Mythical Flying Humanoid of Japan.
Etymology: Japanese, "heavenly dog," from the Chinese t'ien-kou ("celestial dog"), which may have referred to meteors or other astronomical events.
PP'hysical description: Human body, arms, and legs. Glittering eyes. Large beak. Long wings, sometimes described as "shimmering" like a hummingbird's. The more ancient type (karasu tengu, or "crow tengu") was half bird and half human, while its more recent manifestation (konoha or yamabushi tengu, "mountain priest tengu") is completely human, with a long nose.
Behavior: Said to be able to disappear from one location and appear in another, rather than fly from place to place. Born from giant eggs. Can disguise itself as a Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) or as a human. Said to kidnap children and carry them away, though it returns them to the normal world and bestows them with supernatural powers. Wears a cap that dou
bles as a drinking cup and carries a staff (shakujo) that it uses as a weapon. Habitat: Mountains and woodlands. Distribution: Associated with Mount Ku-rama, north of Kyoto, Japan.
Sources: F. Hadland David, Myths and Legends of Japan (London: George G. Harrap, 1912), pp. 352-355; Carmen Blacker, The Catalpa Bow: A Study ofShamanistic Practices in Japan (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1975), pp. 182-185; Charles C. Goodin, "Tengu: The Legendary Mountain Goblins of Japan," Furyu: The Budo Journal, no. 2 (Summer-Fall 1994), on line at http://www. furyu.com/archives/issue2/tengu.html; Catrien Ross, Supernatural and Mysterious Japan (Tokyo: Yenbooks, 1996), pp. 29-30.
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