Strange Creators of Outer World/Who's Who of Humans & Youkai in Gensokyo/Sanae Kochiya

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幻想郷人妖名鑑
東風谷早苗

Who's Who of Humans and Youkai in Gensokyo
Sanae Kochiya

種族
人間

Race
Human

活動範囲
守矢神社
幻想郷全域

Range of activity
Moriya Shrine
Throughout Gensokyo

主な能力
奇跡を起こす程度の能力

Main skills
The ability to cause miracles

活動
守矢神社の布教
妖怪退治

Activities
Missionary work for Moriya Shrine
Youkai extermination

代表的なスペルカード
秘術「グレイソーマタージ」
蛙符「手管の蝦蟇」

Example spell card
Esoterica "Gray Thaumaturgy"
Frog Sign "Wily Toad"

外観
巫女服
蛇と蛙の髪飾り

Appearance
Shrine maiden clothing
Snake and frog hair accessories

新参者の巫女

Newcomer Shrine Maiden

早苗は巫女さんである。『東方風神録』ステージ5のボスとして初登場し、幻想郷の信仰を巡って霊夢と争ったが、懲らしめられた。今となっては妖怪退治における霊夢の商売敵といったところだろうか。

Sanae is a shrine maiden. She made her first appearance as the stage 5 boss of "Mountain of Faith", where she fought with Reimu over Gensokyo's faith and was punished. Now she's something like a business rival in youkai extermination?

早苗が巫女とはいっても、博麗神社の巫女さんではない。彼女は、妖怪の山の奥深くにある「守矢神社」の巫女として、そこに祀られている神様にお仕えしている。山は、その名の通り妖怪だらけで、主に河童や天狗が独自の社会を築いている。もちろん里の人間がほいほいと来るような場所ではない。なぜそんな山の奥に神社があるかというと、数年前に外の世界から幻想郷へ引っ越してきたからだ。しかも神社ごと、そのほとりにあった湖ごと。

Although Sanae is a shrine maiden, she's not the shrine maiden of the Hakurei Shrine. She belongs to the "Moriya Shrine", in the innermost area of Youkai Mountain, and she serves the gods enshrined there. As the name implies, Youkai Mountain is crawling with youkai, especially the kappa and tengu who have built their own societies. Naturally, it isn't somewhere where human villagers carelessly visit. As for why there's a shrine so deep in the mountains, that would be because it was moved from the outside world to Gensokyo only a few years ago. Not only the shrine, but the lake nearby.

移住の決断と理由

Reason and Decision to Relocate

幻想郷への移住を決断したのは、神社に祀られる神様、八坂神奈子(※もう一柱いるがそれはまた別の機会に)。外の世界――人間の世界では、神様の起こす奇跡よりも、科学と情報が頼られるようになっていき、神様たちは信仰をどんどん失っていった。神様にとって信仰を集められないことは、すなわち存在の否定を意味する。危機感を募らせた神奈子は、外の世界を去って新たに幻想郷で信仰を集めるべく、神社を幻想の物とした。別に信仰は人間からのものでなくても問題はないのだ。そして早苗はその提案にあっさりと乗った。何故なら彼女には、幻想郷へ行くことが楽しみな理由があったからだ。

The decision to immigrate to Gensokyo was made by the enshrined god, Kanako Yasaka (※There's another one, but that will be discussed at another opportunity). In the outside world――the Human World, people have come to rely on science and facts rather than divine miracles, so faith in the gods has been almost entirely lost. To a god, the failure to gather faith is equivalent to having their existence denied. Sensing the growing threat, Kanako turned the shrine into a thing of fantasy in order to leave the outside world and start anew, gathering faith in Gensokyo. Faith doesn't necessarily need to come from humans. Sanae simply went along with her decision. The reason being that she thought going to Gensokyo would be fun.

風祝

Wind Priestess

「早苗は巫女さん」と最初に書いたが、彼女はただの巫女とは少し異なる。早苗の家系はそもそも土着神の末裔なのだ。また、古来から一子相伝の秘術を受け継ぐ「風祝(かざはふり)」という神職を代々受け継いでおり、その存在自体が信仰の対象して神様と同等の扱いを受けているという、言ってみれば現人神だったのだ。だが、早苗たちが祀る神奈子への信仰が薄れたのと同様に、現人神を信仰するような人間はほぼいなくなっていた。自分の起こす奇跡の力に自信を持っていた早苗は、そういったことが当たり前の世界へ行くことに対して抵抗が無いどころか、むしろ楽しみにしていた。ちょっと自信過剰すぎて、幻想郷の人間たちをなめていた結果、神奈子ともども懲らしめられたわけだが。

While this article started with "Sanae is a shrine maiden," she's a bit different from ordinary shrine maidens. Her family is descended from the native gods. Furthermore, she's inherited the ancient secret techniques that come with the position of "Wind Priestess", making her an object of faith equivalent to the gods, in other words a living god. However, just like the god she worships, Kanako, almost no human had faith in the living gods anymore. As someone proud of her power to cause miracles, she had no problem with moving to a world where that sort of thing was common sense, and in fact was looking forward to it. Of course, she was a bit too confident, ended up underestimating the humans of Gensokyo, and was punished along with Kanako.

幻想郷の流儀

Gensokyo Style

お灸を据えられた早苗たちだが、守矢神社が山の妖怪にすんなり受け入れられ、山の妖怪たちからの信仰自体は継続しているため、信仰を失わないという当初の目的そのものは一応達成されていた。以後、早苗はより幻想郷になじむため、そして妖怪以外からの信仰を得るため、麓の人里へ布教に出向くようになった。その一環として行われるようになったのが、早苗による妖怪退治である。元が生真面目な早苗だったが、非常識が常識な世界に馴染むために、彼女もまた非常識な人間へとだんだんと変わっていくのだった。

Although they were punished, the Moriya Shrine was accepted on Youkai Mountain without much fuss, and thanks to the faith from the mountain youkai were no longer in danger of losing all their faith, thus accomplishing their original goal, for the time being. Afterward, in order to get Sanae accustomed to Gensokyo as well as get faith from people other than youkai, Sanae started to perform missionary work in the human village under the mountain. As a part of that plan, she also participates in youkai extermination. Although she was originally far too serious, in order to become used to a world where lacking common sense was common sense, she's steadily become another human who lacks common sense.

当初は「新参者」「現代っ子」という比肩する者のいないポジションだったが、今ではさらなる現代っ子というか現役の現代っ子とでも言うべき宇佐美菫子(sic)の登場が登場した。これによって、早苗の役割は変わったのだろうか? 実のところそうではない。あくまでも外の世界から現代的な視点で幻想郷を観察する菫子に対し、早苗は現代的な観点で内側から幻想郷の事象を観察している。また、菫子が性格的には現代社会の負の要素を多めに取り入れていることに対し、早苗はどちらかと言えばポジティブな部分が前面に出ている。最新作『紺珠伝』では、そんな早苗の現代っ子的な活き活きとした姿が描かれているので、是非とも彼女を自機に選んでストーリーを楽しんでほしい。

Although originally she didn't have any competition for the position of "Newcomer" or "Modern Girl", recently the even more modern, or perhaps we should say still-a-high-school-student, Sumireko Usami has made her appearance. With this, shouldn't her role have changed? Honestly, it doesn't seem to have. Unlike Sumireko's observations of Gensokyo from the outside world as an outsider, Sanae views Gensokyo from the inside, as an outsider. Also, unlike Sumireko who's taken in most of the negative parts of modern society, Sanae seems to represent its more positive aspects. Sanae's role as a modern girl is perfectly illustrated in the latest game, "Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom", so please pick her and enjoy her story.

髪飾り

Hair Accessories

早苗のトレードマークと言えば、髪飾りだ。蛇と蛙、どちらも守矢神社に祀られている神様を象徴している。それを常に身にまとっているのは、神様との関係がうまくいっている証拠なのだろうと思うと微笑ましい。

Sanae's trademark would be her hair ornaments. Both the snake and the frog symbolize the gods of the Moriya Shrine. By keeping them on her body at all times, she seems to be constantly showing evidence of her connection to them, which is quite charming.


Comment from ZUN

意外と早苗は使いやすいキャラクターだよね。結構どんなシチュエーションに放り込んでもいける。話しもいっぱいしてくれるし、彼女自身にバックボーンもしっかりあるし、他のキャラとも被らない。霊夢と魔理沙の両方の要素を持っていて、独立した性格も持っているから、特に使いやすいんだろうね。当初は霊夢のライバルキャラとして作ったので、それが使いやすい理由なのかもしれない。霊夢が語らないから、早苗はその分やりやすいんです。『風神録』を作った時には、そういう使いやすいキャラクターが欲しいなとは思っていたので、はじめから意識してはいました。それまで出てきたキャラクターたちは人気はあるんだけれど、使いやすいわけじゃないんですよね。人気があると設定をいじりにくいから。妖夢も一応そのつもりだったんだけど、わりと使いにくいんだよね(笑)。

Sanae is a surprisingly easy to use character. You can throw her into pretty much any situation and it'll turn out well. Because she talks a lot and is full of confidence and backbone, she doesn't blend into the background with other characters. She has elements of both Reimu and Marisa, as well as her own independent personality, so she's especially easy to use. Maybe that's because I originally created her to be Reimu's rival. Reimu doesn't chat much, so Sanae easily covers her share too. When I was making "Mountain of Faith", I was aware from the very beginning that I wanted an easy-to-use character. The characters I'd made before were popular, but that doesn't make them easy to write. I mean, because they're popular it's hard to tweak their established traits. Youmu was intended to be like that too, but she's surprisingly hard to write. (lol)