God needs faith badly

BGM: The Gensokyo the Gods Loved

To review: Gensokyo was created as a sanctuary for that which the Outside World has “forgotten”, in particular youkai and gods. More and more of the world’s “supernatural” beings migrate to Gensokyo as they are unable to survive in a world that no longer believes in them.

Weak despite being a harvest god.

An important note about gods: They aren’t gods in the Western sense, but “gods” in the Japanese (Shinto) sense. That is, “gods” or “spirits” is the closest translation, but they’re much more numerous than Western gods. In other words, a character being a god doesn’t actually say much about how powerful they are.

What being a god does mean is that they work by different “rules” than youkai. Most important of these “rules” is their need for “faith”. Youkai require the fear of humans to exist, but can still be killed by attacks with sufficient “meaning”. Gods require faith – from humans or youkai – to exist, and can use this faith to manifest additional power or perform various feats.

Kogasa saying boo
                                                      Literally jumping out and saying “boo”

Basically, youkai need to jump out and say “boo” once in a while, but gods need active worshipers. So surviving outside of Gensokyo is even harder for gods (other than the really popular ones, like Amaterasu).

So, since faith was dwindling, Kanako and Suwako decided to up and move their whole shrine to Gensokyo, all in one go. Sanae, their shrine maiden (pictured, left), came too. Reimu was upset, so she went and beat them up. Such is life.

「Mountain of Faith」
Local fauna fighting with an invasive species

So why was faith drying up in the Outside World? It seems like a lot of people are still pretty religious, right? Sure, but with the rise of globalization, everyone ends up worshiping the same few gods that are popular worldwide rather than the gods that are popular nearby. It’s like how small businesses are increasingly crowded out by huge corporations, or how people are so concerned about a few popular endangered species but ignore the rest – those without lots of faith have a hard time getting more. Thus, the gods sought a new habitat.

Anyway, Kanako then proceeded to cause every problem for the next three games.

Next time: Problems Caused by Kanako ~ Why Not to Give Nuclear Weapons to a Bird


2 thoughts on “God needs faith badly

  1. I liked the recap of information in the beginning of the post and enjoyed hearing about how it can be analogous to sustainability and the general attitude toward public consensus.


  2. I don’t quite understand the pictures, what exactly i’m looking at, if you could put some more description underneath the pictures I would appreciate it. I’ve never heard of Touhou until your blog so I am unfamiliar with who is who and what is happening specifically.


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