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Tengu

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Japan-Mask-Tengu-2-a

A typical Tengu mask.

Tengu
are goblin-like creatures from Japanese mythology and folklore that are said to resemble a mix between old men and birds (a bit like harpies) - however they are master shape-shifters and can take
Tengu
many forms: many Tengu are said to be malevolent towards humans but some are neutral or even helpful, it is said that the most powerful of all Tengu live high atop mountains and have dominion over the entire mountain - the lesser Tengu are not quite as godlike as these great spirits but are still formidable opponents if angered or provoked.

There are two types of Tengu—Yamabushi Tengu, which are characterized by their red humanoid faces with extremely long noses, and Karasu Tengu, which are part human, part crow, earning them the nickname Crow Goblin.


Tengu were considered demons of death and destruction by Buddhists but gradually softened into troublesome protectors of forests and mountains, which is the role they continue to play in Japanese folklore: some of the more benign Tengu are even worshipped as gods (or supernatural benefactors) - but these are obviously very different Tengu from the ones that were infamous for attacking temples and causing problems for humanity via trickery or outright aggression.


Trivia

  • Karatenmon is a Tengu Digimon. He is based on a type of Tengu—Karasu Tengu, which are part human, part crow.

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