Monday, 18 July 2011



J Burogu へようこそ!
Welcome to J Burogu

Today I bring to you a phrase I find interesting that is used in the Japanese language.
Tengu ni naru (天狗になる) in English, translates to "To become a Tengu." and is said when someone becomes arrogant, or starts to show off excessively after being recognised for something.

In English they would say that "It's got to his/her head".

I can't really think of any particularly well known people, but I suppose it could apply to many people that suddenly become famous, as it is often said that they change in personality after getting too much attention and praise.

Well that's the actual meaning of the phrase....but why??

To explain this, first off, I have to describe what a Tengu is. A Tengu (天狗) is a mythological spirit/demon/god lol in Japanese folklore and is a combination of a predatory bird and a human. It is usually depicted as either a humanoid with a bird's head, or a man with a very long nose.

In Japanese, when you describe someone as having a "high nose" (鼻が高い -Hana ga takai), it means that they are prideful or arrogant.

Plastic Face (made in China)
**This doesn't refer to the placement of the nose on the face. lol
It rather means like how you might turn up your nose to something you don't like, or feel is insufficient. Like in English, fore example they say "The dog turned up it's nose toward the bowl of stale cereal".

Even in media they often show posh people with their heads tilted up slightly and noses up high proudly in the sky......It's pretty interesting how two starkly different cultures can have such similar depictions of the same things.

Anyway, as the Tengu's has a trademark long nose, if he did that then it would kind of be even more powerful turning up of the nose.

So that's the meaning of "Tengu ni naru", To become a Tengu.
I hope you all take care not to become one yourself, and as a result disliked by others.

I now feel like writing more about Tengu, since I have an interest in mythology and legendary creatures and such. But I'll leave that for another post.


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