Friday, March 21, 2008

What In God's Name Is a Tengu?

Usually, a Robot Master (or Net Navi) is named based upon their physical appearance and and abilities, followed by the title of “Man.”

CutMan, named after his ability to cut, CrashMan named after his ability cause explosions and let's not forget HardMan who is-hard.

And yet there is one Robot Master and Net Navi who's name makes no sense to those not educated in the fine art of Japanese folklore.

So, what in the name of Yellow Devil is a Tengu?

A bird?

A demon?

A spirit?

A Tengu can be all of those things!

Popular in various forms of Japanese literature, a Tengu can be depicted as either a god or a demon, taking the form of a human being with a long pointy nose and the occasional wings.

Some dedications of a Tengu have the monster taking the form of a mix between a human and a dog, but the most common is the birdlike rendition seen throught the Rockman franchise.
" Living high up in the many mountains of Japan, Tengu's lived peacefully, occasionally teaching human beings the art of self defense. The martial arts of the tengu, AKA “Tengu-geijutsu-ron” is said to have the ability to take down any opponent within minutes."

“Many warriors and Samurai, founders of schools ( Ryu ), particularly saber experts ( Ken-jutsu ), claimed they had been providentially inspired by the wise advice of a Tengu, sometimes in a dream, while they were in a voluntary retreat in the mountains, to pursue feverishly their quest for the "Way" ( DO ) in asceticism (Musha-shugyo). Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune himself, one of Japan’s greatest and most valiant warriors, would have acquired his mastery of the saber that way, allowing him, despite his youth, to defeat Benkei the monk, who tried to block access to the Goto bridge with his Naginata, while he spent his teenage years at the Kuma-dera temple. And was the great Miyamoto Musashi not nicknamed "the little Tengu", he who remained undefeated after more than sixty duels ? And, at the dawn of the 20th century, Takeda Sokadu, master of Aiki-jutsu, was called the "Tengu from Aizu".”

Interesting, no?

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