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Yuyuko Saigyouji

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It looks like you don't get it at all. To be fair, it looks like that fox didn't understand what Yukari's plan was either...
~ Yuyuko Saigyouji

Yuyuko Saigyouji is a character from the Touhou Project series of games who is the ghost princess of Hakugyokurou, the netherworld of the "formerly-living", but was once a living human. Long ago, after her death from suicide, her body was used to place a seal on the Saigyou Ayakashi, a dangerous youkai cherry tree, to stop it from killing innocent humans. She has the power to invite mortal souls to death, and those souls who perish this way wind up in Hakugyokurou rather than Heaven or Hell.

Though it might seem dangerous for such a whimsical, seemingly impulsive personality to wield such a terrible power, Yuyuko appears to have a strong sense of responsibility regarding her power, and never uses it recklessly or out of spite, nor does she use it as a weapon. Ironically, it was this power that drove her to kill herself in the first place. Humans fear Yuyuko because of her fearsome power and a general fear of the supernatural, but she is very cheerful and friendly. Unlike many ghosts, she resembles a living human, and her playful, good-humored personality, otherworldly beauty, and courtesan charm can have a disarming effect.
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She often makes bizarre and apparently nonsensical remarks and sometimes seems to overlook the obvious, leading to her characterization as an airhead or a ditz. However, at other times, she will reveal an extremely cunning and perceptive side and will also sometimes display an extraordinary level of knowledge. She seems to never take anything too seriously, though, and she loves to tease her straight-laced and eager-to-please assistant, Youmu, who is her opposite in many ways. Probably originating from the term "hungry ghost", she is also known for her incredible appetite and seems to have a food-related metaphor for any situation. Yuyuko is truly "dead and loving it."

Story

During the events of Perfect Cherry Blossom, she enlisted Youmu to find a way to make the tree bloom to resurrect the corpse buried beneath it, apparently unaware that it was her own body. Forced to abandon her plan, as it would only result in her own destruction and the unleashing of the Saigyou Ayakashi's terror once again, she resigned herself to continuing her previous existence.
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During Ten Desires, the heroine investigates in Hakugyokurou because they suspect that Yuyuko is not taking care of the spirits properly. But Yuyuko guides the heroine to the Graveyard behind the Myouren Temple.

Appearance

  • (Touhou 7) Maroon eyes, short wavy pink hair, normally surrounded by several small formless ghosts, one carrying a cherry blossom twig. Wears a light blue and white kimono with dark blue trim, and a blue mob cap on the front of which is a hitaikakushi with a red ghost insignia.
  • (Touhou 8) Same as above, except the floral designs on her dress have been replaced with clouds and moon designs. One of the spirits now carries a small blue lantern.
  • (Touhou 7.5 and 10.5, alternate outfit) Kimono is white with dark blue trim instead of light blue with pink trim. Her hair is blonde as well.
  • (Touhou 13) Same as above, except she has a lighter shade of pink hair and her eyes are dark blue. Her kimono has has a ghost pattern. The kimono has a black trim instead of a dark blue one.

Relationships

  • Youmu Konpaku (Gardener)
  • Youki Konpaku (Former Gardener and Current Gardener's teacher)
  • Yukari Yakumo (Friend)
  • Lunasa, Lyrica, and Merlin Prismriver (Regular performers)
  • Saigyou Ayakashi (Youkai Tree in her Garden)
  • Mystia Lorelei (Enemy)

Trivia

  • The characters for Saigyouji literally mean "West journey temple", and Yuyuko something like "Secluded child" or "Ghostly child." 'yuyu' (or 'yuuyuu', as in Yuu Yuu Hakusho) is reportedly the sound a Japanese ghost makes.
  • She has more Spell Cards in Ten Desires than is usual for a Stage 1 Boss in the Touhou series; in fact, she has more Spell Cards than the game's Stage 2 and 3 Bosses.
  • One of Yuyuko's Scarlet Weather Rhapsody palettes resembles Ichirin Kumoi. As well, in Touhou Hisoutensoku, the sixth palette resembles Hong Meiling.
  • Yuyuko, along with Toyosatomimi no Miko, is the only final boss whose final spell is not immune to spells.
  • The name Saigyouji comes from a famous Japanese poet, 西行 法師 (Saigyō Hōshi), who lived in the late Heian period and the early Kamakura period. He passed away in a temple, which is why the character "寺"(tera) is added (in this case it is read "ji" although this character is usually read as (tera).

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