I've got a serious question:
There are youkai like Rumia who were born a youkai and eat humans. Then you've got youkai like Alice who became one through rigorous training and dedication. Then you've got those like Kokoro, who was once an inanimate object.
My question is, are youkai who are born youkai the only ones who eat humans? I mean, as far as I know, Rumia was born a youkai. If someone becomes a youkai like Alice or Kokoro did, would they develop a curiosity for the taste of human flesh?
We actually do have some insight on this, although not in the direction you're asking - it's mostly that you're forgetting a category of youkai, a rather large category... animal youkai.
It's well documented in Wild and Horned Hermit that animals who eat the flesh of humans are likely to turn into youkai, after all.
However, my conjecture would actually be that no, not all youkai gain some intrinsic desire for or curiosity about human flesh. Youkai exist based on the human fear or legend that they were created around; it's stated in Symposium of Post-Mysticism that it's almost always to explain an unexplained human phenomenon. They give examples of modern outside-world youkai such as a 'Remote-hiding youkai' that hides your television remote (if you've read it, you'll know that I'm not making this up).
More relevant, there's an origin detail for the Tengu, and an explanation as to how they gained their current more structured civilization, and nowhere in any of it does it include the consumption of humans; they're specific about Tengu being dangerous from the beginning (they mention dropping rocks on humans who traveled in their mountains) but not consumption.
So I'd posit this; if the legend they originate from suggests that the youkai eats people, they do - and these legends were created to explain why people went missing or were found dead and mutilated in strange ways.
If the legends suggest natural powers, whether benign (like the changing of autumn leaves to red) or malicious (rockslides in the mountains), the youkai probably do not eat humans.
Things that become youkai that were not previously youkai would vary: Magicians only become youkai Magicians after using "abandon food" and "abandon temper" (aging) magics, so they almost definitely don't EAT humans (or anything).
For tsukumogami (objects that become youkai) (yes hata no kokoro counts, as she started as 66 tsukumogami that collected to become one menreiki), the answer is almost certainly that they do not eat food.
For youkai animals, it is almost certain that they do eat or try to eat humans, or ate human flesh/corpse flesh in order to become a youkai in the first place.
There is nothing to suggest that a youkai such as... doesn't matter, we'll say Alice. There's nothing to suggest that Alice would be /hurt/ by eating human flesh, but there's also nothing at all to suggest that she would want to.
tl;dr : Youkai are supposed to be scary and dangerous, the carnivore type is just a subtype.
I read through all that expecting to find something to correct, but no, you're absolutely right.
Yeah, and? They're 'just' tools, so they don't eat anything, and instead subsist on magical power. (See the Extra scenario of 14.)
So, basically they follow witch rules in Umineko? They are elevated to an actual existence because they are formed in the gaps of human understanding and become corporeal in Gensokyo?
No dip, I was talking about within the context of how Touhou universe works, not ancient Japanese mythology. And I would argue witches have been around just as long as youkai in the west.
You know, Rumia is one of the most vague characters. She makes darkness but can't see in it nor does she need to make it, she has some sort of talisman on her head that's never explained why, and even though she's said to eat humans, it's also said she doesn't really put much effort in doing so. She probably just attacks them for the sake of attacking them.
She seems to just be some sort of aimlessly wandering NEET though, judging from her original description and Aya. Her being in darkness is more hiding away from light instead of using it to attack anyone. Even the eating human things is just hearsay because it's assumed of youkai. It's not even like vampires who have to eat human blood or Orin who definitely eats corpses, 'ZUN' never actually said she does, just Akyuu, and Rumia herself only ever mentioned it when prompted. You'd probably have to go up to her and present yourself for her to even eat you.
I'm quoting someone else here, specifically an old post from /c/:
>I'll probably get some flak for saying this, but she's a fictional character. And that's great, because then you can imagine her any way you want.
Rumia *is* one of the most vague characters. I think she's mostly got the popularity that she does based on the virtue of having been an EoSD character... but also based around being so vague.
If the nature of youkai is to explain unknown phenomena, Rumia represents (to the audience, us) an unknown. We don't really know anything about her EXCEPT that she's supposed to be scary, dangerous and kind of stupid/ineffective.
Oh, we know that she prefers the dark. We know that she can manipulate darkness, and that evidence suggests she can't see through it. But that's a pretty basic theme for a fear-based youkai, isn't it?
I think it's better if Rumia remains vague. She's popular because she's 'vague, darkness themed, definitely man-eating.' The mystery is key to her charm and thus popularity.
>They are elevated to an actual existence because they are formed in the gaps of human understanding and become corporeal in Gensokyo?
Spot on, this is how the Hakurei border that crops up now and again tends to be explained. It's not a border as in like one giant barrier but it is a border of reason, Gensokyo can only exist where something no longer exists and vice versa.
There was a instance of this I believe in as recent as FS where due to a outside world fad happening it actually ended up dragging a youkai species out of Gensokyo back into reality but then when it ran out they came back.
Basically, although they don't just appear in Gensoukyou. There are still youkai and gods in the outside world, but when belief in them starts to fade, they may end up crossing the barrier, intentionally or not.
> I'm guessing the guy that wrote it is just some guy that doesn't want his waifu to be a maneating monster.
I can understand. Part of understanding Touhou canon is the realization that some of the cast (A) have the capacity to hurt/maim/kill without remorse under circumstance, or (B) give fuck all about you and probably don't want your company.
How much 'some' is, that's debatable.
I had to come to terms with my waifu possibly being an unsympathetic murder.
There are two layers. There's a boundary of illusion and reality surrounding Gensokyo, which is what you're talking about, but the Hakurei Barrier is legitimately a barrier that also happens to occupy essentially the same space.
Cold blooded killers.
Technically, Tsukumogami come from the belief that a god resides in every tool.
...it's notable that the Shinto idea of a 'god' is far different than a Western god.
Anyway, Tsukumogami come about when a tool is used carelessly and discarded or abandoned, because this angers the god in the tool. A tool should be used carefully and then broken down into components respectfully when it is worn out, as this will not anger the god and it will dissipate back into nature.
She's a 'youkai magician.' There are three different types of Magician in Gensokyo/touhou lore, and we fortunately have an example for each type.
You have the "ordinary" type of Magician, namely Marisa Kirisame, who is fully human but practices magic.
You have the type of Magician who was born human but has become a youkai, like Alice Margatroyd. Using the "abandon food" and "abandon temper" (aka aging) magics leads a human to become a youkai Magician, trading their humanity for a long lifespan.
Then you have the type of Magician who is born a youkai Magician - Patchouli Knowledge is known to be this type.
The second type, because they were originally human. It is assumed that they practice the same magics of "abandon food" and "abandon temper" because they have those qualities to them.
I suppose if there were some other particular quality - say, a quality of Byakuren's imprisonment in Makai - that fulfilled one or both of those magical requirements, then it would still count... but as they started human and are now 'youkai magicians,' definitely the second type for Byakuren.
Ichirin is a bit of a different scenario, though I think it's clever to call her closer to a Magician than a traditional youkai - she started human, but became youkai through her use of Unzan, whom we all know to be a nyuudou.
I suppose I don't know how that association directly translates into becoming a youkai - perhaps the association sustains her in a different way?
Regardless, it's something I hadn't thought of before. She's definitely a youkai, and nowhere near a young one, but... well, youkai magicians have certain terms that need to be met to stop being human and start being youkai.
The lore on Ichirin suggests she became a youkai by near accident. Perhaps her presence became that much of a local legend that she became a youkai in time? I really don't know, I could make guesses, but I think it's an interesting topic for discussion.
I always thought that she became a youkai after she had nothing left to fear, since she had Unzan to protect her. A human without fear of youkai doesn't really seem so human if you ask me.
Or maybe after being with a youkai for so long, she became one.
I think the youkai by association type is just classed as a magician since it's the closest thing to compare them to without coming up with a new class like unhuman or something
I remember hearing you can become a youkai the opposite way too by killing too many of them, I wonder if ZUN plays by that line of thought
There's just not enough canon material on her, and she doesn't fall into one of the categories that's easy for me to identify. My guess is that during her life she started behaving like some other "type" of mythological youkai, and enough people just thought she was one that the power of belief made it happen.
I think it's not specified by canon material.
Fairies are arguably a type of youkai, existing for similar reasons, just not the type that is generally threatening towards/scary to humans, but okay, yeah, generally they're not lumped together. For the same reason that ghosts and gods aren't lumped together with youkai, even though they also share characteristics.
Well, there can be two uses of "youkai" here. There's a more general use of pretty much any supernatural being (which is used in works, mind you), and the slightly more specific use that would exclude fairies and gods and spirits due to their existential differences.
Seems like this was aimed at you people.
>Then you have the type of Magician who is born a youkai Magician - Patchouli Knowledge is known to be this type.
This actually sort of always bothered me, what does it actually mean?
Like was Patchouli just straight up born from a pair of parents who were also a Magician type youkai?
Or does it mean she was born with such latent mystical/magical power she turned into a Magician type youkai on birth?
I say this since it is apparent we can have half human/youkai hybrids as evidenced by Rinnosuke's existance.
Also if humans can change into youkai couldn't youkai morph into other species? Kasen is effectively trying to do that, changing from a Oni to a hermit. Theoretically there is nothing stopping a youkai of any other type changing to a Magician by following the same concepts. Also Kanako has elaborated Gods are similar in some respects but with the freedom to rebrand themselves, so effectively changing classes rather than their entire being.
According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, those born Magician-types aren't necessarily born as full youkai, but rather born with a potential and a talent, and become full youkai when they learn abandon temper magic, just like a human. The difference seems to be the level of magic that they're born with.
As far as changing youkai type goes, perhaps. It is certainly suggested that by way of faith, it is possible for gods to slip into becoming youkai or youkai-like; it holds that the reversal of this is also true.
I do not think that is what Kasen is attempting, though. Wild and Horned Hermit makes it pretty clear that she doesn't actually know much about Taoism - Kasen has some agenda other than changing who she is.
Yeah, in this lore that's arguable, but if you've actually read the comic she says repeatedly that she's just playing a role, she's faking. The undertone and overt words can be found in her conversations with Komachi.
So even if the touhou word 'hermit' isn't tied to Taoism, she's still not one. If you don't agree, maybe go read the manga again.
That's a doujin. Literally anything can happen in a doujin. I could make a doujin where Rumia becomes a huge Byzantinaboo and declares herself Empress of Rome and turns Gensokyo into the Second Byzantine Empire by mind control powers she got by drinking a can of 40 year old pineapple juice, and it would be just as valid as this doujin.
>My question is, are youkai who are born youkai the only ones who eat humans? I mean, as far as I know, Rumia was born a youkai.
Rumia is Rumia. Youkai are not Rumia. I don't know where exactly this concept of youkai being man eaters came from, but it's wrong. Some do, others don't; those that do don't necessarily only eat living humans, those that don't might still be life threatening. Youkai that were considered very dangerous in old times might do a 360 in more recent times (like Kappa). Animal youkai like Tanuki don't eat humans. It's really not possible to make generalizations here and youkai should be studied on a type basis.
>some of the cast (A) have the capacity to hurt/maim/kill without remorse under circumstance,
Ironically Reimu is at the top of that list. Way to go ZUN.
>or (B) give fuck all about you and probably don't want your company.
Speak for yourself, nerd.
(actually that guy)
no seriously though, "emotionless sex" is the best tag on sad panda, why isnt there more patchy?
you're plenty welcome for the reminder of this existential pain