6 million years, and she adds that the buddha Maitreya is supposed to be a savior, not a destroyer. However, she theorizes they could be a link between Gensokyo and the outside world, and warns Reimu about the danger they can cause.
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia
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- Lotus Eaters
Byakuren, first appearing in chapter 16, has her appeasing what was at first, a ghost that haunts Geidontei. Byakuren gives Aya, who's been secretly investigating the ghost that lingers the pub, a tour of her daily ascetic training. Later she has a meeting with an old man whose lingering regrets were the actual cause of the ghost's manifestation. The next day, she reads the fabricated article about her being the cause of Geidontei's vexation, to her dismay.
As a result of her saintlike nature and being an important figure in Gensokyo, Byakuren has gained a wide variety of followers and rivals alike.
Residents of Myouren Temple
Ichirin Kumoi is a youkai who used to live at Byakuren's temple hundreds of years ago. By showing kindness to both her and Unzan, even though she was human, she earned their trust.
Byakuren saved Minamitsu Murasa from her grim fate of haunting the oceans and capsizing ships. Minamitsu became one of Byakuren's strongest allies, and she used the flying object in Gensokyo to retrieve the treasures needed to revive the nun.
Shou Toramaru was a disciple and avatar of Bishamonten who lived at Byakuren's temple. Byakuren had used her to gain more trust from the other youkai living on the mountain at the time, and in order to show her kindness towards youkai.
It is also known from both Touhou Hisoutensoku and Oriental Sacred Place that Nue Houjuu is currently living at the temple she built. Nue, after learning from the heroine during the extra stage of Undefined Fantastic Object of Byakuren's kindness to all beings, including youkai like her, went there, most likely after a bit of time had passed and nervous because she was attempting to ruin the plans to unseal the nun in the first place. Also, Nue calls in her friend Mamizou Futatsuiwa from the outside world to become a youkai ally. After being suggested by Youmu Konpaku in her respective Extra stage, she decides to take up residence at Myouren Temple with Nue.
She had a younger brother named Myouren Hijiri. However, her brother died.
Kyouko cleans the Myouren Temple.
Miko and Byakuren have an antagonistic relationship with one another, with Byakuren seeing her as a threat to the youkai, thus building her temple on top of the mausoleum to keep the former from resurrecting. As for Seiga, while they have not been seen interacting, Byakuren is highly disturbed by Seiga's activities and claims that she can sense great evil from her.
Byakuren believes that Koishi's present "thoughtless" state is close to enlightenment, and wants her to join the temple.
During the events of Hopeless Masquerade, Kokoro stays at Myouren Temple in order to learn how to control her emotions in order to prevent another berserk at the end of Byakuren's storyline.
Cover of Undefined Fantastic Object, featuring Byakuren's silhouette
Byakuren on the Vol. 5 cover of Foul Detective Satori
Illustration of Byakuren in Symposium of Post-mysticism
Byakuren from Who's Who of Humans & Youkai - Dusk Edition
Byakuren cameo in Oriental Sacred Place
Byakuren in Lotus Eaters
Byakuren as she appears in Foul Detective Satori
Byakuren's different color palettes from Antinomy of Common Flowers, Urban Legend in Limbo, and Hopeless Masquerade, the last two were added in Antinomy of Common Flowers v1.10
Byakuren's Sutra Scroll on ability card in Unconnected Marketeers
- Byakuren is a practitioner of Shingon Buddhism in her early life together with her brother.
- The silhouette of Byakuren occupies the front of Undefined Fantastic Object's jewel case.
- Byakuren was one of the candidates for the extra boss of Ten Desires, along with Kasen Ibaraki.
- Written in ZUN's hand on her final cut-in is Namusan! (南無三！), which is short for Namu Sanbou (南無三宝) - roughly, "Hail to the three treasures of Buddhism" (the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha). It's used to request salvation in a moment of danger. Byakuren also uses this term at the very end of her dialogue with the heroine.
- During her second-to-last (fourth) spell card on Easy, the stars under the health bar show she has two lives left. She does, but only on higher difficulties.
- The same spell card looks like one of Shinki's attack patterns.
- Byakuren's Lotus Butterfly seems to be a reference to YuugenMagan's evil eyes. The two share a similar presentation and shoot similar danmaku patterns. This, of course, makes sense as Byakuren, like YuugenMagan, appears in Makai.
- In Undefined Fantastic Object, Byakuren has no hitbox after her third spell card. This is likely a glitch.
- In Oriental Sacred Place chapter 12, Byakuren's hair is lighter on the top and gets darker towards the bottom.
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