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ZUN

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ZUN thenetstar
ZUN (太田順也 ~ Jun'ya Ota) in his interview with "The Net Star".
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ZUN (太田順也, romanized Jun'ya Ota) is the sole known member of Team Shanghai Alice, and is the designer, programmer, script writer, and composer of the extremely popular Touhou Project series. He is seen to be rather reclusive, and thus very little is known about him, except that he's very fond of beer. He was employed by Taito Corporation,[1] and had been involved in the production of various Taito titles.

Works

Games

Music Soundtracks

Print

With Amusement Makers

With Taito Corporation

Known Biography

A limited biography of ZUN could be written based upon the lengthy texts included within his games (letters to the player) and interviews for various publications. Unfortunately, a large majority of these remain untranslated. Despite the current massive lack of information known or comprehensible, some tidbits of information are known about the man.

According to Japanese Wikipedia, Jun'ya Ota was born on March 18, 1977 (1977-03-18) (age 37), in Hakuba, Nagano, and graduated from Tokyo Denki University, the home of Amusement Makers. The MAG-Net episode shows that he currently lives in Ebina, Kanagawa. ZUN has stated in an interview that he weighs only 50kg (roughly 110lbs). Whether this is really accurate is impossible to truly confirm, but it is clear that he is very thin, almost ridiculously so.

He has confirmed in an interview that he had started composing his own pieces of music since junior high school, and had learned how to play the Electone (which his parents had bought) and the trumpet (as part of a wind instruments ensemble) since elementary school. He has also mentioned that the company he worked for didn't like his work on the Touhou Project very much, although the reasons for that remain somewhat unclear.

He jokingly states in an email that he has been working on, and will continue to work on, the Touhou Project games because a part of him lacks common sense. However, he has stated that the actual reason why he originally made the game series and Team Shanghai Alice is because he couldn't find any games he liked himself, so he decided to make games he liked entirely by himself. In the Swedish Magazine Interview, he replies to the last question with, "I'm going to keep making games that stand out, so if all my fans disappear I'm still happy I can keep doing the games I want."

ZUN got his name from the sound team Zuntata at Taito Corp., the same company that he worked with (coincidentally, the word 'zun' is a Chinese bronze vessel used to store alcohol). Taito made Darius Gaiden, one of ZUN's favorite shooter games. That's one of the known reasons for him to start the Touhou Project.

It is known that ZUN is a fan of music that uses FM (Frequency Modulation) Synthesis, as most of the non-MIDI music in the PC-98 games were created using FM Synthesis. He also states in a note in the Akyu's Untouched Score albums that he resents the gradual phasing out of FM Synthesis that is occurring today.

ZUN also refers to himself as the Hakurei Kannushi (博麗神主), or head priest of the Hakurei Shrine, used as his byline on some Touhou print works and the name shown on his Twitter account.

According to a post made on ZUN's Twitter around September 2009, he now has a job other than making the Touhou games (what type of job he has wasn't stated, only that on the first day of work he was an hour early.) He said in his interview with MAG-Net that his fondest ambition in life is to open a brewpub.

During a radio interview in February, 2012 ZUN mentioned that he had married. On May 27th, 2012 (the day of Reitaisai 9) an formal ceremony was held. All that is known about his wife is that she too is a programmer and they originally met in 2004.[2]

ZUN Speaks

Fully translated

Partially translated

Untranslated

[1] [2] [3] [4] (Getting Permission to use material from Zun)

Fun-Facts

  • In the game Touhou Soccer Moushuuden, He makes an appearance (but not in real looks) in the ending, announcing the second tournament.
  • In his interview on Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, ZUN said that he develops his games with Visual Studio, Adobe Photoshop and Cubase SX.
  • The theme song "| Kid's Festival ~ Innocent Treasures" in Changeability of Strange Dream is ZUN's official theme. He has stated in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red that writing this song was somewhat embarrassing and that "It's like the theme song that plays when you make your entrance on a talk show". This has happened twice or more when ZUN entered a talk show.
    • This theme seems to be the only theme where ZUN has wrote lyrics for, but he either couldn't or didn't get anyone to be sing the vocal, so the theme was left as a non-vocal.

External Links


References

  1. He is currently not employed by Taito. It was stated in Nico Nico Live (Association of Victims of Takeshi's Challenge -Come Out, Developers! Special-) broadcast on 3/31/2009.
  2. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2012-02-29/touhou-project-creator-zun-gets-married
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