The Suitcase Lady

Tengu

April 9, 2019, 9:04 pm

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Tengu is a hugely popular supernatural creature in Japan. He is said to live deep in mountain forests, have the ability to fly, create storms, stir up trouble and indulge his wicked sense of humor. Tengu’s most distinctive feature is his long nose of which he is exceedingly proud.

These wily characters are known for their arrogance. In fact, the Japanese phrase, “Tengu ni Naru” (becoming a tengu) is used to describe a conceited person.

Whenever anything strange or mysterious occurs, the Japanese attribute it to Tengu. He is especially blamed when a person suddenly disappears. Children are warned to be good or be carried off to the mountains by Tengu. In other words, he’s a beloved trickster and a scapegoat.

However, I recently read about the tables being turned and a trick being played on Tengu. The culprit was snow. Here are the details.

A giant head of Tengu in Kyoto has a nose that is 7.5 feet long. It is an extremely popular attraction at the Kurama-deri Temple. But a rare, heavy snowfall in Kyoto caused his nose to break off completely. The folks in Kyoto responded to his injury immediately.

First, he was given emergency first aid, a large bandaid. Then, a sign was put up next to him saying, “Under medical treatment”. Two months later his shiny new nose was completed and he is back to making mischief.

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