|Chocolate Jesus - 2012-12-03 |
"Noburo Ofuji directed The Routing of the Tengu in 1934, which opens with a Neko (cat) being traumatized by a pair of bird-beaked Tengu who go on to kidnap a dancing Geisha from a villa. Tengu are another breed of Yokai. Sometimes hostile and sometimes protective but always frightening, Tengu appear in folklore in two forms, both of which are represented in this short. The bird-like form is the older of the two, and this form has often been anthropomorphised into a human figure with an exceptionally long nose. Regarded as guardians of mountains and nature, their masks and effigies are often found in rural and suburban areas like Mount Takao on the outskirts of Tokyo. In some stories, Tengu are the ghosts of people who succumbed to pride and arrogance, some of whom became enemies of Buddhism while others still maintained that vestige of decency that could be appealed to for spiritual protection. Kidnapping is a fairly normal activity for them, however. Again showing the influence of American animation, the samurai fending off the Tengu in a highly choreographed dance-off looks suspiciously like Betty Boop."