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Nikenme Radio

“Nikenme kara Hajimaru Radio” (2軒目から始まるラジオ, lit. “Radio Begins from the 2nd Bar”),1) or Nikenme Radio (2軒目ラジオ),2) is a monthly broadcast where ZUN and Tetsurō Okonogi3) would normally dine at a restaurant to drink sake and chat about anything.

These broadcasts are more suited towards people who are fans of ZUN himself as he usually talks about current events, his family and friends, politics, etc. He rarely brings up Touhou Project, despite who he brings on the broadcast, but that doesn't mean he never talks about it.

List of Broadcasts

To-do later. Eh, don't count on it.

Translated excerpts

Remember: This is a drunk man's ramblings. Don't take everything he says in these streams too seriously.

Ustream era 🍶

Nikenme Radio #7

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on February 16, 2011, they discuss Touhou Project character design, like how Reimu and Sanae technically aren't wearing shrine maiden outfits at all. For some reason, they also discuss how the characters seem to be designed with bloomers rather than panties4) and ZUN responds that he doesn't want to make the designs too erotic.5)6)

Original Transcript English Translation
豚 「ZUNさん自身も感じてると思いますけど、むしろ和服っぽいやつにフリルを付けるのがスタンダードになってきて、あれ時代が追いついてきてるって思いますよ」 “I'm sure ZUN has felt it himself, but I think it's becoming standard to put frills on kimono-like clothing, and I think the times are catching up to us!”
ZUN 「そうなのかな?」 “Is that so?”
豚 「本当にそう思いますよ」 “I really think so.”
ZUN 「未だにアレですよ、霊夢の服装は巫女には見えないです。あれは巫女じゃない」 “I still don't think Reimu's clothes looks like a miko. That's not a miko.”
豚 「自分で作って自分で言ってる」 “You designed it and you're saying that.”
ZUN 「最初は巫女なんだけど、途中から巫女って言ってるけど別に幻想郷だから巫女の服である必要性を感じなくなってきてるわけです」 “She started off as a miko, but somewhere along the way, she felt like she didn't need to wear miko clothing, especially when she calls herself a miko in Gensokyo.”
豚 「巫女って言っておけばいいやって感じですよね」 “It's okay to call her a miko, right?”
ZUN 「最初の頃結構巫女さんっぽい服でしたよ? でも今の霊夢見てるとなんか巫女っぽいんですよね」 “At the time, I thought her clothes looked pretty miko-like, you know? But looking at Reimu now, she looks like a miko somehow.”
ZUN 「そう洗脳されてきてる。神社に行ってあんな服装のやつ見たことない」 “That's what I've been brainwashed to believe. I've never seen anyone dressed up like that at a shrine.”
ZUN 「下スカートにして上なんかネクタイしてる」 “She's wearing a skirt below and a necktie up top.”
Original Transcript English Translation
豚 「早苗はどうなんだってツッコミがありますけど」 “I'm sure people will ask, what about Sanae?”
ZUN 「早苗も相当巫女じゃないです」 “Sanae isn't a miko either.”
豚 「違いますよね」 “No difference?”
ZUN 「それ以降はもうあんまり気にしなくはなりました。吹っ切れただけです、最初の細かい資料を見て描くって事自体を馬鹿馬鹿しくなってきた。そういうのはいらないんだろうなって、元々幻想郷なんだからいらないだろうって」 “After that, I didn't care so much anymore. I just moved on and the idea of looking at all the small details was ridiculous in the first place. I figured I didn't need any of that because this is Gensokyo to begin with.”
豚 「そう言いつつも服装気にしながら描いてるんじゃないかって私は思う」 “That said, you still keep an eye on the clothes as you draw, right?”
ZUN 「細かいところは自分なりに気にしてるわけですよ。今あるものに対してあんまりこうじゃなきゃいけないとか考えたことはない」 “I care about the details in my own way. I just don't think too hard about it.”
ZUN 「巫女さんの服を袴にするかスカートにするかはもう悩まない」 “No more worries about whether mikos wear a hakama or a skirt.”
ZUN 「どっちでもいいんですよ、結論としては」 “It doesn't matter either way, bottom line.”
Original Transcript English Translation
豚 「コメントでどうしてドロワなの的な。それは悩んでないんですか。むしろパンツがあまり存在しないような」 “No comment about bloomers? Doesn't that bother you? It's like underwear doesn't really exist.”
ZUN 「なんだろうね、あんまりエロい感じを出したくないわけです」 “I don't know, I don't want to make something that feels too erotic.”
豚 「世の中ドロワのほうがエロいって人が」 “Some people in the world think bloomers are erotic.”
ZUN 「そういう人はしょうがない」 “Such people cannot be helped.”
ZUN 「女の子出すとすぐエロの発想しかなくなっちゃうので」 “The moment it's a girl, all you get is erotic ideas.”
豚 「今更あなたが言いますかってぐらいの勢いですけどね」 “The way you said that with such force…”
ZUN 「あんまりそういう方向に行かないようにしたいわけです」 “I don't want to go too far in that direction.”

This is followed up with brief comments about how Touhou Project hasn't necessarially led to an increase in yuri and how the characters are fundamentally children which makes Gensokyo the way it is.

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「あんまり百合ってないんだよね。違うんだよ、東方に出てくるキャラクターは基本的に子供なんですよ、基本的に」 “There hasn't been much yuri, is there? It's different, the characters in Touhou are fundamentally children, basically.”
豚 「えっ?」 “Huh?”
ZUN 「頭の中もすごい、シンプルな考え方してるわけです。だから幻想郷なんです」 “It's a very simple way of thinking in my head. That's what makes it Gensokyo.”
Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「百合ってそういう言葉が出てきた時代がわからないけど、まあなんか盛り上がったのがマリアさまがみてるかなって思ってたの」 “I don't know where the term 'yuri' exactly came from, but I thought Maria-sama ga Miteru was exciting.”

Nikenme Radio #15

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on October 28, 2011, the two would be joined by Heppoko (へっぽこ) from “Eikyuu Loop” for the first time. Heppoko turns out to be quite talkative as he moves the conversation by joking about how people are tuning into laid-back homosexuals in their 30s and taking off his clothes. We get some insight on how ZUN felt about the internet back then.7)

Original Transcript English Translation
豚 出演人物みんな視聴者のこと何にも考えてないっていう All the hosts don't care about the audience.
小此木さんは考えてるかもしれないけどこの人(神主)は何にも考えてない Okonogi might think about it, but this guy (the Kannushi) doesn't think about anything.
この人に魅力あんのかな? Do you believe he's attractive?
Heppoko 精神的ホモなので It's because he's spiritually a homosexual.
豚 それこそホモソーシャル It's called homosociality.
Original Transcript English Translation
豚 今日は私以上にZUNさんに突っこんでくれる人がいて良かった I'm just glad someone else can poke fun at ZUN other than me today.
Heppoko 小此木さんこの人に甘すぎる Okonogi is too sweet with this guy.
ZUN 怒ってる姿は何度も見てる気がする I feel like I've seen him get angry many times.
Heppoko 草食系肉食獣みたいな Like a herbivorous carnivore.
Original Transcript English Translation
Heppoko 本業に関しては神主並の鈍感さがあるから When it comes to my main profession, I'm just as obtuse as the Kannushi.
神主あんまりネット観ないしメール見ないし… The Kannushi doesn't look at the internet or read his emails that much…
それ一時期怒られたでしょ? That made you angry for a while, didn't it?
友達から間接的に愚痴を聞いただけだけどさぁ I just indirectly overheard that from my friends though.

The group proceeds to talk about Touhou Shinreibyou, the upcoming Febri interview about it,8) the type of alcohol and dinner they have, how it felt starting out in 2008 compared to 2011 where Touhou Project is considered a full-blown genre, not wanting to be like Neon Genesis Evangelion, how ZUN is planning to drink during “The End” (2012 phenomenon), then Heppoko makes the atmosphere homoerotic again.

Original Transcript English Translation
Heppoko いつもの呑み会だから聴いてる人は楽しくない It's just an ordinary drinking party, so the listeners aren't having fun.
あずまさんはホモパワーに押されて私は違うなって Azuma was repelled away by their homo powers, but I'm different.
断言しますあれはセクハラですw I assure you, that was sexual harassment, lol.
ZUN リスナーは男ですよ The listeners are men.
Heppoko 女性リスナーからすれば神主攻めへっぽこ受けみたいな From a female listener's perspective, it's like the Kannushi is a top and Heppoko is a bottom.
ZUN 男の子に言ってるいい酒呑みになるためにはどうすればいいか I'm teaching the boys how to be a good drinker.
Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 脱ぐよ脱ぐよ? Are you gonna take it off?
Heppoko 脱ぎたいわけじゃなくて太田君が脱がす I don't want to take it off, but Ōta-kun will.
ZUN 僕は脱がしたことない I never take off my clothes.
精神的にも脱がしたことない I don't mentally take off my clothes either.

Shortly after, they get into a discussion about Pretty Cure and ZUN actually has very strong opinions about it, including his dislike for people who use “artistic” to describe things.

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 等身とか関係ない 精神的な話 変態なんだよ The body proportions are irrelevant, but the spiritual story? It's just abnormal.9)
気持ち悪いぐらい変態 It feels bad when it gets that perverse.
豚 変態という名の紳士 A gentleman named pervert.
ZUN 変態紳士?まあアリだな A perverted gentleman? Well, I guess.
Heppoko 神主の中でロリが好きなわけでもなくボインが好きでもなく The Kannushi doesn't like loli or big breasts.
ZUN 肉体でしか見てないから Because I only observe them physically.
東方は変態 そんなのはみんな分かってる Touhou is abnormal. Everyone knows that.
僕が一番嫌いな言葉で言っていいですか?アーティスティック、芸術的な。 Can I say the words I hate the most? Artistic, artistic.
ドヤ顔して言うのが嫌 I hate when it's said with a smug face.
それが何かっていう事を当て嵌めちゃいけない You can't just pretend that's what it is.

After talking about the 10th anniversary of Touhou Koumakyou, then getting into a discussion about Kamen Rider and Pretty Cure, Heppoko asks ZUN about the size of boobs that he likes.

Original Transcript English Translation
Heppoko 神主はおっぱい大きい方がいいの?小さくてもいいの? Does the Kannushi prefer large breasts? Or does he prefer small ones?
ZUN おっぱい星人じゃない I'm not a boob alien.10)
甘い物嫌いだけど食べないわけじゃない I don't like sweets, but that doesn't mean I won't eat them.
大きくても小さくてもいい(誤魔化す They can be big or small. (Dodging the question)

Nikenme Radio #22

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on May 24, 2012, a couple days before ZUN's Reitaisai 9 wedding, the two are joined by Heppoko (へっぽこ) from “Eikyuu Loop” on Heppoko's birthday. This is mostly known as the broadcast where ZUN says “I never said I was gay in the first place! I am bisexual!”,11) presumably to Heppoko as he was known for joking that ZUN was gay on Twitter.

Nikenme Radio 3D ~ Dangerous Deisui Dimension.

In this special Nikenme Radio broadcast on November 3, 2012, ZUN and Okonogi is joined by a few guests from Poripori Club (i.e. Yoshirō Kimura, Yūichi Tanzawa, Yoshinaga), Aya Azuma who illustrated Touhou Ibarakasen, and Heppoko (へっぽこ) from “Eikyuu Loop”. Most of this is second-hand information, written by an anonymous listener who documented what they believed was interesting to them.12)

Halfway through the stream, ZUN talks about his Taito career and proposing “Gensōkyō Kitan” (幻想郷奇譚) to the company, but it died after Taito allegedly claimed that they wouldn't be making a shooting game.13) Afterwards, ZUN talks about his frustrations with the company and developing Touhou Koumakyou as he was that stressed out by Rakugaki Kingdom 2's development.

Original Post English Translation
・タイトーがSTG企画を募集したので「幻想郷きたん(奇譚、綺譚)」という企画を出した。 ・Taito was taking applications for shooting game projects, so I submitted “Gensōkyō Kitan”.
しかしSTGは出さないとタイトーが突如言い出して没になった。 However, Taito suddenly said that they won't be making a shooting game, so it just died.
・ラクガキ王国2のプロジェクトに参加したが、酷いプロジェクトでストレスばっかりたまった。 ・I participated in the Rakugaki Kingdom 2 project, but it was a terrible project that made me stressed.
その鬱憤を晴らすために東方紅魔郷をゲーム作った。 To de-stress, I made Touhou Koumakyou.
システムはタイトーに出した企画通り作った。タイトーの人はみんなわかっていた。 We followed the plan that was submitted to Taito's systems. Everyone at Taito knew.
タイトーの人もわかっていて、仕事ちゃんとやれよ、と言ってくる。僕もやりますよ、と言うけど、大した仕事じゃないから、残業はしなかった。 The people at Taito knew and they told us to work hard. I'd say I did too, but I didn't work overtime since the project wasn't that important.
・丹沢悠一が初ディレクターをするはずだったゲームのメインプログラマーになり、これ終わったら辞めるという話はしていた。 ・Yūichi Tanzawa was the first director, but he essentially became the game's main programmer, and we talked about quitting.
ところがその企画がボツになり、さらに当日新しい企画がもちあがって、DS版とPSP版の二つのメインプログラマーにされて、 Still, the project died and we were suddenly appointed a new project: being the main programmers of the DS and PSP versions.
出来るわけがないだろ、と辞めた。 I just said “I'm not doing that” and quit.
・辞める前に、アーケードゲームでお化け屋敷の企画を考えていた。辞めた時期は2007年頃。 ・Before I quit, I thought about making a haunted house arcade game. I quit was around 2007.
・LoVの霊夢・幽々子追加のアプデの日は5年間で最高のインカムだった。 ・The Reimu and Yuyuko update for Lord of Vermillion was the most income I made in 5 years.
・アーケードゲームに関わりたい。昔からアーケードの話は沢山来たけど全部断ってきたから、いまさら出来ない。でも基盤から作りたい。 ・I want to be involved in arcade games. I had many offers for arcade games back then, but I turned them down, so now I can't do it anymore. However, I want to start from scratch.

The same listener also mentioned that ZUN said “gay jokes are rude to gay people” in a very serious tone to Heppoko, who is known for tweeting these jokes to ZUN on Twitter, so the listener proceeds to complain why he even invited Heppoko. As for the “gay joke”, or “homoneta” (ホモネタ), we can presume that he just joked about ZUN being gay again despite him being married to a woman back in May 27, 2012.

Original Post English Translation
ラジオでは他に、神主が大真面目に「ホモネタは本当のホモの方に失礼」と言っていたのが印象的だったな。 On the radio, I was impressed that the Kannushi said “gay jokes are rude to gay people” in a deadly serious tone.
俺もホモネタをクソつまらんと思っているから、これを機会になくなってくれればと思う。 I think gay jokes are boring as shit too, so I hope this is a chance to get rid of them.
そもそもへっぽこ氏とホモネタを絡める理由もわからんし。 I don't know why Heppoko even brought up gay jokes in the first place.
視聴者は永久る~ぷのゲーム遊んだことないんじゃないかと疑うレベル。 The audience is forever suspicious that he's never played a game.
Original Post English Translation
第一回からラジオは見てるけど、なぜホモネタをわざわざ書き込む奴がいるのかは理解できないよ。 I've been watching the first radio, but I can't understand why there's this guy who deliberately posts gay jokes online.
神主が結婚した後もホモネタ引っ張るへっぽこ氏も大概だとは思うけどさ。 Even after the Kannushi got married, I'm sure Heppoko will still make the same gay jokes.

Nikenme Radio #43

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on February 25, 2014, Okonogi gets very political as Russia had begun annexing Crimea. Okonogi talks about his visit to Yokosuka where the IJN Mikasa was preserved, the battleship mostly known for defending against Russia in the Russo-Japanese War. ZUN simply replies with a comment on how Mikasa isn't in Kantai Collection yet.

By the end of the stream, Okonogi starts cursing about Western foreigners in Japan. To start, he complains that English-speaking tourists are so entitled that they expect people in another country to speak English back to them. This is followed up with Okonogi allegedly stating that “many Americans in Japan are retarded” and claiming that United States' military personnel stationed in Japan are at the top.14)

Chinese Translation English Translation
豚 英语圈的人觉得无论到哪儿都应该有人跟他们说英语,真是该他们的。 English speakers think someone must speak English to them wherever they go, as if they have a right.
豚 好多在日美国人都是智障,以驻日美军为首。 Most Americans in Japan are retarded, especially the U.S. armed forces stationed in Japan.

Nikenme Radio #58

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on May 28, 2015, the hosts are joined by “Unabara Iruka” (海原海豚) from TasoFuro and “DNA” from D.N.A. Softwares, following the release of Touhou Shinpiroku. Mokou's return is brought up and Iruka passionately mentions how she's been on the list of possible candidates since Touhou Hisouten, while ZUN laments on being unable to add Flandre.15)16)

Original Transcript English Translation
豚 「久々に妹紅出ましたね」 “After a long time, Mokou has returned.”
Iruka 「ずっと昔から出したかったんですよね。で今回なんか知んないけど通ったんですよね」 “I've been wanting to put her in for a long time now, actually. And this time, I don't know how it happened, but she went through.”
ZUN 「なんか知らないけど確かに妹紅はちょうど良かった」 “I don't know what it was, but I'm sure it was the right time for Mokou.”
ZUN 「あれは多分次の作品のことを考えたんだよ」 “Maybe I was thinking about the next work.”
Iruka 「古くは緋想天の頃から候補にいたんですよね、毎回キャラ選別するときに」 “Ever since Touhou Hisouten, she was always on the list of candidates to choose from.”
ZUN 「でも萃夢想…緋想天からかな? ずーっとフラン出したいとか言ってるけど、あれストーリーにならないから」 “But, from Touhou Suimusou… to Touhou Hisoutensoku, was it? I've been saying I wanted to put Flan in, but I couldn't make up a story for it.”
Iruka 「フランはZUNさんがどうしても各キャラクターと設定から孤立してるからどうしてもそういうキャラクターだからっていうことで」 “ZUN insisted that Flan was isolated from every character and scenario [we made] because that's the kind of character she was.”
ZUN 「黄昏さんが持ってくるキャラクターでストーリー作れるイメージがなかった」 “I just couldn't imagine up a story for that kind of character with TasoFuro.”
Original Transcript English Translation
Iruka 「ほんとに遊ぶ側なんで、ZUNさんからもその作品に関する話のところしか来なくて、そっから外の話は基本的に来ないんですよ」 “I'm the one who plays it, ZUN only comes to discuss the work's stories, and there's basically nothing else to talk about after that.”
Iruka 「だから今回の紺珠伝の最初のブログの発表見て吹きましたからね。ちょっと待って、こう繋がってるのっていう」 “So I was blown away when he announced Touhou Kanjuden on his blog. Then I thought, wait a minute… it's all connected.”
ZUN 「まああれは繋げたね。繋がってるわけじゃないけど、あれ繋がってるのは魔理沙だけなんで、他のキャラは繋がってないけどそこだけ繋がる」 “Well, I guess it's connected. It doesn't mean that there is a connection, but only Marisa has a connection and nobody else.”
Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「がっつりみんなで作って、ストーリーを固めていくと、最終的にできるのは考えている部分の末端の部分だから、末端の部分が狭まるのはよくない」 “When everyone works hard to solidify a story, you'll eventually have to think about the ending, so it's best to avoid a narrow ending.”
ZUN 「そのためには上は雲のような状態にすることによって、末端は色んな所から結びつけるときっと上手く行くんだよ。それは僕が最近やってる創作の仕方」 “To do this, the beginning should be like a cloud, and the ending should be smooth with many connections. That's the creative method that I've been using lately.”
Iruka 「前作で決めた設定で次回作の内容が縛られるっていうのはちょっときついものがありますからね、それはそれで」 “It's a bit tough to have the contents of your next work be bound by what you decided in the previous work, that's for sure.”
ZUN 「うん、きついでしょ?」 “Yeah, it's tough, isn't it?”

WIP. Touhou Project is discussed a lot in this episode!

Nikenme Radio #70

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on June 28, 2016, prior to ZUN's trip to Los Angeles (Anime Expo 2016) and San Francisco (Game Breakers interview),17) the two are joined by “JYUNYA” from AQUA STYLE and “Yuro” (響谷ゆろ) from CUBE TYPE. The broadcast starts with ZUN announcing his trip, then recalling his trip to Atlanta for Anime Weekend Atlanta back in 2013.18)

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「ここに行きたいって言えば行けるよ。SP付きで」 “If I said I wanted to go somewhere, I would go… with security.”
ZUN 「アトランタのときはそうでした。僕の歩いてるところずっとSP付いて、すげえこんなでっかいマシンガンみたいなの持ってずっとついてきた」 “That's how it was in Atlanta. Security just accompanied me the entire time that I got used to that incredibly huge machine gun they had.”
JYUNYA 「それ本物なんですか?」 “Was it real?”
ZUN 「本物本物。本物じゃなかったら意味ないじゃん。すげー軍人上がりみたいな人がついてくる」 “It was definitely real. If it wasn't real, what's the point? They looked like an incredible soldier.”
ZUN 「その人に聞いて南部料理食べたいって言ったら、南部ノ料理ダメ、豆バッカリデオ腹壊スカラソコイケって行った店がテキサスステーキ」 “I asked if they wanted to eat southern food, but they weren't interested since they were sick of beans and suggested a Texas Steak restaurant instead.”

Halfway into the broadcast, the group manages to get ZUN to talk about his trips to the United States. ZUN does mention prior trips to Anime Weekend Atlanta and Touhoucon, but more importantly, he talks about wanting to try out southern food for his last day in Atlanta and how 4chan founder Christopher “moot” Poole looked up a place for them19) to dine at.

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「(アトランタの)最終日にどこに行きたいかってなって、そろそろ南部料理が食いたいって。知ってる人誰もいなかったから、元4chan管理人のmoot君がアメリカ版食べログみたいなもので調べた店を紹介してくれた」 “On the last day [in Atlanta], we talked about where we wanted to go and decided to try out southern cooking. Nobody knew where to go, so the former 4chan administrator moot pulled up a restaurant that he found on some American food blog thing.”
ZUN 「そしたらゴーストタウンみたいな街で、誰も来たことがない場所だった」 “Then, the streets were like a ghost town, a place where no one had ever been.”

YouTube era 🍺

Nikenme Radio #78

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on February 25, 2017, the two are joined by “Uni Akiyama” from TasoFuro and “JYUNYA” from AQUA STYLE. This broadcast wasn't really that interesting aside from small comments regarding the United States under Donald Trump.20) After that, ZUN comments on Kemono Friends' situation, how children affected his life, and how he still wants to have his own izakaya someday.21)

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「アメリカは閉鎖的な国だからしょうがない」 “America is a closed country, so it can't be helped.”
豚 「アメリカは今閉鎖的な国だからね」 “America is a closed country now?”
JYUNYA 「今行ったらどこかに連れて行かれるかもしれない」 “If you go now, you might be taken somewhere.”
ZUN 「こいつらテロすると思われるかもしれない」 “They might think these guys are terrorists.”

Nikenme Radio #79


Nikenme Radio #81

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on May 30, 2017, after releasing the Touhou Tenkyuushou demo, the two are joined by “JYUNYA” from AQUA STYLE and “Yuro” (響谷ゆろ) from CUBE TYPE. They all discuss the expected difficulty for Touhou Tenkyuushou, after the demo was just released, then move onto the silhouette guessing game that surfaces when the jewel case cover is revealed.

Translate the excerpt and add in citations later.

Nikenme Radio #84

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on August 31, 2017, ZUN mentions that his grandmother had recently died from colon cancer at 95, reminiscences on how she'd be there while his parents both worked, then talks about how she was a military nurse and how his grandparents met in Occupied Manchuria.22)23) This just gives context to how much his grandmother factored in his life and a bit into ZUN's thought process.

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「僕もけっこうお婆ちゃん子だったので、お婆ちゃんに育てられてきたの」 “I was a grandma's boy because I was raised by my grandma.”
豚 「最近はあまり書いてないけど、ブログとかもけっこうお婆ちゃんのこと書いてたじゃないですか」 “You haven't been writing much lately, but I think you wrote about your grandmother a lot on your blog, right?”
ZUN 「基本うちの親も両方働いてたし、お婆ちゃんしかいないの。お爺ちゃんは生まれる前に亡くなったからね」 “Basically, both of my parents worked, so all I had was my grandma. My grandfather died long before I was born.”
ZUN 「お婆ちゃんはだいたいのこと知ってるから、だいたい僕のこと育ててきてる。まあ放置だったけどね。放任主義ではありましたが」 “My grandma already knew what to do, so she mostly raised me. Then again, she'd also let me be. She was very laissez-faire​.”
Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「うちの爺ちゃんと満州で知り合って満州で結婚したの。戦争中に。だから満州の話よくされるんだよ」 “She met my grandfather in Manchuria and got married in Manchuria. During the war. That's why Manchuria was often talked about.”
ZUN 「従軍看護婦だったの。軍人として行くのは結構いるかもしれないけど、お爺ちゃんも軍人として行ったんだけど、看護婦として行くって珍しいなと」 “She was a military nurse. A lot of people went in as a solider, even my grandfather was a soldier, but it was rare to go in as a nurse.”

This conversation is followed up by ZUN's view of world affairs, how terrifying the national sentiment can be, and how current events do influence Touhou Project, stating that religion would be followed up with power balance.24)25) Afterwards, they joke about hormones, how hormone injections shouldn't be banned, then they mention the gender ratio of people who come to buy the games.

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「権力を持ったり力を持ってる人間の争いじゃない。やっぱ怖いのは国民感情。北朝鮮の中にいる人と日本の中にいる人の感情」 “It's not a struggle between those who have or are in power. What I'm afraid of is national sentiment. The sentiment of people in North Korea and people in Japan.”
ZUN 「結局選挙で人を選んでるんだから、その人達の感情が爆発するとどうにもならないよ」 “In the end, we're just choosing people in elections, so if their emotions explode, we can't do much.”
豚 「みんなで忖度しあって、こういう風に望まれてるんだからしなきゃいけないんじゃないかみたいなのがどんどん空回りしていくんですよね」 “We all have to be disciplined. They think, 'since they want us to do it this way, we have to do it this way', but it keeps spinning nowhere.”
ZUN 「それが日本が戦争起こした理由でしょ。本当の理由はここなんだよ。国民はもうして当然だってくらいまで高まってたんだよ」 “That's how Japan started the war. That's the real reason. The people had risen up to the point where it felt natural to them.”
Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「今はインターネットがあるから、教育は勝手に行われてるんですよ」 “Now that we have the internet, people can educate themselves on their own.”
ZUN 「だからちょっと過激な方に行くのをやめようって言うのも、グローバルな考え方の中では極端な方に行くのは当然だし、誰かがこういう風にしたいっていうのがない世界だからこそ怖いんだよね」 “That's why I say let's not get a little too extreme, because it's normal to think extremes in a global mindset, so it becomes a scary world for people who don't want things to be this way.”
ZUN 「どこに暴走していくかわからない。っていう時代だからこそ東方は面白くなるだろうな。そういうのネタにいっぱい使えるようになっていくんじゃないかな」 “I don't know when things will spiral out of control. That's why Touhou will get a lot more interesting. We'll be able to turn a lot of this stuff into stories, right?”
ZUN 「これからはパワーバランスの話になっていく。東方的には宗教から次はパワーバランスだから。時事ネタ大好き」 “We'll get into power balance in the future. From a Touhou perspective, the next thing after religion is power balance. I love current affairs.”
Original Transcript English Translation
豚 「そうだけど、それはほら、取り締まられたりすることがまかり間違ってもあるからね」 “That's right, but, you see, things can go wrong if they get cracked down on.”
ZUN 「そうなったときにそれが正しくない、取り締まることがおかしいって人のためにはファンが必要だったり、それでも弾圧があるんだったら国を逃げてもいいわけだ。もし日本だけだったらね。世界中そうなってるんだったら、新しい国を作るしかない」 “When that happens, the people who think it's not right to crack down on people need support. But if there's still oppression, they can flee the country. If it only happened in Japan. When it's like that around the world, you just have to make a new country.”
豚 「どこ? 月?」 “Where? The moon?”
ZUN 「そこは哲学用語で言えば帝国です。領土を広げていくしかない」 “In philosophical terms, it's an empire. We have to expand our territory.”
豚 「戦争はないけどみんな戦ってるのよ。そうでしょ?」 “There's no war but everyone is fighting, right?”
ZUN 「それは男性的な、テストステロンのせい」 “It's masculine because of testosterone.”
豚 「要はホルモン注射でなんとかなるな」 “The point is don't get rid of hormone injections.”
ZUN 「全員女性化すれば平和かもしれない」 “If everyone was feminized, there may be peace.”
豚 「これはつまり百合の世界が最高なのか? 私の中では一番苦手な世界なんだが…」 “Does this mean that a yuri world is the best? It's not my favorite world…”
ZUN 「ゲームが好きなのは男だから。闘争本能がなくなったらゲームも売れないよ。うちに買いに来る男女比なんて驚きの99%は男性だから。もちろん女の人もいますよ? でも比率的にはそのくらいだ」 “It's because men love to play video games. If that fighting instinct vanishes, games wouldn't sell. The ratio of men and women that come to buy is surprisingly 99% men. Of course, there are women too? But that's proportionally it.”
ZUN 「でもそれはエロゲーだからとか女の子だからとかじゃない」 “But it's not because it's an eroge or because there are girls, right?”
豚 「東方はエロゲーだって話?」 “Are you telling me that Touhou is an eroge?”
ZUN 「東方はエロゲーですけど。ちょっと戦ってるものを喜ぶのは男ですよ」 “Touhou is an eroge, but for men who like to fight a little.”
ZUN 「撃ち込んで、破壊する。エロいね」 “Shoot and destroy. Now that's erotic.”

Nikenme Radio #85

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on September 26, 2017, the subject of Germany comes up as ZUN had his honeymoon there and the person he's speaking with went there for training. ZUN goes on a tangent about visiting Czechia where people openly drank alcohol,26) then comments on Czechia's architecture, its status as a former socialist state, and reflecting on the two big ideological systems in the modern world.27)28)

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「チェコは建物がやっぱりいい、社会主義国家のほうがいい」 “The buildings in Czechia were nice, after all. It was better as a socialist state.”
豚 「ああ町並みが整然としてる」 “Ahh, their streets were so neat and tidy.”
ZUN 「そう、ちゃんと統一感があって」 “Yeah, it really gave off a sense of unity.”
ZUN 「旧社会主義国家ね。ああいうのを見ると社会主義国家も悪くないなと思うけど、結局狂うんだよな」 “It used to be a socialist state. It really makes you think 'socialist states aren't bad' when you look at it, but things went crazy in the end.”
ZUN 「いま社会主義に対して資本主義も狂ってないかと言われると狂ってきてるわけだから、もうちょっと考えなきゃいけないと思いますよ」 “Now, I'm not saying 'capitalism isn't crazy as socialism'. It's definitely crazy, so I think we have to reflect on it much harder.”
ZUN 「今あるものが真実だと思わないほうがいい」 “So, it's best not to take things for granted now.”
豚 「でも次に議論されてるのはベーシックインカムですからね」 “But the next thing we'd have to discuss is basic income.”
ZUN 「社会主義だね。共産一歩手前だね」 “It's socialism, one step away from communism.”

Later in the broadcast, they discuss the timing of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolving parliament for the upcoming snap election. At some point, ZUN mentions how Japan should be “more humble” and relearn from China as they used to until the Meiji Restoration,29) suggesting a more positive way to view the mainland through Japan's own history instead of just following blind Sinophobia.30)

Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「日本はもうちょっと謙虚になったほうがいいよ。ずっと中国からいっぱい学んできたんだよものを」 “Japan should be a little more modest. After all, they've learned a lot of things from China.”
ZUN 「それを中国より上に立った瞬間なんて、ここ最近だけ。近代、現代しかない。それに対して中国は怒ってるんだよまた」 “The only moment it stood above China is just recently, from the early modern period to present day. That's when China became angry with us.”
ZUN 「あんなにでかい土地があって、人がいるところをもう一回勉強しなおして、あそこのものをもう一回学び直すべきなんだよね日本も」 “It's such a vast land with a huge population that we should really study them again, then Japan would relearn some things from them once again.”
ZUN 「勉強すれば分かるよ、色々と勉強した結果日本はずっと中国から学んできたものを何忘れてるの、中国って呼び方するからややこしくなるけど、大陸から」 “The more you learn, the more you'll understand. Japan learned all sorts of things from China, but forgot about it. It's complicated because we say 'from China' when we should say 'from the continent'.”
ZUN 「大陸から学んできたことを忘れないでほしい」 “I don't want people to forget that we used to learn from the continent.”
Original Transcript English Translation
ZUN 「別に中国を崇めろとかいうのじゃないですよ。日本の歴史を学べと。日本の歴史を学んだらそういうことにならないから。今の中国人はよくないとかそういうことにならないから」 “I'm not saying worship China, I'm saying learn Japan's history. If you learn about Japan's history, you wouldn't feel that way. It doesn't mean that Chinese people today aren't good or anything like that.”
ZUN 「観光客の中国人マナーが悪いとか思うのと、中国人はダメだっていうのは結びつかない。それをわかってるかどうかなんだろうな」 “If you think Chinese tourists have bad manners, that doesn't mean all Chinese people are bad, but many people don't understand this.”

Nikenme Radio #88

There aren't that many Japanese transcripts past this point, so I will be forced to double translate from the Chinese translation. If a Japanese transcript becomes available, please let me know.

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on December 26, 2017, ZUN is joined by the COOL&CREATE members, “Amane” (あまね) and “BeatMARIO” (ビートまりお). During the broadcast, the group skims through a Chinese-language Touhou Project doujin book and react to the Chinese names for Cirno, Rumia, Patchouli Knowledge, Flandre Scarlet, Alice Margatroid, the Prismriver Sisters, and Tewi Inaba.31)32)

Chinese Translation English Translation
Mario 打听了一下中国的朋友们是怎么用汉字称呼(某些)东方角色们的名字的,还真找到了一些角色的译名。 I asked some Chinese friends about the hanzi they use for [some] Touhou Project characters, and found some translated names in the end.
They see Rumia's name transliterated as “Lùmǐyà” (露米娅).
ZUN 有露西亚(俄罗斯)的“露”和米国(美国)的“米”,“露米娅”可以说是世界的代表啊。 There's Russia (露西亚) and America (米国).33) You can say [Rumia] represents the world.34)
豚 这名字的暴走族感真不是盖的。 These names really feel bōsōzoku.35)
Mario てゐ(帝)变成“帝王”了哦! Tewi has become an emperor!36)
ZUN 应该很强 Should be very strong.

Later in the broadcast, BeatMARIO asks ZUN about Cookie☆ for the second time, but ZUN actually dodges the subject and talks about how people have told him to not say anything.37)

Nikenme Radio #107


Nikenme Radio #126

In the Nikenme Radio broadcast on February 28, 2021, the hosts are joined by “DAI” from Saigobi at ZUN's house.38) In the latter half of the stream, ZUN provides some details about the recently announced Touhou Kouryuudou whose trial would be released in the month following. Some details include a lack of balancing, a longer gohei, and his wife contributing some of the artwork.39)

Chinese Translation English Translation
—— 调整(道具卡的)平衡很麻烦吧? Balancing [the item cards] must be troublesome, right?
ZUN 我根本没做平衡。 I didn't do any balancing.
ZUN 体验版和正式版的平衡不调整一样,可能会有很大的差别。 The trial version and the final version equally have not been adjusted, so it might be really difficult.
Chinese Translation English Translation
—— 御币的长度又增加了。 The length of the gohei has increased again.
ZUN 我觉得那种又长又细的感觉很帅,自然而然就画成这样了 I thought long and slender would feel really cool, so I naturally drew it like that.
Chinese Translation English Translation
ZUN 其实《弹幕天邪鬼》的道具贴图也是妻子画的。因为知道妻子有这种才能才做了这个设计,我是不会请外包的。(虹龙洞)需要的美术素材太多了,所以把道具卡交给了妻子分担。 In fact, my wife drew some of the item cards in Touhou Kouryuudou. I planned it, knowing my wife had this kind of talent, so I didn't need to outsource. A lot of artwork was required [for Touhou Kouryuudou], so I shared the burden with my wife.
Chinese Translation English Translation
DAI 新作会有新曲吗? Will there be new music?
豚 560个人都听见你问这问题了。 560 people just heard you ask that.
Chinese Translation English Translation
ZUN 东方的粉丝不买(虹龙洞)也没关系。现在基本上,喷我的人都是我的粉丝。说我的游戏是粪游戏的人更是我的真爱粉。玩家有自己评判这个游戏有不有趣的权利,在玩过之后自己再来决定这游戏好不好玩,所以要买来玩哦。反正我自己觉得(虹龙洞)挺有趣的。 It doesn't matter if Touhou fans won't buy it. Basically, people who praise me are my fans, and people who call my games are shit are true fans. Players have the right to judge whether a game is interesting or not, then decide whether it was fun or not after they played it, so just buy it and have fun. Anyways, I think the game will be quite interesting.

Nikenme Radio #134

In which ZUN actually visits Mainland China.

Nikenme Radio #145

In which ZUN talks about the Popularity Poll.

Chinese Translation English Translation
Mario ZUN你猜猜这次东方人气投票谁第一? ZUN, can you guess who placed first in the Touhou Popularity Poll?
ZUN 果然还是灵梦吧。 It's still Reimu, right?
Mario 不对哦,灵梦是第三。 Incorrect, Reimu placed third.
ZUN 啊……那第一有点难猜啊。 Ah… then first place might be difficult to guess.
Mario 完了,ZUN没想到灵梦以外还能是谁。 It's over, ZUN didn't expect anybody else but Reimu.
ZUN 不不,第三回不是还有魔理沙第一吗? No, no. Wasn't Marisa first in the third one?
Mario 没想过这次魔理沙第一吗? You don't suppose Marisa won first this time, right?
ZUN 魔理沙不可能第一的吧。 There's no way Marisa would be first, yeah?
Mario 魔理沙是第二。 Marisa placed second.
ZUN 那第一是帕秋莉? Then, first place is Patchouli?
Mario (乐)不可能的不可能的,别拿来调侃啊…… *Ha* No way, no way. Don't tease me……
ZUN 那……那爱丽丝吧。 Then… Then, it must be Alice, right?
Mario (别别别)也不是的。是红魔乡里的,刚欲异闻里的,姓斯卡蕾特的。 *Nooope* That's wrong too. They appeared in Koumakyou and Gouyoku Ibun. The last name is Scarlet.
ZUN (一愣)诶?……芙兰么……说的也是,芙兰呢……(思考了一下)大概知道了。小孩子那边芙兰很有很有人气呢,如果说芙兰是第一的话果然现在有些新生代了。 [Puzzled] Huh? Flan… That's right, Flan…… [Thinking it over] Oh, I got it. Flan was very popular with children. If Flan is popular, then the newer generations really are here.
Chinese Translation English Translation
紡 作品人气也是东方红魔乡第一,音乐也是芙兰曲第一。 The most popular work is Touhou Koumakyou, and the most popular song is Flan's song.
Mario 大家最喜欢金发吸血鬼小姑娘了。 Everybody like the small blonde vampire girl.
ZUN 呃,呀……翅膀也很特别呢,给人一种“这是什么”的奇特感。 Umm, oh… The wings are quite unique too. Makes everyone think “what are these?”
是啊是啊,迷之翅膀给人印象很深。曲子也很俏皮狂气。 Yes, yes. The mystery of her wings are quite impressive. Her theme is also quite playful and crazy.
Chinese Translation English Translation
ZUN 其实我自己也觉得芙兰的翅膀很奇怪。 Actually, I'm perplexed by Flan's wings too.
作者自己也觉得怪是怎么回事啊。 Ah. Even the author is bewildered by it.
ZUN 红魔乡是三月份才开始做的(8月就发售了),当时实在是很赶时间。感觉那段时间自己精神也不太正常。 I started working on Koumakyou in March and I was in a rush [to get it out by August]. I feel like, at the time, I wasn't mentally sound back then.
ZUN 我自己也觉得刚欲异闻的芙兰很逗。 I also find Gouyoku Ibun's Flan to be very funny.

Nikenme Radio #147

In which ZUN discusses the end of Danmaku Kagura.


  • Nikenme Radio was originally streamed through Ustream from 2010 to 2016.
    • It was explained that Ustream was chosen over Niconico Namahōsō since it was relatively obscure and would only attract a small crowd who actually wanted to listen to ZUN as a person.
    • In 2016, IBM purchased Ustream with plans to completely retool the website, so Nikenme Radio migrated to YouTube for its 75th broadcast and their past streams are mostly lost.
  • I just wanted to answer “how does ZUN feel about leftism?” as the Western community joked that ZUN and the Touhou Project series40) were communist, thus #85, but expanded from there.
  • A couple of broadcasts are numbered incorrectly, so the broadcast numbering is technically off.
  • There's been a lack of recent Nikenme Radio transcripts. I have a few theories:
    • ZUN had started to appear on Touhou Project-specific broadcasts (e.g. Super Touhou Live Stage, Touhou Station), so there's less incentive to sit through Nikenme Radio nowadays.
    • The automatic captions on YouTube began to sporadically appear on Nikenme Radio broadcasts after “VR” and #90, but it should be warned that these may not be accurate.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, ZUN began to stream Nikenme Radio from home with the first one being #115, Zoom calls appearing in #116, and plastic walls being confirmed in #120.
“Nikenme” (二軒目) is a casual term meaning “2nd Building/House” or, in this context, “2nd Bar/Pub”.
As a side note, “Nikenme Radio” is probably the intended name.
“Tetsurō Okunogi” (小此木哲朗, Okonogi Tetsurō), nicknamed “Buta” (豚, lit. “Pig”), is a recurring guest on Nikenme Radio who mainly works as ZUN's assistant and editor.
There were debates on the type of underwear that Touhou Project characters wore. The fundamentalists often insisted that everyone had bloomers/drawers (ドロワーズ), not striped panties, no panties, etc.
This passage is a bit difficult to translate as “hentai” (変態), in the original language, can be interpreted as “abnormal” and “transformation” (metamorphosis) before it was synonymous with “sexual perversion”.
A “boob alien” (おっぱい星人, oppai seijin), or “person from the planet of boobs”, is a humorous Japanese term for someone who loves breasts or has a breast fetish. The rough English equivalent is “boob man”.
ZUN was employed at Taito from 1997 to 2007 and the company only released three shoot-em-up games (e.g. G-Darius, RayCrisis, and Darius-R). For some reason, Taito stopped releasing shoot-em-up games after 2002, forcing ZUN to develop non-shmup projects, and Square Enix would purchase Taito in 2005. After ZUN left the company in 2007, Taito would revive the Darius series with DariusBurst in 2009.
Note: ZUN and Poole had already met in late 2012 before the 2013 trip, so that remains a mystery.
ZUN misinterprets the hanzi as kanji, so he actually uses the ateji readings. Russia is “Éluósī” (俄罗斯), not “Lùxīyà”/“Roshia” (露西亚). The United States is “Měiguó” (美国), not “Mǐguó”/“Beikoku” (米国).
As a side note, if you check the stream at 58:20, ZUN doesn't actually mention Rumia's name here.
The “bōsōzoku” are known for borrowing Chinese characters for their fake names.
“Tewi” (てゐ) became “dì” (帝), a hanzi/kanji often used for “dìwáng”/“teiō” (帝王, lit. “emperor”).
In the source material, it's mostly used for jokes. Marisa calls Reimu “some kind of communist” in Chapter 3 of Touhou Kourindou, ZUN jokes that rabbit are "communists" in Touhou Eiyashou, and Kosuzu misinterprets the Soviet Union's dissolution in Chapter 6 of Touhou Suzunaan.
nikenme_radio.txt · Last modified: 2023-12-17 12:59:51 by