Antique Japanese Tengu Figure from the 18th Century
This finely carved antique Tengu Figure from Japan, dating from the 18th Century as on the back of the figure is written in Japanese Kanji 江戸期の寛保二年壬戌 (Edo Period – Kanpo Second Year ) or in English 1742
Tengu is a type of legendary creature found in Japanese folk religion. They are considered a type of supernatural beings or Shinto kami (gods). Tengu was originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they 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, which today is widely considered the tengu’s defining characteristic in the popular imagination. They are also thought to have been influenced by the Garuda a legendary bird or bird-like Deity in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology, and by Sarutahiko Ōkami, a native Shinto deity.
This Tengu is standing on a carved alter and the back of this figure has Kanji characters painted on the figure. I can’t read but if you can I would be pleased to hear from you on what it was written beside the date.
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Japanese and Asian Art
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