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Renko Usami

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() () ()   (れん) ()
Renko Usami
ɯsamʲi ɽeŋko (♫)
Renko Usami
Renko Usami as depicted on the cover of Rainbow-Colored Septentrion

Human (native to the outside world)


Telling time by looking at the stars and determining location by looking at the Moon (a living GPS).


University Student (Super unified physics major)


Kyoto, Japan in the near future.

Music Themes
Print Works
Music CDs

"Let's wake up! Dreams are things to be made into reality.
The world of dreams can be made into reality!"
Renko Usami (Changeability of Strange Dream)

Renko Usami (宇佐見 蓮子 Usami Renko) is a university student in the near future of the outside world in Kyoto who forms the "Hifuu Club" along with her close friend Maribel Hearn. She has no relation to Gensokyo, but is aware of it through Maribel talking about her visits to it in her dreams.

General Information


Renko is generally portrayed as being a confident person with an adventurous and daring personality. Being a physics major, she also tends to view things from a more objective point of view.

Her personality makes her a great support for Maribel. For example, the club's activities are usually arranged by her such as their trip to Rendaino in Ghostly Field Club as well as to the "Old Adam" bar in Dateless Bar "Old Adam".[1][2] Her more objective view on things also allows her to help Maribel differentiate between reality and fantasy.[3] However, this does not stop Renko from believing in anything that Maribel says.[4]


Telling time by the stars and determining location by the Moon

Renko is able to tell time by looking at the stars and determine location by looking at the Moon. Her ability is shown to work even when looking at a snapshot of the stars and Moon. She was able to determine the location of a photo of an entrance to the Netherworld by simply looking at the Moon and stars pictured.[5]

However, her ability to tell time by looking at the stars is limited to Japanese Standard Time (JST).[6] If she wanted to know the time in another timezone, she would have to do the necessary calculation.


She is a university student majoring in "super unified physics"[7] at an unknown university in Kyoto. Because of her major, she is able to rationalize the club's discoveries more scientifically. For example, she theorizes that the other worlds that Maribel sees are brane worlds.[8]

Character Design


Her full name is Renko Usami (宇佐見 蓮子), where both the given name and surname are actual names in Japanese. The kanji for Renko (蓮子) literally means "lotus child" respectively; the -ko is a common suffix in Japanese that's used in female names.


Renko usually wears a black hat with a bow, white suit, and a brown dress. In Magical Astronomy and Trojan Green Asteroid, she is also wearing a black shawl. She also has brown hair and often carries a book with her.


Ghostly Field Club

Using a photograph of the Netherworld and Renko's ability to determine location from the Moon, Merry and Renko attempt to find the entrance to the Netherworld in a ghostly field.

Changeability of Strange Dream

Merry is talking with Renko about how she is visiting a strange world in her dreams. It starts out nicely but begins to become nightmarish as Merry is attacked by youkai. Merry has trouble figuring out what is reality and what is just a dream, and to further complicate the issue, she presents Renko with some of the items she had obtained in her dreams. Renko realizes the truth, and in the end must decide on which will be Merry's reality.

Retrospective 53 Minutes

In Retrospective 53 minutes, Merry and Renko were on a train to Tokyo. They were looking at a simulated kaleido screen of the outside and discussing the trip, the view, and the nature of objectivity and subjectivity related to it. Renko commented on her, saying "You might be as carefree as the Tōhoku people though". The trip lasts 53 minutes.

Magical Astronomy

The university campus is abuzz with news of public tours to the Moon. Merry and Renko talk about the world on the Moon hidden from humans and eagerly try to plan their own trip to there. Merry gets a special idea.

Trojan Green Asteroid

Maribel and Renko discuss the lost micro-habitat space station TORIFUNE, Merry claiming that she has seen inside it and everything is still alive. Since the station contains a shrine to Ame-no-Torifune, they travel to another such shrine and use Maribel's ability to transport themselves there through their dreams. They discover that the interior has become a dense jungle, and are attacked by a chimera. Maribel wakes up with a cut on her arm and is sent to hospital.

Neo-traditionalism of Japan

While in hospital, Maribel is diagnosed with sleepwalking and hallucinations; believing this to be a previously unknown virus, the doctors send her to the mountains for isolation treatment. By the time she's released her powers have grown stronger and she now sees visions while awake. Merry discusses Hell with Renko, but doesn't tell her that she physically travelled to Hell while in isolation. Renko tells Merry that while she was in isolation the news has been talking about discoveries of stone tools more than 25 million years old, though they were dismissed as a hoax.

Maribel and Renko's cameo in Symposium of Post-mysticism

Merry believes otherwise, and presents one she found herself. Merry shows Renko a vision of the underground realm where she found it, and Renko recognises the Ame-no-Sakahoko as being there. Merry calms down, no longer believing the place she saw to be Hell but the world of the gods. The two decide to find more such "Izanagi Objects" that lie unrecognised across Japan.

Dr. Latency's Freak Report

At Maribel's suggestion, the duo is planning on self-publishing a book, in which they would relate the stories of the mysterious worlds they had seen. Under the pen name of "Dr. Latency", Maribel is dictating to Renko her parts of the book, including a summary of the strange places she saw as well as her theories in her attempt to rationalize what was defying the common sense of the world.

Dateless Bar "Old Adam"

Renko invites Maribel to the "Old Adam" bar, a special place where old-style alcohol is being served and said to be a gathering spot for those who can see illusions. Almost everyone there seems to have read the Swallowstone Naturalis Historia, the self-published fanzine Maribel and Renko made before, and believe its content entirely. The duo came here to hear the stories of the locals, hoping to find valuable information or even people that may have special abilities like them.


Maribel Hearn

Renko and Maribel Hearn are the only members of the Hifuu Club and both are fellow students at a university. The two are very good friends, working together to seek out other worlds, travelling by train together to Renko's home-town, discussing going to the moon together, and Maribel confiding to Renko about her travels to another world in her dreams.

Sumireko Usami

Because Sumireko Usami shares Renko's surname, has a similar appearance, and as she created the Hifuu Club that Renko is part of, there is likely some sort of relation between the two. However, the specifics of this connection is as yet unknown. Sumireko's profile suggests Renko descends from the former.[clarification needed]



Additional Information

  • Renko's major "super unified physics" is a fictional major that presumably deals in the study of physics where a theory of everything has been found. It appears that this was achieved sucessfully through string theory as Merry mentions Renko studying strings.[7]
  • Renko is one of the only characters known to live outside of Gensokyo. As such, she has never actually met any of the other characters except Maribel Hearn, who also lives outside Gensokyo. Yuyuko Saigyouji has encountered the Hifuu Club while they were visiting a power spot in the outside world, but Renko did not seem able to see her.[9]


Official Sources


  1. "Girls' Secret Sealing Club" (Track 02), Ghostly Field Club (story). Retrieved 2023-06-03.
  2. "The Darkness Brought in by Swallowstone Naturalis Historia" (Track 02), Dateless Bar "Old Adam" (story). Retrieved 2023-06-03. "So, Renko, what did you bring me all the way to this creepy bar to see? That old guy?" "That was a coincidence. But this will be perfect for an extracurricular Sealing Club activity!"
  3. "Mystic Maple ~ Eternal Dream" (Track 11), Changeability of Strange Dream (story). Retrieved 2023-06-03.
  4. "Flower of Past Days ~ Fairy of Flower" (Track 08), Ghostly Field Club (story). Retrieved 2023-06-03.
  5. "Strange Bird of the Moon, Illusion of Mysterious Cat" (Track 07), Ghostly Field Club (story). Retrieved 2023-06-01.
  6. "Greenwich in the Sky" (Track 02), Magical Astronomy (story). Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Retribution for the Eternal Night ~ Imperishable Night" (Track 06), Changeability of Strange Dream (story). Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  8. "The Taboo Membrane Wall" (Track 08), Dr. Latency's Freak Report (story). Retrieved 2023-06-03. "Perhaps Merry is seeing one of those brane worlds."
  9. ZUN (2012-04-27). "第二部 幻想郷の外の世界の現状とは[外の世界のオカルト体験]". 東方求聞口授 ~ Symposium of Post-mysticism [Touhou Gumon Kuju ~ Symposium of Post-mysticism] (in 日本語). Ichijinsha. ISBN 4758012318. Retrieved 2023-06-03.