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A tengu (天狗, literally "heaven dog") is a form of youkai common in Japanese mythology. In general, tengu are analogous to the Western idea of goblins.

Two main subspecies of tengu exist. The crow tengu (烏天狗 karasu-tengu), are similar to anthropomorphic crows with a humanoid body structure, whilst the yamabushi tengu (山伏天狗) resemble yamabushi monks with red skin and very long noses.

Tengu are said to be mischievous and sometimes malicious, with a propensity for playing pranks on humans, but stories also exist of them acting as mentors. Although they disdain the proud and arrogant, they are often guilty of those same flaws. They are also associated with the arts of war and politics.

Objects often associated with the tengu include the shakujo, a ring-tipped staff used for magic or physical combat; the tokin, a strangely-shaped hat which can also be used as a divining cup; and the hauchiwa fan, which can be made from the leaves of the Japanese Aralia or from feathers, and is said to have the power to create gale-force winds. Tengu are also commonly depicted wearing tengu geta, a type of geta sandals with one tall slat rather than two shorter ones, making it extremely difficult for a human wearer to keep their balance. The majority of these items are derived from traditional yamabushi garb.

Characters Under this BestiaryEdit

See AlsoEdit

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