Articles: Tengu and Yamabushi by Riten Tanaka
【天狗と山伏】講師／金峯山寺長臈:田中利典 Yamabushi and Tengu
The following is a translation of a presentation given by the previous head of Kinpusenji temple and head of Kinpusen
Shugendo, Tanaka Riten (講師／金峯山寺長臈 田中利典) . The presentation was given in 2018 at the Nara Prefecture Library.
Translated by Jisho
I'm a fool who has a bad habit of accepting any lecture I'm requested to do. Previously I gave a presentation at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) titled 'Yamabushi and Astronauts'. Immediately after that, I was asked by the Japan Mother and Child Health Association National Convention to give a presentation on "Yamabushi and Child-Rearing". Both of the lectures
had aspects in the title that had little to do with Yamabushi. Nonetheless, I gave a lecture.
In 'Yamabushi and Astronauts", I did not talk about astronauts, but rather just talked about Yamabushi. If you look up these lectures, "Astronauts and Yamabushi" and "Parenting and Yamabushi" you'll see that they're basically the same. The contents are the same; I just changed the title (laughter).
My talk at the JAXA was pitiful. At the time however, a member of the board of directors, Mr. Kano was thrilled by my story and wrote a joke report saying "Let's fly Tanaka into space!" I couldn't justify being a director of a religious organisation and using national funds to fly me into space; thus i narrowly managed to avoid getting shot into space! (laughter)
Once again I've been asked to give a lecture, so strap yourselves in. This time it's "Tengu and Yamabushi"! I don't know anything about Tengu, so I was going to come and do my usual routine talking just about Yamabushi. Many people however have approached me who seem to be familiar with Youkai (monsters) and Tengu. Even today, the director, Mr Chida has also shown great interest. So I guess I'll have to make an effort and talk about Tengu for a moment and I'll put a some effort into looking into it. I basically crammed so you might be more familiar than I am.
Tengu and Yamabushi:
The reason I accepted to do this talk is due to the fact that Tengu are often depicted as looking like Yamabushi, wearing the rough clothes of Shugendo practitioners. Tengu are said to be representative of Japanese Monsters and Mountain Spirits. They are legendary creature said to be both gods and demons and their belief has been handed down through the ages through the strong faith of popular folk religion. In general they are said to dress in the clothes of mountain ascetics, have long noses with red faces, they have wings and they're said to fly through the space.
If there were really Tengu or Monsters you might be thinking 'they'd probably be in the zoo, along with Kappa'.
Nonetheless because Tengu are a thing of Legend, they exist in the minds of the people. We'll see later on if they are gods or demons.
First lets look at the encyclopedic overview of Tengu. In the Mountain-Sea Sutra of China, Tengu (天狗), the kanji of which translates to 'Celestial-Dog', originally referred to shooting stars and was associated with meteorites. The roaring of meteorites through the air when entering the atmosphere was associated with the howl of a dog. They are kind of the same thing as Kirin (麒麟) [A being associated with lions/giraffes/dragons]. Shooting stars were said to be signs of disaster and sinister influence and thus Tengu were originally thought to be evil entities.
The first reference to Tengu in Japan comes from the Nihonshoki [日本書紀 Chronicles of Japan, 720 CE]. Here there is a verse which reads, "A great star, flying from East to West emitting a sound resembling thunder was thought to be a meteor. According to the monk present, it was not a meteor, but a Tengu with the voice of Thunder." In other words, huge stars flew from the East to the West with a thunder like roar that shook the sky. At that time a priest who had returned from Tang China pronounced that it was a Tengu, with the Tengu's barking resembling thunder. And thus, the belief in Tengu, which were considered shooting stars in China was transmitting during the Nihon Shoki era.
From this time on however the word Tengu rarely makes an appearance and does not really come up again until the Heian period. The Chinese view of Tengu did not really take root and up until the middle of the Heian period Tengu did not feature in any books.
The Tengu which reappeared in the Heian era were seen as Yokai (monsters/ghosts/spirits) related to the sky, with the association with shooting stars removed. From this brief examination we can see that the popular imagination surrounding Tengu has undergone various transformations. I'd like to summarise five of the 'types' of Tengu.
The first category is the prototype. This is the shooting star form that was introduced earlier. This idea was imported directly as it was written in the Nihonshoki. This is the original Tengu. As I said, the word Tengu was not found in the Nara period and the word Tengu reemerged as a yokai (ghost/spirit) after the Heian period.
The Tengu that emerged as Yokai (spirits/monsters) can be categorised into several types. First is the Tengu as Yaksha (Sanskrit यक्ष yakṣa, benevolent but mischeivous nature spirits familiar to Buddhism, sometimes seen as evil and demonic). Buddhism is said to have been introduced to Japan via the Korean peninsula around 538 AD (6th Century) but it did not become widespread until the Heian period. As Buddhism spread, so did this idea of Tengu as Yaksha; a mischievious being known to interfere with Buddhist Law.
This is the first form that appears as a Youkai. This kind of Tengu appears in a vast number of stories, especially in the Heian period. During this time, the Tengu was seen as a feathered being whose presence interfered with practitioners of Buddhism. This Tengu conjures spirits, uses witchcraft and occasionally possesses monks.
These Tengu appear in stories with narratives that preach the importance of Buddhism, and thus the Tengu are defeated every time or transformed by the piety of the monks. This Tengu is always depicted as a feathered being, like a bird and this was the standard depiction before the more beautiful Yamabushi style Tengu emerged.
Next up is Tengu as a mountain deity. When Buddhism became established in Japan it was initially disputed. In the beginning it was said that Gods and Buddhas were in tension. Out of this chaos, the so called god-buddha matrix emerged and this became the basis of the mountain-ascetic beliefs found in Shugendo; a faith which combines the realms of gods and buddhas in the context of Mountains. It is in this chaotic blend that the Tengu as Mountain Deity began to appear.
The popular image of the Tengu, with its long nose and wings constitutes the third major Tengu image. This Tengu emerges from the great centres of Mountain faith including Mt. Takao and Mt. Kurama, as well as Yayoi-ji temple in Numata, Gunma prefecture. I'll go into more detail later but it is this Tengu-mountain-deity that dominated the public imagination from the Heian Period until the Middle Ages.
It is from this period that the well known Tengu named Saburo of Mt. Izuna (飯綱山 Nagano prefecture) was born, as well as the deity Izuna-Gongen (飯縄権現). Izuna Gongen emerged in the mind of realised practitioners and combined features of Fudo myoo, Saburo, Inari (fox/Dakini), Garuda and Tengu. Practitioners working with this deity were sometimes known for their 'dark laws'.
The belief in Tengu becomes very complex and strange at this time for the Tengu was very closely associated with the warrior class, the belief in 'fox possession', Dakini and Inari Daimyojin. Izuna Gongen is also famous at this time as a fire deity.
There is another type of Tengu (it's really confusing). Next is the fourth type: Tengu as spirit.
In any case, the faith in spirits is very strong and active in Japan. Throughout the ages the idea that ancestors and those who had died could cause great calamities was widespread. This is the humanised Tengu; the priest who died with a grudge, breaks precepts or deceives the people and thus is reborn as a Tengu.
The most famous story involving this kind of Tengu is that of Emperor Shotoku. Emperor Shotoku, said to be the King of Tengu, was involved in a great rebellion during the Kamakura period, but died with deep resentment. He is said to have written a sutra spell in blood and dedicated it's writing to avenging the grudge in his heart. This curse is said to have turned him into a Tengu while still alive. His hair was unkempt and his nails grew, turning his appearance into a terrible one. He is said to have torn off his tongue, which he used to write the curse. As you can see in the image, this Tengu was monstrous.
Another related Tengu is the Tengu of the 'other world'. In the Edo period Tengu faith was more widespread than ever and was a popular part of common folklore. This is the Tengu who inhabited the other world. These Tengu could be met in the mountains, perform mysterious deeds and come and go from a higher realm.
In the Edo period there emerged the idea that disappearing children may have been kidnapped by Tengu. Legends tell of children lost in the mountains, where they could hear the strange laughter of the Tengu, the playing of drums and a terrible shaking. During this time many places were named for their association with Tengu, and we often find references to Tengu Valleys, Tengu Peaks and the like. Tengu were in close contact with the lives of ordinary people.
There are lots of high level studies on Tengu mythology, but today I'm going to share a story from the 'Yokai Tengu Memorandum". The Tengu featured here is of the mountain-god type which is featured heavily in folklore which look almost identical to the practitioners of Shugendo.
Folklorists tend to say that youkai (spectres/monsters) are 'fallen gods'. Across Japan we find various numina that are enshrined and worshipped. There are gods that humans can petition in order to gain benefit for others. However there are also gods that cause disaster and harm people. That is a Youkai. Tengu sit in a unique place where they are seen as both gods and monsters, in other words, the Tengu embodies both of these characteristics.
The 'Youkai' Tengu is often depicted with a red face, a long nose and wears the clothing of a Yamabushi ascetic. He wears the cap and clothing characteristic of the practitioners of Shugendo. Similarly, the Tengu is depicted with a fan in it's hands. The Yamabushi's clothing contains symbolism linked to the Great Immovable Wisdom King, Acalanatha Vidyaraja (Fudo-Myoo 不動明王). So you can see that the Tengu's clothing signifies some kind of great power. As you'll see later, the Yamabushi practice mirrors that of Mountain Deities.
Well, Mountain Gods are a confusing phenomenon. There is a story about Sarutahiko Okami, a great Earth deity leading Ninigi no Mikoto (grandson of the Sun) to nourish the land with rice seedlings. This deity is said to also contribute to the prototype image of the Mountain Deity and Tengu. There are so many theories around. Added to them is the popular legend that Jewish people came to Japan and that the Tengu image derives from this. Similarly, foreigners were depicted as Tengu, being something 'other' to be afraid of. There are so many layers.
Added to this there is the concept of 'Daitengu' and 'Kotengu'. That is, Great Tengu and Small Tengu. The Great Tengu are often enshrined as gods, whereas the 'small' Tengu are considered more troublesome. There are also women Tengu, which I haven't encountered yet (laughs).
Next is the Tengu we can see in Noh. The other day I asked a teacher of Noh to record a verse from the play 'Kurama Tengu'. In this play, Minamoto no Yoshitsune (Ushiwakamaru) is said to take martial arts lessons from the Tengu which live in Mt. Kurama. I recorded this scene and would like you to listen:
♪ Noh (能楽)
*The Noh clip features the protagonist finding himself deep in the valleys of Mt. Kurama. He encounters the Great Tengu Sojobo (From Sojogatani; the valley at Mt. Kurama where Shugenja practice). Sojobo teaches Ushiwakamaru the arts of swordsmanship and esoteric ritual.
The Tengu Saburo of Mt. Izuna, which I spoke about earlier is the same Tengu as the one in Shizuoka prefecture and Mt. Akiba (also known as Akiba Gongen). This may be surprising, but the Akiba shrine is the origin of Akihabara, the town in Tokyo. Thus Tengu are very much alive today in popular culture. I bet the pop-singers in the band AKB48 (a famous music group) would be surprised to learn that their band name is connected to Tengu and the deity Akiba Gongen! The case gets stronger as there are 48 Tengu listed in a sutra from the Edo period dedicated to Tengu. The women in this group might be invoking the Tengu in order to hunt their geek fans! (laughter)
Akiba Dai Gongen was associated with fire and was a patron deity of firefighters. Akiba Gongen faith spread through the country during the Edo period, especially as fires were known to frequently break out in Edo town. In this context a shrine dedicated to Akiba Gongen was moved from Shizuoka to Akihabara.
四十八天狗 The 48 great Tengu of Japan
肥後阿闍梨 - Ajari, Higo - Kumamoto (金峰山)
妙高山足立坊 - Ashidatebo, Myokosan - Niigata
彦山豊前坊 - Buzenbo, Hikozan, Fukuoka
高良山筑後坊 - Chikugobo, Korazan - Fukuoka
笠置山大僧正 - Daisojo, Kasagizan - Kyoto
天岩船檀特坊 - Dantokubo, Amanoiwafune
富士山陀羅尼坊 - Daranibo, Fujisan - Shizuoka
都度沖普賢坊 - Fugenbo, Tsudooki - Shimane
鬼界ヶ島伽藍坊 - Garanbo, Kikaigashima - Kagoshima
常陸筑波法印 - Hoinbo, Hitachi Tsukuba (Hidachi) - Ibaraki (筑波山）
石鎚山法起坊 / 石槌山法起坊 - Hokibo, Ishituchizan (Ishizuchizan) - Ehime
比叡山法性坊 - Hoseibo, Hieizan - Kyoto
比良山次郎坊 / 二郎坊 / 治朗坊 - Jirobo, Hirasan
越中立山繩垂坊 - Jusuibo, Etchu Tateyama - Toyama
横川覚海坊 - Kakukaibo, Yokogawa (1142 - 1223) - Kyoto （比叡山）
熊野大峯菊丈坊 - Kikujobo, Kumano Omine - Nara
長門普明鬼宿坊 - Kishukubo, Nagato Fumyo - Hiroshima
白髪山高積坊 - Kojobo, Shiragayama - Kochi
象頭山金剛坊 - Kongobo, Zozusan - Kagawa
羽黒山金光坊 - Konkobo, Mount Hagurosan - Yamagata
浅間ヶ嶽金平坊 - Konpeibo (Konbeibo), Asamagatake - Gunma
黒眷属金比羅坊 - Konpirabo, Kurokenzoku - Kagawa
高野山高林坊 - Korinbo, Koyasan - Wakayama
宰府高垣高林坊 / 宰府高垣高森坊 - Korinbo, Saifu Takagaki - Fukuoka
葛城高天坊 - Kotenbo, Katsuragi - Nara
醫王島光徳坊 - Kotokubo, Iogashima - Kagoshima
吉野皆杉小桜坊 - Kozakurabo, Yoshino Minasugi - Nara
上野妙義坊 - Myogibo, Ueno - Gunma
妙義山日光坊 - Nikkobo, Myogisan - Gunma
紫黄山利久坊 / 紫黄山利休坊 - Rikyubo, Shiozan - Ibaraki
御嶽山六石坊 - Rokusekibo, Mitakezan - Nagano
大原住吉剣坊 - Rugyobo, Ohara Sumiyoshi - Tottori
飯綱三郎 - Saburo, Iizuna (Izuna) - Nagano
白峯相模坊 / 白峰相模坊 - Sagamibo, Shiramine - Kagawa
厳島三鬼坊 - Sankibo, Itsukushima - Hiroshima
天満山三萬坊 / 天満山三万坊 - Sanmanbo, Tenmanzan - Gifu
秋葉山三尺坊 - Sanshakubo, Akibayama - Shizuoka
新田山佐徳坊 - Santokubo, Sattazan (Nittazan) - Gunma
伯耆大山清光坊 - Seikobo, Hoki Daisen - Tottori
日向尾畑新蔵坊 - Shinzobo, Hyuga Obatake - Miyagi
鞍馬山僧正坊 - Sojobo, Kuramayama - Kyoto
奈良大久杉坂坊 - Sugisakabo, Nara Ohiza
高雄内供奉 - Takao Naigubu - Kyoto
愛宕山太郎坊 - Tarobo, Atagoyama - Kyoto
日光山東光坊 - Tokobo, Nikkozan - Tochigi
板遠山頓鈍坊 - Tondonbo, Handazan (Hanenzan)
如意ヶ嶽薬師坊 - Yakushibo, Nyoigatake - Kyoto
那智滝本前鬼坊 - Zenkibo, Nachinotakimoto - Nara
Tengu faith was spread all over Japan by Yamabushi and the mountain faith of Shugendo. I hope this demonstrates that Tengu were enshrined all over Japan. These Tengu are regarded for their great power and mischief.
Am I speaking about Tengu clearly? At the AXA lecture on Astronauts and Yamabushi there was no talk on astronauts, so today is special! Well, now I'll tell you about Yamabushi.
The founder is regarded as En No Gyoja who established the path of Shugendo 1300 years ago. If you travel 24 kilometers south of Kinpusenji Temple in Yoshino you will find the main training hall on the top of Sanjogatake in Mt Omine. It is here that the founder trained for a period of 1000 days and realised the wrathful Kongo Zao Daigongen. This is regarded as the beginning of Shugendo in the Yoshino region.
But what is Shugendo? It is the religion of Yamabushi. It is a religioun that practices in the context of valleys and mountains and regards nature as a dojo (learning hall).
Please watch this video;
This is a video of the journey we undertake by foot from Yoshino to Kumano, called the Okugake trail, which we do several times a year. While walking we revere nature as a place which holds the sacred. It is here we encounter gods, Buddha and our own fears. The mountain is regarded as a liminal space which contains all kinds of holy numina, but there are also more ambiguous beings like Tengu. Tengu and Yamabushi are often conflated as being one. You can see in the video that the Yamabushi are wearing the costumes of the Tengu. No, it is the Tengu who is wearing the costume of the Yamabushi. Yamabushi can be said to embody the Tengu; encountering the power of another world like a Tengu does is also the power of training found in Shugendo.
Shugendo is a religion of practice. Hanging from cliffs, being struck by freezing waterfalls, meditation are all carried out and memorised by the body. No matter how much I talk about Shugendo I can't share the real thing with you. It is through practice that Shugendo is transmitted. Let's try chanting yamanenbutsu (recitation in the mountains) together!
♪"Zange Zange Rokkon Shojo"♪ *(purification of the six root sense organs)
Good work! When you see Yamabushi on pilgrimage you'll always hear these kinds of chants. Liberating the mind and chanting with feeling and heart is what allows the Yamabushi to walk 10-12 hours a day. This is the world of the Yamabushi's Shugendo.
I mentioned earlier that Tengu came out of the mixing of Buddhism and Shinto and that this mixing is a defining feature of mountain beliefs and Shugendo. Shugendo enshrines over 8 million gods and Buddhas from 84,000 different Law gates (paths). The deities in Shugendo often fuse together and can be understood on multiple levels. An example of this is the wrathful Kongo Zao Dai Gongen who manifested from a rock in the Mt. Omine mountain ranges after appearing in the forms of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas like Maitreya and Avalokitesvara. Gongen (local manifestation of universal Buddhist principle) is an important concept in Shugendo and isn't just limited to Yoshino. In Kumano there is Kumano Sansho Gongen. At Mt. Hiko there is Hiko Gongen, Hakusan has Hakusan Myori Gongen; Mt. Haguro has Haguro Gongen etc. The gongen faith and the Tengu faith spread in an overlapping manner.
Another feature of Shugendo is that it is a religion of ubasoku (householder practitioner 優婆塞). This references one of the four categories of Buddhist practitioner; Biku (monk), Bikuni (nun), Ubasoku & Ubasika (householders). When we pay homage to our founder we chant "おんぎゃくぎゃくえんのうばそくあらんきゃそわか", the mantra of En no Ubasoku.
The most important thing in Shugendo is practice in the context of nature and particularly mountains. But training does not end once the Yamabushi have left the mountains, nor is the idea to remain there. Remaining in the mountains and living permanently there is not the path of the Yamabushi, but the path of the Sennin (Taoist Hermit). Yamabushi, undertaking bodhisattva vows, are obliged to return to society and make use of their experiences for the sake of the people and the village. In other words, it is a religion that is focused on benefiting other beings. Travelling in and out of the mountains, Tengu faith was born in the mountains, but brought to the people by means of the Yamabushi.
There is a study that says Japan is a land covered 70% by mountains and mountain deities have been worshiped since ancient times. The mountain was seen as a place to encounter holy existences. Originally mountains were worshiped from a distance, but with the introduction of Buddhism and Taoism emerged practitioners who entered the mountains as their platform for practice. The study goes on to say that "practitioners of Shugendo are deeply involved with the base layer of society, mixing the religious views of Shinto and Buddhism. Japan's unique folk religion was formed by this mixture of ancient mountain faith with Shinto, Foreign Buddhism, the Way of Yin Yang, Taoism etc." This is a good summary of Shugendo.
However, I don't think this will give a complete general comprehension of Shugendo. I'd like to say that Shugendo is a 'Glocal グローカル' religion. This means that Tengu are also 'glocal'.
What am I saying here? There are 'Global religions'. Like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc. In fact Hindu concepts are found right through Buddhism too but Hinduism is largely confined to India. Anyway, the three major world religions mentioned have spread on a global scale; they are considered universal. This is the meaning of global religion.
Globalism is largely a Western idea; the idea that there can be a single set of values that are universal and should be adopted universally. Buddhism for better or worse has largely become global in this sense. Kami worship and ancient Shinto on the other hand are forms of devotion intimately tied to place, carefully protected by the people of that particular region. This is 'local'. I mentioned earlier that 'Shinbutsu-Shugo' (combinatory belief) and Shugendo mix together 'global' Buddhist ideas and 'local' ideas centered on Kami and Shinto. This is 'glocal'. I think the concept of 'Glocalism', the unity of local and global, has a lot to add to the major challenges of the 21st century.
I was wondering what kind of stories about Tengu there might be around here (Nara)
I managed to find some really interesting ones! The Oda Festival at Asukaza shrine celebrates the Tengu as a fertility deity (the long nose). There is a ritual during the festival which shows the Tengu and Okame having sex in a very humorous way. I can't tell this story infront of children!
Also at Hasedera temple there is a giant cedar tree said to be the home of Tengu. There are stories abound about those that tried to cut down these great cedar trees meeting with great misfortune from the mischievous Tengu. The Tengu Cedar stands at Hasedera to this day.
There's another story about Tengu from Kaminoyama and Tengu from Iga quarrelling and fighting. During the fight grass and stones were thrown and this feeds into a legend about why Mt. Aoba in Iga has no grass or boulders.
I'd also like to talk about the Tengu myths from my area, Yoshino. The Omine Dai-Tengu of Kizo-in from the Yoshino mountain range. This story, which has been transmitted since the late Edo period, describes a Yamabushi who had been practicing in the mountains having a tremendous spiritual experience. From that day on he traveled through the Mt. Omine mountain range collecting medicinal herbs in order to help heal people's illnesses and he dedicated his life to the social well-being of the people. This Yamabushi was later enshrined as a Tengu and if you go to Kizo-in today it is said you can receive a blessing from his image.
Near Kizo-in there is a temple used by Yamabushi called Sakuramotobo. Here a Tengu called Yoshino Minasugi Kozakurabo is enshrined; this Tengu is one of the 48 famous Tengu.
I've put together a video to share the world of Tengu and Yamabushi.
♪ Video broadcast showing Yamabushi ascetic practices in the mountains.♪
This was taken by Nara Television, who took part in a commemorative program for the 5th anniversary of the listing of the Kii Peninsula as a World Heritage Site. It was shot by a cameraman from Nara Prefecture named Tomohiro Rokuta. Even now, Yamabushi training continues in this way, and as you can see the Yamabushi are training diligently, exhausted and covered in dirt. I think the world shown in this video synchronizes with the world of the Tengu somewhere.
I'd like to finish with a difficult story that I understood with the help of Tengu. I spoke earlier about the concepts of global and glocal. As an ideology 'Global' represents the kind of modernity that can be found in Europe and the United States. The whole world has now been covered by this way of thinking; capitalism, civil society and the nation state are now considered universal.
As modernity increasingly places our planet's health at risk we have to ask, should these values really be universal? A few years ago, mathematician Masahiko Fujiwara was mentioned in a book about dignity. There's a line which reads “No matter how beautiful the tulips are, the world should not be covered in tulips.” That is to say, regions where cherry blossoms exist are important, regions where cactus' flower are important, regions where the bougainvillea flowers are important; each region's pattern, suitability and locality is extremely important and we should not be looking to cover the earth in tulips simply because one region says tulips are beautiful. We should support each other in a world where many worlds can exist.
The global view looks down at the earth from above and wishes for it to be the colour tulip. These days I walk around and see nothing but Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds burgers. Nara should have delicious dishes from Nara and Yoshino should have delicious dishes from Yoshino. Now, with the global economy in the world, one sense of values is trampling on the climate and history of various countries and regions. We have a situation where our societies prioritize the economy above all else; there is little room for anything else to exist outside of it. Take the Fukushima nuclear accident for example. Not only did this destroy the surrounding land but also its history, its memories, its ancestors, its Gods and Buddhas. Everything is broken. If nuclear power, as an ultimate expression of modernity, rationality and civilised society leads to this kind of thing on a local scale, imagine it on a global one! We have to stop this madness and take care of each country, each region's character, it's culture, deities, land and climate.
In fact, Tengu and Yokai were created by this kind of background, climate and history of the land. I made a joke at the beginning of this talk saying that if Tengu and Yokai existed I would always be at the zoo (laughs). However it seems to me that such a thing is very universal for the human race, and these beliefs give character to certain phenomena and understanding, helping us give shape to the fabric of our lives. I think it would be a mistake to discount these beliefs and continue on only with only one set of values. That is why 'glocal' is the key word I'd like you to take away from the Tengu. Even if it is not possible to return the world to an original 'glocal' state, i'd like to say that it is only when we turn our attention and effort towards our localities and make the most of them that it is possible to build harmony between the local, the climate and the broader characters of countries and the world.
Finally, I'd like to speak about “GeGeGe no Kitaro” 「ゲゲゲの鬼太郎 a cartoon best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong」. Since Shigeru Mizuki wrote "Gegege no Kitaro" and introduced the world of youkai to the public, the 'youkai boom' (fad) has actually come a few times. A new ghost tool called “Yokai Watch” is now coming out and the mysterious world of ghosts is back in the limelight. I think this is a good thing. The basis of the values which underlie modernity is the idea that the human mind can rationally understand all phenomena. We are taught to bury mystery and anything we can't understand as superstition. However I think there are very few truths that humans can truly understand. No matter how much science develops there are far more things in the world that we won't be able to understand. I think this will always be the case. I think that it is of great importance to care for and keep the world of youkai and Tengu, particularly because they teach us and show us glimpses of a world that humans cannot understand. Japan is one of the most prominent countries in the world. Of course, there are many youkai in the world, such as Moomin and Kirin. However, I'd like to think that nowhere else in the world can you find so many different kinds of youkai. This is a testament to our diversity. I think that the symbol for this diversity is the world of Tengu and Youkai.
In our world we are constantly flooded with information. Of course, I also use a lot of information tools so I get lots of information every day. Often it's information I don't need; the weather in Moscow and Rio De Janeiro, places I'll never go in my whole life. Such a thing is not needed. It would be more useful to have your wife or husband's mood forecast in the morning than the weather of so and so country (laughter). But we are given more and more information, from morning to night. More to the point, information is nothing, no matter how much you get. Information only becomes wisdom and power when it is grounded and transmuted into a story. It is through story that information makes sense. The worlds of Yokai and Tengu are important stories; we gain something from them. As we live in an information flooded world it is important that we aren't overwhelmed by its meaninglessness. How we use the information and tell the story is important. Tengu and Youkai have been brought to the world to aid in telling our stories.
Thankyou to all of you for helping me find some conclusions to the story of Tengu and Yamabushi (laughs). I'm sorry I couldn't expand and tell the Tengu story properly. I can't be a high nose Tengu (arrogant) about my story at least! Thankyou for your time.
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