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Seiga Kaku‎

Seiga Kaku or Qing'e Huo is a character from Touhou Project. She appeared in the latest installment of the series, Ten Desires. A hermit and the master of Yoshika Miyako. She has the ability to pass trough walls. She is also named Seiga Niang Niang.

Character Background

Once, she was in awe of the Tao.

When Seiga was young, her father took a liking to the Tao and left her behind to shut himself up in the mountains. Finding herself interested in a book her father had left behind, she read through it over and over, and became attracted to the Tao. She was particularly interested in He Xiangu (Kasenko in Japanese pronunciation, one of the eight sages of Taoism), and swore she'd become a hermit one day, too, and meet her father.

As she grew older, she was able to marry into the Kaku family. She led a life without any restrictions on her freedom, but she was unable to throw away her aspirations towards Taoism, and she spent every day depressed. As a result, she practically became a shut-in, never conversing with anyone.

One day, after eight more years had passed, Seiga suddenly said her goodbyes. Her family thought it was odd, but Seiga passed every day asleep in her room, and she never opened her eyes again.

Surprised, a great sadness cast itself over her family, and they buried her utterly lifeless body.

However, she wasn't dead. While she'd been shut away in her room, she used a technique she'd read about in her book to make a bamboo rod take the form of her own body, making her appear to be dead. That was what her family had buried.
She cast away her worldly life and ran. Yes, she ran to join the world of hermits she'd so yearned for.

――― What sort of journey did she experience after that? As a hermit, she'd gained a certain amount of power. She maintained her youthful appearance, becoming unaging. For this reason she also did many things which made her feared by the public. However, the Heavens did not acknowledged her and she became a wicked hermit. She hadn't hesitated to deceive her family in order to fulfill her goal. It seemed her personality wasn't that good.
She had a tendency to show off her own power in order to spread Taoism. However, Taoists and hermits of her level weren't that unusual in this country. So, she thought she'd move to another country, and headed out for a country in the east she'd never seen before: Japan.

At that time in Japan, Buddhism, which had just spread there from the continent, and Shinto, which placed its faith in Japan's native gods, were locked in battle for supremacy.
Thinking this was the perfect chance, she caught the ear of Toyosatomimi no Miko, who was widely seen as a most virtuous person, and taught her of the charms of Taoism.
She suggested to the powerful ones that they use Buddhism in politics to keep the people from getting restless, while they used Taoism to attain superhuman strength for themselves.
Since Taoism was a nature-worshipping polytheistic creed, it fit well with the beliefs of Shinto, which held the powerful in Japan to be descendents of the gods. And since its ultimate goal was immortality, it was a compelling alternative for them to the more stoic Buddhism. A little while after she thought about it, Miko spoke to her former religious rival, the Mononobe clan, of this plan.

(From Settings and Extra Story.txt of Ten Desires, by ZUN)

Name Origins

Kaku (霍) is a genuine Chinese surname pronounced "Huo" in Mandarin Chinese. while her given name Seiga (青娥), is pronounced "Qing'e" in Mandarin Chinese and literally means "Blue/Green Beauty". The Nyan Nyan (娘々) is part of her referred name, which is pronounced "Niang Niang" in Mandrin Chinese, an archaic word for refering to an emperess, a consort, a mother, or a goddess.

Qing'e (青娥) is the name of a tale, on the 14th chapter of the 7th volume in the Chinese ghost story collection Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (simplified: 聊斋志异, traditional: 聊齋志異), in which the eponymous heroine, surname Wu (武), follows her father's footsteps to seek Dao but falls in love with a Huo Huan (霍桓) and marries him. She is presumed dead later in the story, but her husband finds out that she became a hermit with her father and seeks her return.

According present-day Japanese naming schema, a lady normally renames her family name that of her husband on the family register. But Chinese couples are different in the sense Chinese wives may retain their surname even after marriage. So while Seiga's actual name is probably Wu Qing'e (武青娥), not Huo Qing'e (霍青娥), if we are to follow the Chinese name origins, Huo Qing'e is absolutely the right way to refer Seiga.



According to her appearance in the game, she has blue colored hair styled with two chinese-style hair loops secured with a relatively large hair stick (Kanzashi). She also has blue eyes, and wears a simple teal dress with a floral design with a white and blue vest with chinese patterns. On her waist is a flower secured by her belt. On her left leg is a talisman likely for Yoshika-related reasons. She sits on a flowing, translucent white cloth.

Additional Information

  • She is the second/third character who has Chinese origins, the first being Hong Meiling, and to a certain extent, Taisui Xingjun.

  • There is an anachronism about her being interested about He Xiangu and her collaboration with Toyosatomimi no Miko. He Xiangu is allegedly born in the early Tang Dynasty. Seiga had to be born during or before the Southern and Northern Dynasties to be able to teach Miko Taoism.

  • Even being the one that declares all her spell cards during her boss battle, Yoshika is the one that shoots most bullets. During such, her focus is mostly resurrecting Yoshika every time she becomes disabled.

  • She is one of the only characters in the series who is explicitly known to have been married. However, it isn't known if she bore any children. The other characters known to have been married are Watatsuki no Toyohime and Watatsuki no Yorihime.

  • Although not explicitly appearing during gameplay, Seiga "shows" her ability to pass through walls in some part of the game.

Theme Song

Stage Theme

Desire Drive (デザイアドライブ)

Boss Theme

Old Yuanxian (古きユアンシェン)


The Ability to Pass Through Walls

Seiga's ability is to pass through walls. But unlike going through walls like most ghosts do, Seiga can pass through walls physically, as she is not considered dead.

The walls she passed through will create a hole and after through, and the holes will automatically repair itself.

Her ability to "pass through walls" might refer to the magical plow which can pass through any obstacle in the original "Qing'e" story. In the story, the plow was given to Huo Huan by a passing Taoist, and Huo Huan proceeded to use the plow to open a wall in Qing'e's chamber so he could have a good look at her, which eventually led to their marriage. When Qing'e became a hermit, Huo Huan used the plow again to bring her back when Qing'e's father tried to lock him out of their mountain retreat.

But another reference can be made by reading a chapter in the same book. Looking at the 15th chapter of 1st volume, "Taoist Climbing Mountain in Vain" (simplified:劳山道士, traditional:勞山道士), you can find the character, Wang (王) acquainting temporarily the ability of passing through a wall, although the main theme of it is however his inadequacy for becoming a hermit due to the lack of patience.

Though using this ability seems to cause any mortar-covered walls to be damaged.


Seiga's spellcards, its terminology and motif are based on Tao's curse spells.

Evil Sign "Yang Xiaogui" (邪符「ヤンシャオグイ」)
Evil Sign "Guhun Yegui" (邪符「グーフンイエグイ」)
Demonify "Zouhuo Rumo" (入魔「ゾウフォルゥモォ」)
Possession "Corpse Tongji" (降霊「死人タンキー」)
Spirit Link "Tongling Yoshika" (通霊「トンリン芳香」)
Path Sign "Dao Fetal Movement" (道符「タオ胎動」)


Path Sign "TAO Fetal Movement ~Dao~" (道符「TAO胎動 ~道~」)

It is interesting to note that most names are based on Chinese idioms

Related Illustrations



Related Tags

Touhou Project
Ten Desires
Seiga NyanNyan
Wicked Hermit of Passing Through Walls
Yoshika Miyako

Derivative Works

Yoshika Yoshi Yoshi
Futari wa Sencure



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