Tengu: The Supernatural Spirit
Tengu: In ancient Japan many supernatural creatures were believed to exist in our world. These creatures were commonly called “Yokai”. They had different shapes and inhabited different places. Many of these creatures inhabited forests and mountains. Some had great power but their behavior was volatile. They had both malignant and benign tendencies. The remarkable and fearsome Tengu’s were part of these creatures. The Tengu’s had their origin in ancient Chinese legends. They were associated with a creature called “Tiangou”, a heavenly dog responsible for covering the Sun or moon during eclipses.
Like his Chinese relative the name “Tengu” means heavenly dog but the Tengus have no resemblance to dogs. They were creatures with humanoid forms and a haughty posture.
Tengu: Types & Their Acts on Human Life
There are several types of Tengus with different roles in our world. The Karasu-Tengu appear in two forms, one has a human body and the crows head. The other is represented in the form of a huge humanoid bird. They have a more serious personality. They rarely interact with humans and are responsible for protecting the forest, trees and rivers. Wood cutters who happen to knock down trees and their territories could even be devoured.
Another type of Tengu was a Konoha Tengu also known as a Di-tengu. They are the most similar to humans except for their red face, big ferocious eyes and long nose. The Konoha Tengu prefer to live in the mountains near the Shinto temples. They often play tricks on distracted monks or punish the bad behavior of anyone who has committed wrong acts.
In many stories the Tengus helped good-natured people who were lost in the forest or mountains. But they could also disorientate or set traps for those dean arrogant or cruel. The Tengus were masters in martial arts, mainly in the use of swords. They could defeat the most skilled samurai even without using their powers. Due to their martial abilities, the tangos are associated with war. Some even pretended to be human warriors to take part in the battles.
Among their various skills Tengus had the ability to fly, to create strong gusts of wind with her wings, to teleport, to take the form of a human being or animals. They could even enter the dreams immortals creating nightmares or premonitions. The ninjas augmented the legends about the Tengus comparing themselves to them. Due to their ability to disappear in the blink of an eye and do seemingly impossible things.
Japanese believes on Tengus
Many Shinobi’s believed that they were true Tengus. The Tengu is like to annoy Buddhist monks, stealing images from temples. They took the form of women to seduce the monks, diverting them from their dogmas. They taught various magic skills but if the monk were to fall into the temptation to learn them, he would lose the opportunity to reach the enlightenment on the path the Buddha. It was believed that greedy or untidy buddhist monks who would reincarnate as Tengus in the next life.
The king of the Tengus was “Sojobo”, a legendary being who inhabits Mount Kurama in northern Kyoto. It’s an ancient Tengu with a gray beard and a strength equivalent to 1000 normal Tengus. In the story of the famous samurai, Minamoto No Yoshitsune, he learned the art of the sword from the king Tango’s himself. To try to appease the Tengus, festivals were created in their honour. Many sculptures and masts began to be used making the Tengus one of the most iconic creatures of japanese mythology.
More Mythical Stories You May Want To Know: