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Youjutsu (妖術, lit. "youkai techniques") refers to abilities used by youkai, or which have the same qualities as youkai. While often translated as "sorcery" or "black magic", in Gensokyo it can be used as an umbrella term for any kind of magic or supernatural power, whether inherent or learned.
- Main article: Magician
Magic (魔法 mahou, lit. "sorcerous method") is used by magicians. Originally the character ma (魔) in mahou (and its variants madou and majutsu) carried implications of the dark arts, but in modern times it has expanded to include any kind of Western-style magic. It is essentially a sufficiently-analysed version of the powers wielded by youkai, a mystical science with many fields including alchemy and the binding of familiars, and its practitioners engage in constant research to increase their knowledge and power. Like youjutsu, "magic" can also be used generically to refer to any kind of supernatural power.
- Main article: Buddhism
Houjutsu (法術, lit. "law techniques" or "Dharma techniques") refers to supernatural abilities derived from Buddhism, which include such things as exorcising evil spirits by reciting sutras. In the same way that youkai embody chaos and unrest, Buddhism embodies order and tranquility. Byakuren Hijiri used these techniques before learning youjutsu.
- Main article: Hermit
Senjutsu (仙術, lit. "hermit techniques") are abilities used by hermits, which commonly include things such as flight, teleportation, and hiding the location of their homes. A hermit's superhuman body might itself be seen as one of these abilities.
Onmyoudou (陰陽道, lit. "Way of Yin and Yang") is a form of Japanese divination and spellcasting created by combining knowledge and rituals from many sources, including Taoist alchemy, Feng shui, Buddhist sutras, and Shinto kami worship. Professional Onmyoudou users are known as Onmyouji (陰陽師, lit. "Yin-Yang master"), though any Shintoist, Buddhist or even youkai might dabble in its techniques. Onmyoudou is known for its use of ofuda (spells written on paper amulets) and shikigami.
Esoterica (秘術 hijutsu) are unique skills which are self-invented or understood only by a limited few. This term is used explicitly to refer to many shrine maiden techniques, to some of Sumireko and Okina's respective abilities, and to the "Astronomical Entombing" which Eirin performed in Imperishable Night. A character's signature ability often falls into this category.