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東風谷 早苗(こちや さなえ) (♫)
Sanae Kochiya

Alternate spellings:

Sanae Kotiya


Human, descendant of a goddess


Power to cause miracles to occur


Probably mid-teens, about the same age as Reimu or Marisa


Wind Priestess, Shrine Maiden


Moriya Shrine


  • (Touhou 10-12) Wears a blue and white outfit similar to a shrine maiden's with light blue polka dots and stripes covering the blue areas. Has long light green hair, and yellow eyes (dark-green in Undefined Fantastic Object, and blue in Touhou Hisoutensoku). Wears a snake-shaped hair accessory wrapped around her hair on one side, and a hair clip shaped like a frog's head (both probably meant to represent Kanako and Suwako).




See Character Titles

Sanae is a human, but is also a distant descendant of a god, Suwako Moriya. Her role at the Moriya Shrine is similar to a Shrine Maiden, but with her inherited power Sanae has become more like a deity herself. When humans on the outside world began losing their faith in her and Kanako, the shrine's actual deity, Kanako decided to move the shrine to Gensokyo where at least youkai might have faith in them.

During the events of Mountain of Faith Sanae tried threatening the Hakurei Shrine in order to establish the Moriya Shrine as the dominant one, not realizing how powerful humans like Reimu and Marisa were. In response to the threats Sanae was defeated by the heroine followed shortly after by Kanako and Suwako's defeat. However, the residents of the Moriya Shrine have since come to an understanding with their new neighbors and live in peace with the other residents of Youkai Mountain.

In Undefined Fantastic Object, depending on the scenario, she is ordered either by Kanako to train her own abilities by hunting Youkai or by Suwako to find the Treasure Ship, depending on this, her secondary bullet will become a snake or a frog.

In Touhou Hisoutensoku, thinking that a gigantic robot appeared in Gensokyo, she is in pursuit of the giant figure, when she stumbles into a giant pit to the nuclear reactor run by Utsuho Reiuji and learns that Suwako is responsible for creating the robot figure, Hisoutensoku.

Fun Facts

  • Sanae can mean "rice seedling" or "early seedling", and Kotiya "eastern wind valley". (The same "east" as in Touhou, and the same "wind" as in Fuujinroku.)
  • Since Sanae is originally from the outside world, some fans draw her in a schoolgirl uniform.
  • Sanae's appearance in SA was unexpected by many. Due to that, the fact that she says "You can't worry about common sense in Gensokyo, right?", and her "Miracle Fruit" spell card sounding cute and girly while all of her other spell cards from MoF sound much more stoic has earned her the nickname of フルーツ(笑)(Fruit (lol)), based off the スイーツ(笑)(Sweets (lol)) label, referring to airheaded girls who follow fads without really understanding them. In other words, Sanae is seen as kind of a ditz.
  • Also since the release of UFO and Hisoutensoku, Sanae's popular image has shifted from soft spoken and demure to markedly eccentric with her knowledge of robots, anime and enthusiasm for aliens.
  • Sanae's new-found aggressiveness towards youkai, particularly Kogasa, has earned her another nickname among Japanese fans, 絶対許早苗 (Zettai Yuru-Sanae), a pun off of 絶対許さない (Zettai Yurusanai, or absolutely unforgiving). This is usually combined with a picture of her smug expression from UFO against a yellow-and-red-striped background, which is a parody of a famous meme of Futaba Channel, "Maji-resu", a serious reply to a troll/joke post.
  • In fact, there is an old lady named Sanae Moriya (守矢早苗), who is the 78th head of Moriya family. The family were supposed to succeed to one of the priests of the Suwa Grand Shrine, Jin Choukan (神長官, God Director). She is said to be a descendant of "Moreyashin" (洩矢神, the god Moreya), the first ancestor of the Moriya, according to the family tree located in the shrine. ("Moreya" is an archaic, alternate pronunciation of "Moriya".)
  • Sanae's sleeves are detached from her shirt, just like Reimu's. As a result, it is possible to use Sanae as the subject of the "armpit joke" rather than Reimu. However, Sanae armpit jokes are rare compared to Reimu armpit jokes.
  • Sanae is often shown in fanart as rather large chested, resulting in many things from breast envy from Reimu to sideboob pictures.
  • Since Sanae's outfit is similar to Reimu's, fans often refer to her as "Player 2 Reimu" or "2P Reimu", a character who, just like in most computer games, will take over Reimu's position if Reimu (as Player 1) is knocked out. With Reimu's red outfit and Sanae's green hair, there are even running gags equating the two shrine maidens with the Mario Brothers.
  • "Sanae is a good girl" has surfaced as a meme, in the English speaking community, as a result of page 29 from one of Happy Flame Time's comics, entitled Cold Wind but Warm Winter.
  • Some of her dialog in Undefined Fantastic Object has caused fans to depict her as being extremely enthusiastic about youkai extermination.
  • Some Western Touhou fans have noticed that when Sanae moves horizontally in UFO, her pose resembles Superman.
  • One of Sanae's spell cards in Hisoutensoku strongly resembles Shin Akuma's "Misogi" from Capcom vs. SNK
  • Sanae is the only Windows Extra Stage mid-boss (Subterranean Animism) who hasn't appeared as a boss before in the specific game.
  • Similar to Yukari, Sanae uses characters she's related to (Kanako and Suwako) as spell cards. However, unlike Yukari, Sanae uses characters who are her masters instead of servants.
  • In her last stage of Touhou Hisoutensoku, despite the fact that Sanae is fighting against Suwako, Sanae can still use skills summoning Suwako to her aid (e.g. Using Summon Earth's God: Metal Ring, to attack Suwako, etc.)
  • In Mountain of Faith, one of Sanae's Spellcards (Sea Opening "The Day the Sea Split") is a similar copy of Alice's Second Attack in Mystic Square Extra Stage.
  • In Touhou Hisoutensoku Sanae's Character Portrait shows her having blue eyes, her sprite however, has yellow eyes.

Official Profiles

Mountain of Faith


 ○5面ボス 祀られる風の人間
  東風谷 早苗(こちや さなえ)
  Kotiya Sanae
















A Human of the Wind Deified
Sanae Kotiya

Species: Human
Occupation: Wind Priestess
Special Ability: Power to cause miracles to occur.

A human privy to secrets handed down through the generations.
She has a very straightforward personality, so she has a lot of confidence in her own abilities.
Sometimes, perhaps a bit too much confidence.

Wind Priestesses were originally a devotees of the wind god, but as they used their secret abilities to create miracles such as summoning the wind and rain, the people around them began to believe in these humans with mysterious abilities.

In short, over time, people began to mistake the miracles caused by the wind god as being caused by them.

In addition, as keepers of secrets, they began to accrue faith and be treated as gods, even though they were humans. They became living gods.

When she was young, Sanae had mastered the secrets to call upon miracles that had been passed down through her family. A young girl that could call upon the power of miracles would certainly collect great amounts of faith --- one would expect.

However, the outside world had changed a great deal. Faith in even gods with many divine virtues had been decreasing rapidly. There were few who would worship even a living god who had attained divinity during their life as a human.

Though she didn't really have much faith, Sanae was able to live as a normal human without any real problems, but this would not do for the god she worshipped, Kanako.

When people lose faith in gods, the gods lose their power. They can't manifest their divine virtues. This is the same as death, for a god.

Kanako came to a decision. There were limits to the amount of faith that could come from humans. From now on, she would have to also look to youkai as a source of her faith.

Sanae was surprised to hear the details of her plan: a world called "Gensokyo" has existed within our nation since time immemorial. It is said that this world still exists, hidden. Gensokyo has collected a number of things that have become lost - or, become fantasy - in the outside world. One could say that even people's faith in gods is in the process of moving to Gensokyo.
And so, Kanako decided to move her shrine into Gensokyo. She would say farewell to the world of humans.

Sanae was afraid of leaving the world of humans, but as a person with the power to call on miracles, the anticipation she felt for going to a world of miracles outweighed her terror.

She did not take the humans of Gensokyo seriously. She thought that if they threatened the only shrine in Gensokyo, the Hakurei Shrine, Gensokyo itself would submit to their every wish. She went to deliver her ominous message to Reimu, and then was in turn defeated.

The humans who lived in Gensokyo were more troublesome than she'd imagined, and in time she learned of the power they held, as well.

Here, she was nothing special.
She realized she had gone from being a god incarnate to just a normal human being.
All she could do now was to live a normal, peaceful life as a human of Gensokyo.

Undefined Fantastic Object


  東風谷 早苗(こちや さなえ)
  Kotiya Sanae





The Newbie Goddess of the Mountain
Sanae Kotiya

Species: Human
Ability: Power to cause miracles

The Shrine Maiden living in Moriya Shrine in Youkai Mountain. She is not used to youkai hunting.

She wishes to talk to humans more, because she lives with gods and youkai, but most of humans living around the foot of the mountain are youkai-like humans. She is worried about becoming like them. As may be expected of a living god, she is as strong as youkai, but she is also somewhat innocent.

She tries to do something like youkai hunting on Kanako's recommendation, and... she makes an effort to get used to Gensokyo.

Touhou Hisoutensoku


  東風谷 早苗(こちや さなえ)









Human of the Worshipped Wind

Kotiya Sanae

It had already been two years since she came to Gensokyo. At first, she was so frightened by the bizarre monsters that she simply couldn't perform the rituals of a shrine maiden, but now she had become familiar with them, and carried out her daily jobs without any discomfort.

She thought that she wouldn't be surprised by some things any more. Of course, thinking like that in Gensokyo ensures that you will be surprised. That is Gensokyo's strong point, not present in the outside world.

She saw the huge figure from the Moriya Shrine. The figure was far bigger than the shrine. She guessed that, to use a classical comparison, it was about as big as a ten-story building.

The figure seemed to her like a giant robot from some old anime she had watched.

But its movements were too smooth to be a robot's. The figure moved as if it were alive, occasionally overlooking the mountain, occasionally shooting a glare at the village. Then, it was suddenly shrouded in mist, and disappeared with an uncanny silence.

When she reported it to Kanako, she told her it was the "Brocken specter." The Brocken specter is a meteorological phenomenon caused by a reflection of your own shadow on mist that seems to the observer to be a giant.

In reality, be it a meteorological phenomenon or something else, thinking like that wasn't interesting. So she decided to think of that shadow as a giant robot attacking the village. Because that would make thinking about it more fun.

That's right, that definitely wasn't a shadow reflected in mist. After all, the mist hadn't appeared until after the figure was already there. More than anything, though, because this was a place where nothing was too strange to happen: Gensokyo.

Book Synopsis

The Grimoire of Marisa

Main article: The Grimoire of Marisa: Sanae Kochiya's Spell Cards
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