Hieda no Akyuu
Hieda no Akyuu
çieda no akʲɯː (♫)
Hieda no Akyu, Akyu Hieda, Akyuu Hieda
Akyuu on the cover of Akyu's Untouched Score vol.5
More Character Titles
Not forgetting things seen once
10 (first appearance)
Human Village; Hieda house
Hieda no Akyuu (稗田 阿求) is 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 character 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, Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth 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.
- Not forgetting things seen once
Akyuu has got the ability to not forget things seen once that her ancestor Hieda no Are possessed, and even upon repeated reincarnations, this ability is carried over generations of the Child of Miare. Also, although it's more of a secret art than an ability, she also possesses a means of reincarnation. Akyuu states in a footnote to the Bunbunmaru newspaper article of her birth that, upon reincarnation, the only memories left from the past generations are those related to the Gensokyo Chronicle, and she states in her monologue that the memories from ancient times are very unclear. She does, however, retain even some memories of her ancestor Are (who was the first to have the power of Gumonji, the power to remember anything you've seen, who came before Aichi did).
It seems that her means of reincarnation requires several years of preparation in advance of her death, which includes making deals with the Yama to perform work in the afterlife; in addition the Children of Miare have short lifespans and seldom live beyond the age of thirty. As a result, she doesn't get to spend much of her life as an ordinary human. However, since she has recently been able to befriend youkai that live long enough to meet her in multiple lives, this doesn't seem to cause her much distress any more.
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 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 letter "a" (阿) is a letter working as dimunitive/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 letter "kyuu" (求) means "to seek/request/want" literally, but it should be seen 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 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. Uses glasses to read.
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Akyuu is the one who written the in-universe book Perfect Memento in Strict Sense that shows article of various characters from Embodiment of Scarlet Devil to Phantasmagoria of Flower View. In then, 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
Akyuu again is the one who written 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 records 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 thrown 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. Later on, 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 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. According to Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth, Akyuu and Keine are acquainted with each other as fellow scholars.
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 Touhou Project 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, 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.
Akyuu in Memorizable Gensokyo
Akyuu in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
Akyuu in her article from 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 Curiosities of Lotus Asia
Akyuu cameo in Oriental Sacred Place
Akyuu on the Vol. 4 cover of Forbidden Scrollery
"Agatha Chris Q" in chapter 40 of Forbidden Scrollery
- 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.
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