moɽʲit͡ɕʲi̥ka ɽʲinːosɯ̥ke (♫)
Rinnosuke Morichika in Curiosities of Lotus Asia
More Character Titles
Knowing the name and utility of tools
Unknown, at least a few decades
Owner of Kourindou, an antique shop
Rinnosuke Morichika (森近 霖之助 Morichika Rinnosuke), nicknamed Kourin (香霖), is the main protagonist of Curiosities of Lotus Asia and one of the few male characters depicted in the Touhou Project. He is a half-human half-youkai hybrid and using his ability to know the name and purpose of an object, he runs Kourindou, an antique shop specializing in items from the Outside World.
- 1 General Information
- 2 Backstory
- 3 Background Information
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Additional Information
- 8 Fandom
- 9 Official Profiles
- 10 Official Sources
- 11 References
Rinnosuke is the main protagonist of Curiosities of Lotus Asia and has been a recurring character in various mangas. He's the shop owner of Kourindou located between the Forest of Magic and the human Village in order to get custom from both humans and youkai. He has a habit of collecting items that drop nearby from the outside world, but between his poor business sense, such as his refusal to let go of any useful or interesting items, personality, location, niche merchandise, and inability to determine just how to use something, his business can be deemed a failure. Currently, with the exception of just a few (noisy) visitors, Kourindou is often deserted.
Rinnosuke had been to the outside world long ago. He remarks about the "outside world I knew", and tries to imagine it from old memories, but too much time has elapsed. By the time he visits it again in a dream-like sequence in Curiosities of Lotus Asia chapter 11, it's a completely alien environment to him.
Apparently, Rinnosuke doesn't have any fighting abilities like Reimu Hakurei or Marisa Kirisame do, which makes him an ideal character to describe typical daily life in Gensokyo. ZUN has stated that Rinnosuke isn't the type to use spell cards, but he perhaps might. Perfect Memento in Strict Sense states that he is not very strong due to a lack of training. Additionally, in a reply to the second question on Gensou Bulletin Board on the date stamped 031212, it was stated that he actually cannot fight with Reimu and other characters using danmaku.
- Knowing the name and utility of tools
As literally stated, by examining any man-made object, Rinnosuke can learn its name and what it's used for. However, as it is only the "name" and "utility" that provides knowledge, other things aren't able to be known since it doesn't tell him how to use the tool, and the information he receives can sometimes be vague or confusing. For example, for the PC, he's able to know that its name is "personal computer" and that it's a tool for "collecting and processing information", but he's not able to know how to start it up and where to input, which is necessary to operate it. It's said that he's somehow able to know this information (the names and utility of tools), but examples of having done so do not seem to be many.
He lacks an overall understanding about the outside and modern science, so he often ends up drawing strange conclusions about certain items (in one case leading him to mistake a Game Boy for a doomsday device). This even extends to his theories about Gensokyo. ZUN is quick to mention that Rinnosuke doesn't know as much as he thinks he does and his various hypotheses about everything are mostly pulled out of thin air.
Concerning Yuuka Kazami's umbrella, in a statement in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, he was also able to understand detailed things about its function, suggesting some relation to him, although its relation to him and Kourindou is not a topic that is commonly theorised about. Incidentally, although he said that it can block ultraviolet rays (and rain), it can also block danmaku as well.
He has the skill to make magic items and things like that. The mini-Hakkero is something he made, and is something one can be confident about its merits. About it, he said, "it is a magical item I made when Marisa left her parents' home. Even though it's small, it has extraordinary heating power. It can reduce a single mountain to ashes. I guess it can also be used for heating, experiments, combat, and more" and also "this Mini-Hakkero wasn't just a normal Hakkero, it was made with a lot of improvements and special qualities. Wind blows from one of the reactor's corners, so you can also use it to cool yourself during summer. And just by having it, it works as an amulet for protection and good fortune (I think). Anyway, it combines many of the 'utilities' of outside world items. That is my hobby."
Furthermore, due to Marisa's reliance, upon performing repair work on entire furnace with Hihiirokane (緋々色金, a rare metal that never rusts and does not change physical properties easily due to environment), he also added the functionality of making the air cleaner. It seems to have originally been used as a heating furnace that he himself used in the past for magic (he likely improved it when it was given to Marisa, and the aforementioned ability is probably added-on), so combined with his skill in creating magic items, he has deep knowledge in magic. In the work, his knowledge about magic has been displayed several times.
Rinnosuke is a half-human and half-youkai, where his life span is longer than that of a humans. Because of this, youkai don't attack him, and he doesn't attack humans. Being a human-youkai hybrid, Rinnosuke only needs to drink a cup of sake with a couple of side vegetables to provide enough sustenance for a meal, but full meals are preferred. He avoids staying in the Human Village for long because his lack of ageing brings unease to the humans there. Also, he's resistant to both human diseases and youkai diseases, but he can still get ill every once in a rare while.
Rinnosuke seems to have originally lived in the outside world, though he is unable to remember much about it. However, as he recalls what the outside world was like in regards to the crested ibis population, it can be assumed that he has been around since before the erection of the Great Hakurei Barrier. A few more years than eleven years ago (a few years before 1996), he worked as an apprentice for Marisa's father at his store in the Human Village. However, his ability and interest in the outside wasn't being put to its best use with the human customers, so he decided to strike out on his own. When he left, he created the mini-Hakkero.
He then opened Kourindou, an antiques shop on the border of the Forest of Magic, specializing in objects from the Outside World, which he acquires after they fall into Gensokyo through the Great Hakurei Barrier. Located between the forest and Human Village, he chose the location in the hopes that both human and non-human customers would visit.
His fill name is Rinnosuke Morichika (森近 霖之助). His surname Morichika (森近) means "near the forest", which is the location of Kourindou, near the Forest of Magic. The name is an actual place name, family name or surname. His first name Rinnosuke (霖之助) means "helps the long rain", and it possibly has something to do with Marisa Kirisame since her last name, "Kirisame", means drizzle. His nickname Kourin (香霖) is a short-form of Kourindou.
Shown in a number of works, Rinnosuke has golden eyes, short silver hair, and wears a pair of glasses. His clothes are black and blue, and he often carries a small bag with him. His appearance has not changed since Marisa was a small child, indicating his status as a half-youkai.
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
One day, a hookah (called a nargile in the article) appears for sale in Kourindou. Aya Shameimaru comes to write an article about it, as well as offer her opinion. Unfortunately, Rinnosuke has no idea of how to use the device, despite knowing its function. He proposes that it be used as a decoration.
Some time after the article is written, Aya comes back to see if the hookah had sold. Rinnosuke informs her that he decided to keep it for himself after being taught (by Yukari Yakumo) how to use it. Aya wonders out loud if he really intends to run a business. She considers the odd hookah to be nonsensical. Rinnosuke counters by stating that all luxury goods are nonsensical, and that people who buy them are interesting. Aya agrees with him.
- Silent Sinner in Blue
In Chapter 3 of Silent Sinner in Blue, Sakuya Izayoi is sent to Kourindou in order to buy reference materials on rockets, arriving in the evening when Rinnosuke has already closed up shop. After he shows Sakuya some materials on the Apollo program, she purchases them.
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate
In Chapter 7 of Cage in Lunatic Runagate, Half-body Half-honor, Youmu Konpaku visits Kourindou hoping to learn what it is Sakuya had purchased from the store. While Rinnosuke denies her the information, after Youmu mentions rockets, he informs her about the Apollo program. However, since the materials have all been bought on the Apollo program, Rinnosuke informs her of books with similar contents that Youmu purchases instead.
- Eastern and Little Nature Deity
Appearing only in the bonus written story Fairy of the Moon, the Three Fairies of Light visited Kourindou to inquire about a fluorescent lamp. Rinnosuke explains to them what it is and is somewhat disgusted by their lack of intelligent responses. He proceeds to lecture them about the origin of the name of the fluorescent lamp.
- Wild and Horned Hermit
In Chapter 34 of Wild and Horned Hermit, Kasen visits Rinnosuke's shop in order to meet with Sumireko as usual, at which Rinnsouke tries to object but is quickly persuaded by Kasen. Kasen uses the moment to talk with Rinnosuke about Reimu's situation of low confidence and some way to cheer her up.
- Forbidden Scrollery
In Chapter 26 and 27 of Forbidden Scrollery, Kosuzu Motoori is brought to Kourindou by Marisa in order to learn about a Ouija board that her father had found. Rinnosuke gives a long explanation to the two lasting in to the evening before he finally let's them go home.
Rinnosuke has made his first ever appearance in a Touhou Project game in Hopeless Masquerade, but only as a background cameo character on the Human Village stage. Also, he's been mentioned in game dialogue (as Kourin) in Marisa Kirisame's Immaterial and Missing Power ending when she thinks about showing Suika Ibuki to him. Nazrin also mentions obtaining the Jeweled Pagoda from "a second-hand goods shop", which could be Kourindou. His shop Kourindou also appears as a stage location in Urban Legend in Limbo.
Rinnosuke made an unofficial appearance in the fangame Touhou Unreal Mahjong, by D.N.A. Softwares. ZUN had involvement with the game and composed his theme "Curious old Shanghai tile". Even if it was used for fangames, the song is Rinnosuke theme in a way, but for it to be official towards the Touhou Project is debatable.
Since he rarely leaves Kourindou and has a somewhat difficult personality, Rinnosuke is mostly acquainted with those who come by his store, either as freeloaders or the few customers he has.
Marisa Kirisame & her Family
Rinnosuke worked for Marisa's father at his shop as an apprentice in the Human Village before leaving to start Kourindou over eleven years ago before Marisa Kirisame was born, and he's known Marisa since she was small. She must have known him at least since 2001, as from Curiosities of Lotus Asia chapter 6's prologue, Marisa once eavesdropped on a conversation between Rinnosuke and her father during one of Rinnosuke's rare visits to the Kirisame residence. Marisa thinks Rinnosuke is stiff with her because of her family, but the truth is Rinnosuke keeps his guard up with her because he doesn't want her to suspect when he's lying to her, particularly when it comes to her paying Rinnosuke with items that she collects.
Rinnosuke refers to her dad as the "human whom I had received hospitality from long time ago," indicating it was Marisa's father that took him in. Rinnosuke used to make rare visits to the Kirisame residence even after that, but hasn't visited him for 10 years, presumably because he ran away to start his own shop. Rinnosuke was a little nervous about seeing him again due to the time that elapsed since then, but from Rinnosuke's meeting with him, there doesn't seem to be any bad blood between them.
Marisa is seen as an annoyance who constantly imposes herself on him and takes what she likes from the store, but they are still on good terms and he seems to welcome her company. They're friendly enough that he created and later gave her the Hakkero. She's also the only one to call him by his nickname "Kourin", although whether it implies fondness, or just that they've known each other for so long, is unknown.
Because of Marisa's collecting habits, Rinnosuke is often able to get valuable things she picks up for quite cheap, as Marisa usually doesn't know the true value of the item. However, he does feel somewhat bad about it.
He's lived long enough to know about the Hakurei Shrine and the generations of Hakurei who have come before, but it's unknown if this means he was acquainted with Reimu Hakurei's family. She's nearly as much as an annoyance as Marisa, but he tolerates and gives as much leeway to her as he does to Marisa. However, from Rinnosuke's point of view, Reimu doesn't resolve incidents because they're bothering people, but rather because she just likes to stick her neck out into strange goings-on.
It is said that he originally prepared Reimu's purification rod and shrine maiden clothing for her use. If this is the case, then it is likely that the two of them have known each other in some capacity since the PC-98 era (if connecting to the Windows era), since Reimu has had it since Highly Responsive to Prayers.
Yukari Yakumo and Rinnosuke mostly have a business arrangement. In exchange for fuel for his kerosene fan heater, Yukari takes merchandise she likes and occasionally provides information on items. While he is grateful, Rinnosuke also doesn't like dealing with her all that much and makes note of how ominous she seems.
Illustration of Rinnosuke in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Another illustration of Rinnosuke from Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
Rinnosuke cameo in Extra of the Wind
Rinnosuke in Silent Sinner in Blue
Rinnosuke in Inaba of the Moon & Inaba of the Earth
Rinnosuke in Cage in Lunatic Runagate
- Rinnosuke is the first literary character to be mentioned in a Touhou Project game. Previously, Aya Shameimaru and the Three Fairies of Light were literary characters that later made appearances in games, the former having made multiple appearances throughout the series and the latter as bosses in Fairy Wars.
- Other male characters besides Rinnosuke exist, but most of them are either not named (Various humans shown in Hopeless Masquerade and SinGyoku, in Highly Responsive to Prayers), not humanoid (Genjii, Sokrates, Unzan) or do not have official appearances (Youki Konpaku, Marisa's unnamed father, Myouren Hijiri). Another male character with a name and an official appearance is Unshou.
- Rinnosuke and Yukari are often credited as the two people from Gensokyo who have some idea regarding the outside world, with a basic understanding of technology. Other characters may also know about the outside, but there is no direct description by ZUN so far. Of course, this does not include Sanae Kochiya, Kanako Yasaka, Suwako Moriya, Mamizou Futatsuiwa and, Sumireko Usami who are all from the outside world.
- He's one of only a few characters with glasses, the others being Rikako Asakura, Mamizou Futatsuiwa and Sumireko Usami.
- It's often pointed out that Rinnosuke shares some personal points with Akihiko Chuuzenji (中禅寺秋彦), one of the main characters of a novel series written by Natsuhiko Kyougoku, who ZUN is known to love. One of the points is, e.g., Akihiko manages a used-book shop, and the name of his shop is "Kyougokudou" (京極堂), which is also his nickname; this resembles "Kourin" except it lacks the suffix "dou".
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 3
- Meiji University talkshow "Dawn of Touhou"
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 12
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense: Rinnosuke's Store
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 26
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 20
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 23
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 7
- Curiosities of Lotus Asia: Chapter 2
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