Cryptozoology, Fonts, Mythology, Q-U

T = Tengu

T is for Times New Roman
Times New Roman by Victor Lardent, 1931. This is the writing industry 12 pt. standard. At least for the time being. That may change: http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-save-millions-change-type-font-teen-finds-20140328,0,1227267.story?track=rss#axzz2xJumYEQt

Tengu

After my long digression in yesterday’s Seattle post, I’m going to try to keep this post short and sweet.

Tengu are some of my favorite demons. They are from Japanese folk religion and, for me, endlessly fascinating. Among demon manifestation they are tricksters, sometimes benevolent or helpful and often cruel and dangerous.

It is thought they are a descendent of the Chinese “heavenly dog” demon, Tiangou, but in Japanese folklore are usually identified with birds of prey.

Over the centuries, Tengu have become less evil, and more humanized with very long noses replacing beaks. They are shape-shifters and in more recent literature take human forms and are more mischievous.

Tengu live in trees in mountainous areas. Besides being known for their arrogance they are also renowned swordsmen (swords-beasts? swords-demons?). There are also lesser tengu (koppa or leaflet tengu) who act as messengers for the greater tengu.

In Japan the tengu are vain and prideful and to this day conceited people are still described as “becoming tengu”.

The first recorded mention of Japanese tengu is in Nihon Shoki in 720 where the tengu is described as canine monster and harbinger of war. Somehow over the centuries the tengu meta-morphed into a vicious bird-demon and then into a more humanized trickster.

Today the tengu is making a resurgence especially in video games. It is ripe for many different interpretations.

This shape-shifter with a wide range of personalities is one of my favorites as a jumping off point for writing. I have created my own version for my stories.

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Tengu or  http://monsterinmypocket.wikia.com/wiki/Tengu
~lisa

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2 thoughts on “T = Tengu

  1. Your Seattle blog was my favorite. Perhaps because I love the Seattle area as much as you do and for the same reasons listed in your blog and more. Your writing creates a desire to re-explore many of the places mentioned.

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