The mass of history and mythology surrounding the figure of the Tengu makes it almost impossible to give a brief review of them. Through the ages even the way these creatures are perceived has changed a lot, originally portrayed as bad omens and demonic war bringers they have now become revered as a kind of demigod of the mountains.
As such the modern Tengu blurs the line between folk legend and religion – yokai or deity? It isn’t always so clear-cut.
In both traditions the basic image of the Tengu is essentially the same. They are winged humanoids with bright red skin and long noses, which has earned them the name ‘Hanadaka Tengu’ (Long Nosed Tengu).
‘Hotel Penthouse’ which we spotted in a frozen field in the middle of winter, and a nameless place that’s both overrun and easily overlooked – despite being right next to a main road.
Although the find dates were a month apart, neither site was that huge so I’m going to bundle them together in a thematic double bill. Enjoy.
Straight off I want to say that I was personally well away from the area(s) affected by the quakes and tsunami.
It is impossible however to continue to write a blog about my life in Japan without acknowledging the terrible events of the past few days. I don’t want to try and write an account of the events, which by now have been exhaustively covered on the news. What I would like to do though is to give a slightly different perspective, some things that you won’t have seen on the disaster focused news – life going on. (more…)
Another site that might well be new to the net today, despite being in a very visible roadside location. Pachinko parlours are a very common sight in Japan, both working and abandoned. Where I live there are actually an open parlour and an empty old one next door to each other. Despite being gambling establishments in essence (which are illegal in Japan) Pachinko is seen as ‘semi-gambling’ and are tolerated. (more…)
I felt a bit uncomfortable having that my last blog entry open publicly. It seemed to generate quite a bit of interest and I felt it was unfair to show what were some quite personal things so openly when there’s a good chance this person might have living relatives in the area; which also made me nervous that someone local might recognise the place.
So now it’s password protected – but if you know me the password is simply my first and last name written as one word with no spaces.
I’ve added a few new collages to the bottom of the article now it’s protected as well.