"Tennin" (天人) including the female "tennyo" (天女) (Sanskrit: "apsaras") and "tenshi" (天使) are spirits found in Japanese Buddhism that are similar to Western angels or fairies. [http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/tennin.html Tennin] at [http://www.pantheon.org/ Encyclopedia Mythica] ] They were imported from Chinese Buddhism, [http://www.mukashibanashi.org/overview.html An Overview of Japanese Folklore] at the [http://www.mukashibanashi.org/ Mukashibanashi Library] ] which was influenced itself by the concepts of heavenly beings found in Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism.

"Tennin" are mentioned in Buddhist sutras, and these descriptions form the basis for depictions of the beings in Japanese art, sculpture, and theater. They are usually pictured as unnaturally beautiful women dressed in ornate, colorful kimonos (traditionally in five colors), exquisite jewelry, and flowing scarves that wrap loosely around their bodies. They usually carry lotus blossoms as a symbol of enlightenment or play musical instruments such as the biwa, or flute. [http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/karyoubinga.html#tennin Tennin] at [http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/buddhism.shtml GODS of Japan, A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhism (Buddhist & Shinto Deities)] ] [Hearn, Lafcadio, [http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext05/8glm110.txt "Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan"] at [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/8130 Project Gutenberg] online book catalog]

"Tennin" live in the Buddhist heaven as the companions to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Some legends also make certain "tennin" solitary creatures living on mountain peaks. Pilgrims sometimes climb these mountains in order to meet the holy spirits. [http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/tennin.html Tennin] at [http://www.pantheon.org/ Encyclopedia Mythica] ]

"Tennin" can fly, a fact generally indicated in art by their colored or feathered kimonos, called "hagoromo" ("dress of feathers"). [http://www.mukashibanashi.org/overview.html An Overview of Japanese Folklore] at the [http://www.mukashibanashi.org/ Mukashibanashi Library] ] In some legends "tennin" are unable to fly without these kimonos (and thus cannot return to heaven).Waley, Arthur (1921), [http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/npj/npj30.htm "The Noh Plays of Japan", Chapter V] , p. 177, "A Note on Hagoromo"] More rarely, they are shown with feathered wings. [http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/karyoubinga.html#tennin Tennin] at [http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/buddhism.shtml GODS of Japan, A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhism (Buddhist & Shinto Deities)] ] In a Noh play "Hagoromo", which bears a number of similarities to the Western swan maiden legends, [ [http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/places/the_burren/connor_oquin.htm The Legend of Connor O'Quin and the Swan Maiden] at [http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/places/the_burren/burren_folklore.htm Folklore of the Burren] ] "tennyo" come to the earth and take off their "hagoromo". A fisherman spies them and hides their clothes in order to force one to marry him. After some years he tells his wife what he did, and she finds her clothes and returns to heaven.).Waley, Arthur (1921), [http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/npj/npj30.htm "The Noh Plays of Japan", Chapter V] , p. 177, "A Note on Hagoromo"] The legend says it occurred on the beach of Miyo, now a part of the city of Shizuoka).

Tennin in fiction

Tennin are central to
* The anime ""
* The hentai anime "Twin Dolls"

Tennin appear in

There is a Korean analog too, sun-nyu, which can be seen in

* Faeries' Landing manwha by You Hyun


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tennin (era) — [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du Japon, pp. 178 181; Brown, Delmer et al. (1979). Gukanshō, pp. 320 322; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki. pp. 203 204.] Change of Era*; 1108: The new era name was created to mark an event… …   Wikipedia

  • Mount Asama — 浅間山 Mount Asama in 2005 Elevation …   Wikipedia

  • Hagoromo (play) — nihongo| Hagoromo |羽衣|The Feather Mantle is among the most performed Japanese Noh plays. [Kinoshita, June Nicholas Palevsky. Gateway to Japan . Kodansha International (1998), [http://books.google.com/books?id=V4OjvUhiTAQC pg=PA121… …   Wikipedia

  • Emperor Toba — (鳥羽天皇 Toba tennō ) (February 24, 1103 ndash; July 20, 1156) was the 74th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. His reign spanned the years from 1107 through 1123. [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du… …   Wikipedia

  • List of legendary creatures by type — This is a list of legendary creatures from mythology, folklore and fairy tales, sorted by their classification or affiliation. Creatures from modern fantasy fiction and role playing games are not included. Contents 1 Angels 2 Artificial creatures …   Wikipedia

  • The Decay of the Angel — Infobox Book | name = The Decay of the Angel title orig = Tennin Gosui (Five Death Omens of an Angel) 天人五衰 translator = Edward Seidensticker image caption = author = Yukio Mishima illustrator = cover artist = country = Japan language = Japanese… …   Wikipedia

  • Duende (mythology) — Purported Duende on Classic Period Maya pottery, Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, Belize A duende is a fairy or goblin like mythological creature from Iberian, Latin American and Filipino folklore. While its nature varies throughout Spain, Portugal,… …   Wikipedia

  • Ten'ei — nihongo|Ten ei|天永 was a nihongo|Japanese era name|年号,| nengō ,|lit. year name after Tennin and before Eikyū. This period spanned the years from 1110 through 1113. The reigning emperor was nihongo|Emperor Toba tennō |鳥羽天皇. [Titsingh, Isaac. (1834) …   Wikipedia

  • Ères du Japon — Les ères du Japon (年号, nengō?, littéralement « nom de l année ») sont un calendrier couramment utilisé au Japon pour compter les années. Par exemple, Heisei 18 correspond à l année 2006 et l année 2007 fut Heisei 19. Comme beaucoup de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • tannen — tạn|nen 〈Adj.; selten〉 aus Tannenholz * * * tạn|nen <Adj.> [mhd. tennen, tennīn]: aus Tannenholz bestehend: e Pfähle. * * * 1tạn|nen <Adj.> [mhd. tennen, tennīn]: aus Tannenholz bestehend: Jack schoss in den Keller und kam mit… …   Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.