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(Reincarnation of The True Goddess: Devil Summoner)


Emerging from the tangled forest that you've been stumbling through since daybreak, you enter a lush green valley. Up ahead, you spy a maiden resting at the top of the hillside, her back to you. Lonely for conversation, and encouraged by the thought that there might be a village nearby where you could get some rest and restock your provisions, you open your mouth to hail her--but the words die in your throat as you watch the young woman reach up and brush some errant strands of her ebony hair back into place . . . with an arm nearly thrice as long as it should be! Realizing that you've stumbled upon something human eyes were likely never meant to see, you begin to retreat back the way you came, but, in your haste, you trip over a rock and fall to the ground with a great clatter. Startled, the lady's head whips around to regard you, and her red eyes narrow in displeasure. Rising to her hands, not her feet, for the maiden's inhumanly long arms make much better legs than the actual members she holds elevated before her, the woman races down the grassy slope in your direction with a graceful and terrible speed that you'd never imagine possible if you hadn't seen it with your own horrified eyes.

I like to kick my feet up after a long day of arm wrestling.

Tenaga are one of the many demon types that can be encountered in Atlus' 1995 Shin Megami Tensei: Debiru Samana- (Reincarnation of The True Goddess: Devil Summoner) Sega Saturn video game [said title was also ported to the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) in 2005, but, like the original version, it's only available in Japan]. In Devil Summoner, Tenaga are of the Dark-Neutral alignment (a life philosophy that, while generally malevolent in nature, advocates balance, rather than absolute order or chaos) and are further classified as members of the Jaki Clan (the word 'jaki' translates into 'devil', 'imp', or 'evil spirit').

Tenaga (Japanese for 'Long-armed') are humanoids that originated in Chinese mythology (Chángběmín or 'Long Elbows Folk'). They are usually associated with the Ashinaga ('Long-legged')/Chánggumín ('Long Thighs Folk'), sometimes with the former riding on the shoulders of the latter in order to make best use of the assets of each. While they are presented as monsters in the game, classical Japanese artwork appears to depict the Tenaga as a harmless, even benevolent, people. However, there are also some rare legendary giants, sporting the combined name of Tenaga-Ashinaga, that are evil and destructive. It's possible said titans are what Atlus was really referencing.

Newsprint, tissue paper, white glue, acrylic paint, wire twist ties, plastic (transparent base only), and super glue.

3.3 cm/1.3 in. x 4.0 cm/1.6 in. (widest point x highest point)

Two days: April 3 and 5, 2011.

Tenaga photo collage.

For comparison/informational purposes, below are some relevant images:

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Tenaga battle sprite.

Cropped 8-bit version of the Devil Summoner Tenaga sprite as it appears in the Gameboy Color Devil Children: Card Summoner game.

Artwork of Tenaga and Ashinaga, by Kawanabe Kyousai, circa 1863-6.


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Any and all copyrighted imagery, terminology, etc., depicted here belongs to its respective holders/owners, namely Atlus.
The repeating background pentagram icon is from the DemiKids Light/Dark games, while the foreground texture is a fill pattern from the GIMP art program that I edited.