The 東方Project is a manga series written by ZUN. The manga series began with the first issue of Curiosities of Lotus Asia (東方香霖堂) (which was released in late 2004) and since then, it became a popular manga series within Hokkaidō and nearby regions on Honshū.
The manga series takes place mainly in Gensokyo. The main Touhou theme is Shintō, though other themes like Buddhism and Taoism are referenced/seen.
The history of the Touhou Project dates as early as during ZUN's time in High School. The first character he ever drew was Reimu Hakurei, and was during his time in high school when he had to draw a full human for a grade (in which he got a 99% for the drawing). Later, during his time in Sapporo University, he started to think about creating his own unique manga. When it came time to create a short comic-like story as a project, he did one of Reimu training with her friend, Marisa Kirisame, in a danmaku (bullet curtain) style battle. The battle itself was sketchy, but the characters themselves were made of high standard, as were some parts of the battle (like when Reimu used her Yin Yang Orbs). He managed to get an 89% on that project.
Shortly after his graduation from Sapporo University in 2004, he decided to begin making his own manga series. By the Last month of 2004, he made the first issue of Curiosities of Lotus Asia. It took a while for him to find a local publisher, but by 2005 he decided to create his own publishing company, named Team Shanghai Alice (上海アリス幻楽団 Shanhai Arisu Gengakudan). It took a while, but by 2006, he was able to sell his manga under the name of Team Shanghai Alice.
List of Characters
One of the main characters in most of the Touhou series. She is a Shrine Maiden and the head of the Hakurei Shrine. She deals with solving incidents that cause any trouble to Gensokyo and goes to hunt out the source. She is a kind and friendly person to be around with, and she's also optimistic.
Also another one of the main characters in most of the Touhou series. She is a Magician that lives nearby the Youkai Mountain and is Reimu's friend. She also owns her own Magic Shop, which gets decent amount of business and sales.
She is the head and owner of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. She is weak to both sunlight and rain and as such, she carries a parasol for whenever she goes outside and she usually stays in her mansion. She also holds reasonable magical powers and has a reputation to match.
She is the Head Maid of the Scarlet Devil Mansion and is the servant of Remilia. She is known to be a great cook and makes the best meals around. Also known to have the ability to manipulate time and space, she is one of the more powerful humans in Gensokyo.
Eirin is the Secondary Character in Silent Sinner in Blue and Cage in Lunatic Runagate while being the Main Character in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth. She is also a premier pharmacist, selling medicines at Eientei ranging from sleep aids to various cures, including cures to even the most obscure illnesses; and all her medicines have no side effects, very effective, and fairly priced.
Same as above. Kaguya is an assistant of Eirin Yagokoro and helps her out with her studies. A former princess of the Lunarians, she exiled to earth thousands of years ago after drinking the Hourai Elixir that made her immortal. After many years of exile, she was forgiven and decided that she should return. However Kaguya refused, and with the help of Eirin they moved on to Gensokyo in which they hid in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost and set up a new home for themselves.
Reisen Udongein Inaba
Same as above. She was formally a moon rabbit until she moved to Gensokyo with Kaguya and Eirin. Since then, Reisen has been working for and protects both Eirin and Kaguya. She also helps out with Eirin with selling medicine.
Same as above. Tewi is a Youkai rabbit, and is the leader of many Youkai rabbits who guard Eientei. She is also a trickster at times, mainly seen in Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth.
Kasen is the main character of Wild and Horned Hermit. She is a hermit and usually lives in the Youkai Mountain. Kasen is very kind and polite to everyone and is always willing to lend a word of advice or teach a lesson. Sometimes she is preachy and overly critical of others, just to make sure they get the message.
Seiga appears as a secondary character in Wild and Horned Hermit from chapter 12 on. She is friends with Kasen Ibaraki and helps her out a lot. Like Kasen, she is friendly and polite to nearly everyone.
Toyosatomimi no Miko
Miko is one of the main characters in Symposium of Post-mysticism. She is a Taoist who used to use Buddhism for political reasons. She also achieved immortality a while back after Seiga had convinced her to come to the side of Taoism.
Another one of the main characters in Symposium of Post-mysticism. She is a Buddhist monk that is head of the Myouren Temple. She helps for the peace between Youkai and Humans and hopes that one day that peace can be finally achieved.
Also a main character in Symposium of Post-mysticism, she is the head of the Moriya Shrine and is a goddess on the side of Shintoism. She also happens to have some interest in technology and at one point she was also interested in nuclear technology, but ever since a huge nuclear war happened in the Outside World, she changed her mind completely and sees it as a bad idea.
Yuyuko is the owner of Hakugyokurou. She is a human who lived for over one thousand years. Youmu is her guardian and Yukari is her friend. She was also known to spoke out against Yukari's invasion of the Moon thousand years ago and again in Silent Sinner in Blue. She seems to enjoy drinking once in a while, despite Youmu's wishes for her not to.
Youmu is a half-human half-phantom who lives at Hakugyokurou in the Netherworld as a gardener and is a guardian of Yuyuko. She is a secondary character in Curiosities of Lotus Asia and Touhou Bōgetsushō.
The Watatsuki Sisters compose of Toyohime and Yorihime. They are the leaders of the Moon and both are head of the Lunarian Defence Corps. They are the main characters in Touhou Bōgetsushō series.
She is a friend of Reimu and they both usually work together. She's also long time friends with Yuyuko and both knew each other for a very long time.
Also over a thousand years ago, Yukari attempted to invade the Moon, in which they were defeated by the Lunarians. She attempted another invasion of the Moon in Silent Sinner in blue only to be arrested by Watatsuki no Toyohime in the end.
She is also knowledgeable about technology. In the Eleventh and Twelfth Chapters in Curiosities of Lotus Asia, when Rinnosuke Morichika had an old 1970s telephone in his shop, Yukari already knew how to use one. She similarly knew about the old style TVs. It's been confirmed that she does visit the outside world sometimes and at one point during her visits, she seen a nuclear war taking place, in which she immediately escaped to Gensokyo.
Komachi is a Shinigami and she transports dead spirits to Eiki Shiki in which Eiki judges on where the dead spirit's fate will be. Komachi was ordered to keep watch on Kasen, but doesn't really trust her and as such Komachi sometimes threatens her, but she isn't really serious with her threats however.
Three Fairies of Light
The Three Fairies of Light composes of Sunny Milk, Luna Child, and Star Sapphire. They are the protagonists in the Touhou Sangetsusei series. They are known to play tricks on humans with their powers.
Rinnosuke is a human/youkai hybrid and is a main character in Curiosities of Lotus Asia. He owns an antique shop, Kourindou, specialising in items from the Outside World.
Hieda no Akyuu
Hieda no Akyuu is the main character of Perfect Memento in Strict Sense. She tells about the history of Gensokyo and also talks about most of the characters in detail and such. She is known to have good relations with everyone as well.
Kosuzu is a Human Village resident and a worker at the Suzunaan book renter. She has the ability to decipher books by putting her hands over them and is the number one collector of demon books in Gensokyo. She's the main character of Forbidden Scrollery.
The following characters are mentioned or seen for a few panels only and do not have any much role in the series. A few of these characters can also be seen occasionally.
- Nitori Kawashiro - A kappa who is also a tech-savvy
- Mononobe no Futo - appeared as a minor character in Symposium of Post-mysticism. She is one of Miko's friends and ally. Can manipulate feng shui.
- Soga no Tojiko - Same as above.
- Satori Komeiji - Lives in the Ancient City, and owner of Chireiden (Palace of the Earth Spirits).
- Koishi Komeiji - Satori's sister, and the only other inhabitant of Chireiden.
- Kyouko Kasidani - guardian and resident of the Myouren Temple
- Ichirin Kumoi and Unzan - Same as above.
- Fujiwara no Mokou - Kaguya's Bitter Enemy
- Mystia Lorelei - Is a Grilled lamprey vendor and owns a food stand
- Nazrin - A resident of the Myouren Temple
- Shou Toramaru - Same as above
- Kogasa Tatara - Same as above. She also appeared in Chapter 9 of Wild and Horned Hermit.
- Minamitsu Murasa - Same as above. Murasa also happens to be Byakuren's guardian.
- Nue Houjuu - Same as above.
- Mamizou Futatsuiwa - Same as above.
- Sanae Kochiya - resident of Moriya Shrinee
- Suwako Moriya - resident and former head of Moriya Shrine
- Ran Yakumo - Yukari's main shikigami
- Chen - Ran's shikigami
- Aya Shameimaru - head of the Bunbunmari Newspaper
- Tenshi Hinanawi
- Eiki Shiki - Komachi's boss.
- Alice Margatroid - works in Kirisame Magic Shop whenever Marisa is away.
- Keine Kamishirasawa - works as a Teacher and is the protector of the Human Village
- Suika Ibuki
- Renko Usami
- Maribel Hearn
Gensokyo (幻想郷 Gensōkyō, "Land of Illusions" or "Land of Fantasy") is the fictional land in which the entire Touhou series takes place. Its culture vaguely resembles that of feudal Japan, with a lot of folktale elements added on.
Gensokyo was originally a desolate, haunted region of Japan ages ago. The youkai that lived there began to terrorise the surrounding lands, and endless fighting between humans and youkai began and continued all the way on until 1885, when Gensokyo was sealed off from this increasingly scientific and skeptical world with the creation of the Hakurei Border. There has been little contact between those societies ever since. Today, the only known gateway between Gensokyo and this world is the Hakurei Shrine, which stands in isolation along the border on distant mountains of the far east.
Gensokyo is populated mainly by youkai, but a decent human and rabbit population lives there as well.
Some notable locations are as follows:
The Hakurei Shrine (博麗神社 Hakurei Jinja) is the home of Reimu Hakurei. The Shrine is located along the Great Hakurei Border and is home to the many Hakurei shrine maidens who have lived here for centuries. It is a popular place for collectors and youkai as items from the outside world are known to sometimes appear near the shrine. The Shrine receives decent donations as well.
The Shrine's location has moved a good distance away from the Hakurei Border as of Symposium of Post-mysticism.
Forest of Magic
The Forest of Magic (魔法の森 Mahou no Mori) is a forest that's located nearby the Youkai Mountain.
Marisa's house and Magic Shop is located between the forest and Youkai Mountain. The Three Fairies of Light also used to live in a tree that was near her house, and they had relocated to live near the Hakurei Shrine since.
A bit further in the forest is the antique shop Kourindou, which Rinnosuke owns.
The Youkai Mountain (妖怪の山 Youkai no Yama) is Gensokyo's sole great mountain and volcano. As its name implies, it is inhabited almost exclusively by youkai, mainly kappa and tengu.
It is also the home of Kasen Ibaraki, as well as Kanako Yasaka, with the latter maintaining the Moriya Shrine there and the former living close to the shrine in her mansion.
Tenkai (天界, lit. Celestial World) can easily be reached from the mountain top, and is the home of Tenshi Hinanawi.
The Myouren Temple (命蓮寺 Myōrenji), formerly the Palanquin Ship (聖輦船 Seirensen), was originally a ship capable of sailing through the sky. Some time later before chapter 12 in Oriental Sacred Place, it was landed not too far from both the Human Village and the Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum and was renovated into a temple.
The temple is home to Byakuren Hijiri, Shou Toramaru, Nazrin, Ichirin Kumoi and Unzan, Minamitsu Murasa, Nue Houjuu, Kyouko Kasodani, and Mamizou Futatsuiwa. It is also the main Buddhist Temple in Gensokyo and the major place of where Buddhists gather.
Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum
The Hall of Dreams' Great Mausoleum (夢殿大祀廟 Yumedono Daishibyou) is located not too far from the Myouren Temple. It is the home to Toyosatomimi no Miko, Mononobe no Futo, and Soga no Tokiko. It is a Taoist Temple and serves as the main Taoist Temple of Gensokyo.
Scarlet Devil Mansion
The Scarlet Devil Mansion (紅魔館, Koumakan) is a European-style mansion owned by Remilia Scarlet, and is located near the Misty Lake. Remilia and Sakuya Izayoi are known to be the only residents of the mansion.
Higan (彼岸) is located on the other side of the Sanzu River, and is the location of where Komachi takes dead spirits to be judged by Eiki Shiki to detriment the dead spirit's fate.
Eientei (永遠亭, literally House of Eternity) is located hidden deep in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost and is the home of Eirin, Kaguya, Reisen, and Tewi. It is a large, old-fashioned Japanese mansion, and has hallways that lead to the outer reaches of the sky. The place was created by Eirin and Kaguya after their move to Gensokyo, and to live in a peaceful location. However, it soon became a popular place to visit as Eirin begun to sell medicines to anyone who needs it.
It's also known that Fujiwara no Mokou lives far away from the place within the forest itself.
The Human Village (人間の里, Ningen no Sato) is the safest place in Gensokyo to live in and is the main location for people from the outside world to live in, if they decide to stay. It is protected by Keine Kamishirasawa, who can hide the history of the village existence in order to protect it from any threats if need to be.
It is also the place of where Kosuzu Motoori and Hieda no Akyuu live.
The Hakugyokurou (白玉楼, literally Tower of White Jade) is located a bit far from the Youkai Mountain. It is the place where Yukari Yakumo, Yuyuko Saigyouji, and Youmu Konpaku live. From here, it serves as an entrance to the Netherworld, the land where ghosts and spirits reside after death.
Not much is known about the Ancient City other than the fact that its where the Oni live. The Palace of the Earth Spirits is also located there, and Satori Komeiji is known to be the only resident in the palace.
The Moon is a satellite of Earth and is the main location of the Lunarians, including the Watatsuki Sisters, and the Moon rabbits live. It is home to the Lunar Capital, the largest population of where most of the Lunarians live.
It is known that there was once a 'war' between the humans and Lunarians, after the astronauts from the Apollo program planted a flag. No direct fighting took place, and the Lunarians prevented the Apollo program from gaining a foothold on the moon and the Apollo program's "invasion" had horribly failed.
List of Manga Published
Curiosities of Lotus Asia (東方香霖堂)
First ever Touhou manga by ZUN. Parts were made in early 2003 but had no title. Soon upon ZUN's graduation he went back to it, and managed to give it a title. The manga was finished by the end of the Last Month in 2004, but wasn't published until 2005. Republished again under the name of Team Shanghai Alice in 2006.
Touhou Sangetsusei (東方三月精)
Touhou Sangetsusei was created 2005-2006. It deals primary with the Three Fairys of Light (Sunny Milk, Luna Child, and Star Sapphire), with Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame also being the co-main characters.
It has 30 chapters total.
- Eastern and Little Nature Deity (10 chapters) - Released 2006/3/8
- Strange and Bright Nature Deity (10 chapters) - Released 2006/7/11
- Oriental Sacred Place (10 chapters) - Released 2006/12/31
Touhou Bōgetsushō (東方儚月抄)
Touhou Bōgetsushō was created from 2007 up until early 2008.
In Silent Sinner in Blue, follows the efforts of Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame along Remilia Scarlet and Sakuya Izayoi of the Scarlet Devil Mansion as they attempt to send a rocket to the moon, purportedly in order to invade the Lunar Capital. It has Three Volumes with Seven Chapters each.
In Cage in Lunatic Runagate, it has stand-alone stories and offers background information to the main events in Silent Sinner in Blue, offering the insights and perspectives of minor characters and by those who don't appear at all.
In Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth, it deals primary with the Eientei residents.
- Silent Sinner in Blue - Released 2007/5/12 (V1), 2007/9/29 (V2), 2008/9/25 (V3)
- Cage in Lunatic Runagate - Eight Chapters, created and released in 2008/2/23
- Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth - mostly drawn and created by Toshihira Arata, made in four koma strips. Two Volumes, with seven chapters each. Both Volumes were released in a pack on 2008/12/19.
Art Books, Short Stories
Most of these short stories revolve around other characters, as opposed to the main characters (Reimu and Marisa).
- Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red (東方文花帖) - Released 2009/3/03
- Seasonal Dream Vision (東方紫香花) - Released 2009/6/08
- Symposium of Post-mysticism (東方求聞口授) - Released 2012/8/08
- Perfect Memento in Strict Sense (東方求聞史紀) - Released 2013/6/10
Wild and Horned Hermit (東方茨歌仙)
Created since 2010 and is ongoing. The main character of this series is Kasen Ibaraki, and later in the Twelve Chapter, Seiga Kaku joins as another main character with Kasen Ibaraki. Currently it spans Five Volumes and Twenty Five Chapters in Total (Five Chapters per Volume). The releases as follows:
- Volume One - Released 2010/5/12
- Volume Two - Released 2010/9/24
- Volume Three - Released 2011/2/21
- Volume Four - Released 2012/4/29
- Volume Five - Released 2012/9/30
- Volume Six - Released 2013/5/18
- Volume Seven - Released 2013/11/25
- Volume Eight - TBA
Forbidden Scrollery (東方鈴奈庵)
Forbidden Scrollery has been announced by ZUN as one in the works, and a preview of it has been seen at the end of the Fourth Volume in Wild and Horned Hermit. He announced that the first issue of it will be released sometime in mid-2013, around the same time as Perfect Memento in Strict Sense. This series will feature Kosuzu Motoori as the main character.
This series is co-created by both ZUN and Moe Harukawa.
- Volume One - Released 2013/5/18
- Volume Two - Released 2013/12/18
- Volume Three - TBA