A Japanese scroll painting by Taizan
Kakejiku (vertical hanging scroll), in ink and colour on paper, depicting a tengu with his long nose, signed and sealed, in wooden box.
H. 128.5 x W. 29.5 cm (painting)
H. 200 x W. 42 cm (scroll)
Collection Peter Poldervaart, Amsterdam
Tengu are legendary creatures found in Japanese folk religion and are considered a type of Shinto gods (kami) or yokai (supernatural beings). They were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics. The earliest tengu were pictured with beaks, but this feature has often been humanized as an unnaturally long nose. As dangerous, protector spirits of the mountains and forests, tengu often bring mischief to the lone forest wanderer.