Tengu (天狗)

2014-06 Tengu

Tengu (天狗) are creatures of the Mythology of Japan.

The following text has been taken from http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/tengu.shtml.

“Tengu 天狗 are mountain and forest goblins with both Shinto and Buddhist attributes. Their supernatural powers include shape-shifting into human or animal forms, the ability to speak to humans without moving their mouth, the magic of moving instantly from place to place without using their wings, and the sorcery to appear uninvited in the dreams of the living.”

“The patron of martial arts, the bird-like Tengu is a skilled warrior and mischief maker, especially prone to playing tricks on arrogant and vainglorious Buddhist priests, and to punishing those who willfully misuse knowledge and authority to gain fame or position. In bygone days, they also inflicted their punishments on vain and arrogant samurai warriors. They dislike braggarts, and those who corrupt the Dharma (Buddhist Law).”

There are two forms of Tengu:

The Karasu Tengu (烏天狗), or Crow Tengu, are depicted with the body of a man with crow features, like a beak and wings.

The Yamabushi Tengu (山仏師 天狗), or Mountain Monk Tengu, are mountain hermit monks (yamabushi) with long noses.

The Tengu are associated with the origins of Ninjutsu, and they are considered very skillful in sword fighting and in the art of war and strategy, serving as mentors to worthy humans.

The Tengu depicted above is inspired by a statue of a Karasu Tengu located in Mt. Takao.

More information of Tengu can be found here: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/tengu.shtml


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