Also known as Jun'ya Ōta (
ZUN during the PlayDoujin! Meeting (2015)
Hakurei Kannushi, Team Shanghai Alice Leader
Programmer, Game Director, Game Producer, Character Designer, Illustrator, Game Designer, Music Composer, Novelist, Comic Writer
Kid's Festival ~ Innocent Treasures (Changeability of Strange Dream)
Composed UFO Romance in the Night Sky from Undefined Fantastic Object.
Jun'ya Ōta (太田順也 Oota Jun'ya), pen-name ZUN, is the sole member of Team Shanghai Alice and is the designer, programmer, script writer, and composer of Touhou Project. He is rather reclusive and very fond of beer. He was formerly employed by Taito Corporation and was a programmer for various Taito titles.
Made under "ZUN Soft"
- 東方靈異伝 ～ Highly Responsive to Prayers
- 東方封魔録 ～ Story of Eastern Wonderland
- 東方夢時空 ～ Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream
- 東方幻想郷 ～ Lotus Land Story
- 東方怪綺談 ～ Mystic Square
- Made under Team Shanghai Alice
- 東方紅魔郷 ～ the Embodiment of Scarlet Devil
- 東方妖々夢 ～ Perfect Cherry Blossom
- 東方永夜抄 ～ Imperishable Night
- 東方花映塚 ～ Phantasmagoria of Flower View
- 東方文花帖 ～ Shoot the Bullet
- 東方風神録 ～ Mountain of Faith
- 東方地霊殿 ～ Subterranean Animism
- 東方星蓮船 ～ Undefined Fantastic Object
- ダブルスポイラー ～ 東方文花帖
- 妖精大戦争 ～ 東方三月精
- 東方神霊廟 ～ Ten Desires
- 東方輝針城 ～ Double Dealing Character
- 弾幕アマノジャク ～ Impossible Spell Card
- 弾幕アマノジャク ゴールドラッシュ
- 東方紺珠伝 ～ Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom
- 東方天空璋 ～ Hidden Star in Four Seasons
- 秘封ナイトメアダイアリー 〜 Violet Detector
- 東方鬼形獣 ～ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature
- 東方虹龍洞 ～ Unconnected Marketeers
- バレットフィリア達の闇市場 ～ 100th Black Market
- 東方獣王園 〜 Unfinished Dream of All Living Ghost
- Collaboration with Twilight Frontier
- 東方萃夢想 ～ Immaterial and Missing Power
- 東方緋想天 ～ Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
- 東方非想天則 ～ 超弩級ギニョルの謎を追え
- 東方心綺楼 ～ Hopeless Masquerade
- 東方深秘録 ～ Urban Legend in Limbo
- 東方憑依華 ～ Antinomy of Common Flowers
- 東方剛欲異聞 ～ 水没した沈愁地獄
- 蓬莱人形 ～ Dolls in Pseudo Paradise
- 蓮台野夜行 ～ Ghostly Field Club
- 夢違科学世紀 ～ Changeability of Strange Dream
- 卯酉東海道 ～ Retrospective 53 minutes
- 大空魔術 ～ Magical Astronomy
- 未知の花 魅知の旅
- 鳥船遺跡 ～ Trojan Green Asteroid
- 伊弉諾物質 ～ Neo-traditionalism of Japan
- 燕石博物誌 ～ Dr. Latency's Freak Report
- 旧約酒場 ～ Dateless Bar "Old Adam"
- 幺樂団の歴史1 ～ Akyu's Untouched Score vol.1
- 幺樂団の歴史2 ～ Akyu's Untouched Score vol.2
- 幺樂団の歴史3 ～ Akyu's Untouched Score vol.3
- 幺樂団の歴史4 ～ Akyu's Untouched Score vol.4
- 幺樂団の歴史5 ～ Akyu's Untouched Score vol.5
- In Collaboration with Twilight Frontier
- 幻想曲抜萃 東方萃夢想 ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK
- 全人類ノ天楽録 東方緋想天 ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK
- 核熱造神ヒソウテンソク 東方非想天則 ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK
- 暗黒能楽集・心綺楼 東方心綺楼 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
- 深秘的楽曲集 宇佐見菫子と秘密の部室
- 深秘的楽曲集・補 東方深秘録初回特典 CD
- 完全憑依ディスコグラフィ 東方憑依華 ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK
- 強欲な獣のムジカ 東方剛欲異聞 ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK
- 東方三月精 ～ Eastern and Little Nature Deity
- 東方三月精 ～ Strange and Bright Nature Deity
- 東方三月精 ～ Oriental Sacred Place
- 東方三月精 ～ Visionary Fairies in Shrine
- 東方文花帖 ～ Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red
- 東方紫香花 ～ Seasonal Dream Vision 
- 東方求聞史紀 ～ Perfect Memento in Strict Sense
- The Grimoire of Marisa
- 東方求聞口授 ～ Symposium of Post-mysticism
- 東方文果真報 ～ Alternative Facts in Eastern Utopia
- The Grimoire of Usami
- 秋霜玉 (Seihou Shuusou Gyoku) (Shunsatsu sare do?)
- 稀翁玉 (Seihou Kioh Gyoku) (Shunsatsu sare do?)
- トルテ ル マジック (Torte Le Magic) (Pietoro)
- 黄昏酒場～Uwabami Breakers～ (The Drinking Party)
Works with Taito Corporation
- International League Soccer (Known as Greatest Striker in Japan)
- Magic Pengel
- Graffiti Kingdom
- 神魔討綺伝 ～ Magus in Mystic Geometries (D.N.A. Softwares)
- 東方幻想麻雀 (D.N.A. Softwares)
Doujin Print Works
- 東方紫香花 ～ Seasonal Dream Vision (Tora no Ana)
- DOUJIN GAME × PACKAGE DESIGN (RebRank)
- Cradle -東方幻樂祀典- (sound sepher)
- Seasonal Dream Vision (CD) (Tora no Ana)
- 東方幻想麻雀オリジナルサウンドトラック (Disaster/D.N.A. Softwares)
- 8ビットミュージックパワーファイナル (Columbus Circle)
Columns & Reviews
A limited biography of ZUN could be written based upon the lengthy texts included within his games (letters to the player) and interviews for various publications. Unfortunately, a large majority of these remain untranslated for the Touhou Wiki. Despite this, a good amount of relevant information is known about him.
ZUN has used the nickname "ZUN" since his childhood, since it is a short form of his real name; in arcades, a three-character nickname was common for many players since most games had a three character limit for their leaderboards. ZUN calls his nickname a "cultural thing", and notes that it sounds similar to the "Jun" sound in his real name.
ZUN's real name is Jun'ya Ota (太田順也), seen in the documentation of the five PC-98 games, as well as the credits of Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, Lotus Land Story and Mystic Square in 1997 and 1998; the name has also been listed in archives of ZUN's profile page on his website until June 2002. Additionally, ZUN is credited by his real name in Taito games that he contributed to. His real name is also used on official documents.
ZUN also refers to himself as the Hakurei Kannushi (博麗神主), or the head priest of the Hakurei Shrine, used as his byline on some Touhou print works and on his Twitter account. He has stated he "secretly works in the Hakurei Shrine as the shrine master" in Changeability of Strange Dream. In canon, the Hakurei Shrine in Gensokyo has received sake from the outside world as an offering on several occasions, which may be a joking reference to how well-known ZUN is for drinking more than an oni.
ZUN was born on March 18, 1977Hakuba, Nagano, and graduated from Tokyo Denki University, the home of Amusement Makers. The MAG-Net episode shows that at the time, he lived in Ebina, Kanagawa. His current residence is unknown., in
In an interview, ZUN claims that he started composing his own pieces of music in junior high school, and learned how to play the Electone after his parents bought him one. He also learned how to play the trumpet as part of a wind instruments ensemble in elementary school.
ZUN started working at Taito in 1998, and left in 2007 due to disappointment and a lack of interest in the job; he also no longer needed to work at Taito due to the success of Touhou Project. In his interview with MAG-Net, ZUN says that his fondest ambition in life is to open a brewpub.
In a February 2012 radio interview, ZUN announced that he had recently married, with the formal ceremony held on May 27 (the day of Reitaisai 9). His wife is a game programmer who programs smartphone games. They met in 2004. ZUN became a father to a boy on June 13, 2014, and a girl on December 5, 2016.
ZUN appears to always wear a flat cap. He typically wears a green, flower-patterned ascot or a black one with a red and gold design lining it. He generally finds his flat caps by looking around normal shops, flea markets or nearby events. He also wears glasses.
ZUN has stated in an interview that he weighs only 50kg (110lbs). It is impossible to confirm the accuracy of this measurement, but he is visually very thin.
ZUN is 173cm tall (1.73 meters).
ZUN is a relatively cheerful person, as seen in most of his public appearances and interviews as he laughs very often. However, he is rather quiet when talking, demonstrated at the after-party of Hakurei Jinjya Reitaisai 8. He is nostalgic at times. He considers beer to be one of his greatest passions, but the history behind this is unknown. ZUN is often uncomfortable if he does not have a beer or a mobile phone nearby. His favourite beer is Kirin, brewed in Japan.
ZUN is a fan of music that uses FM (Frequency Modulation) Synthesis. He composed a number of FM Synthesis tracks for the PC-98 Touhou Project games, as well as for some print work CDs. ZUN states in a note in the Akyu's Untouched Score albums that he resents the gradual phasing out of FM Synthesis that's occurring today.
Relationship to Touhou
ZUN has a lot of nostalgia towards Touhou Project, evident when he played Highly Responsive to Prayers in the MAG-Net documentary. He puts a lot of effort and creativity into creating Touhou games, and is content with his life even if all he generally does is either working on Touhou or drinking beer.
In the composer's comments for the theme Eternal Shrine Maiden, ZUN says that it was one of the most important tracks during the PC-98 era, but also says that his favourite songs are generally his recent creations. He has also admitted that Reimu Hakurei holds a special place in his heart.
ZUN jokingly stated in an e-mail that he continues to make Touhou Project games because some part of him lacks common sense. However, he has stated that the actual reason why he made the game series and Team Shanghai Alice is because he couldn't find any games he liked himself, so he decided to make them himself. In the Swedish Magazine Interview, when asked what games he will make in the future, he says he will continue to make "games that stand out, so if all [his] fans disappear [he is] still happy [that he] can keep doing the games [he] want[s]." Even to this day, he admits that he cannot create anything other than Touhou.
The Taito game Darius Gaiden – which is one of ZUN's favorite shoot'em up games – is considered another known inspiration for him to create Touhou Project.
ZUN is very proud that the fanbase for Touhou Project is very large, and frequently enjoys its doujin works. He admitted that he occasionally gets jealous when a lot of effort and quality is put into a fan-made Touhou work, but refuses to choose a favourite. He initially did not want to be influenced by fan-made Touhou works, but he has stated that the fanbase has an influence on how he works.
- ZUN appears as a playable character in the fangame Touhou Unreal Mahjong.
- In his interview on Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, ZUN said that he develops his games with Visual Studio, Adobe Photoshop and Steinberg Cubase (Cubase SX 3 at the time). In more recent interviews, he has been seen using the latest version of Cubase Pro.
- ZUN currently holds the world record for Touhou Project as the "world's most prolific fan-made shooter series".
- The track "Kid's Festival ~ Innocent Treasures" in Changeability of Strange Dream is ZUN's official theme. He has stated in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red that writing it was somewhat embarrassing, calling it "the theme song that plays when you make your entrance on a talk show". This exact scenario has occured at least twice when ZUN appeared on talk shows.
- This theme seems to be the only one that ZUN wrote lyrics for. However, he either could not or did not get anyone to sing them.
- On his website, ZUN claims the Last Judgement was initially an attempt at composing his own theme. He abandoned the idea as he felt the resulting song didn't fit well, and was "too good".
- ZUN has trouble designing male characters due to the abundance of female characters in Touhou. In response to a question regarding male characters and the possibility of Myouren Hijiri being the original final boss of Undefined Fantastic Object, ZUN said "it would be weird to have an old man as the last boss in Touhou". He later stated that "boys get in the way of the game" and that "boys would just ruin the balance of the series."
- When asked if the PC-98 games are canon, ZUN states that the PC-98 and Windows games are set in the same world. He acknowledges that this causes contradictions, stating that the latest games are the most canon.
- In the Swedish Magazine Interview, ZUN claims that Taito did not like that he developed Touhou Project at the same time as their games.
- Coincidentally, ZUN and "ZUNTATA", the sound team at Taito Corporation, share the same first three characters. Zun is also the name given to the Chinese bronze vessel that was used to store alcohol during the Northern Song period of Song Dynasty.
- As one of his titles, the word "Kannushi" (神主) is often seen synonymously with "ZUN".
- ZUN is typically treated as a character alongside the rest of the Touhou Project characters, where he appears in doujin works – such as Touhou Soccer Moushuuden – and fanart.
- Moge Koubou, a figurine creator, made an action figure of ZUN. With his permission, it was sold at the 2009 Winter Comiket.
- A common joke among fans is that Touhou and Gensokyo was created by beer, rather than ZUN.
- In fanart and doujinshi, "ZUUUU~N!" is occasionally depicted as a sound effect.
- The Edirol SD-90's Romantic Tp (the synth trumpet heard in ZUN's music) is colloquially referred to as "ZUNpets" (ＺＵＮペット) by fans.
- ZUN has been compared to Aya Shameimaru after being seen wearing this shirt, which resembles the one worn by Aya in Double Spoiler.
- ZUN's AWA Q&A Panel, September 2013
- The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Interview, October 2013
- Doujin Barrier: The Work Called Touhou and the Fantasy of Game Creation, ZUN's lecture, February 2005
- Interview in Swedish Player1 Magazine, ~March 2006
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red/Interview
- ZUN's E-mails
- Miscellaneous illustrations by ZUN
- ZUN talks about Silent Sinner in Blue
- ZUN talks about Undefined Fantastic Object (YouTube)
- Interview on Nae Radio (September 2009)
- Personal Memo on Youki
- ZUN's reply to messages on the former Gensou Bulletin Board 1 (Proofreading wanted)
- ZUN's reply to messages on the former Gensou Bulletin Board 3 (Proofreading still wanted)
- Texts written by ZUN in LORD of VERMILION
- Doujin Round Table Interview from Shooting Gameside Vol.1 (2010)
- Nikenme Radio 3D event, and the birth of EoSD
- Summary Record of a Chat Between ZUN and a Korean Touhou Fan at Comiket76
- Interview with ZUN in a bar at Tokyo, part 1
- Interview with ZUN in a bar at Tokyo, part 2
- Interview with ZUN in a bar at Tokyo, part 3
- Doujin Round Table Discussion
- NHK's "imagine-nation" talks to ZUN(deadlink)
- Interview on Creative Train
- Meiji University talkshow "Dawn of Touhou" (Summarized and selectively translated)
- Shanghai Alice Correspondence
- ZUN's Gensou Denshou Lecture (summary available on gensokyo.org)
- Invisible Games and Japanese, ZUN's blog
- Strange Articles of the Outer World/ZUN long interview 
- ZUN's reply to messages on the former Gensou Bulletin Board 2
- ZUN's reply to messages on the former Gensou Bulletin Board 4
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 1
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 2
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 3
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 4
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 5
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 6
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 7
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 8
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 9
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 10
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 11
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 12
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 13
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 14
- ZUN's former blog "Touhou Shofu" 15
- Interview at 4gamer.net, December 2005
- ZUN talks about The Highly Responsive to Prayer at 4gamer.net
- Introduction to Touhou and brief interview with ZUN on "The Net Star" TV show (Niconico, sound only)
- ZUN talks about Subterranean Animism, part 1 (Niconico)
- ZUN gets drunk and rambles about stuff (Niconico)
- ZUN talks about Subterranean Animism, part 2 (Niconico)
- ZUN at the after-party of Hakurei Jinjya Reitaisai 7 on March 14, 2010 (Niconico)
- ZUN was on live cam! (YouTube)
- ZUN at the after-party of Hakurei Jinjya Reitaisai 8 on May 8, 2011 (Niconico)
- ZUN interview for Niconico Indies Game Fes 2013
- Denfaminico Gamer interview featuring ZUN and Toby Fox
These videos were originally available and translated, but the uploader was forced to set them to private after several copyright claims.
They are now re-uploaded, though untranslated.
- Touhou MAG-Net Documentary/Interview Part 1 (mediafire)(.mkv packed .RAR)
- Touhou MAG-Net Documentary/Interview Part 2 (mediafire)(.mkv packed .RAR)
- Touhou MAG-Net Documentary/Interview Part 3 (mediafire)(.mkv packed .RAR)
ZUN drinking Orval beer during his Undefined Fantastic Object interview.
ZUN's presentation about Scarlet Weather Rhapsody(?).
Another photo showing ZUN presenting Scarlet Weather Rhapsody(?). Doesn't his appearance resemble Aya Shameimaru?
ZUN playing the fifth Touhou game Mystic Square.
- Wikipedia entry on ZUN
- ↑ not an official print work but ZUN got involved
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers Interview: interview between John Szczepaniak and ZUN
- ↑ White Canvas Case: comment
- ↑ November 2012 Nikenme Radio 3D event
- ↑ https://twitter.com/korindo/status/477666648661319680
- ↑ https://twitter.com/korindo/status/206496584773537793
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 ZUN's AWA Q&A Panel
- ↑ Double Dealing Character Staff roll
- ↑ Notes on ZUN's Genyou Denshou Lecture
- ↑ "Most prolific fan-made shooter series". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 22 August 2011.