Monday, July 29, 2013

Mythic Animals: Semi-human: Tengu (Japan)

 The Tengu (“Heaven Dog”) was introduced in Japan as a part of the cultural borrowing from China, beginning in the 6th Century. A part of Chinese mythology, Tengu was adopted into Japanese lore as well. These bird-like goblins became a part of Japanese Buddhism and Shintoism. Karasu Tengu (Crow Tengu), the original import, disliked humans, and often abducted them. Then, Yamabushi Tengu (Monk Tengu) emerged in the 13th Century to help ordinary people and punish vain monks.
Works Used:

Chamberlain, Basil, “Japanese Things,” Charles Tuttle, Tokyo 1905 (reprint 1971).

 Schumacher, Mark, “Tengu: The Slayer of Vanity,” Japanese Buddhist Corner,, 2010,
Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon and Ash DeKirk, “A Wizard’s Bestiary,” New Page Press, Franklin Lakes, NJ, 2007.

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