Touhou takes place in a land called Gensokyo. Gensokyo used to be a part of Japan but it is now separated from the outside world by the Hakurei barrier. The Hakurei Barrier originates from the Hakurei Shrine. Yukari manages and protects the barrier. In Gensokyo things like magic, gods, curses and youkai are normal. In Touhou Youkai are supernatural beings that tend to live very long lives and are more powerful than regular humans. Youkai find it hard to exist in places where people don’t believe in them such as the outside world. As a result many Youkai have found refuge in Gensokyo. Youkai often hunt humans and the conflict between the humans and youkai was ultimately the reason the Hakurei barrier was created. Youkai tend to be solitary and can be found all over Gensokyo Gensokyo but the more social species like the Kappa or Tengu can be found on Youkai Mountain.The humans in gensokyo are descended from people who used their spiritual powers to combat youkai and as a result many of the humans in gensokyo have some sort of supernatural ability. To protect themselves from the Youkai the humans live together in the human village. Youkai rarely attack in or near the human village as part of an unspoken agreement between the humans and the Youkai. When a Youkai causes a lot of problems for humans the humans will ask the hakurei miko to exterminate them. It is the Hakurei’s responsibility to resolve incidents and quell misbehaving youkai. Hakurei Reimu is the current hakurei Miko Miko although she rarely if ever actually kills Youkai. This is possible because of the spellcard rules. These rules allow for both people and youkai to resolve disputes without resorting to violence. The Touhou games are based upon these spellcard battles. That is the basic story of Touhou however much of the story telling occurs during the games. I will summarize their stories in
separate videos for the rest at this video I will provide a
general overview with the Touhou universe. including the various beings and locations in Gensokyo. Hermits are humans that have managed to escape death through training or ability. They often have strong spiritual powers and possibly even strong physical power.
hermits tend not to age and can potentially live forever but if they live too long Kishin will be sent to kill them.
Celestials are similar to Hermits in that they are humans who became immortal. Some celestials are humans who obtained enlightenment and ascend to heaven. Those Judged worthy by the Yama may become celestials after death. Regular humans or Hermits might be selected to become celestials. Celestials live a carefree life up in Tenkai. The blood of celestials is poisonous to youkai. Shinigami or death gods are supernatural beings that are responsible for handling the spirits of the dead. There are different roles that a shinigami might perform but in touhou the most well-known is the job of ferrying the spirits of the dead. River boat shinigami find the spirits of the dead and transport them across the river sanzu to higan so they can be judged by the Yama. Another profession available for shinigami is measuring and calculating lifespans. Most people believe that Shinigami are sent to kill people but this is a lie spread by the Shinigami themselves. Although it is possible that some shinigami are sent to fight celestials or hermits. Gods are similar to youkai in that their existence is based on people believing in them. Although unlike youkai gods are able to change their powers and abilities by manipulating people’s beliefs. Also unlike Youkai gods don’t disappear when no one believes in them. Instead they tend to return to being an element of nature. Gods often try to get people to worship them in order to increase their own power. This is done by giving blessings, technology or some other kind of reward for worshiping them. Fairies are not as strong as most of the other beings in Gensokyo they are also not very intelligent. Fairies tend to be like mischievous children and like to play pranks. Even if fairies die they will (in time) respawn with their memories intact. Fairies are very common and can be seen just about anywhere in gensokyo. There are many types of ghosts in the touhou series. Bourei or Ghosts are the spirits of the dead. Yuurei or Phantoms on the other hand can be the spirits of animals or objects.
Some yuurei are even just manifestations of strong
emotions. Onryuou or vengeful spirits and Akuryou or evil spirits are exactly what their name describes evil or vengeful spirits. Although it is worth noting that in touhou 11 the Chirei or earth spirits are also referred to as vengeful spirits. Many types of ghosts can be seen flying around gensokyo after the barriers between the netherworld and gensokyo was weakened. Stronger ghosts are even able to take on physical forms. The people who live on the moon are called lunarians. They can live very long lives and consider the people on earth to be impure There are also rabbits that live on the moon. Lunar rabbits can communicate to each other telepathically. These lunar rabbits are assigned a job based on their intelligence and physical abilities early in life. Lunar rabbits are essentially a servant species to the lunarians. Lunar rabbits are essentially a servant species to the lunarians. Kappa are a species of youkai. They like to spend time in and under water. They are a species of inventors and can create amazing works of technology but they are not very good at working together. Tengu are another species of youkai. There are three sub species of Tengu Wolf tengu, crow tengu and humanoid tengu. Wolf tengu protect Youkai Mountain from intruders. Crow tengu collect information and many write newspapers. Human tengu are the politicians and administrators of Tengu society. Oni are immensely powerful and very honest. They are known to love sake and their weakness is fried beans. Most of the Oni have left gensokyo and only two are known to remain. There are two main types of magician in Touhou. There is magician as in the profession then there is the species magician. Human or youkai magicians study and practice magic but are not born with the ability to perform magic. The species of magician is a type of youkai born with the ability to perform magic. Humans that practice magic can eventually learn how to make themselves immortal, actually become immortal then they are considered to be youkai. The misty lake is probably the largest body of water in Gensokyo. Fairies and Youkai often gather at the lake. Cirno and Daiyousei live near the lake and wakasagihime lives in the lake. The scarlet devil mansion is an expensive looking western mansion located near misty lake. The mansion is owned by the vampire Remilia scarlet. Many fairies are employed in the mansion as maids but because of their incompetence Sakuya single handedly maintains the mansion. Meiling, koakuma, Patchouli, Sakuya, remilia and flandre live in the scarlet devil mansion. There is a ruined western mansion. This the home of the prismriver sisters although they are rarely actually seen at the mansion. You can hire them to perform if you leave a note here. Meikai or the netherworld is where most of the spirits of the dead are sent. There is a barrier between the netherworld and Gensokyo but the barrier was weakened during the events of Touhou 7. Hakugyokurou is an eastern style mansion in the netherworld. The mansion is owned by Yuyuko and maintained by Youmu. The bamboo forest of the lost is a large bamboo forest. There are youkai here and it is easy to get lost which makes this a somewhat dangerous place. Mokou’s house is located here and Kagerou can sometimes be seen here. Eientei is located in the bamboo forest of the lost. It is home to the only real doctor in gensokyo so humans will often come here for
medical treatment Most of the residents here are exiles from the moon. Tei, Reisen, Eirin and kaguya live in Eientei. The forest of magic is a strange is a strange potentially dangerous place. Marisa lives in a house in the forest Alice lives near the forest. The three fairies Sunny, Star and Luna used to live here but they now live in a tree near the
Hakurei Shrine Kourindou is a store located near the forest of magic. Rinnousuke runs the shop and sells objects from the outside world. The garden of the Sun is a large
sunflower field where many faries and youkai live. Kazami Yuuka is the only notable resident of the garden of the sun. Nearby the nameless hill is a hill covered by poisonous lilies. It is named after the nameless children that would be left here to die. Medicine Melancholy lives here. The road of reconsideration is a place where the distinction between gensokyo and and the outside world is weak. As a result many people and objects from the outside
world often appear here due to the large number of Youkai and
it’s great distance from the village humans rarely come here. Muenzuka is located at the end of the road of
reconsideration. The road of liminality is a road the dead must travel to reach the river Sanzu. There are many merchants here that sell to the living and dead. The Sanzu River is a river that the dead are ferried across after death. Living beings cannot cross the river. On the other side of the sanzu river is Higan. This is where the dead wait to be judged. Shikieki and Komachi live in higan.Youkai Mountain is where the kappa and tengu live. There is a forest on the mountain and this is where Hina lives. The kappa live in a valley on the mountain. There is also a lake and a waterfall on this mountain. At the top of mountain is the moriya shrine. Youkai come to the moriya shrine in order to receive information or technology from the outside world from the Shinto goddesses. Sanae, Kanako and Suwako live in this shrine. Ibaraki Kasen also lives somewhere on youkai mountain. Heaven or Tenkai is located above Youkai Mountain. People who are judged worthy after they die may be sent here. Heaven is a very carefree and idyllic place. Recently they have stopped letting people into heaven because they say it is too crowded but this is probably a lie. The people
who live in heaven are called celestials.
The entrance to the underground is found under Youkai Mountain. Former hell and New hell are located here The palace of the earth spirits is located in former hell. she Satori, Koishi, Orin and Utsuho in the palace. Utsuho is in charge of maintaining the remains of blazing hell. Particularly evil people are sent here by the Yama after they die. Utsho’s friend Orin is in charge of the earth spirits. Most of the youkai that live underground are hated by the youkai above ground. rare for underground youkai to go above ground and vice versa. Yuugi, Parsee, kisume and Yamame live in or near new hell. The palanquin ship is a floating ship. After the events of touhou 12 the inhabitants landed the ship and now use it as a temple although they can use it as a ship again anytime they desire. The Myouren temple as it is called is a Buddhist temple run by Byakuren. Many humans and youkai come here to receive instruction in buddhism. Kyouko, Nazrin Shou, Ichirin, Murasa, Byakuren, Mamizou and Nue live in the temple. Under the Myouren cemetery is the hall of dreams mausoleum. This is where the Taoists were sealed. Miko, Futo, soga, seiga and yoshika either live here or in Senkai. Senkai is a sealed world which Toyosatomimi no Miko created. The kishinjou or shining needle castle is located in skies above gensokyo. Seija and Shinmyoumaru live here. Makai is the demon realm. It is technically outside of gensokyo but it occasionally plays a role in the story.