I think Keine has the best hat. It's still darn silly though.

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A thread to trip, scatter, and fumble all over Touhou-related source myths and scholarly materials. Feel free to contribute anything of interest, even if the connection might not be obvious at first!
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First up, we have a paper on those mysterious mountain-dwelling folk, "The Tengu". It's got more than you ever wanted to know about our nosey pom-pom-wearing neighbours—what kinds of tengu there are, their origins, their eating and possibly even mating habits, and selected myths from every era—courtesy of one Dr. M. W. de Visser from the Asiatic Society of Japan.

Goes from pp. 222–298 in the link.
A quick look at that tells me that the tengu are very much a catch-all sort of supernatural creature in Japanese tradition. There's barbarity and oni-like behavior, possessions (and trying to seduce priests while in the bodies of women), transformations, behavior like angry spirits/are ghosts of the dead, tree demons, and a lot of links to Buddhism. They could just as soon be bros and teach humans swordmanship or something else or try to destroy them. There seem to be several mentions of pearls/stones in relation to (greater) tengu. All in all interesting stuff. Even if the source takes that sometime patronizing tone common in Victorian/Edwardian analysis of other cultures.

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