Strange Creators of Outer World/Basic Knowledge of Fantastic Words 2015

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Basic Knowledge of Fantastic Words 2015


Let us enumerate the latest basic
knowledge of Gensokyo here.
We would like you to ponder this vision of the
far side of the barrier, as glimpsed from outside.
By viewing these basics, you will be able to cope even if
you find yourself lost on the far side some time... maybe.

Illustrations: TOKIAME
■幻想郷 Gensokyo
博麗大結界に囲まれた、内側の世界のことを「幻想郷」と言う。ご存知東方Projectの主な舞台である。現在的な最新の定義でいうと、幻想郷か否かというのは、結界の内か外かの1点に尽きるのだ。「外の世界と内側の世界」ということだけが、幻想郷の変わらない真実である。外に暮らす我々なら誰もが知るように、世界の変化は目まぐるしいし、常に変化している。そして、外の世界の変化は幻想郷に影響を及ぼし、東方Projectの世界は常に変化していく。中に居る妖怪たちが、外の変化に対応しようとしていくからである。 Surrounded by the Great Hakurei Barrier lies the world of "Gensokyo", the main stage of the Touhou Project. By its present, most recent definition, 'whether something is in Gensokyo or not' boils down to the single point of 'whether it's in or out of the Barrier'. "The outer world and the inner world" is Gensokyo's single unchanging truth. As we residents of the outside all know, the world is in a constant and dizzying state of change. And changes in the Outside World affect Gensokyo, so the world of Touhou Project is going to be constantly changing. The youkai within attempt to respond to the changes outside, you see.
結界が成立するはるか昔から、幻想郷のことは一部の者には知られていた。「東の国の人里離れた辺境の地」として語られてきた場所で、東の国、つまり日本国内の山林奥深くのとある地域のことを指す。物理的には現実の世界と地続きだが、幻想郷を覆う「博麗大結界」の効力によって、現在通常の方法では行き来する事ができない(※「結界」の項目を参照)。 Even long before the barrier was established, Gensokyo was known to a few people. It was a place known as "a secluded frontier in an Eastern country", ie. a region of land deep in the mountain forests of Japan. It's physically contiguous with the world of reality, but by virtue of the "Great Hakurei Barrier" covering Gensokyo, you can't travel back and forth by normal means at present. (*See the entry on "Barrier".)
■社会 Society
幻想郷の内側には、外の世界のような国家は存在しない。人間たちが寄り集まって暮らす里はあるが、法律は特に無いらしい。里に限ったことでは無いが、幻想郷の人間は妖怪を恐れて暮らしているので、人間以外の者の進入に対して警戒している。だが妖怪が人間に化けてこっそり里に紛れ込んでいることも多いので、実際には人間と妖怪の交流はそれなりに活発なのかもしれない。 Inside of Gensokyo, there is no nation like those in the Outside World. There is a village where humans gather and live together, but there don't seem to be any particular laws. Although it's not limited to the village, the humans of Gensokyo live in fear of the youkai, and are wary against the entry of non-human persons. However, since youkai also often disguise themselves as humans and slip into the village, interaction between humans and youkai may actually be reasonably active.
一方妖怪たちは基本的に単独行動の者ばかりで、まとまった行動はあまり見られない。例外を挙げるとしたら、妖怪の山に暮らす河童と天狗が、それぞれ独自のコミュニティを築いていることだろう。彼らは外の人間たちの官僚制的な仕組みを真似ている節がある。 On the other hand, the majority of youkai basically act independently, so coherent action is not often seen from them. An exception are the kappa and tengu of Youkai Mountain, who have built their own isolated communities apparently modelled on the bureaucratic structure of humans outside.
あまり知性を持たない妖精たちは、一見群れているように見えるかもしれないが、そもそもの数が多いのと、特に何も考えていないのでコミュニティ的な運営はされていない。 Fairies have little intelligence; they might seem to form groups at first glance, but since there's many of them and they aren't thinking of anything in particular, they don't have any real sense of community.
幻想郷が結界によって外の世界と分かれたのはちょうど明治維新の頃であり、隔絶されているがゆえに電気や水道といった現代的なインフラは整っていない。生活レベルとしては江戸末期あたりの水準を保っているようだが、それ以上に精神的な文化が成熟しているように語られる。その要因は恐らくであるが、幻想郷の大半を占める住人――人間以外の存在たちが、精神的な存在だからだと思われる。 Gensokyo was separated from the outside via the Barrier and isolated right around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Thus, modern infrastructure such as electricity and water are not well-equipped. It seems to have maintained late Edo period living standards, but its spiritual culture is said to be far more mature by comparison. The likely reason for this is thought to be because the majority of Gensokyo's residents-- beings other than humans-- are spiritual beings themselves.
外の世界とのおもな違いとしては、妖怪の跋扈が挙げられる。幻想郷の中では、現実世界(外の、我々の日常的な世界)では非常識となったもの、存在感が希薄になったものがむしろ当たり前のものとして受け止められており、妖怪の存在とその活動(人をさらう、襲う、食らうなど)や、それら妖怪の振るう魔法などの超常的な能力が日常生活の中に息づいている。巫女が空を飛ぶのも、妖精が人に悪戯するのも、洋館の吸血鬼が霧を出すのも、仙人がある日突然復活したりするのも、幻想郷ではごく当たり前のことなのだ。 The main difference from the Outside world would be the rampant presence of youkai. Within Gensokyo, things that the world of reality (our regular daily world) would consider lacking in common sense, or whose sense of presence has dwindled, are accepted as completely normal. The presence of youkai, their behaviour (kidnapping, attacking and eating humans, etc.), and their supernatural powers such as magic are all alive and well in everyday life. A shrine maiden flying in the sky, fairies playing tricks on people, a vampire in a Western-style mansion producing mist, hermits suddenly resurrecting one day, and so on are all normal in Gensokyo.
■地理 Geography
幻想郷は山間部ではあるが、その全域が森というわけではない。人間が暮らす里、人間の近寄らない危険な森、妖怪が巣食う山などがある。 Gensokyo is a mountainous region, but it's not as if the whole area is forested. There are places such as a village where humans live, dangerous forests that humans don't dare approach, a mountain filled with youkai, and so on.
人間は基本的には里に暮らしているが、一部の変わり者や、自分の能力に自信のある者は、人里離れた所に住んでいる。神社に住む博麗霊夢や、魔法の森に住む霧雨魔理沙などが代表だ。また、ごく一部に妖怪とともに暮らす者もいる。 Humans typically live in the village, but some oddballs and those with confidence in their own abilities live separately from the village. Prime examples are Reimu Hakurei, who lives in the shrine, and Marisa Kirisame, who lives in the Forest of Magic. Also, a select few people live side by side with youkai.
妖怪は個別に行動するタイプが多いが、里以外ではどこで妖怪に会っても不思議ではないくらい、幻想郷は妖怪で溢れている。だが、妖怪の山に住む天狗と河童だけは、外の世界の人間を真似た集団で社会的な生活をしているので、まとまってそこで暮らしている。とはいえ、天狗は幻想郷中を飛び回っている者も多い。 Most youkai are the type who act individually, but Gensokyo is so full of them that it wouldn't be strange to meet them anywhere outside the village. However, the tengu and kappa from the mountain are the only ones to form collective societies mimicking humans outside, so they all live there as a group. Nonetheless, tengu can also often be seen flying around Gensokyo.
特筆すべきは、幻想郷は外の世界だけでなく別の世界との境界とも多く接していることだろう。三途の河は彼岸へのアクセスポイントであり、そのさらに先には冥界がある。他にも地下には広大な空間があり、かつては地獄だった。地獄は組織としてスリム化を目指して移転したので、現在は地獄としての機能は無いため「旧地獄」と呼ばれている。また、妖怪の山の上空には天界との境界があるが、明確な境界は解っていない。 Of particular note is that Gensokyo shares many boundaries with other worlds besides the Outside World. The Sanzu River is the access point to Higan, even further beyond which is the Netherworld. There is also a vast space underground, which was once Hell. Since Hell was relocated with the aim of streamlining its organization, this space is now referred to as "Former Hell" since it no longer functions as Hell. The skies above the Youkai Mountain also share a border with Heaven, but a clearly-defined boundary is not known.
このように、そもそも妖怪が住んでいることと、鬼や幽霊、天人など人間以外の存在が住まう地域に隣接しているので、その住民が訪れることはままある。 In this way, the regions where youkai already live are adjacent to those where oni, phantoms, celestials and other non-humans live, and so their inhabitants sometimes visit as well.
■博麗神社 The Hakurei Shrine
主人公・霊夢が住んでいるのが博麗神社だ。人里から離れた山奥の森の中に建っているので、訪れる人はあまりいない。本来であれば(?)、妖怪に困った里の人が相談に訪れるべき場所なのだが、そもそも神社までの道のりが見通しの悪いけもの道だけなことに加えて、霊夢を訪ねて妖怪が神社へやってくるため、それを恐れて余計に人が近づかなくなってしまった。それどころか、神社は既に妖怪に占拠されたものと思っている里の人間もいるらしく、参拝客が来ないのも仕方が無いだろう。そのため、お賽銭はほとんど集まっていないようだ。 The Hakurei Shrine is where the heroine Reimu Hakurei lives. Because it's built in the mountain forests far from the Human Village, it doesn't get many visitors. It was originally(?) meant as a place for people to consult about their youkai problems, but in addition to the poor visibility on the path there, youkai often come to the shrine to visit Reimu. People feared this, and thus, they keep very far away from it. In fact, some human villagers seem to think that the shrine is already under youkai occupation, so it's really no wonder that worshipers don't come. As such, it appears that the shrine hardly gets any donations.
神社は幻想郷の中でも東の端にあり、外の世界との境目にあるとされる。このため、外の世界から入ってくる物品などが周囲で見つかることが多い。博麗大結界とも密接な関係にあるようで、例えば社殿が火事で燃えると結界の効力が弱まることはわかっているが(『東方茨歌仙』第20話より)、具体的にどれくらいの関係性なのかはわかっていない。また、過去には異変によって地震で倒壊しているが(『東方緋想天』『東方非想天則』より)、結界への影響は不明だ。 The shrine is located on the eastern edge of Gensokyo, and lies on the border with the Outside World. Therefore, goods coming in from the Outside World can often be found in the vicinity. The barrier and the shrine seem to be closely related; for example, the barrier's power is known to have weakened when the shrine's main building was on fire (Wild and Horned Hermit, chapter 20), but the exact degree to which they're linked is unknown. In addition, the shrine collapsed in an earthquake during a past incident (Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, Touhou Hisoutensoku), but the effect this had on the barrier is unknown.
神社からは幻想郷が一望できるほか、境内には立派な桜が多く、花見の名所として人間にも妖怪にも知られている。古くからの品を収めた蔵があったり、守矢神社の分社があったりと、社殿や社務所以外の施設もあるが、基本的に霊夢しか住んでいないのであまり手入れは行き届いていない。また、本来神社として一番肝要な部分であるところの祭神、つまりどのような神が祭られているかについてが定かではない。むしろ神は祀られていないのかもしれない。 In addition to overlooking all of Gensokyo, the shrine has many beautiful cherry trees, so it's well-known to both humans and youkai as a locale for flower-viewing. It also has facilities aside from the main building and shrine office, such as a storehouse filled with old goods and a branch shrine for the Moriya Shrine, but since the place is basically uninhabited except for Reimu, they aren't in a good state of repair. On top of that, just what kind of god is enshrined there-- which ought to be the most integral part of any shrine-- is far from clear. In fact, there may not be any god enshrined at all.
実は博麗神社は2ある、と言われている。霊夢が住む「幻想郷の博麗神社」と、誰も住む者のいない「外の世界の博麗神社」だ。外の世界の神社は『幻想郷縁起』によると「無人の神社で、人が訪れることなど殆ど無く」「結界が張られたときのまんまほったらかしになっていると言われている」とあるが、内側から確かめるのは困難なのと、外の世界で博麗神社を見た者が居ないことから、この情報は定かではない。霖之助が夢で見た神社が「外の世界の博麗神社」だとすると、案外繁盛しているのかもしれない。 It's actually said that there are two Hakurei Shrines. There's the "Hakurei Shrine of Gensokyo," where Reimu lives, and the "Hakurei Shrine of the Outside World," which nobody lives in. According to the "Gensokyo Chronicle", the shrine outside is "an abandoned shrine that hardly anyone visits," "said to be neglected and left as it was when the Barrier was created". However, since viewing it from within the Barrier is extremely difficult, and there's nobody who saw the Hakurei Shrine while outside, this information is unclear. If we assume that the shrine Rinnosuke saw in a dream was "the Hakurei Shrine of the Outside World," it may actually be unexpectedly successful and thriving.
■医療 Medical Care
描写はされないが人間の里にも医者は居る。が、あくまで普通の人間による、江戸末期レベルの医療である。対して、里の医者で治せなければここ、と言われているのが竹林の奥深くにある永遠亭、別名「闇の病院」である。訪れる者は人間も妖怪も分け隔てなく診察、薬の処方をしてくれる。薬の値段は安く、効果が高いことから非常に好評のようだ。ただし、竹林は「迷いの竹林」として知られており、幸運に恵まれるか、自警団に案内されるかしないと、なかなか辿り着けないだろう。 They haven't been depicted, but there's a doctor in the Human Village too. However, they care they provide is on the level of the late Edo period, performed only by ordinary humans. In contrast, Eientei, located in the depths of the bamboo grove, is known to treat maladies the village doctor can't, and is also known as the "Dark Hospital". There, both human and youkai visitors are impartially examined and provided with prescription medicine. The medicine there is cheap and has powerful effects, so it seems to be very highly regarded. However, the bamboo grove is known as the "Bamboo Forest of the Lost"; if you aren't blessed with good luck or guided by a vigilante, it's very difficult to make your way there.
また永遠亭は、里で希望する家庭に対して、置き薬の形で薬箱を設置、季節の変わり目に定期的に使用した薬の代金の徴収と、補充を行っている。緊急を要さない程度の体調不良であれば、十分な効果があるようだ。ほかに、河童が売るガマの油などもあるようだが、妖怪の売るものなので注意した方が良いかもしれない。 Also, Eientei has a medicine depot set up in the village for households hoping for access there. Payment is collected for used medicine and the depot is restocked at the start of each season, on a regular basis. For people who feel ill but aren't in emergency condition, it seems to have a sufficient effect. Additionally, there's also toad oil and so on sold by the kappa, but since it's sold by youkai, one should probably exercise caution.
■宗教 Religion
幻想郷に暮らす者は、みな信心深い。それは人間も妖怪も同様だ。まあ実際に神様が居るのだから、信じるも信じないもないのだが……。 Everyone living in Gensokyo is deeply pious. This goes for both humans and youkai. Well, there actually are gods residing there, so it's not really a question of whether you believe in them...
では、どの宗教が信仰を集めているかというと、一見してわかりにくい。仏教も、道教も、神道すらも抜きん出た信仰を集めているようには見えない。……これは外の世界に住む者だからこそ見逃しがちなのだが、幻想郷では「体系立てられた宗教」が信仰を集めて「いない」のだ。人々の信心深さが向かう方向は「全ての物に神が宿る」汎神論的な思想、まさに「八百万の神様」という想いが生きていて、全てのものに敬意が払われている。これを原始的で未熟な宗教と見るのは外の世界の勝手であるが、果たしてどちらがより豊かさを享受しているか、明確な判断ができる者は多くなさそうだ。 Now, at a glance, it's difficult to tell which religion is attracting faith. Neither Buddhism, Taoism, nor even Shinto particularly seems to stand out when it comes to gathering faith. ...This may be easily overlooked precisely because we live in the Outside World, but in Gensokyo, organized religions are not actively gathering faith. The piety of its people is directed towards a pantheistic ideology that "gods dwell in all things." The idea of the "Myriad Gods" is alive and well, and respects are paid to all things. Those from the Outside World may see this as a primitive and immature religion, but in the end, there don't seem to be many who can make a precise judgement as to which is richer and more fulfilled.
■結界 Barrier
幻想郷において「結界」と言えば、ほとんどの場合「博麗大結界」のことを指す。この結界は幻想郷全域を覆っており、その効果によって内外の行き来が制限されている。通常の出入りは普通の人間には不可能で、外の方に向かってもひたすら同じ景色が戻ろうとすると一瞬で元の位置に戻るという。もちろん、力のある妖怪でも基本的には内側から外へ出ることはできない。特別な能力で境界をいじるなどするか、特殊なプロセスを経る必要があるだろう。 When a "barrier" is mentioned in Gensokyo, it's usually referring to the "Great Hakurei Barrier". This barrier covers the entirety of Gensokyo, and its effects restrict travel in and out. Ordinary entry and exit are impossible for normal humans; when attempting to leave, one only sees the same scenery the whole way, and once they turn around they're instantly back where they started. Of course, even powerful youkai essentially can't leave once within. One will likely have to use a special ability to tamper with the boundary, or pass through via a specific process.
博麗大結界は、人間でも妖怪でも、精神、つまり心を持つものの意識に反応して効力を発揮し、内と外の移動を妨げている。逆に意思を持たない物体、岩石や道具などは容易に出入りが出来るのだ。また、意思を持つものであっても、何らかの要因(簡単なところでは睡眠も含まれる)によって意識を失うと、入れる場合があるようだ。 The Great Hakurei Barrier reacts to the consciousness of humans, youkai, and anything else with that has a mind, and prevents movement in and out. Conversely, objects without their own will, such as rocks and tools, can enter and exit with ease. Also, even if something has its own will, if they lose consciousness due to some factor (including sleep, simply enough), there seem to be cases where they can enter.
なお、妖怪が外から幻想郷に入ろうとするのはさほど難しくないようだが(※理由は博麗大結界とは異なるもう一つの結界が作用している為なのだが)、そのような場合は外の世界での存在をほぼ諦めるような事態になっているので、難しいとか難しくないとか言っている場合ではない。この手法で幻想郷にやってきた妖怪として代表的なのが、自分の住む館ごと引っ越してきた吸血鬼レミリア・スカーレットと、神社だけでなくそのほとりの湖ごと引っ越してきた神様、八坂神奈子だろう。 Also, it may not seem very difficult for youkai to enter Gensokyo from outside (*although this is due to the application of another barrier separate from the Great Hakurei Barrier). In these cases, however, they are in a way giving up their existence in the Outside World, so phrases like "difficult" or "not difficult" don't apply. Prime examples of youkai who came to Gensokyo via this method are the vampire Remilia Scarlet, who pulled her entire mansion along with her, and the god Kanako Yasaka, who pulled in not just her shrine but the entire lake nearby.
このように、現在の幻想郷を成立させるうえで欠かせない博麗大結界だが、これを管理しているのが博麗の巫女と、境界を操る能力を持った妖怪・八雲紫だ。霊夢の妖怪退治も、ある意味で結界の維持=管理と言っていいが、それ以外にも霊夢は意図的に結界を緩めることができるようで、適当に緩めると紫に怒られるらしい。通常の妖怪とは行動原理が大きく異なり、幻想郷の維持に腐心する紫からしてみれば、たまったものではないだろう。 The Great Hakurei Barrier is thus integral to the establishment of present-day Gensokyo. In charge of the barrier's management are the Hakurei shrine maiden, and Yukari Yakumo, a youkai with the power to manipulate boundaries. Reimu's youkai extermination can be described as 'maintenance of the barrier' in a sense, but aside from that, Reimu can also deliberately weaken the barrier. It seems that if she weakens it too freely, Yukari gets angry with her. Yukari's priorities differ greatly from those of normal youkai, and she takes great pains to maintain Gensokyo, so from her point of view it's a serious issue.
■もうひとつの結界 Another Barrier
博麗大結界の他にもうひとつ、幻想郷全域を覆う結界がある。それが「幻と実体の境界」だ。500年ほど前に張られたこの結界は「幻想郷の中を幻の世界、外の世界を実体の世界」とするもので、幻想郷の中では妖怪たちが力を増すことで優位に立てるという点と、外の世界では世界的な人口増加によって人類が勢力・版図を拡大したので、積極的に妖怪たちを幻想郷へ自動的に呼び込む効果がある。とうぜん、内と外、という範囲で形成されている性質上、効果は全世界に及んでおり、海外からも妖怪を招き入れることとなった。 In addition to the Great Hakurei Barrier, there is another barrier covering the entirety of Gensokyo. This is the "Boundary of Fantasy and Reality". This barrier, set up about 500 years ago, designates "the inside of Gensokyo as a world of fantasy, and the Outside World as a world of reality". Since youkai prevail by increasing their power in Gensokyo, and humanity has greatly expanded their forces and territory outside due to worldwide population growth, it has the effect of actively and automatically calling youkai towards Gensokyo. Of course, since the barrier's extent is simply over the "inside" and "outside", its effect spans the entire world, and youkai are even invited in from overseas.
この結界の画期的な点は、外の世界で人間が勢力を伸ばすほど、幻想郷での妖怪の勢いが増すという点にある。この影響は今もなお現在進行形で続くものであり、今日もどこかで妖怪が幻想郷へ向かっている可能性がある。 The major breakthrough of this barrier is that, as humans extend their influence in the Outside World, the energy of the youkai increases in Gensokyo. This effect is continuous even now; there's a chance that some youkai could be heading to Gensokyo this very day.
なお、この結界を張ったのは境界を操る妖怪・八雲紫であり、彼女はこの結界を張ることを「妖怪拡張計画」と呼んでいたようだ。 Also, this barrier was put up by the youkai of boundaries, Yukari Yakumo. She seems to have referred to the barrier's construction as the "Youkai Expansion Plan".
■交流 Cultural Exchange
「外の世界」と隔絶されている幻想郷ではあるが、交流が完全に断絶しているというわけでもない。とはいえ基本的に幻想郷への道のりは意思ある者にとっては一方通行であり、また内側の世界から好んで外の世界へ向かおうとする者もあまり存在しない。もちろん「外の世界」からの影響を受け続けているという意味では何もかもが遮断されているわけではないが、極めて限定的と言っていいだろう。 Although Gensokyo has been separated from the "Outside World", it's not immune to cultural influence. That said, the road to Gensokyo is basically a one-way street for conscious beings, and hardly anyone tries to go outside from within. Since it still receives influence from the "Outside World", it hasn't been entirely cut off, but interaction is best described as extremely limited.
どちらかというと、幻想郷は「外の世界」よりも、「その他の異界」との接続が容易な印象である。「異界」とは、ZUN氏によれば「地球と月以外の世界」とのことであり、当然幻想郷も異界の一つとして数えられる。以下に、具体的な接続先と、幻想郷との接点について挙げてみよう。 If anything, Gensokyo is more easily connected with other "Otherworlds" than the Outside World. An "Otherworld," according to ZUN, is "any world aside from the Earth and the Moon," and Gensokyo is naturally included as one of these. Below, we will give several examples of definite connections to Gensokyo.
Located on the other side of the Sanzu River, a place covered in flower gardens. Once they've arrived here, even living beings will be considered dead. That is, they just plain die. Since this is where the Yama passes down judgement, those who arrive here will simply wait to be judged.
One of the places that humans may go after receiving judgement from the Yama. Deceased who are without sin will wait here until they enter Nirvana or reincarnate. The Netherworld has a mansion called Hakugyokurou, which boasts a large garden and is home to Yuyuko Saigyouji, a ghost who the Yama has entrusted with the Netherworld's maintenance. The youkai of boundaries Yukari Yakumo has thinned the barrier between the Netherworld and our world, so going back and forth between Gensokyo and the Netherworld has become easy. As such, Yuyuko and her servants have been witnessed in Gensokyo at times.
Underground (Former Hell)
This is where Hell once existed. However, since Hell's organization had become bloated, it relocated its headquarters and restructured to be more compact. After that, the oni who disappeared from the surface have built a new society in the abandoned land. In addition to sealing away Hell's vengeful spirits, the oni also accept youkai shunned by those around them. They basically don't interact with the surface world.
Said to be located high above the Youkai Mountain, past a barrier separate from the Great Hakurei Barrier. This is basically where natural-born celestials live, but there are also exceptions such as hermits who gained immortality as a result of their training. Also, the exact location of Heaven is unclear; it's been said to be high in the skies of the Netherworld, or actually in the Lunar Capital. It may become clear that they are all actually connected, but due to a lack of information it's unknown at present.
Something like a kind of private area made by hermits. The purpose and size of such a region can vary, sometimes being used for training, or for imprisonment, or for moving to other locations. It's thought that an individual hermit's power likely has an influence.
One of the places that humans may go after receiving judgement from the Yama. The Yama resides in Higan, but she is a bureaucrat employed by Hell's organization, "The Ministry of Right and Wrong." There seem to be oni residing in Hell, as well as a goddess, but much is still unclear.
Lunar Capital
A great metropolis present on the far side of the Moon. The 'People of the Moon' live there; they have wielded overwhelming scientific technology since ancient times, and reject life as kegare. In the Touhou Project, whenever the Lunar Capital gets involved in a story, almost nothing good ever comes of it. They're very troubling to deal with.
■妖怪の山 Youkai Mountain
幻想郷で山と言えば、妖怪の山を指す。幻想郷の中でもいちばんの高さを誇り、山の上は天界に通じているという。呼び名の通り、多くの妖怪が暮らしていて、天狗や河童などが、それぞれ独自の社会を築いている。彼らは外の人間を真似た官僚的な組織を敷いていて、縄張りを侵すものに対しては排他的だ。 When one mentions "the mountain" in Gensokyo, it refers to the Youkai Mountain. It boasts the highest peak in Gensokyo, and is said that the top of the mountain leads to Heaven. True to its name, it is home to many youkai, such as the kappa and tengu who have built their own isolated societies. They have formed bureaucratic organizations mimicking humans outside, and are hostile towards intruders.
山の上の方には守矢神社があり、天狗や河童から信仰を集めている。里から人が来やすくするためロープウェイを通す計画があるが、閉鎖的な天狗と揉めていて実現には至っていない。 Towards the top of the mountain, there is the Moriya Shrine, which attracts faith from the kappa and tengu. There is a plan to put up a tramway for the sake of humans coming in from the village, but it has yet to be realized thanks to disputes with the reclusive tengu.
なお、この山そのものも、はるか昔に外の世界からやってきた「本来の姿の八ヶ岳」であるらしいが、そのことについては特に誰も気にしていないようだ。詳しくは『東方儚月抄 ~Cage in Lunatic Runagate.』4話を参照いただきたい。 Also of note is that the mountain itself seems to be "the original form of Yatsugatake," having arrived from the Outside World long ago, but nobody seems to take particular notice of this. For more details, refer to chapter 4 of the story Touhou Bougetsushou ~ Cage in Lunatic Runagate.
■異変 Incidents
妖怪が幻想郷全体に影響を及ぼすような「何か」を起こした場合、それらは「異変」として処理される。この場合の処理とは、人間による妖怪退治と、それによる事態の鎮静化だ。もちろん、往々にしてその役目は博麗霊夢が担うが、スペルカードルールが幻想郷に広まってからというもの、霊夢以外の者も強い妖怪に挑み易くなった。このことから妖怪退治のハードルが下がり、自分の力に自信のある者が妖怪退治に名乗りを上げるようになった。これら異変のほとんどは、外の世界では『東方Project』の各作品として知られている。ここでは、それに該当しない異変について1点紹介しよう。 If a youkai has caused "something" that could affect all of Gensokyo, it is dealt with as an "incident". Such cases are dealt with via youkai extermination by humans, and the resulting settling-down of the situation. Naturally, Reimu Hakurei plays this role on occasion, but since the Spell Card Rules are prevalent in Gensokyo, people other than Reimu can also easily challenge strong youkai. Thanks to this, the barriers to youkai extermination became much lower, and those with confidence in their abilities can join in with youkai extermination. The majority of these incidents are known in the Outside World as the works of the "Touhou Project". Here, let's also introduce one incident that isn't included in the series.
吸血鬼異変:スペルカードルールが制定されるきっかけとなった異変。幻想郷にやってきたばかりの吸血鬼が暴れまわったが、ルール制定前だったので、より力の強い妖怪が吸血鬼を懲らしめていろいろと契約を結ばせた。 Vampire Incident: The incident that sparked the establishment of the Spell Card Rules. A vampire who only just came to Gensokyo went on a rampage, but since the rules hadn't been enacted yet, more powerful youkai punished the vampire and made various contracts with them.
■スペルカードとその運用ルール Spell Cards and the rules of their use
スペルカードとは、博麗の巫女と妖怪の戦いにルールを定めたものだ。内容はおおよそ以下の様なものである。 Spell Cards exist to define the rules in battles between the Hakurei shrine maiden and youkai. The contents of these rules are roughly described below.
1. A Spell Card is a specialized skill of the user's, given a name. When using one, they must first announce its use.
2. The number of Spell Cards used by both participants must be determined before the battle.
3. If all of your cards on hand are broken-- if the enemy has completely evaded or defeated them-- you must admit defeat.
4. The winner can only receive compensation decided before the duel. If you do not like the opponent's presented compensation, the duel can be refused.
5. The winner must actively honor the loser's requests for a rematch.
6. Be prepared for unforeseen accidents.
このようなルールが設定された理由は、妖怪の力を弱めない必要があるからとされている。きっかけは吸血鬼異変だった(※異変の項参照)。大結界の成立によって幻想郷が平穏になりすぎた弊害で妖怪たちが戦う機会も減っており、大部分が弱体化していたからである。ルールを設定して、その範囲の中で戦うことで、頻繁に妖怪が異変を起こして巫女に挑めるようになり、逆に人間側からも妖怪に勝負を挑み易くなった。異変は巫女が勝つまで繰り返され(※ゲーム中で言うところのコンティニューのこと)、一度勝負が付いたら異変はお終い(ゲームクリア)となる。 It's said that these rules were decided upon because it was necessary to avoid weakening the youkai's power. The Vampire Incident is what sparked this (*See the entry on "Incidents"). Due to the Great Barrier's enactment, Gensokyo became too peaceful, which reduced the youkai's opportunities to fight and weakened the majority of them. By setting rules and fighting within them, youkai can frequently cause incidents to compete with the shrine maiden; conversely, it's also easier for humans to challenge youkai to duels. Incidents repeat until the shrine maiden wins (*in-game, this is referred to as using a continue), and once she wins, the incident is over (the game is cleared).