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Nue Houjuu

“It's over for you right now, though!”
– Nue Houjuu

Nue Houjuu (封獣ぬえ, Houjuu Nue) is a nue youkai in Touhou Project who has the ability to make objects unidentifiable. She had debut in the extra stage of Undefined Fantastic Object and hangs around the Myouren Temple, but she seem to be friends with Mamizou.



Her true form is human-like and has the appearance of a girl with short black hair, a black dress with a red spiral and red bow, black thigh-high stockings, red shoes with red bows, and a black wristband on her left arm. She also has three left arrow-like blue wings and three right sickle-like red wings on her back, which are detachable, but it's unclear if these are wings, tails, or tentacles.

She carries a metal trident and she has a blue-green snake with red eyes. It's possible for the snake to be one of the Seeds of Unknown Form according to the dialogue in Marisa A's route in Undefined Fantastic Object, but this dialogue also reveals that the the seeds are actually glowing orbs. Otherwise, she normally hides her true form to be interpreted in any way since it isn't as frightening to humans.

In the fourth and sixth (final) stages of Undefined Fantastic Object, it seems like she apparently took on the form of a ball of light according to the protagonist and she had been following them.


She has the ability to make things unidentifiable or unknown, which means that she can hide the true nature of objects by concealing its sound and smell but leaves its behavior. The observer's mind will think of a form that their mind can accept, though common animals will appear mirage-like. These interpretations can result in humans coming up with a story or an idea on what an object turned unidentifiable could be.

Spell Cards

Nue has eighteen spell cards in total, seen in Undefined Fantastic Object, Double Spoiler, and Ten Desires. Most spell cards are based on the unknown or the unidentifiable and related to the nue.

In Undefined Fantastic Object

Spell Card Name Translated Name Ex
Yōun 「Heian no Dāku Kuraudo」
Ominous Cloud “Heian Dark Cloud”
Shōtai Fumei 「Fundo no Reddo Yūfō Shūrai」
Unidentified “Red UFO Invasion's Rage”
Nue-fu 「Nue-teki Sunēku Shō」
Nue Sign “Nue-like1) Snake Show”
Shōtai Fumei 「Aishū no Burū Yūfō Shūrai」
Unidentified “Blue UFO Invasion's Sorrow”
Nue-fu 「Danmaku Kimera」
Nue Sign “Danmaku Chimera”
Shōtai Fumei 「Gishin no Gurīn Yūfō Shūrai」
Unidentified “Green UFO Invasion's Justice2)
Nue-fu 「Andifaindo Dākunesu」
Nue Sign “Undefined Darkness”
Shōtai Fumei 「Kyōfu no Nijiiro Yūfō Shūrai」
Unidentified “Rainbow UFO Invasion's Terror”
「Heian-kyō no Akumu」
“Nightmare of Heian-kyo”
Konkyū 「Genzanmi Yorimasa no Yumi“
Grudge Bow “Bow of Genzanmi Yorimasa

In Double Spoiler

Spell Card Name Translated Name Stage
Shōtai Fumei 「Murasaki Kagami」
Unidentified “Purple Mirror” STAGE 12-2
Shōtai Fumei 「Aka Manto, Ao Manto」
Unidentified “Red Cloak, Blue Cloak” STAGE 12-4
Shōtai Fumei 「Kawaya no Hanako-san」
Unidentified “Hanako-san's Toilet” STAGE 12-6
「Yūsei yori no Danmaku X」
“Danmaku X from Another World” STAGE 12-8

In Ten Desires

Spell Card Name Translated Name Ex
Announ 「Kidō Fumei no Onibi」
Unknown “Will-o'-Wisps' Unknown Orbit”
Announ 「Shitai Fumei no Kuugyo」
Unknown “Skyfish's Unknown Form”
Announ 「Genri Fumei no Yōkai Dama」
Unknown “Youkai Orb's Unknown Mechanics”

In Violet Detector

Spell Card Name Translated Name Stage
Shin-sei-fu 「Shōtai Fumei no Kaikō Hitodakari」
Divine Star Sign “Unidentified Ghost-Light Crowd” Nightmare Thursday-1 (with Mamizou)
Hi-sei-fu 「Shōtai Fumei no Rakurai」
Scarlet Star Sign “Unidentified Lighting Strike” Nightmare Thursday-4 (with Iku)
Ki-sei-fu 「Shōtai Fumei no Dondoko Taiko」
Shining Star Sign “Unidentified Dondoko Drum” Nightmare Thursday-6 (with Raiko)


  • “UFO Romance in the Night Sky” (夜空のユーフォーロマンス, Yozora no Yūfō Romansu)
    This is the Extra Stage theme for Undefined Fantastic Object.
  • “Heian Alien” (平安のエイリアン, Heian no Aeirian)
    This is the Extra Stage boss theme for Nue in Undefined Fantastic Object.

* “Youkai Back Shrine Road” (妖怪裏参道, Yōkai-ura Sandō)
This is the Extra Stage theme for Ten Desires.

Appearances and Mentions

I don't care about Nue that much, so newer appearances and mentions since the time this article was originally written may be missing.

In the Games

Touhou Seirensen (Undefined Fantastic Object)

“Die in fear of this unidentified flying object!!”
– Nue Houjuu

In Undefined Fantastic Object, she is the extra stage boss. After running into Kosaga, the protagonist talks about the number of UFOs they've seen and then start hearing a weird noise that reveals itself to be Nue congratulating the player on rescuing Byakuren, which they didn't expect the protagonist to help with. Reimu and Marisa instantly recognizes her as a Nue, while Sanae confuses her for an alien instead.

Basically, Nue explains that she used the Seeds of Unknown Form to change the Flying Storage3) fragments into what the protagonist sees as UFOs, with the seed being snake-like to Marisa. She was sealed after her undreadful true form was revealed since she liked scaring people. After the group and the underground was freed at the start of the year, she scattered the fragments since she felt left out of Byakuren's group.

It irritated Nue that Minamitsu's group of youkai were siding with a human like Byakuren, but the protagonist reveals to her that Byakuren started up a temple for youkai since they need more saving than humans, so this was a misunderstanding on Nue's part and she feels like she can't show her face around said group until they put all the Flying Storage fragments back together or secretly bring it to them.

Nue does beg that the protagonist doesn't seal her again, which they obviously don't. Reimu decides not to exterminate her or jokes about it and mentions that youkai are free to roam. Marisa isn't really interested since she's more curious, but does mention that there are people who like to. However, Sanae just wants her questions answered or wants Aya to take a picture of her and Nue since she thinks Nue is an alien.

In addition to being the final boss, she makes an appearance of the fourth and sixth (final) stages as a ball of light which is where she stalked the protagonist and helped them with their objective in the main game.

Touhou Hisoutensoku

“That unidentified flying youkai ended up converting to Buddhism and has been staying at the temple.”
– Reimu Hakurei

In Touhou Hisoutensoku, she isn't present. However, in Reimu's versus script against Marisa, she talks about how Nue apparently converted to Buddhism and lives at the Myouren Temple instead of the underground.

Touhou Bunkachou 2 (Double Spoiler)

“How am I supposed to write an article about this…?”
– Aya Shameimaru

In Double Spoiler, she appears on Stage 12-2, 12-4, 12-6, and 12-8, with four unique individual spell cards, and she shares the same stage difficulty level as Byakuren.

Aya talks about how she doesn't understand the nue and how people calls things 'nue-like' when they don't understand stuff. She doesn't understand the 'purple mirror' either. While kidnapping should be standard, Aya notes that catch and release is more popular. Aya doesn't write about Hanako-san, since it's classless to write about toilets. The only thing Aya wants to write about is 'Danmaku X from a Wandering Star'.

Hatate is more enthusiastic about the nue and notes that she looks different from the reports, though writes about her anyways. She talks about a good comeback to the 'red cloak, blue cloak' rumor, mentions doing her own research on Hanako-san and talks about what she heard, and Hatate doesn't really understand her last spell card but think it's really cheerful and wants to know more.

Touhou Shinreibyou (Ten Desires)

“The youkai world is in an uproar now.”
– Nue Houjuu

In Ten Desires, she's the extra stage's midboss and she mentions that the resurrection of Miko's group had caused an uproar in the youkai world, so she called in the youkai's trump card or secret weapon who later reveals herself to be Mamizou from Sado. Mamizou doesn't really have any comments on Nue, aside from Nue specifically calling Mamizou over since the youkai are afraid of the unruly saint, Miko.

Touhou Shinkirou (Hopeless Masquerade)

In Hopeless Masquerade, she has a minor cameo as a background character when the protagonist(s) fight on the “Palanquin Ship” stage. She can be seen floating around the ship.

Hifuu Nightmare Diary (Violet Detector)


In the Print Works

Touhou Sangetsusei (Oriental Sacred Place)

In Oriental Sacred Place, she appears in Chapter 12 where the fairies decide to visit the Myouren Temple when Reimu and Marisa travel to analyze their “New Years' Bell” that allegedly erases desires. Reimu rings the bell while Marisa was still explaining. Everyone notices and Nue is seen carrying a bucket at the time.

Immediately after, Marisa urges Reimu to make a run for it and the Three Fairies of Light comically fall out of the bell since they were actually hiding in it.

Touhou Ibarakasen (Wild and Horned Hermit)

In Wild and Horned Hermit, she has a cameo in Chapter 9 as an example where Reimu talks about how Gensokyo has odd people in the form of youkai, then complains about how they never actually act like youkai. She also appears again in Chapter 20 where Reimu holds a Tori-no-ichi festival at the Hakurei Shrine.

Touhou Gumon Kuju (Symposium of Post-Mysticism)

Gensokyo Chronicles

“Her ability works indirectly, so there's really nothing you can do about it.”
– Hieda no Akyuu

In the “Gensokyo Chronicles” part of Symposium of Post-Mysticism, Akyuu writes down Nue as a youkai nue with a high threat level and low friendship level with humans. She has the ability to make objects unidentifiable and she can be normally encountered around places like the Myouren Temple.

The chimera in The Tale of the Heike is brought up and Akyuu establishes that it was actually a nue. It's explained that nue are youkai whose real form isn't established, but their cries are well known. Her visible form has tentacles, believed to be wings or tails, which can be moved to disorient the viewer.

Her ability is to make objects unidentifiable, concealing the true nature of other objects by hiding sound and smell from objects and living beings while leaving its behavior. For instance, a bird in flight will become an unidentified flying object. The observer will come up with a form that their mind can accept, results in multiple interpretations from different people. However, since birds are common, it will appear mirage-like.

Nue is allegedly training under Byakuren at the Myouren Temple, but her role isn't as big since she recently joined and looks bored compared to the other youkai. When Miko was resurrected, she called in Mamizou since she thought it was a threat to youkai, though it strayed from the Myouren Temple's intentions. It turns out that Mamizou was an old, close friend of hers and both of them sorta exist at the Myouren Temple.

For countermeasures, if you encounter things like phantoms and will-o'-the-wisps that don't belong in areas like street corners, there's a possibility that these are ordinary objects that Nue had made unidentifiable, so you probably don't need to be frightened. However, if she make a direct attack, there's no way to defeat her without a legendary weapon like the “Bow of Yorimasa” and running away is quite difficult.

Kakashi Nenpo

“I was just out searching for something. I was told to collect the pieces of the flying vault. But forget that; how did you figure out my true form?”
– Nue Houjuu

In the newspaper articles section of Symposium of Post-Mysticism, Hatate wrote an article on Nue titled “Aliens From a Burning Fireball?” for the 4th Shiwasu Issue of Season 125, which equates to January or February 2011. The date implicates that this article was published between Double Spoiler and Ten Desires.

The article talks about reports of a 10 shaku (≈ 3.03 m ≈ 9.94 ft) tall giant riding a fireball that some called an alien riding a UFO. Hatate took a picture of her, then interviewed Nue who was looking for the Floating Vault fragments and made herself unidentifiable to keep people away. Hatate concludes the article by saying that urban legends can be born from unidentifiable objects.

Touhou Suzunaan (Forbidden Scrollery)

Her Chapter 31 appearances is not pictured since it means posting most of the chapter. As a result, the Chapter 32 cameo isn't pictured either.

“With these urban legends, I'll dye the world in unknown!”
– Nue Houjuu

In Forbidden Scrollery, she has a cameo in Chapter 3 where the protagonists are looking for an enera that Kosuzu actually released, then her character is borrowed in the Volume 1 omake (or Chapter 5.1) and Chapter 16 where Kosuzu is reading a story and replaced the main character with Byakuren and her crew.

She didn't have any significance until Chapter 31 where it's revealed that Nue made up a harmless, unknown rumor, inspired by the urban legends that appear in Urban Legend in Limbo, to scare humans and Mamizou used her ability to transform her tanuki into bull monsters that show up in Chapter 30 and 31. As a response, Reimu put up a bunch of flyers promoting faith and concludes that Gozu-Tennoh was related to it.

This incident is briefly mentioned in Chapter 32 where Aya uses it as an example of youkai randomly causing chaos to humans for fun, while all the youkai are secretly competing for control of the Human Village.

The Grimoire of Usami

In The Grimoire of Usami, she arrives a bit late to the danmaku contest, but shows off a few of her own spell cards which get described as mesmerizing. It's a bit interesting to note that Sumireko makes the PlayStation controller joke with her “Danmaku X” spell card official. Later, she performs the same improve spell card that she did with Mamizou back in Violet Detector.


  • In an interview, ZUN mentions wanting to put an unidentified entity in the middle of the story that would reveal itself in the extra stage, but the idea wasn't finalized when Stage 4 and 6 were made.4)
  • According to the Japanese fanbase, her best known lines are:
    • “Aaahn” (ああん, Aan) from the Marisa B route of Undefined Fantastic Object as it sounds cute.
    • “It's over for you right now, though!” (お前はここで終わりだがな!, Omae wa Koko de Owarida ga na!) from Ten Desires as it sounds like something a kid would yell in a pretend fight.
  • It is possible for Nue to be the only nue in the series, but this hasn't been confirmed or denied.
  • “Zettai Ryōiki” (絶対領域, lit. “Absolute Territory”).

See also

  • Nothing, because I haven't written anything else yet.

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 /o\ノノルi ゚ ヮ゚ノリ .|
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“Nue-teki” (鵺的) literally means 'Nue-like', but it's often translated to 'mysterious' or 'strange'.
“Gishin” (義心) means 'chivalrous spirit' or 'justice heart', but it's often shortened to 'justice' to follow suit.
The “Flying Storage” (飛倉, Tobikura), also called a “Flying Vault”, “Soaring Vault”, and “Flying Silo”.
nue_houjuu.txt · Last modified: 2023-12-17 12:59:51 by