からす天狗 (crow tengu)

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Click to enlarge.

Title:

からす天狗 (karasu tengu)
crow tengu

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This top depicts crow tengu, a type of mythical creature of the tengu variety. They are more distinguishably bird-like, often featured with beaks and feathers. Hiroi-sensei states that they are the children of regular tengu and travel about as messengers who hang lanterns. He therefore depicts them here as bird-headed creatures holding balanced lanterns. Hiroi-sensei also notes that a photograph of this top was featured for some years in a junior high school textbook in Japan.

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Hiroi Michiaki: This is… What was this? Ah. The crow tengu.

Mrs Hiroi: Yeah.

Hiroi: The children of the tengu hang paper lanterns and go out as messengers. And here, the lanterns are balanced. And it’s diagonal like this. And here, some years ago, in a junior high art–

Mrs Hiroi: Yeah.

Hiroi: It was printed in a school textbook, you know, this was. Umm about three years [ago], and I received royalties.

Mrs Hiroi: Yeah.

Hiroi: Once a year, well, every year around December I received some [royalties]. 50,000 yen or 60,000 yen. Heh heh heh.

Mrs Hiroi: Yeah. I don’t remember how many hundred yen.

Hiroi: Spending money. Heh heh heh. I received it for about three years. And it was published in a textbook and junior high schools all over the country; it was published in some grade level’s art textbooks.

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