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Elegant Impermanence of Sakura/Music Story

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The OST DLC includes a short story for the OST, similar to the ones that accompany ZUN's Music CDs. It tells the story of Maribel Hearn and Renko Usami as they visit Ei Iwabuchi's shrine and meet the shrine maiden there...


Secret Meeting of Asama ~ Another Dream

An Extra Story for the OST

Touhou Elegant Impermanence of Sakura Team, 青山散人


意祈华思 夜星明梦

#01 意祈华思 夜星明梦 Praying for Flowers, Night-Star Illuminated Dreams


"Merry, have you heard of the Kifuna Shrine?"[1]


The Secret Sealing Club had not been active for a some time. Renko's sudden question probably meant that she'd had a new discovery.


"What a strange name. Who does it honor?"


"I don't know. But this shrine isn't far from us, why don't we just go over and take a look?"


#02 幽竹远梦 Distant Dream of Ghostly Bamboo


"What a difficult path to traverse. I hope we can make it back."


"As long as the stars are visible, there's no way I can get lost."


Passing through a bamboo forest, Renko and Merry found the shrine hidden on the remote mountain. The strange thing was, although the place seemed to have been abandoned for a long time, the shrine still looked well-maintained.


"It's all ruins."


The two passed through the shrine entrance, and Renko let out a disappointed sigh.


"No, there is a god here."


"Is it something only Merry can see again? Is there any way to let me have a look too?"


"Look at this mirror in front of us..."


Renko suddenly became dazed for a moment, and Merry's voice beside her ear became quiet: "What we just crossed, was the border of dreams and reality."


#03 辉夜的指引 Kaguya's Guidance


The shrine had already disappeared from the dream, the bamboo forest was dimly glowing, and rabbits were hopping to and fro. In the distance, a brilliant seven-colored light glimmered.


"What's that, Merry?" Renko was so excited her voice shook. "Whose dream is this?"


"This is the deepest part of all dreams."


Renko headed towards the brilliant light.


#04 流月牧夜歌 Flowing Moon Night Pastorale


"If you go too deep into a dream, you'll get lost too."


Merry chided Renko, but didn't stop following her.


"Is this like that time at the Torifune?"


The other time, the two girls had entered an abandoned space station via their dreams to investigate, but were attacked by strange creatures, and Merry was injured as a result.


"Maybe. I feel like this dream is somehow related to that one."


The moonlight quietly illuminated the two girls. In spite of the slight anxiety in their hearts, the two steadfastly continued onward.


#05 失色的镜像世界 Colourless Mirror World


After venturing into the dream for some time, the two girls suddenly stopped in their tracks.


At some unknown point, the dream had become completely silent and the moonlight dyed everything the color of volcanic ash. The brilliant light in the distance had long been extinguished, and even the slightest breeze could not be felt in the bamboo forest, as if the place had entered the stillness of death.


Sha, sha, sha...


Footsteps broke the silence. A golden-haired maiden in a blue-green shrine maiden dress slowly approached, clutching a gohei in her hand.


She was the only color in the ashen white.


#06 林间烟雨小令 Little Tune for a Drizzle in the Forest


"I thought that this place had long been forgotten by people."


The girl spoke as she approached the duo.


"If not for us, that might have actually been the case."


Although the girl was a stranger, Renko spoke as if she was chatting with an acquaintance.


"Regardless, I already am in the gap between dreams and reality. I didn't think I would still be able to meet people from reality in a dream." The girl said, "Follow me. If you continued alone, you wouldn't be able to leave this bamboo forest."

彼岸之云 结界之梦

#07 彼岸之云 结界之梦 Higan Clouds, Border Dreams


"Excuse me, you are..."


Merry asked suddenly, while they were following the girl.


"My name is Kanade Jinguuji." The girl's voice was hesitant, as if she were remembering things long forgotten. "The last time I used this name... was perhaps decades ago?"


"But Miss Jinguuji looks to be no older than twenty?" Renko said, puzzled.


"Twenty years old... that really is such a long time ago. It's even more distant than a dream."


While Renko and Merry were still at a loss for words, Kanade spoke, "We've reached the shrine. Please come in, take a seat, and enjoy some tea."

魔女和亡灵的★Dance Party

#08 魔女和亡灵的★Dance Party The Witch and the Ghost's ★ Dance Party


"Miss Jinguuji..." After the tea was served and they had settled down, a puzzled Merry asked, "Why are you a shrine maiden here?"


"It's a long story, but time here is eternal. If the two of you are willing, I will tell you the story of me and this place...


"I was once part of the Jinguuji family, a family that had served the divine for generations, honoring Lady Oukain in the Asama Shrine."


"Oukain?" Renko didn't understand.


"Lady Oukain is the god of sakura, the god of water, the god of volcanoes, the god of alcohol, and the originator of shrine maidens. You might know her by her other name, Konohana-Sakuyahime."


"At the time, the kannushi was my grandfather Makoto Jinguuji, who raised me as the shrine's successor. My grandfather taught me the rituals to honor the gods every day, and my aunt Megumi Jinguuji was responsible for teaching me the kagura that a shrine maiden should know."

Imaginary History

#09 Imaginary History Imaginary History


"Although grandfather was very strict, in hindsight, those were my happiest days. Until..."


Kanade's voice cut off for a moment as if it had been obstructed by something, then she continued in a low voice, "My aunt, who loved me very much, passed away."


"Ah..." Merry let out a suppressed sigh.


"I couldn't accept why my aunt had to leave us so suddenly. I locked myself in the study, and that was when I discovered a book of notes.


"The book said that Lady Oukain once destroyed a mountain because its peak was higher than hers, and that her older sister couldn't take any more of this foolishness and left. The book also said that Lady Oukain's older sister was the god of eternity, and Lady Oukain's power of impermanence made people as splendorous as cherry blossoms, but could not bring about longevity."


#10 万华镜之箱 The Box of Kaleidoscopes


"I'd heard of the story of the two mountains' contest of heights a long time ago, but I couldn't believe that the main character of that tale was the god we had honored throughout the generations. At the time I felt as if my aunt, who was as beautiful as the cherry blossoms, had died because of Lady Oukain."


"The god I honored was always so moody, and the short lifespan of people was also her fault. I angrily told my family that I was no longer willing to be a shrine maiden honoring this kind of god, and left the shrine alone to seek the god of eternity."

Mystery is Your Mirage

#11 Mystery is Your Mirage Mystery is Your Mirage


"I had left home on impulse, and had barely made any preparations. Within a few days, I was no longer able to afford my living expenses, and was reduced to sheltering in the wilds. I was tired and hungry, and barely managed to find a ruined shrine to rest in, thinking that it would probably be better to just return home."


"But who would've known that this kind of shrine actually had a god? Even more unexpectedly, that god was Lady Oukain's older sister Lady Iwabuchi, the one otherwise known as Iwanagahime, and she was the god of eternity I had been seeking."


"I immediately told her that I hoped to become her shrine maiden, obtain the blessings of eternity, and spread them to every worshipper."


#12 樱花飞舞的浅间神社 Cherry Blossoms Dancing on Asama Shrine


"But she said she had no need for shrine maidens, and that my training was insufficient to bear the power of 'permanence'. She hoped that I would go home and continue honoring Lady Oukain."


"If she had not appeared, perhaps I would have embarked on my journey home the very next day. But at this point, after encountering her, I felt like I would be scolded by my grandfather if I had just returned home then, so I became even more unrelenting in my decision to become Lady Iwabuchi's shrine maiden."

徒名草之道 ~神宫寺祈前哨战~

#13 徒名草之道 ~神宫寺祈前哨战~ Sakura Path ~Jinguuji Skirmish~


"At that time I was prideful, and didn't believe her when she said my training was insufficient. But Lady Iwabuchi relented and told me she could give me the power of permanence, yet she also said that I was certain to regret my decision after obtaining it, and that by then it would be too late -- only the changes of the outside world would allow me to escape."


"Regret later is better than regret now. With those thoughts, I agreed to become her shrine maiden. After blessing me, Lady Iwabuchi departed."

华彩飞扬 ~ Indomitable Kagura

#14 华彩飞扬 ~ Indomitable Kagura Flying Colours ~ Indomitable Kagura


"So I moved into this shrine. Unlike my home, this place had no worshippers at all. I had originally hoped to bring the blessings of eternity to others, but nothing ever came of it."


"After a few days, I started to feel like being a shrine maiden like this was meaningless. After another few days, I decided to return home."


"It was only at this time that I discovered that I could no longer leave the surroundings of the shrine. I finally understood then what the power of permanence was. Permanence is not longevity or eternity, but unchanging. The reality of 'I became this shrine's shrine maiden' was now set in stone."


#15 一念的繁华 One Moment's Splendour


"I didn't expect that, just like Lady Iwabuchi had predicted, I would come to regret it so quickly. And the time for regret had long passed. Each day I would pray to Lady Iwabuchi, but it seemed like those kinds of prayers could not reach her ears."


"I also understood why she had said that my 'training was insufficient'. With an unchanging, long life, one is of course certain to be faced with the dull monotony of an unchanging daily life. And I, having obtained this power, did not have the state of mind necessary to deal with it."


"I named every tree and every rock here, and I conversed with them. It was only through this method that I managed to not go insane all this time. Yet, if no one visited this shrine ever again, going crazy was just a matter of time..."

春彩动荡之寂 ~盛樱之世~

#16 春彩动荡之寂 ~盛樱之世~ Impermanence of Spring-Colour Ripples ~World of Blooming Sakura~


"Speaking of which, why have you come here?" Kanade suddenly asked, interrupting her story. "Most people have already forgotten this place. How were you able to find this place which lies between dream and reality?"



"Because we are members of the Secret Sealing Club," Renko responded. "As long as the unexplainable exists in this world, we will investigate it. Even if it's the Netherworld, the Far Side of the Moon, the space shrine, or here."

Merry nodded. Renko continued, "Our goal is to unravel the world's deepest secrets!"


#17 灵空猝灭雨 Quenching Rain of Mystical Skies



"How energetic."

Despite looking like a maiden, Kanade let out an old woman's sigh.


"Back then, I had a little sister who was just as energetic as the two of you. She was always full of curiosity. I wonder how she is now..."



"Grandfather and little sister probably miss me... I know now that even if life is short, that I would want to have given meaning to my life, just like the two of you have done. If only I had known then..."

Kanade covered her face as tears flowed from the corners of her eyes.

富士大人之侘 ~我心匪石~

#18 富士大人之侘 ~我心匪石~ Permanence of Fuji-san ~My Heart is No Stone~



The sound of footsteps suddenly came from outside the shrine.

"Lady Iwabuchi?" Kanade exclaimed as the three of them turned their heads.


In the doorway stood a maiden carrying a purse, dressed no differently from the ordinary people Renko and Merry meet every day.



"Your power of permanence has already been broken by outsiders," she said. "Are you still going to remain here?"

"I..." Kanade opened her mouth as if to say something, but she was dumbfounded. "But where would I go?"


#19 落花残响 Remnant Echo of Falling Flowers


The maiden asked, "Are you still willing to be my sister's shrine maiden? She wasn't satisfied by faith that waned by the day. In order to collect more, she left for Gensokyo several decades ago, and your sister followed her there."


Kanade's eyes sparkled.


"If you are willing, I can open a path to Gensokyo for you."


#20 幻想乡的神隐少女 Spirited-Away Girls of Gensokyo


In an instant, a stone doorway appeared in the shrine's garden wall. Beyond the stone doorway, amid the fluttering cherry blossoms, was the shrine managed by the Jinguuji family. A woman with blue hair and a red dress was dancing amid the petals, as if praying to something.


Kanade stood up and walked towards the stone doorway. Before entering, she suddenly turned back, "Lady Iwabuchi, will you come with me to Gensokyo?"


"There's no need for that. I have no need for shrine maidens, nor do I need faith. Gensokyo, to me, would only be holding me back."


Kanade passed through the stone doors, and the gateway slowly closed, disappearing soon afterwards.


"The god who controls change has never changed in her pursuit for faith, yet the god who controls the unchanging has changed her reliance on faith", Renko stated softly.



Hearing this, the maiden turned towards Renko and Merry and spoke with a gentle smile.

"Now, everything here will only exist in a dream."

Player's Score

#21 Player's Score Player's Score


"Merry, did you dream of anything last night?" Renko suddenly asked.


"I think I dreamt that we went to a secluded shrine, the dream was really realistic, like we had actually gone there..."


"You had such a dream too?" Renko was not surprised in the slightest. "After waking up, I tried searching for that shrine's position on the satellite map, but there was nothing. But I still believe that that experience really happened."


"That's just another unexplainable matter of the world, isn't it?"


"So let's continue and find ourselves the next secret to unravel!"

  1. Corruption of Kifune Shrine (貴船神社), a shrine where Iwanagahime is worshipped. Additionally, the shrine is somewhat of a rarity in that it only enshrines Iwanagahime and not her sister Konohana-Sakuyahime.