8/22/2016

proverbs with TENGU

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. Tengupedia - 天狗ペディア - Tengu ABC-Index .
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kotowaza ことわざ proverbs and expressions with "Tengu"

Since Tengu have such a long history in Japan, there are also quite a few proverbs (Sprichwort)
and expressions weaving around them.


source : tokyobling.wordpress.com

Tengu were considered to be very vain. boastful and narcissistic.
They are also made responsible for natural phenomenon that could not be explained otherwise
at that time in history.
The woodworkers and hunters, who had to spend long, dark nights in the mountain forests, also added to the lore of deeds by the local Tengu, which were seen as a Yokai and sometimes called

furusoma, furu-soma 古杣 "old forest worker"


source : wikipedia *



. Kigo for all winter .
fuyusoma, fuyu soma 冬杣 (ふゆそま) forest worker, woodcutter in winter
Some work in the forest during the daytime (higaeri soma) and to home in the evening, others wander around and stay in a small hut for a few days (nagare soma) and then move on to the next job.
They cut the trees and used the snowy slopes to let the stems glide down to the villages at the foot of the mountains.
somabito 杣人, yamagatsu 山賤 / 山賎 // kikori 木樵
Waldarbeiter, Holzäfller (somabito そまびと)

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koboozu hitori ni tengu hachi nin 小坊主ひとりに天狗八人
koboozu hitori tengu hachinin 小坊主ひとり天狗八人

"A small Kobozu monk facing eight Tengu all by himself.”
signifies an unbalance of power, when many strong ones go for a weak one.
To ignore one’s own weakness even in the face of impossible odds, to face adversary without any realistic hope of success.


- Detail with the Tengu -


source : dassaishooku.p2.weblife.me

. 河鍋暁斎 Kawanabe Kyosai (1831 - 1889) .


. 八天狗 Eight Tengu of Japan .

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Tengubi, tengu no hi 天狗火 Tengu fire
Appears near or over water.
Especially known in Aichi, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Yamanashi.



(3 legends)

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Tengudaoshi, Tengu-daoshi 天狗だおし / 天狗倒し "Tengu knocking down trees"
The sound of cutting down a tree with a saw or ax is heard at night, but next morning nothing is to be seen.
This refers to strange noises in a lonely forest.

This phenomenon of a strange sound is especially known in 茨城県 Ibaragi、埼玉県 Saitama、石川県 Ishikawa、福井県 Fukui、岐阜県 Gifu.

天狗なめし Tengu nameshi (Iwate)(1 legend)
空木返し soraki kaeshi(Fukushima - - - Kagoshima )
空木倒し soraki-daoshi ( Kagoshima)
天クヅシ Ten kuzushi( Miyazaki)
杖突(つえつき) tsuetsuki, tsue tsuki (Tosa)

The following is also heard in the forest, when nobody is there to be seen:

Tengubayashi, tengu no hayashi 天狗囃子 Tengu making music

- - - - - Shizuoka 静岡県 - - - - -

At the shrine 小笠神社 Ogasa Jinja the messenger of the deity is the Tengu, who lives there. In summer, villagers often hear the music of a band, but the folks of the next village never hear this.
Sometimes the Tengu makes a fire and burns the small paths between the rice paddies.
If the water in the paddies becomes too little, they say the Tengu dad been out fishing for small fish. All the fish he gets have 片目 only one eye.


Tengu taiko 天狗太鼓 Tengu playing the drums

Tengu warai 天狗笑い Tengu laughing

- - - - - Niigata 新潟県 Shiozawa 塩沢町 - - - - -

Working in the mountain forests or walking along a lonely mountain road, sometimes people hear 高笑い a very high laughing voice, アハハハハ ahahahaha, which reveberates all round the mountain. This is the local Tengu laughing.
So even now, if a person laughts very loud and in a high voice, people call it
Tengu no taka warai 天狗の高笑.




天狗倒し Tengudaoshi - by 大佛次郎 Daibutsu Jiro (1897 - 1973)


- further reference : wikipedia -

23 legends to explore

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Tengu kakushi 天狗隠し kidnapped by a Tengu, hidden by a Tengu
a form of kamikakushi, kami kakushi 神隠し kidnapped by the Gods
Young boys and girls were lost in the forest (abducted and captured by a Tengu) and sometimes appeared later, either forgetting everything or full of knowledge (since the Tengu Mountain Priest) were learned persons and educated their young captives.
- also called
Tengu sarai 天狗攫い


from 西京新聞

- reference : wikipedia - *



source : el-aura.com/the-tengu
人間が魔界に落ちると天狗になる?

- - - - - Saitama 埼玉県 - - - - -
Once a young man suddenly disappeared and the villagers, thinking he was abducted by a Tengu, went looking to him for no avail. After more than 15 days he came back, with torn robes and almost out of his wits. He had walked around the mountains with a Tengu, slept with the Tengu during the daytime and the Tengu had given him food during this time.


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Tengu no miakashi, mi-akashi 天狗の御燈 light made by a Tengu

a form of roojinbi 老人火, 怪火 ghost fire


竹原春泉斎 Takehara Shunsensai (late Edo period, active 1789-1817)

- reference : wikipedia - *

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Tengu ni naru 天狗になる to become a Tengu, to act like a Tengu


source : torihide.blog14.fc2.com

To boast and be proud of one's own actions.
If someone boasts too much, another proverb is
hana ga takaku naru 鼻が高くなる "the nose gets long" like that of a Tengu.


- jiman suru to Tengu ni naru 自慢すると天狗になる Legends from Gifu 岐阜県 -

- - - - - Hida region 飛騨地方 - - - - -
ある男が旅先で宿泊した家で、天狗が集まり顔見知りを仲間に入れようとして鉛の熱湯を飲ませるのを見た。家に帰るとその顔見知りはいなくなっていた。その人は自慢ばかりをする人なので邪道に落ちたのだろう。

- - - - - Takayama 高山市 - - - - -
子守女の息子が3歳の時、畑仕事の途中で行方不明になった。後に平湯峠で同村の者がその息子と出会った。その子が言うには天狗にさらわれ修行を積み、今ではどこでも好きなところに飛んでいけるようになったという。


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Tengu ni karakasa torareta yoo 天狗に唐傘取られたよう
The umbrella is taken away by a Tengu.
(天狗風 tengu kaze 突風)strong sudden gust or blast of wind, "Tengu wind")
Refers to something you have on influence on and have to endure without resisting.


天狗風 - 宮部みゆき Miyabe Miyuki
Reigen Ohatsu Torimono Hikae 霊験お初捕物控




This shochu 焼酎 has a mellow taste of prominent sweet potato and complimented by the sweet fragrance of the sweet potato.
source : whistler.com.sg/products


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Tengu no kinobori 天狗の木登り Tengu climbs a tree
example for something that never happens and is thus quite impossible and ridiculous.
After all, Tengu can fly up a mountain . . .

- - - - - Tokushima 徳島県 - - - - -
Once a 小僧 young monk, who liked to climb trees, became a Tengu.
One night he appeared at the bedside of his Master priest and told him to build a small Hokura 祠 sanctuary at the back of the mountain. From there he would protect the area from fires. So the priest built a shrine, 秋葉神社 Akiba Jinja.

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Tengu no koogeki, kōgeki 天狗の攻撃 Kogeki assault of a tengu

Most Great Tengu 大天狗 live alone in a region, only allowing some Karasu Tengu to be their followers.
Sometimes they produce the 天狗火 "Tengu fire" (see above) to show and protect their territory.
This is done by kawa tengu 川天狗 "river Tengu".
If people go fishing late in the evening, they might feel someone attacking them on the way home.

. kawatengu, kawa tengu 川天狗 "river Tengu" .

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Tengu no nagesan 天狗の投げ算 to tell an unbelievable story
でたらめ.
Tengu throws the divining sticks (算木) or a coin to divine the future.
There is a line in Kyogen
「これは天狗の投げ算と申して、他の家にはござらぬ算でござる」

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Tengu tsubute 天狗つぶて / 天狗礫 "Tengu throwing stones"
A stone falling from nowhere. (So it must have been thrown by a Tengu.)
Hail is known as tengu tsubute.
In English it is sometimes called ファフロツキーズ Fafrotskies.
Other legends blame this phenomenon on a 狸 Tanuki or kitsune 狐 Fox.
If someone is hit by such a stone, he will fall ill. 
If someone looks at this, he will have a bad hunting season later on, so hunters usually close their eyes if they see something suspicious coming down.



鳥山石燕 Toriyama Sekien
- various legends on this page
- reference : wikipedia -



Shigeru Mizuki told tales of
yama Tengu 山天狗 (Mountain Tengu) and 天狗つべて (Tengu Tsubute)
- reference source : mytwoyenworth.blogspot.jp -


Kuramasan tengu tsubute 鞍馬天狗礫 Goblins Throwing Pebbles on Mt. Kurama
(Ushiwakamaru Koô no mae)
Book by Torii Kiyomitsu I (1735 – 1785)
- rsource : educators.mfa.org/asia -


. tochi no mi no tsubute oroshi ya Buzenboo .
Haiku by Sugita Hisajo 杉田久女

- - - - -

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .

いづこより礫打けむ夏木立
izuko yori tsubute utsukemu natsu kodachi

from nowhere
pebbles are thrown in the foilage
of trees in summer



水鳥や礫にかはる居り所
mizutori ya tsubute ni kawaru oridokoro

this waterbird -
stones keep flying
at its resting place

Tr. Gabi Greve
the "waterbird " is Buson himself.

mizutori no nedokoro kawaru tsubute kana

a waterbird
changes its place of sleep
as stones come flying

Tr. Makoto Ueda

The Path of Flowering Thorn: The Life and Poetry of Yosa Buson
- source : books.google.co.jp -


5 legends
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Tengu no yusaburi 天狗の揺さぶり Tengu jolting (a mountain hut)

Sometimes a lonely hut in the mountains begins to shake and rattle (gatagaga ガタガタ).
Even a home where people live all the time might begin to shake.
In 埼玉県比企郡 Saitama, Hiki district, this happens quite often on the slopes of 弓立山 Mount Yumidateyama. If someone dares to peek out of the window, there is a red face of a huge man (a Tengu) lurking.
To avoid harm, people pray to Yama no Kami 山の神, the Deity of the Mountain.

10 legends 天狗 揺

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Tengutobi, Tengu-tobi 天狗跳び to jump like a Tengu

Sometimes a karasu Tengu jumps around to scare off woodworkers in the territory of his master, 大天狗 Great Tengu.



Tengu tobi てんぐ飛び - - Video of a folk tale
- source : dailymotion.com/video -

6 legends 跳ね上げら

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tengu no tobi-sokonai 天狗の飛び損い even a Tengu sometimes can not fly properly
Something you think you can do without problem sometimes does not work out properly.
Even a great person makes mistakes.

Even Homer sometimes nods.
indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus - "I become annoyed when the great Homer is being drowsy"

- - - - - Similar Japanese kotowaza
河童の川流れ Even a Kappa is flooded away at the river.
弘法にも筆の誤り Even Kobo Daishi sometimes makes a mistake when writing.
猿も木から落ちる Even a monkey can fall from a tree.



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tsuri Tengu ni kikimimi nashi 釣り天狗に聞き耳なし
"a fishing Tengu has no ear for others".
People who like fishing usually tell their own stories and budge in on others with their 自慢話 own bragging.

13 legends 釣 天狗

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Tigers, Devils, and Fools: A Guide to Japanese Proverbs
By Edward Trimnell
- source : books.google.co.jp -


- reference : 天狗 ことわざ -
- reference : jama103dajo.at.webry.info - *
- reference : tokyobling.wordpress.com -

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

- reference : nichibun Yokai database -

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. - - - Join my Tengupedia friends on facebook ! - - - .

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. Tengu 天狗と伝説 Tengu legends "Long-nosed Goblin" .

. - yookai, yōkai 妖怪 Yokai monsters - .

. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

. Mingei 民芸 Regional Folk Art from Japan .

- #kotowaza #tenguproverbs #proverbs -
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