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Touhou Project

Touhou Project (東方Project) is a series created by doujin circle Team Shanghai Alice. It is a multiple work group which includes various forms of works such as games, music, and books.

Overview

Touhou Project (東方Project, Tōhō Project, lit. Eastern Project) is a group of doujin works produced by the one-man doujin circle Team Shanghai Alice operated by ZUN.
Revolving around the danmaku (bullet hell) doujin shooting games Highly Responsive to Prayers released in 1996, doujin music CD and manga which followed the original works of ZUN’s were also created.
It is often referred to as Touhou or Touhou Series.

With a vast body of derivative works, Touhou Project has become a prominent source of media content.
At pixiv, there are about 2.18 million derivative works tagged as Touhou or Touhou Project, which made it the second most-used tags next to the original work.

Focusing on danmaku STG games, it consists of a wide range of works including books, music CD, etc. Especially the games, the programming, designing, music and story composition, etc. are all made by ZUN individually, and there are barely other staff involved in the production.

As an exception, there are five danmaku action works which were co-produced with Twilight Frontier under the supervision of ZUN. Fairy Wars was handled by Makoto Hirasaka only for character drawings due to various circumstances. For books, refer to the later-mentioned columns of books.

Setting

The setting lies in Gensokyo, which is sealed away from the real world by a barrier.
The design and the initial work were influenced by Izumi Takemoto. Especially in the PC-98 version, the character appears directly.

As the general story of the game, a certain girl in Gensokyo caused an incident called “the change”, and the main characters (Reimu Hakurei, Marisa Kirisam, etc.) solve the “changes”.
Exceptionally, Shoot the Bullet, Touhou Hisoutensoku, etc. are produced with a focus on events beyond daily lives and changes.
Although there are some exceptions, the work depicts daily lives in Gensokyo. In recent years (after Wild and Horned Hermit has started), there are many books with the previous and later talks as a supplement to explain the changes in the game version.

Characters

Beginning with human deriving from myths, Inheritances,ancient texts, etc., there are various species like yokai, ghost, and god (mitama). They are uniformly drawn as girls(children).
The characters with names are mostly girls, but men, adults, and people with names also appear in some of the books (see below) and Hopeless Masquerade.

Refer to the article of List of Touhou Project Characters for details.

Music

Refer to Touhou Music for details of the music in Touhou Project.

Copyright

According to the provisions of the original author ZUN, the copyright owner of Touhou Project is Team Shanghai Alice, and the copyright owner of derivative works is the creator of the work.
Team Shanghai Alice will not be responsible for any issues related to derivative works.

Refer to the article of Touhou Project(derivative works) for details.

Works

Though the overall series are in the same timeline, the stories are mainly differentiate between the old works (PC-98 version) produced in ZUN’s schooldays and Window version produced currently.

For details of the differences, refer to Touhou Old Works.
Refer to the article of ZUN for the producing motivation of Touhou Project.

In 2015, the year of Touhou Project’s 20th Anniversary, a variety of commemorative events were held, and many works to commemorate and celebrate the 20th anniversary were posted on pixiv.

Old Works (PC-98 version)

It was in the name of Amusement Makers, a nonofficial club of Tokyo Denki University which he had belonged to.
It is the general terms of the first five works in the series, from the 1st game to the 5th game.

ZUN developed the whole works independently (with some exceptions). It was displayed at comic market and other places under the name of ZUN Soft.
Refer to Touhou old works for details.

Work NumbersTitlesPublications
1Touhou Reiiden ~ Highly Responsive to Prayers. the 20th Hatoyama Matsuri(1996), C52(1997)
2Touhou Fuumaroku ~ the Story of Eastern WonderlandC52 (1997)
3Touhou Yumejikuu ~ Phantasmagoria of Dim.DreamC53 (1997)
4Touhou Gensokyo ~ Lotus Land StoryC54 (1998)
5Touhou Kaikidan ~ Mystic SquareC55 (1998)

Win Version (Windows version)

It was in the name of circle Team Shanghai Alice. It is the general terms of works in the series after the 6th game.

Most of the works were danmaku STG, as previously mentioned, was developed by ZUN independently. (With some exceptions)

The 7.5th game, the 10.5th game, the 12.3rd game, the 13.5th game and the 14.5th game were under the genre of danmaku action, and were co-produced with Twilight Frontier. ZUN was responsible for story supervising and a part of composing.

Moreover, though the games basically published in the form of discs, the 14th game Shining Needle Castle was published in two forms including discs and downloads.

Work NumbersTitlesPublications
6Touhou Koumakyou ~ the Embodiment of Scarlet DevilC62 (2002)
7Touhou Youyoumu ~ Perfect Cherry BlossomC64 (2003)
7.5Touhou Suimusou ~ Immaterial and Missing PowerC67 (2004)
8Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable NightC66 (2004)
9Touhou Kaeizuka ~ Phantasmagoria of Flower ViewC68 (2005)
9.5Touhou Bunkachou ~ Shoot the BulletC69 (2005)
10Touhou Fuujinroku ~ Mountain of FaithC72 (2007)
10.5Touhou Hisouten ~ Scarlet Weather Rhapsody Reitaisai5 (2008)
11Touhou Chireiden ~ Subterranean AnimismC74 (2008)
12Touhou Seirensen ~ Undefined Fantastic ObjectC76 (2009)
12.3Touhou Hisoutensoku ~Choudokyuu Ginyoru no Nazo wo Oe C76 (2009)
12.5Double Spoiler ~ Touhou BunkachouReitaisai7 (2010)
12.8Yousei Daisensou ~ Touhou SangetsuseiC78 (2010)
13Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten DesiresC80 (2011)
13.5Touhou Shinkirou ~ Hopeless MasqueradeReitaisai10 (2013)
14Touhou Kishinjou ~ Double Dealing CharacterC84 (2013)
14.3Danmaku Amanojaku ~ Impossible Spell CardReitaisai11 (2014)
14.5Touhou Shinpiroku ~ Urban Legend in LimboReitaisai12 (2015)
15Touhou Kanjuden ~ Legacy of Lunatic KingdomC88 (2015)
15.5Touhou Hyouibana ~ Antinomy of Common FlowersC93 (2017)
16Touhou Tenkuushou ~ Hidden Star in Four SeasonsC92 (2017)
16.5Hifuu Naitomea Daiari ~ Violet DetectorC94 (2018)
17Touhou Kikeijuu ~ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature.C96(2019)
17.5Touhou Gouyoku Ibun ~ Suibotsushita Chinshuu Jigoku (βevaluation version)Shuu Reitaisai6 (2019)
18Touhou Kouryuudou ~ Unconnected MarketeersAir KOMIKE
Works with boldface letters were co-produced with another circle called Twilight Frontier.

Extra Games

The score attack games made for events.

Derivative ElementsTitlesPublications
YouyoumuTouhou Youyoumu Score AttackThe 1st Hakurei Shrine Reitaisai (2004)
AmanojakuDanmaku Amanojaku Gold RushDigital Game Expo2014
It can only be played at the trial games experiencing events at places like Digital Game Expo aperiodically.

Steam]] Online Published Works Some previous works are published as well.

TitlesDate of Issue
Touhou Tenkuushou ~ Hidden Star in Four Seasons2017/11/18
Touhou Hyouibana ~ Antinomy of Common Flowers2018/1/5
Hifuu Naitomea Daiari ~ Violet Detector2018/9/5
Touhou Kanjuden ~ Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom2019/4/2
Danmaku Amanojaku  ~ Impossible Spell Card.2019/4/2
Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten Desires2019/6/19
Touhou Kishinjou ~ Double Dealing Character.2019/6/19
Yousei Daisensou ~ Touhou Sangetsusei2019/8/2
Double Spoiler ~ Touhou Bunkachou2019/8/2
Touhou Kikeijuu ~ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature2019/9/9


Play, Doujin!

Type of MachineTitlesDate of Issue
PS4Touhou Shinpiroku ~ Urban Legend in Limbo2016/12/8


Books

ZUN has supervised the story of the books.
The producer of manga and illustrations and the publishers(or the serialized magazine‘s name) are explained in detail separately.
Some works such as Touhou Bougetsushou (manga version, 4 frame version), Touhou Ibarakasen and Touhou Suzunaan are also released as e-books.

TitlesPublishers
Touhou Kourindou ~ Curiosities of Lotus AsiaASCII Media Works
Touhou Sangetsusei ~ Eastern and Little Nature DeityKadokawa Shoten
Touhou Sangetsusei ~ Strange and Bright Nature DeityKadokawa Shoten
Touhou Sangetsusei ~ Oriental Sacred PlaceKadokawa Shoten
Touhou Bunkachou ~ Bohemian Archive in Japanese RedIchijinsha
Touhou Shikouhana ~ Seasonal Dream VisionToranoana
Touhou Gumon Shiki ~ Perfect Memento in Strict SenseIchijinsha
Touhou Bougetsushou ~ Cage in Lunatic RunagateIchijinsha
Touhou Bougetsushou ~ Silent Sinner in BlueIchijinsha
Touhou Bougetsushou ~ Inaba of Moon and Inaba of EarthIchijinsha
The Grimoire of MarisaIchijinsha
Touhou Ibarakasen ~ Wild and Horned HermitIchijinsha
Touhou Gumon Kuju ~ Symposium of Post-mysticismIchijinsha
Touhou Suzunaan ~ Forbidden ScrolleryKadokawa Shoten
Touhou Gairai Ihen ~ Strange Creators of Outer WorldASCII Media Works
Touhou Sangetsusei ~ Visionary Fairies in ShrineKadokawa Shoten
Touhou Bunka Shinpou ~ Alternative Facts in Eastern UtopiaKadokawa Shoten
The Grimoire of Usami Secret Sealing Club's Otherworld Photography RecordKadokawa Shoten

Music CD(Yougakudan no Rekishi)

The CD includes old work(PC-98 version)’s music. It also includes the unused music.

Source WorksTitlesPublications
Touhou GensokyoYougakudan no Rekishi1 Akyu's Untouched Score vol.1Reitaisai3 (2006)
Touhou KaikidanYougakudan no Rekishi2 Akyu's Untouched Score vol.2C71 (2006)
Touhou FuumarokuYougakudan no Rekishi3 Akyu's Untouched Score vol.3C71 (2006)
Touhou YumejikuuYougakudan no Rekishi4 Akyu's Untouched Score vol.4C73 (2007)
Touhou ReiidenYougakudan no Rekishi5 Akyu's Untouched Score vol.5C73 (2007)

Music CD (ZUN's Music Collection)

The CD includes the arranged and original music used in former works.
The booklet which comes with the CD always depicts a story following the introduction.

In particular, the series of stories which appear in the booklet after vol.2 are generally called Private Sealed Class.
Refer to the article of Private Sealed Class for details.

NumberingTitlesPublications
vol.1Hourai Doll ~ Dolls in Pseudo ParadiseC62/C63 (2002)
vol.2Night Trip to Rendaino ~ Ghostly Field ClubC65 (2003)
vol.3Changing Dreams in the Age of Science ~ Changeability of Strange DreamC67 (2004)
vol.4East-West Tokaido ~ Retrospective 53 minutesReitaisai3 (2006)
vol.5Celestial Wizardry ~ Magical AstronomyC70 (2006)
vol.5.5Unknown Flower, Mesmerizing JourneyReitaisai8 (2011)
vol.6Ruins of Torifune ~ Trojan Green AsteroidCOMIC1☆6 (2012)
vol.7Izanagi Object ~ Neo-traditionalism of JapanC82 (2012)
vol.8Swallowstone Naturalis Historia ~ Dr. Latency's Freak ReportReitaisai13 (2016)
vol.9Old Testament Tavern ~ Dateless Bar "Old Adam"C90 (2016)

The Recording of Music Games

On animation sites, especially Nico Nico Douga, there are many popular works which rearranging the music in Touhou Project, and some of them are recorded in commercial music games that are currently operating as arcades.

As ZUN once belonged to Taito, Music GunGun! and GROOVE COASTER which are from the same company contains music arranged by ZUNTATA's direct composer.
Konami’s music game SOUND VOLTEX starts a public audition for music arrangements and character images.
Konami, the company which has great dominance in music games area, brought a huge impact by selecting the lineup, and changes appear as music circles start to arrange Touhou music for games.

For Nintendo’s Daigasso! Band Brothers P, music recorded on the music CD produced by Team Shanghai Alice can be posted since late July 2015.
Moreover, in December of the same year, a remix contest for the target music was held with ZUN as a special judge.
The Grand Prix works will be recorded on the CD released at Hakurei Shrine Reitaisai in May 2016, and will also be published on Band Bro.

Refer to the article of Touhou arrange for details.

Related Illustration

There is an abbreviation called Touhou, and the followings are mainly posted with this tag in pixiv.

東方
東方project


sensitive
黄昏的宴会


see illustrations with the tag Touhou

WORLD WIDE Touhou Project

NotationLanguageAeraAbstract
Touhou Project, Touhou or PSM and etc.EnglishEurope. America, etc.PSM is the abbreviation of Project Shrine Maiden. It is the notation which appears in the original works alongside Touhou Project.
Touhou, Touhou ProjectChinese, Simplified Chinese, JapaneseChina, Singapore, Japan, etc.东方 is the notation of the simplified Chinese. In traditional Chinese notation, the 東方 notation is the same as in Japanese. A list of notations employed in Chinese used countries is posted in the articles 东方 in the pivix encyclopedia
동방, 동방프로젝트HangulKorea, etc.동방 means Touhou, and 프로젝트 means Project.
โทโฮ, โทโฮโปรเจกตThaiThailandTouhou is also written as ทางทิศตะวันออก, ต.อ., ตะวันออก, เกี่ยวกับทิศตะวันออก, and Project is written as โครงการ

Overall, among the fans, there are some common nouns such as Touhou and Touhou Project. In the event related to Touhou Project or overseas events where Touhou Project participates as a genre, the notation of Touhou and the conversation by this expression as pointing to Touhou Project is possible.

Touhou can also be used in overseas Touhou Project events.
In interviews of ZUN the word and notation of Touhou is used in the English-speaking area to refer to the whole world view (take the Interview of ZUN in the Anime Weekend of Atlanta, USA in 2013 as an example)

The notation of the original author, Team Shanghai Alice is Team Shanghai Alice in English, and 上海爱丽丝幻乐团 in Japanese.
When referring to an individual work in Japanese, for example, when pointing to Touhou Koumakyou(), it common to refer it by only using the Japanese part of the work name or rusing the part excluding the common 東方 of the title(which is Koumakyou() in the above example).

Similar abbreviations are also used in Chinese characters (for example, abbreviate 东方红魔乡 as 红魔乡).

In English-speaking countries, each work is indicated by the English title (in the above example, Embodiment of Scarlet Devil), or by the numbering of the original work(in the above example, TH6=The 6th work).

When using Japanese and other languages to interact, it may be good to forget that there are differences in the usually used abbreviations and in the origin of the abbreviations.

External Links

上海アリス幻樂団 (Team Shanghai Alice's Website)
Twilight-Frontier (Twilight Frontier's Website)
AOTAKA's 玉砕日報 / Sofmap炎上! 玉砕日報とAmusument MakersのWebPage (Amusement Makers official site (old)

Article in Other Languages

Japanese

東方Project
Touhou_Project

Korean

동방프로젝트

Related Articles

Parent Article

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