I've been thinking a lot about the smells in Gensokyo. It's not something that gets described often in stories and it's a pretty important part about how we perceive the world. I think that Sannyo would smell pretty good, since she would likely apply various fragrances and oils just as her normal routine, regardless of the tobacco. >>24916 I think the china dress is better than a maid outfit.
>>24919 I would say that it's likely earthy, almost damp and with a hint of chlorophyll. She's a gardener and physically active; after a long day the perspiration would make the aforementioned smells a little sharper and almost bring out slightly sour notes. After a bath or early in the morning, however, probably she and her dress smell lovely and vaguely of green tea.
>>24921 I think it's likely a deep scent, with a touch of sweetness, not unlike a hookah with rose-petal-flavored tobacco. But, if you want to evoke mountain mist, it might then be light and with a little bit of conifer—in other words the clean and pleasant smell of Japanese cedar or sugi.
>>24926 Given the co-operation of enough 2hus, Eirin could probably design a performance calculated to be most impressive—she's done something similar before—but whether it could actually happen is another matter entirely.
>>24945 >Be Sumireko >Make it onto the first round of America's Got Talent >Don't_fuck_up.jpg >Start off strong >Use last word >Beam of light smashes through roof >Blows apart stage >Blows apart judges >Blows apart talent show >Disqualified because whole season is cancelled >Should have tried levitating instead
>Be Reimu >Get invited to some show > Not interested. > Food is for free and there is price money > There is a fire in my heart.jpg > Get to place, bunch of other people here too. >All those chumps be from my neighbourhood > Gotta show your talent and have the crowd go yay or something. > First opponent is that curse Goddess. > She starts spinning in place super fast, and dolls fly next to her. >Crowd is impressed. >They like that then this is easy for me. >Pick up Yin Yang Orbs and have them spin too. > My balls shine with an divine power. > Throw Fantasy Heaven at Spin 2 to Win loser. > She gets yeeted to the ground hard, instant KO. >Celebrate my win yay! have theme song play > Why are you booing me? >What do you mean I'm getting arrested for assault!? >This contest is bullshit. > I want my money, or get a taste of my balls too!
I've always wanted to roll up next to some 2hus and just overhear their conversations. What are they thinking about that day? What do they like to talk about when they're just hanging out? Do they joke? Get philosophical? Gossip about people in their lives! Tell dumb stories?
Sure, fugging your favourite 2hu sounds all cool, but it ain't happening, let's face it. Being friends is probably impossible, too. Might as well get some enjoyment out of a brief, contextless exchange about pieces of their life you'll never have full knowledge of.
...I still wanna share a drink with Yuugi, though.
Funny enough, a lot of hus seem like they would be totally chill with just talking if they're not busy. Reisen venting about her workplace. Marisa discussing the latest experiment that blew up. Meiling talking about what she does with her time in front of the gate. Hell, I'd imagine it's easy to get Yuuka to ramble on about botany for hours. I wonder how many characters would actually go to the village for food and drink, and just stop to talk with other villagers.
Alright I'll tell you all, there's a norwegian folk tale about fairy tale bullshit and also a hand mill or something that can make things you wish for. It winds up stuck on salt at the bottom of the ocean.
>>24976 Well the folk tale eventually migrated to japan along with several others, still through the oral tradition, but mostly we already have a pair of vampires living in gensokyo, so is it so hard to believe that at some point they fished a magic mill out of the ocean to make the place more self reliant?
>>24918 >five signs of decay [五衰] (go-sui): Also, five types of decay. Five signs of decline displayed by heavenly beings when their lives are about to end. These signs differ according to the sutras. The Nirvana Sutra describes these five: (1) their clothes become soiled, (2) the flowers on their heads wither, (3) their bodies become dirty and smell bad, (4) they sweat under the armpits, and (5) they do not feel happy, wherever they may be.
>>24996 On a serious note, why not write about the events leading up to or directly after the Kappa/Yamawaro split? There isn't much lore, so you can make up your own interpretation of events. You can write OCs, which makes it easier to write a story without worrying about sticking to canon depictions of characters. Plus, since the Kappa/Yamawaro both live on Youkai Mountain, whichever characters we follow will be able to interact with other 2hus. The story won't be isolated to your OCs, which makes the story more interesting.
>>25005 Aside from my award-winning personality, the only thing I have to offer is being a good cook but do not have the financial stability to support another person. So I don't think I could persuade any of them.
>>25005 It would be Nitori. Being able to see outside world technology and the ocean makes it one of the easiest sells, not to mention the way kappas don't particularly get along with each other might mean less of an attachment to others in Gensokyo compared to other choices. I wouldn't want her to never be able to see Gensokyo again though.
Not a specific 2hu, but I wonder what the average fairy would talk about if you managed to isolate them and sit them down with a sweet drink long enough to have something resembling a conversation. Of course, it wouldn't be anything profound. Still, who knows what they notice that nobody else does?
I wonder if Eirin would just provide the elixir if you asked her for it (Kaguya's objections notwithstanding). Maybe she'd consider it some form of medical malpractice, but all three immortals have largely grown past the point of misery regarding eternal life. If anything, I'd suspect objections to be on the basis of whether she or Teri would mind having another immortal around. I could see that going either way, depending on mood or interpretation of their personalities.
Maybe, but I don't see it happening unless you were worthy of being trusted with he elixir. Problem isn't a single immortal human, problem is if you start spreading the elixir around and instead of 1 new immortal, it's 20 or 100. Which might force Eirin to somehow create an anti-Hourai elixir (I highly doubt Eirin can create an elixir that she herself cannot reverse), which is something I think she'd rather avoid so that no one could use it against her or Kaguya.
If you manage to convince her you'd be careful with it, then, yeah, I think she would provide it if asked.
Or, perhaps a better question. Where does Gensokyo's silk come from? It must be the same place it does everywhere else: silk farms. I bet Wriggle would have a field day on them if she learned how silk was produced. The production methods that don't require killing the larvae are too expensive to compete in a market without a customer base that cares about insect life.
Silk farms - potentially other industries, too - may need protection from angry youkai. In this case, insects specifically. In lieu of regular visitors to the shrine, this may be a potential source of income for Reimu. Seal over the Sato family's silk farms every few weeks/months, get your dresses repaired and replaced, plus some rice and sake on the side. For the farmers, compared to the cost of manually handling youkai interference or switching to less productive but less aggravating means of production, it would likely be appealing.
Of course, this might drive some resentment, asking for "gifts" for doing what "should" be Reimu's "job". I don't like a village that's too rational. Peasants have historically been reluctant to accept things like extra taxes. It depends on how "mandatory" Reimu's services are perceived, I think. In this case, it would seem foolish to refuse, though, since the Hakurei Shrine's duties pointedly don't pertain to protecting plantation products from predators.
>>25442 Given that Gensokyo is pretty mountainous, being in essentially Central Japan, I doubt there's much sericulture, much less 'plantation' sized industry. My guess would be that a lot of textiles in Gensokyo are the even more traditional hemp-based ones, or even based on local vines/trash plants, as wasn't uncommon for far-flung regions like in the northeast.
Consider two gods. One proselytizes regularly, rewarding worshippers and punishing the negligent. The other does as little as possible, because it's a lot of work. Which one survives?
Consider two gods. One appears when called and challenged, and demonstrates its power. The other does not, because they think it beneath them [or some other reason]. Which one survives?
Gensokyo was allegedly founded because the outside world "stopped believing in youkai", with a hand pointed only briefly and dismissively in the direction of science. But the scientific method, if applied to supernatural phenomena, would confirm their validity. A god who embraced it and demonstrated their existence would grow more powerful. Can you deny a tengu's existence when they can carry you up a mountain with the wings upon their back?
It's a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Reason drove out the youkai, but no rational man would deny the supernatural when plainly presented with it. The supernatural died off or left because of a lack of faith, but the lack of faith wouldn't exist if the supernatural was still around.
It can't even be argued that terror, fear, or belief would be lacking, because again - while youkai and gods may have been born from fears and mysterious past incidents, even once those truths are uncovered, there are still the entities themselves now preserved through ontological inertia. Echoes may be soundwaves, but they can also be the yamabiko, and if you don't believe it? You can go ask the temple gatekeeper herself.
(Admittedly, the yamabiko are an extreme example here - a single-purpose youkai who only explain a natural phenomenon whose explanation is so simple it doesn't really leave room for debate? They're on far shakier ground. I would call this an exception to the rule, though. Again, see the Tengu.)
There must be something external to the equation lurking in the outside world. Something that's siphoning off the power given by faith - something powerful enough to engulf the entire world, to drown out the Lord, Allah, and every other myth and god. None can be excluded from this smothering effect, because then you refer to the problem stated at the start - why wouldn't the survivors exercise their power? Natural selection applied to divinity means the gods that exercise their power will survive.
Who, or what, would want the sterile dystopia that a world without the gods would be? Is it even be a conscious act? Would the sages be aware, and to what extent?
I don't mean to taint any other theorizing with my own ideas, but the conclusion I like to draw to this, regarding Gensokyo, is that Yukari's long-term plans are rooted in her memories of the near future on Earth. Knowing the soulless terror to come, Gensokyo becomes an extremist's gambit to preserve the necessary supernatural from whatever entity is interfering, and potentially to defeat it. She already knows what an Earth without gods looks like - she grew up in it. What hope does humanity have in the world without them? Between a millenia of youkai politics, disputes, and necessary sacrifices, it becomes clear how, if from an alien perspective, a person could justify the blood Gensokyo is built on.
As for the force itself, its nature doesn't matter so much - its identity could be warped to fit a story's needs.
In reality, I think ZUN doesn't consider this problem at all - either from having dismissed it, or from having not considered it. He's very consistent about the "science did it" thing, which is an easy enough conclusion to draw for misinformed ordinary magicians, anyways.
>>25448 >It's a chicken-and-the-egg problem. Reason drove out the youkai, but no rational man would deny the supernatural when plainly presented with it. The supernatural died off or left because of a lack of faith, but the lack of faith wouldn't exist if the supernatural was still around.
Considering how many people nowadays are blindly trusting science, I wouldn't be so quick to claim this. The whole reason tales about "supernatural" beings doing "supernatural" things were told was mostly as warnings for people not to do dangerous things at dangerous places, or as shorthand for phenomena that was not understood at the time. With the advent of (near) worldwide education, the cultural zeitgeist has shifted towards rejecting all manner of supranatural explanation - almost to a theological level, ironically enough - and instead firmly believing that any kind of weird phenomena has a completely logical explanation (if sometimes too complicated for the regular everyman to fully grasp) that follows the established laws of physics.
In short, we stopped believing in gods and monsters, and started believing in the scientific method. How it affected the youkai and divinities of Touhou has never been explained in full, but I would imagine it wouldn't feel too nice to be blatantly denied by a human you were trying to scare who keeps screaming about "Hessdalen Lights" and "dark energy".
>>25449 But that's just it. The science-driven order and the established laws of physics can only exist because of a lack of the supernatural. None of the rules hold up consistently when dealing with youkai; instead, you end up with ugly exceptions everywhere, because the conclusion to be drawn is that human belief warps reality to match itself.
Now every natural law is in question. Every scientific principle is up against the ugly notion that humanity might have just invented "truths" about the universe that happened to fit their priors and made them "real" through sheer popularity. But again, that's taking the pre-existing order of things (the body of laws that have been derived from this world) and applying a new truth to it. You still have to ask how those principles were derived in the first place.
Anyways, with the supernatural present, you couldn't arrive at those erronous conclusions because the nature of faith would change experiments, and they wouldn't hold up with the presence of youkai anyways. Confirmation bias on steroids.
What I'm trying to say is, if youkai and gods weren't already disappearing by 1700 to 1800 AD or so, you would see them actively engaging scientists - either to demonstrate their presence in the hopes of gathering faith, or to disrupt their work to obscure their own nature. The current 'devotion' we see to science is just faith by another name; it's cultlike and encouraged by multinational titans because of its practical use. In the face of active gods, it wouldn't have developed at all; those unfaithful could and likely would be smited outright, or overrun, or otherwise fail to gain ground against faiths with actual divine backing. Divine right to rule is an extremely practical thing for a god, since it gives you essentially total control over a monarchy's leader. State religion is an incredibly powerful tool, and you'd see a lot more of it.
The worst thing I think you'd end up facing is that this new order, where belief alters reality and gives birth to monsters and deities, almost certainly leads to what I might call the most tyrannical world possible: the world where dominance of broadcast media and information channels is akin to mastery of the universe. There would be war in Heaven over control of a power like that. Every god, fighting for control of their own reality tunnel.
I focus a lot on gods here just because they're one of the few kinds of youkai that really scale with faith and have worldwide influence and interest in human society. But I really don't think yelling at Nue about how actually her wings are powered by magnetofluids is a good way to, like, not get eaten by Nue. Small-scale youkai would also disrupt any kind of clear sense-making or patterns, too. Like I said - might be the mountains, might be a yamabiko. Although, I still think yamabiko would go extinct even under these circumstances.
Actually, what you bring up - the systemization of youkai - is something I've seen covered in at least one story somewhere. The idea that human obsession with systemization and clarity led directly to the more humanlike youkai in Gensokyo, or that where they formerly had no blood or black smoke, they now have blood - or clearly defined if mangled and superficial organs - just because people expect them to. Because "no natural creature could exist without organs". You might see that repeating in a world with active gods, to some extent. Hell, it'd probably be happening in regular Gensokyo.
>>25451 Have you read Neil Gaiman's American Gods? It touches on a lot of the points you're talking about, especially about the mythification of new tech, media culture and political boogeymen displacing the gods of old.
Although I would disagree in your assertion that humanity at large has the power to alter reality in such a large scale. Rather, I'd believe (hah) that the laws of nature are set in stone, and what changes is our perception and understanding of them.