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Youjutsu (妖術, lit. "youkai techniques") 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, lit. "sorcerous method") is used by magicians. The word ma (魔) means "demon", and mahou—and its variants madou (魔道) and majutsu (魔術)—originally carried diabolical connotations, but in contemporary usage are no more sinister in nuance than the English word "magic". In Touhou Project, the terms 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, lit. "law techniques" or "Dharma techniques") refers to supernatural abilities derived from Buddhism, which include such things as exorcising evil spirits by reciting sutras. In the same way that youkai embody chaos and unrest, Buddhism embodies order and tranquility. Byakuren Hijiri used these techniques before learning youjutsu.
- Main article: Hermit
Senjutsu (仙術, lit. "hermit techniques") are abilities used by hermits, which commonly include things such as flight, teleportation, and hiding the location of their homes. A hermit's superhuman body might itself be seen as one of these abilities.
Onmyoudou (陰陽道, lit. "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, lit. "Yin-Yang master"), 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) 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.