Author Topic: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?  (Read 2407 times)

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SeroVich

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What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« on: April 21, 2024, 03:48:39 PM »
Not just the humans' lives, but also the yokai. Everyone who lives in Gensokyo in general.

How is their lives different from us? Knowing that they are stuck in the Meiji Era and currently it is the Reiwa Era in Japan.
"Thou art a genius." - Tomo Takino, Chapter 1; Page 38

Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2024, 01:07:17 PM »
They don't have cable television  :cirnotan:

williewillus

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Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2024, 04:40:42 PM »
youkai: goof around, go on hunting raids to spirit humans away from the outside world and eat them. Generally a good life.

humans: Probably sucks, you're stuck with 1850s level technology and are at risk of being attacked by youkai if you ever leave. Unless you have magical powers like the main characters you're living a pretty ordinary but backwards life.

Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2024, 11:17:52 AM »
Youkai: Depends on what type of Youkai. Tsukumogami will likely go into vocations that fit their original objects and talents, with the side-job of scaring people. Beast Youkai will likely be roaming the Forests (Mainly the Great Youkai Forest and Bamboo Forest of The Lost) and devouring any Humans foolish enough to wander in with no protection. Vengeful Spirits are out to get revenge in general unless they mellow down, so their lives are focused solely on that goal. Then there are the Oni who are either partying and getting drunk every day between rounds of making people in Hell suffer if they're in current Hell.

Gods: Yeah, I'm counting this one since they exist. Being a God is probably the chillest group here... In that you only need to worry about people's opinions about you. It's a lot like running a presidential campaign: Having to make promises, fulfil wishes, and make a name for yourself to establish the domain you're in charge of. Just look at Kanako.

Humans: This can actually differ a bit depending on your vocation. If you just live in the Human Village then you'll probably be doing chores, making the rounds around the village, actually meeting other people often and living in fear of Youkai. If you were an Outsider then it would probably take you a while to acclimate but it would be possible, though you would miss all of the quality of life available in the Reiwa Era. You could also become a Hermit, in which case you're in danger because Youkai see you as a tasty morsel and Shinigami are hunting you down. Good thing being a Hermit often comes with ways of protecting yourself.

The fact that people live stable lives in such a place is a testament to their ability to adapt.

Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2024, 06:26:17 PM »
Depends on the individual and species, however, I'd like to update you with some information I found specifically for human outsiders that I found.

The latest chapter of CoLA has this to say regarding them
Quote
Gensokyo's youkai are forbidden from attacking humans. Why? Because they know that if the humans die out, the youkai can't keep existing either. So they settle for 'scaring them practically to death', at worst. However, with regards to the humans who disappear into Gensokyo from the Outside World, the rules are left unclear. Some violent youkai say that unmanaged Outsider humans ought to be fair game. Conversely, other youkai argue that because the Outside World keeps its humans under even stricter management than Gensokyo, laying a hand on them could lead to Gensokyo's discovery, putting its very existence in peril.

I also recall (though I might be entirely wrong here and might not even be canon, so take this with a major grain of salt) reading that all three factions of the Animal Realm mafia are essentially interested in keeping outsiders alive, because they want them to be recruited for their cause (I don't recall where I read this however, it might be a misinterpretation of one of CoLA's chapters or one of the endings of the latest game that I read, or somewhere on the Touhou wiki), I could be entirely wrong here but seeing as animal realm entities tend to often appear on the surface and they are indeed looking for more beings to spice up their numbers, I wouldn't call this theory farfetched.

This plus Aya's article from SoPM stating that outsiders are so incredibly rare to spot that youkai literally need to change their diets and all leads me to believe that your odds of surviving in Gensokyo as an outsider is higher than you may think. You may want to spawn as closest as you can to either the Hakurei Shrine or Gensokyo (Kourindou is also okay though), bonus points if you have apparel that mimics the human villager's clothes, because even violent youkai may mistake you for a regular human villager and may decide not to attack you (at worst, they could toy with you in order for their boredom to be relieved), just don't spawn inside Youkai Mountain (unless you were near the Moriya Temple, which is also fine)

Though even if you were not attacked or taken to be the lunch of a youkai, being a minion of the Animal Realm beasts isn't likely to be all that jazzy, so avoid that if you can. Because you'll likely be facing grunt work (aka, the boring chores) or you'll be used as a host for other animal realm spirits to be possessed, and is unlikely that they'll treat your body very well so yeah, keep that in mind.

Human Village what everyone else said, working under conditions of feudal Japan and knowledge of that era, not fun but you do get access to Akyuu's library and knowledge if you can chance a meeting with her (and a conversation with Keine might be the coolest thing if you're a history buff) so likely not all that terrible, you may even get to be given a small house somewhere or something. Which, given the prices of real estate globally, that may be a boon in by itself :P

Youkai and Gods what everyone else said. With the caveat that there's more limitations on youkai regarding outsiders so they may need to find new diets or even hobbies. Gods also what everyone else said, though it depends on what kind of god you are and what your specialty is you may need to put more effort than average on specific seasons (like Shizuha for instance).

One more thing, shinigami don't hunt hermits, they give warnings but is not their job to hunt for them. The ones who hunt for hermits are Kishin, and from what I've seen, primarily nasty cases of them (like Seiga in WaHH), Kishins are no joke though so you may need to train a lot in case you get spotted by one.

That's about it  :cirnotan:

Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2024, 07:01:25 PM »

One more thing, shinigami don't hunt hermits, they give warnings but is not their job to hunt for them. The ones who hunt for hermits are Kishin, and from what I've seen, primarily nasty cases of them (like Seiga in WaHH), Kishins are no joke though so you may need to train a lot in case you get spotted by one.

That's about it  :cirnotan:

Yeah, I know this one very well. But most other people in Gensokyo don't.
Even Kasen was shocked when she found out about that from Komachi.
As you said though, Kishins are no joke. I'd rather not get pulverized by high-pressure water jets.

Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2024, 09:43:39 PM »
Youkai: Depends on what type of Youkai. Tsukumogami will likely go into vocations that fit their original objects and talents, with the side-job of scaring people. Beast Youkai will likely be roaming the Forests (Mainly the Great Youkai Forest and Bamboo Forest of The Lost) and devouring any Humans foolish enough to wander in with no protection. Vengeful Spirits are out to get revenge in general unless they mellow down, so their lives are focused solely on that goal. Then there are the Oni who are either partying and getting drunk every day between rounds of making people in Hell suffer if they're in current Hell.
There's also the classical Youkai such as Tengu and Kappa that live on Youkai mountain. I'd argue they have the highest living conditions in Gensokyo، having technology "comparable or greater than the outside world's" and "an automated factory that produces the necessary items to meet the needs of everyday life". But the fact that they still use newspapers to transmit information still means they haven't developed cable television.

Suspicious person

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Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2024, 04:13:49 PM »
On the human village side of things, I actually disagree with the feudal japan aspect that often get brought up :

This might seem like zooming too much on the "feudal" aspect of things, but people's place and role in a feudal society was pretty much dictated by their class, yet the human village doesn't have the all of the various social classes that consitute said social system : there's no leader figure (if we go by Forbidden Scrollery) in the political sense, and no evidence of the presence of a ruling class to be at the top of the social ladder ; furthermore there's also no samurai nor warrior class, as not only there's no ruling class for them to serve, but also because anything that would require martial prowess is actually handled by literal superhumans and heroes.

This means there isn't a proper governing body either in the human village, and quite possibly none of the bureaucracy that comes with it's organisation : so, unlike poor Peasantosuke who's tirelessly working the field to pay taxes and feed the family before getting conscripted for a war against Warlordjirou, or the questionable Vagrantarou who is trying to make a breakthrough in order to climb the social ladder and directly serve under the ruling class, the average human villager should have more freedom and less authority breathing down their neck compared to their real life counterparts. I'd expect the human villagers to just do their daily tasks (there are some farmlands in some places so there is probably farming going on) then hit the pub or something.

Furthermore, human villagers can enjoy the medicine of Eientei, occasionally patron a Zashiki Warashi for taking care of the house, may or may not enjoy the conveniences of kappa wares, and those lucky enough may occasionally enjoy the novelty from foreign imports. There doesn't seem to be banditry to worry about, and there are reliable people with superpowers that are always ready to handle business whenever needed. So, aside from occasionally shaking in their straw sandals whenever there are any suspicious supernatural activity that boggles the mind (or could be blamed on youkai), or besides needing to get behind the human village's gates before dark, there doesn't seem to be a lot of worries in the daily life of the human villager.

As for whom to seek guidance from, human villagers actually have it pretty easy since the people and "institutions" they should trust are pretty clear in what they do : there is the temple school for the education of the children, there is the storied household of Hieda for matters pertaining to serious counsel and extra education , and most important of all, the religious leaders, who obviously hold a lot of authority on moral matters since gods and deities literally exist and occasionally pass by : not only can the average human villager experience very practical benefits or witness very real consequences when doing as the religious leader say, but can also experience a new and different lifestyle depending on the religion or the ascetic practice that they choose to diligently follow (going by Miko's aspirant disciples and Byakuren's human followers). Human village people are VERY superstitious and revere the divine, considering how impactful and real it is, so practices and tradition that have anything to do with whatever superstitions are also going to have an important place in the human villager's psyche and daily life.

Anyway, when it comes to mundane life, there is actually a lot of activity and excitement for the humans : you have the gossips from either the dumb newspaper or socializing places that may or may not have some raccoon activity ; you have the festivities and celebrations that are held quite often by the Shrines and the temple, which tend to have stalls that are manned by those nefarious Youkai and fairies, so obviously exciting ; you have the various bars and food vendors, or even whatever fun place there may be in the village (such as Madame Komakusa's gambling den) ; and also simply the possibility of exploring Gensokyo for those who dare. All in all, plenty of good time to be had, while people that wander from outside may be bored by the lack of more modern entertainment (no internet, no TV, actually experiencing the boonies, yikes).

All in all, rather than being feudal japan like, I think it's more correct to say that life in the human village is more similar to that of a very big rural community that's quite behind only in technological aspects, heavy in traditionnal and religious undertones, with the occasional out of place tool or way of thinking. So it's somewhat like the amish except more japanese, more cuteness, more faith, and more magic.

"Feudal japan" aspects can only be purely on the aesthetic side of things, with little bearing on how their society should work.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2024, 04:32:19 PM by Suspicious person »

Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2024, 10:48:48 PM »
[A very interesting analysis of the possible culture, industry and "government" of the Human Village from which a conclusion of a Human's life in Gensokyo is like is derived.]

That's a very good analysis! To the point where I'm probably going to take some notes about this. Depicting the Human Village's life was something I was always slightly shaky on for some reason despite reading nearly every book that relates to them.

Re: What life is it like to be in Gensokyo?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2024, 05:55:57 AM »
It does seem like most of the human villagers live a happy life but it's more akin to the happiness a caged animals feels. I'm sure that if they were to face some crisis, the youkai would insure they don't die out. I wouldn't be surprised if any of the sages are pulling the strings within the village in order to keep the humans from learning that in reality the youkai need them and not the other way around. But since people from the outside world are permitted to reside in the village it seems like they're not that adverse to the humans gaining more technological advancements. Maybe there is hope for a future where human and youkai can co exist in harmony with technology and magic.