The Moon from Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom.
The Moon (
In reality, the Moon is rocky and dusty, and about ¼ the size of the Earth. The gravity is about ⅙ of Earths, and it takes about 29·53 days for the Moon to both rotate on its axis and to orbit Earth. It's visible because sunlight reflects on its surface, and depending on the location of the sun and moon, we'll either see a full moon, half moon or no moon (new moon). There's also a faint atmosphere on the Moon, although giving no support of life, and there's known to be water. In relation to the Touhou Project, some of these statistics aren't presented. As shown in Silent Sinner in Blue, there's an atmosphere and has living beings on it, called Lunarians. The gravity seems to be the same as Earth and it has an actual sea with forests and a city, called the Lunar Capital. However, these Earth-like environments are inaccessible to humans of the Outside World.
The Moon doesn't undergo changes in season like the Earth does. At the far side of the Moon, the climate is somewhere in between the four seasons of the Earth.
The path between the Moon and the Earth only exists in Gensokyo during a full moon, which is why Eirin and Kaguya conspired to hide it during the events of Imperishable Night. This is possibly because the full moon resembles a mirror, and reflections are a key aspect of traveling to the far side of the Moon. It's difficult to get to the Moon from the Earth, but there are many possible ways to do it, such as manipulation of reflections and boundaries, rocket ships, use of a Lunar Veil or accessing the Dream World. Those who have become awakened to how the Earth consists of infinite possibilities may connect the Moon and the Earth, as well.
Staring at the true full moon is said to be able to induce insanity in humans, though if the series protagonists are any indication this is possible to resist. Also, it's known to make youkai stronger, or even change their form when it's a full moon, such as Keine Kamishirasawa turning into a Were-hakutaku, or Kagerou Imaizumi turning into a werewolf. The Moon is also an important heavenly body for youkai, holding festivals on days when the Moon is a full moon. Furthermore, Luna Child has strong connections with the moon. In the PC-98 canon, it's said that Mima's power is at its strongest when the moon is out.
Geography and People
The Moon is the home to the lunarians and moon rabbits (including Eirin Yagokoro, Kaguya Houraisan, and Reisen Udongein Inaba), whose civilization is hidden from humans in a similar manner to Gensokyo. The moon has two main faces: the Near side of the Moon and the Far Side of the Moon (月の裏). The near side is the Moon that most of the Outside World and Gensokyo is familiar with. It's inaccessible to ordinary lunarians, likely similar to how the Outside World is inaccessible to ordinary inhabitants of Gensokyo. The far side is known as the "true" Moon and it's the location of its only known metropolis; the Lunar Capital, closed away by a barrier. It can't typically be seen directly under normal circumstances (but the heroine of Imperishable Night had the opportunity to look at it when Eirin unveiled it), but can be seen in reflections. Ordinary humans can't even look directly at it without going mad, although looking at it in reflections seems to give no ill effects.
In Shinto myth, it was instead many gods under Amaterasu who fought to unify Japan. However, given that the lord of the Lunar Capital is Lord Tsukuyomi, who in Shinto myth was one of the main gods along with his sister Amaterasu, many of these gods and many Lunarians may be one and the same, but this isn't confirmed. It's highly likely, however, as in an interview in Symposium of Post-mysticism, ZUN has stated that the Moon is where the noble types of gods live, and referred to Eirin as a god.
The moon is said to be a Pure Land similar to Higan where the impurity of life and death does not exist, and thus nothing can age or grow sick while on the moon. However, allowing either mortals or those who have drunk the Hourai Elixir to live on the moon for too long could result in it becoming tainted. Kaguya Houraisan's manipulation of eternity allowed her to recreate this environment in Eientei.
Things such as insects don't appear to live on the Moon, but it has numerous peach and udonge trees.
The lunar seas exist on the "far side" as actual bodies of (lifeless) water - they're the closest point of the Moon to Earth and the usual arrival point for travelers, regardless of their means of travel.
The Lunar Seas
The far side of the Moon has several seas. These seas are the closest points to the Earth, and thus various beings from Earth may find their way to the far side of the Moon from there. It's implied that this is due to the reflections of the "True" Moon and the Earth, which can be viewed in the water. Watatsuki no Toyohime mentions the reflection of the Earth while musing how Mizue no Uranoshimako crossed into the far side of the Moon by chasing and riding a turtle into the ocean.. Yukari Yakumo has opened a path to the Moon for both Genso-Lunar wars using its reflection on the surface of the water, and her destination point started over the sea. The way from the Moon to the Earth can be through the reflections of the Moon's seas, as well. When Remilia Scarlet's Moon Rocket landed on the far side of the Moon during the second Genso-Lunar war, she landed near the sea of Prosperity. All of the seas have no impurities, and no life.
The Sea of Tranquility is the furthest sea from the Lunar Capital. It's on the other side of the moon from the Lunar Capital, so the citizens of the capital and the moon rabbits seldom visited it. By starting from here and following an invisible predetermined route through the various seas of the Moon, one can cross through the barrier around the Lunar Capital. In order of furthest to closest, other seas of the moon are the Sea of Serenity, the Sea of Rains, and the Ocean of Storms (Oceanus Procellarum). These seas are aptly named, as depicted in Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 16. After the Ocean of Storms, there's at least one more sea to cross before one can cross the barrier around the Lunar Capital.
The sages of the Moon (shown to be the Watatsuki sisters) have their living residence in a sea after the Ocean of Storms called Mare Ingenii - The Sage's Sea, possibly because of the closer proximity to Earth and their duty to watch over it.
The moon's inhabitants once fought a "war" against the humans of Earth, beginning when the astronauts of the Apollo program placed a flag on the moon (thus declaring it to be 'theirs'); however, although the Lunarians had mobilized for war and refer to the incident as the "Lunar War", no known direct fighting took place, although it is said, that the Apollo crew was injured. Instead, the lunarians sabotaged the humans' attempts to establish a foothold on the Moon and their "invasion" was ultimately unsuccessful. In the end, a project named after the sun (Apollo), which was the opposite of the Moon, was doomed to never reach the Moon Capital. Most humans of the Outside World are unaware of this failure, as those who are aware didn't report about it, presumably to keep spirits up and morale high. However, an escalation occurred a few decades later when humans attempted to build colonies on the moon via the Chang'e program which, being named after an actual prisoner on the moon, was much more threatening. The results are unknown.
In the distant past the people of the moon tried regulating people of the Earth by creating monsters, according to Kaguya in Imperishable Night, which may mean they were responsible for the creation of youkai. At the very least, according to Yukari Yakumo, it was the dim light of the moon that indirectly gave birth to the youkai by causing human's fears and legends about them. Also according to Kaguya, things such as magic originated from the moon- "The moon gave many powers to beings of the earth. Many of them, such as magic, were originally the moon's power."
The creation of magic and possibly youkai isn't the only way that the Lunarians have manipulated Earth and its history. Branches of the Udonge Tree were used by Lunarians to sow conflict on Earth, to keep the Earth from being stagnant. In this way, the Lunarians have manipulated the Earth's history as they saw fit.. They have also indiscreetly used shimenawa ropes to bind those who could be a threat to them, such as Lord Daikoku, and it's implied they were the ones behind the great wars to unify Japan into one country, long ago.
More than a thousand years ago, Yukari Yakumo launched a failed invasion of the moon after gathering a youkai army. Her exact reasons are currently unknown.
The English proper name is "the Moon". The word "moon" came from moone (which is from around 1380), which developed from "mone" (which is from 1135), which that came from Old English "mōna" (dating from before 725), which came from the Proto-Germanic word "mǣnōn". The modern English adjective to the word Moon is lunar (ルーナ Rūna), which came from the Latin word Luna. Another less common adjective is selenic, which came from the Ancient Greek word Selene (Σελήνη), which is from the prefix "seleno-" (as in selenography). In Japanese, the origin of the kanji "月" (meaning 'Moon') comes from the shape of a crescent moon.
The concept of a Near Side of the Moon and Far Side of the Moon comes from how one half of the moon's hemisphere (the near side) is always facing (and viewable) from the Earth, while the other (the far side) isn't. To date, humanity hasn't set foot on the far side of the moon, although photographs of it were taken from certain Apollo ships. The Lunar seas are named and based after the lunar mares on the moon. Lunar mares are basaltic plains on Earth's Moon formed by ancient volcanic eruptions, and were commonly mistaken as actual seas by astronomers.
On a frequent basis, the Moon will appear as a cameo in various Touhou Project games and manga.
The moon had some cameo appearances in the PC-98 era, such as the background of the Probability Space Hypervessel within the cut-scene before stage 8 of Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, Kana Anaberal and Mima's ending of the same game, Reimu Hakurei's ending of Lotus Land Story, and Mima's ending of Mystic Square. Specifically in Mima's ending of Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, Mima wished for Yumemi Okazaki to always keep the moon in the sky. Thus, Yumemi changed the moon to geosynchronous orbit, having Mima to always have strong power. It's presumed that the Moon goes back to normal orbit afterwards, as suggested in later games.
- Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
In Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, the Moon appeared on stage 6 before Remilia Scarlet made her début, as well as the background of her spell cards. Here, the Moon appears to be red, likely from the reflection of the scarlet mist that caused the events of the game.
- Imperishable Night
Even though it only made a few physical cameos in Imperishable Night on stage 6B and the Extra, it had a major role to the story, because Eirin Yagokoro sealed Earth from the Moon and replaced it with a fake one because she didn't want Kaguya Houraisan to be captured by the Lunarians, much to the youkai's trouble. Thus, Eirin and Kaguya must be defeated to restore the true moon. A month later after the incident, the full moon was out, and it caused Keine Kamishirasawa to turn into a Were-hakutaku. Also, it appeared on the background of Remilia Scarlet's last word.
- Mountain of Faith
- Double Dealing Character
The Moon had a cameo on stage 3 of Double Dealing Character, where it can be seen reflected on the floor. Because it was a full moon, this caused Kagerou Imaizumi to turn into a werewolf, thus acting unusual as part of the game.
- Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom
The Moon is, for the first time, a major stage location in Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom. Moon rabbits were coming to Gensokyo to purify it because the Lunar Capital was under attack by Junko. To the heroine's trouble, they went to the Moon via the Dream World on Stage 3 to see why the Lunarians were attacking Gensokyo. They arrived at the Lunar Capital on Stage 4, only to be attacked by flying yin-yangs. They encounter the stage boss Sagume Kishin, who after testing their strength, told them that the capital was evacuating from Junko's threat. She then told them to go to the Sea of Tranquility to find her, the setting of Stage 5. The heroine will fly over a plain lunar mare only to be attacked by purified fairies who migrated from Hell, along with Clownpiece, the stage boss. After she is defeated, she escorts the heroine to the underside of the mare, where the heroine will be attacked by some spirits, but then they'll finally encounter Junko, the Final Boss. After her defeat, the Lunarians (should've) stopped attacking Gensokyo and return to the Moon.
The Moon also makes a cameo on stage 2 at the Wind God's Lake, and again on stage 3 of the Dream World.
- Shoot the Bullet
- Double Spoiler
- Impossible Spell Card
The Moon appears on a few occasions in Impossible Spell Card, primarily the background of day 3 (Bamboo Forest of the Lost), Mamizou Futatsuiwa's spell card background, Kanako Yasaka's spell card background, the background of the Last Day at the Scarlet Devil Mansion and Remilia Scarlet's spell card background.
- Urban Legend in Limbo
The Moon had a cameo appearance on a number of stages in Urban Legend in Limbo, primarily on night versions of the Palanquin Ship, the Youkai Tanuki Forest, the Bamboo Forest of the Lost and the Shining Needle Castle.
- Curiosity of Lotus Asia
The Moon makes a number of cameos in Curiosities of Lotus Asia, as well as a few mentions. It makes a cameo on 1, 4, 17 and 24, and it was mentioned on chapters 18, 22, 24 and 26. On chapter 18, Rinnosuke Morichika compared the Moon to a colorful kappa shell and how the shell can be lucky to take Sakuya Izayoi's mistress to the Moon, as staged below.
- Touhou Bougetsushou
The Moon has a major role in the Touhou Bougetsushou series. Eirin Yagokoro talks with Kaguya Houraisan about the latest rumour from the moon that another lunar war may emerge. Yukari Yakumo asked Reimu Hakurei to train channelling gods and managed to get the inhabitants of the Scarlet Devil Mansion to create a Moon Rocket to take them to the Moon. Reisen came to the Hakurei Shrine then Eientei to be given a letter by Eirin Yagokoro for the Watatsuki sisters. Eirin also secretly places a Lunar Veil on the rocket so Reimu, Remilia Scarlet, Marisa Kirisame and Sakuya Izayoi are guaranteed to arrive at the Moon safely. When they do, the rocket landed into the Sea of Prosperity and it was destroyed. They came across Watatsuki no Yorihime, who threatened them as to why they came to the Moon, to which Remilia announces that she wants to conquer the Moon.
They were all defeated using the spell card rule and were sent back to Earth, minus Reimu. During the battle, Yuyuko and Youmu Konpaku entered the Moon via a reflexion on the Earth's surface, and headed towards the Lunar Capital, and Yukari and Ran Yakumo tried to access the Moon via a gap from the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, but ended up at the forest again, only to meet with Watatsuki no Toyohime, who nearly took them to the Moon for punishment. Reimu had to stay on the moon to clear her name and demonstrate her power of channeling gods. Eventually, Reimu returned to Earth, and was invited to the Scarlet Devil Mansion for a swimming pool party with Marisa, Yuyuko and others. Because the Watatsuki sisters were occupied by the Earthlings, their home would be empty, leaving Yuyuko and Youmu to steal some sake and have it drank at the mansion. To Yukari's eyes, this occasion was a victory for the Earthlings.
Illustration by ZUN
The Moon in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
The Moon in the background of the Gensokyo stage of IaMP
The Moon seen in Imperishable Night
The Moon seen in Shoot the Bullet
The Moon on chapter 1 of Curiosities of Lotus Asia
The Moon seen at the Wind God's Lake
The Near Side of the Moon in Silent Sinner in Blue
The Sea of Prosperity shore in Silent Sinner in Blue
Peach trees near the Sea of Prosperity in Silent Sinner in Blue
The Sea of Serenity in Silent Sinner in Blue
The Sea of Rains in Silent Sinner in Blue
The Sea of Storms in Silent Sinner in Blue
The Sage's Sea in Silent Sinner in Blue
The Moon seen above the Twilight Bar Room
The reflexion of the Moon in Double Dealing Character
The Moon seen in Impossible Spell Card
The sea on stage 6 of Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom
- The Magical Astronomy CD liner notes depict tourism to the Moon being commonplace in the Outside World, during the near-future time inhabited by Maribel Hearn and Renko Usami. How this affects relations between humans and Lunarians is currently unknown, but the Lunar Capital's existence doesn't appear to be public knowledge.
- Many of the tales of the mythical Dragon King's Palace are based on the Lunar Capital, due to the Watatsuki sisters lying to Mizue no Uranoshimako about his location when he found himself there.
Books and articles
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate Third Chapter. "There is no trace of the seasons which bring occasional discomfort to the living; it's a climate that combines the mildness of spring, the liveliness of summer, the plenty of autumn and the loneliness of winter year-round."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Fifth Chapter. "The crescent moon a sword, the half moon a bow. What can the full moon be called? A mirror. A large mirror that reflects the sunlight, and at the same time illuminates the darkness of the Earth. The most light comes from the full moon.
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate First Chapter. "There are many ways to travel between Earth and the moon, but as the lunar veil is the most primitive, it's fairly time-consuming. It's a method that's primarily used by the moon rabbits."
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 22
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. A barren mountain devoid of grass or trees, the remnants of machines from the humans' lunar expeditions, a black sky. And, a world without any air. The desolate near side of the moon. This is the lunar world that the humans discovered. It is an exceedingly cruel, lonely world.
- Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 1. "The people from the Lunar Capital shouldn't have been able to touch the surface of the Moon."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. The Lunar Capital is on the far side of the moon, protected by a barrier that hides its existence. As long as that barrier is in place, a human could never reach it.
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red: Suika Ibuki's Interview. "You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things."
- Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 2. Reisen: "You know ____'s name, just who are..." Eirin: "I had to call that name to determine whether you were really a moon rabbit or not." Reisen: "How can an Earth person even say ____'s name correctly?" Eirin: "You shouldn't say that name so lightly. ____ is known as Chang'e here on Earth. So please use that name from now on." Eirin: "I am ____ Yagokoro."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. "The moon's seas are its closest points to the Earth. As a result, living things from the Earth would occasionally find their way there."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. "Over 1500 years ago, a human by the name Mizue no Uranoshimako appeared from the blue planet reflected in the ocean." The "blue planet" is Earth.
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Fifth Chapter. "Correct, well done. The moon was covered with a very beautiful sea and the youkai knew instantaneously that the way back would be to go through the planet that was reflected on its surface."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Fifth Chapter. "That was because there was no life in the seas of the moon.".
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. "The Sea of Tranquility was on the other side of the moon from the lunar capital, so the citizens of the capital and the moon rabbits seldom visited it."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. "To make its way into that barrier, the crow would have to fly along a predetermined route, but somehow it was following the sea road that should have been invisible to it."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. "I went on ahead to manipulate what was at the crow's destination to lay a trap over the final sea between it and the capital."
- Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 16. "The entrance to the sea where the sages live should open soon." and Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 17. "Mare Ingeni - The Sages' Sea."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate First Chapter. "She originally fled the Lunar War, but I hid the fact that she stumbled upon this house by accident." The terms "war" and "Lunar War" are used to refer to the incident elsewhere, as well.
- Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom: Sanae's Scenario (Stage 6). "After all, even the crew of Apollo 11 was covered with wounds, they say."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate First Chapter. "But, if you know where to look, the moon's technological prowess was far beyond that of the Earth's. The humans had spoken of building a base on the moon, but in the end they ran back home before ever deciding on a place or even acquiring the means to do such a thing. It was a terrible defeat for the humans."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate: Third Chapter. "For now, all that's happened is the launch of a primitive rocket to the side of the moon closest to them, but we can't afford to be careless."
- Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 2. "Apollo was the name of the God of the Sun. The Sun and the Lunar Capital are incompatible, so the Capital was never found, and the danger passed.
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate First Chapter. "The humans' lunar landings were reported as a great success in the outside world, but their failures were not.
- Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 2. "However, the name Chang'e belongs to a real person who is imprisoned in the Moon even now."
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate Second Chapter. "The history of Earth has progressed just the way the moon has wanted it."
- Silent Sinner in Blue Chapter 19. Yukari's conversation with Toyohime.